Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for June 13th, 2011

What you’re not hearing about so you can hear about all the Anthony-Weiner–non-news

Posted by Charles II on June 13, 2011

Tempers are at the boiling point in China. Tania Branigan, The Guardian:

Rioters burned police and fire vehicles in a third day of unrest in southern China’s manufacturing heartlands, witnesses have reported.

Hong Kong broadcasters reported that armed police fired teargas as they sought to disperse the crowd and detained at least a dozen demonstrators.

The clashes, which began on Friday after a fracas between security officers and a pregnant street vendor in Xintang, Guangdong province, highlight Chinese authorities’ struggle to control social frustrations. It is thought that most protesters were migrant workers like the vendor.

Last week hundreds of migrant workers clashed with police in Chaozhou, also in Guangdong, following a dispute over unpaid wages. In Lichuan, Hubei, as many as 2,000 protesters attacked government headquarters last Thursday after a local politician who had complained about official corruption died in police custody.

China needs to raise living standards, especially in rural areas to reduce the flux of migrant labor (and the tensions that accompany it). Higher living standards will help create the civil society necessary to balance official power. The imbalance leads to corruption and police brutality.

One could say the same about the United States. Government trampling on civil liberties, corporate lawlessness, and a sense of impunity by the wealthy is the consequence, in part, of declining living standards for the general population. If wealth inequality is not reversed, the United States will cease to be a democracy.

Not that it’s a particularly shining example of one now.

Meanwhile, somewhere in America

Posted in China, corruption, totalitarianism | Comments Off on What you’re not hearing about so you can hear about all the Anthony-Weiner–non-news

FBI Aspires to Be Stasi

Posted by Charles II on June 13, 2011

That’s what Emptywheel says, and I think she’s right. No legitimate law enforcement agency wants this much power.

By the way, we had a period when the FBI had this much power. It produced COINTELPRO, which is regarded as a success exclusively by the FBI (and not all of them, I’m sure).

Posted in FBI, totalitarianism | Comments Off on FBI Aspires to Be Stasi

A gift for climate change deniers

Posted by Charles II on June 13, 2011

A catalog of where the major scientific societies stand on global warming aka climate change aka climate chaos.

The existence of facts does not stop FOX Noise, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, or Rush Limbaugh from lying about them.

Nor prevent the supine rest of the media from acting like there’s any serious debate over the issue in the scientific community.

Posted in climate change, liars, news media | Comments Off on A gift for climate change deniers

Will Perps Behind $8.8 Billion Iraq Money Theft Be Punished? Probably Not, As Many Of Them Likely Were Bremer’s CPA Babies

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 13, 2011

I see the Pentagon’s finally admitting what we knew to be true ages ago:

After the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the George W. Bush administration flooded the conquered country with so much cash to pay for reconstruction and other projects in the first year that a new unit of measurement was born.

Pentagon officials determined that one giant C-130 Hercules cargo plane could carry $2.4 billion in shrink-wrapped bricks of $100 bills. They sent an initial full planeload of cash, followed by 20 other flights to Iraq by May 2004 in a $12-billion haul that U.S. officials believe to be the biggest international cash airlift of all time.

This month, the Pentagon and the Iraqi government are finally closing the books on the program that handled all those Benjamins. But despite years of audits and investigations, U.S. Defense officials still cannot say what happened to $6.6 billion in cash — enough to run the Los Angeles Unified School District or the Chicago Public Schools for a year, among many other things.

For the first time, federal auditors are suggesting that some or all of the cash may have been stolen, not just mislaid in an accounting error. Stuart Bowen, special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, an office created by Congress, said the missing $6.6 billion may be “the largest theft of funds in national history.”

The mystery is a growing embarrassment to the Pentagon, and an irritant to Washington’s relations with Baghdad. Iraqi officials are threatening to go to court to reclaim the money,
which came from Iraqi oil sales, seized Iraqi assets and surplus funds from the United Nations’ oil-for-food program.

I wonder how much went for black ops, how much went for bribes, and how much simply went into the back pockets of the young College Republican and AEI sheltered-workshop kiddie types Paul Bremer picked to run the Coalition Provisional Authority?

Posted in Iraq war, Oil, our tax dollars at work | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

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