Is the Democratic Party Already Dead?
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
The LaRouche Political Action Committee released this statement for the widest possible circulation.
Aug. 27Already, clearly more than half of the legally adult citizenry of the United States has bitterly rejected both the Obama Presidency's policies and those of most of the members of the U.S. Congress. The Democratic Party is virtually finished, if the Party does not change its policy to one of opposition to both the hated, thieving bail-out, and cancel all support for that health-care policy of President Obama which is an exact copy, in explicit content, of the 1939-1942 health-care policies of dictator Adolf Hitler personally, health-care policies of Hitler which were introduced to British law's NICE policy of the liar, Tony Blair. This is that same, evil Tony Blair, who orchestrated the U.S. plunge into the recent Iraq War, and is now part of the process of plunging the U.S. into an even worse catastrophe now rapidly escalating in Afghanistan...
This Week's News
U.S. Economic/Financial News
Aug. 29 (EIRNS)In 49 out of 50 states and the District of Columbia, millions of manufacturing jobs were lost from July 2008 to July 2009. On Aug. 27, the Atlanta Business Chronicle ran a story showing how many of the 1.52 million manufacturing jobs were lost in each state that year. The states with the biggest losses were Ohio (127,000), California (123,400), and Michigan (108,900). Seven states lost 50,000-90,000: Illinois, Indiana, Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Georgia. Fourteen states lost 22,000-45,000: New York, Florida, Minnesota, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Iowa, South Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, Missouri, New Jersey, Kansas, and Washington. Another nine states lost between 10,000 and 20,000, while 13 lost 2,500-9,000. Only Alaska did not lose manufacturing jobs.
Aug. 29 (EIRNS)State and local governments are sinking into worse dysfunction by the day, because of the impossibility of coping with the collapsing economy and revenues. Pennsylvania and Connecticut are still in a standoff over their budgets for the FY2010 fiscal year that started July 1. Many states and localities are resorting to worker unpaid furloughs, in the hopeless attempt to cut expenses as fast as their revenue is dropping. The governors of Rhode Island and Maryland are among the latest to announce such furloughs, joining the ranks led by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who began the first-ever unpaid furloughs in California, in February, for 200,000 state workers, twice a month.
* Ohio. Scioto County has become the state's first county to be declared bankrupt. On Aug. 18, the Ohio Auditor's office placed Scioto in "fiscal emergency," the state's official designation for bankruptcy. County employees have been asked to take a day off every other week, to conserve funds. Scioto County is on the Ohio River; it once was thriving, along with its chief river town, Portsmouth, when the Great Lakes/Ohio mills and manufacturing were functioning. Now, the Ohio River Basin economic base has collapsed.
In Mahoning County, home to the former steel center of Youngstown, the county court system was on the verge of shutdown due to budget cuts, when this week, county commissioners gave emergency approval for $200,000 to reinstate 13 court clerks, to keep the judiciary open a while longer. This came about after a probate court judge filed a mandamus lawsuit, demanding that county officials act, or there would be civil breakdown. Since 2007, the LaRouche Homeowners and Bank Protection Act (HBPA) Resolution was passed by the city councils of Youngstown and other municipalities in Mahoning County; national enactment of the proposed legislation would have prevented the current debacle.
* Michigan. A decision is pending by the state school superintendent on when to declare the Detroit school system in bankruptcy, termed "financial emergency." Such a Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy has been rare until now. Currently, Vallejo, Calif. is the biggest local government in Chapter 9.
* Rhode Island. On Aug. 24, Gov. Donald Carcieri announced that he will put 81% of the state's 13,550 workers on furlough without pay for 12 days, between now and June 2010. All state offices, except for police, prison, and other vital security services, will be shut those days, to help close a budget gap of $590 million.
* Maryland. On Aug. 28, General Assembly leaders announced that over 630 workers in the state legislative branch will be required to take unpaid furlough days, which are planned to include five days around holidays. This follows on Gov. Martin O'Malley's plan for executive branch workers to take three to ten unpaid daily leaves during the 2010 fiscal year.
Global Economic News
Aug. 26 (EIRNS)China, which produces almost half the world's steel, has to take measures to curb "overcapacity" in key industries including steel, iron, cement, aluminum, and plate glass production, the State Council announced today. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao had warned the nation that, despite its $585 billion-equivalent stimulus program, China is in a "critical period" economicallyin contrast to the insane declarations of recovery made just days earlier by the IMF and by U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. "There are still a lot of unstable and uncertain factors ahead, and the economic situation is still very grave," Wen said in Hangzhou, central China. Despite positive signs, the recovery is "unstable" and "unbalanced," China Daily quoted him. The export sector especially faces great uncertainty, he said, and the "country's economic development still lacks inner vitality to counter the crisis."
"The decline in external demand may continue for a longer time," creating overcapacity in some sectors, and this would be a big obstacle to a rebound in industrial growth, Wen said. The State Council website quoted him saying that there should be no "blind optimism" about the economy. "It is difficult to significantly expand domestic demand in a short period."
The real problem is not "overcapacity," but world under-consumption. China makes more steel than Japan, the U.S., Russia, and India combined, according to the World Steel Association. China also produces half the world's cement1.45 million tons last year, eight times more than India, the second-biggest producer. If China has to stop expanding capacity, this will mean an even bigger gap between what the world produces and what it needs to rebuild after decades of deindustrialization.
