Fundamental Human Rights

The Right to a Sustainable Future [Filtered & blocked by Google!]

Posts Tagged ‘money’

Ethiopia: Humanity’s Ground Zero

Posted by terres on June 15, 2008

The Land of Death

  • Some 4.6 million people need assistance, compared to 2.2 million before the drought.
  • As many as 75,000 children are already suffering from acute malnutrition.
  • Six million Ethiopian children under five may be at risk of malnutrition.
  • In 1985 one million Ethiopians died of famine.
  • The UN wants $325 million to provide 400,000 tons of food.

It’s time someone sat down and calculated all the money that the UN et al and all other relief agencies and humanitarian organizations have received on behalf of the Ethiopians in the last quarter of century, and asked:

What exactly have you done for these poor souls?


One of thousands of livestock carcasses litter the ground around Goraye in the drought-stricken Borena zone of Oromia region, Ethiopia in this file photo from March 25, 2006. Drought in Ethiopia has caused food shortages, killed livestock and more than doubled the number of people needing urgent humanitarian aid to 5 million, the United Nations said on Friday. REUTERS/Andrew Heavens. Image may be subject to copyright. See RTSF Fair Use Notice!

The Ethiopia-Somali Connection

Warlords Next Door?

Channel 4 (UK) Video Documentary

Dispatches reveals how key politicians at the heart of the vicious fighting in Somalia – described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis – enjoy incredibly close links to Britain. They have British or EU passports, their families live here and they commute between Somalia and homes in English cities. British taxpayers are financing them in the name of democracy – yet in Somalia they are linked to allegations of mass murder, torture, extortion and corruption. [See Video Reports]

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Posted in environment, GENOCIDE, human rights, politics, racism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Black Holes Suck!

Posted by terres on June 12, 2008

One Day Soon, A Tiny Wall Street Black Hole Will Suck In the Rest of Your Assets! —TERRES

Casinos on Wall Street

by Ralph Nader
June 10, 2008

Move over Las Vegas. The big time gamblers are on Wall Street and they are gambling with your money, your pensions, and your livelihoods.

Unlike Las Vegas casinos, these big investment banks, commercial banks and stock brokerage houses are supposed to have a fiduciary relationship with your money. They are supposed to be trustees for the money you have given them to safeguard, and tell you when they are making risky investments.

Because Washington, D.C. has increasingly become corporate-occupied territory, the Wall Street Boys have been taking even greater risks with your money. The more they produce cycles of financial failure, the more they pay themselves through their rubberstamp boards of directors.

With each cycle of failure, the burden of government bailouts grows larger, meaning debt, deficit and your tax dollars. The Savings and Loan collapse in the late Eighties—costing before the bailout instruments are paid off at least $500 billion, looks small by comparison with what is going on today.

Why is it that these financial bosses never learn? Because they never pay for their gambling. They may be let go, as happened recently to the CEOs of Merril Lynch and Citigroup, but they ride away from their managerial wreckage loaded with compensation and severance gold. Some of it is clearly hush money from those buddies they left behind.

Now comes the latest installment of disastrous management that has been running the venerable Wall Street investment bank, Lehman Brothers. With its stock plummeting because of avaricious risktaking with other people’s money, mixed up with their huge pay packages, Lehman Brothers’ employees look to their leader, Richard S. Fuld. For some time, he and his fellow executives would exude confidence about their ability to manage their risking financial instruments compared to their tanking competitors.

This week, the Lehman Emperor really had no clothes. Mr. Fuld reported a staggering $2.8 billion loss in the second quarter, exceeding the most dire forecasts. Even the hedges that Lehman used to temper the losses from its mortgage investments soured, adding to the losses.

It was just last April that Mr. Fuld announced his belief that “the worst is over” in the markets. For this type of management, he got paid $40 million last year, or nearly a million dollars a week, not counting vacations.

The Wall Street Boys, like all charlatans, develop words and phrases to dress up their megagambling practices. They say they are trying to avoid a “crisis of confidence” when these proclaimed capitalists go to Uncle Sam for a socialistic bailout. That only increases the “moral hazard”—another euphemism—and sets the stage for another round of reckless Wall Street Goliaths being deemed “too big to fail”.

One of Wall Street’s sharpest analysts—Henry Kaufman—believes that the “too big to fail” phenomenon undermines market discipline and encourages the smaller firms to merge with the larger companies to avail themselves of Washington’s bailout criteria.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal last August, Mr. Kaufman acutely traces the growth of ever more complex, abstract financial instruments, removed from their empirical underpinnings in the economy, accelerated by the lightening speed of computerized transactions. He called for “increased supervision over financial institutions and markets.”

“Supervision” was once called federal regulation. Call it what you will, Mr. Kaufman is not expecting anything soon. He writes: “In today’s markets, there is hardly a clarion call for such measures. On the contrary, the markets oppose it, and politicians voice little if any support. For their part, central bankers [read, the Federal Reserve] do not posses a clear vision of how to proceed toward more effective financial supervision.”

Though couched in polite, non-normative language, this is a very troublesome indictment of corporate intransigence and regulatory paralysis. Since August 2007, the situation has gotten worse with the Wall Street Boys producing more huge losses and phony asset valuations.

A few weeks ago, former Federal Reserve Chairman, Paul Volcker, delivered an address in New York voicing similar worries and calls for “supervision,” as did Mr. Kaufman, though in his own inimitable style.

