Daily Archive: 06/16/2013

Jun 16 2013

A-C Meetup: From Detroit to Honduras and Back: Capitalists Immigrate To Usurp Rights by Justina

From This in Michigan…

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To This in Honduras….

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In Michigan, Republican Governor Rick Snyder has appointed an “emergency manager” to  take over the city of Detroit,  with the powers to over-ride the votes of local citizens and the decisions and contracts made by their locally elected mayor and city council. The manager has the power to abrogate previously signed union contracts with city workers and sell city assets to pay off the city’s creditors.  The new emergency manager has ordered the appraisal of the Detroit Art Institute’s world class art collection with a view to its sale.  

In Honduras, its post-coup president and legislature has signed a law allowing the government to sell or lease vast tracks of lands in habited by Honduran’s indigenous tribes, to private owners to establish “charter cities”, feudal-like city states which are to establish their own laws and form of government, free of pre-existing state laws and regulations.  

As a part of Honduras’s “public-private partnership”, law, capitalist business have been invited to create new business cities in the wilderness, profit paradises to be totally controlled by the businesses which own them. Thus the ese corporate vandals are pillaging the world, its land, art and culture by liquidating previously sovereign states in their favor.

Honduras will now allow consortia of private corporations to set up their own city-states, free of virtually all pre-existing law and regulation by the country’s government.  The “public”  component of this “public-private partnership”, the putatively democratically elected Honduran government (post the 2009 Zelaya-coup) have voted to sell (or long term lease) large tracks of their country to private corporations and their agents.  Hondurans living in these feudal city-states will have no democratic control of their environment.  

The rules will be set by private charters, written by the corporate agents who shall decide who shall live in their states and who shall be excluded and where they  will live and work if they allowed in.  (Never mind that the likely territories involved long have belonged to indigenous tribes, who have not been consulted in this massive give-away of their land, but actively oppose it.)

It’s really not much different in Michigan.  

Jun 16 2013

Rant of the Week: John Oliver: Good News! You’re Not Paranoid

Good News! You’re Not Paranoid

An NSA whistleblower claims the government reserves the right to spy on the small percentage of Americans who make phone calls or use the Internet.  

Charged with overseeing the NSA’s surveillance programs, the FISA court wears out its rubber stamp of approval.

Jun 16 2013

Who Used Chemical Weapons in Syria?

There are a lot of unanswered questions about the use of chemical weapons in the two year old conflict between the Syrian government and the Syrian rebels. This week, the Obama administration has concluded that Syrian regime of president Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons against rebel fighters:

Congressional sources told CNN that investigators concluded that Syria has used chemical weapons multiple times.

In a statement released on Thursday, the White House says U.S. intelligence concluded that the Assad regime used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent Sarin, against rebel fighters in the last year. [..]

National Security Council deputy advisor Ben Rhodes said on Thursday that the President Obama reached a decision on what the new support for the Syrian opposition would look like. According to Buzzfeed, Rhodes said: “The president has made a decision “about what kind of additional support will be provided to the rebels. It will be “direct support to the SMC [Supreme Military Command] that includes military support.” Rhodes added that no decision has been made on the institution of a no-fly zone.

That’s correct the US is now going to arm Al Qaeda against the Hezbolah backed Assad government and no one, not even the press, is asking the hard questions. That is all but one member of the press. Al Jazeera White House correspondent goes there and asks, Where is the proof?

No one, not one person asked if the Obama administration would make public any of its “proof” that the Assad regime had used chemical weapons.

Think about that for a moment. An American administration is being allowed to say “trust us” on the issue of chemical weapons use and its consequences.

I’m not an expert, I don’t know what they have or if it would prove what they say. What I’m wondering is if they should have to share something.

I think it takes on an added importance when you hear the scepticism from other countries and what seem to be flaws in the US explanation. [..]

The allegations of chemical weapons being used and any kind of military response require a serious discussion, and questioning. I didn’t get a chance to ask – but if you look in the way back of the room – you’ll see my hand held high – I couldn’t get the White House’s attention that way, maybe this will work instead – couldn’t do that in grade school – we didn’t have the internet.

Patrick Coburn,  veteran foreign correspondent of The Independent, joined Amy Goodman and Juan Gonz├ílez on Democarcy Now! to discuss this latest development in Syria’s civil war.

“There must be some doubts about this,” Cockburn says, adding that it “reminds me of what they were saying in 2002 and 2003 about Saddam [Hussein]’s weapons of mass destruction.” Cockburn warns U.S. involvement could escalate regional conflicts that could “go on for years,” and critiques the media’s lack of skepticism about White House claims.



Transcript can be read here

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. We all know where that got us the last time.

Jun 16 2013

On This Day In History June 16

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

June 16 is the 167th day of the year (168th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 198 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1933, The National Industrial Recovery Act is passed.

