RSS

Category Archives: Occupy

Let your life be a friction to stop the machine.

A brief and crucial history of the United States, by Paul F. Edwards and Lanny Cotler, Classwarfilms.  23 minutes.  Knowledge is power.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2Xh5eN2fXY&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Advertisements
 
 

Andrew Marshall on the TPP.

Updates below.

Andrew Gavin Marshall has written an important and informative three-part series on the TPP (TransPacific Partnership) for Occupy.com.  The first part may be read here:

http://andrewgavinmarshall.com/2012/11/19/the-trans-pacific-partnership-this-is-what-corporate-governance-looks-like/

The second part may be read here:

http://www.nationofchange.org/why-so-secretive-trans-pacific-partnership-global-corporate-coup-1353687546

I will give a link to part three when it is published on Monday.

Update:  Here is part three:

http://andrewgavinmarshall.com/2012/11/26/the-trans-pacific-partnership-what-free-trade-actually-means/

Update:

Hillary Clinton pointed out the importance of the TPP as it relates to the plans of the US in the Asian region during a speech she gave at the Singapore Management University on 17 Nov.  Her speech makes it clear that the “pivot to Asia” is not just an increase of US military in the area, but that, in fact, the build up of military might is to serve the interests of the American business community.  While China is not excluded from joining the TPP, it will have to pay a high price.  One specific target of the TPP is any sort of nationalized product or business endeavor (the dreaded “socialist agenda” wherein a nation regulates and controls certain resources for the benefit of its people rather than giving control over to private companies).  We see, for example, Hillary supporting the latest Australian measures aimed at privatizing everything in that country: energy, land, water, etc.  The purpose of the military is to ensure that certain corporations have control over the entire globe; countries which insist on holding resources for the good of their own people are a particular target and the intent of the TPP is to end such practices once and for all.

Clinton’s speech was remarkable in its frankness.  It will therefore remain unremarked in the media.  The wealthiest corporations and banks own people like the Clintons, Obama, and the US Congress, who will serve their interests even to the point of using the military and the State Department to protect them and enforce their agenda.  And they don’t care if you know it.  The fact that they also own the media, however, means they can make sure it is somewhat difficult for us little people to realize just how bad things are getting and how much worse they will become.  To those who do pay attention, the message from this corporatocracy is no longer denial, it is, “Fuck you.  We won, what are you going to do about it?”

Below are excerpts from the Clinton speech.  The excerpts are not taken out of context and do not change the meaning of mad Hillary’s words.  Bolding is mine.  You may click on the link at the bottom to read the speech in full.  Deep into the speech, we find the real reason we destroyed Libya: “to harness market forces and private-sector solutions for these growing African economies”.  Hillary-we-came-we-saw-he-died sure showed that socialist Ghaddafi with his ideas of nationalized banking and oil fields to support free health care and education for his people. We also discover the reason for the invasion of Afghanistan; namely that we would like to create a New Silk Road to benefit US companies.  (And you thought we were there to end the oppression of Afghan women or some such shit.)  Economic sanctions are seen as a wonderful “tool” to help force recalcitrant countries into cooperating with the program.  This is from our top “diplomat”, who has also threatened countries in the Eurozone with trade sanctions if they continue to resist Monsanto.  One of the most breath-taking hypocrisies in the speech is this sentence, “Now, regimes in places like Tehran and Pyongyang, that violate international norms and beggar their people in pursuit of greater military strength pose a stark contrast with emerging economic powers that are delivering benefits for their people.”  I should not have to point out, but will, that the US is beggaring its own people to support growing military strength or that the prime aim of the TPP (and the US) is to make sure that the economic policies of any given country cannot benefit its people.  Quite simply astonishing is her contention that private businesses are more transparent and accountable to the public than state-owned enterprises.  Note, too, the support for the World Bank, as though its high-interest loans and deregulation and privatization policies were a good thing for developing countries.

[…]Now, I think one of the questions that may be on your and others’ minds is: “Why is the American President spending all this time in Asia so soon after winning re-election?” Well, the answer for us is very simple. Because so much of the history of the 21st century will be, is being, written in this region. America’s expanded engagement represents our commitment to help shape that shared future. The strategic and security dimensions of our efforts are well known. But the untold story that is just as important is our economic engagement. Because it is clear that not only in the Asia Pacific but across the world, increasingly, economics are shaping the strategic landscape. Emerging powers are putting economics at the center of their foreign policies, and they are gaining clout less because of their size of their armies than because of the growth of their GDP.

For the first time in modern history, nations are becoming major global powers without also becoming global military powers. So, to maintain our strategic leadership in the region, the United States is also strengthening our economic leadership. And we know very well that America’s economic strength at home and our leadership around the world are a package deal. Each reinforces and requires the other.

[…] This connection between economic power and global influence explains why the United States is placing economics at the heart of our own foreign policy. I call it economic statecraft.

Now, these ideas are hardly new. After all, it was Harry Truman who said our relations, foreign and economic, are indivisible. But today that carries renewed urgency. Last year I laid out America’s economic statecraft agenda in a series of speeches in Washington, Hong Kong, San Francisco, and New York. Since then, we have turned this vision into action in four key areas: first, updating our foreign policy priorities to take economics more into account; second, turning to economic solutions for strategic challenges; third, stepping up commercial diplomacy — what I like to call jobs diplomacy — to boost U.S. exports, open new markets, and level the playing field for our businesses; and fourth, building the diplomatic capacity to execute this ambitious agenda.

