Welcome to Bennett's Study

UNCONSCIONABLE: http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/author/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/book/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/excerpt/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/contact/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/buy/ SearchTerm=Carolyn+LaDelle+Bennett http://www2.xlibris.com/books/webimages/wd/113472/buy.htm http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/AdvancedSearch/Default.aspx? http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx

http://todaysinsight.blogspot.com

Friday, December 12, 2014

Africa Beyond Bretton Woods, Indigenized will Rise: Justina Mutale


Africa’s progressive future must reject Bretton Woods-IMF-World Bank-Washington Consensus oppression
From a Zambian’s interview with Press TV
Editing by Carolyn Bennett

“The Western world has been built on African resources

 

[Built] …using African’s toil, African sweat, African labor, African intellect from slavery to colonization and now we have foreign investment, which comes with tax dodging and land grabs - always taking away from Africa.
 

“We have let other people control the economy, that is why we are so rich – and yet so poor,” Zambian Justina Mutale said in an interview last fall with Press TV.

 “If Africans can hold the industries, the economy, the wealth and everything in their own hands and control that, then Africa has a chance to develop and be what it needs to be to find its rightful place in the world.”


With the 15-member states Southern African Development Community (SADC) together with the whole of Africa, Mutale said, “We have the bargaining power, if only African leaders can realize that. We have what it is that builds the world, that which has always built the world.”
 
Progress blocked must be overcome

Mutale recalled her homeland “soon after independence. She said “Our own President Kaunda (Kenneth David Kaunda, Zambia’s first president, 1964-1991) and his government embarked on what we called ‘Zambianization’ in which he hoped that eventually Zambians would be able to take over the industries, take over the management of everything that we needed to do.”
 
Kaunda had been a teacher, having walked in the footsteps of his father, a teacher and an ordained Church of Scotland missionary. The son led the struggle for independence from British rule, founded the Zambian African National Congress and later headed the United National Independence Party.
 
A
fter Zambian independence, Mutale said, President Kaunda and his government insisted that there must be an emphasis on “free education for all – every school, growing child was eligible to be educated free of charge by the government.” She said there was a governmental provision for “free health … to keep people healthy and to educate people.”

Then foreign intervention drove back the country’s attempt at progress, self-sufficiency, access to education, and the rise of its people. Halfway through Kaunda’s plan came “structural adjustment programs” – trade policies imposed by a global order driven by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) through the Bretton Woods system and Washington Consensus.
 
The term Washington Consensus coined in 1989 by English economist John Williamson references a set of 10 relatively specific economic policy prescriptions Williamson considered the ‘standard’ reform package promoted by Washington, D.C.–based institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and the US Department of the Treasury – “for crisis-wracked developing countries.”  Among these imposed prescriptions (brutishly disregarding indigenous needs and traditions, skills and talents) were: “macroeconomic stabilization, economic opening with respect to both trade and investment, and the expansion of market forces within the domestic economy.” [Wikipedia]
 
The Bretton Woods system of monetary management – the first example of a monetary order to govern monetary relations among independent nation-states – is known for having established global rules for commercial and financial relations among major industrial states in the mid-20th century. Chief features of the Bretton Woods system oblige countries “to adopt a monetary policy that maintains the exchange rate” by tying currencies to gold and enabling “the IMF to bridge temporary imbalances of payments.” [Wikipedia]

B
eyond Bretton Woods, rejecting the Washington Consensus, what is imperative for Africa’s progress, Justina Mutale says, is “the indigenization of industries, of the economy, of the wealth of Africa.” This, she said, “is a good economic model for Africa.”




Sources and notes

“West advances agenda to hold Africa back: Justina Mutale” Press TV interview with Justina Mutale, September 23, 2013, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/09/23/325579/west-seeks-to-hold-africa-back/
  
Justina Mutale of Zambia is the recipient in 2013 of the WAF-MDG Award in recognition of her efforts toward the actualization of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals presented by the Women Advancement Forum; and the International Honorary Award presented by the Global Women Inventors and Innovators Network Conference (GWIIN) in Accra, Ghana. Mutale has worked with the London (England)- based Gender Section of the Commonwealth Secretariat, a membership of 54 countries that promote the advancement of gender equality; and with the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Justina Mutale is currently affiliated with and/or advocates for World Leaders Forum Dubai, International Women’s Think Tank, and Enough Food for Everyone Campaign IF. She was educated at the London Metropolitan University.

Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign: “The world produces enough food for everyone, but not everyone has enough food. In 2013, the IF campaign – with the support of tens of thousands of people across the UK – called on governments to take action on global hunger.”
http://enoughfoodif.org/about-campaign

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is an inter-governmental organization headquartered in Gaborone, Botswana. Its goal is to further socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among 15 southern African states. It  complements the role of the African Union. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_African_Development_Community

Kenneth David Kaunda (also known as KK, b. April 28, 1924), first President of Zambia (1964-1991), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Kaunda

Bretton Woods system, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bretton_Woods_system


Washington Consensus, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Consensus

______________________________________________________

A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

______________________________________________________

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

30-point UDHR Legacy, Promise, Potential for Generations Grossly Violated

US Torture 
“Common standard of achievement for all peoples, all nations to the end that every individual, every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education

…to promote respect for these rights and freedoms, by progressive measures, national and international

Caught in
US Interminable Wars
…to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance – both among the peoples of (UN) Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction."


Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Articles excerpted (ref Britannica) with minor edit by Carolyn Bennett


Hon. Eleanor Roosevelt
UN Declaration of Human Rights
1948
Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of person.

Article 4: No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6: Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7: All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8: Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Guantanamo Bay
USA
Article 10: Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair, and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11: 1. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

2. No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13: 1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.

2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14: 1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.

2. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15: 1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.

2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16: 1. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

2. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17: 1. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18: Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20: 1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

2. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21: 1. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

2. Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

3. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22: Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23: 1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.

3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24: Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25: 1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26: 1. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

2. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

3. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27: 1. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28: Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29: 1. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.

2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.

3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30: Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.



International Human Rights Day 2014

“Together, we must demand what should be guaranteed: our human rights, universal, indivisible, inalienable, for everyone, 365 days a year," said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, in a statement on Human Rights Day December 10, 2014.

"The UN Human Rights Office stands with the millions of people around the world whose voices are denied."


Sources

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) . (2013). Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Deluxe Edition. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica

"Marking international observance, UN declares 'Every day is Human Rights Day'," http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=49562#.VIirKNLF9OM

Human Rights Day December 14, 2014, Theme: "Human Rights 365",
http://www.un.org/en/events/humanrightsday/

______________________________________________

A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora
______________________________________________

Monday, December 8, 2014

Violence is Violence in and around colleges, military, homes, city streets, country roads

Sexual Assault on Female Students, Dark Deeds in (not only in) Home of Jefferson
Editing, brief comments by Carolyn Bennett

T
he University of Virginia was founded by America’s second vice president (1797–1801) and its third president (1801–09), Thomas Jefferson. It received its charter in 1819 with Jefferson as the first rector of its board of visitors (the governing body). US Presidents James Madison and James Monroe also served on UVA’s board of visitors. Aided by Virginia State Senator Joseph C. Cabell (1778–1856), the school’s chief fundraiser, UVA was established as a public, coeducational institution of higher learning in Charlottesville, Virginia, its campus set on 1,000 acres (405 hectares) near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. [Britannica]
 
Now it is one of many great places and institutions, including the United States of America itself, that have been brought down in shame because of deplorable acts, including the failure to act assertively, of citizens, leaders and not leaders, public officials and not public officials.  

Fairfax City, Va. 2005: 26-year-old woman assaulted while walking home from supermarket

Linked with later assaults


Charlottesville 2009-2010: Morgan Harrington assaulted, murdered

Twenty-year-old Morgan Harrington had traveled with friends to the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, Va., to attend a concert. Police reports said it was the night of October 17, 2009. The young woman went outside the John Paul Jones Arena to use the restroom. She could not get back in and “became separated from her friends.” FBI reports said she was last seen after 8:30 p.m. trying to hitch a ride from passing motorists.
 

July 2010: DNA evidence links Harrington case to 2005 sexual assault case in Fairfax City, where an assailant grabbed the 26-year-old woman from behind, carried her from Rock Garden Drive to a nearby wooded area, assaults her then flees the scene of the crime. The young woman, according to police, had been walking home from a Giant on Jermantown Road around 10 o'clock on the night of September 24, 2005.


