What if the Chinese have perfected a neo-Confucian system (with surprising resemblance to Machiavelli’s “The Prince”) that melds an oppressive and fascistic state with laissez faire capitalism, creating greater strength for both than has ever been seen before on Earth? And they are using this to both co-op and change our values, to take over our corporate and economic system, and to ultimately gain control of our political system? What if they were already well over halfway to that goal?
It all sounds a bit far-fetched to somebody raised on a steady diet of American corporate news. But the corporate news in this country is coming from the very corporations that are profiting from and empowering the Communist Chinese new Reich. We’ve been intentionally deceived, by “useful idiots” like Tom Friedman and openly staged news events like those surrounding the Yasukuni shrine “controversy” or the Sino-Japanese “war” over the Senkaku islands.
In the Jaws of the Dragon: America’s Fate in the Coming Era of Chinese Hegemony is one of the most powerful, shocking, well-written, solidly documented, tear-the-scales-from-your-eyes books I’ve read in more than two decades. If you have any concern whatsoever about the future of American democracy, about peace in the world, about your own personal economic and political future, you must read this book.
Eamonn Fingleton, the author and former editor for Forbes and the Financial Times, has really done his homework."
"I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear."
Obama's speech in Cairo, June 4, 2009.
"Last week, former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke also embraced the position that Sotomayor is racist, while claiming that he, on the other hand, has “consistently supported true equal rights”. "
"The meeting that we held today was very productive and I want to commend you for your leadership -- and the hard work your Committees are doing on health care reform, one of the most urgent and important challenges confronting us as a Nation.In 2009, health care reform is not a luxury. It's a necessity we cannot defer. Soaring health care costs make our current course unsustainable. It is unsustainable for our families, whose spiraling premiums and out-of-pocket expenses are pushing them into bankruptcy and forcing them to go without the checkups and prescriptions they need. It is unsustainable for businesses, forcing more and more of them to choose between keeping their doors open or covering their workers. And the ever-increasing cost of Medicare and Medicaid are among the main drivers of enormous budget deficits that are threatening our economic future.
In short, the status quo is broken, and pouring money into a broken system only perpetuates its inefficiencies. Doing nothing would only put our entire health care system at risk. Without meaningful reform, one fifth of our economy is projected to be tied up in our health care system in 10 years; millions more Americans are expected to go without insurance; and outside of what they are receiving for health care, workers are projected to see their take-home pay actually fall over time.
We simply cannot afford to postpone health care reform any longer. This recognition has led an unprecedented coalition to emerge on behalf of reform -- hospitals, physicians, and health insurers, labor and business, Democrats and Republicans. These groups, adversaries in past efforts, are now standing as partners on the same side of this debate.
At this historic juncture, we share the goal of quality, affordable health care for all Americans. But I want to stress that reform cannot mean focusing on expanded coverage alone. Indeed, without a serious, sustained effort to reduce the growth rate of health care costs, affordable health care coverage will remain out of reach. So we must attack the root causes of the inflation in health care. That means promoting the best practices, not simply the most expensive. We should ask why places like the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, and other institutions can offer the highest quality care at costs well below the national norm. We need to learn from their successes and replicate those best practices across our country. That's how we can achieve reform that preserves and strengthens what's best about our health care system, while fixing what is broken.
The plans you are discussing embody my core belief that Americans should have better choices for health insurance, building on the principle that if they like the coverage they have now, they can keep it, while seeing their costs lowered as our reforms take hold. But for those who don't have such options, I agree that we should create a health insurance exchange -- a market where Americans can one-stop shop for a health care plan, compare benefits and prices, and choose the plan that's best for them, in the same way that Members of Congress and their families can. None of these plans should deny coverage on the basis of a preexisting condition, and all of these plans should include an affordable basic benefit package that includes prevention, and protection against catastrophic costs. I strongly believe that Americans should have the choice of a public health insurance option operating alongside private plans. This will give them a better range of choices, make the health care market more competitive, and keep insurance companies honest.
I understand the Committees are moving towards a principle of shared responsibility -- making every American responsible for having health insurance coverage, and asking that employers share in the cost. I share the goal of ending lapses and gaps in coverage that make us less healthy and drive up everyone's costs, and I am open to your ideas on shared responsibility. But I believe if we are going to make people responsible for owning health insurance, we must make health care affordable. If we do end up with a system where people are responsible for their own insurance, we need to provide a hardship waiver to exempt Americans who cannot afford it. In addition, while I believe that employers have a responsibility to support health insurance for their employees, small businesses face a number of special challenges in affording health benefits and should be exempted.
Health care reform must not add to our deficits over the next 10 years -- it must be at least deficit neutral and put America on a path to reducing its deficit over time. To fulfill this promise, I have set aside $635 billion in a health reserve fund as a down payment on reform. This reserve fund includes a number of proposals to cut spending by $309 billion over 10 years --reducing overpayments to Medicare Advantage private insurers; strengthening Medicare and Medicaid payment accuracy by cutting waste, fraud and abuse; improving care for Medicare patients after hospitalizations; and encouraging physicians to form "accountable care organizations" to improve the quality of care for Medicare patients. The reserve fund also includes a proposal to limit the tax rate at which high-income taxpayers can take itemized deductions to 28 percent, which, together with other steps to close loopholes, would raise $326 billion over 10 years.
I am committed to working with the Congress to fully offset the cost of health care reform by reducing Medicare and Medicaid spending by another $200 to $300 billion over the next 10 years, and by enacting appropriate proposals to generate additional revenues. These savings will come not only by adopting new technologies and addressing the vastly different costs of care, but from going after the key drivers of skyrocketing health care costs, including unmanaged chronic diseases, duplicated tests, and unnecessary hospital readmissions.
