7 juillet 2009

Bénédiction saoudienne Iran Israël Moyen-Orient Revue de presse Terrorisme

Times of London

Saudis give nod to Israeli raid on Iran
The Times of London

The head of Mossad, Israel’s overseas intelligence service, has assured Benjamin Netanyahu, its prime minister, that Saudi Arabia would turn a blind eye to Israeli jets flying over the kingdom during any future raid on Iran’s nuclear sites.

Earlier this year Meir Dagan, Mossad’s director since 2002, held secret talks with Saudi officials to discuss the possibility. The Israeli press has already carried unconfirmed reports that high-ranking officials, including Ehud Olmert, the former prime minister, held meetings with Saudi colleagues. The reports were denied by Saudi officials.

“The Saudis have tacitly agreed to the Israeli air force flying through their airspace on a mission which is supposed to be in the common interests of both Israel and Saudi Arabia,” a diplomatic source said last week.

John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations who recently visited the Gulf, said it was “entirely logical” for the Israelis to use Saudi airspace. Arab states would condemn a raid when they spoke at the UN but would be privately relieved to see the threat of an Iranian bomb removed, he said.

6 juillet 2009

Santé publique Économie En Chiffres En Vidéos États-Unis International

Pour plusieurs, le système de santé américain est médiocre parce que ce pays ne possède pas de réseau public convenablement financé par l'État.

Au fait, à quel niveau s’élèvent les dépenses gouvernementales dans le réseau de santé publique aux États-Unis ?  La réponse pourrait vous surprendre…

Santé États-Unis

Et si les problèmes aux États-Unis étaient causés par leur gargantuesque système public ?

P.-S. Au sujet des Américains sans assurance privée:

Aussi à lire: Médecine Socialiste

OECD Health Data 2009

6 juillet 2009

Efficacité énergétique Économie En Images Environnement Québec

Photo prise à Montréal dans l'arrondissement Ahuntsic-Cartierville le dimanche 5 juillet à 16h30:


Des lampadaires allumés en plein coeur de l'après-midi; la situation était identique sur au moins 3 autres rues transversales.

C'est à ce genre de petits détails qu'on réalise à quel point Montréal est mal gérée.  L'homme a pu marcher sur la lune, mais la ville de Montréal est incapable d'éteindre ses lampadaires durant la journée. Mais la Ville s'en fiche, ce n'est pas elle qui paye les comptes d'électricité, ce sont les contribuables…

Cette même ville nous fait la morale avec son "plan stratégique de développement durable de la collectivité montréalaise" en nous disant "qu'en matière de développement durable, chaque geste compte".  De mon côté, je ne laisse pas les lumières de mon appartement allumées durant la journée.

6 juillet 2009

Merci à Barack Obama Canada Économie États-Unis Revue de presse

Calgary Herald

The Canada Advantage
Calgary Herald

Canada’s national coffee — Tim Hortons — is leaving Delaware and coming home, for all the right reasons.

That is, after years during which Canadian business rightly complained of being at a tax disadvantage compared to its U. S. competitors, the pendulum has swung and Tim Hortons now reckons it will do better north of the border. To be sure, the reasons it believes so are naught for our comfort. The implications of massive deficit spending by the Obama administration are higher taxes, and possibly a devalued dollar. That farsighted companies are seeking to improve their position by bailing out of a country that’s our largest market, is not good news overall.

However, it shows Canada is doing something right. Rule one in public economics is that people respond to the incentives they’re offered. That a company such as Tim Hortons is prepared to go through the upheaval of moving its head office to take advantage of a lower tax environment shows business tax cuts by successive federal governments are starting to work.

By 2012, federal corporate tax will be down to 15 per cent; Alberta’s corporate tax is 10 per cent, and Ottawa is urging other provinces to match it, giving Canada a blended 25 per cent rate.

Meanwhile, U. S., corporate tax rates will top out at more than 30 per cent.

5 juillet 2009

La magie souverainiste Canada Coup de gueule Économie Environnement Québec

Gilles Duceppe

Selon Gilles Duceppe l'exploitation des sables bitumineux est contraire aux intérêts du Québec parce que l'activité de cette industrie est incompatible avec le protocole de Kyoto. Par conséquent, le chef du Bloc Québécois considère que l'exploitation des sables bitumineux en Alberta représente une raison de plus de faire la souveraineté.

C'est bien connu. Lorsque le Québec sera souverain, les gaz à effet de serre produit par l'Alberta vont disparaître comme par magie !

5 juillet 2009

Choisir ses amis En Images États-Unis Iran Terrorisme

Pendant que Barack Obama agit comme si le Honduras était une colonie américaine, le président démocrate conspire pour que les discussions sur la mise en place de nouvelles sanctions contre l'Iran soient retirées de l'ordre du jour du sommet du G8 qui se déroulera cette semaine en Italie. Ces sanctions étaient l'un des principaux items à l'agenda du sommet.

