Here's part of the script for today's PRESS**WATCH...
(pull up http://www.theresaspresswatch.blogspot.com to participate in the Dollar Doom poll!)
The emergency we are faced with is corporate rule. We are ruled by multinational corporations.
Here are some of the symptoms:
The war industry keeps our legislatures like concubines. Contributions for just last year amount to nearly $24 million, and 59% of that went to Democrats. You know, the rational, liberal party that's going to get us out of the wars? That one. fifty-nine percent. and it works. In past years the lions' share went to the Republicans. It's not a matter of ideology. It's whoever is in power.
We have imperial bases in most nations; in many, our soldiers are despised for their violence and arrogance. A BBC report from last February is typical: "In the latest of a string of incidents involving US troops, the man is accused of raping a Filipino woman at a hotel.
"The alleged rape happened before a 24-hour curfew was imposed on US troops, their families and civilians working for the military on Okinawa. "....Another American serviceman is accused of rape on Okinawa, the second alleged incident in 10 days.
"The first complaint was made by a 14-year-old schoolgirl, the second by a woman from the Philippines who says she was attacked in a hotel. In the last few days another soldier was found drunk asleep on a sofa in a house he had broken into, while another was arrested for drunk-driving."
The BBC article has a certain familiarity to it. Move thousands of miles to the Koreas, and the story is the same. "According to the south Korean government's official statistics, 50,082 crimes were committed by US soldiers from 1967 to 1998 (including those by soldiers' families), and 56,904 US soldiers were involved (including soldiers' families) in these crimes. "
We don't call the war industry "the war industry." We call it "the defense industry." That's because it defends us against having to act likhttp://www.opensecrets.org/
The emergency is corporate rule, the symptom is war.
Desperation and poverty are increasing. "The Real Unemployment Rate Hits a 68-Year High
Comparing the Bureau of Labor Statistics' “U-3” and “U-6” rates.
By John Miller
"Although you have to dig into the statistics to know it, unemployment in the United States is now worse than at any time since the end of the Great Depression.
"From December 2007, when the recession began, to May of this year, 6.0 million U.S. workers lost their jobs. The big three U.S. automakers are closing plants and letting white-collar workers go too. Chrysler, the worst off of the three, will lay off one-quarter of its workforce even if it survives. Heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar and giant banking conglomerate Citigroup have both laid off thousands of workers. Alcoa, the aluminum maker, has let workers go. Computer maker Dell and express shipper DHL have both canned many of their workers. Circuit City, the leading electronics retailer, went out of business, costing its 40,000 workers their jobs. Lawyers in large national firms are getting the ax. Even on Sesame Street, workers are losing their jobs.
"The official unemployment rate hit 9.4% in May-already as high as the peak unemployment rates in all but the 1982 recession, the worst since World War II. And topping the 1982 recession's peak rate of 10.8% is now distinctly possible. The current downturn has pushed up unemployment rates by more than any previous postwar recession ...."
The emergency is corporate rule, the symptom is mass unemployment.
Education is nearly inaccessible to the poor, and ignorance is the new normal. In an international measurement of quality of life, the US slipped from second in 1980 to fifteenth today.
"The American Human Development Index is calculated from measures of three dimensions:
• A long and healthy life is measured using life expectancy at birth, calculated from mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, and population data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 2005.
• Access to knowledge is measured using two indicators: school enrollment for the population age three and older, and educational degree attainment for the population twenty-five years and older. Both indicators are from the American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2005.
• Decent standard of living is measured using median earnings from the American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2005.
We're fifteenth. We're next to Turkey now.
The emergency is corporate rule, the symptom is misery.
Health care is inaccessible to unemployed and poor, and often inadequate even for the middle class. According to an article in the BBC:
"The American healthcare system is a paradox of excess and deprivation. The United States spends more money on medical care than other nation: $2.5tn in 2009, over $8,000 per person.
Yet 46 million Americans - 15% of the population - don't have any health insurance. They are disproportionately the working poor, often employed by small firms that cannot afford to offer healthcare coverage (most Americans under age 65 get health insurance from their employers). Even many insured Americans lack adequate protection against the financial risks of illness. Medical care is consequently a leading cause of bankruptcy in the US."
Ron Williams - Aetna
Total Compensation: $24,300,112
Details: Williams earned $24,300,112 in total compensation for 2008, with more than half of that ($13,537,365) coming from option awards. He also received an additional $6,456,630 in stock awards to go along with his base salary of $1,091,764.
Personal use of a corporate aircraft and vehicle, as well as financial planning and 401(k) company matches added up to $101,487 for Williams.
