Tuesday, November 24, 2009
At the dawn of November 24, at 03:55 am, the free social space Buena Ventura (which hosts the assembly of the group Solidarity – Antiauthoritarian Movement) came under attack with a strong explosive device.
The way in which the device was placed reveals much about the morality of the perpetrators, a morality of murderers – since they did not just attack Buena Ventura, but the entire neighbourhood. In short, the windows of neighbouring blocks of flats were smashed by the explosion in a radius of 15 meters, while shattered pieces were whammed all around, posing an imminent danger to the lives of neighbours. Shattered pieces also hit three cars, which also highlights the murderous nature of the attack since any random passer-by could have been hit by them too.
The attack comprises the tip of the iceberg – part of the framework of repression and of the blooming of para-statist action over the decades. It begins with the activity of the para-statist group “Karfitsa” in the 1960s and comes all the way to the placing of the explosive device at Buena Ventura.
It becomes painstakingly obvious that free social spaces are being targeted – as approximately six months ago the haunt of the “Struggle Movement” (Sfentona) was also attacked. The method of the attack and the construction of the mechanism reveals that the perpetrators are the same, naturally raising the question of who will be next and – what scale of attack they will come under.
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...Soon I began to marvel at just how comprehensive the business theology is. There were even sacraments to convey salvific power to the lost, a calendar of entrepreneurial saints, and what theologians call an "eschatology"—a teaching about the "end of history." My curiosity was piqued. I began cataloguing these strangely familiar doctrines, and I saw that in fact there lies embedded in the business pages an entire theology, which is comparable in scope if not in profundity to that of Thomas Aquinas or Karl Barth. It needed only to be systematized for a whole new Summa to take shape.
At the apex of any theological system, of course, is its doctrine of God. In the new theology this celestial pinnacle is occupied by The Market, which I capitalize to signify both the mystery that enshrouds it and the reverence it inspires in business folk. Different faiths have, of course, different views of the divine attributes. In Christianity, God has sometimes been defined as omnipotent (possessing all power), omniscient (having all knowledge), and omnipresent (existing everywhere). Most Christian theologies, it is true, hedge a bit. They teach that these qualities of the divinity are indeed there, but are hidden from human eyes both by human sin and by the transcendence of the divine itself. In "light inaccessible" they are, as the old hymn puts it, "hid from our eyes." Likewise, although The Market, we are assured, possesses these divine attributes, they are not always completely evident to mortals but must be trusted and affirmed by faith. "Further along," as another old gospel song says, "we'll understand why."
As I tried to follow the arguments and explanations of the economist-theologians who justify The Market's ways to men, I spotted the same dialectics I have grown fond of in the many years I have pondered the Thomists, the Calvinists, and the various schools of modern religious thought. In particular, the econologians' rhetoric resembles what is sometimes called "process theology," a relatively contemporary trend influenced by the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. In this school although God wills to possess the classic attributes, He does not yet possess them in full, but is definitely moving in that direction. This conjecture is of immense help to theologians for obvious reasons. It answers the bothersome puzzle of theodicy: why a lot of bad things happen that an omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient God—especially a benevolent one—would not countenance. Process theology also seems to offer considerable comfort to the theologians of The Market. It helps to explain the dislocation, pain, and disorientation that are the result of transitions from economic heterodoxy to free markets...
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By Craig Murray, Mail Online
...Few seem to turn a hair at the officially expressed view that our occupation of Iraq may last for decades.
Lib Dem leader Menzies Campbell has declared, fatuously, that the Afghan war is 'winnable'.
Afghanistan was not militarily winnable by the British Empire at the height of its supremacy. It was not winnable by Darius or Alexander, by Shah, Tsar or Great Moghul. It could not be subdued by 240,000 Soviet troops. But what, precisely, are we trying to win?
In six years, the occupation has wrought one massive transformation in Afghanistan, a development so huge that it has increased Afghan GDP by 66 per cent and constitutes 40 per cent of the entire economy. That is a startling achievement, by any standards. Yet we are not trumpeting it. Why not?
The answer is this. The achievement is the highest harvests of opium the world has ever seen.
