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DOCTORS AMONG US-BACKED COUP PLOTTERS: IRAN

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 21, 2009

January 20, 2009 Tuesday – Muharram 22, 1430

Agence France-Presse

PUBLISHED BY ‘DAWN’ (Pakistan)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘DAWN’ (Pakistan)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, CRIMINAL FOREIGN POLICIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRAN, RECESSION, STATE TERRORISM, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE UNITED NATIONS, USA | Leave a Comment »

ISRAEL’S FRIENDS CANNOT JUSTIFY THIS SLAUGHTER

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 19, 2009

Monday, 19 January 2009

by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, CRIMINAL FOREIGN POLICIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HISTORY, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, STATE TERRORISM, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WAR CRIMES, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

REPORTS: RUSSIAN OLIGARCH SEEKS BRITISH NEWSPAPER

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 15, 2009

Jan. 15, 2009, 4:50AM

Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE’ (USA)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE’ (USA)

Posted in COMMUNICATION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, RUSSIA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

MINISTÉRIO PÚBLICO FEDERAL QUER IMPEDIR OLIGOPÓLIO DO GRUPO RBS EM SANTA CATARINA (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 14, 2009

Terça-feira, 13 de Janeiro de 2009

EM CIMA DA HORA – As informações são do Portal IMPRENSA

PUBLISHED BY ‘A GAZETA DE JOINVILLE’ (Brazil)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘A GAZETA DE JOINVILLE’ (Brazil)

Posted in A INDÚSTRIA DA COMUNICAÇÃO, ATIVIDADES CRIMINOSAS - BRASIL, BRASIL, CÂMARA DOS DEPUTADOS, CIDADANIA, CIDADES, COMBATE À CORRUPÇÃO - BRASIL, COMBATE À DESIGUALDADE E À EXCLUSÃO - BRASIL, COMMUNICATION INDUSTRIES, CORRUPÇÃO - BRASIL, CORRUPÇÃO NA POLÍTICA, CORRUPTION, CRIMES EMPRESARIAIS, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, DEFESA DO CONSUMIDOR - BRASIL, DEPUTADOS ESTADUAIS, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, INDÚSTRIAS, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, O PODER EXECUTIVO ESTADUAL, O PODER JUDICIÁRIO, OS GOVERNADORES, OS JUDICIÁRIOS ESTADUAIS, OS MEIOS DE COMUNICAÇÃO - BRASIL, POLÍTICA REGIONAL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, SC, SENADO, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), VEREADORES | Leave a Comment »

GLOBE AND MAIL LIKELY TO LAY OFF UNSPECIFIED NUMBER OF STAFF (Canada)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 11, 2009

Friday, January 09, 2009

byGrant Surridge – Financial Post

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE FINANCIAL POST’ (Canada)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE FINANCIAL POST’ (Canada)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CANADA, COMMUNICATION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FOREIGN WORK FORCE - LEGAL, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT, UNEMPLOYMENT | Leave a Comment »

HEARST OFFICIALS SAY SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER NEWSPAPER HAS BEEN PUT UP FOR SALE (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 10, 2009

January 9, 2009 – 5:39 PM

by Gene Johnson and Phuong Le – Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STAR TRIBUNE’ (USA)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STAR TRIBUNE’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMUNICATION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), USA | Leave a Comment »

COLOMBIAN COFFEE GROWERS SUE OVER COMIC

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 8, 2009

9:16AM Thursday Jan 08, 2009

Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD’

Posted in AGRICULTURE, COFFEE, COLOMBIA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CONSUMERS AND PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), FOREIGN POLICIES, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION | Leave a Comment »

PITY THE POOR NEOCONS – ALL THE NEOCONS HAVE LEFT – NOW IS TO CHEER THE ISRAELI AIR FORCE AS IT, IN EFFECT, SHOOTS FISH IN A BARREL, I.E. BLASTING AWAY AT SELECTED PALESTINIAN TARGETS INSIDE THE CROWDED CONFINES OF GAZA, KILLING MORE THAN 400 PEOPLE, INCLUDING MANY CHILDREN AND OTHER CIVILIANS, OVER THE PAST WEEK

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 4, 2009

2009-01-03

by Robert Parry

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MIDDLE EAST ONLINE’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MIDDLE EAST ONLINE’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HEALTH CARE - USA, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, STOCK MARKETS, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

HOW HYPOCRISY ON ‘TERRORISM’ KILLS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 4, 2009

2009-01-01 10:45:56

by Robert Parry

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MIDDLE EAST ONLINE’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MIDDLE EAST ONLINE’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE OCCUPATION WAR IN IRAQ, THE UNITED NATIONS, UNITED KINGDOM, USA, WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

US WILL ‘NEVER STOP AGGRESSION’, CUBAN PRESIDENT RAUL CASTRO WARNS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 2, 2009

January 03, 2009

Agence France-Presse

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CUBA, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, RECESSION, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), USA | Leave a Comment »

LIBYA DEMANDS SWISS AUTHORITIES TO PUNISH THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR VIOLATING RIGHTS OF LIBYAN DIPLOMATS – PAY COMPENSATION

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 1, 2009

01/01/2009 01:35:00

The Tripoli Post

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TRIPOLI POST’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TRIPOLI POST’

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, LYBIA, RECESSION, SWITZERLAND, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN) | Leave a Comment »

‘NOTHING JUSTIFIES WORLD’S FAILURE TO HOLD ISRAEL BACK’ (Jordan)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 1, 2009

Thursday, January 1st, 2009, 3:06 am ET

WAM/TF

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE JORDAN TIMES’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE JORDAN TIMES’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, HISTORY, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, JORDAN, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), USA, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

WHERE WILL PALESTINE’S SUPPORTERS BE WHEN THE GUNS FALL SILENT?

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 1, 2009

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Editorial

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HISTORY, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), USA, WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

TENHO CERTEZA QUE O STF VAI ME ABSOLVER, DIZ JOSÉ DIRCEU (Brasil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 30, 2008

30/12/08

por Ana Paula Scinocca – entrevista concedida ao jornal O Estado de S. Paulo –

PUBLISHED BY ‘BLOG DO ZÉ DIRCEU’ (Brasil)

José Dirceu BRASÍLIA – Três anos depois te ter seu mandato como deputado cassado – no auge do escândalo do mensalão -, o ex-ministro da Casa Civil do governo Lula, José Dirceu, afirma ter convicção de que será absolvido pelo Supremo Tribunal Federal (STF). Avalia que sua substituta no posto de “braço direito” de Lula, a ministra Dilma Rousseff, tem “grande” chance de emplacar como candidata do PT à Presidência em 2010, e que os tucanos agem como se o governador de São Paulo, José Serra (PSDB) – principal pré-candidato da oposição -, já tivesse sido eleito. “Essa história está distante da realidade. O Serra tem que conquistar Minas e o Rio, porque o Norte e Nordeste ele não vai conquistar. E Minas e São Paulo serão os Estados mais afetados pela crise”, afirma, em entrevista ao Estado. As respostas de Dirceu foram dadas por e-mail.

Estado – Três anos depois de ser cassado, o senhor ainda pensa na possibilidade de anistia?

José Dirceu – Depende. A rigor eu tenho direito à anistia, porque a Câmara dos Deputados me cassou sem provas. Fez uma cassação política, mas não no sentido que os deputados dão, de que uma cassação sempre é política. É lógico que é política, mas no meu caso, formou-se uma maioria, independentemente de eu ser culpado ou não, o que evidentemente é inaceitável. É uma ilegalidade e a Constituição me garante a verdade, a presunção da inocência, a não culpabilidade. Então, eu poderia sim pedir a anistia. Mas tomei a decisão de não fazê-lo até ser julgado pelo Supremo Tribunal Federal. E tenho certeza que a absolvição vai acontecer. Não tenho medo do julgamento e espero ser julgado o mais rápido possível para que eu possa pedir a minha anistia. Se o STF der sinais ou provas que só vai julgar em 2013 ou 2014, ou seja, 8 ou 9 anos depois que fui acusado de chefe de quadrilha e corrupto, evidente que vou pedir anistia. Até porque acredito que tenho esse direito.

Estado – Qual seu projeto para retomar suas atividades políticas?

José Dirceu – Faço atividade política, nunca deixei de fazer. Faço ou para me defender, ou para participar como militante da vida interna do PT, ou ainda como cidadão, como profissional. Participo do debate político do País com o meu blog (http://www.zedirceu.com.br/), com entrevistas, palestras. Trabalho como advogado e consultor, sempre tendo em vista um projeto de desenvolvimento para o País. Não trabalho como advogado e consultor olhando só a minha atividade profissional e a minha sobrevivência. Gostaria de voltar plenamente à atividade política, mas não tenho projetos sobre o que vou fazer. O meu projeto agora é me defender, provar minha inocência.

Estado – Durante a Satiagraha, o senhor reclamou de grampo e de invasão em seu escritório. Ainda acha que seus passos estão sendo monitorados por órgãos do governo?

José Dirceu – Meu caso – e agora tenho a visão de tudo o que aconteceu esse ano – é escabroso, um case mais do que um caso. No começo do ano, soube pela imprensa que o sigilo do meu telefone tinha sido, por autorização judicial de um juiz (Fausto de Sanctis), interceptado a pedido do promotor público do caso Satiagraha. Era o mesmo promotor do caso MSI Corinthians, como também o delegado é o mesmo na Satiagraha e no caso MSI Corinhians (Protógenes Queiroz). Pois bem, até hoje – e basta olhar o inquérito para ver – não há nenhuma fundamentação legal para interceptação telefônica. Mas houve a interceptação, e não só a minha, como a do meu advogado, do assessor que faz a minha agenda, do advogado do escritório a mim associado em Brasília, de um outro assessor meu em Brasília e da Evanise Santos, minha companheira. Essas interceptações telefônicas estão caracterizadas como abuso de autoridade. Eu, infelizmente, não representei contra o juiz no Conselho Nacional de Justiça naqueles meses de abril e maio, quando isso veio a público. Fiquei sabendo pela imprensa, e basta ler o inquérito do MSI Corinthians, para ver que não há nenhuma razão. Na verdade, o objetivo deles já era a Operação Satiagraha. Não sei por que razão, mas toda a investigação da Satiagraha demonstra isso. Inclusive, não há uma única vez a citação do meu nome, e olha que é quase um ano e meio de investigação. No relatório do inquérito eu sou citado naquilo que é uma verdadeira fraude do delegado. Então, o HD, os e-mails e o relatório (da investigação) mostram que havia um objetivo pré-determinado, e depois se procurava encaixar os fatos ao objetivo de me prender e transformar num grande evento sensacionalista a minha prisão. Isso quando eu não tenho nada a ver com a Operação Satiagraha, com o Oportunity e nem com o Daniel Dantas. A própria investigação deles prova isso. Tenho a meu favor que todas as investigações feitas até agora a meu respeito me inocentam.

Estado – Qual a sua relação com o presidente Lula? Se falam, se visitam? Quando foi a última vez que conversaram?

José Dirceu – Minha relação com o presidente Lula é de companheiro, de amigo e de um ex-ministro, ex-presidente e ex-deputado do PT. Não é a mesma relação que eu tinha antes com ele, uma relação de trabalho, de dia-a-dia, de construção de um projeto. Eu encontro o presidente quando ele sente que existe necessidade. Não o tenho visto com freqüência.

Estado – É verdade que políticos, governadores e integrantes do próprio PT procuram o senhor para discutir assuntos de interesse do governo?

José Dirceu – Não diria que me procuram. Mas diria ser natural, porque nunca parei de atuar e militar politicamente. Para entender as relações que mantenho com governadores, parlamentares, senadores, deputados, prefeitos e dirigentes do PT é preciso lembrar que militei no partido de 1980 a 2008. São 28 anos, não é pouca coisa. É mais do que natural que eu continue militante. Não é porque não sou mais deputado, nem ministro e porque sou acusado injustamente de corrupto ou chefe de quadrilha, que deixo de ser militante. Não se pode apagar 40 anos de vida política. No fundo, essa questão se eu mantenho ou não mantenho relações políticas com vários políticos é um jogo dos próprios setores da direita, da mídia, para me manter interditado, para eu não fazer política.