....H. Edward Hanway - CIGNA
Total Compensation: $12,236,740....
Angela Braly - WellPoint
Total Compensation: $9,844,212.......
The emergency is corporate rule, the symptom is death.
It's really too bad about corporate health care denial. Too bad if you die from it. Too bad if you're born, according to a report from the Environmental Working Group studying the umbilical cords of newborn babies. The body burden pollution, the melange of pthalates,mercury, lead, flame retardants, biphenyls, polymers, et cetera, comes with the act of birth now.
EPW writes "Of the 287 chemicals we detected in umbilical cord blood, we know that 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests. The dangers of pre- or post-natal exposure to this complex mixture of carcinogens, developmental toxins and neurotoxins have never been studied."
The emergency is corporate rule; the symptoms are: Forests destroyed, rivers polluted,Appalachia is a moonscape, our oceans are dying, the atmosphere is overheating, glaciers are melting.
The emergency is corporate rule; the symptom is an elected President who is a collaborationist with the Fascist state that brought us Guantanamo, shoeless airports, police who are feared by minorities, and deadly dangerous to all.
The emergency is corporate rule, the symptoms are: Prisons are overcrowded, 2.3 million in chains, 7 million are under probation, parole, or incarceration.
Trillions have been given away to the hyper-rich banker class, undermining the currency.
Habeas corpus has been lost, the 4th Amendment is lost.
Close all imperial bases, close Guantanamo
Cease fire and really withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan
Open the prisons, release the prisoners of our racist drug war. Institute corrections not revenge.
Minimum wage $15/hour, 36 hour work week, 6 weeks vacation,
Maximum allowed personal wealth $3 million per year, $3 million property
Outlaw rents and mortgages/guarantee land rights to all
Seize and reorganize all corporations over $1 million sales as cooperatives
Nationalize banks, seize offshore assets, guarantee work or pensions
Outlaw all coal production after one year
Create an emergency mobilization project to decentralize the power grid, add solar/wind/wave/geothermal power
Socialize medicine and higher education
Institute people's newspapers, journalists, and media, elect and pay staff from tax
Sunset gasoline and diesel transportation, implement $3/gallon tax
Cease all night contrail formation
Restore full habeas corpus rights, cease all torture, prosecute torturers and war schemers
Restore all human rights, instantly shut down factory farming
Start a Manhattan project to remediate pollutionand the toxic body burden
Mandate media election coverage, ban all election media sales
Vice President Joe Biden said today that Guantanamo Bay's anti-habeas-corpus prison would be shut down by next January. AFP and BBC report this quote:
"We are going through every single detainee's records... to make a judgement about whether or not they should be tried [or] ... released and if so, what country might take them if we can't get them back to the country of origin because they're going to be tortured or mistreated," he said.
Speaking during a trip to eastern Europe taking in Georgia and Ukraine, he added: "We expect before January -- well before January -- we will have a decision on each and every individual being held." The Catholic Worker reported that one boy of 13 years of age, arrested in Afghanistan in 2002, was held in solitary for more than a year at Bagram and Guantanamo, and made to stand in stress position and deprived of sleep. If you were listening to Democracy Now earlier this morning, you heard the following: "The Obama administration meanwhile is facing a Friday deadline on whether to continue jailing Guantanamo Bay prisoner Mohamed Jawad. The American Civil Liberties Union has challenged Jawad's indefinite imprisonment, saying he's been abused, threatened, and deprived of sleep in US custody. The case has received further scrutiny because it's believed Jawad was jailed when he was twelve years old. Federal District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle has given the Justice Department until tomorrow to explain why Jawad should still be jailed. Huvelle called the government's current case “an outrage” and “riddled with holes.” [no excuse.]
THAILAND Flu toll rises to 44, with 6,776 infected
Published: 22/07/2009 at 12:32 PM
The swine flu death toll has more than doubled from 20 last week to 44, while the total number of confirmed A(H1N1) flu cases has rocketed to 6,776, the Public Health Ministry reported on Wednesday.
Health deputy permanent secretary Paichit Varachit said 6,697 patients had recovered. Thirty-five others remained in hospitals and seven of them were in critical condition.
Public Health Minister Witthaya Kaewparadai said he had instructed provincial governors, doctors and nurses nationwide to implement more stringent measures to curb the A(H1N1) flu outbreak.
"Provincial authorities need to educate people about the disease and ways to protect themselves from being infected so they do not panic," Dr Witthaya said.
Government officials and employees of state enterprises with flu-like symptoms can rest at home without having to get medical certificates, and they would not lose their holidays and other benefits, he said.