The Taliban had reduced the opium crop to precisely nil. I would not advocate their methods for doing this, which involved lopping bits, often vital bits, off people. The Taliban were a bunch of mad and deeply unpleasant religious fanatics. But one of the things they were vehemently against was opium.
That is an inconvenient truth that our spin has managed to obscure. Nobody has denied the sincerity of the Taliban's crazy religious zeal, and they were as unlikely to sell you heroin as a bottle of Johnnie Walker.
They stamped out the opium trade, and impoverished and drove out the drug warlords whose warring and rapacity had ruined what was left of the country after the Soviet war.
That is about the only good thing you can say about the Taliban; there are plenty of very bad things to say about them. But their suppression of the opium trade and the drug barons is undeniable fact.
Now we are occupying the country, that has changed. According to the United Nations, 2006 was the biggest opium harvest in history, smashing the previous record by 60 per cent. This year will be even bigger.
Our economic achievement in Afghanistan goes well beyond the simple production of raw opium. In fact Afghanistan no longer exports much raw opium at all. It has succeeded in what our international aid efforts urge every developing country to do. Afghanistan has gone into manufacturing and 'value-added' operations.
It now exports not opium, but heroin. Opium is converted into heroin on an industrial scale, not in kitchens but in factories. Millions of gallons of the chemicals needed for this process are shipped into Afghanistan by tanker. The tankers and bulk opium lorries on the way to the factories share the roads, improved by American aid, with Nato troops.
How can this have happened, and on this scale? The answer is simple. The four largest players in the heroin business are all senior members of the Afghan government - the government that our soldiers are fighting and dying to protect...
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President of the 63rd Session of the General Assembly H.E. Mr. Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann
Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann (Nicaragua), acknowledging the large scale and interrelated crises facing the world today, called for Member States to seize the opportunity to work together collectively and cooperatively -- not by making speeches and statements of good intentions, but through concrete action based on the “golden rule” that guided humankind’s behaviour.
The United Nations’ illustrious history clearly reflected its many laudable actions. However, the fulfillment of its primary purpose -- eliminating war, achieving disarmament and ensuring international security –- had clearly failed. The pressing and man-made problems of climate change, efforts to privatize water, the build-up of arms, terrorism, human trafficking, the situation of Palestine, humanitarian aid, gender inequality, children in especially difficult circumstances such as armed conflict, as well as the fact that half the world are living in hunger and poverty, could be directly linked to the lack of democracy in the United Nations.
Noting that decisions with the most serious consequences did not go through the General Assembly, and that the wishes and resolutions of 95 per cent of the Organization's Members were viewed as “recommendations”, he expressed his belief that unless this changed, significant progress towards the targets established in the Millennium Declaration would be impeded. Indeed, if Member States did not choose a path of solidarity with one another, the very existence of the human race would continue to be jeopardized. “Either we love one another or we all perish; either we treat each other as brothers and sisters or we witness the beginning of the end of our human species.”
He reminded the Assembly delegations that the peoples of the entire world turned to the Member States and the gathering of Heads of State and Government to be assured of a universal commitment to defend the United Nations, to uphold the principle of the sovereign equality of all Member States, and for all Members to meet their Charter obligations so that the continued and successful efforts towards a world-wide peace be ensured and protected.
Recalling that 2009 was the International Year of Reconciliation, he urged Member States to determine to stop the arrogant attacks on one another and to adopt a mindset of reconciliation, collaboration and courageous forgiveness to those who had caused pain and suffering. “Forgiveness is never a sign of weakness,” he said, emphasizing that achieving broader levels of unity and solidarity would guarantee the possibility of a different and more prosperous world.
Naomi Klein talks about cop15, climate debt, and what will happen in Copenhagen during COP15. Interview by Democracy Now - www.democracynow.org - Amy Goodman
The massive change that is taking place on the internet.
By Nicolas J S Davies, Consortium News
Afghanistan is known as the "graveyard of empires." But just why do empires keep sending thousands of their young people to die in Afghanistan?