Estado – Qual a possibilidade, na sua avaliação, de a ministra Dilma Rousseff emplacar como candidata do PT em 2010?

José Dirceu – Grande. Ela, na verdade, a cada mês que passa, conquista a adesão de militantes e dirigentes do PT. Cada dia é mais conhecida no País. É a candidata do presidente Lula, do PT e tem grandes chances de ir para o 2ª turno. As pesquisas já estão mostrando isso. O mais provável é que nas próximas pesquisas, depois do Carnaval, a Dilma esteja já com a mesma votação do Ciro Gomes (PSB) e do Aécio Neves (PSDB). Eu acredito que uma candidata apoiada pelo PT e pelo Lula, por uma coalizão que inclua o PSB, PC do B, PTD, o PR – a legenda que indicou José Alencar para ser o vice do Lula duas vezes – e o PMDB tem grandes chances para ir ao 2º turno. Os tucanos se comportam como se o Serra (o governador de São Paulo José Serra) já estivesse eleito, mas essa história está distante da realidade. Primeiro, o Serra tem que disputar com o Aécio; segundo tem que conquistar Minas e o Rio, porque o Nordeste e o Norte ele não vai conquistar; terceiro, São Paulo e Minas, portanto o Serra, serão tão ou mais afetado do que o País pela crise em nível nacional. Minas será afetada por causa da indústria siderúrgica, de mineração e automobilística, e São Paulo pelo serviço financeiro, comércio, serviços gerais, e construção civil. Esse raciocínio de que “o Lula vai ser afetado pela crise”, é um jogo da mídia, um jogo de palavras. Por que o Lula vai ser afetado e os governadores não? Não vão ser afetados porque a mídia vai protegê-los e atribuir ao Lula a responsabilidade pela crise? Com esse raciocínio é isso que estão dizendo. Porque fato por fato todos serão afetados pela crise: prefeitos, governadores e presidente da República. A arrecadação vai cair para todos, os investimentos vão ser menores para todos, o desemprego vai valer para todos – a não ser que a responsabilidade – e tudo indica, é o que quer a imprensa – seja só do Lula e não dos governadores e dos prefeitos. Eu não vejo por que nós não possamos vencer essas eleições de 2010. Na verdade, nós estamos no governo. Eles é que têm de ganhar a eleição. E o provável é que nós vençamos e não eles.

Estado – O senhor vai participar na campanha?

José Dirceu – Não posso dizer o que farei em 2010. O que posso dizer é que vou dedicar todo o meu tempo e esforços, toda a minha inteligência, energia e experiência para ajudar o PT e o Lula a continuar governando o Brasil. Como vou fazer, com qual intensidade e em que nível, depende das circunstâncias e da conjuntura política.

Estado – O senhor acha que o Gilberto Carvalho é o melhor nome para presidir o PT?

José Dirceu – Seria uma excelente solução. O Gilberto já militou no PT, foi secretário nacional do partido, já ocupou cargos de sua direção em vários níveis, militou no movimento popular, e nas Comunidades Eclesiais de Base. E tem essa experiência extraordinária de governo, de ter sido secretário do presidente nos últimos seis anos. Ninguém melhor, nem mais do que ele está preparado para ser presidente nacional do PT. É um nome excepcional, seria uma grande solução.

Estado – O senhor acredita que a disputa em 2010 será polarizada entre Dilma e o governador José Serra?

José Dirceu – Não necessariamente. Hoje não se pode afirmar isso de maneira definitiva. A tendência é essa – o Serra ser candidato pelo PSDB, DEM, PP, PPS e talvez o PV; e a Dilma ser a candidata pelo menos do PT, talvez do bloco PC do B – PDT – PSB (se o Ciro não sair candidato por esse último) com apoio, talvez, do PMDB. Outra possibilidade é de o PMDB ficar neutro, ou ter uma candidatura própria. E candidaturas outras têm a do Ciro Gomes e a do Aécio Neves. A do Aécio tudo indica que não se viabilizará no PSDB. A do Ciro Gomes está com dificuldades para se viabilizar. E tem a Heloísa Helena que pode ser candidata pelo PSOL, mas é uma candidata sem idéia, e como sua candidatura mostrou na eleição de 2006, é uma candidata que tende a ir perdendo os votos, redistribuídos durante o debate e o processo eleitoral, quando o eleitor toma outras decisões.

Estado – A crítica que se faz a esses dois (Dilma e Serra) é que seriam candidatos para assumir e administrar o Estado, mas não capazes de unir a sociedade e o Estado, como o fizeram FHC e Lula. Como avalia isso?

José Dirceu – Essa pergunta leva a uma só solução: teremos que dar um terceiro mandato ao Lula. Por ela, o Lula e o Fernando Henrique têm de ser candidatos. Não é assim. Evidentemente, o Serra tem história e lastro para ser presidente da República. Uma coisa é eu não votar nele e querer eleger a Dilma Rousseff , outra é ele e a Dilma terem ou não lastro para saírem candidatos. E isso eles têm. Os dois têm lastro para serem candidatos.

Estado – De que o senhor vive hoje? Quais são seus rendimentos?

José Dirceu – Dos mesmos rendimentos dos quais vive a jornalista que me pergunta. Eu trabalho como ela trabalha, 8, 10, 12 horas por dia como advogado e consultor. São profissões como é a de jornalista, não há nenhuma diferença. Trabalho, às vezes, inclusive, nos fins de semana. E eu não mudei o meu padrão de vida. A minha vida continua absolutamente igual todos esses anos.

Estado – Acha que o presidente Lula mudou muito desde que chegou a Brasília e assumiu o poder?

José Dirceu – Mudou. Muito. Primeiro, porque é presidente da República. Segundo, porque é um líder internacional, um estadista. O mundo reconhece isso. Terceiro, porque ele adquiriu experiência na Presidência da República. Ninguém passa seis anos por esse cargo em vão.

Estado – O senhor se considera um ministro sem pasta?

José Dirceu – Não. Primeiro, eu não detenho poder nenhum. Eu tenho experiência, relações, solidariedade, companheiros, liderança ainda no PT, apoio no País. Todos sabem que se eu fosse candidato a um cargo eletivo, dificilmente eu não me elegeria. Agora, eu não tenho poder, nem sou membro do governo, nem sou mais dirigente do PT, nem mais membro do Parlamento. Eu não sou um ministro sem pasta. Sou o José Dirceu e na medida em que represento uma parte da história da esquerda brasileira, da luta contra a ditadura, da resistência armada, da luta na clandestinidade, uma parte da construção do PT, nesse sentido eu tenho uma representatividade para participar da vida política do país e ajudar o PT, o governo e a esquerda. Isso não significa que eu tenho poder.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BLOG DO ZÉ DIRCEU’ (Brasil)

Posted in A CRIMINALIZAÇÃO DOS MOVIMENTOS SOCIAIS, A INDÚSTRIA DA COMUNICAÇÃO, BRASIL, CIDADANIA, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INTERNATIONAL, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, O CASO JOSÉ DIRCEU, O PODER JUDICIÁRIO, O SUPREMO TRIBUNAL FEDERAL, OS MEIOS DE COMUNICAÇÃO - BRASIL, PARTIDO DOS TRABALHADORES (PT), POLÍTICA - BRASIL, RECESSION, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN) | Leave a Comment »

LIVNI, KADIMA AND CHRISTMAS TIMES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 29, 2008

 

 

LIVNI, KADIMA AND CHRISTMAS TIME

 

CHARGE BY DAVE BROWN – © Copyright 2008 – All Rights Reserved

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), WEAPONS | Leave a Comment »

SCIENCE JOURNAL (from the Max Planck Institute) MISTAKENLY USES FLYER FOR MACAU BROTHEL TO ILLUSTRATE REPORT ON CHINA – CHINESE ‘CLASSICAL POEM’ WAS BROTHEL AD

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 29, 2008

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

by Clifford Coonan in Beijing

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

Posted in CHINA, COMMUNICATION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EDUCATION, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, GERMANY, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, LITERATURE, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN) | Leave a Comment »

DELUGE OF BAD NEWS A FESTIVE TRADITION (New Zealand)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 26, 2008

4:00AM Saturday Dec 27, 2008

by Alanah May Eriksen

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD’

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MARITIME, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SHIPYARD INDUSTRIES, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE WORK MARKET, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES | Leave a Comment »

IRANIAN PRESIDENT TAKES A SHOT AT THE WEST IN A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE – MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, IN A VIDEO FOR CHANNEL 4’S ‘ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS MESSAGE,’ OFFERS WARM GREETINGS BUT SAYS THE WEST’S BULLYING LEADERS AND THEIR POLICIES WOULD BE SHUNNED BY JESUS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 25, 2008

December 25, 2008

by Borzou Daragahi

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE L.A. TIMES’ (USA)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE L.A. TIMES’ (USA)

Posted in AUSTRALIA, BELGIUM, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ENGLAND, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, FRANCE, GERMANY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRAN, ISRAEL, ITALY, NORWAY, PETROL, RECESSION, SAUDI ARABIA, SPAIN, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), USA | Leave a Comment »

IS THE INTERNET GOING DOWN? UNDERSEA SUB-CABLES HAVE JUST BROKEN …

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 23, 2008

December 21, 2008

Times Online

PUBLISHED BY ‘GLOBAL RESEARCH’ (Canada)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘GLOBAL RESEARCH’ (Canada)

Posted in COMMUNICATION INDUSTRIES, DIGITAL INDUSTRIES, E-COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ELECTRIC / ELECTRONIC INDUSTRIES, ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), USA | Leave a Comment »

GOVERNO: SINDICÂNCIA ISENTA AGENTES DA ABIN DE GRAMPO AO PRESIDENTE DO STF (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 21, 2008

19/12/2008 – 17:29

Safras & Mercado

PUBLISHED BY ‘SAFRAS & MERCADO’ (Brazil)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘SAFRAS & MERCADO’ (Brazil)

Posted in A CORRUPÇÃO NO APARELHO DO ESTADO, ABIN, ATIVIDADES CRIMINOSAS - BRASIL, BRASIL, CÂMARA DOS DEPUTADOS, CIDADANIA, COMBATE À CORRUPÇÃO - BRASIL, COMBATE À DESIGUALDADE E À EXCLUSÃO - BRASIL, CORRUPÇÃO - BRASIL, CORRUPÇÃO NA POLÍTICA, CORRUPTION, CRIMES EMPRESARIAIS, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMY, GILMAR MENDES, INTERNATIONAL, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, O PODER EXECUTIVO FEDERAL, O PODER JUDICIÁRIO, O PODER LEGISLATIVO FEDERAL, O SUPREMO TRIBUNAL FEDERAL, PARTIDO DA SOCIAL DEMOCRACIA BRASILEIRA (PSDB), PARTIDO DOS DEMOCRATAS (PD), PARTIDOS POLÍTICOS - BRASIL, PECULATO, PREVARICAÇÃO, SENADO, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN) | Leave a Comment »

OTHER PAPERS LIKELY TO FOLLOW TRIBUNE GROUP INTO BANKRUPTCY

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 17, 2008

4:00AM Wednesday Dec 17, 2008

by Stephen Foley

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD’

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD’

Posted in COMMUNICATION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, RECESSION, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN) | Leave a Comment »

AFRICOM CHINA AND CONGO RESOURCE WARS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 10, 2008

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2008

by F. William Engdahl – Online Journal

PUBLISHED BY ‘INFOWARS’

Just weeks after President George W. Bush signed the order creating a new US military command dedicated to Africa, AFRICOM, events on the mineral-rich continent have erupted which suggest a major agenda of the incoming Obama Presidency will be for the son of a black Kenyan to focus US resources, military and other, on dealing with the Republic of Congo, the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea, the oil-rich Darfur region of southern Sudan and increasingly the Somali ‘pirate threat’ to sea lanes in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. The legitimate question is whether it is mere coincidence that Africa appears just at this time to become a new geopolitical ‘hot spot’ or whether it has a direct link to the formal creation of AFRICOM.