"Thailand's ranking in the number of swine flu cases and fatalities has not really risen to fourth place, as other countries have stopped reporting on the flu situation," the minister said.
He also expressed his concern for people who go to watch the friendly soccer match between Thailand and Liverpool on Wednesday evening. People with flu symptoms should definitely not go to the game, he said.
Intensive Care Beds Fill in New Zealand as Flu Hits (Update2)
By Jason Gale
July 21 (Bloomberg) -- Intensive care units in some New Zealand hospitals are full and a spike in flu cases has prompted doctors to postpone non-essential surgery to ease pressure on medical services, the country's health ministry said.
Seventy-four people are hospitalized with the H1N1 pandemic virus, also known as swine flu, with 26 in intensive care, in the nation of 4.2 million people, the ministry said in a statement today.
New Zealand, suffering the worst influenza season in more than a decade, may be a harbinger for other countries that have yet to experience the pandemic virus during winter, when colder, drier weather favors transmission. Disease trackers are watching how the pandemic evolves during the Southern Hemisphere winter to gauge its impact in the U.S. and Europe.
“It's a salutary warning to other countries,” said Lance Jennings, a clinical virologist with Canterbury Health Laboratories in Christchurch. “It's certainly been a strain on resources.”
Shortages of equipment, including respiratory support units, have been localized, Jennings said. Even with the pressure from both pandemic and seasonal flu, the nation's health services “are coping well,” Health Minister Tony Ryall said. Hospitals, some of which have deferred elective surgeries, may come under more strain as the flu season worsens, he said.
KCNA Terms Story of "Chain Reaction" Hypocritical
Pyongyang, July 22 (KCNA) -- The U.S. is now spreading in the countries around the DPRK the rumor that "chain reaction" may occur in Japan and south Korea unless the DPRK's access to nukes is checked.
The rumor has it that the DPRK's access to nukes may prompt Japan and south Korea to go nuclear, fearful of its "threat".
It sounds plausible at first but one can easily guess this is a sheer speculation as it is a departure from a reality.
Humankind wishes to see a nuclear-free world.
Had countries vied with each other to have access to nukes because of nuclear threat there might have already appeared a great number of nuclear weapons states in the world.
When a country is exposed to very potential and serious nuclear threats and when it finds no other way to cope with them, it is compelled to have access to nukes as its last resort.
Clinton Vows 'Crippling Action' if Iran Becomes Nuclear
Posted By Jason Ditz On July 22, 2009 @ 7:28 am In Uncategorized | 3 Comments
Following a growing trend in the Obama Administration, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today presented the US claim that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon as an absolute fact, as opposed to speculation for which even the IAEA concedes no evidence exists.
During the interview on Thai television today, Clinton warned Iran that “once they have a nuclear weapon” they won't actually be any safer, because the US intends to take “crippling action” against them, including dramatically improviding the military capacity of US allies in the Gulf, presumably referring to Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Only last week, speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Secretary Clinton declared that the US wouldn't hesitate to use its military against Iran, and had previously said that part of discouraging the nuclear program was to leave Iran wondering if the US would invade, “the way that we did Iraq.”
Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor, who yesterday warned the US faced a “loss of credibility” in criticizing Israeli settlement activity, condemned Clinton's comments, saying they indicated the US was resigned to Iran having nuclear weapons. Israel has repeatedly threatened to attack Iran even over its civilian nuclear program and has vowed it will never allow the nation to have an atomic weapon.
Venezuela Reviews Relations with Colombia as More US Bases Established
July 21st 2009, by Kiraz Janicke
Chavez announces revision of Venezuela-Colombia relations (Prensa Presidencial)
Chavez announces revision of Venezuela-Colombia relations (Prensa Presidencial)
Caracas, June 21, 2009 (venezuelanalysis.com) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced on Monday night that bilateral relations with neighbouring Colombia are being fully reviewed following the decision by Colombia to allow the United States to use five military bases in its territory. A high-level bilateral meeting of the Colombia-Venezuela Commission, which was set to meet Tuesday July 21st, was also suspended.
Chavez said he had instructed Venezuelan Foreign Relations Minister Nicolas Maduro to conduct a full review of bilateral relations, including diplomatic relations because Colombia's decision represents a threat to Venezuela.
"We very much regret the situation, but we have to review relations with the government of Colombia because they are opening the doors to those who attack us constantly, to those who are preparing new attacks and who have overthrown governments and are supporting the coup in Honduras - the State Department and the Southern Command," said the Venezuelan head of state.