In short, we are shaping our foreign policy to account for both the economics of power and the power of economics. The first and most fundamental task is to update our foreign policy and its priorities for a changing world. For the last decade, as you know, the United States focused enormous time, resources, and attention on a war in Iraq that is now over, and a war in Afghanistan that is winding down. Responding to threats will, of course, always be central to our foreign policy. But it cannot be our foreign policy. America has to seize opportunities that will shore up our strength for years to come. That means following through on our intensified engagement in the Asia Pacific and elevating the role of economics in our work around the world.

[…]In negotiations with China and India on bilateral investment treaties, we are seeking a level playing field between American companies and their competitors, including state-owned enterprises.

And with Singapore and a growing list of other countries on both sides of the Pacific, we are making progress toward finalizing a far-reaching new trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The so-called TPP will lower barriers, raise standards, and drive long-term growth across the region. It will cover 40 percent of the world’s total trade and establish strong protections for workers and the environment. Better jobs with higher wages and safer working conditions, including for women, migrant workers and others too often in the past excluded from the formal economy will help build Asia’s middle class and rebalance the global economy. Canada and Mexico have already joined the original TPP partners. We continue to consult with Japan. And we are offering to assist with capacity building, so that every country in ASEAN can eventually join. We welcome the interest of any nation willing to meet 21st century standards as embodied in the TPP, including China.

The United States is also moving economics to the center of our agenda elsewhere in the world. For example, we want to improve our economic partnership with our allies in Europe. That is every bit as compelling to us as our security partnership through the NATO alliance. So, to that end, we are exploring negotiations with the European Union for a comprehensive economic agreement that would increase trade and spur growth on both sides of the Atlantic.

Africa. Africa is currently home to 7 of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies. I deliberately said that slowly because so many people look surprised when I say it. And so, we are changing the way we do business with Africa. Certainly regarding our development agenda, but also trying to do more to harness market forces and private-sector solutions for these growing African economies.

[…] Now, our next step will be to transform these regional efforts — the TPP, the EU agreement, our bilateral trade deals — into a truly global vision. In the same way that the general agreement on trade and tariffs offered a global blueprint following World War II, we need new arrangements to take on the challenges that inhibit trade today, from non-tariff barriers to preferential treatment for state-owned enterprises.

As we do more to define our foreign policy priorities in economic terms, we also need to update the tools we use. So our second main area of action is finding ways to tap economic solutions for strategic challenges. Just look at what’s happening now in Burma. The cost of economic sanctions and the benefits of rejoining the global economy helped spur the government to begin opening up.

[…]The United States is also supporting World Bank programs that will provide more than $80 million for infrastructure projects in the country’s townships, and financial support for small businesses.[…]

The same goes for another regional vision we call the New Silk Road, a web of trade and transportation links reaching from the steps of Central Asia to the southern tip of India. Forging stronger economic ties across this region is a key element in our long-term strategy for Afghanistan. If you look at the map, you see why Afghanistan has been fought over and part of the great game for so many generations because of its very strategic position right in the middle of this trading route.[…]

We are also using new economic tools to address one of the world’s preeminent security challenges: Iran. A broad coalition is revolutionizing how the international community enforces sanctions and builds pressure. We went after Iran’s central bank and finance sector, and we reached out to private insurers, shippers, oil companies, and financial institutions to help us target pressure points that make it harder for companies and governments to do business with Iran.

Now we see results. Every major importer of Iranian oil has lowered their consumption. All 27 nations of the European Union have joined a boycott. In one year, Iran’s oil exports are down by more than one million barrels a day, costing the Iranian Government at least $3 billion each month. […]

Now, regimes in places like Tehran and Pyongyang, that violate international norms and beggar their people in pursuit of greater military strength pose a stark contrast with emerging economic powers that are delivering benefits for their people.[…]

So, the United States is stepping up our game, using our network of more than 270 embassies and consulates to advocate for American firms, and help achieve President Obama’s goal of doubling U.S. exports in 5 years. With 95 percent of the world’s customers living beyond our own borders, this has become an economic imperative. So our diplomats are working to make it easier for U.S. businesses to find answers and get advice about navigating markets. We’re helping them connect with foreign partners and compete for contracts. And whenever a U.S. Government official travels overseas now, we try to include business events on our schedules. In fact, later today I will visit a General Electric aviation facility here in Singapore.[…]

We’re proud to go to bat for the Boeings and Chevrons and General Motors and so many others. […]

Now, recently we saw a break-through when India retooled its policy on foreign direct investment. Their old rules barred companies that carry multiple brands in one store — like Wal-Mart, Target, and Costco, or similar foreign companies — from doing retail business in the Indian market. That limited competition. But, more than that, it prevented the kind of knowledge transfer and supply chain modernization that India needs. So we and — I should note — other countries, as well, raised this issue with India’s leaders at the highest level for years. And we are pleased that Delhi has now agreed to loosen its restrictions.[…]

The fourth and final area we are focused on is making sure America’s diplomats and development experts have all the skills and support they need to actually implement economic statecraft. So, we are focused on recruiting, retaining, and rewarding the most talented people we can find. I appointed the State Department’s first-ever chief economist. And I combined our work on energy, the environment, and economics under a single under secretary position to maximize synergy and cooperation. We are ramping up our training curriculum for economic officers, and developing new tools and incentives to help them do their jobs. Now, these kinds of changes unfold over years, but they show a commitment to match our practices to our priorities. And they will help hard-wire economic statecraft into American foreign policy.[…]

Now, state-owned or state-supported enterprises are not necessarily problematic in all cases. But they do often lack the transparency and accountability that come with private boards and investors. […]

http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2012/11/200664.htm

My own posts on the TPP are mainly here: http://teri.nicedriving.org/2012/06/the-trans-pacific-partnership-tpp/

and here:  http://teri.nicedriving.org/2012/06/the-trans-pacific-partnership/

 

The DNC and the RNC: the party at Versailles.