Charlottesville 2014: Hannah Graham, assaulted, murdered

18-year-old University of Virginia student Hannah Graham had reportedly spent Friday evening September 12, 2014, close to campus “drinking and socializing with friends.” She then headed “out on the town around midnight [and] By 1 a.m., she was seen wandering the Downtown Mall, about a mile and a half from her apartment. She sent messages to friends indicating that she was lost.” Witnesses reportedly saw Graham with 32-year-old Jesse L. Matthew Jr. of Charlottesville near Tempo restaurant shortly after 1 a.m. Hannah Graham is reported to have vanished with this man in the early hours of September 13, 2014. 

The body of U-Va. student Hannah Graham “was found about five miles from a hayfield where the remains of slain Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington were discovered in 2010, 101 days after she went missing in October 2009.”

 
A
s to recent coverage of the issue of sexual assault, it appears that part of a Rolling Stone story failed due diligence. Its editors apparently rushed to press without sufficiently checking all the facts concerning another UVA case. Tom McKay speaks to the upshot of the story in terms of both journalism practice and the human issue of sexual assault.

The case matters, he says, “since the story received prominent national attention and a highly publicized response from University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan, who promised a full investigation.”

However, “the unfortunate reality is that any collapse of the Rolling Stone story (viz., the telling of ‘Jackie’s’ story) will likely tar the testimony of other rape victims who have stepped forward.” Nonetheless, other stories “should not be written off….”

The University of Virginia, he says, “still has to answer for its wretched record on sexual assault” and “the national media would do well to remember that 1 in 5 college women will be raped during their time in higher education.

“There are countless real victims whose stories need to be told, and their importance has not diminished just because one story has some pretty bad holes in it.”

America's violence is not just in and around and covered up on its campuses.
  
R
eported December 3, 2014, in a USA Today was an update on the issue in an article by Tom Vanden Brook. In the US military, “the number of troops reporting sexual assaults jumped 63 percent” – from 2,828 in 2010 to 4,608 in 2014”. And, as in 2010, 2014 found “almost the same number of troops — 19,300 of them — reporting unwanted sexual contact.”
US Drone war on Pakistan

However, “Women who experienced and reported unwanted sexual contact — anything from groping to rape” also reported that personnel retaliated against them. Most of the women reportedly said, “They felt social retaliation from peers or co-workers.”


Victims of
US Drone war on Yemen
Violence is violence is violence wherever it is and whoever commits it. 

It will not stop until it stops – whether in the acts of war and conflict, or by those at war; whether on campus or on streets or country roads. 

When we stop tolerating violence, stop turning a blind eye to it, stop making excuses for it against anyone anywhere, violence will end.  




Sources and notes


Washington Post reports

By Justin Jouvenal September 30, 2014, http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/morgan-harrington-case-gets-major-break/2014/09/30/d796126e-48b5-11e4-891d-713f052086a0_story.html

By T. Rees Shapiro October 18, 2014, “DNA evidence to the investigations of two violent crimes: a sexual assault in Fairfax City in 2005 and the abduction and slaying of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington, 20, in October 2009, police have said,” http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/police-to-hold-briefing-in-hannah-graham-case/2014/10/18/9a22d396-570a-11e4-892e-602188e70e9c_story.html

By T. Rees Shapiro October 24, 2014, “Authorities identified remains as those of missing University of Virginia student, Hannah Graham” (Reuters), http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/authorities-confirm-body-is-u-va-student-hannah-graham/2014/10/24/6b71988c-5ac7-11e4-b812-38518ae74c67_story.html

T. Rees Shapiro December 5, 2014: “The Rolling Stone allegations shook the campus at a tumultuous moment, as the university was still mourning the death of U-Va. sophomore Hannah Graham. Her body was found five weeks after she disappeared in Charlottesville. Jackie’s story [in Rolling Stone] empowered many women to speak publicly about attacks on them but it also immediately raised questions about the decisions Jackie made that evening — not going to a hospital or reporting the alleged crime to police or the school — while some expressed doubt about her story altogether.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/u-va-fraternity-to-rebut-claims-of-gang-rape-in-rolling-stone/2014/12/05/5fa5f7d2-7c91-11e4-84d4-7c896b90abdc_story.html

