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Mon, 10 Aug 2020
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House

National Average: 492 Days From Default to Foreclosure

man,flag
© Unknown

graph,loans
492 days in October 2010 versus an average of 382 days in October of last year.

"In other words, people who default on their mortgages can reasonably expect, on average, to stay in their homes rent-free more than 16 months. In some states such as New York and Florida, the number is closer to 20 months."

Eye 1

The Egyptian intifada and what it may mean for Israel/Palestine

egyptian,intifada
© Matthew Cassel
Immediately after the Friday prayers ended, tens of thousands of Egyptians in Cairo's Imbaba neihgborhood took to the streets calling for the overthrow of president Hosni Mubarak who has ruled the country for 30 years. Police fired tear gas and fired rubber bullets while protestors responded throwing stones and other projectiles.

The Egyptian uprising against the Mubarak regime is historic and important in its own right. But it may also lead to significant changes in the region that could be positive for the Palestinian cause. Israel is worried about a reliable ally being toppled next door.

The Mubarak dictatorship is a core pillar of the U.S./Israeli order in the Middle East, an order that completely ignores the wishes and aspirations of people on the ground. The U.S. and Israel are scared of the new order that is to come.

As As'ad Abu Khalil notes at his blog, "the Israeli strategy in the Middle East has been firmly set on the continuity of the Sadat-Mubarak dictatorship." Israel's peace agreement with Egypt in 1979 removed a military threat to Israel and secured millions of U.S. dollars and military support for the Egyptian dictatorship. The Mubarak regime got carte blanche for its repressive rule.

Che Guevara

Ken O'Keefe: Rise People Rise - The Global Revolution is Upon Us!

".....once in a generation...we get a chance for freedom...this is our chance.."

I have for many years lived with the knowledge that we, the masses, the working class, the poor, the white, the black, the brown, the immigrants, the Christians, the Muslims, the atheists, the soldiers/ex-soldiers, the peaceniks, the communists, the anarchists, the students, the people, across the spectrum, we all have a common cause. And yet, we have so tragically allowed ourselves to be duped, to be pitted against each other, fighting each other, finding a million ways to divide ourselves, or simply to be indifferent to each other. In this the tyrant's smile, they laugh and they joke, about how complete their control over us is. They have been laughing for far too long.


Dollar

Ayn Rand Railed Against Government Benefits, But Grabbed Social Security and Medicare When She Needed Them

Ayn Rand
© AlterNet

Ayn Rand was not only a schlock novelist, she was also the progenitor of a sweeping "moral philosophy" that justifies the privilege of the wealthy and demonizes not only the slothful, undeserving poor but the lackluster middle-classes as well.

Her books provided wide-ranging parables of "parasites," "looters" and "moochers" using the levers of government to steal the fruits of her heroes' labor. In the real world, however, Rand herself received Social Security payments and Medicare benefits under the name of Ann O'Connor (her husband was Frank O'Connor).

As Michael Ford of Xavier University's Center for the Study of the American Dream wrote, "In the end, Miss Rand was a hypocrite but she could never be faulted for failing to act in her own self-interest."

Family

America Needs Community, Not Collectivism

beehive
© n/a
Tyranny thrives by feeding on human necessity. It examines what sustains us, what we hope for, what we desire, what we love, and uses those needs as leverage against us. If you want safety, they will take it away and barter it back to you at a steep price. If you want success or respect, then you must bow to the existing arbitrary pecking order and play the game nicely. If you want to raise a family, then you must accept the state as a part-time parent. If you want kinship, then you must settle for a thin veneer of empty pleasantries and insincere associations. If you want independence, then you are simply labeled as a threat and done away with altogether. Autocratic rulers are first and foremost salesmen; they convince us that life itself has a "cost", that we are born indebted, and all bills must be made payable to the establishment. First and foremost, we are sold on the idea that in all of this, we are ultimately alone...

It is within these manipulated concepts of cost and isolation that we discover the foundation of all totalitarian cultures: Collectivism.

Collectivism is not a space age invention or a product of the abstract musings of Marxists, though many seem to think that their version of a hive society is "new" and certainly better than anything ever attempted in the past. No, collectivism is a psychological prison derived from a beneficial instinct as old as humanity itself; the instinct to connect with others, to share experiences and knowledge, to build and create together. It is an instinct as essential to our survival as breathing. Collectivism uses this instinct as a weapon. It is a corrupted and poisoned harnessing of our intuitive nature. It is an inadequate and cancerous substitute for something which normally invigorates and supports healthy culture: true community.