Security is the topic.  It is The Topic.  The main thing, the primary concern.  Terrorists of all stripes seek to wreck our way of life and we must be secure at all costs.  You may have questions about other things: jobs, the economy, the fate of Medicare and Social Security, the lack of criminal proceedings against banker fraud and theft or against those who torture, the lack of environmental safeguards, crumbling infrastructure, subsidies to big oil and big ag, rising food costs, skyrocketing poverty in America.  You might wonder how it is that one rich man can plan a massive experiment with the atmosphere and risk the health of an entire state or two and will apparently be allowed to just go ahead and do as he wishes.  [http://www.naturalnews.com/036583_geoengineering_Bill_Gates_global_warming.html]  The Republican answers to those pressing questions are fairly simple and straight-forward.  Give more money to rich people.  And post the Ten Commandments in all government buildings.  Oh, and increase the Pentagon budget.  Your opinion notwithstanding.  Security, doncha know.  You may wonder how the Democrats would address these concerns, but what you are going to hear about from the main speakers at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte, SC next week will be Security.

Obama’s speech at the DNC will focus on national security.

Democrats plan to emphasize President Barack Obama’s record on national security and veterans on the night he delivers his address at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

An Obama campaign official says the party will discuss Obama’s handling of national security issues and his work with veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan on Sept. 6, the final night of the convention. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because a formal announcement was pending.[…]

http://www2.nbc17.com/news/2012/aug/29/obama-will-stress-national-security-dnc-speech-ar-2559033/

John Kerry, another keynote speaker, will also talk about security.

TAMPA ­— President Obama is tapping Senator John F. Kerry to deliver a speech focused on national security issues during the closing night of next week’s Democratic National Convention.

The three-day gathering in Charlotte, N.C., will have a heavy national security focus, underscoring the administration’s intention to highlight its work to end combat operations in Iraq, draw down forces in Afghanistan, and approve a military raid that killed Osama bin Laden and contrast these accomplishments with the rhetoric of Republican nominee Mitt Romney. […]

http://articles.boston.com/2012-08-29/nation/33451511_1_national-security-potential-secretary-end-combat-operations

The truth is, most of what you have heard about the conventions relates to security – but not necessarily yours.  The conventions are not given for your benefit or edification.  We have finally reached the point where the dissipation and self-indulgence of American politics is obvious.  The conventions are held for the kings and princes, the royalty; and at them, they speak to their retinues, donors, courtiers and functionaries.

[…]Super PACs continue to be tools used by a small number of wealthy individuals and institutions to dominate the political process.

•    Just over 57% of the $230 million raised by Super PACs from individuals came from just 47 people giving at least $1 million.  Just over 1,000 donors giving $10,000 or more were responsible for 94% of this fundraising.

•    Sheldon and Miriam Adelson have given a combined $36.3 million to Super PACs in the 2012 cycle.  It would take more than 321,000 average American families donating an equivalent share of their wealth to match the Adelsons’ giving. […]

http://www.demos.org/publication/million-dollar-megaphones-super-pacs-and-unlimited-outside-spending-2012-elections

Those are the people who have seats at the venues and dinners within the American Versailles.  They are protected with layers of security, prepared for months in advance, with new laws in place just for these events.  They are being protected from you.  They don’t want to hear you or see you – you are the threat against which they protect themselves.  Your vote barely matters at this point – what, after all, is the difference between the candidates?  After the President of the United States claims he has the right to kill you at his whim, to detain you indefinitely without trial, what is there left to say about democracy in America?

There have been very few articles about the conventions that don’t include a mention of the massive security apparatus in place in both host cities.  This is reminiscent of the APEC conference in Hawaii last year where the gathered elites were kept secure through the use of military displays rarely seen outside a war zone.  (I hate to reference my own work, but here is a summary:  http://teri.nicedriving.org/2011/11/a-murder-in-hawaii/ )  The only major incident at the APEC conference turned out to be the murder of a local man by one of the State Dept. security team, who took it upon himself at 3 a.m. after a night of bar-hopping, to “save” the patrons of a McDonald’s from a bit of verbal harassment by shooting the unarmed “offender” at point-blank range.

In both Tampa and Charlotte, the police spokesmen bragged about the massive security in place as though they had been preparing for the land and sea invasion of hundreds of thousands of armed terrorists and national enemies.  But notice that the “terrorists” they fear are….US citizen protesters.  Said protesters may include a few (the horror!) anarchists or other unsavory sorts who might dare to cover their faces – that being the defining look of homeland terrorism or something.  Never mind that the protesters are held at bay by closed roads, barricades, and sheer distance from the venues in “free speech” corrals.  (So much for the rights to peaceable assembly and free speech.)  The potential protesters drew forth a remarkable military jingoism from the police departments.  This is the public statement from the sheriff in Tampa prior to the RNC.  Notice how similar it sounds to military forces taking over a hostile territory:

The upcoming Republican National Convention will transform the Tampa Bay area on an international level. Like no other, this event will showcase the area’s communities as well as the Herculean task to provide security for citizens, delegates, visitors and everyone in between.[…]

The challenges of preparing for and executing a security/safety plan for an event of this magnitude are daunting. There are many pieces of the puzzle, most known but some unknown.[…]

The RNC demands thousands of law enforcement officers to converge on downtown Tampa for a 24-hour-a-day presence.[…]

Tactically, we are ready. Security plans for the venue and the perimeters are set. Boundaries, protests zones and parade routes are established for the thousands expected in downtown Tampa. […] To the agitators and anarchists who want only to bring a dark cloud to this event, let me be clear: criminal activity and civil disturbances will not be tolerated and enforcement actions will be swift.[…]

The most visible aspect our security plan will be the boots on the ground – the law enforcement officers on the street, manning perimeter posts and designated protective locations.[…] What the public won’t see is the staging of quick reactionary forces, tactically deployed at locations around the city to handle an emergency situation. These special contingents of law enforcement officers are trained, equipped and prepared.[…]

There will be arrests. The question is how many. We are prepared to handle any number of RNC-related arrests through our Orient Road Jail.[…]

http://www.hcso.tampa.fl.us/getdoc/1cdc4cff-c6e6-4dec-9629-0f1dc3cee0bb/HCSO-is-RNC-Ready.aspx

The sheriff in Charlotte similarly worded his message to the public, warning specifically about the threat of “anarchists” and the “black bloc”.