News.Mic, Mic Report

By Tom McKay December 5, 2014: “The problem: In the original story by  Sabrina Rubin Erdely's, which remains on the Rolling Stone website here, Jackie claimed that she had been lured upstairs during a Phi Kappa Psi party and raped by seven men on top of a broken glass table on September 28, 2012. Rolling Stone’s investigation claimed that Jackie’s story was subsequently ignored by college administrators. It further noted that the University of Virginia was among the 12 of 86 schools under federal investigation for their response to sexual assault cases flagged for a total ‘compliance review.’” http://mic.com/articles/105838/rolling-stone-may-have-set-the-fight-against-college-sexual-assault-back-decades?utm_source=Mic+Check&utm_campaign=cf0e40ad8e-Mic_Report_12_5_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_51f2320b33-cf0e40ad8e-285308977

Rolling Stone

By Sabrina Rubin Erdely November 19, 2014

“A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA: Jackie was just starting her freshman year at the University of Virginia when she was brutally assaulted by seven men at a frat party. When she tried to hold them accountable, a whole new kind of abuse began,” Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/a-rape-on-campus-20141119#ixzz3LL3EcGwp

“Last month, Rolling Stone published a story entitled A Rape on Campus which described a brutal gang rape of a woman named Jackie during a party at a University of Virginia fraternity house, the University’s failure to respond to this alleged assault – and the school's troubling history of indifference to many other instances of alleged sexual assaults. The story generated worldwide headlines and much soul-searching at UVA. University president Teresa Sullivan promised a full investigation and also to examine the way the school investigates sexual assault allegations.…

“In the face of new information reported by the Washington Post and other news outlets, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account. ...

“We published the article with the firm belief that it was accurate.

“Given all of these reports, however, we have come to the conclusion that we were mistaken in honoring Jackie’s request to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account. In trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault, we made a judgment – the kind of judgment reporters and editors make every day.

“We should have not made this agreement with Jackie and we should have worked harder to convince her that the truth would have been better served by getting the other side of the story.

“These mistakes are on Rolling Stone, not on Jackie. We apologize to anyone who was affected by the story and we will continue to investigate the events of that evening.” http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/a-rape-on-campus-20141119


USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/12/03/pentagon-sexual-assault-obama/19836227/
___________________________________________________________

A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

___________________________________________________________

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Credit, No; Cash/check, Yes says Ralph Nader

Self-Emancipation from 
Debt Slavery
Excerpt, editing by Carolyn Bennett

“Ten reasons” Nader prefers “cash or checks over plastic”


PAY LATER slavery


1.      Plastic lays the groundwork for massive, daily invasions of privacy.

Personal purchasing data now floats around the world without controls. The data mining industry is everywhere and both government and hackers can get into peoples’ files.

As Facebook and Google demonstrate, it is almost impossible to keep up with the sharing of your personal information.


2.      Once you enter the credit economy you fall under the controls of arbitrary credit rating and credit scoring merchants.

Thus, if you complain strenuously to an auto dealer or insurance company, if you are a victim of false information in your credit file, or even if you have too many credit cards, your credit can suffer so that you pay more or are denied loans.


3.      The credit card economy, with its anti-competitive no-surcharge rules, etc. is inflationary and affects negatively consumer purchasing power as well as lower savings rates.


4.      Credit card issuers often approve consumers for credit cards with maximum spending limits that are too high considering their salary or lack thereof.


5.      Credit cards encourage impulse buying. The industry knows this very well.

Swiping a plastic card – rather than opening a wallet and directly taking out cash – creates, in the consumer, a disconnecting of purchase from loss of money.


6.      Credit card ‘terms’—what Senator Elizabeth Warren calls ‘mice print’—are mostly inscrutable and non-negotiable.

You sign on the dotted line, shut up, and shop.

Companies rarely compete over fine-print ‘terms’ that favor the consumer.

Compare, with a suitable microscope, the standard form contracts of Visa, MasterCard or Discover or GM, Ford and Toyota, or Bank of America, Citigroup or Wells Fargo.

Consumers have been driven into a choice-less contract of peonage or contract servitude.