Barack Obama

5 juillet 2009

Quand l’État investit comme Madoff Économie États-Unis Récession Revue de presse

The Washington Post

Uncertainty Clouds Recovery of U.S. Investment in GM
The Washington Post

If a new General Motors emerges from bankruptcy as planned, U.S. financial aid for the company will expand to nearly $50 billion, but neither the government nor the company is forecasting how much of the public money will be repaid.

It’s sure to be a stretch. For the United States to fully recover its investment, the value of General Motors stock will have to reach levels it has never before attained.

« I’m not going to predict it — that’s not my job today, » GM chief executive Fritz Henderson said in a recent interview.

« I don’t know how much we’re going to recover, » a senior Obama administration official said as the company headed into bankruptcy last month.

This uncertainty stems from the difficulty in valuing the 60 percent GM stake that the United States will receive in exchange for the public investment. The government also gets preferred shares and other compensation. The stake will be worth enough to fully cover the government’s direct investment only if GM’s stock rises above $68 billion. Even at its recent 2000 peak, GM’s stock was worth only $56 billion.

4 juillet 2009

Même sur Al Jazeera on critique Obama États-Unis Hétu Watch Iran Moyen-Orient Terrorisme

"The substance of Obama's foreign policies in the Middle East and North Africa remain in many key areas strikingly similar to, and are in some cases more aggressive than, those of George Bush, his predecessor."

Al Jazeera
Obama's strategies failing in Iran

It took more than a week of intensified government repression against protesters in Iran before Barack Obama, the US president, moved from cautious commentary to describing the crackdown as "violent and unjust".

The acknowledged elephant in the room preventing a more robust US response to the Iranian crisis is the Anglo-American-organised coup in 1953, which overthrew Mohammed Mossadeqh, the nationalist prime minister, and brought the 33-year-old Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, back to the country as unchallenged ruler.

The coup was motivated by Mossadeqh's and the Iranian parliament's decision to nationalise the British-controlled Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in 1951, and by the fear that Soviet-inspired communists might take over the government.

The US-sponsored overthrow of Mossadeqh and our subsequent whole-hearted support for the Shah's brutal rule are ignominious chapters in the history of US foreign policy.

But does a coup 55 years ago really disqualify the US from standing up forcefully for democracy in Iran today?

It is highly unlikely.

US policies flawed

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, do not fear the US but rather their own people's desire to live in a country more like the US.

In fact, in poll after poll Iranians have revealed themselves to be among the most pro-American and pro-democratic people in the Muslim majority world.

The Iranian government needs little excuse to beat, jail, and otherwise punish its citizens. It is already doing a thorough enough job without US interference, and seems poised to go even further. However, if it goes too far it risks "losing legitimacy in the eyes of its own people," as Obama said at a June 25 press conference.

Obama is acutely aware of the real reason why he cannot be too forceful in supporting the millions of Iranians demanding to have their votes counted. The problem is not with US administrations long past, but with the policies of the current administration.

The fact is that the US counts as its closest allies in the Middle East regimes who routinely rig elections – if they even bother to hold them at all – which produce governments that are far less legitimate than Ahmadinejad's today.

The substance of Obama's foreign policies in the Middle East and North Africa remain in many key areas strikingly similar to, and are in some cases more aggressive than, those of George Bush, his predecessor.

Saudi Arabia remains our most crucial Arab ally despite the fact that its government is among the world's most repressive and undemocratic (about which Obama has had nothing to say since becoming president).

Rather than encourage Arab democrats, the Obama administration is improving ties with Libya and returning an ambassador to Syria, where today we are courting Bashar al-Assad as a "key player" in the region, despite his country's abysmal record on human rights and democracy.

Undemocratic election techniques

In Cairo, where Obama made only a fleeting allusion to democracy during his "historic" speech last month, Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, won his most recent re-election bid by deploying the usual assortment of undemocratic techniques.

Then he jailed his main opponent, Ayman Nour, for more than three years for election fraud just to make sure everyone got his point.

Yet the Obama administration, like its predecessors, regularly celebrates him as a key ally and a crucial mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Does Obama really not understand that Mubarak's interest is not in peace, but rather in an unending peace process that ensures his continued relevance and billions of dollars in no-strings-attached American aid?

Whatever his dislike for Ahmadinejad and Iran's support for Islamist militants Mubarak, and his son and potential successor Gamal, are likely breathing easier now that the protests have seemingly been repressed.

If young Iranians had succeeded in overturning a repressive and authoritarian system through massive non-violent protests, why couldn't young Egyptians have followed their example as soon as a suitable opportunity arose?

