US Homelessness Numbers Rising

US Homelessness Numbers Rising: Most foreclosure victims are renters whose landlords failed to pay their mortgages
by Sherwood Ross
Every Christmas season a large electric star visible for miles is illuminated on a mountainside overlooking Bethlehem, Pa, to commemorate the time the holy family of Christianity took refuge in a manger on the night of Christ's birth.
 
This past Christmas, this city of 71,000 - whose principal landmark is the rusting remains of the once thriving Bethlehem Steel Corporation - was unable to shelter its own growing number of homeless families from bitterly cold weather.


 
 
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Canadian Mining Outfit Threatens El Salvador Enviros

Canadian Company Threatens El Salvador with Lawsuit Over Mining Project
by Cyril Mychalejko   
A Canadian mining company intends to sue El Salvador's government for several hundred million dollars if it is not granted permission to open a widely unpopular gold and silver mine that scientists warn would have devastating effects on local water supplies.

Pacific Rim Mining Corp., using its Nevada-based subsidiary Pac Rim Cayman LLC, filed a Notice of Intent on Dec. 9 through provisions in the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) that allow transnational corporations to sue governments over laws and decisions that often put public interests ahead of corporate profits.

"We reject Pacific Rim’s claims. Giving over [exploitation] permission would be a death sentence from the country and the arbitration can’t be accepted because it is the mining company that should be sued," the National Table Against Metallic Mining, and umbrella group of social movements and NGO's, responded in a statement.
 
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Worry: Everything's Gonna Be Not All Right

It’s Not Going to Be OK
by Chris Hedges
The daily bleeding of thousands of jobs will soon turn our economic crisis into a political crisis. The street protests, strikes and riots that have rattled France, Turkey, Greece, Ukraine, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Iceland will descend on us. It is only a matter of time. And not much time. When things start to go sour, when Barack Obama is exposed as a mortal waving a sword at a tidal wave, the United States could plunge into a long period of precarious social instability.

At no period in American history has our democracy been in such peril or has the possibility of totalitarianism been as real. Our way of life is over. Our profligate consumption is finished. Our children will never have the standard of living we had. And poverty and despair will sweep across the landscape like a plague. This is the bleak future. There is nothing President Obama can do to stop it. It has been decades in the making. It cannot be undone with a trillion or two trillion dollars in bailout money. Our empire is dying. Our economy has collapsed.

How will we cope with our decline? Will we cling to the absurd dreams of a superpower and a glorious tomorrow or will we responsibly face our stark new limitations? Will we heed those who are sober and rational, those who speak of a new simplicity and humility, or will we follow the demagogues and charlatans who rise up out of the slime in moments of crisis to offer fantastic visions? Will we radically transform our system to one that protects the ordinary citizen and fosters the common good, that defies the corporate state, or will we employ the brutality and technology of our internal security and surveillance apparatus to crush all dissent? We won't have to wait long to find out.
 
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Canadian Mint Orders Tar Sands Protest Desist

Mint Demands Tanker Protest 'Cease and Desist'
by Dogwood Initiative
The Royal Canadian Mint has issued Dogwood Initiative with a cease and desist order regarding their current campaign to protect the coast of the Great Bear Rainforest from tar sands tankers and oil spills.
 
The Royal Canadian Mint has issued Dogwood Initiative with a cease and desist order regarding their current campaign to protect the coast of the Great Bear Rainforest from tar sands tankers and oil spills.

In letters sent to Dogwood Initiative and businesses involved in the campaign the Mint accuses the BC based non-profit of trademark violations and contravening the Currency Act (Section 11) by using Canadian coins for purposes other  "than as currency" and warns of possible summary convictions, fines and imprisonment.
 
 
 
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The Molten Core of Our Modern Madness

Heart of Darkness: The Molten Core of Our Modern Madness
by Chris Floyd   
Something momentous is happening over at "Once Upon a Time." Arthur Silber has at last begun his long-awaited series on "Tribalism": the deep-rooted, deep-rutted, largely unconscious mental-emotional structures that lock human beings into such horrifically destructive modes of behavior, on every level, from the most intimate and individual to the most public and universal.

The first two parts of the series (here and here) are up at his blog now, and both are marvelous, trenchant, and moving works.
 
Here you will find that rarest of things: a human voice -- distinct, unique, authentic -- speaking to you directly, with integrity, of deeply meaningful things. Here you will find a dimension of depth that has few if any parallels in political commentary anywhere today.
 
For while politics is the immediate context of Silber's visionary analysis, as he says, rightly:   
 
"Politics is only a symptom of a more fundamental condition. Unless we address these more fundamental concerns, the symptom will never be altered in a lasting way."
 
 
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A Pliable Population: Using Reconstruction as a Weapon

Gaza New Siege Mechanism
by Nicola Nasser
The rebuilding of Gaza has become the latest siege weapon. The Israeli occupation, the US that had backed its offensive, and the EU which did nothing to stop it are conspiring to turn the reconstruction process into a means to produce a suitable "peace partner" while the Arab summit in Kuwait hopes to use it to bring about Palestinian reconciliation.
 