Other astute, former men of Wall Street, have raised alarms about the stock and derivatives marketplace, including former SEC chairman, Arthur Levitt and William Donaldson. Long before anyone came cautionary wisdom of John Bogle, who pioneered stock market indexing and launched Vanguard Fund. (See his new book, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns)

Still, there is no regulatory action in Washington which doesn’t even move on behalf of consumers to regulate the New York Mercantile Exchange where rampant speculation, not supply and demand, decides what you are paying for gasoline and heating oil.

With the politicians sleepwalking in Washington, while their campaign pockets are filled by Wall Street cash, isn’t it time for the people of America to rouse themselves civically and politically? Act before the financial sector, using your money, shreds itself under the weight of its own top-heavy greed and cliff-hanging mismanagement.

For starters, start demanding more from your politicians, much more!

Posted in bush, china, environment, human rights, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Do the Poor Have Human Rights?

Posted by terres on June 2, 2008

What Has Soaring Food and Fuel Prices Got to Do with Human Rights?

Whose fault is it If the poor can’t afford food? Give them more money and you create a bigger problem: Inflation.

It’s not the job of your government to control these things you know, they have more important things to do: National security and the Economy (!)

The poor don’t come with engines and wheels; you can’t drive them like cars. Why should they get all the grains at dirt cheap prices, when biofuels bring in a decent profit and help turn the wheels?

Neither the UN nor the so-called global relief organizations seem to care about the plight of the world’s poor. So, once again, do the poor have human rights?

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Buffet the Poor

Posted by feww on May 25, 2008

Warren Buffet: World’s biggest moneybag [AND CO2 producer]

The United States is in a recession, one that will be longer and deeper than most people expect, said Warren Buffet, the world’s biggest moneybag.

“[T]he people are already feeling the effects,” said Buffet. “It will be deeper and last longer than many think.”

The world’s moneybags have only one goal in mind: To make more money than everyone else, despite the environmental and social consequences. “If the world were falling apart I’d still invest in companies,” Buffet said.


Warren Buffet listens to a question during a news conference in Madrid May 21, 2008. REUTERS/Andrea Comas. Image may be subject to copyright. See RTSF fair Use Notice!

Invariably, they blame someone else for the ills they create. Buffet, as usual, blamed the derivatives market.

“It’s not right that hundreds of thousands of jobs are being eliminated, that entire industrial sectors in the real economy are being wiped out by financial bets even though the sectors are actually in good health.”

Buffet bemoans the “lack of effective controls,” as if the system ever had any.

“That’s the problem,” he said. “You can’t steer it, you can’t regulate it anymore. You can’t get the genie back in the bottle.”

Thank you for Lesson One, economy 101, Mr “B,” and may you live long enough to witness the full scale of the environmental and social catastrophes, the impact of your lot’s casino economy on the world. May you live in interesting times!

Related Fact:

  • Warren Buffet’s Net Worth: $62.0billion [Warren Buffet produced at least 30.628MMT of CO2 in 2007]
  • Combined Net Worth of World’s Richest 100 : $1,725 billion
  • No. of World’s Billionaires : 1,125
  • Combined Net Worth of World’s Billionaires : $4,384 billion (source)
  • No. of people who live on less than $2 per day: About 4 billion (Source)

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Posted in environment, human rights, inequality, politics, poverty, US, wealth | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

China Quake: Why Was the Girl Removed from Family?

Posted by feww on May 23, 2008

Why was the Wenchuan girl photographed below separated from her parents? Where is she now?


[Why is this girl being taken away?] “A girl waves goodbye to her parents as she is airlifted out of the earthquake-hit city of Wenchuan, Sichuan province May 22, 2008. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause (CHINA)” (Image may be subject to copyright. See RTSF Fair Use Notice!)

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Posted in ACTION, china, chinaquake, climate change, communists, corruption, CPC, CPC Central Committee, deathtraps, disaster, disaster relief, environment, food, food prices, foreign policy, free world, health, Hu Jintao, human rights, humanitarian crisis, mainshock, Mianyang city, new zealand, Olympics, pandemics, paratroopers, plague, politics, prostitutes, rescue team, second wives, Sichuan, storm, tourism, travel, water rationing, water shortage, wealth, Wen Jiabao, Zhao Deqin, Zhou Yongkang | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Bigger China Disaster Unfolds

Posted by terres on May 22, 2008

We all know that earthquakes are natural disasters. But what happened to our children also has human causes, and they’re even more frightening. —A grieved parent who lost his son.

Zhao Deqin Lost Her 15-year-old Twins, Yajia and Yaqi

JUYUAN, China (Reuters) – Zhao Deqin keeps a kerbside memorial to her twin daughters killed when their school collapsed in China’s earthquake, and a petition-signing site alongside that has become a focus of protest by grieving parents.

The most lamented victims of the quake that shattered parts of Sichuan province in southwest China eight days ago have been the thousands of children killed when school buildings collapsed.

Earthquake survivor, Zhao Deqian, the mother of twins Zhao Yajia and Zhao Yaqi, 15, who were killed when their school building collapsed in the earthquake, cries at their memorial altar in the town of Juyuan in the quake-hit area of Dujiangyan, Sichuan province, May 20, 2008. REUTERS/Nicky Loh (Image may be subject to copyright. See RTSF Fair Use Notice!)

As the ruling Communist Party seeks to maintain a staunch front of unity and stability after the quake, the incipient protests by parents could be troublesome, for many of them blame official graft and laxity, more than nature, for the deaths.

“How come all the houses didn’t fall down, but the school did? And how come that happened in so many places?” Asked Zhao.

“This was a tofu dregs project and the government should assume responsibility,” said Pu Changxue, whose son Pu Tong died in a classroom.

“To think that I lived and they died,” said an old woman living opposite Zhao’s shrine. “That is just too unfair.” (Source)

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