Saturday, June 07, 2008

Tensions

Photo of Chicago from http://www.flickr.com/photos/artamnesia/174269593/

"Like Detroit and other Midwest 'rustbelt' cities, Chicago has been decimated by decades of deindustrialization, losing hundreds of thousands of steel, trucking, railroad, meatpacking and other relatively decent-paying jobs since 1979. From 2000 to 2005 alone, the region lost 22.2 percent of its manufacturing jobs. The official jobless rate, which grossly underestimates the real situation, rose to 5.4 percent in April, up from 4.7 percent last year.

"Nearly 600,000 people—or one out of every six residents—live in poverty. The poverty rate for children is one out of three. Most poor residents live in extreme poverty, according to the Heartland Alliance, with an annual income less than half the government’s official poverty line.

"An astounding 85 percent of Chicago public school students live in poverty, according to federal statistics." - Chicago youth violence: An indictment of the US Democratic Party

General Teed Michael Moseley

"The sudden sacking of both the senior civilian and military commanders of the US Air Force Thursday is symptomatic of the growing tensions within an American government dominated by militarism and torn by divisions over what strategy Washington should pursue to defend its global interests...

"Are the Air Force chiefs being sacked in preparation for using America’s airpower in another criminal war of aggression, potentially against Iran, under conditions in which the Pentagon’s uniformed command is already deeply dissatisfied with the over-extension of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan?" - US Air Force purge: Growing tensions within a militarized state

"Irish voters may torpedo the European Union's reform treaty after a dramatic swing in public opinion put the 'no' camp in the lead for the first time, a poll published Friday suggested.

"The survey in the Irish Times newspaper said 35 percent of voters intend to reject the treaty in Thursday's referendum, while 30 percent would vote yes. The rest said they were still unsure or did not plan to vote." EU's reform treaty hangs in balance as Irish poll shows 'no' camp ...


"Since the EU gates effectively opened in 2004, the population of Cambridgeshire alone has swelled by at least a million... Practically overnight... officers experienced a surge in crime... Drink driving was up, and officers noticed that more and more of those they arrested were of Eastern European descent. Knife crime became a huge issue, with knives being pulled to settle almost feudal arguments. Brothels started to appear, with all the associated unpleasantries, such as people-trafficking and kidnapping. Exploitation of workers was next... It was the Iraqi Kurds who were first highlighted as a group with a tendency to carry knives. 'In Iraq they carry a knife for self-protection, so we found that many of the young Iraqi men did the same here, and if there was a feudal dispute the knife was pulled. Then we started seeing the same thing with the Lithuanians and the Poles, again because it was something they did back home for protection. " - Why a leading police chief says it's NOT racist to tell the truth about immigration and crime

Maxime Bernier

Canada: "On Monday, May 26, Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Bernier had admitted to a 'serious' national security breach... Couillard’s and Bernier’s relationship had first been raised publicly in early May, after several newspapers published, at the prompting of Liberal and Bloc Quebecois (BQ) MPs, articles referring to Couillard’s string of romantic relationships with biker-gang leaders and associates. Over the course of more than a decade, Couillard had a series of partners with well-documented ties to biker gangs involved in illicit activities, including drug-trafficking and loan-sharking." - Canada: Firing of foreign minister fails to staunch reactionary furor over security breach

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