On Aug. 13, Li Yizhong, Minister of Industry and Information Technology, gave a press conference in Beijing to announce a three-year moratorium on approvals for new steel and iron projects. Li Yizhong said that "overcapacity" in the steel industry was "the most evident" of all the industrial sectors. This year, estimated total output capacity is 660 million tons, but demand is only 470 million tons. Expansion has to stop for the coming three years, he said, although projects already underway, which will create another 58 million tons production capacity, will go ahead.
"If the trend goes down like this, the steel industry will come to a dead end," he concluded.
The moratorium was announced despite the fact that China is already carrying out a big project to consolidate current capacity in order to eliminate outdated steel mills. Over the next few years, steel mills in Hebei Province will cut capacity from 120 million to 80 million tons each year.
Steel production has increased in recent months due to government investment, but exports are falling. China produced 50.7 million tons of steel in July, up 12.7% from a year ago, but steel exports were down 74% to 1.81 million tons. So far in 2009, steel exports are down 67% to just over 11 million tons.
Other vital industries are also going to be curbed, including cement and coal chemicals. Aluminum capacity is far too large for the crisis-strapped world economy: Aluminum Corp of China today said that the industry has about 600,000 tons of inventories, due to surplus output.
Aug. 25 (EIRNS)Danish Finance Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen today disclosed just how big the government expects next year's budget deficit to be. Whereas the 2008 budget was based on a 60-billion-kroner surplus (the equivalent of $11.5 billion, or 3.4% of GNP), the Finance Ministry has proposed a 2010 budget based on a 86 billion kroner (DKK) deficit ($16.5 billion, or 4.9% of GNP)a negative DKK150 billion ($28 billion) about-face in one-and-a-half years. And, add to that the debt created by the approximately DKK100 billion in bank bailout packages not included in these figures.
The government expects the ranks of the unemployed to rise to 150,000 people, out of a total population of 5 million.
While the government speaks about increasing infrastructure investments next year, the parliamentary opposition rightly criticizes this as "too little, too late." One member of the economic "wise men's" council, Hans Jörgen Whitta-Jacobsen, has called for an additional DKK10 billion in public infrastructure investment, pointing out that the increase in the proposed infrastructure budget is due to an already agreed-upon plan to push forward municipal infrastructure projects, cancelled due to the government's ideologically based halt to municipal spending over the last couple of years.
The biggest long-term infrastructure plans have been proposed by the Schiller Institute in Denmark, well known for its 2007 election slogan, "After the CrashMaglev Across the Kattegat."
United States News Digest
Aug. 27 (EIRNS)The nationwide outpouring of constituents' anger at town hall meetings during the Summer recess, has begun to show an effect on Congress. In addition to Republican opposition, Democratic members from both houses have begun to express doubts about the health-care reform legislation.
* On Aug. 13, Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.) issued a statement explaining the need for health-care reform, but saying he supported slowing down the process, to work for better solutions. Spratt said that the Super-MedPAC, with rate-making and regulatory authority over Medicare and Medicaid, proposed by the Office of Management and Budget, "may be a bit too powerful."
* The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call reported Aug. 26, that Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on Domestic Policy, requested that six top insurance company executives appear before his panel on Sept. 17 to explain how they do business. In a letter to CEOs of Aetna, WellPoint, Cigna, Humana, Hemingway Health Care, and UnitedHealth, Kucinich stated that the hearing will examine "the nature, cost/benefit, and impact of administrative measures and protocols used by the health insurance industry to determine coverage for doctor-prescribed health care treatments, as well as costs of administrative measures undertaken by doctors to interface with insurance companies."
Kucinich asked the insurance executives to prepare testimony to "discuss the methods and protocols by which your health insurance company determines coverage for prescribed medical treatments, the administrative cost associated with this activity, and your company's awareness of the response by doctors to these activities."
* Roll Call reported on Aug. 25, glum comments by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.)a member of the Senate Democratic Conference whip teamat a town hall meeting last week in Mercer, Wisc. The Senator, who is up for reelection in 2010, said, "Nobody is going to bring a bill before Christmas, and maybe not even then, if this ever happens. The divisions are so deep. I've never seen anything like that.... We're heading in the direction of doing absolutely nothing, and I think that's unfortunate." Feingold was also reported to have said, that he would not decide whether to support or oppose a final health-care bill without first seeking out the opinion of his constituents.
Aug. 29 (EIRNS)Sen. Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.), one of the three Senate Republicans negotiating with their Democratic counterparts on the Finance Committee for a bipartisan health-care bill, rejected the Democratic proposal, because it would 1) reduce medical care to the elderly by means of a "comparative effectiveness research" board, and 2) make the country's "finances sicker without saving you money."
Enzi, who gave the Republicans' weekly radio and Internet address yesterday, pointed to the opposition of the American people to the Obama health-care bill, as expressed at town meetings during the Congressional recess. "I heard a lot of frustration and anger as I traveled across my home state this last few weeks," said Enzi. "People in Wyoming and across the country are anxious about what Washington has in mind. This is big. This is personal. This is one of the most important debates of our lifetime."
Citing the House bills which would make radical cuts in Medicare funding, Enzi said: "This will result in cutting hundreds of billions of dollars from the elderly to create new government programs. Savings from Medicare should only be used to strengthen Medicare.
"The bills would expand comparative effectiveness research that would be used to limit or deny care based on age or disability of patients. Republican amendments in the HELP [Health, Education, Labor and Pensions] Committee would have protected Americans by prohibiting the rationing of their health care. The Democrats showed their true intent by voting every amendment down and leaving these unacceptable provisions in the bill. This intrusion of a Washington bureaucrat in the relationship between a doctor and a patient is not the kind of reform that Americans are seeking."
