Friday, October 21, 2011

Daily Digest October 21, 2011





21 October, 2011

As food crisis grips DPR Korea, UN aid chief urges world to not 'turn our backs'
Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo elected to Security Council
Amid rising violence in Yemen, Security Council calls for speedy transition of power
Ban welcomes Basque group ETA's decision to end armed campaign
Libya: UN human rights office calls for probe into Qadhafi's death
Iraq: UN envoy pays tribute to victims of Halabja chemical weapons attack
UN human rights expert urges putting housing at core of post-disaster recovery
Human rights approach to education policies needed in Chile – UN official
Tunisia can again be Arab Spring pioneer with elections – UN rights chief
UNESCO condemns killing of Philippine radio journalist
Nearly 470,000 cholera cases reported in Haiti over the past year – UN
UN expert urges governments to ensure free flow of information on Internet
Natural resource boom in Mongolia an opportunity to alleviate poverty – UN official
DR Congo: UN envoy assesses preparations in far east for elections
UN agencies voice concern at impact of South-East Asian floods on children
General Assembly President points to busy UN disarmament agenda in 2012
UN expert calls for integration of gender perspective into criminal justice systems
Counter-terrorism must never be used as excuse to curb human rights – UN expert
UN-backed peace talks seek to end violent ethnic clashes in South Sudan
Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders meet ahead of talks with UN chief
Somalis fleeing insecurity at home find more insecurity in Yemeni 'haven' – UN
Migrants must be treated with dignity and respect for human rights, UN expert says

>>>>>>>>>>INFOS <<<<<<<<<<

From: Lorimer Rutty
Subject: I'm shocked

I'm shocked; shocked to the core;
Mr. Strachan has lost his country and Natroses doesn't like a  'sorry piece of  dribble.' 
I think he meant 'drivel' as he chastised me while pontificating through a socialist haze.
The 'free lunch crowd' should remember that everything has a price and that being verbose
does not necessarily score points.


From: Mahmood Elahi
To: <>
Subject: Defence contracts must also protect military secrets

The Editor
Financial Post
Defence contracts must also protect military secrets
Re "Hope they float," by William Watson (Oct. 20).
Pof. William Watson takes an issue with awarding $25 billion combat-ship contract to Halifax's Irving Shipbuilding without considering any bid from Asian shipbuilders who are world leaders. But he may be reminded that naval combat ships have also military secrets like firepower, speed, navigation etc which cannot be guaranteed by foreign builders. For example, the U.S. Navy has a number of guided-missile destroyers built exclusively in the U.S. shipyards and the U.S. Navy will never accept that China, which is now the world's largest shipbuilder, should be allowed to build these naval ships simply because it can do so cheaply. The same applies to China which will not contract out any Japanese or American shipyards to build destroyers for the Chinese Navy merely because they have better technical expertise. By its very nature, combat ships have their combat secrets which must be kept out of others knowledge. Here economic considerations must be secondery to military considerations.
As for Watson's criticism of avoiding parliamentary re-districting on the basis of one man, one vote, it may be pointed out that under our first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system, a party is allowed to form a majority government by winning most seats but not most votes. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has won a contrived "majority" despite winning only 40 per cent of votes. If "invioable democratic principle of one man, one vote," is to be respected than two parties which won more than 50 per cent of votes should have been allowed to form the real majority government. Moreover, if one man, one vote is the only principle, in a highly urbanized country like Canada, many rural ridings will disappear simply because they don't have equal number of people as their urban counterparts.
However, as the inventors of democracy --- the ancient Athenians --- tell us democracy is not a tyranny of the majority. Athenians believed that aristocrats and oligarchs didn't have any divine right to rule and ordinary people must have a say in the governing. So they invented a system of government involving all citizens and called it Demokratia --- government by the people. But they also found that democracy is not simply majority rule. When they allowed the majority to rule, the poor majority imposed heavy taxes on the rich minority. To stem any tyranny of the majority, they created the Athens Council, composed of 500 citizens chosen through lottery to represent a cross-section of the population. The Athens Council had the power to override any decision that ignored legitimate concerns of the minority.
As we don't have any independent forum to provide a check on any majority government, only a minority/coalition government can provide some check. Also given Canada's lop-sided concentration of population in Ontario (13 million) and Quebec (7 million), less populated provinces should be allowed to have more seats than their numbers permit. Ontario, which already dominates with 106 seats, doesn't need any more seats merely because its population is growing. In fact, the Maritime provinces with their smaller and less growing population should be given more seats to compensate their small population. Democracy is also about protecting the minority and empowering the less powerful.