To identify and achieve additional savings, I am also open to your ideas about giving special consideration to the recommendations of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), a commission created by a Republican Congress. Under this approach, MedPAC's recommendations on cost reductions would be adopted unless opposed by a joint resolution of the Congress. This is similar to a process that has been used effectively by a commission charged with closing military bases, and could be a valuable tool to help achieve health care reform in a fiscally responsible way.
These are some of the issues I look forward to discussing with you in greater detail in the weeks and months ahead. But this year, we must do more than discuss. We must act. The American people and America's future demand it.
I know that you have reached out to Republican colleagues, as I have, and that you have worked hard to reach a bipartisan consensus about many of these issues. I remain hopeful that many Republicans will join us in enacting this historic legislation that will lower health care costs for families, businesses, and governments, and improve the lives of millions of Americans. So, I appreciate your efforts, and look forward to working with you so that the Congress can complete health care reform by October."
"Mr. Gustavo R. Zlauvinen assumed his duties as Representative of the Director General of the IAEA to the United Nations and Director of the IAEA Office in New York on 4 September 2001. Since 2006 he is also the chairman of the Working Group on “Preventing and Responding to WMD terrorist attacks” of the UN Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF).Mr. Zlauvinen joined the Argentine Foreign Service in 1986. Upon graduating from the Diplomatic Academy, he served in various capacities in Buenos Aires, Vienna and New York. From 1987 to 1989 he served with the General Directorate for Disarmament and Nuclear Affairs at the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs; from 1989 to 1990 he was a member of the Argentine Regulatory Commission of Exports of Military Equipment; and, from 1990 to 1991 he served as Director of International Relations at the Argentine Space Agency (CNIE), in Buenos Aires." Nuclear proliferation. North Korea, Iran, there was a report yesterday about Iran that was from Cheney's office not based on facts. not happy with North Korea test. We need to look at ways to convince them it is not a good idea. They have been investigating Iran for years. Iran has signed the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, so the IAEA has authority to go in and check. They cannot go and check other facilities beyond those they declare, so if there are doubts about clandestine facilities, they cannot go look. India, Israel and Pakistan have not signed, and North Korea has withdrawn. They get intelligence. It is a huge country. Satellites are helpful but not like in James Bond movies. How to get them to open up more, how they can convince us? For 20 years they did nuclear stuff without declaring it, so there is a loss of trust. We cannot read their minds. Risk of WMD, particularly nuclear, terrorist attacks in the U.S. or elsewhere? Nuclear technology has spread. Every country should learn how to check. The effect of the non-signers? Many other countries have nuclear weapons too, he is pleased Obama and today John McCain called for eventually getting rd of all nuclear weapons on the planet.
"Berlusconi must answer allegations of womanising and questions about inappropriate behaviour. The quality of government is a not a private matter"
We can either have cap and trade, or tax carbon use. Tax may be easier, but it will not work and there will be no political support, so they are going for cap and trade. The European Union has cap and trade. Experiment. We know how to make it work but it is not an unrestricted success. The benefit has been to traders, not the environment. Learning as we go. There are too many free permits. If China won't sign off, and India say yes but don't act, America and Europe will have to radically cut back. In India and China, the Himalayan glaciers would melt, disrupting river systems.
"Patrick McCormick is currently the Emergencies Communication Officer in the Media Section of UNICEF in New York where he leads media outreach on emergencies. Prior to this post, Mr. McCormick was a Communications Officer on UNICEF’s Children and AIDS Campaign, “Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS”. From 2004-2004 he worked for UNICEF’s Regional Office in Bangkok and directed its communication work on the East Asia and Pacific region, and prior to this was Chief of the Communication Section at UNICEF’s Innocenti Research Centre in Florence. Mr. McCormick has also served as UNICEF’s Spokesperson in Geneva, in addition to working on emergencies in Somalia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Balkans War and Kosovo, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has also covered emergencies such as Myanmar from New York. He began his career with UNICEF in 1994, when he covered the Rwandan genocide. "
Thom, in case you missed the news yesterday:
‘Gay penguins’ rear adopted chick.- 6/3/09
The zoo, in Bremerhaven, northern Germany, says the adult males - Z and Vielpunkt - were given an egg which was rejected by its biological parents.
It says the couple are now happily rearing the chick, said to have reached four weeks old.
"Saahir Lone is Senior Liaison Officer at the UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) Representative Office to the United Nations in New York, where he has served since September 2004. The Office promotes the interests of the Palestine refugees at the UN General Assembly, the Secretariat and other relevant UN bodies. The UNRWA Representative Office also undertakes public outreach with media and civil society organizations, and is responsible for donor relations with the United States and Canada.Between November 2000 and September 2004, Mr. Lone worked in Office of the Commissioner-General at UNRWA Headquarters in the Gaza Strip. Responsibilities there included support to UNRWA’s senior management, liaison with the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and stakeholder Governments, and reporting to the UN.
Prior to working with UNRWA, Mr. Lone was Programme Coordinator at United Palestinian Appeal. Mr. Lone, an American national, has a Master’s Degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University."Jordan has the largest Palestinian population, 1.7 million. How is life for Palestinians? Where it is relatively stable, they are doing better than in the West Bank and Gaza strip. Are they still segregated in Jordan, what rights do they have? They are relatively well integrated, but still attached to Palestine. There is land on the West Bank, the problem is the conflict not space. Canonization. Today Obama got a standing ovation in Cairo, quotes the Koran, uses the term Palestine. Iran, the president was challenged.
"Has Ben Bernanke suddenly become a deficit hawk?"