What is striking is the timing. No sooner had AFRICOM become operational than major new crises broke out in both the Indian Ocean-Gulf of Aden regarding spectacular incidents of alleged Somali piracy, as well as eruption of bloody new wars in Kivu Province in the Republic of Congo. The common thread connecting both is their importance, as with Darfur in southern Sudan, for China’s future strategic raw materials flow.

The latest fighting in the eastern part of the Congo (DRC) broke out in late August when Tutsi militiamen belonging to the Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP, National Congress for the Defense of the People) of General Laurent Nkunda forced loyalist troops of the Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC, Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo) to retreat from their positions near Lake Kivu, sending hundreds of thousands of displaced civilians fleeing in the process and prompting the French foreign minister, Dr. Bernard Kouchner, to warn of the imminent risk of ‘huge massacres.’

Nkunda, like his mentor, Rwanda’s Washington-backed dictator, Paul Kagame, is an ethnic Tutsi who alleges that he is protecting the minority Tutsi ethnic group against remnants of the Rwandan Hutu army that fled to Congo after the Rwandan genocide in 1994. MONUC UN peacekeepers reported no such atrocities against the minority Tutsi in the northeast, mineral rich Kivu region. Congolese sources report that attacks against Congolese of all ethnic groups are a daily occurrence in the region. Laurent Nkunda’s troops are responsible for most of these attacks, they claim.

Strange resignations

The stage for political chaos in Congo was further set in September when the Democratic Republic of Congo’s 83-year-old prime minister, Antoine Gizenga, resigned after two years. Then at end of October, with suspicious timing, the commander of the United Nations peacekeeping operation, the Mission de l’Organisation des Nations-Unies au Congo (MONUC, Mission of the United Nations Organization in the Congo), Spanish Lieutenant General Vicente Diaz de Villegas, resigned after fewer than two months on the job, citing, ‘lack of confidence’ in the leadership of DRC President Joseph Kabila. Kabila, the Congo’s first democratically elected president, has also been involved in negotiating a major $9 billion trade agreement between the DRC and China, something which Washington is clearly not happy about.

Nkunda is a long-standing henchman of Rwandan President, US-trained, Kagame. All signs point to a heavy, if covert, USA role in the latest Congo killings by Nkunda’s men. Nkunda himself is a former Congolese Army officer, teacher and Seventh Day Adventist pastor. But killing seems to be what he is best at.

Much of Nkunda’s well-equipped and relatively disciplined forces are from the bordering country of Rwanda and the rest have been recruited from the minority Tutsi population of the Congolese province of North Kivu. Supplies, finance and political support for this Congolese rebel army come from Rwanda. According to the American Spectator magazine, ‘President Paul Kagame of Rwanda has long been a supporter of Nkunda, who originally was an intelligence officer in the Rwanda leader’s overthrow of the Hutu despotic rule in his country.’

As the Congo News Agency reported on October 30, ‘Some have bought into the pretext of an endangered Tutsi minority in Congo. They never fail to mention that Laurent Nkunda is supposedly fighting to protect “his people.” They have failed to question his true motives which are to occupy the mineral-rich North-Kivu province, pillage its resources, and act as a proxy army in eastern Congo for the Tutsi-led Rwandan government in Kigali. Kagame wants a foothold in eastern Congo so his country can continue to benefit from the pillaging and exporting of minerals such as columbite-tantalite (coltan). Many experts on the region agree today that resources are the true reason why Laurent Nkunda continues to create chaos in the region with the help of Paul Kagame.’

The USA role and AFRICOM

Evidence which was presented in a French court in a ruling made public in 2006 claimed that Kagame was responsible for organizing the shooting down of the plane carrying Hutu President of Rwanda Juvénal Habyarimana, in April 1994, the event that set off the indiscriminate killing of hundreds of thousands of people, both Hutu and Tutsi.

The end result of the killings in which perhaps as many as a million Africans perished was that US and UK backed Paul Kagame — a ruthless military dictator trained at the US Army Command-General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth Kansas — was firmly in control as dictator of Rwanda. Since then he has covertly backed repeated military incursions by General Nkunda into the mineral-rich Kivu region on the pretext it was to defend a small Tutsi minority there. Kagame had repeatedly rejected attempts to repatriate those Tutsi refugees back to Rwanda, evidently fearing he might lose his pretext to occupy the mineral riches of Kivu.

Since at least 2001, according to reports from Congo sources, the US military has also had a base at Cyangugu in Rwanda, built of course by Dick Cheney’s old firm, Halliburton, conveniently enough near the border to Congo’s mineral-rich Kivu region.

The 1994 massacre of civilians between Tutsi and Hutu was, as Canadian researcher Michel Chossudovsky described it, ‘an undeclared war between France and America. By supporting the build up of Ugandan and Rwandan forces and by directly intervening in the Congolese civil war, Washington also bears a direct responsibility for the ethnic massacres committed in the Eastern Congo, including several hundred thousand people who died in refugee camps.’ He adds, ‘Major General Paul Kagame was an instrument of Washington. The loss of African lives did not matter. The civil war in Rwanda and the ethnic massacres were an integral part of US foreign policy, carefully staged in accordance with precise strategic and economic objectives.’

Now Kagame’s former intelligence officer, Nkunda, leads his well-equipped forces to take Goma in the eastern Congo as part of an apparent scheme to break the richest minerals region away from Kinshasha. With the US military beefing up its presence across Africa under AFRICOM since 2007, the stage was apparently set for the current resources grab by the US-backed Kagame and his former officer, Nkunda.

Today the target is China

If France was the covert target of US ‘surrogate warfare’ in 1994, today it is clearly China, which is the real threat to US control of Central Africa’s vast mineral riches. The Democratic Republic of Congo was renamed from the Republic of Zaire in 1997 when the forces of Laurent Désiré Kabila brought Mobutu’s 32-year reign to an end. Locals call the country Congo-Kinshasa.

The Kivu region of the Congo is the geological repository of some of the world’s greatest strategic minerals. The eastern border straddling Rwanda and Uganda, runs on the eastern edge of the Great African Rift Valley, believed by geologists to be one of the richest repositories of minerals on the face of the earth.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo contains more than half the world’s cobalt. It holds one-third of its diamonds, and, extremely significantly, fully three-quarters of the world resources of columbite-tantalite or “coltan” — a primary component of computer microchips and printed circuit boards, essential for mobile telephones, laptops and other modern electronic devices.

America Mineral Fields, Inc., a company heavily involved in promoting the 1996 accession to power of Laurent Kabila, was, at the time of its involvement in the Congo’s civil war, headquartered in Hope, Arkansas. Major stockholders included long-time associates of former President Clinton going back to his days as governor of Arkansas. Several months before the downfall of Zaire’s French-backed dictator, Mobutu, Laurent Desire Kabila based in Goma, Eastern Zaire, had renegotiated the mining contracts with several US and British mining companies including American Mineral Fields. Mobutu’s corrupt rule was brought to a bloody end with the help of the US-directed International Monetary Fund.

Washington was not entirely comfortable with Laurent Kabila, who was finally assassinated in 2001. In a study released in April 1997 barely a month before President Mobutu Sese Seko fled the country, the IMF had recommended “halting currency issue completely and abruptly” as part of an economic recovery programme. A few months later upon assuming power in Kinshasa, the new government of Laurent Kabila Desire was ordered by the IMF to freeze civil service wages with a view to “restoring macro-economic stability.” Eroded by hyperinflation, the average public sector wage had fallen to 30,000 new Zaires (NZ) a month, the equivalent of one US dollar.

According to Chossudovsky, the IMF’s demands were tantamount to maintaining the entire population in abysmal poverty. They precluded from the outset a meaningful post-war economic reconstruction, thereby contributing to fuelling the continuation of the Congolese civil war in which close to 2 million people have died.

Laurent Kabila was succeeded by his son, Joseph Kabila who went on to become the Congo’s first democratically elected President, and appears to have held a closer eye to the welfare of his countrymen than did his father.

Now, in comes the new US AFRICOM. Speaking to the International Peace Operations Association in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 27, General Kip Ward, commander of AFRICOM defined the command’s mission as ‘in concert with other US government agencies and international partners, [to conduct] sustained security engagements through military-to-military programs, military-sponsored activities, and other military operations as directed to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of US foreign policy.’

The ‘military operations as directed to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of US foreign policy,’ today, are clearly aimed squarely at blocking China’s growing economic presence in the region.

In fact, as various Washington sources state openly, AFRICOM was created to counter the growing presence of China in Africa, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, to secure long-term economic agreements for raw materials from Africa in exchange for Chinese aid and production sharing agreements and royalties. By informed accounts, the Chinese have been far shrewder. Instead of offering only savage IMF-dictated austerity and economic chaos, China is offering large credits, soft loans to build roads and schools in order to create good will.

Dr. J. Peter Pham, a leading Washington insider who is an advisor of the US State and Defense Departments, states openly that among the aims of the new AFRICOM is the objective of ‘protecting access to hydrocarbons and other strategic resources which Africa has in abundance . . . a task which includes ensuring against the vulnerability of those natural riches and ensuring that no other interested third parties, such as China, India, Japan, or Russia, obtain monopolies or preferential treatment.’

In testimony before the US Congress supporting creation of AFRICOM in 2007, Pham, who is closely associated with the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies, stated, ‘This natural wealth makes Africa an inviting target for the attentions of the People’s Republic of China, whose dynamic economy, averaging 9 percent growth per annum over the last two decades, has an almost insatiable thirst for oil as well as a need for other natural resources to sustain it. China is currently importing approximately 2.6 million barrels of crude per day, about half of its consumption; more than 765,000 of those barrels — roughly a third of its imports — come from African sources, especially Sudan, Angola, and Congo (Brazzaville). Is it any wonder, then, that . . . perhaps no other foreign region rivals Africa as the object of Beijing’s sustained strategic interest in recent years. Last year the Chinese regime published the first ever official white paper elaborating the basis of its policy toward Africa.

‘This year, ahead of his 12-day, eight-nation tour of Africa — the third such journey since he took office in 2003 — Chinese President Hu Jintao announced a three-year, $3 billion program in preferential loans and expanded aid for Africa. These funds come on top of the $3 billion in loans and $2 billion in export credits that Hu announced in October 2006 at the opening of the historic Beijing summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which brought nearly 50 African heads of state and ministers to the Chinese capital.

‘Intentionally or not, many analysts expect that Africa — especially the states along its oil-rich western coastline — will increasingly becoming a theatre for strategic competition between the United States and its only real near-peer competitor on the global stage, China, as both countries seek to expand their influence and secure access to resources.’

Notably, in late October Nkunda’s well-armed troops surrounded Goma in North Kivu and demanded that Congo President Joseph Kabila negotiate with him. Among Nkunda’s demands was that Kabila cancel a $9 billion joint Congo-China venture in which China gets rights to the vast copper and cobalt resources of the region in exchange for providing $6 billion worth of road construction, two hydroelectric dams, hospitals, schools and railway links to southern Africa, to Katanga and to the Congo Atlantic port at Matadi. The other $3 billion is to be invested by China in development of new mining areas.

Curiously, US and most European media neglect to report that small detail. It seems AFRICOM is off to a strong start as the opposition to China in Africa. The litmus will be who President Obama selects as his Africa person and whether he tries to weaken Congo President Joseph Kabila in favor of backing Nkunda’s death squads, naturally in the name of ‘restoring democracy.’

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PUBLISHED BY ‘INFOWARS’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), CHINA, CIVIL WAR - CONGO, COMMODITIES MARKET, CONGO, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, IMF, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MACROECONOMY, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, PETROL, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE UNITED NATIONS, USA | 1 Comment »

AUTO BAILOUT MAY DEEPEN RECESSION

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

Published: December 08, 2008, 23:32

Bloomberg

PUBLISHED BY ‘GULF NEWS’ (Dubai – UAE)

Southfield, Michigan: US automakers’ pledges for more payroll cuts to win federal aid may deepen the recession after they had already eliminated more than 100,000 jobs in the past three years.

