Tag Archives | American Empire

Tear Gas Canister Stamped ‘Made In USA’ Used Against Egyptian Protesters

Tear Gas in EgyptVia HuffPo. Richard Engel reporting for NBC News:

You talked earlier about anti-American sentiment and a lot of that has been because the United States while today the Press Secretary is saying how they’ve been talking about Egypt and the need for reform and bringing up this at every meeting that’s not the way many Egyptians see it. Most Egyptians see the United States as having stood solidly by President Mubarak while the government here grew more and more corrupt.

And they see the Americans as complicit in it. And just today, for example, when we were out on streets this is what a lot of people were showing us about American involvement. If you can see in my hands this is one of the tear gas canisters and very clearly written in English on it, it says “Made in the USA by Combined Tactical Systems from Jamestown, Pennsylvania.” And they say this is the kind of support that the United States has been giving to the Egyptian government and bears some responsibility, although today it it trying to say that it never backed Mubarak so much, it has been calling for reforms for a long time, Egyptians don’t see it that way.

Continue Reading

The Federal Reserve Is Going Broke

Seal of Federal Reserve SystemEveryone’s favorite private business pretending to be a government agency by using “Federal” in its name — no not Federal Express, I’m referring to the Federal Reserve — may be on its way to going broke according to economics professor (and consultant to the Minneapolis branch of the Fed) Varadarajan Chari. From Reuters:

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s journey to the outer limits of monetary policy is raising concerns about how hard it will be to withdraw trillions of dollars in stimulus from the banking system when the time is right.

While that day seems distant now, some economists and market analysts have even begun pondering the unthinkable: could the vaunted Fed, the world’s most powerful central bank, become insolvent?

Almost by definition, the answer is no.

As the monetary authority, the central bank is the master of the printing press. It can literally conjure up money at will, and arguably did exactly that when it bought about $2 trillion of mortgage-backed securities and U.S.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

America in Decline: Why Germans Think We’re Insane

Tea PartyDemocrats Ramshield writes in Alternet:

As an American expat living in the European Union, I’ve started to see America from a different perspective.

The European Union has a larger economy and more people than America does. Though it spends less — right around 9 percent of GNP on medical, whereas we in the U.S. spend close to between 15 to 16 percent of GNP on medical — the EU pretty much insures 100 percent of its population.

The U.S. has 59 million people medically uninsured; 132 million without dental insurance; 60 million without paid sick leave; 40 million on food stamps. Everybody in the European Union has cradle-to-grave access to universal medical and a dental plan by law. The law also requires paid sick leave; paid annual leave; paid maternity leave. When you realize all of that, it becomes easy to understand why many Europeans think America has gone insane.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

How The American Dream Ended

dreamsIt feels as if every media outlet has lamented 21st century America’s declining fortunes and crisis of confidence. Still, it’s interesting to read German paper of record Der Spiegel‘s outsider perspective on the death of the American dream. The United States comes off as a rotted, moribund shell:

Florida was the finale of the American dream, a promise, a symbol, an American heaven on earth, because Florida held out the prospect of spending 10, perhaps 20 and hopefully 30 years living in one’s own house. For decades, anywhere from 200,000 to 400,000 people moved to the state each year. The population grew and grew — and so too did real estate prices and the assets of those who were already there and wanted bigger houses and even bigger dreams. Florida was a seemingly never-ending boom machine.

America has long been a country of limitless possibility. But the dream has now become a nightmare for many.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Is American Influence Making the Internet Prudish?

PuritansGood question. Jane Fae Ozimek writes in the Register:

Is US dominance of the internet — and particularly of the social networking space — leading to the export of US prudery across the globe? Or is the growing debate on international censorship a little more complicated?

As Becky Dwyer, a US citizen and, as member of CAAN Scotland, a campaigner for less censorship in the UK put it: “Isn’t this more about American Corporations forcing conformity upon private individuals rather than ‘American’ values?”

First off, examples of US social networking sites coming down hard on subscribers who fail to toe the line set by Ts & Cs are widespread. Let’s start with global social networking site, Facebook. Readers will by now be more than familiar with its policy when it comes to boobs: namely that above-waist nakedness, if it appears to be in the least bit sexualised, is a definite no-no…

Continue Reading

U.S. Firms Lose Out in Bidding for Iraq Oil Fields

Iraq Oil FieldPatrick Martin writes on World Socialist Web Site:

In a clear signal of the declining influence of American capitalism, even in a country conquered and occupied by the US military, companies from China, Russia, Malaysia and Angola, along with several European oil giants, won most of the rights for exploration and development of Iraq’s oil fields.

The concessions were awarded Friday and Saturday by the Iraqi oil ministry, after a competitive auction in which joint ventures of European and Asian companies won the lion’s share. Of the ten concessions awarded so far, including in an earlier auction, US-based companies will play the lead role in only one, while getting a lesser share in a second.

The most aggressive bidder was the China National Petroleum Company (CNPC), while Lukoil and Gazprom of Russia, and European firms like Royal Dutch Shell, ENI (Italy), British Petroleum, Statoil (Norway) and Total (France) all won bids.

Read the rest

Continue Reading