Archive for the ‘Liberty’ Category
Republican Platform Panel Backs Blanket Ban on Abortion Bloomberg News 08/22/12
Republican drafters of their party’s 2012 platform reaffirmed support for a constitutional amendment banning abortion that would allow no exception for terminating pregnancies caused by rape.
“Today is a sad day for the rule of law and for those who believe that the courts should protect American citizens from torture by their own government,” said ACLU National Security Project Litigation Director Ben Wizner, who argued the appeal in court. “By dismissing this lawsuit, the appeals court handed the government a blank check to commit any abuse in the name of national security, even the brutal torture of a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil. This impunity is not only anathema to a democracy governed by laws, but contrary to history’s lesson that in times of fear our values are a strength, not a hindrance.”……………
Taibbi: “Orwellian” SEC May Have Been Hiding Big Wall Street Crimes
By Sarah Seltzer | AlterNet
By Naomi Klein / The Nation When you rob people of what little they have, in order to protect the interests of those who have more than anyone deserves, you should expect resistance.
By David Graeber
Anthropologist David Graeber argues that it is only with a general historical understanding of debt and its relationship to violence that we can begin to appreciate our emerging epoch. Here he begins to fill in our historical knowledge gap
By David DeGraw | Amped Status
Welcome to the end of a great democratic experiment.
“Krugman Calls Obama’s ‘Surrender’ a ‘Catastrophe on Multiple Levels’“ — Here’s one way to feel worse about the debt ceiling deal announced by the president Sunday night: Read Paul Krugman’s column. The Nobel Prize-winning economist is about as harsh in his assessment of the deal as can be, saying it “will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status.”
Rasmus: The $1 Trillion Debt Deal Today’s Boehner-Reid final agreement effectively drops explicit cuts in Defense, another Republican position all along.
ROBERT BOROSAGE: Capitulation
President Obama’s surrender
By Andrew Leonard
A bad weekend for the White House: The Tea Party wins, Democrats lose, and the carnage will be even worse next year
Democratic politics in a nutshell
By Glenn Greenwald
Report: Dems don’t worry about angry liberals — they’ll just scare them into submission with pictures of Bachmann
Arthur Silber: The Priorities of the Damned
I’ll use a blunt and, I fervently hope, unsettling comparison. All of these repellent people have decided to rape “ordinary” Americans until they’re dead. They’re only debating who gets to rape them next. And what these human slugs know but will never acknowledge, and what they hope you won’t notice, is that they can’t even get it up anymore.
It goes to show just how dysfunctional our government has become to ordinary Americans. Despite the fact that millions of us are still out of work because of the greed and excess of the last thirty years and resulting crashed economy, politicians cannot focus on real problems.
But what if President Barack Obama never intended to fight for jobs or justice? What if he believes the nonsense about Wall Street being “job creators” instead of economic vampires? What if Cornel West finally got it right? What if Black Agenda Report has been right all along? What if Barack Obama is a Reagan Democrat in every meaningful way, right down to a fanatical belief in trickle down economics? What if the president counts on corporate media and his army of careerists and sycophants to shut down and cover up cracks in the Obama consensus through which reality might leak? What if Obama is not weak, or timid, or vacillating or waiting for us to “make him do it”? What if what we’ve seen is all there is, all there ever was? The truth is that Barack Obama’s actions are entirely rational, understandable and even predictable if you suppose him to have been a vicious, vacuous and cynical right wing operative from the very beginning.
By Robert Reich The deal’s spending cuts increase the odds of a double-dip recession and strengthens the political hand of the radical right.
Four Ways the Deal Hurts You
|“1. You’ll be less likely to find a job if you’re looking. If you’ve got a job, you’re less likely to earn more
money–and more likely to lose it … 2. Your housing value is likely to suffer … 3. Your old age just got scarier …
4. Your tax bill is likely to go way up.”
Senator Bernie Sanders interview about the debt debacle:
Over Bernie’s strong opposition, Congress approved and President Obama signed a deficit-reduction deal that slashes programs for working families without asking the wealthiest Americans and the most profitable corporations to pay a nickel more. “This country needs deficit reduction, but we need to do it in a way that is fair and which will result in economic growth and job creation. This proposal does neither,” the senator said. In a Senate speech and a flurry of television interviews, Bernie called the deal “extremely unfair,” “immoral” and “grotesque.”
In a Nutshell
An emerging scientific consensus that a shift to small scale sustainable agriculture and localized food systems will address most, if not all the underlying causes of deteriorating agricultural productivity as well as the conservation of natural soil and water resources while saving the climate
To substantially improve living standards, access to modern energy is also crucial. Small agro-ecological farms are known to be highly productive, and are ideally served by new renewable energies that can be generated and used on site, and in off-grid situations most often encountered in developing countries
A model that explicitly integrates sustainable farming and renewable energies in a circular economy patterned after nature could compensate, in the best case scenario, for the carbon emissions and energy consumption of the entire nation while revitalising and stimulating local economies and employment opportunities
Food crisis, global economic instability, and political unrest
Soaring food prices were a major trigger for the riots that destabilized North Africa and the Middle East, and have since spread to many other African countries [1, 2]. The UN Food Price Index hit its all-time high in February 2011, and the May 2011 average was 37 percent above a year ago . This is happening as the global economy is still staggering from the 2008 financial (and food) crisis, with public debt expanding and unemployment sky high .
Lester Brown, venerated veteran world-watcher, says food has quickly become the hidden driver of world politics , and food crises are going to become increasingly common. “Scarcity is the new norm.” The world is facing increasing demand for food as population increases while food crops and land are being diverted to produce biofuels; in 2010, the United States alone turned 126 million tons of its 400 million tons corn harvest into ethanol. At the same time, the world’s ability to produce food is diminishing. Aquifers are running dry in the major food producing countries where half of the world population live. There is widespread soil erosion and desertification; and global warming temperatures and weather extremes are already reducing crop yields [6-9], hitting the most vulnerable people in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia the hardest.
“We are now so close to the edge that a breakdown in the food system could come at any time.” Brown warns . “At issue now is whether the world can go beyond focusing on the symptoms of the deteriorating food situation and instead attack the underlying causes. If we cannot produce higher crop yields with less water and conserve fertile soils, many agricultural areas will cease to be viable…..If we cannot move at wartime speed to stabilize the climate, we may not be able to avoid runaway food prices….The time to act is now — before the food crisis of 2011 becomes the new normal.”
No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.