Thursday, March 10, 2011
March 10 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: Misuse Of Godwin's Law - The Republicans Act As If They're Called Nazis... The Term Is FASCIST
|"All The News You Never Knew You Needed To Know ...Until Now."|
March 10 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: The Misuse Of Godwin's Law - The Republicans Act As If They're Called Nazis... But The Term Is FASCIST
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[After the commentary, John Kay, son of Totalitarian regime East German refugees and Steppenwolf saw the "Monster" that will cause the eventual "Suicide" of "America" decades ago. Courtesy of the respective artists.]
» Libya's al-Gadaffi government is staging somewhat of a comeback as the Eastern rebels are forced back by armored columns of tanks and air support. Some elements of the tribal and nomadic groups have switched back to supporting the government which is also trying to negotiate to some extent with the rebels despite the fact there has been a bounty posted on the leader of the interim government in Benghazi.
» In Tunisia the government is dissolving and the president's political party has been banned which will keep it from participating in the elections due to occur in four or five months.
Juan Cole @ Informed Comment has an interesting sidebar on the Tunisian revolt:
It’s Official: Tunisia Now Freer than the U.S.
Tunisian Prime Minister Béji Caïd Essebsi announced on Monday the dissolution of the country’s secret police arm. This step toward democracy is the most important taken by any Arab country for decades.
Tunisia’s interim government also abolished the ‘Ministry of Information,’ which had been in charge of censorship, allowing a free press to flourish. Of course censorship, especially habits of self–censorship, does not actually disappear with the stroke of a pen. Employees of state t.v. have struck recently to protest what they consider government censorship of their news reports.
An Arab country with neither secret police nor censorship is unprecedented in recent decades. Tunisia is inspiring similar demands in Egypt and Jordan. When skeptics wonder if the Revolutions of 2011 would really change anything essential in the region, they would be wise to keep an eye on these two developments in Tunisia, which, if consolidated, would represent an epochal transformation of culture and politics.
In the United States, the fourth amendment had been intended to prevent unreasonable and arbitrary domestic surveillance of Americans. It says,
‘The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.’
Not only were people not to be spied upon by the government without a warrant, but warrants were not to be issued without probable cause.
Arguably, Tunisians are now freer than Americans. The US government thinks our private emails are actually public. The FBI and NSA routinely read our email and they and other branches of the US government issue security letters in the place of warrants allowing them to tap phones and monitor whom we call, and even to call up our library records and conduct searches of our homes without telling us about it. Millions of telephone records were turned over to George W. Bush by our weaselly telecom companies. Courts allow government agents to sneak onto our property and put GPS tracking devices under our automobiles without so much as a warrant or even probable cause. [In Full with links]
» In Yemen there is word that some kind of gas is in use against protesters as the president offers a new constitution and independent legislature. But the demand that he step down is going unheeded.
While all THOSE North African revolts continue, it's notable that 'the OTHER hand' of Western foreign policy in the region is on the offensive in their dirty war on Somalia:
With the world’s eyes riveted to the unfolding civil conflict in Libya, little notice is being given to a major offensive underway in Somalia to defeat the forces of the radical Al-Shabaab movement. Al Shabaab — a coalition of Somali forces supported by hundreds of foreign “jihadist” fighters – has been in control of much of southern and central Somalia, including key sectors of the capital, Mogadishu. Al Shaabab is worrisome to the international community and neighboring states as it was co-founded by Al-Qaeda-trained Somali operatives and has publicly pledged allegiance to Osama Bin Laden. Dozens of young Somalis from the diaspora in Europe and the United States have gone to Somalia to join the Al-Shabaab-inspired jihad, and some of the Somali Americans have been implicated in terrorist plots within the United States, and others with plots in Europe, Australia and South Africa.
In recent days, the intense fighting in Mogadishu between African Union Peacekeepers and Al Shabaab militiamen has left 53 peacekeepers dead. Most of the dead are soldiers from Burundi which has contributed 3,000 soldiers to the peacekeeping contingent. Ugandans comprise the remaining 5,000 members. It is not altogether clear where the UN-sanction African Union “peacekeepers” get their mandate to engage in a major offensive against Al Shabaab, as the UN had rejected the idea of expanding the peacekeeping mandate to include pre-emptive actions.
This push against Al Shabaab has been in the works for some time, [In Full]
» In Wisconsin the legislature used a parliamentary maneuver to separate the financial aspect of the anti-union state worker budget cuts, which requires a quorum, from the provision ending collective bargaining, and voted that measure in 18-1 sans the Democratic legislators. Expect legal action but expect the provision ending collective bargaining to stay in place until court proceedings are done. Ohio and Michigan also have similar bills pending.
» The House is holding hearings on "Radicalized American Muslims" starting today.
In OTHER News
» You didn't REALLY believe we had no troops on the ground in Iraq did you?
New York National Guard Unit Off To IraqThere may be a good reason for the lack of 'participation' by more citizens of the US too!
Mar 9, 2011
The unit is being deployed to northern Iraq later this spring for its mission as a Police Transition team, where it expects to conduct security details for roads, convoys, and dignitaries as well as provide training for Iraqi police forces, ...
We're called "one-percenters" for a reason, and that's because we do what a lot of people won't," [More]
» And in financial news, It's Baaaack! The '$ubprime Loan':
What's Driving the Surge in Auto Sales?
by Mike Whitney
Subprime is back!
Only this time it's popped up in the auto market where it's triggered an impressive surge in sales. According to Marketwatch, General Motors February sales topped 45% to a robust 207,028 vehicles, way above analysts expectations. But soaring car sales have less to do with the allure of those gussied-up Silvarados than they do with "easy financing" for people with less-than-stellar credit. Here's a clip from an interview on Wednesday's Nightly Business Report with Autonation's President Michael Maroone that helps to explain what's going on.
NBR's Susie Gharib: Another dose of good news today from the auto world, a day after Detroit's big three reported strong February sales. Autonation, the country's largest seller of new and used cars, reported a big jump in its numbers. New vehicle sales rose 29 percent compared to a year ago. And US brands made up forty percent of sales. GM models were especially popular ... Mike, what about any kind of special deals or incentives to entice consumers to buy?
Maroone: Well, almost every day there's a new incentive. They're used in a very tactical manner. The incentives are relatively flat with prior periods. But today we saw GM announce zero percent financing, up to 72 months on specific models. We're seeing Honda increase their incentives. Nissan's got a very aggressive program. Toyota has been aggressive. So almost every manufacturer has something and it varies tremendously. It's certainly tactically driven and it is stimulating business.
Gharib: What about on the credit side, for someone that does need financing, is it getting easier to get a loan or is it still pretty tough?
Maroone: Susie, it's gotten much easier. The big driver of the recovery in 2010 was the restoration of credit. The change in 2011 is we're now seeing an improving environment for sub-prime. So last year prime and near prime were more normal and this year we're starting to see the sub- prime segment come along and that's very important for our industry. (The Nightly Business Report)
Repeat: "72 months zero percent financing" to people with dodgy credit. Sound familiar?
But why would the big car dealers want to get caught up in another enormous subprime meltdown? How do they benefit from issuing loans to people who may not be able to repay the debt?
Ahh, that's the mystery of securitization, Wall Street's magical profit-booster. The dodgy loans are tossed into the food processor with other savory nuggets, ground to perfection, lightly doused with a triple-A rating, and sold as bonds to "yield seeking" institutional investors from Schenectady to Milan. It's all part of the new earnings paradigm that places financial alchemy ("innovation") above productivity and wealth creation.
But, we're getting ahead of ourselves ... [In Full @ Counterpunch]
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