In Tampa, the numbers of protesters was small, maybe due to the weather or perhaps because people are starting to get the idea that there is no point in spending their money traveling just to be caught permanently on facial recognition cameras and possibly arrested while the royalty, meantime, is completely unaware of their presence and reasons for being there.  […”After three days, however, only a few hundred to, at most, a couple thousand protesters have appeared, scattered around the downtown area…. just three protesters have been arrested heading into the Tampa event’s third day. That includes a protester toting a machete Sunday, one who wouldn’t remove a bandana over his face Monday and one accused of battery following a fight over a piece of cardboard at a protest camp on Tuesday, police said...”   http://tbo.com/ar/477951/  ]  The special laws enacted in Charlotte are similar to the ones that were passed in Tampa for these events.

Starting Saturday, someone walking through Charlotte’s central business district could run afoul of the law by carrying water bottles, hair spray, socks or magic markers under sweeping security rules enacted ahead of the Democratic National Convention.

It would take a particularly strict reading of the rules for someone to be arrested simply for possessing one of those items, but the possibility exists — which worries protesters and free speech advocates. They fear authorities could trample on people’s constitutional rights in the name of protecting public safety.

The changes to city ordinances adopted earlier this year for “extraordinary events” ban a long list of actions and items that would otherwise be legal from a more than 100-square-block zone. The area includes spots as much as a mile from the sports venues where the Democratic Party events are to be held.

The new rules have already been used for events before the convention and will remain on the books after it’s over.  The special rules that went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday could also bar anyone other than government employees from carrying handbags and backpacks or possessing soda cans, drink coolers, scarves, bike helmets, baby strollers or pets not specifically permitted as service animals.

A section banning “a container or object of sufficient weight to be used as a projectile” could be interpreted to include almost anything, from an apple to an iPhone.

Those caught violating any of these prohibitions could be subject to arrest and jail.[…]
At the rain-soaked Republican Convention in Tampa earlier this week, officials banned umbrellas, baseballs and puppet-making materials.[…]

Since the new ordinances were approved in January, officials have already applied the “extraordinary” designation to other events where protesters were expected, including recent shareholder meetings for Bank of America and Duke Energy. Hagemann said the rules may be revisited after the DNC.

Protest leaders fear some the more than 1,750 Charlotte police officers might abuse their enhanced powers during the convention. Another concern is whether the 3,400 officers on loan from other departments have received adequate training on the Charlotte ordinances.[…]

Michael Zytkow, an activist with Occupy Charlotte, was arrested after he spoke beyond his allotted 3 minutes during the meeting where the ordinances were approved. The misdemeanor charge against him was later dropped.[…]  “I think this is an attempt to vilify protesters,” he said of the ordinances. “I think it’s an attempt to prevent us from coming out and joining and expressing our rights to march on the street and express our grievances.”

http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/3d281c11a96b4ad082fe88aa0db04305/Article_2012-09-01-US-Convention-Democrats-Free%20Speech/id-d8c23c3c2ca0430a837da9b15e0c689a

The cities get to keep all the hardware and gear that they amassed against the threat of protesters.  That means all those security cameras, etc. will now be permanently in place.  A surprising number of people seem to like this idea.  If you read the comments attached to any of these articles, you will get an idea of how far gone we are in the notions that spying on your neighbors and giving up any pretense of privacy is a good thing.  The propaganda has worked.  In Charlotte, there will be special vehicles to handle hazmat and hostage negotiation.  [http://www.news-record.com/content/2012/08/23/article/150_greensboro_police_officers_to_help_provide_security_at_dnc#nrcAnc_Middle2_Jump ]

“[…]The city will be able to keep the equipment purchased with the millions from the federal government which Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe says is a good thing for the police department.

“The money will likely be spent on security cameras and other technology, but Monroe promises it will be ‘spent wisely.'[…]”
http://www.wistv.com/Global/story.asp?S=13946886

From the wikipedia article on the 2012 DNC:

[…]Protest activity and demonstrations are being anticipated at the convention. Over sixty organizations have gathered into a group known as The Coalition to March on Wall St. South, and have declared their intention to protest at the convention. The left-leaning coalition reflects the rhetoric and ideology of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, and several Occupations from North Carolina are endorsers of the coalition. Demonstrators say they want to call attention to the influence of corporations on politics as well as the role of the military-industrial complex in US politics; they have scheduled a dance party to honor imprisoned soldier Bradley Manning. One group of illegal alien workers is traveling to the convention via bus. They risk deportation if they are arrested for civil disobedience.

Charlotte has received a $50 million grant from the federal government for convention security. The city plans to spend $25 million on its police force. Some of the money has been allocated to police bicycles ($303,596), software ($61,000), and a ‘command center upgrade’ ($704,795). The city also plans to spend $937,852 on officers from neighboring forces.
In anticipation of protest activity, the city of Charlotte has also passed a variety of new laws. These include:
•    Rules prohibiting camping on public property.
•    Restricting the use of a list of different items: “cables, bars, projectiles, spray guns, breakable containers,” aerosol containers, fireworks, smoke bombs, pepper spray, mace, masks, scarves, body-armor, helmets, and police scanners.