Aug. 29 (EIRNS)Cardiologists are up in arms against a new Obama Administration proposal to reduce Medicare payments to specialists, including cardiologists and oncologists, by more than 10%, in order to increase payments to family doctors and nurses by 8% and 7%, respectively. The American College of Cardiology says that such payment reductions will have the effect of rationing care, because many cardiologists, especially in rural areas, will not be able to stay in business. The proponents of this plan, among them former Medicare chief Mark McClellan and MedPAC member Nancy M. Kane, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, are more worried that the cardiologists' revolt may undermine the Obama health-care reform drive, than they are about the actual impact that the payment proposal may have.
Another effect may be that of "divide and conquer" between general practitioners and specialists, when they should be united against the Obama Administration's Nazi health-care policy. Family-care doctors-in-training spend part of their residencies with specialists, but Ted Epperly, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, who teaches at the University of Washington School of Medicine, told Bloomberg News, "What I've heard is 'maybe we just won't have time any longer to teach your residents.' "
SACRAMENTO, Aug. 29 (EIRNS)Worn out from pushing through murderous budget cuts, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger decided to shift his attention to increasing revenues, which have taken quite a tumble under his stewardship. Since he needed income right away, and realizing that creating jobs and building infrastructure would take far too long, the Governator did the next-best thing: He decided to auction off state property, first on eBay and Craigslist, then, a giant flea market at the state's surplus goods center in Sacramento. Over 6,000 items were put up for sale, including automobiles from the state transportation fleet, used office furniture, computer equipment, digital cameras, and items confiscated by the California Highway Patrol, such as jewelry. Although the event drew more than 5,000 shoppers yesterday, only about $1 million was raisednot much, when you consider that the state is expected to add another $8-10 billion to its deficit by the end of the year.
Billed as "The Great California Garage Sale," Schwarzenegger pushed this as part of his plan to eliminate waste in government, while having "a little fun." He said, "By posting items online, Californians and people from other states and around the world can participate.... This is a win-win for the state and for shoppers. Together, we are eliminating waste and providing great deals in this tough economy. I encourage everyone to log on or attend this great event," he said.
Meanwhile, legislators are due back in Sacramento on Sept. 8, to take up Arnie's plan to release up to 43,000 non-violent prisoners, and to see if he will follow through on cutting off more than 900,000 children from state-funded health insurance.
Aug. 26 (EIRNS)Shutdowns of specialty medical units (emergency rooms, in-patient psychiatric wards, etc.) and even entire hospitals, is proceeding across the country, in the face of a potential peak need for H1N1/09 flu hospitalizations this Fall. A few essential parameters of this crisis are summarized in the new White House "Report to the President on U.S. Preparations for 2009-H1N1 Influenza," despite its wrongful assertion that the Obama Administration is acting to "minimize negative impacts" of the pandemic.
The report presents a possible scenario in which the new flu spreads rapidly this Fall, before any inoculation program can take effect (which now cannot be until late November). A peak date of incidence of H1N1/09 infection could occur as of Oct. 15.
At this time, the peak need for occupancy of hospital beds could be in the range of 50-150 beds per 100,000 population, when in fact, there are only 211 beds per 100,000 persons in the U.S. hospital system totally!
The peak occupancy of intensive care unit beds, especially with ventilators, due to H1N1/09, could be 10-25 ICU beds/100,000 population, when the U.S. has only 20 ICU beds/100,000 population! The number of pediatric ICU beds is very limited, and the new flu hits the young the worst.
The report advocates an "action response" by government authorities, to monitor "stress" on hospitals this Fall, and then engage in "resource reallocation" (i.e., triage; kick non-flu patients out of care). The fact that there are insufficient resources to begin withno matter what the allocationis part of the underlying premise of this Grim Reaper document from the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Ibero-American News Digest
Aug. 29 (EIRNS)-Just days after Argentina's Supreme Court ruled that possession of drugs for personal consumption is not illegal, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe attacked drug decriminalization, during his Aug. 28 visit to Argentina for the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) summit.
His message to Argentina, reported by La Nación, couldn't be missed. Countries that permit possession for personal consumption encourage "impunity," Uribe said, and "induce children to commit crimes." Rather than legalizing consumption, he added, there should be discussion on opposing it.
The Colombian leader recounted his ongoing efforts to reverse the decriminalization law that was approved in his country in 1994. How is it possible, he asked, that a country that has "shed so much blood" in combatting the drug mafias, "at the same time, is so permissive toward consumption?"
Some Chilean officials didn't welcome Uribe's message. In the aftermath of Argentina's Supreme Court ruling Aug. 25, the head of the National Drug Control Council (CONACE), María Teresa Chadwick, told EFE news that the Chilean government is studying a proposal to expand current legislation, which decriminalizes individual drug consumption in private, to include group consumption in private. Drug orgies anyone?
Aug. 29 (EIRNS)The LaRouche Youth Movement (LYM) in Argentina reports that, as soon as the Supreme Court issued its Aug. 25 ruling decriminalizing drug possession for personal consumption, anti-drug groups took to the streets in front of the Supreme Court in protest.
Members of the "Life Without Drugs" group carried a huge banner than read, "No to Drugs!" and aggressively handed out leaflets to passers-by. In recent LYM deployments in downtown Buenos Aires, organizers found that the majority of people who stopped at the literature table were opposed to decriminalization.
LYM family members in such Patagonian provinces as Chubut and Neuquen report that media are covering widespread opposition to the ruling. Most people attribute growing insecurity and crime to increased drug consumption, which they say the Court ruling will only facilitate. Similar reports have come from several other provinces.