From: Rene Moreau <>

To Joe
From Rene Moreau (416-489-8347)
   I fail to see why more attention is not given to the fact that Libya with all it's hype and media inflation was a 'Bank Job'!
   Upset the bankers, who control the countries through the money system, Greece, Ireland, the USA, and you're asking for trouble.
   Imagine Ghadafi having the guts to successfully run a central bank without their input. Scandalous. And speaking out against the American dollar being the world's value setter.
   Take this as a learning experience if we choose to use it properly, and remember it.

                                     Rene Moreau (416-489-8347)

From: Marjaleena Repo
Subject: My five cents worth on Libya

Hello Joe,

My 5 cents worth...


To: Power and Politics, CBC News Network

You ask: "Is Canada's work in Libya done?"

Your question begs the question of what Canada has actually "done" in Libya: helped to destroy and dismantle a country, kill and maim its people and assassinate its leader, no questions asked. Our parliament is complicit along the Harper government — and the media (including your programme) has acted as a cheerleader for NATO and its proxy "rebels." Shame on all of you — you don't represent any thinking or feeling Canadians, and signify the west's descent into utter lawlessness and barbarism (helped along by made-to-order media demonization and lies about Libya, the country, its history and its leader).

Marjaleena Repo

From: John Anderson 
Subject: Shipbuilding Competition: A Fair Competition Can Be Done.

Hello Joe:

Everyone is trumpeting the fact that Harper's Conservatives apparently managed to run a "fair" competition to build ships over the next twenty years.

But it has happened before, and it does not require outside help to achieve the result.  It simply requires political will.

I was involved in the competition that DND ran in the early 1980's to purchase a low-level air defence system for the army.  This was a one billion dollar project -- in the days when one billion dollars meant a lot more than it does now.

First, we established a completely unbiased "Statement of Operational Requirement" (SOR) that focused on the requirement, not on the solution.  This document was approved all the way up the chain of command.  It was never challenged, and every decision that we made subsequently could be traced back to the SOR.

Only after the SOR was in place did we bring in the best available expertise within the government to help write a comprehensive Request for Proposals.  At the same time, we wrote our Evaluation Plan.

All through this period we had regular visits from potential contractors.  We always listened with great interest because they knew their equipment best.  But we made no commitments, and we gave nothing away.

We released the RFP in February 1984, and gave the contractors four months to respond.  Then we held our collective breath!

But the next day we got phone calls from the contractors complementing us on the quality and completeness of the RFP.  "You guys did it right!"

We ended up with seven complete bids from all of the usual suspects in Europe and the United States.

And, just to be clear, while all of the potential prime contractors were located off-shore, they were required to have Canadian partners and show significant industrial benefits to Canada.  So domestic political considerations were important.  But the biggest issue was the potential impact on relations with our NATO partners, at a time when Canada's standing within NATO was ... suspect at best.

Again, we brought in the best available in-house expertise to help us with the evaluation.

But one of the reasons why our evaluation was so successful was that our security was air tight.  We had our own building in which to house the bids and conduct the evaluation.  We had our own security on the doors, and WE controlled access to the evaluation, so that we were successful in discouraging "tourists."

Out of the seven proposals, we established a short list of three -- that eliminated all of the proposals from NATO countries!  But before we went public we briefed senior management and ministers, and they signed on.

Then the "defecation hit the propeller blades"!  "How dare you discriminate against proposals from your allies!!??"  But we had our ducks in order, and our recommendation held up.

Of the three remaining proposals, two were from Switzerland and one was from Sweden.  We conducted a further in-depth evaluation, and again we briefed senior management and finally ministers.  Again, after lots of hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth, our recommendation stood, and the result was announced in the House in June 1986.

But the capper from our standpoint came when both of the losing bidders went public complimenting us on the quality of the competition and conceding that they had lost fair and square.  There was intense disappointment, of course, but no hard feelings.

Yes, it can be done.

Best Regards, John A.

From: Dave Hurren

As yesterday's events in Libya unfolded I was a bit taken aback by the utterances of both Obama and Harper.  I am now even more concerned after having viewed what is believed to be video of the last few minutes of Gadhafi's life.   It seems that Gadhafi was fleeing in a convoy that was, for lack of a better word, "strafed" by UN air forces, Gadhafi escaped and was found in a drainage culvert, taken out roughed up and shot. Today, it appears, the UN is calling for an inquiry into the above described events. Notwithstanding some historical claims that Libya was behind the Lockerbie bombing, (which I suspect has never been proven), do we, as a nation, approve of (probably better stated as "Am I the only one who questions the legitimacy of. . ?"): 1)sending military forces to a country without a declaration of war to unseat a head of state, 2) arranging for the killing of that head of state, 3)crowing about it afterwards and 4)then, with the complicity of silence, nod in affirmation as the UN quibbles sanctimoniously after the fact about the details of the coup de grace? 