While the loans may spare General Motors Corp, Ford Motor Co and Chrysler LLC from collapse, shrinking their workforces would sap an already weak economy, said Paul Ballew, chief of consumer insight and analytics for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co in Columbus, Ohio, and an adviser to the Federal Reserve.

“The degree of restructuring is much broader and much deeper than people assume,” said Ballew, a former GM sales analyst. The industry has endured ‘a tough slog for the past few decades, and this is the next phase of restructuring that is probably going to be more severe.’

Even a successful industry rescue of the automakers would hurt suppliers and dealers along with governments and industries as disparate as railroads that haul autos and broadcasters dependent on car ads.

“Sometimes you have to sacrifice a piece to save the whole,” said Kim Rod-riguez, a principal at accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP. “Regardless of the funding you’re going to have major plant closures, major brand cuts, and there is unfortunately going to be a loss of jobs.”

Automakers say the alternative would be a domino effect in which the failure of one company likely would topple the others. GM has said it needs $4 billion (Dh14.68 billion) to keep operating through the end of this year.

Aid plan

Congress and the Bush administration are now working on a $15 billion aid package for GM, Ford and Chrysler, after the companies requested $34 billion in loans in exchange for retrenching to stem losses amid a dwindling US market. The rescue plan as outlined may do little to revive auto sales, which exceeded 15 million a year from 1996 to 2007. US sales probably will total $13.3 million in 2008, Standard & Poor’s said on November 24. Annual totals may not reach $13 million over the next four years, according to GM’s worst-case scenario. “Even if the companies succeed in getting a bailout plan enacted, the restructuring is going to be costly in terms of jobs lost,” said Robert Scott, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington-based research group aligned with unions.

Because the industry’s employees are among the best-paid in the US, the elimination of one auto worker amounts to erasing 1.7 jobs because of the loss of purchasing power, Scott said.

GM told Congress it projects trimming its workforce by as many as 30,000 employees by 2012, or 33 per cent. Dealers for the biggest US automaker would fall to 4,700 from about 6,500. Job losses at the dealerships might be 100,000, Scott said. “That will hit a lot of local economies, including money dealers often give to local institutions.”

The motor-vehicle and parts industry employed about 827,700 people as of November, down 15 per cent from a year earlier, according to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics. Ford and Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Chrysler didn’t project future employment in their survival plans. Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford said it expects $1 billion in operating-cost reductions in 2009, while Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Robert Nardelli told Congress the third-largest US automaker has pinpointed $4 billion savings from its restructuring.

Senator Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, said yesterday that GM CEO Richard Wagoner should be replaced as a condition for federal aid and Chrysler may have to merge to survive.

“You’ve got to consider new leadership,” Dodd said on CBS’s Face the Nation. Wagoner, he said, “has to move on.”

Nothing obvious

Television stations and advertising agencies likely would suffer from GM’s strategy to focus on just four of its eight brands and Ford’s push to emphasise its namesake nameplate.

“If the dealers go out, that is the biggest local advertiser in virtually every market, with nothing obvious to replace it,” said Kip Cassino, research director at consulting firm Borrell Associates in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Local television stations get 25 per cent or more of their advertising from automakers, dealers, and dealer associations, Cassino said. Fewer brands and models will translate into more pressure on suppliers’ employment, which fell 18 per cent through June to 590,000, according to the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘GULF NEWS’ (Dubai – UAE)

Posted in AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, COMMUNICATION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, MACROECONOMY, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

WHY US HOLDS KEY TO GLOBAL RECOVERY

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 8, 2008

8 Dec 2008, 0000 hrs IST, ET Bureau

Editorial

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

The conventional wisdom holds that economic ups and downs are transmitted across THE TRACKS OF A TROPICAL CYCLONEcountries by financial and trade flows. This does not seem sufficient to explain why, when the US economy fell of a cliff after October, other emerging market economies are falling off a cliff too. The bankruptcy of Lehman brothers was a watershed in the US. It suddenly created fear of counter-party risk, and financial markets of all sorts froze out of fear.

This freeze hit the real economy: producers could not get credit, and consumer credit plunged too. Fear of recession led consumers to cut spending, producing a sharp slump in GDP that still has some distance to go. Now, we in India were blase‚ when the US subprime mortgage problem arose in mid-2007. Our banks had virtually no subprime exposure, and the high leverage of the US financial sector had not been repeated here.

GDP growth continued strong, averaging almost 7.7% in the first half of the financial year. This was seen as evidence that our economy had decoupled from the west’s in substantial measure, though not wholly. That now looks a complete illusion. Since October, emerging markets have collapsed almost simultaneously with the US economy.

How do we explain the instant transmission of the US collapse globally? Had the transmission mechanism been trade or financial flows, we would have seen a time lag. In fact there was no time lag because of a new channel of transmission — fear. When Indian bankers heard that markets in the US had frozen, they feared the worst in India, and so virtually froze lending here too.

Consumer fear swept across the world, and Indian consumers slashed spending as in the US. INDONESIAN FARMERS PROTESTING IN JAKARTA - 2007The internet, TV and other electronic channels transmitted fear from the US to the rest of the world instantly. The lesson: recovery from the recession is likely to be transmitted by global mood change too. Optimists think the recovery will begin first in a string of emerging markets like China and India. Maybe so, but the last two months suggest that the epicentre of economic transmission remains the US. Bernanke may determine our recovery more than Subbarao.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, CENTRAL BANKS, CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMERCIAL PROTECTIONISM, CONSUMERS AND PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, INDIA, INTERNATIONAL, MACROECONOMY, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), USA | Leave a Comment »

INTERFAITH DIALOGUE, HYPOCRISY AND PRIVATE LIVES (Lebanon)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 8, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

Talal Nizameddin wrote this article for THE DAILY STAR (Lebanon)

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

First person by Talal Nizameddin

I am suffering from a total state of agnosia. Is this the same Michel Aoun who angrily vowed that he would break the head of the Syrian regime? Is this the same Syrian regime that pacified the Lebanese Army soldiers fighting under Aoun’s command and waged a ruthless campaign for 15 years to marginalize the idealistic Free Patriotic Movement supporters? At least I am almost sure that I haven’t been afflicted by amnesia. I remember when the Lebanese felt the thrill of defiance when they beeped their car horns driving through the Nahr al-Kalb tunnel leading to Jounieh from Beirut.

Letting bygones be bygones and forgiveness is a treasured feature of human nature and being an optimist, I say whatever breaks the ice and allows people to move on from a painful past should be welcomed with open hearts. But the process of forgiveness is a long and arduous one. In Judaism, Christianity and Islam it must begin with honesty, leading to confession and then as a final step absolution becomes meaningful. On a human level, in a one-to-one conflict, a discussion must take place that expresses the pain of each side so that there is an understanding of the hopes and fears of the other side before saying sorry reaches a level beyond words and touches the human within us.

It is said that since the end of the Cold War we have been living in the age of the clash of civilizations and the dialogue of faiths. In the Western and pro-Israeli media, Islam is the culprit, with the image of bloodthirsty mad Muslims rampaging through Mumbai killing randomly all those around them the latest episode of terror that does nothing to the great religion they claim to be fighting for. Among Arabs and Muslims it is the Jews who have manipulated the Holocaust tragedy to inflict suffering on Palestinians and Arabs. The Christian West is also blamed for a low-burning decadence that over time has led to the collapse of the world financial markets due to greed and the neglect of the poverty and misery of the so-called Third World.

What is strikingly noticeable about Aoun’s visit is the tour of the historic churches of Syria. The message clearly states that Christianity is safe from the harm of Muslim fanatics in secular Syria. But the manipulation of the clash of civilizations idea has been even better fine-tuned because there is now a distinction between Sunni Islam and Shiite Islam that has been dispersed in our media outlets like a wave of cluster bombs. Thus we have inter and intra-civilization clashes if we are to believe our political experts and TV commentators. Aoun and his supporters have played further on Lebanese Christian emotions, maliciously highlighting the difference between the Shiites, true Lebanese patriots who are fighting Israeli occupation and the Sunnis, bad people who are paid by the Saudis to turn Lebanon into a Wahhabi extension. Even by local standards Lebanese politics has descended to a truly low level.

In fact, the Saudi monarch courageously endorsed a United Nations gathering to promote dialogue among the world’s great religions despite criticisms from no other than Aoun and his comrades in March 8. Despite the good intentions, the Saudis may however be wasting their time. By entering into such discussions the world risks mirroring the same Lebanese facade that religious belief somehow lies at the source of conflict. It evades the powerful economic explanations and the fact that there is a huge gap in wealth between states and between individuals in the world we live in. It also, and just as importantly, diverts attention from the lack of representation, the lack of personal freedoms and the lack of human rights most people in the world endure on a daily basis. Blatant injustice, economic and political, creates extremism and not religions.

The West should not feel too self-satisfied about its state when there are calls for more social justice and greater freedoms. In Britain, as an example of an advanced European country, the state has been shown to fail time and time again in protecting children with one in four children according to a recent study suffering from sexual abuse. Crime is rampant and ethics are barely visible in the business and political realms. As in the United States, a philosophy of “grabbing hands grab what they can” has reigned for decades. Support for oppressive regimes, particularly here in the Middle East, is justified in the name of good diplomacy but the arming of parties fuelling regional conflicts is also considered good business sense.

If most sensible people agree that finding a solution to the Palestinian problem, which has nothing to do with religion, will make the Middle East and the world a better place, why on earth has it been so difficult for the world’s only superpower to convince Israel to accept a neighboring viable Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza? If the United States is truly a democracy, then I must concur with the people I despise the most, the religious fanatics, that blaming the elected leader of the United States is futile because the American people must shoulder their moral responsibility to force their government into a strategic change in their approach. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a political problem with a human dimension. It is simply about national self-determination and not religious fanaticism or civilizational clashes. Palestinians and Jews belong to the same religious family chart, whether they like to admit or not although undoubtedly their historic experiences have diverged.

Nowhere has the mythology of sectarian and religious warfare been more prevalent than in Lebanon. I am still surprised how many Western observers take for granted the cliches about Muslim-Christian divisions characterizing Lebanese society. In reality, Lebanon is more of a clan-based system, with chiefs of clans or communities often but not necessary being defined by their religious beliefs. It just so happens that the sect is an important form of self-identification that is manipulated for conflicts, whether it is over land or political power. That is why within Lebanese sects there are often more than one chief. Take the Maronites as an example of multiple chiefs or zaims, Suleiman Franjieh, Samir Geagea, Michel Aoun, Amin Gemayel and Dori Chamoun all godfathering their own loyal communities. Even the ideological Hizbullah recognizes the need to respect the independence of the unruly clans of Baalbek in return for acknowledgement.

In Lebanon inter-communal relations and divisions are far more complex than simple religious divides. The downside of this system is that the individual is forced into belonging into a clan, because the collective of clans are far more powerful than the formal state. Only the community can protect the individual. In Lebanon, individuals do not have private lives, as is the case in the West, because they are the property of the family, the village, the community. The pattern is the same among all of Lebanese sects. But then again, free from the regional political conflicts, the interference from outside and the flaws in the internal political system, why should we accept that the community is a lesser entity than the state in its value?

