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polly7

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Hometown: Saskatchewan
Home country: Canada
Member since: Sat Jul 9, 2005, 11:46 PM
Number of posts: 20,582

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Imagine that you knew a business was going to go bankrupt before anyone else...

Imagine that you knew a business was going to
go bankrupt before anyone else...

And took millions from its coffers before
it did...

And then were allowed to control the bankruptcy
process to cover your tracks.

No need for imagination. It's business as usual
at JP Morgan.


Video:

http://www.realecontv.com/page/9978.html

- Brasscheck

A new growth industry

JP Morgan appears to have mastered the art of looting financial institutions before they fail - and then controlling the bankruptcy proceeding to make sure they cover their tracks and keep the money.

This should prove to be a profitable business in the coming months and years.

One thing for sure, so far at least, they are getting away with it.

Here's the formula: Wall Street + Regulators + The Department of Justice = the public getting screwed.


http://www.realecontv.com/videos/mf-global-/jp-morgan-managing-mf-globalbankruptcy-for-its-own-profit.html

A Darkness Visible Afghanistan - by Seamus Murphy

http://mediastorm.com/publication/a-darkness-visible-afghanistan

Powerful video, I wish I knew how to embed.


Outsiders often see Afghanistan as a problem in need of a solution: a conflict region that needs more troops or another election. But in seeing Afghanistan as a problem, the people of the country, and their desire for self-determination, are often overlooked.

From the Soviet invasion and the mujahideen resistance to the Taliban and the American occupation, A Darkness Visible: Afghanistan examines thirty years of Afghan history. It is the story of ordinary citizens whose lives play out in the shadow of superpowers. There are tales of violence to be sure, but there is also love and even romance.

Based on 14 trips to Afghanistan between 1994 and 2010, A Darkness Visible: Afghanistan is the work of renowned photojournalist Seamus Murphy. His work chronicles a people caught time and again in political turmoil, struggling to find their way.

Published: November 9, 2011

Undesired

http://mediastorm.com/publication/undesired

I wish I knew how to embed video. This one is powerful.

Undesired - by Walter Astrada


India is a diverse country, separated by class and ethnicity. But all women confront the cultural pressure to bear a son. This preference cuts through every social divide, from geography to economy.

This preference originates from the belief that men make money while women, because of their expensive dowry costs, are a financial burden. As a result, there is a near constant disregard for the lives of women and girls. From birth until old age, women face a constant threat of violence and too frequently, death.

The numbers are staggering. Since 1980, an estimated 40 million women are 'missing,' by way of abortion, neglect or murder. 7,000 female fetuses are aborted every day according to the U.N., aborted solely because they are girls. One dowry death is reported every 77 minutes. Countless others are never known.

The government has tried to intervene. Dowry and sex selective abortions are illegal. Yet both practices still thrive, in large part because of deep-rooted cultural prejudices.

Today, eighty percent of Indian states are now facing a shortage of women. To compensate for this differential, young, unknowing women are bought from surrounding countries like Bangladesh and sold to young bachelors. Not knowing a word of the language, these trafficked women now face the same kinds of violence as other Indian women.


Read more: Mothers of a Hundred Sons: India's Dying Daughters.


By Shreeya Sinha/MediaStorm
Pictures by Walter Astrada/Alexia Foundation

http://mediastorm.com/pub/articles/undesired

GRAPHIC WARNING for picture further down on page showing severe burns to feet.

The United Nations reports that at least 40 million women in India have died from neglect or were simply never born in the first place. Dr. Amartya Sen, a Nobel laureate, first applied the term "missing" to this phenomenon in 1986 when he examined India's census data. Among Christians and Muslims, the female to male sex ratios were close to normal. Among Hindus, who make up 80 percent of India's population, the gender imbalance would spark a demographic crisis.
Every day 7,000 female fetuses are aborted in India.
— U.N.



“No matter what a girl does, her life is always going to be bad.”
— Sukhwanti

Diamonds and gold —vast natural resources that could enrich a nation - are a curse in the Democratic

Republic of Congo, where the Congolese people have suffered the largest death toll since the second world war.

http://mediastorm.com/publication/rape-of-a-nation


"Diamonds and gold — vast natural resources that could enrich a nation — are a curse in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the Congolese people have suffered the largest death toll since the second world war.

The conflict between warlords and armed rebels for control of these resources have plunged the citizens into a life of poverty, sexual violence, and war. Some 45,000 people die each month as a result.

The actual miners who extract the sought-out treasures have no access to a living wage, societal safety, or simple medical care, while their leaders enrich themselves and allow the misery to continue.

Marcus Bleasdale traces how the west's consumer appetite for these resources have led to such sub-human conditions for the Congolese, and poses that we might make a difference — at the jewelry counter — simply by asking: where does that ring come from?

Published: January 22, 2008"


I posted a reference to this earlier in Good Reads, but the documentary itself is very important.

