The earth moved in Japan, and thousands of people were buried in rubble or washed out to sea. Hundreds of thousands are homeless, and suffering from thirst, hunger, and cold. Lacking reliable electricity, much of industry is shut down even if undamaged.
Major media outlets report Japan is facing a nuclear disaster after last Friday's earthquake and tsunami damaged its Fukushima power plant in the town of Okuma. "Japan's nuclear situation nearing severity of Chernobyl," shrieks a CNN headline on Tuesday. Reuters warns, "Greed in the nuclear industry and corporate influence over the U.N. watchdog for atomic energy may doom Japan to a spreading nuclear disaster." Yet government officials and press releases from the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) insist the situation is under control and poses no significant threat to public health.
A group of decentralized hacker activists — or “hacktivists” — known as Anonymous announced a new plan on March 14 to take on the Federal Reserve System, the International Monetary Fund, the Bank for International Settlements, the World Bank, and the entire “global banking cartel.”
In a video posted on YouTube (watch below), the group said “Operation Empire State Rebellion,” as the effort is being called, would entail “a relentless campaign of nonviolent, peaceful civil disobedience” until the group’s demands are met and “a rule of law is restored.” And it has already announced several demands which U.S. and international authorities will almost certainly not comply with, even despite the group’s past successes in punishing and humiliating prominent institutions and powerful dictatorships.
With the American economy trudging its way through the third year of the Bush-Obama recession, an unemployment rate that is still officially 9 percent (and unofficially much higher than that), and gas prices steadily creeping toward a national average of $4.00 a gallon, President Obama has announced that he plans to veto a measure under consideration in the House of Representatives that is intended to contain fuel costs and rein in an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which has run amok. At the same time, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) declares that it is not energy costs and overregulation that are the problem; no, the problem is those Republicans in the House who are trying to restrain the EPA’s overregulation of the energy industry that are “hurting the American people.”
In its attempt to force online retailers to collect sales tax on items purchased in the Land of Lincoln, the state of Illinois may have just cost its treasury $5 million a year. That’s because the prime target of the state’s newly enacted sales tax legislation, Amazon.com, has ceased paying commissions to Illinois-based affiliates who refer people to its website.