Some Western political theorists have even called for a return to communalism as a result of the social failures of the modern state. The Lebanese model offers the opportunity of creating a political system that safeguards communities and also protects the rights of individuals living within them because the hypocritical and simply false pretense of a unified centralized state has been unworkable and shows no signs of succeeding. The Lebanese want their personal liberty, social justice and their community at one and the same time. It is no easy task but where there is a will there is a way and Lebanon could present the world with an example to be emulated around the world. Lebanon’s greatness and loyalty from its citizens could be reinforced by the historic achievement of harmonious and fraternal communal cohabitation. The first step is liberation from the old slogans and working for the common good without playing on communal fears to achieve personal ambitions. When a zaim such as Aoun tours with an open heart the various neighborhoods of Beirut rather than the churches of Syria we would have began reaching the final step toward that sacred goal.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

Posted in AL QAEDA, CHRISTIANISM, EUROPE, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND CONSCIENCE, HISTORY, HUMAN RIGHTS, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISLAM, JUDAISM, LEBANON, PALESTINE, RELIGIONS, SAUDI ARABIA, SYRIA, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE LEBANESE CIVIL STRUGGLE, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE UNITED NATIONS, UNITED KINGDOM, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

SWIMMING UP STREAM

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 6, 2008

Friday, Dec 05, 2008

REFLECTIONS BY COMRADE FIDEL

PUBLISHED BY ‘PORTAL CUBA’

REFLECTIONS BY COMRADE FIDEL

Following Obama’s speech, on May 23 this year, to the Cuban American National Foundation established by Ronald Reagan, I wrote a reflection entitled “The Empire’s Hypocritical Policy”. It was dated on the 25th of the same month.

In that Reflection I quoted his exact words to the Miami annexationists:

“[…] together we will stand up for freedom in Cuba; this is my word and my commitment

[…] It’s time to let Cuban American money make their families less dependent upon the Castro regime.

[…] I will maintain the embargo.”

I then offered several arguments and unethical examples of the general behavior of the Presidents who preceded the one who would be elected to that position on the November 4 elections. I literally wrote:

“I find myself forced to raise various sensitive questions:

1 – Is it right for the President of the United States to order the assassination of any one person in the world, whatever the pretext may be?

2 – Is it ethical for the President of the United States to order the torture of other human beings?

3 – Should state terrorism be used by a country as powerful as the United States as an instrument to bring about peace on the planet?

4 – Is an Adjustment Act, applied as punishment on only one country, Cuba, in order to destabilize it, good and honorable, even when it costs innocent children and mothers their lives? If it is good, why is this right not automatically granted to Haitians, Dominicans, and other peoples of the Caribbean, and why isn’t the same Act applied to Mexicans and people from Central and South America, who die like flies against the Mexican border wall or in the waters of the Atlantic and the Pacific?

5 – Can the United States do without immigrants, who grow vegetables, fruits, almonds and other delicacies for Americans? Who would sweep their streets, work as servants in their homes or do the worst and lowest-paid jobs?

6 – Are crackdowns on illegal residents fair, even as they affect children born in the United States?

7 – Are the brain-drain and the continuous theft of the best scientific and intellectual minds in poor countries moral and justifiable?

8 – You state, as I pointed out at the beginning of this reflection, that your country had long ago warned European powers that it would not tolerate any intervention in the hemisphere, reiterating that this right be respected while demanding the right to intervene anywhere in the world with the aid of hundreds of military bases and naval, aerial and spatial forces distributed across the planet. I ask: is that the way in which the United States expresses its respect for freedom, democracy and human rights?

9 – Is it fair to stage pre-emptive attacks on sixty or more dark corners of the world, as Bush calls them, whatever the pretext may be?

10 – Is it honorable and sound to invest millions upon millions of dollars in the military industrial complex, to produce weapons that can destroy life on earth several times over?”

I could have included several other issues.

Despite the caustic questions, I was not unkind to the African American candidate. I perceived he had greater capacity and command of the art of politics than his adversaries, not only in the opposing party but in his own, too.

Last week, the American President-elect Barack Obama announced his Economic Recovery Program.

Monday, December 1st, he introduced his National Security and Foreign Policy teams.

“Vice President-elect Biden and I are pleased to announce our national security team […] old conflicts remain unresolved, and newly assertive powers have put strains on the international system. The spread of nuclear weapons raises the peril that the world’s deadliest technology could fall into dangerous hands. Our dependence on foreign oil empowers authoritarian governments and endangers our planet.”

“…our economic power must sustain our military strength, our diplomatic leverage, and our global leadership.”

“We will renew old alliances and forge new and enduring partnerships […] American values are America’s greatest export to the world.”

“…the team that we have assembled here today is uniquely suited to do just that.”

“…these men and women represent all of those elements of American power […] they have served in uniform and as diplomats […] they share my pragmatism about the use of power, and my sense of purpose about America’s role as a leader in the world.”

“I have known Hillary Clinton…,” he says.

I am mindful of the fact that she was President-elect Barack Obama’s rival and the wife of President Clinton, who signed the extraterritorial Torricelli and Helms Burton Acts against Cuba. During the presidential race she committed herself with these laws and with the economic blockade. I am not complaining, I am simply stating it for the record.

“I am proud that she will be our next Secretary of State,” said Obama. “[she] will command respect in every capitol; and who will clearly have the ability to advance our interests around the world. Hillary’s appointment is a sign to friend and foe of the seriousness of my commitment…”

“At a time when we face an unprecedented transition amidst two wars, I have asked Robert Gates to continue as Secretary of Defense…”

“[…] I will be giving Secretary Gates and our military a new mission as soon as I take office: responsibly ending the war in Iraq through a successful transition to Iraqi control.”

It strikes me that Gates is a Republican, not a Democrat. He is the only one who has been Defense Secretary and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, that is, he has occupied these positions under both Democratic and Republican Administrations. Gates, who is aware of his popularity, has said that first made sure that the President-elect was choosing him for as long as necessary.

On the other hand, while Condoleezza Rice was traveling to India and Pakistan under Bush’s instructions to mediate in the tense relations between these two countries, two days ago, the minister of Defense from Brazil gave the green light to a Brazilian company to manufacture MAR-1 missiles, but instead of one a month, as it had been the case until now, it will produce five every month. One hundred of these missiles will be sold to Pakistan at an estimated cost of 85 million euros.

In a public statement, the minister said that “these missiles that can be attached to planes have been designed to locate ground radars. They allow the effective monitoring of both the ground and air space.”

As for Obama, he continued unflappable his Monday statement: “And going forward, we will continue to make the investments necessary to strengthen our military and increase our ground forces to defeat the threats of the 21st century.”

On Janet Napolitano, he indicated: “[she] offers the experience and executive skill that we need in the next Secretary of Homeland Security…”

“Janet assumes this critical role having learned the lessons – some of them painful – of the last several years, from 9/11 to Katrina […] She understands as well as anyone the danger of an insecure border. And she will be a leader who can reform a sprawling Department while safeguarding our homeland.”

This familiar figure had been appointed a District Attorney in Arizona by Clinton in 1993, and then promoted to State Attorney General in 1998. Later on, in 2002, she became a Democratic Party candidate and then governor of that bordering state which is the most common incoming route used by illegal immigrants. She was elected governor in 2006.

About Susan Elizabeth Rice, he said: “Susan knows that the global challenges we face demand global institutions that work… We need the UN to be more effective as a venue for collective action – against terror and proliferation; climate change and genocide; poverty and disease.”

On National Security Advisor James Jones he said: “[…] I am convinced that General James Jones is uniquely suited to be a strong and skilled National Security Advisor. Generations of Joneses have served heroically on the battlefield – from the beaches of Tarawa in World War II, to Foxtrot Ridge in Vietnam. Jim’s Silver Star is a proud part of that legacy […] He has commanded a platoon in battle, served as Supreme Allied Commander in a time of war, (he means NATO and the Gulf War) and worked on behalf of peace in the Middle East.”

“Jim is focused on the threats of today and the future. He understands the connection between energy and national security, and has worked on the frontlines of global instability – from Kosovo to northern Iraq to Afghanistan.”

“He will advise me and work effectively to integrate our efforts across the government, so that we are effectively using all elements of American power to defeat unconventional threats and promote our values.”

“I am confident that this is the team that we need to make a new beginning for American national security.”

Obama is somebody we can talk to anywhere he wishes since we do not preach violence or war. He should be reminded, though, that the stick and carrot doctrine will have no place in our country.

None of the phrases in his latest speech shows any element of response to the questions I raised last May 25, just six months ago.

I will not say now that Obama is any less smart. On the contrary, he is showing the mental faculties that enabled me to see and compare his capacity with that of his mediocre adversary, John McCain, who was almost rewarded for his “exploits” merely due to the traditions of the American society. If it had not been for the economic crisis, television and the Internet, Obama would not have won the elections against the omnipotent racism. It also helped that he studied first in the University of Columbia, where he graduated in Political Sciences, and then in Harvard where he graduated as a lawyer. This enabled him to become a member of the modestly rich class with only several million dollars. He is certainly not Abraham Lincoln, nor are these times similar to those. That society is today a consumer society where the saving habits have been lost while the spending habit has multiplied.

Somebody had to offer a calm and serene response even though this will have to swim up the powerful stream of hopes raised by Obama in the international public opinion.

I only have two more press dispatches left to analyze. They all carry news from everywhere. I have estimated that only the United States will be spending in this economic crisis over $6 trillion in paper money, an amount that can only be assessed by the rest of the peoples of the world with their sweat and hunger, their suffering and blood.

Our principles are the same as those of Baraguá. The empire should know that our Homeland can be turned to dust but the sovereign rights of the Cuban people are not negotiable.

Fidel Castro Ruz

December 4, 2008 – 5:28p.m.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘PORTAL CUBA’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMERCIAL PROTECTIONISM, COMMODITIES MARKET, CUBA, DEFENCE TREATIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, FOREIGN WORK FORCE - ILLEGAL, FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND CONSCIENCE, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MIGRATION AND IMMIGRATION, MILITARY CONTRACTS, RECESSION, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE OCCUPATION WAR IN IRAQ, THE WORK MARKET, USA, WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

THE GREASY GRAVY TRAIN OF LOBBYISM – THERE IS A LONG LIST OF GOVERNMENT SPINNERS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 2, 2008

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

by Terence Blacker PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

TERENCE BLACKER - LEISURE TIME

In a saner world, the news that government-appointed bodies are now paying millions to communicate with the Government which appointed them, and are employing former government employees to do so would cause surprise, perhaps even outrage. Today, the idiocy and graft at work within the system barely merits a second glance.

Here is the way the self-propelling gravy train of lobbyism runs. A state-funded quango wishes to represent its case, usually a request for more money, to a government department. In order to do so, it hires a consultancy firm with specialist knowledge and a full book of useful contacts. Many of these companies, according to a report, are run by those who until recently had been working at a senior level in government. So for example Weber Shandwick, an outfit run by Colin Byrne, former chief press officer to the Labour Party, now works on behalf of the Crown Estate, the British Museum and others. John Prescott’s former adviser Mike Craven is co-founder of a PR firm which works for the Heritage Lottery Fund. The list of government spinners and advisers who are now enjoying the fruits of the enterprise culture is a long one.

This type of legalised, officially sanctioned insider-dealing represents, in a particularly putrid form, one of the great social changes of the past five years. The heritage of the Blair and Brown administrations has been a dense network of agencies, support programmes and advisory bodies which were set up to dispense guidance and funds from central government. Each is committed to various worthy social policies – sustainability, equal opportunity, regeneration, diversity and so on – and has developed its own procedures and rules.

But the more complicated that the system has become, with its vocabulary and coded phrases, the more it has fed on itself, becoming a vast, bloated bureaucracy. The once-noble aims have been lost in confusion, but a whole professional sector has developed and grown rich upon it. Lobbyists and spinners who used their political careers as a stepping-stone to private advancement are its aristocracy, but below them is a vast army of consultants, publicists, advisers and strategists – people who can explain the ways of government, or rather “interpret current funding and policy trends”, to the outside world.

These experts understand the code of policies and directives, how to gain access to funding, which words and phrases will gain a positive response, how – to use an over-used but unavoidable phrase – to “tick the right boxes”.

They are the future. A university careers adviser 20 years ago would have pushed his brighter, more ruthlessly ambitious students in the direction of the City; today, the advice would be to join the world of PR and consultancy, to become one of those people who understand how the big bureaucracy works and how best to take advantage of it.

No wonder there is a profound cynicism about the way government works. The system is now so confused, the language employed so obscure and coded, that only those working in the public sector truly understand it. Jargon is everywhere, simultaneously patronising and confusing those who are outside the public sector bubble and are unable to untangle the newspeak of 2008.