The Congo's Midas Curse - Meet the men and women who bring you the bling

The Congo's Midas Curse
Meet the men and women who bring you the bling. —Marcus Bleasdale/VII

http://motherjones.com/photoessays/2010/02/congo-photo-essay/child-labor-congo-gold-mining-pit



........To produce this photoessay, which accompanies Hochschild's piece in the print magazine, Marcus Bleasdale spent eight years documenting the lives and conflicts of the Congolese. His dedication has resulted in two photo books, One Hundred Years of Darkness and, out in March, Rape of a Nation—the source of the images you see here. It's easy for Americans to remain oblivious to the troubles of people in faraway lands, but Bleasdale's photos manage to pierce our cynical gaze. And that's only fair, since American consumers and investors are among those who profit most from Congo's misery—be they the Wall Street mogul who owns 12 percent of mining multinational AngloGold Ashanti, or simply everyday folks who like electronic gadgets and sparkly jewelry.

In the foreword to Rape of a Nation, bestselling novelist John le Carré sums up the country's human hell as:

...fourteen hundred and fifty tragedies every day. It is countless more than that if you include the orphaned, the bereaved, the widowed, and all the ripples of truncated lives that spread from a single death. It is you and me and our children and our parents, if we had had the bad luck to be born into the world this book portrays. But Congo has one secret that is hard to pass on if you haven’t learned it at first hand. Look carefully and you will find a gaiety of spirit and a love of life that, even in the worst of times, leave the pampered Westerner moved and humbled beyond words.



Blood and Treasure

http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/02/congo-gold-adam-hochschild

As far back as Congo's history is recorded, the wealth from this vast natural treasure house has flowed almost entirely overseas, leaving some of the planet's best-endowed land with some of its poorest people. I have often heard Congolese friends say, "We wouldn't have so much trouble if we weren't so rich."

Dealers in mining towns buy diamonds, gold, and whatever else locals can wrest from the ground by hand.

Of all the minerals to be found here, none has for so long lit up the eyes of foreigners as the yellow metal that has shaped the course of conquest on almost every continent. And today, with worldwide economic troubles and ever-rising demand from electronics manufacturing (see "The Scary Truth About Your iPhone" sending its price to unimagined heights, a new gold rush is in the making in Congo. Some of the richest goldfields in all of Africa lie up this dirt road, which begins some 350 miles east of the turnaround point of Conrad's nightmare steamboat trip up the Congo River. The journey there, I hope, will be a way of seeing some of this country's tragic—for there is no other word for it—wealth at its point of origin, before it vanishes into jewelry stores and bank vaults and electronics plants in Europe and China, New York and California. .................





http://mediastorm.com/publication/rape-of-a-nation


Diamonds and gold — vast natural resources that could enrich a nation — are a curse in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the Congolese people have suffered the largest death toll since the second world war.

The conflict between warlords and armed rebels for control of these resources have plunged the citizens into a life of poverty, sexual violence, and war. Some 45,000 people die each month as a result.

The actual miners who extract the sought-out treasures have no access to a living wage, societal safety, or simple medical care, while their leaders enrich themselves and allow the misery to continue.

Marcus Bleasdale traces how the west's consumer appetite for these resources have led to such sub-human conditions for the Congolese, and poses that we might make a difference — at the jewelry counter — simply by asking: where does that ring come from?

Published: January 22, 2008

Glorifying the Fetus While Ignoring the Fetal Environment

Published on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 by On The Issues Magazine
Glorifying the Fetus While Ignoring the Fetal Environment
by Margie Kelly

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/04-2

Abortion opponents long ago slapped their brand on the fetus, parading giant graphic images of fetuses in marches and now calling for laws mandating pictures of fetuses inside a woman's body via sonograms – sometimes even broadcasting them live in anti-abortion campaigns.
(Image via RH Reality Check)

By separating fetuses from the fetal environment, they make women into enemies of the fetus. But with evidence that the fetal environment is being involuntarily polluted by toxins spewed into the air, water, food and products, something is askew.

Currently, there is sharp contrast in how the government wields a big stick to protect fetal life when restricting abortion, but fails to limit toxic chemical exposure to protect fetal life -- let alone the health of pregnant women.

"You cannot separate the woman from the fetus. If you want good outcomes for the fetus, you need to focus on the woman," said Luisa Cabal, Director of the International Legal Program at the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York City. "The government should take steps that don't harm women to protect prenatal life."

Peak oil denial: How does this help?

Published Apr 3 2012 by Transition Voice, Archived Apr 3 2012
Peak oil denial: How does this help?
by Rich Turcotte

http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2012-04-03/peak-oil-denial-how-does-help



There are people who care about facts. And then there are peak oil deniers.

Whether or not peak oil is true cannot possibly be in doubt. Within anything other than a geological frame of time, oil is a finite substance. When it is burned, it is gone. Without stretching our brains very far, it is easy to conclude that anything that is finite and consumed will someday be gone.

Peak Oil, then, is really an observation, not a theory.

