Globalization’s Abject Failure–Household Appliances Were Cheaper and Better 40 Years Ago

[ Ed. note – Back in the 1990s, when Bill Clinton started signing the first free trade agreements into law, people warned that globalization would have severe consequences for average working Americans. I remember attending a protest against NAFTA back in, I think, 1992 or 93.

But economists kept telling us, “No, no, you’ve got it all wrong!” Globalization will be good for the economy! Wealth would “trickle down” to the lower classes. And while some manufacturing jobs might be lost, these would be replaced, the economists assured us, with even better jobs. Moreover, there was supposed to be a golden upside to it all: Goods produced in factories in places like China and Mexico would flood the market, resulting in reduced prices for things like household appliances. A new refrigerator imported from China, say, assembled by workers being paid as little as a dollar an hour, would cost less–maybe a hundred or even two hundred dollars less–than the old “made in America” refrigerators. And if you didn’t believe this, you just weren’t with it and thinking progressively.

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Intel Vets Voice Doubt on Syrian Crisis

[ Ed. note – The article below, written by members of the organization Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, focuses mainly on the issue of faulty, or “politicized” intelligence assessments that may have been used to justify the April 6 US missile strike on a Syrian airbase. The writers are concerned that further escalations to the conflict may come about as a result of similarly fraudulent assessments. But in discussing the matter, they divulge a little-known tidbit of history–namely that the intelligence assessment leading up to the Iraq war in 2003 was overseen by a “veteran CIA intelligence analyst” by the name of Stuart Cohen.

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Four Dead Russian Diplomats in Three Months

By Adam Garrie

Vitaly Churkin was one of the wisest voices in international diplomacy.  His voice will no longer echo in the halls of the United Nations. Articulate, polite yet commanding, wise yet affable, he oversaw some of Russia’s and the world’s most important events in a position he occupied since 2006.

Churkin had to face a great deal of hostile criticism from both the Bush and Obama administrations during his time at the UN, but he always did so with grace. He never failed to explain the Russian position with the utmost clarity.

Standing next to some of his colleagues, he often looked like a titan in a room full of school children.

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13,000 People Hanged? Amnesty Report on Syria Offers Little Evidence

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In the presidential election of 2014, Syrians voted overwhelmingly in favor of President Bashar Assad

[ Ed. note – Amnesty International has released a report alleging that as many as 13,000 people were murdered by Syrian government authorities at a prison near Damascus since 2011. Among the charges are that large numbers of people were “hanged” in the middle of the night and that people also were “repeatedly tortured and systematically deprived of food, water, medicine and medical care.” Additionally we are told that bodies were “taken away by the truckload and buried in mass graves.”

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Eve of Destruction? A Sobering Look at How Dangerous the US-Russia Conflict Now Is

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[ Ed. note – Recently a small group of House members sent a letter to Obama asking him to adopt a clearly-stated policy of no first-use of nuclear weapons. It is perhaps a sign of the times, and of how oblivious to rational thinking our leaders have become, that out of 435 members of the House, only  22 signed onto the letter. (H/T Ariadna).

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