One thing is clear, even without the help of consultants or advisers. A bureaucracy, borne of spin and good intentions, has become unwieldy and dangerously self-serving.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

Posted in COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

“AMERICA FIRST”

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 1, 2008

PUBLISHED BY TIME CAPSULE/1940 – Times Magazine (1968)

PAGE 23

Last CARTOON BY DR. SEUSSJune, a Yale law student named Robert Douglas Stuart Jr. deplored Yale University President Charles Seymour’s espousal of open aid to the Allies, believing it would lead the U.S. into war. Furthermore, he thought Seymour’s views were not those of the student body and got up a poll showing 3-to-l on his side. General Robert E. Wood (chairman of Sears, Roebuck) heard of the Yale-man’s activities, asked Stuart to visit him. Out of their conversation grew the America First Committee.

Last week General Wood’s committee had 60,000 members, eleven local chapters and an organization drive that was going like a house afire. In Washington, national committee members included such strange company as socially conscientious Kathryn Lewis (daughter of John L.) and socially conspicuous Alice Roosevelt Longworth. Just what the organization was after remained obscure: it was easier to see what it was against. And what the committee was against was getting the U.S. into the war. General Wood last week adduced some further arguments to the National Association of Manufacturers’ meeting in Manhattan:

1) Germany cannot invade America even if Britain falls.

2) The U.S. can and will do business with the Nazis even if necessary to cartelize the trade.

3) If the U.S. convoys British shipping, that act “is sure to put us in the conflict.”

Posted in FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND CONSCIENCE, GERMANY, HISTORY, HUMAN RIGHTS, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), USA, USA HUMOR, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

CHAGOS ISLANDS – STEALING A NATION – THE CORRUPTION THAT MAKES UNPEOPLE OF AN ENTIRE NATION

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 28, 2008

28/11/2008

CHAGOS ISLANDS – STEALING A NATION – by John Pilger

CLICK HERE FOR A HIGH DEFINITION VERSION OF THE ENTIRE VIDEO

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The native islanders of the Chagos archipelago were forcibly removed from the CHAGOS' FLAGislands by the British Government at that time to make way for an American military airbase during the Cold War. They were forgotten about and left to wither in poverty in the slums of Mauritius. They have been fighting to be allowed to return home ever since, and despite the British courts ruling in favour of this the Government has managed to block that decision, and the Chagossians remain in their enforced purgatory to this day.

STEALING A NATION (John Pilger, 2004) is an extraordinary film about the plight of people of the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean – secretly and brutally expelled from their homeland by British governments in the late 1960s CHAGOS ARCHIPELAGOand early 1970s, to make way for an American military base. The base, on the main island of Diego Garcia, was a launch pad for the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Stealing a Nation has won both the Royal Television Society’s top award as Britain’s best documentary in 2004-5, and a ‘Chris Award’ at the Columbus International Film and Video Festival. A brochure of the film is available at http://www.bullfrogfilms.com/guides/stealguide.pdf. On April 8, 2008, the Chagos Islanders have launched a national Campaign for Resettlement of their islands – go to www.letthemreturn.com. For more information and updates on the plight of the Chagossians, visit the website of the UK Chagos Support Association at www.chagossupport.org.uk.

Other references and articles on the story are as listed below: CHAGOS ARCHIPELAGO

http://www.chagos.org/home.htm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politic…

Islanders who wait in vain for justice and a paradise lost
Evicted from their tropical idyll in a military deal, victorious in three legal hearings, they now face another battle to be allowed home – From The Times – November 9, 2007

THE CORRUPTION THAT MAKES UNPEOPLE OF AN ENTIRE NATION

27 Nov 2008

In his column for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes the latest chapter in theCHAGOS ARCHIPELAGO extraordinary story of the ‘mass kidnapping’ of the people of the Chagos islands in the Indian Ocean, British citizens expelled from their homeland to make way for an American military base. On 22 October, Britain’s highest court of appeal, the Law Lords, demonstrated how British power words at its apex by handing down a transparently political judgement that dismissed the Magna Carta and banned an entire nation from ever going home.

I went to the Houses of Parliament on 22 October to join a disconsolate group of shivering people who had arrived from a faraway tropical place and were being prevented from entering the Public Gallery to hear their fate. This was not headline news; the BBC reporter seemed almost CHAGOS REFUGEES PROTESTING IN LONDONembarrassed. Crimes of such magnitude are not news when they are ours, and neither is injustice or corruption at the apex of British power.

Lizette Talatte was there, her tiny frail self swallowed by the cavernous stone grey of Westminster Hall. I first saw her in a Colonial Office film from the 1950s which described her homeland, the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, as a paradise long settled by people “born and brought up in conditions most tranquil and benign”. Lizette was then 14 years old. She remembers the producer saying to her and her friends, “Keep smiling, girls!”. When we met in Mauritius, four years ago, she said: “We didn’t need to be told to smile. I was a happy child, because my roots were deep in Diego Garcia. My great-grandmother was born there, and I made six children there. Maybe only the English can make a film that showed we were an established community, then deny their own evidence and invent the lie that we were transient workers.”CHAGOS REFUGEES PROTESTING - STANDING IN FRONT OF THE ROYAL COURT OF JUSTICE IN LONDON

During the 1960s and 1970s British governments, Labour and Tory, tricked and expelled the entire population of the Chagos Archipelago, more than 2,000 British citizens, so that Diego Garcia could be given to the United States as the site for a military base. It was an act of mass kidnapping carried out in high secrecy. As unclassified official files now show, Foreign Office officials conspired to lie, coaching each other to “maintain” and “argue” the “fiction” that the Chagossians existed only as a “floating population”. On 28 July 1965, a senior Foreign Office official, T C D Jerrom, wrote to the British representative at the United Nations, instructing him to lie to the General Assembly that the Chagos Archipelago was “uninhabited when the United Kingdom government first acquired it”. Nine years later, the Ministry of Defence went further, lying CHAGOS REFUGEES PROTESTING - Louis Olivier Bancoult, (2nd L) Chairman of the Chagos Refugees Group, holds his grandson Julien aloft outside The High Court in central London, 23 May 2007. Families expelled from the Chagos Islands by the British Government to make way for the Diego Garcia US airbase won their legal battle to return home Wednesday. The decision upholds two previous rulings in favour of the islanders, granting them rights of abodethat “there is nothing in our files about inhabitants [of the Chagos] or about an evacuation”.

“To get us out of our homes,” Lizette told me, “they spread rumours we would be bombed, then they turned on our dogs. The American soldiers who had arrived to build the base backed several of their big vehicles against a brick shed, and hundreds of dogs were rounded up and imprisoned there, and they gassed them through a tube from the trucks’ exhaust. You could hear them crying. Then they burned them on a pyre, many still alive.”

Lizette and her family were finally forced on to a rusting freighter and made to lie on a cargo of bird fertiliser during a voyage, through stormy seas, to the slums of Port Louis, Mauritius. Within A demonstrator demanding her return to the Chagos Islands in the Diego Garcia archipelago shouts during a protest outside the Houses of Parliament in London October 22, 2008. Britain's highest court ruled in favour of the British government on Wednesday, blocking the return of hundreds of Chagos Island people to their homes in the south Indian Ocean after nearly 40 years of exile. The decision by the House of Lords ends a years-long battle to secure the Chagos Islanders the right to return to their archipelago, from where they were forcibly removed in the 1960s and '70s to make way for an American airbase on Diego Garcia.months, she had lost Jollice, aged eight, and Regis, aged ten months. “They died of sadness,” she said. “The eight-year-old had seen the horror of what had happened to the dogs. The doctor said he could not treat sadness.”

Since 2000, no fewer than nine high court judgments have described these British government actions as “illegal”, “outrageous” and “repugnant”. One ruling cited Magna Carta, which says no free man can be sent into exile. In desperation, the Blair government used the royal prerogative – the divine right of kings – to circumvent the courts and parliament and to ban the islanders from even visiting the Chagos. When this, too, was overturned by the high court, the government was rescued by the law lords, of whom a majority of one (three to two) found for the government in a scandalously inept, political manner. In the weasel, almost flippant words of LordChagos Islanders look on while Louis Olivier Bancoult (R), Chairman of the Chagos Refugees Group, addresses the media outside The High Court in central London, 23 May 2007. Families expelled from the Chagos Islands by the British Government to make way for the Diego Garcia US airbase won their legal battle to return home Wednesday. The decision upholds two previous rulings in favour of the islanders, granting them rights of abode Hoffmann, “the rightof abode is a creature of the law. The law gives it and the law takes it away.” Forget Magna Carta. Human rights are in the gift of three stooges doing the dirty work of a government, itself lawless.

As the official files show, the Chagos conspiracy and cover-up involved three prime ministers and 13 cabinet ministers, including those who approved “the plan”. But elite corruption is unspeakable in Britain. I know of no work of serious scholarship on this crime against humanity. The honourable exception is the work of the historian Mark Curtis, who describes the Chagossians as “unpeople”.

The reason for this silence is ideological. Courtier commentators and media historians obstruct our CHAGOS ISLANDERS IN FORCED EXILE - Dervillie Permal and his wifeview of the recent past, ensuring, as Harold Pinter pointed out in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, that while the “systematic brutality, the widespread atrocities, the ruthless suppression of independent thought” in Stalinist Russia were well known in the west, the great state crimes of western governments “have only been superficially recorded, let alone documented”.

Typically, the pop historian Tristram Hunt writes in the Observer (23 November): “Nestling in the slipstream of American hegemony served us well in the 20th century. The bonds of culture, religion, language and ideology ensured Britain a postwarLouis Olivier Bancoult, Chairman of the Chagos Refugees Group, celebrates outside The High Court in central London, 23 May 2007. The High Court on Wednesday upheld a ruling letting families return to their Indian Ocean island homes, from where they were forced out 30 years ago to make way for a US military base. The Court of Appeal backed a High Court ruling in May last year that allowed the families to return to the Chagos Islands, except for Diego Garcia, a launchpad for US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Britain expelled some 2,000 people from the Chagos Islands, 500 kilometres (310 miles) south of the Maldives, to Mauritius and the Seychelles in the 1960s and 1970s, allowing it to lease Diego Garcia to Washington for 50 years economic bailout, a nuclear deterrent and the continuing ability to ‘punch above our weight’ on the world stage. Thanks to US patronage, our story of decolonisation was for us a relatively painless affair…”

Not a word of this drivel hints at the transatlantic elite’s Cold War paranoia, which put us all in mortal danger, or the rapacious Anglo-American wars that continue to claim untold lives. As part of the “bonds” that allow us to “punch above our weight”, the US gave Britain a derisory $14m discount off the price of Polaris nuclear missiles in exchange for the Chagos Islands, whose “painless decolonisation” was etched on Lizette Talatte’s face the other day. Never forget, Lord Hoffmann, that she, too, will die of sadness.

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Posted in CORRUPTION, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ENGLAND, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HISTORY, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRELAND, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, MILITARY CONTRACTS, NATIVE PEOPLES, SCOTLAND, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE PRESIDENCY - USA, THE UNITED NATIONS, UNITED KINGDOM, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | Leave a Comment »

WINE, WOMEN AND ROSES by Billy Rose – Illustrations by Salvador Dali

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 25, 2008

 

 


 

First published in 1946

Chapter 11

Iron Butterflies

Mr. Louis B. Mayer Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Culver City, California.

Dear L. B., The last time I saw you in New York, you offered me a job. I explained that I was working on a big popcorn deal and asked for a raincheck. You told me that if I ever hit on a good movie idea to get in touch with you. Hence this letter.

I have a notion which ought to keep the M-G-M lion in tender-loins for a long time to come. It’s a plan for a cycle of movies called “Iron Butterflies.”

I don’t have to tell you, L. B., that cycles make plenty of shekels. When the Brothers Warner were producing biographies of doctors and inventors, they had money in all six shoes. And when the same brothers arranged for Alexis Smith to marry every composer from Gershwin to Gounod, they needed hip boots to hold the dough. But before I blueprint the “Iron Butterflies” cycle, I think it only fair to say that it’s going to cost you a pretty penny—or rather, a pretty painting.