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority (PA) government is urging all parties and others to look to it as the sole channel for administering the construction process on the grounds that it is the government formed by the Palestine Liberation Organisation that is recognised as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Soon we will see that freezing reconstruction will become the tool of all those parties for extracting from the resistance what they have been unable to gain from three weeks of warfare and the long blockade that preceded it.

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THE BBC, IMPARTIALITY, AND THE HIDDEN LOGIC OF MASSACRE

THE BBC, IMPARTIALITY, AND THE HIDDEN LOGIC OF MASSACRE - PART 1
by Media Lens
Writing in the Independent last week, Robert Fisk commented on the BBC's refusal to broadcast an appeal for Gaza by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC):

"The BBC's refusal to handle an advertisement for Palestinian aid was highly instructive. It was the BBC's 'impartiality' that might be called into question. In other words, the protection of an institution was more important than the lives of children."


Even taken at face value, then, the BBC's decision was monstrous. But the idea that it was primarily motivated by a commitment to impartiality makes little sense.

In 1999, the corporation allowed its own high profile newsreader, Jill Dando, to present a DEC appeal for Kosovo at the height of NATO's 78-day bombing campaign against Serbia. This, also, was an ongoing and highly controversial conflict, one that involved fraudulent US-UK government and media claims of a Serbian "genocide" in Kosovo (claims which have since been quietly abandoned).
 
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Change We Can Believe In, Mr. President

Change (in rhetoric) We Can Believe In: The Anti-Empire Report
by William Blum
www.killinghope.org
I've said all along that whatever good changes might occur in regard to non-foreign policy issues, such as what's already taken place concerning the environment and abortion, the Obama administration will not produce any significantly worthwhile change in US foreign policy; little done in this area will reduce the level of misery that the American Empire regularly brings down upon humanity.
 
And to the extent that Barack Obama is willing to clearly reveal what he believes about anything controversial, he appears to believe in the empire.

The Obamania bubble should already have begun to lose some air with the multiple US bombings of Pakistan within the first few days following the inauguration. The Pentagon briefed the White House of its plans, and the White House had no objection. So bombs away — Barack Obama's first war crime.
 
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A Thumb in the Eye of the Canadian Worker from HR Minister Finley

Minister's EI comments - An insult to the workers of Canada
by Peter Ewart & Dawn Hemingway
Federal Human Resources Minister Diane Finley has explained why she, and presumably the Harper government, are opposed to raising Employment Insurance payments for unemployed workers, or making it easier to qualify.  “We do not want to make it lucrative for them to stay home and get paid for it,” she says.

In essence, she is saying that Canadian workers, in their hearts, are lazy and would prefer sitting at home to working.

If that is the case, how does she and her government explain that Canadian workers are considered to be among the most productive in the world?  They work in demanding, difficult and often dangerous occupations.  Whether it be bush work in –40 degree weather; in hot restaurant kitchens; in sawmills and pulp mills; in mines, steel mills and assembly plants; in fishing and farming; on oil & gas and construction projects; in hospitals and schools; in minimum wage service sector jobs: It is their labour which is the foundation of all wealth creation in this country.

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Stephen Gets Disaster Capitalism: Bye Bye Environment

Recession no excuse for environmental deregulation
by NDP
The Conservative government is trying to use economic hardship as an excuse to loosen environmental regulation, according to documents obtained by New Democrat Environment Critic Linda Duncan (Edmonton-Strathcona). The documents confirm recent suggestions by Conservative Ministers Raitt and Baird that Conservatives view rules that protect the environment as mere “red tape”.

“The assertion that federal environmental regulations are just a nuisance standing in the way of building infrastructure and creating jobs is completely baseless,” says Duncan. “I challenge Environment Minister Prentice to step up and defend his ministry and his legislated mandate, to protect the environment.”
 
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Cooperating, and Not with Karl

Cooperation, Rove Style
by Scott Horton
On occasion, he compares himself with Grendel, the half-human monster in Beowulf known for cannibalizing his victims. Other times he calls himself Moby Dick, the great white whale of Herman Melville’s epic. In truth Karl Rove enjoys playing both roles—the hunter and the prey, convinced he can outwit and emerge victorious over anyone who pursues him, especially dim-witted federal prosecutors and Congressional investigators.
 
So far, he’s succeeded.
 
In an interview with Murray Waas, Rove’s lawyer, Bob Luskin, drops a few more bombshells. Rove is going to cooperate with the special prosecutor looking into the U.S. attorney’s scandal, he says. Moreover, he reveals that Rove already has sat down and worked with a probe by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) into irregularities surrounding the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.
 
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Canadian Gaza Survivor Speaks Tonight

This Week on VOP Radio Harry Berbrayer
by Voice of Palestine
On Tue. Feb. 3, 2009 from 8:00-9:00pm (PST), Voice of Palestine will be interviewing Harry Berbrayer, a Jewish Canadian who has just returned from three weeks in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.  He was in the Palestinian city of Jenin when Israeli troops began the campaign of terror over Gaza.

We will be talking with him about his experiences in the Palestinian Occupied Territories and the reaction of the Palestinian people in the West Bank to the Israeli aggression. We will also talk with him about the Canadian Government and Western media's pro Israeli bias.
 
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