The concern? That this involvement is a precedent.  Is it just mine or do others share it?
From: "S.McDowall"
Subject: On Video   Gaddafi's last words as rebels dragged him through street  -  Information Clearing House

This proves he did not get caught in any cross fire but this is the story we will still be fed.'
Clinton on Qaddafi: "We Came, We Saw, He Died". Video
"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared a laugh with a television news reporter moments after hearing deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi had been killed. "  She is a true psychopath

From: "Brian D. Marlatt"
Subject: Peace Arch News - Canadians not in Bush league

Canadians not in Bush league
Published: October 20, 2011 10:00 AM

Will we throw shoes?

That failed U.S. president George W. Bush – on whose watch neoconservative economics precipitated the 2008 recession and the second wave we are about to enter – should be invited to speak to the Surrey Regional Economic Summit is bizarre enough.

Beyond belief is the idea that in Canada, this nation, which invented peace-keeping through United Nations international co-operation, a city should invite a unilateralist U.S. president whose aggressive wars arguably meet the international definition of war crimes and who authorized "special rendition" of Canadians to Third World torture-chambers for "enhanced interrogation."

For those interested in the Bush message on economics, they need simply look to his neoconservative client government in Ottawa, which is following the same path to ruin.

What is graver still is the shame of perceived endorsement of a man who has shamed his country and who – in a world where might does not make right –would assuredly be tried before the International Criminal Courts for crimes against humanity and aggressive war.

Will we throw our shoes? Probably not, we're polite, we're Canadian.

But let our American friends know Bush is not welcome in polite society.

Brian D. Marlatt, White Rock

From: Richard Priestman
Subject: Who's bailing whom? Challenging the private credit system

Bravo to Jim Stanford.  This is the kind of leadership we need to see more of from our economists.

New post on Real-World Economics Review Blog   
 Who's bailing whom? Challenging the private credit system
by Jim Stanford 

The time since 2008 has been a crucial historical moment for progressive economists to pull back the green curtain that surrounds the operation of the for-profit banking system, and expose that system for what it is: a government-protected, government-subsidized license to print money.

The problem is, as soon as you start saying things like that, people conclude you are some kind of wacked-out conpiracy theorist nut-bar.  It sounds insane to claim that private banks have a license to create money out of thin air.  As John Kenneth Galbraith put it, "The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled."
Read more of this post

From: The Natroses

Joe, another must see video, on what else, money. It is Called The Wake-up Call 2

