Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the campaign in Gaza will continue until Israel achieved “peace and tranquility” for residents of southern Israel.
Hamas has continued to fire rockets into southern Israel throughout the campaign, killing four Israelis. Hamas military spokesman Abu Obeida urged his followers Monday to fight Israeli forces in “every street, every alley and every house.”
Mr. Sarkozy denounced Hamas’s continued rocket attacks on southern Israel as “irresponsible and unforgivable” following a meeting Monday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Witnesses say Israeli forces have moved deeper into Gaza, rolling into the southern city of Khan Younis. Sources say fighting has also intensified on the outskirts of Gaza City and around the northern refugee camp of Jabaliya.
Gaza health officials say more than 550 Palestinians have been killed and another 2,500 wounded since the start of the Israeli military operation. French President Nicolas Sarkozy is among the international leaders who have called for a cease-fire.
Israel has strictly limited media access to Gaza during the operation.
There are always many reasons for an empire to decline then collapse under its own weight. The Pharoahs, Rome, UK and the list can go on and on. There are a few constants in the decline of an empire.
Decline in Morals and Values
Roads and bridges were left in disrepair and fields left untilled. Pirates and bandits made travel unsafe. Cities could not be maintained without goods from the farms, trade and business began to disappear.
The above list are some of the causes of the decline and collapse of the Roman Empire, but think about it. Do you see any similarities to what is happening in the good old US of A? There are that do see some form of similarities between the Roman Empire and the US.
The US has become a nation of consumers, thanks to all those false promises from “free trade” agreements. The country lives on credit, not work. Credit is the driving force of the American economy that is now feeling the drag from such policies.
The only way to stop the decline of the country is to find a way for the people to go back to manufacturing, saving and living within our means. If not then the decline will become complete and the US will become just another little country that makes nothing and needs everything.
An analysis written by John Case.
The economic outcomes of 2009 for working people, one year from now, is in the hands of the acutest political struggle which is emerging over how exactly government should intervene in the US economy to avert a depression? How much more, or what different kinds of, intervention will be required for recovery? And, what is Recovery?
On one wing conservatives still intoxicated with free-market-fundamentalism, or unprepared Republican Party organizers desperate to hold on to the crumbling remains of their “Reagan coalition” will, use every diversion to avert another 40 year long Democratic Party congressional supremacy, as followed the election of FDR, the passage of social security, the NLRA, unemployment insurance, etc. Already, blatant racism and immigrant bashing within the Republican Party leadership are reflecting the desperation. Expect to hear strong demands for protectionism, racist, nativist and isolationist ideas and provocations, from this group in response to the crisis. In addition this wing has yet to confront its numbness over finding that military might alone, or even in the main, will not meet the challenges globalization demands be solved: inequality, development, energy, democracy, climate change, universal labor and human rights. So far it does not appear as if any of Obama’s appointees are from this wing. However, to the extent these forces are able to block, distort, waste or significantly blunt the Obama stimulus campaign they shall remain the most dangerous threat to halting the current and dramatic economic free-fall and bringing the economy under effective control and management.
Another wing – lets call them the “formerly-neo-liberal-now-leaning-more-liberal” (FNLNLML) financial sector with allies throughout the real estate, insurance, manufacturing and defense sectors. Obama has several of these in his cabinet: Geithner, Summers, Volker, and for a while – Gates. On the economic side these forces represent the most powerful institutions of finance capital. They are prepared to spend as many dollars as it takes to stimulate the economy according to the advice of Keynesian economists. To varying degrees they embrace universal health coverage, liberalization of labor law, major public infrastructure and education investments, and restructuring of the financial, real estate, energy, transportaion and manufacturing sectors of the economy – pretty much the commanding heights of the economy.
Yet this wing’s chief weakness in democratic reforms or nationalizations is already evident in the US Treadury takeovers/bailouts of A.I.G, GMAC, and scores of banks and reborn-over-night-as-banks institutions scrambling to get a piece of the $700 Billion TARP funds passed last month by Congress. That weakness is spinelessness and feebleness when it comes to actually exerting its legal power to place the public interests over private ones in the execution of its duty – which is to restore confidence, liquidity and lending at adequate rates to financial markets, effect full employment and moderate inflation. In part this weakness is currently so pronounced because the government may have the legal authority to takeover management of the “too-big-to-fail” financial institutions, but not the ability or tools with which to really perform management functions.
The third wing are the millions of ordinary working people, notably organized labor, retirees, professionals, small business, the large majorities of African American, Latino, Asian, Women and Youth that became mobilized and activated in the grass-roots campaigns of the election season – especially the Obama campaign. This is the wing, the only one, that can remain consistent and insure the stimulus, revitalization and recovery promises of the Obama campaign can become real. This is the wing that understands stupid when it sees a failed car company management being bailed out for (now) over 20 billion dollars, when the government could have bought the company for $3 billion. This is the wing that must go to war with corporate and defense lobbying corruptions that left to their own half-hearted beneficence will divert a lions share of the stimulus support into futile and self-serving kickbacks.
Lets be straigtforward in defining exactly how to determine the minimum economic conditions by which a stimulus program may be judged successful: a) when full employment is restored; and b) when universal health coverage is enacted. Both are eminently doable, but both will require “a new birth of freedom” of association and mobilization by working people of the United States, and efective public instruments serving their will – to fufill all the social and economic tasks subordinate to this historic effort.
Its either going to be a breakthrough year for the peoples movements and organizations, or its going to be very bad.
First of all would you seriously invest with a person whose name is pronounced “made-off”?
Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC was examined at least eight times in 16 years by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other regulators, who often came armed with suspicions, the Wall Street Journal said.
SEC officials followed up on emails from a New York hedge fund that described Bernard Madoff’s business practices as “highly unusual,” the paper said.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the industry-run watchdog for brokerage firms, reported in 2007 that parts of the firm appeared to have no customers, according to the paper.
Madoff was interviewed at least twice by the SEC, the paper said, adding that regulators never came close to uncovering the alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme that investigators now believe began in the 1970s.
The SEC could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters.
The serial regulatory failures will be on display on Monday when Congress holds a hearing to probe why the alleged fraud went undetected, according to the Journal.
Among the key witnesses is SEC Inspector General David Kotz, who was asked last month by the agency’s chairman, Christopher Cox, to investigate the mess, the paper said.
See what having billions can do for you?
President-Elect Barack Obama may seek to save money and advance America’s space presence by promoting closer cooperation between the US military space programme and NASA, according to reports.
Bloomberg News, in an exclusive report, claims that “Obama’s transition team is considering a collaboration between the Defense Department and NASA… according to people who’ve discussed the idea with the Obama team”. However the news service also quotes Obama spokesman Nick Shapiro as saying that “The NASA review team is just asking questions; no decisions have been made”.
The problems America faces in space for the coming decade come in two main areas. Firstly, US manned spaceflight is planned to cease with the retirement of the space shuttle fleet next year – though NASA has been required by law to keep open the option of a shuttle extension until President Obama arrives in office.
Under the space agency’s current plans, no US astronaut could travel to space in an American ship until the new generation of Ares/Orion rockets and modules are ready, which can’t realistically happen any sooner than 2015. Barring a substantial, credit-crunch-flouting budget increase, NASA says that any extension of the shuttle fleet would push back Ares/Orion pretty much year for year – hence the agency is bitterly opposed to any such extension.
The problem with a gap in US manned spaceflight capability is primarily one of image and diplomatic leverage – for at least the first few years after Shuttle retirement, NASA could only get its astronauts to and from the substantially US-funded and operated International Space Station (ISS) aboard Russian Soyuz rockets. While a lack of personnel on the station might not have any very significant real-world impact on America, it would be a huge blow to US prestige. Even a delicately implied threat of such a withdrawal of cooperation by Russia could be hugely troublesome.
Meanwhile, the US military and intelligence community has been seriously rattled by China’s successful 2007 satellite-buster test. America’s spooks and armed forces are heavily reliant on satellites for global communications, navigation and surveillance. In particular, much of America’s ability to spot ballistic missile launches around the globe comes from spy satellites.
A Cold-War era moratorium on active space combat has held fairly well until now from the US point of view: the only major push which could really be viewed as a budding orbital strike force is America’s own missile-defence programme. America insists, of course, that it is nothing of the sort – it is merely an unfortunate side-effect that interceptors able to knock down intercontinental ballistic missiles are by their nature also able to hit satellites in low orbit.
Nonetheless, there are many in the Pentagon and the spy services who see China’s test as the opening of a new era of struggle for space dominance: and who don’t regard China as the only threat, either. With India now able to send a probe to the Moon, and even Iran claiming that it will be able to put payloads into orbit shortly, there will soon be a lot of new players on the orbital game board.
With hospitals overwhelmed by the shortage of supplies caused by weeks of on-and-off blockades and the enormous number of casualties, the need for foreign aid workers, in particular doctors, is greater than ever in the Gaza Strip. Why then, is a Red Cross team of doctors and nurses unable to enter the area?
The organization says the team has been waiting at the Erez Crossing for three days now. Initially their entry was denied by the Israeli military, citing security reasons, and while that decision was officially reversed the crossing has been closed ever since, keeping the team unable to provide aid to Gaza’s thousands of wounded.
The Swiss government condemned the move, calling on Israel to immediately reopen all border crossings to allow humanitarian aid into the strip, and urged both sides to respect the provisions of international humanitarian law, including allowing access to the victims of the war.
Russia’s military leaders approved a plan by the navy on Sunday to station warships permanently in friendly ports across the globe.
Underfunded since the 1991 break up of the Soviet Union, the Russian navy has been reasserting itself over the last year by chasing Somali pirates around the coast of east Africa and steaming across the Atlantic to visit allies in South America.
“The General Staff has given its position on this issue and it fully supports the position of the (Navy’s) main committee,” deputy chief of staff Colonel-General Anatoly Nogovitsyn told RIA Novosti news agency.
A resurgent navy has become central to a strategy for Russia — which enjoyed a decade of economic revival from 1998 — to project itself in foreign affairs.
In August a Russian diplomat said the navy was to make more use of a Syrian Mediterranean Sea port. Last month a Russian warship cruised off Cuba after visiting South America for the first time since 1991.
Nogovitsyn said Russia was directly negotiating with foreign governments to station warships at bases around the world permanently, although he declined to give exact details.
Few people are watching this situation and it is only a matter of time before the Russian bear raises its head again.
The six candidates vying to chair the Republican National Committee agreed at a forum Monday the party must return to core principles after its stinging election defeats.
Each of the candidates advocated for a greater role in opposing additional government spending and tax increases. The next RNC chairman will play a pivotal role as the party seeks to provide a counterpoint to Mr. Obama’s administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress.
Core Beliefs? Just what are those?
white is right
greed is good
business is best
labor causes all problems
middle class is a necessary evil to eliminate as soon as possible
education is only for those who can afford it
ditto for health care
global warming is a myth
war is good business–invest your sons and daughters
JUst what are their core beliefs?