Renowned terrorist Yitzhak Shamir dead at 96

June 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Here’s from his appearance on Mastermind.

London in the Age of Inequality

June 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

From Christopher Lydon’s outstanding Radio Open Source: A fascinating conversation with John Lanchester, editor of the London Review of Books and author of the new novel Capital.

Lydon writes:

John Lanchester has written a sprawling neo-Dickensian novelCAPITAL about London in the age of funny money and the crash of 2008. He got the germ of it five years ago, noticing a parade of “florists, dog-walkers, pilates instructors” on his own once-modest street south of the Thames, being radically made-over for bankers and the blooming investment-services class — “manifestly symptomatic,” as he says, “of a boom that would turn into a bust.” Like Bleak House or Our Mutual FriendCAPITAL has what the Brits call a “state of the nation” feel, delivered in the voice attributed to Dickens of the “special correspondent for posterity.” But of course he’s illuminating an affliction gone global by now, describing life as lived in New York, too, or Shanghai, or Boston for that matter. One moral that Lanchester has given his tale is: “We are not in this together,” inverting the Tory slogan. In conversation he adds a touch from the Gospel of Mark: “To them that hath shall be given.” I marvel at how casino capitalism and its costs come clearer, stranger, more ridiculous, more destructive, more outrageous in fiction than in fact – how the right novels can feel truer than the news.

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Bees and Terrorists

June 28, 2012 § 3 Comments

David Anderson QC

David Anderson QC, a barrister who serves as the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, claims that bee stings kill as many in the UK as terrorists. This is concerning. I didn’t know that bee stings were such a big problem in the UK. I want the government to invest more in anti-bee measures, fund more academic research into bee psychology, engage the good bees to separate them from the bad ones, and encourage communities across Britain to report any suspicious bee behavior.

In his report, Barrister Anderosn presented these alarming figures: “During the 21st century, terrorism has been an insignificant cause of mortality in the United Kingdom. The annualised average of five deaths caused by terrorism in England and Wales over this period compares with total accidental deaths in 2010 of 17,201, including 123 cyclists killed in traffic accidents, 102 personnel killed in Afghanistan, 29 people drowned in the bathtub and five killed by stings from hornets, wasps and bees.”

Reinforcements Arrive

June 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

In other news from Syria, a respected German daily is reporting that UFOs have made contact with Khalid Abu Salah and joined the Syrian opposition. At an event marking the latest transfer of T-72s and Mi-24s to Syria, Vladimir Putin denounced the UFO intervention as an irresponsible intrusion into the country’s internal affairs.

‘You ever think you are incompetent?’ Paxman interviews treasury minister

June 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Jeremy Paxman interviews a hapless Chloe Smith on Newsnight, June 26, 2012.

Noam Chomsky & Tariq Ali on the Julian Assange Show

June 26, 2012 § 1 Comment

Not a particularly enlightening conversation, but interesting nevertheless for the people involved. Syria, with over 10,000 people dead, does not feature at all in this conversation supposedly about activism in the Middle East. But it’s RT, so I suppose that’s to be expected.

A surprise Arab drive for freedom, the West’s structural crisis and new hope coming from Latin America. That’s the modern world in the eyes of Noam Chomsky and Tariq Ali, two prominent thinkers and this week’s guests on Julian Assange’s show on RT.

June TaxCast

June 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

The Tax Justice Network‘s latest TaxCast is out. Hosted  by Naomi Fowler, each 15 minute podcast follows the latest news relating to tax evasion, tax avoidance and the shadow banking system. The show features discussions with experts in the field to help analyse the top stories each month.

In this month’s show: celebrity tax avoidance, Greece’s missing billions, what should have been on the G20 agenda and trade mispricing – the tricks of the corruption trade.

A Cruel and Unusual Record

June 25, 2012 § 1 Comment

Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States, has scathing words for Obama’s human rights record, his indiscriminate use of drones, and his assault on civil liberties. 

Revelations that top officials are targeting people to be assassinated abroad, including American citizens, are only the most recent, disturbing proof of how far our nation’s violation of human rights has extended. This development began after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and has been sanctioned and escalated by bipartisan executive and legislative actions, without dissent from the general public. As a result, our country can no longer speak with moral authority on these critical issues.

While the country has made mistakes in the past, the widespread abuse of human rights over the last decade has been a dramatic change from the past. With leadership from the United States, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948 as “the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” This was a bold and clear commitment that power would no longer serve as a cover to oppress or injure people, and it established equal rights of all people to life, liberty, security of person, equal protection of the law and freedom from torture, arbitrary detention or forced exile.

The declaration has been invoked by human rights activists and the international community to replace most of the world’s dictatorships with democracies and to promote the rule of law in domestic and global affairs. It is disturbing that, instead of strengthening these principles, our government’s counterterrorism policies are now clearly violating at least 10 of the declaration’s 30 articles, including the prohibition against “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

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Donna Shalala booed at AUB graduation

June 24, 2012 § 1 Comment

Donna Shalala suffers yet another indignity. The former Clinton administration official, who had been collaborating with the Israeli government to undermine BDS, had her comeuppance when according to YNet, she was ‘was held for two-and-a-half hours at Ben Gurion Airport during which she underwent a humiliating security debriefing because of her Arab last name ‘. Despite her services for the Israel lobby, she was recently invited to deliver the graduation speech at the American University in Beirut. Here is how she was greeted:

Joseph Stiglitz: The Price of Inequality

June 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Democracy Now interview Joseph Stiglitz on his new book The Price of Inequality, which follows a similar theme to his Rolling Stone article Of the 1%, By the 1%, For the 1%.

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