Cheeseburger

The Dangers of Treating Food as a Strategic Asset

Farming
© Unknown

Inside a secure compound at Canadian Security Intelligence Service headquarters this week, I had the rather odd experience of talking to spies about farming.

The spooks at CSIS, like their counterparts in other countries, have recently become obsessed with such loamy topics as marginal crop yields, soil salinity, Indonesian rice futures and dairy-supply bottlenecks. This week, they played host to scores of agrarians, crop economists, agricultural-threat analysts and farm specialists from a dozen countries in an urgent summit on food security, a meeting in which crop-irrigation ratios were treated with the sort of gravity that, a few years ago, would have been reserved for jetliner flight-training facilities in Florida.

And little wonder. As the intelligence officials listened to analyses of Indian irrigation policies and some rather silly talk about Islamist "agroterrorism threats," the world outside was blowing up over food.

The uprising inflaming Egypt on Friday began, let us not forget, with crowds marching in Cairo on Tuesday to chants of "Bread and freedom!" The Tunisian revolution began in December as a bread-price protest. Neither event was ultimately about food, but its increasing share of the household budget became a catalyst for larger tensions.

Comment: See "Doomsday Seed Vault" - Bill Gates, Rockefeller and the GMO giants know something we don't? for more 'food for thought' on why the spooks are so interested in food security right now. As we have noted here on SOTT, Earth Changes are well under way and may cause significant disruptions in the food supply chain.


Eye 1

Mohamed ElBaradei: "If Not Now, When?"

mohamed el baradei
© Lukas Beck / The New York Times
Pro-democracy leader Mohamed El Baradei is calling for Western leaders to explicitly condemn Egypt's current President Hosni Mubarak.

If Western leaders, who have backed the dictator Mubarak for 30 years, cannot stand before the Egyptian people today and say unequivocally, "we support your right of national self-determination," when can they do it?

That's the question that Egyptian democracy leader and Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei has put before Western leaders today.

Speaking to The Guardian UK in Cairo, before the planned protests today, ElBaradei stepped up his calls for Western leaders to explicitly condemn Mubarak, who, as The Guardian noted, has been a close ally of the US:
"The international community must understand we are being denied every human right day by day," he said. "Egypt today is one big prison. If the international community does not speak out it will have a lot of implications. We are fighting for universal values here. If the west is not going to speak out now, then when?"

Bandaid

Israeli NGOs Are Entrenching the Occupation

Image
© Baz Ratner
The army has difficulty effectively controlling its units, and so the task is taken up by the human rights’ organizations.
The Knesset's decision to probe the human rights' groups funding sources, a move motivated by the right's desire to clamp down on the organizations' activity, should be denounced on several accounts.

However, the right-wing parties should be interested in continuing these organizations' activity, for the simple reason that they - albeit unintentionally - are advancing those parties' long-term interest: entrenching the occupation.

In the past decade organizations such as B'Tselem, Machsom Watch and even Breaking the Silence have entered the vacuum in the government's control over the army and in the senior command's control over the field units. The center of gravity of conducting the warfare in the midst of the Palestinian population has been diverted, as is characteristic of this kind of policing-warfare, from the high command to the lower field command, which frequently exercises unbridled force on the population.

The army has difficulty effectively controlling the units, and so the task taken up by the human rights' organizations.

Sherlock

Medical examiner: Pentagon official John Wheeler died after assault

Image

John P. Wheeler III, a former Pentagon official and the first chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, "died as a result of blunt force trauma after being assaulted," the Delaware medical examiner's office said Friday.

A toxicology analysis also was done during the autopsy, but the results were not released.

Police are still trying to determine who committed the crime.

Che Guevara

New protests erupt in Yemen

Image
© AFP
Cyborg? Protests have been taking place calling for an end to Ali Abdullah Saleh's rule which began in 1978.
Dozens of activists calling for the ouster of Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen's president, have clashed with government supporters in Sanaa, the country's capital.

Plainclothes police also attacked the demonstrators, who marched to the Egyptian embassy in Sanaa on Saturday chanting "Ali, leave leave" and "Tunisia left, Egypt after it and Yemen in the coming future".

The chants were referring to the ouster of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia early this month and to continuing demonstrations against Hosni Mubarak, the president of Egypt.

No casualties have been reported in the Yemen clashes.

Tawakel Karman, a female activist who has led several protests in Sanaa during the past week, said that a member of the security forces in civilian clothes tried to attack her with a dagger and a shoe but was stopped by other protesters.