Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pentagon Unable to Account for Trillions: interview with Stephen Glain

I've taken issue with interviewer Aaron Task before, and I note the on-screen graphic says that Glain(author of State vs. Defense: The Battle to Define America's Empire)wants the Pentagon's pension system reformed, so I'm curious of the nuts and bolts behind this and what Glain means by reform in this context. I can't help but be skeptical, wondering if it's another example of demonizing federal employees. ("Reform" seems to have rapidly become the new softer word for cutting something you were previously entitled to in mediaspeak.)

What about the pallets of US dollars being sent to Afghanistan they refer to? What are they for? I wish I could remember where I saw somebody suggest that the military has a semi-secret policy of bribing locals to not kill our soldiers.

At least they mention the expense of our many overseas military bases and wars. (Also, to credit Task when it's due, note that he points out that often Americans don't realize that we spend very little on foreign aid, or at least much less than is commonly believed.)

Original link, at Yahoo here. [via a commenter at Economic Populist]

via Jeffrey St Clair:
China’s Nuclear Power Plans Unfazed by Fukushima Disaster, David Biello:

In the wake of the Fukushima meltdowns, some nations are looking to move away from nuclear power. But not China, which is proceeding with plans to build 36 reactors over the next decade. Now some experts are questioning whether China can safely operate a host of nuclear plants.

NYT photo-essay, "Where Children Sleep"

via Ian Welsh:
Who Rules America? Breaking Down the Top 1%

A complex and discrete set of laws and exemptions from laws has been put in place by the top 1% of the U.S. financial system. It allows them to protect and increase their wealth and significantly affect the U.S. political and legislative processes.

Ministers plan removal of rioters’ benefits -

Kiran Stacey, Political Correspondent

...Ministers are drawing up controversial plans to remove benefits from those convicted of taking part in the riots that engulfed England last week, in a move Liberal Democrats and independent experts have condemned as counter-productive and overly expensive.

Officials in Number 10 and the department for work and pensions are putting together plans for the harsh punishment of those found guilty of even the most minor infringements during the riots after a public petition calling for such a move gathered nearly 200,000 signatures.

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