Demonstrating the impact of the LYM's high-profile intervention into the drug-legalization fight, and its exposé of the British Empire/George Soros role, the TV news program "Palabras Más, Palabras Menos" sent reporters to the LYM office to interview the three organizers. When the program was aired on Aug. 25, the same day as the Supreme Court ruling, the producers had invited a pothead from the pro-drug legalization THC magazine to debate someone from a drug-treatment center. Before the debate, the hosts showed an edited clip of the LYM intervention at the George Soros-sponsored Aug. 6 drug-legalization conference held in the Congress's Annex building.
However, the hosts didn't dare show any other than a few seconds of the in-depth interview with the three organizers.
Aug. 27 (EIRNS)True to its perverse history of defending George Soros's drug legalization policiesnot to mention its defense of Adolf Hitlerthe New York Times today waxed ecstatic over Mexico's and Argentina's decisions to embrace decriminalization.
Quoting the head of the Global Drug Policy Program at Soros's Open Society Institute, as well as the Drug Policy Alliance's Ethan Nadelmann (aka "Needleman"), the Times asserts that Mexico's new decriminalization law, and Argentina's Aug. 25 Supreme Court decision allowing drug possession for personal consumption, prove that there is an "urgent desire" in Ibero-America to "reject decades of American prescriptions for distinctly Latin American challenges."
Since when is drug-trafficking, and the destruction it wreaks, a "distinctly Latin American" challenge?
The Times also gives ample coverage to the "findings" of the Soros-sponsored and financed Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy, which has been organizing for the past year on behalf of the British Empire's new Opium War against the Americas. The Commission, the Times reported, "urged countries to reject the U.S. prohibitionist policies."
Aug. 25 (EIRNS)Wearing his Union Jack in public again, former Cuban President Fidel Castro used his Aug. 25 daily "Reflections" column in the daily Granma to defend U.S. President Barack Obama from attacks by the "powerful extreme right," which he complains is undermining the U.S. President.
Castro pointed to LaRouche PAC's poster of Obama with a Hitler mustache, and a young woman who, he said, "feeds the theory that the President would create death panels which would back euthanasia," as examples of actions by the "racist right." These, he says, are a threat to the lives of Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their two children.
"The racist right will do everything possible to wear him down, blocking his program to get him out of the game, one way or the other, with the least political cost possible," writes Castro.
The wily synarchist Castro dedicated another column on Aug. 27 to a defense of the British-steered "Bolivarian" movement, whose leader is the unstable Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. On the eve of the Aug. 28 summit of Presidents of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), whose top agenda item was Colombia's decision to allow U.S. military personnel to operate inside the country on its bases, Castro charged that the only purpose of this decision is to "liquidate" the "revolutionary" Bolivarian movement.
Aug. 28 (EIRNS)Ecuador's government signed an accord last week to cooperate with Russia on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
For a government that is heavily committed to green axioms, this is an important step in the direction of reality. Russia will provide technical and legal advice on the use of, and research in, nuclear technology, through the state agency Rosatom, which will train Ecuadorians in nuclear physics, and help identify projects to get started. Specifically, for the moment, the focus will be on application of radioactive techniques for industry, medicine, and agriculture.
It appears that Ecuador will be starting its program from scratch, as news reports emphasized that Russia will help it draft the legislation required under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) criteria to work in this areas. President Rafael Correa will visit Russia in October.
Elsewhere in Ibero-America, Chile's National Energy Commission has just issued a report saying that this nation could build five 1,100 MW nuclear reactors over the next 26 years. Speaking at an Aug. 27 seminar at Adolfo Ibañez University, Energy Minister Marcelo Tokman emphasized that it would be "irresponsible" to rule out the nuclear energy option, given its benefits.
Another key component in the debate was the July 9 release of the "Program for Chile's Nuclear Reactor Development2009-2030," prepared by the Nuclear Energy Commission of the College of Engineers. This report proposes that Chile begin construction of a first reactor by 2015, to be completed by 2020, with three more to be built by 2030. Fernando Sierpe, coordinator of the Nuclear Energy Commission, stated, in presenting the report, that the only thing preventing Chile from moving forward in this area is a political decision.
Western European News Digest
Aug. 26 (EIRNS)Here are some samples from the press in Europe:
*Aug. 23The lead article of the "News From the World" section in Sunday's Jyllandsposten, the liberal, widely read Danish newspaper, was accompanied by a photo of a LaRouche PAC organizer hoisting an Obama mustache poster at a U.S. town hall meeting. The article, headlined, "Obama's Leadership Ability Is Tried," illustrates the unrest in the U.S. with the (translated) exchange between LPAC's Rachel Brown and Rep. Barney Frank, in Dartmouth, Mass. The LPAC website is clearly visible on the bottom of the poster.
* Aug. 24The BüSo (Civil Rights Solidarity Movement) website's own summarized report on the Aug. 21 webcast of Chancellor candidate Helga Zepp-LaRouche has been posted by the Pressemitteilungen website, which also announced both of Zepp-LaRouche's webcasts, and covered the July 21 webcast. This new report is accompanied by a picture of Obama with the mustache.
* Aug. 25The number of daily visits to the website of Solidarité & Progrès (S&P) in France, the political party of the LaRouche movement, which usually gets about 3,500-4,000 hits per day, has been rising, since the beginning of the mass strike in the U.S. In the last week, daily visits to the site, which features LaRouche PAC's attacks on Obama's Nazi "health-care reform," shot up to over 5,000; yesterday, visits went above 5,700, the highest number this year.