The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), officially known as the Act of June 16, 1933 (Ch. 90, 48 Stat. 195, formerly codified at 15 U.S.C. sec. 703), was an American statute which authorized the President of the United States to regulate industry and permit cartels and monopolies in an attempt to stimulate economic recovery, and established a national public works program. The legislation was enacted in June 1933 during the Great Depression as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal legislative program. Section 7(a) of the bill, which protected collective bargaining rights for unions, proved contentious (especially in the Senate), but both chambers eventually passed the legislation and President Roosevelt signed the bill into law on June 16, 1933. The Act had two main sections (or “titles”). Title I was devoted to industrial recovery, and authorized the promulgation of industrial codes of fair competition, guaranteed trade union rights, permitted the regulation of working standards, and regulated the price of certain refined petroleum products and their transportation. Title II established the Public Works Administration, outlined the projects and funding opportunities it could engage in, and funded the Act.

The Act was implemented by the National Recovery Administration (NRA) and the Public Works Administration (PWA). Very large numbers of regulations were generated under the authority granted to the NRA by the Act, which led to a significant loss of political support for Roosevelt and the New Deal. The NIRA was set to expire in June 1935, but in a major constitutional ruling the U.S. Supreme Court held Title I of the Act unconstitutional on May 27, 1935, in Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495 (1935). The National Industrial Recovery Act is widely considered a policy failure, both in the 1930s and by historians today. Disputes over the reasons for this failure continue, however. Among the suggested causes are that the Act promoted economically harmful monopolies, that the Act lacked critical support from the business community, and that the Act was poorly administered. The Act encouraged union organizing, which led to significant labor unrest. The Act had no mechanisms for handling these problems, which led Congress to pass the National Labor Relations Act in 1935.

Jun 16 2013

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

Up with Steve Kornacki: Steve’s guests are Michelle Bernard, The Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy; Rick Perlstein, contributor, TheNation.com; Roberto Lovato, writer/commentator, New America Media; Tom Schaller, professor, University of Maryland Baltimore County; and Abby Rapoport, staff writer, The American Prospect.

This Week with George Stephanopolis: This Week‘s guests are Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL); and Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R).

The roundtable guests are George Will, The Washington Post; Democratic Strategist Donna Brazile; Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Martha Raddatz, ABC News.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests are White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough; and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI).

On his roundtable: David Corn, Mother Jones; Barton Gellman, TIME; Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal; and Rick Stengel, TIME.

The Chris Matthews Show: This Sunday’s panel are Chuck Todd, NBC News Chief White House Correspondent; Katty Kay, BBC Washington Correspondent; Kelly O’Donnell, NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent; and David Ignatius, The Washington Post Columnist.

Meet the Press with David Gregory: The MTP guest are Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Mark Udall (D-CO).

Guests on the roundtable are Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA); former Director of the NSA and CIA, now a principal of The Chertoff Group, Gen. Michael Hayden; Washington Post Columnist David Ignatius; New York Times national security reporter James Risen; and NBC’s foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Ms. Crowley’s guests are House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI); and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

On her political panel are Peter Baker of The New York Times; Nia-Malika Henderson, The Washington Post; Ray Suarez, PBS’ The NewsHour; and A.B. Stoddard, The Hill.

Jun 16 2013

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

World exclusive: Iran will send 4,000 troops to aid Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria

US urges Britain and France to join in supplying arms to Syrian rebels as MPs fear that UK will be drawn into growing Sunni-Shia conflict

ROBERT FISK    SUNDAY 16 JUNE 2013

Washington’s decision to arm Syria’s Sunni Muslim rebels has plunged America into the great Sunni-Shia conflict of the Islamic Middle East, entering a struggle that now dwarfs the Arab revolutions which overthrew dictatorships across the region.

For the first time, all of America’s ‘friends’ in the region are Sunni Muslims and all of its enemies are Shiites. Breaking all President Barack Obama’s rules of disengagement, the US is now fully engaged on the side of armed groups which include the most extreme Sunni Islamist movements in the Middle East.




Sunday’s Headlines:

State news: North Korea proposes high-level talks with U.S.

Nicaragua canal approved by Nicaragua’s president, Chinese businessman

SADC leaders urge Mugabe to delay vote

Why the US locks up prisoners for life

Vienna embraces the romance and culture of the bicycle

Jun 16 2013

What We Now Know

On this week’s segment of “What We Know Now,” Up host Steve Kornacki talks about former Rep. Anthony Weiner who is running for mayor in New York City and his first campaign for the House. His guests, discussing with what they learned this week, are Ana Marie Cox, The Guardian; political strategist L. Joy Williams; Charmaine Yost, Americans United for Life; and Democratic pollster Celinda Lake.