It remains a possibility that Egyptians may still find the inspiration to do so, particularly if US and European allies pressure Mubarak's government to refrain from using an Iranian or Chinese-style crackdown against Egypt's burgeoning democratic forces.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister who defies US wishes in the Occupied Territories without fear of suffering anything more than a mild rebuke, must also be wiping sweat from his brow.

Imagine the inspiration Iran's people power movement might have given to Palestinians to finally throw off the shackles of both a co-opted, corrupted and incompetent Palestinian Authority and the ineffectual violence of Hamas, and take matters into their own hands.

Non-violent resistance

Imagine the sight of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian men, women, and children marching to the so-called "separation wall" or innumerable Israeli check points and, like East Germans a generation ago, dismantling them apart brick by brick through disciplined non-violent action.

Consider what would happen if, instead of staying on the sidelines in Iran while playing softball with Israel and trying to woo other autocratic regimes into our orbit, Obama could look the Iranian leadership in the eyes and make the same demand of them that he should be making of all the leaders of the region: democratise and grant freedom to the peoples under your control.

At least then the brave Iranians risking their lives for democracy, and the long-repressed peoples of the region more broadly, would know that the US stands up for them.

Ultimately, it is the reality of the Obama administration's support for a discredited status quo across the region, and not the actions of the Eisenhower administration half a century ago, that makes it impossible for the US to play a forceful role advocating for democracy in Iran at this crucial moment in the history of the Islamic Republic, and ours as well.

Does Obama have the same courage to challenge our own system that Iranians have demonstrated in fighting to change theirs? And if he doesn't, do the rest of us?

3 juillet 2009

Top 5 USA États-Unis Top Actualité

Poids média de l'actualité américaine dans les blogues et les médias traditionels selon le Pew Research Center:

Actualité États-Unis

The Deaths of Michael Jackson and “Neda” Grip the Blogosphere

Michael Jackson and Neda Agha-Soltan had little in common in life. But together last week their deaths in Los Angeles and Tehran consumed the blogosphere and became emblematic of the flow and character of modern communication.

For fans of Jackson, the Web was a place where they could find instant news about his passing and commiserate with others about their feelings and his meaning in their lives. For those following the developments in Iran, the image of "Neda" became a powerful symbol of the protest movement there after an amateur video of her death spread rapidly through Twitter, YouTube and other new media.

They became together the latest demonstration of the power, both emotional and political, of the many-to-many nature of social media.

For the week of June 22-26, discussion of Michael Jackson and Iran in general combined to make up almost half (47%) of the links on blogs and social media as measured in the New Media Index by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Despite the fact that Jackson's death occurred late in the week, stories about the passing of the pop star led all linked-to topics, accounting for 27% of the links embedded in the social media sites tracked by the monitoring services Icerocket and Technorati. On the evening of his death, interest in Jackson was so high that many of sites with the most popular Jackson pages experienced outages and slowdowns. Accompanying comments from bloggers mostly expressed shock at the singer's death and offered moving accounts of his influence.

Amidst tributes to the pop star, political unrest in Iran remained a major topic for the second week running. In PEJ's index of social media, the subject was the No. 2 story last week (accounting 20% of the week's links). While the conversation focused on a range of related issues (from President Obama's response to day-to-day developments in Iran), a remarkable amount of the discussion focused on the woman who died during a protest over the country's disputed elections.

To many, the pictures of Agha-Soltan's last moments personified the cruelty of the Iranian government in response to the protests. A graphic video of Agha-Soltan's death was the most viewed news video of the week on YouTube.

The third-largest story-line on blogs and social media last week, receiving 10% of the links, dealt with the Obama administration. Much of the attention was focused on a June 24 Washington Post column by Dana Milbank where he sarcastically referred to Obama's recent press conference as the "The Obama Show" and chastised the alleged collaboration between the White House and a reporter from the Huffington Post.

The fourth story (also at 10%) was the admission by South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford that he had been having an extra-marital affair with a woman from Argentina after he had gone missing for several days.

Fifth (at 9%) was an unusual BBC story about Australian wallabies reportedly eating opium poppies and hoping around in circles "as high as a kite."

On a separate social networking platform, Twitter, Jackson and Iran were also the two most linked-to news topics, although the emphasis was different than in the blogs. According to the tracking site Tweetmeme, which tracks links embedded in tweets across the globe, Iran represented 64% of the "news-related" links while Michael Jackson was second at 18%. In other words, the pop star was a major topic, but it did not overtake the intense involvement of this platform in the post-election Iranian protests.

In the traditional press, Iran and Michael Jackson also led the week's agenda combining for 37% of the week's newshole according to PEJ's News Coverage Index. Governor Sanford's scandal was third followed by coverage of the health care reform debate in Washington and continuing reporting about the U.S. economy.

The Deaths of Michael Jackson and “Neda” Grip the Blogosphere