Hi Joe, Robert cited Martin A. Armstrong, although the radio link provided, is just another copy of the video link, I decided to do a search on him. Perhaps, it is the reason why we see few of the one percenters, or even 5 percenters speaking out against the current practices and policies of the big guys and governments. They might be made an example, and spend over 7 years in a federal maximum security prison, under contempt charges.  "Armstrong, who is divorced, has two children. [10] Martin Armstrong Jr. and Victoria Armstrong supported their father in what was, according to Martin Armstrong Jr., a "one sided legal battle." Armstrong's daughter Victoria Armstrong said, "It took nearly thirty years for my dad to develop this model and his refusing to turn over its source code to the government is a big reason why he has been held in jail for over seven years without a trial. His model was his life's work and his passion that ultimately landed him in jail. Although it's great to hear people that have benefited from his insight, after seeing what has happened to him I wish he kept it to himself."
The one percenters even eat their own, and I can't thinking about Conrad Black or Martha Steward. Jail for their small sins, but not for the big sins of the one percenters that has caused massive disruption, mass movement of wealth from the 99 percenters to the pockets of the one percenters. Meanwhile, the Occupy protesters are arrested, sometimes beaten up, and even arrested for the removal of their accounts at the major American banks. Well, the churches are stepping in, where 3 million dollars has been withdrawn, and put into the local credit union. Below is the video, and no the church did not get arrested, but just note, what would happen if all the churches, the local charities, small business owners, and so forth withdrew their accounts from the big banks and put them into the local credit unions across North America?  The billions earned by banks in service charges, is highway robbery. They even ripped off the people who only have a bank account, for paying their bills, without carrying a monthly fees. I just found out, $5.00 was being charged for each bill payment, and senior citizens are free. Talk about a rip off, but now the banks have gone lower now, by charging a extra monthly fee for the use of their debit cards. I suspect soon, in Canada it will be regular practice. Perhaps, we all should move our accounts to the credit unions, as a silent protest.
Two articles, regarding numbers and the manipulation of them. Be prepare to see more of them, telling Canadians we don't have much to complain of. That is if we don't mind paying over $6.00 for a pound of bacon, or $4.00 for a loaf of store brought bread, or paying an extra $100 for property tax this year on a $3500 tax bill, for receiving less services for more costs.
Check out the comments in the last link, above. Not fooling most of them.
Speaking about grocery stores, where only the junk food is on sale. Imagine a couple of weeks ago, I purchased a name brand cookie package for $1.64, that goes normally for $3.99. Now there is a few law suits on the go, concerning food manufacturers. "CSPI to file lawsuit against General Mills for selling 'fruit' snacks that don't even contain the fruit."
Learn more:
"Wonder just who's gonna benefit from abolishing the CWB? Grain farmers or owners of Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland Company?"
Well it won't be the farmers. I undertook a search regarding the two companies. They are just as bad as the oil companies. It does make me wonder,  the current retail prices of food are allow to go as high as the market can bare since their removal from tracking inflation as well as cost of living indexes, back in the 1980s I believe. It is not a coincidence, that eggs, milk, bread, cheese, and processed meats are fall into the range of the $4.00 for one unit, except for cheese, the bacon and other higher quality processed meats. The bread will be chosen, as well as eggs, but the rest are now considered luxuries or extras that are nice to have.
" Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) manufactures artificial sweeteners, cocoa, soybean and peanut oils, processes wheat and corn, and has a variety of other businesses including fish farms and a railroad.
• Between 1980 and 1995, ADM cost American taxpayers tens of billions of dollars to maintain subsidies on 43 percent of its goods.
• ADM is one of the leading producers of genetically engineered corn and is partly responsible for the "genetic pollution" of organic corn species.
• ADM was part of a suit brought against several companies by the International Labor Rights Fund (ILRF) for involvement in the trafficking, torture, and forced labor of children who cultivate and harvest cocoa beans that the companies import from Africa. "
Corporate welfare at its best. Just take a look at this law suit, and it really does make you wonder if one should not find out if the cocoa in your cupboard, was picked by slave labour, or the hands of children.
"On 14 July 2005, three individuals from Mali and Global Exchange (a human rights organization) filed a class action lawsuit in California federal court against Nestlé, Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill.  The individuals alleged they had been trafficked from Mali as child slaves and forced to work harvesting and/or cultivating cocoa beans on farms in Côte d'Ivoire.  The plaintiffs allege that they were forced to work long hours without pay, kept in locked rooms when not working and suffered severe physical abuse by those guarding them.  The plaintiffs allege that the companies aided, abetted or failed to prevent the torture, forced labour and arbitrary detention that they had suffered as child slaves.  The lawsuit alleges violations of the Alien Tort Claims Act, Torture Victim Protection Act, US Constitution and California state law.  The plaintiffs further claimed that the companies' economic benefit from the labour of children violates international labour conventions, the law of nations and customary international law."
Outcome of suit: " On 8 September 2010 the court dismissed the case finding that the case could not be brought under the Alien Tort Claims Act.  The court concluded that existing authorities did not demonstrate that corporate liability was sufficiently well established and universal to satisfy a claim under the Alien Tort Claims Act."
And Conrad Black went to jail?  But not the ones who practice child slavery? 
"Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) is one of the largest processors of oilseeds , corn, wheat and cocoa in the world, posting revenues of $62.9 billion. [1]It processes crops and makes them into food and Biofuels. "
"CARGILL has reported a 66 per cent slide in first-quarter profit as volatile markets limit opportunities for the agricultural commodity trader.
The US conglomerate, whose activities range from grain handling and storage to meat packing and energy trading, said four of its five business units reported lower earnings compared with a year ago as it reported its second straight quarter of decline.
Privately-held Cargill said it was focused on regaining momentum in earnings after reporting a record full-year profit for fiscal 2011.
Listed rivals including Archer Daniels Midland Co and Bunge Ltd seemed unaffected by Cargill's caution, with their stock caught in the broader bounce Monday"
"Starting this Friday in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa, the U.S. Department of Justice will be examining whether or not there is an an imbalance of power in the food industry – and, if so, whether remedying the imbalance will require any legal action.

A Series of Hearings

This examination will take place in a series of hearings entitled Agriculture and AntiTrust Enforcement Issues In Our 21st Century Economy.
The workshops will feature panels led by USDA secretary Tom Vilsack, Assistant Attorney General for Anti-Trust Christine Varney, farmers, and officials from some of the major agriculture corporations.
The corporations that are the subject of the investigation include grain processing companies Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Cargill, Inc., meat companies such as Tyson Foods Inc., and the biotech seed giant Monsanto."
I wonder if it turns out to be more of the same, the monkeys being blind, muted, and deaf to the food imbalance, and the takeover of food production, supply lines and as well as the market and retail prices, by the big guys?
And Ron, it all depends. The American public was sold a bill of goods and the lies that went with them, unlike WWII or for that matter WWI. A  number of retired Marines could make the point they were to sold a bill of faulty promises when they first enlisted. They did their part, and now they are being kicked to the curb by their own government, and told them to beat it. You gotta removed yourself from the cess pool of hypocrisy, and than you can see our governments are only working for the one percenters.