Yesterday's posting of an item on the U.S. mass strike, along with the LPAC's Obamastache poster, got 1,400 visits in less than 24 hours, twice the usual number. On the Google News "health section," the Obamastache picture was placed among the nine top pictures of the day. A click on the picture brought the reader to the article on the French website.
The S&P website was attacked this morning by a world-famous hacker by the name of "iskorpitx." In 2006, this hacker simultaneously "defaced" 21,500 websites, while victimizing a total of 235,926.
Aug. 25 (EIRNS)According to reports of Eurostat and the International Labor Organization (ILO) for the European Union, 5 million citizens under the age of 25 were unemployed during the first quarter of 2009an increase of 1 million, compared to the first quarter of 2008. The increase in unemployment is twice that of citizens above the age of 25. The worst reported situation is in Spain, where a third of youth of working age are without a job. In the three Baltic states, the figure is 25%, and, in Italy and Sweden, it is 20%. In Germany, it is "only" 10%, but there, the rise in youth unemployment is many times that of the other age groups.
This has a lot to do with the fact that young people have been lured into the (disintegrating) working world with no real professional training, just to make some money as part-time or contract workers. They are being fired first, because usually they have no job protection, as some skilled workers still do, since they were hired on a just-in-time contract basis.
Aug. 27 (EIRNS)One million Natipatients have been the victims of "appalling care" in Britain's hospitals under Britain's National Health Service (NHS), the London Daily Telegraph reports today.
The exposé is based on a report by the Patients Association, a charity which has catalogued abuses over the past six years.
Claire Rayner, president of the Patients Association and a former nurse, told the Telegraph: "For far too long now, the Patients Association has been receiving calls on our helpline from people wanting to talk about the dreadful, neglectful, demeaning, painful, and sometimes downright cruel treatment their elderly relatives had experienced at the hands of NHS nurses." The Patients Association has published a selection of personal accounts from hundreds of relatives of patients, most of whom died following their care in NHS hospitals.
The NHS is one of the world's largest employers, employing 1 out of 23 people in the workforce in England and Wales.
STOCKHOLM, Aug. 28 (EIRNS)Medical authorities report that already, this early in the Swedish flu season, there are now four young patients on ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) treatment because of lung failure. The fourth was a young man who had to be sent to Denmark for treatment. His doctor, a leading epidemiologist and leftist intellectual, Sven Britton, writes in Svenska Dagbladet Aug. 28, that he has changed his mind about vaccinations, after seeing this strong young man hit by the flu. Before, he had said that vaccination was not necessary, as most people would just have an episode, as in normal flu. Britton now supports general vaccination, writing that it is worth it to avoid even the very few cases of young persons losing their lung functions, so dramatically that a normal ventilator or respirator is not enough.
Two polls show that 70% of Swedes say they will take the vaccine, which will be offered for free.
Aug. 29 (EIRNS)According to the London Times, the British government will cut pensions for public employees, given the collapse of the related pension funds. The pension level will be decided on the average of all wages paid during the employee's career, instead of the last wage, as it is currently.
Russia and the CIS News Digest
Aug. 24 (EIRNS)The disaster at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower plant in southern Siberia Aug. 17, which killed at least 69 people, is provoking Russia's leadership to demand an overhaul of the national infrastructure. Today, at a conference in Ulan-Ude planned to discuss large industrial projects in Siberia, President Dmitri Medvedev acknowledged that Russia is "seriously backward technologically," Novosti reported. Medvedev rejected what he called the "apocalyptic" statements of some coverage of the disaster, which has shut down the biggest hydroelectric plant in Siberia, source of 15% of all Russian hydropower. Medvedev had to admit, however, that "our country is technologically very far behind. If we fail to overcome this challenge, those threats can become real ... but we've got all it takes to bridge this gap."
The accident, the result of an explosion and flooding of the turbine room, is sharply cutting the electricity supply in the whole region by some 6,000 megawatts. Rusal, the world's biggest aluminum producer, is by far the biggest consumer of electricity.
On Aug. 21, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had told his Cabinet that the "tragic event has how much we need to do to ensure safety of hydropower facilities." He said that "a serious review of all strategic and vitally important infrastructure is required" and the goverment must "work out a plan for their regular upgrade." Reconstruction of the dam will cost at least 40 billion rubles ($1.25 billion), Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said, according to the Moscow Times.
Last year, Russia's huge national power utility, Unified Energy Systems, was disbanded, after its subsidiary companies had been privatized for investment by Western hedge funds and Russian oligarchs. Some of the funds invested were supposed to be spent to repair the Sayano-Shushenskaya Dam.
This disaster was only the most dramatic recent indication of the implosion of the Russian economy. On Aug. 20, the national statistics service, Rosstat, released figures on the first half of 2009. GDP for the entire period was more than 10% less than the same period in 2008, with both agriculture and industry affected. Construction volume was down 20% in June from the year before, and rose only slightly in July, a key month for housing construction. Retail sales fell, reflecting the 0.9% decrease in real wages, with food sales down by 4.5% and non-food buying down more than 11%. Capital investments fell 18.8% in January-July, Rosstat reported, although they had risen 9% in 2008.
Russia's foreign trade turnover fell 44.1%, to the equivalent of $208 billion, and foreign direct investment was down 45% to $6.1 billion, a record collapse since 1999. The Netherlands was the biggest foreign investor, followed by Cyprus and Luxembourg.
Aug. 26 (EIRNS)Since Lyndon LaRouche's Aug. 1 webcast, during which he replied to a question from a high-ranking Russian diplomat, among others related to Russian, Chinese, and U.S. policies in the global crisis, LaRouche's short-term forecasts, and his Four-Power proposal for joint action by the United States, Russia, China, and India for a new world economic system, have taken a high profile in the Russian-language Internet media.