PAY NOW freedom


7.      Using cash/check encourages consumers to live within their means and not get caught in an ever deeper cycle of debt.

For instance, if you are out shopping with cash and set a budget for yourself, it is impossible to overspend – if you simply do not bring more than has been allocated for your purchases.

 
8.      Paying by cash/check avoids the gouging of fees, penalties, termination charges, and of course, sky-high interest rates for consumers.

Corporations, on the other hand, enjoy low-interest rates across the board. (Remember, however, checks have a fee if they bounce.)


9.      Paying by cash/check—say in a restaurant—saves time and follow-up monitoring for errors.

Furthermore, it prevents the addition of any fraudulent charges to the bill.


10.  Paying by cash/check avoids having to give away your personal property to the likes of internet companies that turn around and very profitably sell this free information to advertisers with such specificity that the latter knows what ailment or craving you have.


O
bserving the growing trend if limiting “what legal tender can actually buy in America because of exclusionary fine print contracts (see faircontracts.org),” Ralph Nader declares that “there should be no discrimination against consumers based on their choice of legal tender” and “vendors should have to accept all methods of payment.”

Despite current obstacles, Nader says he does not use either “a credit card or a signature-based debit card.”


Sources and notes

“Ten Reasons Why I Don’t Have a Credit Card,” Ralph Nader, December 5, 2014, https://blog.nader.org/2014/12/05/ten-reasons-why-i-dont-have-a-credit-card/

Long time social critic and political activist as well as an author, lecturer, and attorney, Ralph Nader is a five-time candidate for the US presidency, having run as an independent candidate in 2004 and 2008, Green Party nominee in 1996 and 2000, and a write-in candidate in the 1992 New Hampshire Democratic primary. Nader rose to prominence in 1965 with the publication of his book Unsafe at Any Speed, a critique of the safety record of American automobile manufacturers in general, and most famously the Chevrolet Corvair. In 1999, a New York University panel of journalists ranked Unsafe at Any Speed 38th among the top 100 pieces of journalism of the 20th century. Nader’s areas of particular concern include consumer protection, humanitarianism, environmentalism, and democratic government. Born February 27, 1934, Nader is an American of Lebanese origin. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Nader

See also The Essential Nader, https://blog.nader.org/2009/05/06/the-essential-nader/


_______________________________________________________


A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

_______________________________________________________

Monday, December 1, 2014

“We must stop war-hungry militarists” -- Mikhail Gorbachev


Europe must lead in creating “the new world”
Edited excerpting by Carolyn Bennett


I
t should not be like this. “Fences are being built around us, which push towards an anti-Russian way. Even Germany which after reunification presented itself very well and called for renovation, is now just on the brink of a split. And now nothing takes place without the presence and a push from America” [Mikhail Gorbachev at TASS December 1, 2014].

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev talks with the TASS News Agency, interview posted at RT. December 1, 2014. Here is some of what he said. 

 
Cold War

“The ‘new world order’ after the Cold War allowed major powers to quickly solve a lot of longtime conflicts around the globe.”

But the current “signs of Cold War” seen in recent cooling of “relations between Moscow and Washington over Russia’s accession of the Crimea and the turmoil in Ukraine” indicate that “we must go back to the starting line where we began building a new world both in Europe and elsewhere.… 

“We can and we must stop this whole process” of return to Cold War as “we did in the 1980s.” Then, “we opted for de-escalation and the unification [of Germany]. Back then it was a lot tougher than now – so why can’t we do it again.”

Dangerous use of power

Having declared itself the victor of the Cold War, the United States, its leaders “are still intoxicated by this ‘triumph.’ Russia also makes a lot of mistakes (but) today the danger comes from the US stance.”

Walls of Shame
The current state of affairs, Gorbachev says (and I agree wholeheartedly) is “unacceptable.”


Walls

“Fences are being built around us, pushing [the international community] on to an anti-Russia path.”

Anti-Russian moods are rising in various countries – including Germany, which had good relations with Moscow in recent decades. This always happens “in the presence of and due to instigation from the American side.”

Merkel remembers
25 years after fall of
Berlin Wall



Constructive way forward

“There is still time… We must stop those war-hungry militarists.”

 He said he has “some ideas” and “with a group of ‘important influential people from United States” interested in his involvement,” he is prepared to help “resolve tensions between Russia and the United States.”  