These laws are permanent and will remain effective after the end of the convention. They may also have ramifications before the convention: namely, the eviction of Occupy Charlotte from its encampment downtown.

The DNC has been designated National Special Security Event, which means that the Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security will do some of the policing. However, the Charlotte Police Department will be responsible for the areas outside the convention venues. Police note that it will be relatively easy to surround protestors in the city’s downtown business district, which is enclosed by expressway.[…]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Democratic_National_Convention

Conor Friedersdorf, a staff writer at The Atlantic, just wrote a great article which gives the feel of Tampa during the RNC.  He chonicles the strange odyssey he embarked on looking for the dreaded protesters.  At one point, he meets a photographer for a another publication and they join ranks.  The photographer relates to him the story of how he was walking on the wrong side of a barricade and was told by a police officer that he should get on the other side if he didn’t want to be shot by a police sniper.

Friedersdorf writes:

[…]All sorts of city blocks are closed off to pedestrians for no apparent reason. Getting from point A to point B might require going a quarter-mile out of your way five or six times. Law enforcement is generally polite, but the demeanor invariably changes immediately if someone inadvertently walks a few paces on the wrong street. Anyone who has traversed airport security is familiar with the sudden feeling that an agent of the state thinks you’re a suspicious potential terrorist for crossing an arbitrary line painted on the ground. And to enter the building itself is even more surreal.

Consider this.

Want to carry a concealed handgun to a crowded movie theater? The Republican Party will defend your right to do so. But credentialed journalists traversing a random block in downtown Tampa several blocks from the GOP convention, with scores of police officers and tons of concrete barriers still separating them from the delegates?

Apparently that’s too much of a security risk.

And if we want inside the convention hall itself?

Forget concealed weapons. Banned items include unopened envelopes, flashlights, and whole fruit. In fairness, the Constitution nowhere guarantees the right to bear bananas.

The men in fatigues and the atmosphere of military occupation is disturbing, but somehow I found the several helicopters hovering in place at all times to be the most unnerving single element.[…]

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/08/security-at-the-rnc-george-orwell-meets-a-call-of-duty-cityscape/261644/#.UD-qSGJxNDI.email

Really terrific article – I suggest you read it in full.

A summary of some little facts and on the equipment brought in for the two conventions:

•    Date on which the Democratic National Convention begins in Charlotte: Sept. 3
•    Amount in federal funds the city will spend on security for the gathering, expected to draw 6,000 delegates and 30,000 visitors: $50 million
•    Number of officers the money will be used to hire from outside departments: 3,400
•    Miles of 9-foot-tall “anti-scale” fencing the funds will be used to purchase: about 5
•    Miles of concrete barriers the Secret Service has requested for the event: 2
•    Date on which the Charlotte City Council, in anticipation of the convention, passed a law empowering the city manager to declare an “extraordinary event,” designating a section of the city where police have broad powers to search and arrest people carrying potential weapons, projectiles or other items, including permanent markers, coolers and backpacks: Jan. 23[…]
•    Number of national groups involved in “The Coalition to March on Wall Street South,” a reference to Charlotte’s position as the second-largest U.S. financial center behind New York, that are planning to peacefully protest at the convention: 80
•    Estimated number of churches that will gather Sept. 2 in Charlotte’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheater for a service organized by anti-gay rights and anti-abortion activists: 40
•    Percent of Charlotte’s Uptown commercial district that will be inside the DNC’s “extraordinary event” perimeters: 60
•    Amount of federal money the Republicans received for their convention in Tampa, Fla., which begins Aug. 27: $50 million
•    Number of officers who will be patrolling channels and waterways in the downtown area at any given time in boats mounted with automatic machine guns: 150
•    Number of organizations that have endorsed the March on the RNC, a protest set for Aug. 27: more than 60
•    Number of people expected to occupy pink tents inside a protest camp on leased land in downtown Tampa dubbed “Romneyville”: 300

http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/extraordinary-security-at-rnc-dnc/Content?oid=3131070

I would like to emphasize something here; 100 million dollars of tax-payer money has been spent for these two conventions combined.  100 million dollars.  So when the city fathers and convention planners try to say that these events will not cost the people who live in these cities any money, that is not entirely true.  It will cost all of us something, to the tune of 100 million bucks.  Imagine what we could do with that money…instead, it is being used to keep you away from the royalty in Versailles.  These “leaders”, who we are supposed to trust with our national financial decisions, are throwing themselves a couple of parties, and they just spent 100 million of your dollars for security to keep you out.  The new laws and security measures will remain in effect after the conventions; several Occupy locations are wiped out permanently and thousands of security cameras will remain in place to record your every step down the sidewalks.  Fencing and barricades will be stored for future use, to be brought out during the next board meeting of Bank of America or Monsanto, perhaps.  Your opinion is irrelevant.  Your worries and concerns are unheard, by design.  Aside from the facial recognition software storing your photo (should it be needed at some point as evidence against you if you forget your place in the scheme of things), you are invisible.  Your only purpose is to provide the cash for the very security being used to keep you, the riff-raff, out.  Even the reporters will mostly ignore the protesters and peasantry in favor of jotting down the words, as exactly as possible, of the princes and kings.  It does not matter that the words are untrue or stupid.  100 million dollars.  Of your money.  To keep you out, to pat you down and take away your backpack and magic markers.  The whole dismal situation could not be more obvious if the wealthy American royalty hung up banners in the convention halls reading, “Let them eat cake.”