The Aug. 1 webcast itself immediately became the subject of debate on the prominent economic crisis-watching Internet forum Globalnaya Avantura, under the headline, "LaRouche names some dates," after a participant posted his own summary of LaRouche's discussion of an October blowout of the system and accelerated collapse of the United States. Yesterday, when the LaRouche Political Action Committee's own Russian voiceover of the first 20 minutes of that speech became available on RuTube, it was the third-highest viewer-rated and ninth-most-watched news and politics video of the day.
Also circulating in Russian are two recent articles on the attention being paid in other countries to the LaRouche alternative: the Italian Senate's approval of Sen. Oscar Peterlini's latest resolution for a New Bretton Woods, and William Jones's EIR article on the appreciation of LaRouche published in China Youth Daily, based on their correspondent's interview with LaRouche. These two items have appeared on the Strategium website (Ukraine), the Sarov Top Secret site (Russia), and Natalia Vitrenko's Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine site, among others. News about the Peterlini resolution was also posted by Globalnaya Avantura, the Russian Anti-Globalist Resistance, the Inoforum press-monitoring project, and the popular Alexsword Live Journal blog. Today, Jones' write-up of the China Youth Daily was republished by Netpress.ru, a major web-monitoring portal.
Tony Papert's article on the behaviorist economists, "Degenerates Surround a Nero-like President," from EIR of April 24, generated five pages of discussion, when Inoforum reprinted EIR's own translation of the piece. It has subsequently been republished in two dozen other locations.
Aug. 26 (EIRNS)At an international aviation and space conference in Moscow on Aug. 23, the head of NASA's Moscow office, Marc Bowman, invited Russia to carry out a joint manned flight to Mars. Bowman said the flight should be under the control of NASA and the Russian space agency, but with the participation of international space agencies. However, he said that before a joint flight to Mars could be made, it was necessary to complete the International Space Station (ISS) mission and fly to the Moon to collect essential scientific and technical information. Currently, Russia plans to send a manned mission to the Red Planet on its own.
Once a competitor in space, Russia became a partner of the United States after the Cold War ended. President Bill Clinton sought ways to cement a "strategic alliance for reform" with Russia and President Boris Yeltsin, and in 1993, he invited Russia to join the space station partnership. Today, the ISS represents not only a major step forward in space development, but also the most ambitious experiment in peacetime international scientific and technological cooperation ever attempted.
The Space Station is soon to be completed.
Southwest Asia News Digest
Aug. 29 (EIRNS)The International Atomic Energy Agency's report on Iran's nuclear program says that Iran has not increased the number of active centrifuges at the Natanz facility that are producing low-enriched uranium; a number of centrifuges were added, but have not yet been brought on line. This IAEA finding by no means indicates that Iran has shifted in any way on its insistence that it has the sovereign right to enrich uranium. However, the report that the number of centrifuges hasn't increased beyond the 5,000 it had in May 2009, is another development over the last ten days that indicates expanded cooperation with the IAEA.
The IAEA report was presented to the Board of Governors of the UN body on Aug. 29. At the same time, Iran's new Atomic Agency head, Ali Akbar Salehi, is requesting that the IAEA "normalize" its relations with Iran, and take the matter out of the realm of the UN Security Council, and the debate over sanctions. Salehi also has put in a letter to the IAEA asking the body to ban military attacks on nuclear facilities. The ban on attacking nuclear facilities has been supported in a letter to the IAEA written by the Egyptian delegate to the Non-Aligned Movement.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, ignored these steps towards cooperation with the IAEA beyond what is required under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and is pushing the U.S. and the Europeans to impose new sanctions against Iran.
According to Agence France Presse, Israel is accusing the outgoing head of the IAEA, Dr. Mohammed ElBaradei, of "a dereliction of duty against the mandate" of the agency, by being too lenient towards Iran. Netanyahu pressured U.S. envoy George Mitchell for sanctions against Iran, at their meeting on Aug. 26. But, the incoming head of the IAEA, Dr. Yukiya Amano, also made reference to the IAEA's "lack of any information on Iran's purported 'proliferation' drive," reported Asia Times on Aug. 25. Dr. Amano's statement came in addition to the new report in April 2009, by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, that the U.S. had no evidence of Iran working on nuclear weapons.
Aug. 27 (EIRNS)Despite shameful show trials of leaders of the mass protests in Iran, following the June 12 elections, the opposition forces that have contested the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continue to have support among important individuals and institutions in Iran. That is the backdrop to a statement issued by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei Aug. 26, that said, "I do not accuse the leaders of the recent incidents to be subordinate to the foreigners, like the United States and Britain, since this issue has not been proven for me." The statement was read on his behalf on national television in Iran.
He also said that foreign countries, like Britain and the U.S., planned for the street demonstrations in advance, but failed to destabilize the country because of their lack of understanding of Iran. Khamenei's statement is a weak, but notable warning to the Ahmadinejad/Revolutionary Guard "coup" faction, that the opposition of Mousavi, Mehdi Kharrubi (a cleric), former President Khatami, and Ayatollah (and former President) Rafsanjani cannot be crudely crushed. Khamenei's statement said, "We should not proceed in dealing with those behind the protests based on rumors and guesswork.... The judiciary should only give rulings based on solid evidence, not on circumstantial evidence."