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C)
Former Polish leader Lech Walesa (L)
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev (R)
“People will turn up who will have the strength
to stop this (regression) and start building a new world order that would meet the challenges faced by the international community. Europe can have a very positive impact on the situation. It must become the locomotive in the creation of the new world.”


Gorbachev in brief

Noted for his policies of Glasnost and Perestroika (“openness” and “restructuring”), for his summit conferences with then-US President Ronald Reagan, and for changing Soviet strategic aims, former Soviet President Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is well-known for aiding in ending the Cold War.

December 1, 2014
Gorbachev talks with TASS
On December 8, 1987, Gorbachev signed an agreement with U.S. President Ronald Reagan for their two countries to destroy all existing stocks of intermediate-range nuclear-tipped missiles. In 1988–1989, he oversaw the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan after their nine-year occupation of that country. He was general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) from 1985 to 1991 and president of the Soviet Union from 1990 to 1991.

A
 Britannica article calls Mikhail Gorbachev “the single most important initiator of a series of events in late 1989 and 1990 that transformed the political fabric of Europe and marked the beginning of the end of the Cold War.”

Gorbachev was a child of the Soviet Union’s famine years (1932–1933). He was born in 1931 of peasant Ukrainian–Russian parents, migrants from Voronezh and Chernigov Governorates, in Stavropol Krai. In his teen years, he (as had his father) operated combine harvesters on collective farms and qualified as an agricultural economist. Later he graduated from Moscow State University with a degree in law. Among his awards and honorary degrees are the 1989 Otto Hahn Peace Medal and the 1992 Harvey Prize.



Sources and notes

“Gorbachev: It’s up to Europe to prevent new Cold War between US and Russia,” Published time: December 1, 2014 19:59, http://rt.com/news/210463-gorbachev-us-russia-europe/

“Gorbachev warns of new cold war, calls to stop building fences around Russia: Soviet Union’s first and only president Mikhail Gorbachev compared the present situation with the one the country faced in the 1980s,” December 1, 2014, 17:00 UTC+3, http://tass.ru/en/russia/764517

Named after an industrialist and inventor Leo Harvey, the Harvey Prize “is an Israeli scientific distinction awarded annually for breakthroughs in science and technology and for contributions to Peace in the Middle East,”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Prize

Bio: Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (Russian: Михаи́л Серге́евич Горбачёв, tr. Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachov; IPA: [mʲɪxɐˈil sʲɪrˈɡʲejɪvʲɪt͡ɕ ɡərbɐˈt͡ɕɵf] ( ); born March 2, 1931) is a former Soviet statesman. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Gorbachev

See also biographical article in Britannica

Gorbachev, Mikhail.  (2013). Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Deluxe Edition.  Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica.


______________________________________________


A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

______________________________________________

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Keep them Poor: Agri-Corp USA Extinguishing Peoples, Ways of life, Environment

Development’s creation of global crisis: India and beyond
From Colin Todhunter’s “…Development and the Globalization of Servitude”
Edited excerpt by Carolyn Bennett


Masses’ Complicity in Cruelty

“Consumerism’s conspicuous purchasing and consumption draws on and manipulates the preexisting tendency to buy favor…. Now icons of capitalism, whether renowned brand products, labels or product-endorsing celebrities, have also taken their place in the pantheon of Indian deities to be listened to, worshiped and acquiesced to. The corporations behind it all achieve hegemony by altering mindsets via advertising, clever PR or by sponsoring (hijacking) major events, by funding research in public institutes and thus slanting findings and the knowledge paradigm in their favor or by securing key positions in international trade negotiations in an attempt to structurally readjust retail, food production and agriculture.…

“If you are looking for extremism and dogma… look toward those whose unimaginable wealth feeds off and fuels a system of exploitation and conflict designed to benefit the few. That is the nature of the [current] model of development” being pushed on the world.

“If anyone perceives the type of ‘development’ being sold to the masses as actually possible, they should note that ‘developing’ nations account for more than 80 percent of world population but consume only about a third of the world’s energy.
USA Way
Starve them
Rob them of independence
Throw them Charity

“Citizens of the United States constitute 5 percent of the world’s population but consume 24 percent of the world’s energy.