This is but one of the signs that we have reached the end point.  All the years of propaganda has worked and Security is The Only Issue.  Even, sadly, security provided at our expense to protect the elite decision-makers from the rest of us.  We have somehow accepted the idea that this is necessary and smart.  The last of our rights is wiped out with huge segments of the American public cheering for the police state – obsequiously grateful for and applauding the flying monkeys who, we think, “protect us” from each other – the idea that our real enemies are the other poor slobs just like ourselves is one we have bought completely.  We are no longer even capable of understanding who is being protected, and from whom.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 1, 2012 in civil rights, elections, Occupy, security state

 

Circling the drain.

President Obama taped an interview which was to air on Thursday night.  I did not watch it.  I can no longer tolerate more than a second of such pap any more.  However, prior to the broadcast, a few of his remarks from the interview were released to the media.  The media loved this quote:

Just hours after a top JPMorgan Chase executive retired in the wake of a stunning $2 billion trading loss, President Obama told the hosts of ABC’s “The View” that the bank’s risky bets exemplified the need for Wall Street reform.

“JPMorgan is one of the best managed banks there is. Jamie Dimon, the head of it, is one of the smartest bankers we got and they still lost $2 billion and counting,” the president said. “We don’t know all the details. It’s going to be investigated, but this is why we passed Wall Street reform.”

While a powerhouse like JPMorgan might be able to weather an error that the bank’s own CEO called “egregious,” the president questioned what might happen to smaller institutions in similar situations.

“This is one of the best managed banks. You could have a bank that isn’t as strong, isn’t as profitable managing those same bets and we might have had to step in,” he said. “That’s why Wall Street reform is so important.” […]

http://news.yahoo.com/obama-jpmorgan-one-best-managed-banks-214359921–abc-news-politics.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=feed

 

Each article I’ve read about these quotes stresses that Obama thinks we need more financial reform and regulation.  That de-regulation led directly to the crash of ’08 is a fact not in dispute, unless someone ate your brain.  However, I don’t think that the take-away from the quotes is whatever lip-service Obama gave to reform and regulation.  Look again, bearing in mind that the largest banks in the US, which caused the financial melt-down and which have been given over 17 trillion in hidden bailouts, are now much bigger than they were.  These banks have spread their toxic waste globally and are now taking out entire countries.  Banks are able to borrow from the Federal Reserve at 0% and are also able to post virtually worthless derivatives or notional securities with no discernible market value as collateral for Fed facilities; wherein, the Fed accepts the collateral at its notional, i.e., face, value without regard for its lack of market value and will lend to these banks up to 90% of that notional value of those “toxic assets”, once again at 0% or damn close to it.   As Primary Dealers of US Treasuries, these banks are then permitted to invest as much of that free Fed money as they want into US Treasuries, generating them the interest paid by taxpayers on the Treasuries: a pretty nice rate of return on free money.   And because of fractional lending, they’re able to lend a multiple of many times over the money they are getting for free from the Fed at any interest rate they choose to charge individuals and businesses, when they choose to lend at all.

In these quotes, Obama praises his buddy Jamie as “one of the smartest bankers we got.”  He calls JPMorgan “one of the best managed banks there is.”  These statements are only true if you particularly admire the ability of Jamie and his bank to plunder the public.  The banks that were “too big to fail” in ’08, which led to 99% of the public calling for the break-up of these banks and to Congress nonetheless bailing them out, are now exponentially larger.  Yet here Obama is lauding the massive size of one of them.

“[…]the president questioned what might happen to smaller institutions in similar situations. […]‘You could have a bank that isn’t as strong, isn’t as profitable managing those same bets and we might have had to step in,’ he said.”

You go, Jamie.  Barry admires your audacity.  Hopefully, you will continue on your current trajectory and one day soon own the entire world.  We “passed Wall Street reform” not to save the average dumb-ass American, but to prevent the banks from suffering losses.  (Those are the O-man’s words, without the media interpreting them for us.  “…they still lost $2 billion and counting,” the president said. “We don’t know all the details. It’s going to be investigated, but this is why we passed Wall Street reform.”)  All this anguish over freaking JPMorgan losing 2 bb (or 5 bb or whatever) when what we should be concerned about are the truly astronomically uncountably obscene profits they have been making off our sorry asses ever since the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 which gave the banks absolute control over US monetary policy met up with the Robert Rubins, Alan Greenspans, Hank Paulsons, Ben Bernankes, and Timmeh Geithners of Generation @Now.

Here are some fun facts to learn and share.  JPMorgan, “one of the best managed banks there is,” according to Obama:

•    Is the world’s largest publicly-traded company

•    Is the largest bank in the U.S. … the biggest of the too big to fail banks which are killing the American economy

•    Is the largest derivatives dealer in the world, and derivatives are inherently destabilizing for the economy

•    Essentially wrote the faux “reform” legislation for derivatives, which did nothing to decrease risk, and killed any chance of real reform

•    Is the creator of credit default swaps – which caused the 2008 financial crisis, and is the asset class which blew up and caused the loss

•    Has had large potential exposures to credit default swap losses for years […]

•    Went completely insolvent in the 1980s

•    … and again in 2007  (and was saved both times by the government at taxpayer expense)

•    Heads – with Goldman Sachs – the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, which helps set government financial policy[…]

•    Was kept alive by a huge government bailout … but used the money to invest in India and other projects which won’t really help Americans

•    Has made a killing by kicking companies and governments when they are down, engaging in various types of fraud, allegedly manipulating the silver market, and profiting on misery by acting as the largest processor of food stamps in America […]

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/05/the-truth-about-jp-morgans-2-billion-loss.html

 

The derivatives market was notionally valued at 200 trillion in ’08 despite the fact that the actual value of the underlying assets – the real estate in the US – was worth 20 tt.  The GDP of the entire world is roughly 58 tt.  Today, the derivatives market is estimated to be over a quadrillion dollars. 

