...I COULD MURDER A CURRY.

Exodus.

https://v.dreamwidth.org/10920353/2729172

Hi there, folks! It's official. The day has come for the exodus. As announced here a couple weeks ago, Talk Politics will now be moving to DreamWidth, along with all its members, posts, comments and all activity. The new place is here:


Most of us are already on DW, and we'll be ceasing all activity on LJ and moving there completely from now on. Those who haven't registered to DW can do it HERE.

There's also a very simple way to import all your LJ to DW.

It's been 8 and a half years since the inception of this community. Now, 102 months, 7,425 posts and more than half a million comments later, we'll be coming to our new home. Greener pastures await! And it'll all be fun'n'joy, no doubt! :)

I hope you'll re-join us there, and we'll all keep having these awesome political discussions of ours!

Cheers,
The staff
sunrays

Grill baby grill

Hundreds of men, captured in raids against Al Qaeda extremists, have disappeared into a secret network of prisons in South Yemen, where torture and abuse is the norm and people are subjected to horrible forms of "interrogation", AP reports:

In Yemen's secret prisons, UAE tortures and US interrogates

One of the most shocking examples is the so called "grilling", where the subject is strapped to a "spit" as if to be baked alive, and they are rotated over a ring of fire.

AP's investigation has documented at least 18 illegal prisons in South Yemen that are run by the UAE or allied Yemeni forces, created and trained by the UAE. The reporters are citing testimony of former inmates and their families, lawyers and human-rights activists, and Yemeni military personnel.

These prisons were concealed, inaccessible to the local government, which gets aid from the UAE in its civil war against the rebels. The secret prisons are located in military bases, ports and one airport, in private houses and even in a night-club. Some inmates were transferred by air to an UAE base at the other side of the Red Sea, in Eritrea, Yemeni minister of the interior Hussain Arab said.

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toon

US health-care, a showcase of free-market failure

One of the problems with America is that EVERYTHING is for profit. Some services like health, public schools, and prisons should be provided by the state. There is simply no other way. Trickle-down economics and the invisible hand of the infallible free market does not work here (not to mention that it's bullshit).

The US has inferior healthcare that delivers inferior health for 3 times the price of other systems. No one wants to admit it. Everyone wants to make money by exploiting the weak, sick and elderly. FOX tells the ignorant that it is great and they believe it. It is a sad spectacle.

And this extends to other spheres of social life. The US healthcare is one of the most expensive in the world, sure. So much for market efficiencies. But take a look at schools. Public schools serve crap lunches to kids because big corporations lobby hard for these contracts. So your kid's health is secondary to corporate profits. The prison system is overflowing because it pays to have lots of people in jail. It's good for business. It seems that private corporations are extremely good at billing the government insane amounts of money for the crappy services they provide. What should operate as a free market economy is lost to private networks and good old cronyism - because after all, it's just taxpayers' money!

Corporate greed cannot come before the well-being of your citizens. This will only weaken the entire society over time. It was Mahatma Ghandi who said "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members". And it's true. Because whenever the social and economic gaps in a society widen beyond a certain critical point, major upheaval follows.

But of course politicians don't care about that. As long as they keep filling their pockets, it's all birds and roses.
We're doooomed.

People are freaking out about LJ these days...

...And perhaps for a reason. Maybe not exactly the right reason on this instance, but the reason we all want to believe we should be freaking out for. Do bear with me.

See, LJ seemed to have stopped working for some folks yesterday - I mean, they appeared to be blocked away from their own journals and the communities they were members in. Some suspected Putin's long hand had finally moved in to silence dissenting voices, or quash constructive pluralist debate and critical thought. Because his minions must be everywhere around the networks, sniffing and listening, and reporting back to their masters whenever someone says something bad about Dear Leader and the beautiful utopian new world he's building for us all. Maybe so.

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Groovy Kol

Doom and gloom once more?

A new financial crisis may be coming up in the emerging economies that could cause much more damage than 2008 - that is what a World Bank report says after having analysed the international transactions of the central banks of most major economies.

The dark forecast mostly causes concern about fast developing markets such as China, which the experts are showing signs of over-heating. And there is also the problem of backdoor local borrowing, which helps increase debt. They remind of the situation in the US and UK just before the 2008 crisis. Now these new problems could send the whole economy into another downward spiral for a few years. The central banks may find themselves compelled to abruptly raise the interest rates to fight inflation, which would otherwise suffocate economic growth.

China's rising debt, and Trump's promise of economic protectionism are the main causes for concern. Right now, China's debt is 166% of the GDP, which is double its size from a decade ago. The debt in other countries in the Asian-Pacific region is also rising - Thailand and Hong Kong for example.

The global economy is still recovering from the global crisis and the euro crisis from 2008-2010. In both cases, the systematic problems were caused by disproportionately large debt-to-GDP ratios, and this situation looks likely to repeat soon again.
wink

A bunch of lies we can believe in

There was a recent media forum in Bonn, Germany, where the main topic was the way Russia has increased its influence in Europe through the media and the Internet. The Russian media working abroad have recently gained a lot of success in manipulating the public opinion, and not just in the former Soviet republics or the former Soviet satellites in East Europe, but also in the West. Fake news is now everywhere, and the difference from the yellow press sort of news that we all know and have learned to hate to love, it's now all being directed and focused with a purpose.

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3D

The speech that made Europe

When George Marshall, Truman's secretary of state and former commander in chief of the US army visited Harvard to receive his honorary title in June 1047, the decision wasn't deemed too important by the press. The historians say his hosts at the university didn't know what he would say in his speech. But that speech marked the beginning of changes of enormous scale across post-war Europe. Within a single short paragraph, Marshall described the devastation in Europe and said it was logical that America would do whatever it takes to help restore the economic health of the world, because without a stable economy there could be no peace and stability anywhere. That day is considered the birthday of the Marshall Plan.

http://marshallfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/47.06.05-George-C.-Marshall-at-Harvard-300x269.jpg

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