There were further statements of institutional opposition to Ahmadinejad and the Revolutionary Guard/Basiq (militia) police state, including from leaders of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. On Aug. 23, Grand Ayatollah Montazeri condemned the government crackdown on protesters and said, "The authorities should at least have the courage to announce that this regime is neither a republic nor Islamic and no one is allowed to protest, to express an opinion or to criticize anything." Montazeri was long considered to be the successor to Khomeini, but, in 1989, was dismissed by the Supreme Leader because of criticisms that related to human rights and other issues. Since 1989, Montazeri has been under house arrest, but still has a broad political and religious following. His statement was in response to a call by 300 academics in Iran for the religious leaders to speak out against the imprisonment and trials of the protest leaders.
In a related development, a still-unidentified member of the parliamentary committee that agreed to hear evidence that imprisoned protesters were beaten, tortured, and raped, has said that there is solid evidence that these abuses have taken place.
Aug. 26 (EIRNS)Confirming once again his British Empire ties, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Palestinian Exploration Fund's offices in London this week. The visit was the first thing he mentioned during his press conference after meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. "This is a treasure, it is one thing you all must see," he told reporters, commenting that it showed British historical friendship with Israel.
What is the PEF? One only has to read the "EIR Special Report: Who Is Sparking a Religious War In The Middle East?" (December 2000), which describes the organization as the granddaddy of the British-inspired scheme to rebuild Solomon's Temple on al-Haram al-Sharif (aka, Temple Mount), in Jerusalem, one of Islam's most holy sitesa project aimed at sparking religious war in Southwest Asia.
"British Imperial occult designs on Jerusalem," the EIR report states, "and the Temple Mount first surfaced prominently in 1865, with the founding of the Palestinian Exploration Fund, under British royal sponsorship, and the first archaeological expeditions to the Holy Land. Prince Edward, son of Queen Victoria, who would succeed her as King Edward VII, had visited Jerusalem in 1862, and put his imprimatur on the launching of the Palestinian Exploration Fund immediately thereafter." The report goes on to state that the first explorations by the PEF were conducted by "Gen. Sir Charles Warren, during 1867-70. This expedition launched the British Free Masonic 'Temple Mount project.' In 1886, Warren was one of the nine Freemasons who founded the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, and he became its first head."
The PEF and the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, in effect, spawned the most rabid of the fanatical revisionist and religious Zionists. These included Vladimir Jabotinsky, who was not only the founder of revisionist Zionism, but was also a friend of the Netanyahu family, and the British-appointed Rabbi of Jerusalem, Rav Abraham Isaac Kook. His son, Zvi Yehuda Kook, produced the leadership of the terrorist Stern Gang, and along with his nephew, Hillel Kook, was key in the creation of today's Temple Mount crazies organized by the Ateret Cohanim Yeshiva.
Aug. 29 (EIRNS)The above headline appeared in the Aug. 29 issue of the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, referring to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and captures the German reaction to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's grandstanding in Germany. While in Berlin, Netanyahu was presented with original blueprints of Auschwitz, which he used as a prop to make an outrageous comparison between Iran's nuclear program and the Nazi Holocaust. "We must not allow those who want to commit mass murder, those who want to destroy the Jews, to emerge unscathed," said Netanyahu. "That is the lesson from the Holocaust."
Merkel, according to Ha'aretz, "ignored" the Prime Minister, and said, "The Germans did unspeakable things to the Jewish people. Therefore Germany must protect Israel and preserve its security. However, there should be no comparison between the Iranian issue and the Holocaust." She added that "ending settlement construction is of supreme importance. Time is running out."
Aug. 29 (EIRNS)Lebanese Prime Minister Designate Sa'ad Hariri told Agence France Presse that the Hezbollah will be in the next national unity government. "The national unity government will include the March 14 Alliance, and I also want to assure the Israeli enemy that Hezbollah will be in this government, whether it likes it or not, because Lebanon's interests require that all parties be involved in this cabinet."
Hariri's statement is in stark response to Netanyahu's recent threat that, "If Hezbollah joins the government, it will be clear that the Lebanese government will be held responsible for an attack coming from its territory against Israel."
Asia News Digest
Aug. 26 (EIRNS)A nearly complete agreement between India and China on climate change and WTO (World Trade Organization) issues, that have been pushed by the globalization mafia, may as well bring these two Asian giants to closer cooperation in areas of science and technology, development, and security. During Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh's ongoing visit to China, he told the local media that he was deeply impressed by Chinese successes in cleaning up some of their lakes and rivers using modern technology. "It would be a good idea for India to emulate. We do not have a major scientific institution in the area of environment, although we have major institutes in the fields of agriculture and industry," he said Aug. 25.
New Delhi is also seeking Chinese participation in the research for management of coastal zones. It wants an institution from China to join hands with the National Institute of Sustainable Coastal Zone Management, which is being set up at the Anna University in Chennai. Ramesh invited Chinese environmental scientists to attend the next conference of the Indian Science Congress in Shillong in January.
In addition, on Aug. 25, more than 40 years after bad blood between India and China closed down the Indian consulate in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, Jujian Hua, director at Tibet's Foreign Affairs Office, told a visiting Indian journalist that "India can set up a consulate in Lhasa. That depends on India," he said. "Between friends, we should communicate more so that our relationship is strengthened. The central government of China and the Tibet Autonomous Region have a very positive attitude."