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/05/top-derivatives-expert-finally-gives-a-credible-estimate-of-the-size-of-the-global-derivatives-market.html

95% of this market is held by Fannie and Freddie (because the US government keeps dumping the derivatives there to hide them for the big banks) and 5 banks.  That’s some audacity.  That’s some bubble.  That’s going to be one hell of an impressive explosion when it blows up.

The mortgage fraud settlement that was just agreed to by the Obama administration and the States Attorney has yet to seat an investigative team.  No-one even quite knows if they have an office; for sure, they have no staff.  The money from this settlement, most of which is actually coming from the taxpayers and not the banks, is being used by the states in a myriad of inventive ways, but almost none of it is actually going to the homeowners who are being fraudulently foreclosed on.  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/16/business/states-diverting-mortgage-settlement-money-to-other-uses.html?_r=1&emc=eta1   The state of Ohio (and soon Hawai’i) has found a particularly repugnant use of their share of the funds which is being copied in several other states: they are using some of the money to tear down the empty foreclosed homes.  You don’t understand why that is offensive, do you?      Let me remind you that these vacant houses are owned by the banks – they are supposed to maintain the properties.  In an effort to prevent the banks from having to spend any of their cash whatsoever – on maintenance or in property taxes (land with buildings on it brings in higher property taxes to the state) – the states are going to tear the empty houses down for the banks.  The banks don’t even have to carry the cost of destroying the houses they don’t really want.  Now do you get it?  Furthermore, two of our US congressmen from Ohio have a bill in front of Congress to make this a national policy at a taxpayer cost of 4 billion dollars.

But enough about the banks for the moment.  Let’s look at where we stand on other issues.

The 2012 NDAA was passed with sections that allow for the indefinite detention of Americans and foreigners for ties to terrorism (whatever that means) or terrorist organizations (which groups this means is unclear and undefined).  It does away with several of the rights we have always assumed were basic here in the US.  This law has just been successfully challenged in federal court in a suit brought by Chris Hedges and others, where it has been enjoined pending a higher court ruling on constitutionality.   http://www.salon.com/2012/05/16/federal_court_enjoins_ndaa/singleton/   No-one is certain if the Obama administration is going to appeal this decision.  The 2012 NDAA was passed with 100% of the Senate voting “aye” – and here you thought they were the sane ones in Washington.  Despite the judge’s ruling earlier this week, and despite the clear threat to our rights, Congress has kept the same clauses in the 2013 NDAA, which has already passed the House and is headed for the Senate.  Furthermore, as Congressman Dennis Kucinich points out, in addition to the grave threat to our civil liberties, the 2013 NDAA prepares us to go to war with Iran.

This week, Congress is considering two pieces of legislation relating to Iran. The first undermines a diplomatic solution with Iran and lowers the bar for war. The second authorizes a war of choice against Iran and begins military preparations for it.

H.Res.568: Eliminating the Most Viable Alternative to War
The House is expected to vote on H.Res. 568. Read the resolution. Section (6) rejects any United States policy that would rely on efforts to contain a nuclear weapons-capable Iran. Section (7) urges the President to reaffirm the unacceptability of an Iran with nuclear-weapons capability and opposition to any policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to Iranian enrichment.

This language represents a significant shift in U.S. policy and would guarantee that talks with Iran, currently scheduled for May 23, would fail. Current U.S. policy is that Iran cannot acquire nuclear weapons. Instead, H. Res. 568 draws the “redline” for military action at Iran achieving a nuclear weapons “capability,” a nebulous and undefined term that could include a civilian nuclear program. Indeed, it is likely that a negotiated deal to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran and to prevent war would provide for Iranian enrichment for peaceful purposes under the framework of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty with strict safeguards and inspections. This language makes such a negotiated solution impossible.

At the same time, the language lowers the threshold for attacking Iran. Countries with nuclear weapons “capability” could include many other countries like Japan or Brazil. It is an unrealistic threshold.

The Former Chief of Staff of Secretary of State Colin Powell has stated that this resolution “reads like the same sheet of music that got us into the Iraq war.”

H.R. 4310: Authorizing War Against Iran and Preparing the Military for it
While H. Res. 568 undermines our diplomatic efforts and lowers the bar for war, H.R. 4310, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 begins military preparations for war. Section 1221 makes military action against Iran a U.S. policy. Section 1222 directs our armed forces to prepare for war.

SEC. 1221. DECLARATION OF POLICY.
“(a) Findings- Congress makes the following findings:
“(2) At the same time, Iran may soon attain a nuclear weapons capability, a development that would threaten United States interests, destabilize the region, encourage regional nuclear proliferation, further empower and embolden Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and provide it the tools to threaten its neighbors, including Israel.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as well as U.S. and Israeli intelligence, have all agreed that Iran does not currently have a nuclear bomb, is not building a nuclear weapon and does not have plans to do so. Both U.S. and Israeli officials also agree that a strike on Iran would only delay their nuclear program and actually encourage them to pursue a nuclear weapon.

Sustained, diplomatic engagement with Iran is the only way to ensure transparency and prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. Rejecting or thwarting any inspections-based deal we are currently seeking with Iran, even when analysts are expressing guarded optimism that a near term deal is achievable, makes pre-emptive military action against Iran more likely.[…]

The United States, IAEA and Israel have all publically recognized that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program. In a January 2012 interview on CBS’ Face the Nation, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stated unequivocally that Iran is not trying to build a nuclear weapon. This clause further ignores that the U.S. and Iran have barely engaged in direct negotiations. Prior to last month’s negotiations, the U.S. and Iran had only engaged in 45 minutes of direct talks since 2009.

