Search This Blog

Monday, November 24, 2008

Bank eat bank: Bailout encourages mergers

Banks are reportedly using their bailout money to buy up smaller banks instead of helping homeowners

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Report: US Uses Aid to Promote Non-Humanitarian Goals

The Development Assistance Research Associates (DARA) Humanitarian Response Index 2008 measures how effectively the world's 23 largest donors deliver aid. The United States ranked 15th in overall effectiveness and only 13th in the level of generosity measured by the size of its economy.

But it ranked near the bottom, 22nd, when it came to adherence to principles and guidelines established by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to ensure that political considerations don't exclude worthy recipients of aid.

DARA's findings reflect what it called the United States' use of humanitarian assistance to achieve military or political goals in eight crisis zones the group studied, including Afghanistan, Colombia and the Palestinian territories. . . read more

Thursday, November 20, 2008

G20 Summit started an ideological war?

Can socialist planning work?

With economic crisis sweeping the globe, many people are asking if there is a better way to organise society. Kate Connelly and Esme Choonara explain how a planned socialist economy might work.

Planning does exist under capitalism – but it takes place within individual firms rather than across society as a whole.

Capitalism is also extremely undemocratic. Even in the parts of the world where we get to vote for parliamentary representatives, we have no control over most economic decisions that shape our lives.

Because production isn't tied to what people need, crises occur where companies find that their products can't be sold. Karl Marx explained that capitalism is the first economic system where you can have a crisis of overproduction, rather than a crisis of scarcity.

Socialist planning is about completely different priorities – producing for need, not for profit. It is impossible to determine what those needs are without extending democracy and involving the mass of the population in decision-making. . . . read more

The G-20 Summit: A Vote of Confidence for Capitalism?

The global financial crisis has produced a wide array of critics, but no pairing has been stranger than what you might call the capitalism-in-crisis coalition. Anti-government ideologues on the right and anti-business activists on the left are both arguing that capitalism is under threat, though from very different forces. The right-wingers fear that federal market intervention is just the tip of a socialist spear, while the left-wingers gleefully declare that the crisis is proof of capitalism's inherent failure. . . . . read more

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

G20 outcome

G20 Summit ends with action plan

G20 leaders have a nice dinner, but do not deal with how to make financial institutions serve the public

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

US Presidential Election 2008 – the First Casualty

A voter hotline set up by CNN to monitor polling problems received 56,000 calls, 22,000 of them being complaints. The most common problems concerned voter registration, absentee ballots going astray and voting machine malfunctions.

With the stakes high, there were reports of dirty tricks and legal battles, as well as what is now customary chaos at American polling stations. Voter intimidation, faulty machines, late poll openings, missing ballot papers and even the rain brought problems.

Police in Philadelphia were called to a polling booth where two members of the black power group the Black Panthers guarded the door, one of them armed with a knight stick, intimidating voters. One of the men was told to leave.

The voter who called the police said that one of the men told him: "A black man is going to win the election. We're tired of white supremacy."

Observers elsewhere in Pennsylvania complained of "pandemonium" where Republican poll watchers, whose job is to monitor the integrity of the voting, were apparently removed from polling sites in direct violation of a recent state court ruling.

In Virginia both Republicans and Democrats launched lawsuits. John McCain's campaign demanded a 10 day extension to the counting of absentee ballots to ensure all overseas military ballots are counted. A judge rejected Democrat calls for more voting machines to cope with higher turnout in black areas.

In several states, election officials ruled that anyone in line when the polls close would be allowed to vote, causing the counts to drag on for hours.

Democratic voters in Toledo, Ohio, reported receiving automated robocalls designed to keep them at home. The calls warned that voting lines were long and that they could express their preference using their telephone key pad instead.

In Florida, where officials have fought to escape their reputation as an international laughing stock after the Bush-Gore recount debacle eight years ago, there were still problems, with papers rejected by the counting machines when voters failed to fill in details on the reverse of their ballots.

Electoral officials were unable to set up a polling station at a church in Tallahassee, the state capital, because they couldn't wake up the pastor. A sheriff's deputy had to drive up to his house and blast his car siren to wake him up.

There was also evidence of voter fraud. Tampa resident Michael Baccich, 57, was one of several voters who arrived to vote only to be told that he had already cast an absentee ballot.

Voters in Cuyahoga County, Ohio were only given half a ballot paper, causing their votes to be void. New voting machines also went down in Philadelphia, New Jersey and Cleveland, Ohio. In New Hampshire the State Republican Committee went to court complaining that their poll workers were kept away from new voter registration tables, making it impossible for them to check that people were properly registered.

A blast of rain sweeping up the East coast disrupted voting in Virginia and North Carolina, key election bellwethers. In Chesapeake County, Virginia, voters drenched in the squall were asked to dry off first after their optical vote scanner was unable to read damp ballot papers.

Thousands had their wet papers quarantined in separate bins while they dried out before officials scanned them in again.

In Kansas City, Missouri, officials were operating for several hours with the wrong set of registration papers making it difficult to check whether voters had the right to cast their ballots.

Eight years after he left the White House and seven months after she abandoned her own presidential bid, Bill and Hillary Clinton remained at the eye of the storm. Mrs Clinton attracted complaints for conducting an interview within feet of the polling booths, a violation of election law that bans electioneering 100 feet of voter booths.

Extracted from Telegraph

Search Box

Import - Export Business

Search Box