Aug. 25 (EIRNS)A massive bomb blast ripped through the downtown area of the southern Afghan city of Kandahar after dark today, killing at least 40 people and wounding dozens more, officials said. The truck bomb tore through ten residential buildings, trapping casualties under the rubble, as rescue workers frantically tried to dig them out of the debris in the dark, officials said. Although it is not evident what exactly the terrorists had intended as their target, the bomb went off near a guest house frequented by foreigners, near the Kandahar provincial intelligence headquarters, a shipping company which employs Pakistanis, and less than a kilometer from the home of Ahmad Wali Karzai, brother of President Hamid Karzai. Today also marks the beginning of Ramadan, and many people were at festive dinners.
The attack on Kandahar was sudden, but not surprising. There were reports that the Afghan Taliban, having lured and trapped 4,000 U.S. Marines in the adjacent province of Helmand, were swarming in and around Kandahar City, once the power base of the Taliban regime. Deploying the U.S. Marines into Helmand province, where they are now surrounded by Taliban forces, was a tactical blunder by the U.S. and NATO commander, Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, and is more evidence that the war in Afghanistan has been lost.
On the same day in southern Afghanistan, four U.S. soldiers with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were killed by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion. This makes 2009 the bloodiest year by far for the NATO forces, with more killed so far this year, than in all of 2008.
The Saudi-British-run terrorist offensive, aimed at control of Afghanistan and Central Asia, also claimed the lives of four police officers in Chechnya today, in a suicide attack in the town of Mesker-Yurt, about 20 km (12 miles) southeast of the capital, Grozny. The attack is the latest in rising terrorist activities against police and soldiers in Russia's North Caucasus. At least 25 people died in the Aug. 17 suicide truck bombing of a police station in neighboring Ingushetia.
Aug. 26 (EIRNS)In a follow-up to his highly publicized trip to Myanmar earlier this month, where he met with dissident Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as the country's leader Senior Gen. Than Shwe, U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), in a New York Times op-ed, expressed the view of many establishment patriots, about appropriate relations with Myanmar.
The elections in 2010, he wrote, provide an opportunity for all parties to move forward; the current Myanmar government, the United States, and, crucially, Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy. The "Constitution approved last year in a plebiscite is flawed," Webb noted, because "it would allow the military to largely continue its domination of the government." But it provides a valuable opening.
"There is room for engagement. Many Asian countriesChina among themdo not even allow opposition parties. The National League for Democracy might consider the advantages of participation as part of a longer-term political strategy. And the United States could invigorate the debate with an offer to help assist the electoral process."
While "the National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi's political party, has not agreed to participate in next year's elections," Webb certainly makes it clear that they and Suu Kyi herself, should think hard on the question.
The Senator is strongly opposed to the continuation of sanctions; sanctions against the country's economic well-being do not work, and do not take the place of an actual policy of engagement. "With respect to reducing sanctions, we should proceed carefully but immediately."
Africa News Digest
Aug. 28 (EIRNS)The sands of Sudan appear to be shifting against the anti-Khartoum lobby. The commander of the UN/African Union Peacekeeping Force in Darfur (UNAMID), Martin Luther Agwai, stated in a briefing in Khartoum Aug. 26, "As of today, I would not say there is a war going on in Darfur.... What you have is security issues more now. Banditry ... people trying to resolve issues over water and land at the local level. But real war as such, I think we are over that." Agwai is now finishing his tour of duty.
Deaths as a result of the conflict in Darfur have been reliably estimated at 40 for July and 16 for June. The ENOUGH Project of Khartoum-basher John Prendergast was so confounded that it issued a press release today titled, "UNAMID Commander Undermines Darfur's Genocide."
The background is that there is an all-out fight in the Obama Administration over Sudan policy. When President Obama's Special Envoy to Sudan, Gen. Scott Gration (ret.), testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 30, he said that there is no genocide now in Darfur, and there is no evidence to support the inclusion of Sudan on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who chairs the committee, appeared to echo his views. Gration has come under tremendous pressure as a result of his testimony, according to reports.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, who shares Prendergast's ugly outlook, was able to force the resignation of the civilian head of UNAMID, Rodolphe Adada, former foreign minister of the Republic of Congo, on Aug. 25, because he had said that the Darfur conflict had decreased to the level of a "low-intensity conflict."
What does Gration's testimony represent? Shao Jie, writing from Khartoum for Xinhua Aug. 27, cited "local analysts" who believe that "the U.S. realized that its long-term policies of containment and sanctions had not achieved the desired results but Sudan had made remarkable achievements ... for nearly 10 years, to become an example of achieving success without U.S. influence. Only by a radical adjustment of its policies, could the U.S. resume its influence on Sudan."
The Khartoum-bashers are escalating to counter the threat to their multimillion-dollar scam. Humanity United (HU) has been induced to bring activist organizations together under its auspices under the name Sudan Action Now, or simply, Sudan Now (sudanactionnow.com). Sudan Now is running ads in newspapers around the country and on websites that target Obama with the message, "Keep the Promise," and quote from his "Save Darfur" statements during his Presidential campaign.
HU is run and funded by its founder, Pam Omidyar. She and her husband, Pierre, who founded eBay, have collaborated with mega-medler and pro-drug moneybags George Soros, on at least one major project, and they all share a dedication to globalization.
Chuck Thies, a consultant for Sudan "advocacy" groups, has formulated the fraudulent new battle cry for these groups: "Though the rate of death from violence in Darfur has been greatly reduced in the past year, millions of people still live in unsafe refugee and IDP camps, slowly starving to death. No one suggested the Holocaust genocide ended until the death camps were liberated; the same should be true for Darfur."
The camps for internally displaced persons are not pleasant places to live, but there is no starvation there. The residents have better health care and food supplies than those living outside the camps.
Why are Susan Rice, John Prendergast, and the moneybags behind them protesting so loudly over the news that the war is over and few are dying?
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