“On average, a single (one) American consumes as much energy as:

2 Japanese,
6 Mexicans,
13 Chinese,
31 Indians,
128 Bangladeshis,
307 Tanzanians and

370 Ethiopians


US Policy Complicity in Cruelty

US killer drones
“The bedrock of any society is its agriculture: Without food, there can be no life. Without food security, there can be no genuine independence …” and US foreign policy has usually been based on control of poorer countries’ agriculture. “US foreign policy is about power and control – the power to control food, states, and entire populations.

US killer drones

“In many respects, the subjugation of India by the US rests on the likes of Monsanto eventually controlling agriculture and hijacking food sovereignty and the nation’s food security. The sanctioning of open field trails of GM crops in the country is the thin end of a very broad wedge that would not only boost the profits of global seed and agritech companies but would also serve US geopolitical interests.…

“…. It is by agriculture and control of the food supply that American diplomacy has been able to control most of the Third World. …‘The World Bank’s geopolitical lending strategy has been to turn countries into food deficit areas by convincing them to grow cash crops – plantation export crops – not to feed themselves with their own food crops.’”


Focus India

Farmer
India
Across the globe, “The highest levels of inequality are in 15 Sub-Saharan African countries and in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia.”

“Powerful corporations are shaping the ‘development’ agenda in India and have signed secretive ‘Memorandums of Understanding’ with the government. The full military backing of the state is on hand to forcibly evict people from their land in order to hand over land to mineral-hungry extractive and processing industries to fuel a wholly unsustainable model of development.

“Around the world, this oil-dependent, urban-centric, high energy, high consumption model is stripping the environment bare and negatively affecting the climate and ecology.

“The links between the Monsanto/Syngenta/Walmart-backed Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture and the US sanctioning and backing of opening up India’s nuclear sector to foreign interests have already shown what the models of ‘development’ being pushed onto people really entail – not least being benefits to powerful corporate interests and losses to ordinary people.”

Farmer
Africa
“Global agritech companies have been granted license to influence key aspects of agriculture by controlling seeds and chemical inputs and by funding and thus distorting the biotech research agenda and aspects of overall development policy. Monsanto already controls the cotton industry in India and is increasingly shaping agri-policy and the knowledge paradigm by funding agricultural research in public universities and institutes….”

“If unfair trade policies, the colonization of official bodies … and other practices do not result in displacing farmers, it is achieved by repression and violence …”
Forced Migration
Displaced People

Since 1997, nearly “300,000 Indian farmers have taken their lives… and many more are experiencing economic distress or have left farming as a result of debt, a shift to (GM) cash crops, and economic liberalization.”

Dire Global Consequences

“The corporate-controlled type of agriculture that is being imposed and/or envisaged only leads to bad food, bad soil and bad or no water, bad health, poor or falling yields and an impending agrarian crisis. …

Forced Migration
Displaced People 
“Seeds, mountains, water, forests and biodiversity are being sold off. Farmers and tribes are being sold out; the more that gets sold off, the more who get sold out, the greater the amount of cash that changes hands, the easier it is for the misinformed to swallow the lie of Wall Street’s bogus notion of ‘growth’ – GDP.”
Forced Migration
Displaced People 

The prevailing agricultural model has created a “global crisis.” Factoring into the dire image of global act and impact are “‘Repression and displacement,’” often violence, foreign or domestic, against remaining rural populations together with illness and falling local food production. “‘Indigenous communities have been displaced and reduced to living on the capital’s rubbish dumps’” – a set of crimes “‘rightly call(ed) genocide – the extinguishment of entire Peoples, their culture, their way of life and their environment.’”


Sources and notes

“Menace on the Menu: Development and the Globalization of Servitude,” Colin Todhunter, Global Research, November 27, 2014, http://www.globalresearch.ca/menace-on-the-menu-development-and-the-globalization-of-servitude/5416488

India and UK-based prolific writer Colin Todhunter originally of the UK has spent many years in India; and has done social policy research, his writing published in a wide range of newspapers, peer and non-peer reviewed journals and books as well as on numerous websites (source London Progressive Journal) http://londonprogressivejournal.com/user/view/860

_______________________________________________________________

A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

_______________________________________________________________