Do not be too proud and Germany/France – cut them a deal!

24/7 Wall St.

Spain’s National Statistics Bureau reported today “El número de parados crece en 85.000 personas y alcanza la cifra de 5.778.100. La tasa de paro se incrementa 38 centésimas hasta el 25,02%.” In other words, the country’s jobless rate was above 25% in the third quarter. Based on this number alone, it would be foolish to believe that Spain does not need a very large bailout.

The media and economists have made the point before that Greece, and perhaps Spain, have begun to descend into a period much like the Great Depression. The most obvious difference is that the United States had no bailout mechanism to which it could turn. If it had, the Depression might have been shortened by years. It would not have taken World War II to revive economic growth.

Spain will not have a major war to help trigger a recovery. The posturing of the government about the need for aid is as useless as it is careless…

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The World of Special Olympics

The following is a guest post in the form of an open letter from Special Olympics athlete and global messenger John Franklin Stephens to Ann Coulter after this tweet during last night’s Presidential debate.

Dear Ann Coulter,

Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow.  So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?

I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow.  I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you.  In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.

I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child…

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The Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) / Living in a Minefield: Panjwayi after the US Surge

The Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) / Living in a Minefield: Panjwayi after the US SurgeAANs Borhan Osman travelled to Panjwayi in late September to look at how the surge changed the situation. He found that it did not help to stabilise the area and, in some parts of the district, even has backfired.

The long and the short of this seems to be that in war everything gets even more confusing. Mistakes, revenge, profiteering, personal feuds, corruption, and spin make it very difficult to find even a sliver of truth. Two things are plain though… war brings out the best and worst in everyone – and too often it sets the stage for another bloodletting later on, instead of the peace that was one of its goals.

Who cries or mourns for the un-named or not famous victims? We all should and work for no more victims – named or un-named…

A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares

Ghazi Bou Karroum. He was killed when Marwan Hamadeh was targeted.

Rima Bazzi, Yamama Daher, Abd l Hamid Ghlayini, Zahi Bou Rjeili, Ziad Lthahabi. They were all killed when Rafik Hariri was assassinated.

Nicolas Flouti and Andre Mrad. They were killed when Gebran Tueini was assassinated.

Ralph Chikhani. He died when Antoine Ghanem was assassinated.

Georgette Sarkissian. She died when Wissam Al Hassan was targeted in Friday’s Achrafieh Explosion.

Khaled Ido. The son of assassinated MP Walid Ido.

Francois el Hajj, Wissam Eid…. these are people who were assassinated but who somehow rank less on the Lebanese scale of importance when it comes to assassinations because their deaths are not as relevant to political causes.

There are much more victims than this. But these are the only names I remember. They are the victims practically one remembers whenever a top Lebanese official gets assassinated. They…

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Go for it!

Nuestra Vida, Nuestra Voz

Five activists registering people to vote This summer, NLIRH hosted our Southern Regional LOLA Training in Charlotte, North Carolina. Latinas from 8 states in the region including, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and Virginia met to network, strategize and organize with other new and experienced Latina activists around reproductive justice.

In this blog post, I highlight the work of three Poderosas from Virginia who met each other for the first time at our LOLA training, left our training inspired and motivated to take on the challenge of creating a Latina Advocacy Network (LAN) in the DC-MD-VA area.

The new “DMV LOLA” has moved full force with several Soy Poderosa and My Voice Matters events. Two Sundays ago they teamed up with Voto Latino and hosted a successful Voter Registration Drive in a Latino neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia. Activist registering someone to vote

Their next event is a Happy Hour Meet & Greet where they want to invite all interested folks…

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About the Project

There is a powerful and profound need within each of us to know that peace is possible in spite of the violence that surrounds us on so many different fronts. Ten Thousand Ripples is that reminder.

Ten Thousand Ripples is a multi-platform public art and civic engagement initiative that places artists, neighborhood leaders, and residents at the center of community-driven planning and public involvement efforts that utilizes public art as a catalyst to foster dialogue and advance innovative solutions to address contemporary social issues.

via About the Project.

Google threatens to drop links to French media | News | World | Mail & Guardian

The letter sent by Google to several ministerial offices this month said it “cannot accept” such a move and the company “as a consequence would be required to no longer reference French sites”.

It said such a law, which would require Google to make payments to media sites for displaying links to their content, would “threaten [Google’s] very existence”. It also noted that Google “redirects four billion ‘clicks’ per month towards the internet pages” of French media.

Leading French newspaper publishers last month called on the government to adopt a law to force internet search engines such as Google to pay for content. They said a law should impose a settlement in the long-running dispute with Google, which receives high volumes of advertising revenue from user searches for news contained on media websites.

Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti told a parliamentary commission this week that she was in favour of the idea, calling it “a tool that it seems important to me to develop”.

Google France said earlier that it believed such a law “would be harmful to the internet, internet users and news websites that benefit from substantial traffic” sent to them by Google’s search engine.

via Google threatens to drop links to French media | News | World | Mail & Guardian.

“I have to say, I agree with Google. There are many sites in France, Lebanon, Germany, India, etc. that I would never visit (and therefore help their ad sales) if I had not found via Google or Yahoo.

Should African rural development strategies depend on smallholder farms ? an exploration of the inverse productivity hypothesis, Vol. 1 of 1

In Africa, most development strategies include efforts to improve the productivity of staple crops grown on smallholder farms. An underlying premise is that small farms are productive in the African context and that smallholders do not forgo economies of scale — a premise supported by the often observed phenomenon that staple cereal yields decline as the scale of production increases.

via Should African rural development strategies depend on smallholder farms ? an exploration of the inverse productivity hypothesis, Vol. 1 of 1.