Some years ago, I saw a picture by Rembrandt at the Knoedler Galleries on 57th Street. It was called “Aristotle,” and the catalogue said it was owned by a Mrs. Erickson. Since that time I haven’t been able to get the painting out of my head. I want it like Caesar wanted Gaul, like Stalin wants Oak Ridge, like boy wants girl.

So here’s my proposition: Get me the picture that doesn’t move and I’ll present you with four pictures that will.

The flickers I have in mind are made to order for your dream factory. They’re full of maids, music, madness and malarkey— the four M’s that Hollywood would do well to rediscover. I think you’ll agree, L. B., that it’s about time your writers stopped looking into the crystal hail and shifted their gaze to the navel. An occasional political picture is fine, but it will never replace the fluttering eyelash and the half-minute clinch.

The cycle I have in mind concerns itself with the lives of four talented, tough, and tetched babes who did all right for themselves in the four big branches of show business—opera, circus, theatre, and dance. The opera singer was as dizzy as the heights she scaled. The circus performer was a mixture of sugar and dynamite. The actress—the only member of the quartet still functioning—can do more with an audience than Georgie Jessel can with a date. And as for the dancer, the lady may have said “yes” too often, but she never took “no” for an answer.

I call this cycle “Iron Butterflies” because the gossamer wings of these ladies are made of spun steel and the ends of their feelers are tipped with molybdenum. (Incidentally, the phrase “Iron Butterflies” isn’t mine. Some syllable-happy guy once bestowed it on your old artiste of the aria-ways, Jeanette MacDonald.)

Getting these four scripts in shape shouldn’t be much of a problem. You have a building full of writers who are kept in sterile compartments and forced-fed on the hour. Though these script- writers are shy on plots, they’re long on pencils, and when given something to write about, they turn out many a pretty participle.

In this cycle, they won’t even have to dream up those torrid touches which sell tickets. Their only problem will be to get the scripts down to shooting size. In fact, you may have to caution them not to dip into their adjective bags at all, for gilding the lives of these four dillies would be like adding salt to the Atlantic.

The heroine of the first picture is Mary Garden, the opera singer. If Lana Turner has stopped making like a B movie, she should be ideal for the role. And don’t tell me she can’t sing. They said the same thing about Larry Parks, and look how he sang in The Jolson Story.

We pick up Mary Garden in Scotland where she was born in 1877. (Business of bagpipes and heather on the hill.) When she was six, her family moved to Chicopee, Massachusetts. (Snow-storms and her first plate of baked beans.) Next Chicago, where she gave a violin concert at 12. Then Paris and the Left Bank. (Students, sidewalk cafés, and talk about an upstart named Debussy.)

The next sequence is pretty corny but surefire. The date— April 13, 1900. Scene—the Opéra Comique. Mademoiselle Rio-ton, the star, collapses during the second act of Louise. Without an orchestra rehearsal, Mary Garden is rushed onstage. Sensation! Flowers, diamonds, supper at N’Iaxirn’s. Mary continues in role for a record two hundred performances.

Our heroine becomes “The Toast of the Continent.” She is tall, bosomy, and beautiful. Kings sit in boxes and applaud, and queens give them a good talking-to when they get home. (Fadeout on this sequence with King George of Greece giving Mary a necklace worth $100,000.)

1907. (Establish by fluttering pages of calendar.) Oscar Hammerstein’s grandpappy engages Mary for season of opera in New York at $1,800 a night. Mary opens in Thais. Critics not overly kind, but audiences go mad about opera singer with only one derriere. (Better check on this with Eric Johnston office.)

Miss Garden’s antics in the next couple of reels will have to be played down to make them believable. Especially her flair for publicity. In Louise she introduces the twenty-five-second kiss. When a steampipe bursts backstage of the Manhattan Opera House, she continues singing and averts a panic. In Boston, she announces she will appear in Salome without benefit of veils. Beantown bans the show, but it sells out in sixty-one other cities. The following year, she climbs Mont Blanc, and on her first day back in New York, poses with Andrew Carnegie.

That evening she meets the press and says, “American women don’t worship their men. They merely skin them.”

For the next twenty years, our heroine is seldom off the front page. (Suggest you let Vorkapich montage this.) Show Mary Garden giving out statements about caring more for art than men. Then letting it leak out that she’s going to get married. Then announcing she’s going to become a nun. Show her introducing the hobble skirt, kissing seventy Shriners at a banquet, carrying a cane full of liquid dog food for her pooch, paying $7,600 for eight hats, and telling reporters she yearns to meet a cold-blooded murderer.

During World War I, there’s another socko sequence. When the shooting starts, Mary disguises herself in Zouave garb and tries to enlist in the French Army as a boy. When her curves give her away, she turns her Versailles home into a hospital for wounded soldiers. And now for the wow finish, which is worth a million domestic, L. B., because it’s got a moral.

When Mary gets into the big dough, her father insists on his share of the loot. Says it’s coming to him for the piano lessons he once staked her to. Mary is a good girl, and rather than bite the hand which once walloped her with a hairbrush, she kicks in regularly. At one time she’s making as much as $200,000 a year. But the more she makes, the more her old man demands as his cut. (If Bela Lugosi will work without makeup, he’d be dandy for the father.)

Whatever money Mary Garden manages to hold out, she invests in the stock market. Then comes the crash of ‘29. She’s wiped out. And by this time, her voice has developed some rough edges and good paying jobs are none and far between.

Mary writes her father and asks him to come to see her. She’s almost glad of the chance to tell the old buzzard the well has dried up. But before the postman can deliver the letter, her father ups and dies. A few days later, his lawyers notify Mary she is his only heir and he has left her well over a million dollars!

It’s the same money, of course, that her father had whined and wheedled out of her over the years. The old man had always been haunted by the story of the star who ends up broke.

Mary Garden is still living. In 1942, the papers said something about her writing an autobiography. Your Paris office can check on where to contact her. You might open the picture with a shot of the Mediterranean, the sun sinking in the sea, and the old opera singer signing a contract to let M-G-M make a picture of her life.

The second picture in our cycle is about a queen—the only one I ever knew. Her name was Josie De Mott Robinson and she was the greatest equestrian star in the history of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. I think Judy Garland could play Josie beautifully. You can use a double for the bareback riding and get around the thrill sequences with long shots. (There are quite a few horses in this movie, L. B., and what you haven’t got in your stable you can always borrow from Harry Warner.)

I first met Josie in 1934 when I was lining up a cast for Jumbo. The Hecht-MacArthur script called for some old-time circus stars, and Nagafy the Fire-eater suggested I look up Josie De Mott.

“She’s past seventy,” said the diavolo, “but don’t let that throw you. She can still do more tricks on a horse than I can on a sidewalk.”

I dropped Josie a note and she showed up a few days later at the Hippodrome—a gray-haired kewpie doll about five feet tall.

“Can you still ride?” I asked.

Josie smiled a sweet-old-lady smile. “Try me,” she said.

We went down to the basement where the horses were stabled and she selected a dappled percheron. Rehearsals stopped in the arena as the old girl went into her auditic-n. I looked and blinked. The three- score-and-tenner was performing with the same limp, kittenish speed that had been hers as a girl. I got the feeling she was doing more than ride the horse—she seemed to inhale the darned thing through the soles of her feet.

When Josie dismounted, the performers and roustabouts addressed her the way I imagine Elizabeth’s husband addresses the Queen Mother. I got an even better idea of what Josie meant to circus tradition when Dick Maney, my press agent, brought me the Jumbo program copy to okay. This flinty Broadway broadsider had devoted as much space to the has-been as he had to Durante and Whiteman, and he had written about her with a degree of feeling and respect I never knew was in his typewriter.

Josie De Mott was born a sawdust princess, and no Bourbon or Hapsburg had a better background. Her ancestors were doing horseback high-jinks when the center box was reserved for Napoleon I.

Josie made her debut at three in her father’s horse-drawn caravan. According to the yellowed clips on my desk, the audience at first thought the tot was a mechanical doll. By the time she had galloped into her teens, she was a headliner with Barnum & Bailey. Swedes toasted her in glogg, and Mexicans in tequila. She was as well-known in Paris as she was in Paterson.

In 1890, Josie fell in love with Charles Robinson, part owner of the Robinson Brothers’ Circus. Everyone thought it was a fine match—the impresario and the star. But it didn’t turn out that way. The impresario got interested in politics and became a gillie (a gilhie is a person who thinks there is something in the world more important than the circus). For fifteen years, Josie did her best to be a gillie too, but she never quite made it.

One day she got stuck on a cream-colored gelding pulling a milk- wagon, bought him, and went back into training. Robinson divorced her. Nobody had ever come back to bareback riding after a fifteen- year lay-off, but Bailey, who owned 90 percent of the Barnum Circus, gave her a contract.

A month before the circus was to open at the old Garden, Josie missed a somersault and broke two ribs. The doctors taped her up, and the morning after opening night she was again the biggest five feet in Circusdom.

That is the saga of the sawdust sweetie who performed for me at the Hippodrome and went along with the troupe to Fort Worth when I presented Jumbo at the Centennial. And now, L. B., for one of those vignettes which explains why we’re both in show business.

One spring evening a few years back, I went to the opening of the circus at Madison Square Garden. As Merle Evans picked up his baton for the preliminary fanfare, he turned, faced a center box and bowed. Then, as the performers trotted out for the opening spec, I noticed their eyes were on the same box.

The riders saluted with whips as they pranced by. The aerialists signaled a jaunty two-fingered hello, and the clowns did an extra flip. Prodded by their trainers, even the elephants waved their trunks. “What gives?” I asked myself. “Is the President in the house?”

I followed a Crackerjack salesman down the aisle to the box. Seated in it was you-know-who. Her white hair had been primped and curled until it looked like a platinum tiara.

After the finale, I went backstage and looked up Pat Valdo, who has been major-domoing the Greatest Show on Earth for a quarter of a century. “Who arranged the big fuss for Josie?” I asked him.

“Nobody arranged it,” said Valdo. “It’s been happening like this for years.

“You mean Josie attends every circus opening?”

“Yes,” said Pat, “and all the other performances too. You see, the old lady lives in a hotel down on 23rd Street. Not much of a place—one of those bed, dresser and chair jobs. The walls are covered with her old circus posters, and on the mantel are the decorations she won—the medal from the President of Mexico, the miniature horse presented by Edward of England.

“Every year when the Big Show plays New York, Josie puts on her best dress and hires a limousine. She doesn’t have any trouble getting into the Garden—she still has the gold lifetime pass that Barnum himself gave her. The management reserves the center box for her, and every afternoon and night for six weeks, Josie is in that box. And if she wasn’t, I guess the performers would get worried and figure something was wrong . . . .”

When the Barnum show opened at the Garden this year, L. B., I was there as usual with peanuts, popcorn, and pennant. But Josie De Mott Robinson wasn’t. She had died a few weeks before.

And what happened at the Garden that night would make a fine closing sequence for your movie. Throughout the show, the performers played to the center box as usual, and at the finish, nodded their heads in memory of a lady whose life was a little sad, a little gallant and a little remarkable.

You won’t have to go off the lot, L. B., to cast the heroine of the third picture in our cycle. Greer Garson should be able to do a fine job as Gertrude Lawrence. And if you don’t think Greer can handle the songs, you can always use Gertie’s voice on a sound track—that is, if you want to get documentary all of a sudden.

Gertie was born on July 4, 189— none of your business. Before the braces were off her teeth, she was doing pirouettes on the sidewalks of Clapham (wherever that is) and turning a pretty ha’penny at it. Between semesters at the Convent of the Sacré Coeur, she was a child dancer in a pantomime called Babes in the Wood.

But this babe didn’t stay in the woods long. At the age of 15, she played a white-robed, gilt-winged angel in a Gerhart Hauptmann opus. The angel next to her was a lisping adolescent named Noel Coward. A few years later she was featured in Max Reinhardt’s London production of The Miracle.