American blood-letting in Afghanistan is generally explained in terms of the Taliban and al-Qaeda, but it was the earlier U.S. involvement in Afghanistan (in the 1980s) that led to the emergence of these movements in the first place, not the other way around.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. government has used al-Qaeda's terrorist attacks to justify much more than simply retaliation for 9/11 or even prevention of some future recurrence of 9/11. The attacks have served as an excuse for U.S. invasions and occupations (including Iraq which had nothing to do with 9/11), flagrant war crimes (including torture), and the largest U.S. military budget since World War II.
To accomplish this, the government has persuaded many Americans that their country faces a unique and unprecedented threat that justifies these extreme measures, not least the savage, eight-year war in Afghanistan.
A Dutch friend of mine tried to have a rational conversation with an American co-worker about 9/11 and the so-called “war on terror,” and was told, "You can't possibly understand. Your country has never been attacked like this."
The puzzled Dutch woman had to ask, "Did you never hear anything about the Second World War?"
Of course, it is precisely the far greater dangers that people in other countries have faced in the past that enable them to put the threat of terrorism in perspective. Paradoxically, it is the relative safety of the United States that makes Americans so vulnerable to panic and propaganda when faced with such a limited threat.
In fact, the response of the U.S. government to the terrorist attacks has been exactly as Osama bin Laden and his colleagues intended. They did not expect to defeat the United States by knocking down a few buildings. Nor were they motivated by some irrational hatred of freedom.
Rather the attacks were designed to provoke a reaction that would expose the hypocrisy of the United States, laying bare the hard iron fist of militarism and violence within the soft velvet glove of Hollywood and soda-pop.
The explicit goal was to goad the American empire into using its vast arsenal of destructive weapons in ways that would gradually undermine its own economic and military power. Bin Laden and his second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri understood so much better than America's deluded leaders that this would be a war the United States could not win.
But neither the opportunism nor the hypocrisy of U.S. policy explain why American soldiers are fighting, killing and dying in Afghanistan of all places.
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From Dr Mercola
Sharyl Attkisson is a CBS News correspondent and investigative reporter. She's covered Capitol Hill since February 2006 and has been a Washington-based correspondent there since January 1995. She was also part of the CBS news team that received the Edward Murrow Award in 2005 for overall excellence. Additionally, she received an Outstanding Investigative Journalism Emmy in 2002 for a series on the Red Cross.
In case you didn't realize it, Sharyl Attkisson is the investigative reporter behind the groundbreaking CBS News study that found H1N1 flu cases are NOT as prevalent as feared.
In fact, they're barely on the radar screen.
How did this startling information come about, and why is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) painting a different picture entirely? I spoke directly with Sharyl Attkisson to find out.
[ ... ]
Ms. Attkisson says:
“The reason I looked into this is a couple of months ago, I got tips from three or four different segments of public healthcare, with folks telling me the CDC has recommended that they go ahead and stop testing for and counting swine flu cases.
Each different entity that contacted me was concerned, thinking that this should not be happening. They really felt that it was necessary for the swine flu to continue to be tracked in some details. So I went about trying to find out why this decision was made and what the ramifications would be.
… I started by contacting the CDC and the HHS and asking some basic questions. I felt like I pretty much got stonewalled with some of the information I really needed to get at, especially what I needed from the states data, and information on the rationale behind this decision to stop counting and testing for swine flu.”
Because the CDC did not initially respond to Attkisson's requests, she contacted all 50 states directly, asking for their statistics on state lab-confirmed H1N1 prior to the halt of individual testing and counting in July. She also asked states, one by one, to help explain the rationale behind the CDC's decision to stop tracking H1N1 cases.
“One of my good sources within the government said to me that they're either trying to, in his opinion, over-represent the swine flu numbers or under-represent by not counting them anymore. He said, “You need to find out which it is.” And so to find out which it might be, I really wanted to see the data that the CDC had at the time it made the decision to quit counting the cases.”
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"this is a dream that i had and decided to make it a project..it's about a girl who goes for a walk and saves another one that was going to be sacrificed-in a way it's what the church has done to the female sex through the years in the past- that 's how i interpreted it anyway..if you think mary magdalene and the witch ...hunt- some male figures didnt get along with the opposite sex and decided to diminish their wisdom or destroy each and every sight of their pure intentions"
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