If only! What most four-year olds would agree is not much more than minimal common sense continues to confound some, who just cannot bring themselves to accept facts and a reality contrary to a carefully-crafted storyline where facts are inconvenient at best.

The latest foray into the fact- and stats- and context-free world of denying the obvious comes courtesy of Canadian economist Sherry Cooper, whose basic premise about the invalidity of Peak Oil seems tempered by the many troublesome production facts contained in her essay. What follows are assessments and observations she offered in leading to her conclusion:


(Conclusions - "Big Claims ... lots and lots of Happy Talk — unquantifiable, context-free buzzwords from the official Denier’s Playbook, yet not one single statistic, fact, or context to substantiate any of this."


Drug and Medical Device Companies Have Outsized Influence on FDA

Drug and Medical Device Companies Have Outsized Influence on FDA
By Union of concerned scientists - Ucs

Source: Union of Concerned ScientistsWednesday, April 04, 2012

http://www.zcommunications.org/drug-and-medical-device-companies-have-outsized-influence-on-fda-by-union-of-concerned-scientists-ucs

Data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics and commissioned by the Union of Concerned Scientists show that between 2009 and 2011, prescription drug, biotechnology and medical device companies spent more than $700 million lobbying Congress and the Obama administration.

That’s a lot of money. By comparison, the insurance industry spent $480 million in the same period. Drug companies alone spent more than $487 million on lobbying during the three-year period; biotechnology and medical device companies spent $126 million and $86 million, respectively.

Over the same period, elected officials on a House subcommittee and a Senate committee with oversight over FDA received nearly $6.3 million in campaign contributions from these industries. Donations went to both Republicans and Democrats.

Explore the major findings from our investigation and see all of the data we relied upon using the links to the right. ..............

The Race To Beat The West Africa Food Crisis

The Race To Beat The West Africa Food Crisis
By Jack Craze

Source: New InternationalistWednesday, April 04, 2012

http://www.zcommunications.org/the-race-to-beat-the-west-africa-food-crisis-by-jack-craze

..... The current food crisis is largely down to erratic rains and localized dry spells in 2011. As agronomist Oumar Niangado explains, agriculture in the Sahel has always been vulnerable to low rainfall. ‘In certain places there are good systems of agricultural collectives, plus strong NGOsupport,’ says Niangado, ‘but with our dependence on rain-fed crops and poor irrigation, one bad rainy season can ruin everything.’

This was the case in 2010, when drought triggered an acute wave of hunger that affected 10 million people in the region. The global food price spikes of 2008 were another shock that pushed the vulnerable into crisis once more. Meanwhile, Oxfam has warned that the world is entering an era of permanent food crisis, predicting that global warming and resource pressures may cause staple crop yields in developing countries to plummet dramatically over the next 20 years.

Oxfam has warned that the world is entering an era of permanent food crisis

Governments and NGOs are scrambling to prevent a repeat of the Horn of Africa famine, which is thought to have killed up to 100,000 people last year. Early warning alerts late last year prompted several Sahelian governments to set up food distribution programmes and issue calls for international assistance. In February, the European Union pledged €125 million ($166 million) in aid to the Sahel, while Britain has donated £3 million ($4.7 million) to the region. .....

The Phases of War: Public Rejects Afghanistan War, Iraq's Almost Ending -- and Who Doesn't Want War

With Iran?

By Phyllis Bennis

Source: Institute for Policy StudiesSunday, April 01, 2012

https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/the-phases-of-war-public-rejects-afghanistan-war-iraqs-almost-ending-and-who-doesnt-want-war-with-iran-by-phyllis-bennis/

Excerpts:

There’s a great deal of talk about Sgt. Robert Bales, the apparent gunman in the villages in Kandahar, and whether he had PTSD or other impairments. And we’re right to be concerned about the still-inadequate care U.S. veterans get when they come home – soldiers can be simultaneously victim and war criminal. (Iraq Veterans Against the War have mobilized their Operation Recovery campaign to defend soldiers’ right to heal before being redeployed – a campaign that also denies the Pentagon access to these young instruments of battle for illegal wars.) But we shouldn’t forget that those 2/3 of Afghans – something like 20 million people – face PTSD or other mental disorders with only FORTY-TWO psychiatrists and psychologists in the entire country. I talked about this reality on NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show last week, as well as the potential consequences for U.S. policy and decisions about ending the U.S. war in Afghanistan. You can follow the link if you want to listen or read the transcript. (And it would be great if you comment too…)



WHO DOES NOT WANT WAR IN IRAN?

One of the most useful tools in mobilizing opposition to war in Iran comes from the statements of top U.S. and Israeli officials themselves:

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta asked and answered his own Iran question: “Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No.”

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, Jr. admitted the U.S. does not even know "if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons."

The latest 2011 National Intelligence Estimate makes clear there is no new evidence to challenge the 2007 conclusions; Iran still does not have a nuclear weapons program in operation.
More.
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