New York fell in love with her in 1924 when she sang “Limehouse Blues” in Chariot’s Revue. In 1926, she played Kay in Gershwin’s Oh Kay. Two years later she was the star of Icebound, which won the Pulitzer Prize. In 1931 she played opposite Noel Coward in Private Lives and teamed up with him again five years later in To-Night at Eight-Thirty.

Some of her other successes include Susan and God, Liza Elliott in Lady in the Dark, and the street girl in Pygmalion. She’s been married twice and, according to her autobiography, has had several stylish sweeties.

Recently I caught Gertie in a revival of To-Night at Eight-Thirty. As I watched her take charge of the audience, I asked myself:

“What makes this babe worth five thousand a week? Is she funny? Yes, quite funny, but Nancy Walker is funnier. Can she act? Sure, but not any better than a little gal named Barbara Bel Geddes. Is she a great singer? Well, it’s a matter of taste, but personally I prefer Pearl Bailey. Is she an outstanding hoofer? Heck, no. Any of my chorus kids dance better.”

What, then, makes Gertie Lawrence? What kind of light and heat does this star give out that makes her a bigger draw at the box office than all the other girls I’ve mentioned put together?

Well, that’s a question more easily faced than fathomed. Ask any five producers why one person is a wow and another a walk-on, and you’re a cinch to get five different answers. Ask me and I’ll mumble about some mysterious quantity I call “X”—the ability to turn it on when you need it.

Remember that World Series game in Chicago when Babe Ruth turned to the booing fans, pointed to a spot in the bleachers and smacked the next pitch right where he had pointed? That was “X.” Remember that day at Forest Hills when a fairish tennis player named Jones banged four successive aces past Fred Perry? The fabulous Fred was never noted for his serve, but he saluted Jones and then aced him right back with four of the fastest serves of his life. Another example of X-appeal.

Let me tell you, L. B., about one of the times Gertie Lawrence turned it on. In Lady in the Dark, she played the boss lady of a slick fashion magazine. The plot of this musical concerned itself with her neuroses which were sprouting neuroses. Moss Hart fashioned the libretto with the English star in mind, and the sainted Sam Harris, who produced the show, had to guarantee Gertie $5,000 a week against a double helping of the gross. Like Cornell and Hayes, she was the show, and was in a position to call all the shots. And from what I heard around Broadway, Gertie frequently called them at the top of her voice.

During the last week of rehearsals, Moss got worried. Gertie had some cute ditties, but no slam-bang comic song had been written for her. On the other hand, a kid out of the Borscht Circuit named Danny Kaye had been handed a clever lyric called “Tschaikowsky.”

The script called for Danny to sing this song in Act Two while Gertie relaxed in a swing upstage. Well, Moss knew his show business well enough to know that the star wasn’t going to sit by happily while a newcomer took the theatre over. “Tschaikowsky” was a cinch to be yanked after the opening performance out of town.

The worried Moss cornered composer Kurt Weill and lyricist Ira Gershwin, locked them in a room, and stood guard. At 6:30 next morning, the boys emerged with a little number called “Jennie.” Hart didn’t think much of it, and neither did Gertie. The star pointed out that it was only moderately funny and not her style. It might do for a shouting songstress like Sophie Tucker, but after all, Gertie was a lady.

“Look, my pet,” Moss pleaded, “we’re going to Boston to try things out. Learn the song and see how it goes. If it doesn’t click, Kurt and Ira will write another for you.”

“Okay,” agreed the star, “but it’s a waste of time.”

Miss Lawrence memorized the lyric, but during the dress rehearsal in Boston made no secret of her belief that “Jennie” would be jettisoned before the New York premiere.

And then came opening night at the Colonial Theatre. In Act One, Danny Kaye gave a good account of himself, but Gertie was the star and the audience was given no chance to forget it. But down in Act Two, Danny stepped to the footlights and let go with “Tschaikowsky.” As Moss Hart tells it, Danny was scared—scared he was going to stop the show with this murderously good piece of lyric writing. And then have it cut out by order of the star.

But the lyrics of “Tschaikowsky” were too hot to be cooled down, and Kaye had too much of what it takes not to give. When he finished the funny tongue-twister, the crowd applauded for two solid minutes—practically a lifetime in the theatre. The distressed Danny tried to shush the audience, but this was mistaken by the customers for modesty and they clapped all the louder.

In the back of the house, Hart, Weill, and Gershwin gave each other the old “that-does-it” look. Moss was already speculating on what he could substitute for Danny’s show-stopping specialty. And then “X” took over.

When the applause finally tapered off, Miss Lawrence slipped off the swing, saluted Danny with a deft gesture, took stage center and went into “Jennie.”

Now remember, L. B., she was singing a song that wasn’t her style and which she didn’t especially like. But the crowd had cheered somebody else—some smart Alec had whipped four.r service aces past the champ.

Suddenly Gertie stopped being Miss Lawrence and became Sophie Tucker, Fanny Brice and Gypsy Rose Lee. As she reached the end of the first couplet of “Jennie,” Gertie let go with a Beale Street bump. During stanzas two and three, she did things with her aristocratic Sitzfleisch that had the audience in a wall-eyed trance. And down near the end of the song, the star went into the most magnificent mock strip-tease ever seen inside a theatre or out.

When Gertie finished, they had to do everything but turn on the sprinkler system to quiet the crowd. And “Jennie,” the song nobody liked, went skyrocketing into theatrical history.

Miss Lawrence cashes a pretty big check on payday, but as far as I’m concerned, she doesn’t have to blush when she hands it to the bank teller. If I were the teller, L. B., she wouldn’t even have to sign her name. Her “X” would be sufficient.

The last picture in our cycle is based on the career of the hottest hunk of woman who ever stepped out of a slip-on—Lola Montez. When I say that a movie about her might outgross Gone with the Wind, I’m not kidding.

Lola should be played by Joan Crawford, and, even if the Warner Brothers want Clark Gable in return, I think the swap will pay off. Hecht and MacArthur would be my choices to put this one on paper. As you’ll see in a minute, getting Lola ready for Technicolor is not a job for kids.

Hold on to your seat, L. B., here we go!

Lola Montez was born in Ireland in 1818. Her square moniker was Marie Gilbert. When she was two, her father took her to India, and I guess the curry powder got in her blood. When she was seventeen, her mother arranged for her to marry a rich man. But Lola decided to do her own arranging, and eloped with a subaltern named James. I don’t know what happened to James, but a year later she turned up in England with a six-footer named Lennox.

In London, she bought a mantilla and a pair of castanets in a pawnshop and changed her name to Lola Montez. Then she sweet- talked the manager of His Majesty’s Theatre into giving her a job. Halfway through her Spanish dance on opening night, a young nobleman she had cold-shouldered got up and hollered, “Swindle! She’s from Ireland!” The British audience hooted the hockshop señorita out of the theatre.

Lola went to Brussels and sang in the streets for pennies. A young student sold his books to pay her fare to Warsaw. There she wangled an engagement at the Opera House. Prince Paskievich, a sixty-year- old dwarf who had conquered Poland, saw her dance and offered her a palace. She told him to go take a flying jump in the Baltic.

Next night the Prince sent a claque to hiss her off the stage. Lola stopped the music, stepped to the footlights and told the audience the story. The Poles pitched the hecklers into the alley and carried her on their shoulders through the streets, singing songs of independence.

Paskievich ordered her arrest. Lola barricaded her door and threatened to shoot the first soldier who entered. They were about to burn down her house when the French Consul came along, claimed her as a French subject, and whisked her out of Warsaw.

We next meet up with her in St. Petersburg. The fellow who kept her in caviar that season was the Czar of All the Russias.

In Dresden, Franz Liszt walked out on his wife and children for Lola. In Paris, she bewitched Alexandre Dumas. Then for the first time, Lola fell in love. Her boy friend was a radical journalist named Dujaurier. Her story might have ended here, but the young radical talked out of turn and was killed in a duel.

Henry, Prince of Reuss, offered to make her a Princess, but she patted him on the cheek and kept moving.

Lola was twenty-seven when she turned up in Munich. They told her she wasn’t important enough to dance at King Ludwig’s favorite theatre. She scratched her way past the palace guards to the King’s room and—get this, L. B.—without music, went into her dance. Ludwig of Bavaria was enchanted. She took over his heart and, with it, his kingdom.

Under her influence, Ludwig liberalized schools, canceled censorship, and kicked out his reactionary cabinet. When his sister, the Empress of Austria, tried to bribe Lola to leave him, she showed Ludwig the letter and tossed it in the fire. He made her a Baroness.

An organized mob appeared under her window, jeered and threw stones. Lola stepped out on the balcony and poured champagne on their heads. Finally, the generals told Ludwig to choose between Lola and his kingdom. The old King reluctantly ordered her arrest.

When a mob came to get her, she put on her jewels and walked proudly through her enemies to a waiting barouche. No one could bring himself to molest her. When she had driven off, the hooligans made a shambles of her boudoir. Ludwig, watching, was knocked over and trampled.

In Switzerland, she married an Army officer and was arrested for bigamy. She jumped bail and came to America. Here she danced and married her way right across the continent. During the Gold Rush, Lola was the Texas Guinan of the Barbary Coast. On a sidetrip to Australia, she horsewhipped an editor and clawed a prima donna who had snubbed her.

In 1861, she returned to New York, got religion, and died. She did all this living in forty-three years. And unless I’m daft, hers was the wildest ride on the romantic merry-go-round in the history of this planet Earth.

That’s the package, L. B. And if your hirelings use the sense that God gave geese, they can’t go wrong when they make these pictures. It’s my hunch that there’s nothing but gold in these Iron Butterflies, and that their shenanigans on celluloid should have the movie houses using ice packs on their cash registers.

Of course I know I’m offering you a lot for one little Rembrandt. But if this cycle grosses more than two hundred million, I know you’ll do the decent thing and throw in a frame.

Cordially, Billy Rose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in CINEMA, ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY - USA, HISTORY, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), USA, USA HUMOR, USA MOVIE PRODUCTIONS | Leave a Comment »

WHY WE NEED MORE NEGATIVE PRESS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 18, 2008

3:33 PM Tuesday November 18, 2008

DAVID CHAPLIN by David Chaplin

I was at a conference last week where a woman stood up and blamed the press for creating the global financial crisis (or “the GFC” as insiders now refer to it).

The cheek of it, the session wasn’t even about media incompetence. I took offence on behalf of journalists everywhere. If anything, I’d argue that the media wasn’t negative NEGATIVE PRESS - by Kaitlyn McKinley enough in the couple of years leading up to July 2007 when everything started to sink.

Perhaps the press should’ve been a bit harder on, say, CDOs (the now-infamous collateralised debt obligation investments) or pointed out more forcefully the dangers of excessive debt building up in the world’s financial system or just generally tried to poop the party.

A more sceptical media might’ve been able to pierce a little sooner the giant bubble of “greed, jealousy and hubris”, as Jack Brennan, head of Vanguard (one of the world’s largest fund managers), described the state of the pre-GFC financial world.

Brennan, speaking via video at the same Auckland conference (a gathering of Australian superannuation industry types), told the delegates "greed, jealously and hubris" enabled intelligent people to ignore known risks in the pursuit of easy money.

There are a couple of reasons why the financial media was helpless in the face of exuberance. Partly, PRINTING WORKSHOP - Photo - Warren Bucklandit’s because we were enjoying the party too. But it’s true too that almost no-one else was willing to predict how and when it would all come crashing down – what’s a journalist without “sources”?

And then there’s the legal constraints. Well before the collapse of Bridgecorp, for example, it was well-known in media circles that the company was in trouble. Bridgecorp, however, had a particularly belligerent approach to the press, which killed off plenty of negative stories.

Blue Chip also kept its lawyers on speed-dial. Although, I didn’t know that when a financial adviser whispered to me at a conference a couple of years ago: “Have you heard of a crowd called Blue Chip… they’re doing dodgy things mate.”

Should’ve followed that one up.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD’ (Pakistan)

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