“(b) Declaration of Policy- It shall be the policy of the United States to take all necessary measures, including military action if required, to prevent Iran from threatening the United States, its allies, or Iran’s neighbors with a nuclear weapon.”

This is an authorization for the use of military force against Iran. It ignores the warnings of both current and former U.S. top military brass who have spoken in opposition to the use of military force against Iran, including former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and current Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.[…]

SEC. 1222. UNITED STATES MILITARY PREPAREDNESS IN THE MIDDLE EAST.
“Section 2 (A) pre-positioning sufficient supplies of aircraft, munitions, fuel, and other materials for both air- and sea-based missions at key forward locations in the Middle East and Indian Ocean;
“(B) maintaining sufficient naval assets in the region necessary to signal United States resolve and to bolster United States capabilities to launch a sustained sea and air campaign against a range of Iranian nuclear and military targets, to protect seaborne shipping, and to deny Iranian retaliation against United States interests in the region;
“(D) conducting naval fleet exercises similar to the United States Fifth Fleet’s major exercise in the region in March 2007 to demonstrate ability to keep the Strait of Hormuz open and to counter the use of anti-ship missiles and swarming high-speed boats.”

A plain reading of these provisions in H.R. 4310 taken together with H.R. 568 makes it clear: Congress is setting the stage for war with Iran.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-dennis-kucinich/ndaa-authorizes-war-again_b_1524474.html

We have wasted trillions of dollars on wars of aggression and invasion.  We are going broke.  Hell, we are broke.  But our “representatives” in Congress and our President will protect and increase the Pentagon budget and continue to spend our money on weapons and military pursuits no matter how we feel about it.  We have to send petitions begging them not to let us be picked up on the street and held forever, without formal charges or trial, in a black hole somewhere.  The petitions are ignored.  They like this new sort of situation.  We participate in polls, protest, and write letters, sending the clear message that we want to end the goddamn wars now.  In response, they try to maneuver us into yet another war and increase war funding, which will be paid for by cutting the already decimated domestic spending.

This week, as world leaders gather in Chicago to make long-term plans for Afghanistan, your representative in Congress will cast votes that could help end the destabilizing U.S. military presence in that country or prolong it.  Congress could cut the bloated military budget to put funds into urgently needed domestic programs – or give the Pentagon even more money.

The FY 2013 military budget (NDAA) is up for a vote in the House likely this Friday. It contains more than $642 billion of taxpayer money to pay for a war the majority of Americans oppose, nuclear upgrades that threaten non-proliferation agreements, programs and weapons that even the Pentagon doesn’t want. The bill also promotes provocative threats on Iran, enables reckless actions by Israel and prohibits the transfer of prisoners from Guantanamo to the United States.

Austerity for the Pentagon at a time when the deficit is huge and vital domestic programs are being cut? Not a chance if the House Armed Service has its way. It’s not just the Republicans, who are at fault.  The majority of Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee also voted in favor, producing a lopsided 56-5 margin for an outrageous bill for a military budget that is even bigger than the one requested by the White House.

Partisan rhetoric should not obscure the reality that if this over-sized military budget passes the Congress, it will be paid for by programs that affect the most vulnerable-food stamps, school lunches, health insurance for low income children, “Meals-on Wheels” for the elderly. – petition from USLaw.

Our money is also being spent to police us.  To make sure we don’t get out of hand.  We will now have drones hovering over us and lots of inventive new methods are being put into place to spy on us.  The domestic drones are not going to be used to spy on us, we are assured by our Congressional Drone Caucus, because that would be, like, all illegal and shit.  (Yes, drones have their own caucus.)  But if some drone somewhere overhead accidentally has its surveillance apparatus turned on, we can save the recordings for 90 days, examine them to see if any suspicious activity has been picked up, and use the recordings against you.  Because you never know what you’ll find when you spy on Americans on purpose accidentally.  And what is the law for if not to instruct us where it can be circumvented?
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/05/air-force-drones-domestic-spy/#more-80214

So here is a really cool idea for how a city can use taxpayer money.  Buy these cunning streetlamps.  They may look like ordinary streetlights, but they actually record all sound and movement nearby.  Oh, and they have a little television screen to alert passing citizens about emergencies or what-not.  As Janet Napolitano says, there’s nothing so delicious as scaring the crap out of the citizens every minute of every day.  These streetlamps just went live in a town in Mich.

[…]Simply put, the Intellistreets project is a system of Internet-connected luminaries that communicate with one another across the city. In addition to lighting the area, they can broadcast verbal and written messages, monitor rainfall and give directions.
According to their own website, the system is also great for “data harvesting.”

Not only does Intellistreets offer information about the neighborhood and provide light, it also monitors the conversations of pedestrians, records video, monitors foot-traffic and counts heads — all of which is recorded and stored for possible analysis. And according to Harwood [Intellistreets designer and owner], the tiny 80,000 community of Farmington Hills isn’t going to be the only town using his technology — Detroit, Chicago and Pittsburgh have placed orders and the inventor claims that he is in talks with the Department of Homeland Security.

http://on.rt.com/072ubj

You can visit Intellistreets website here:  http://www.images1.com/
But one of our dedicated civil servants in office has an idea for saving money – bring out the dogs.  Ah, yes, nothing says ‘land of the free’ quite like uniformed officers with Alsatians on leash manning checkpoints at all transportation hubs.

[…]The TSA’s top financial officer, David Nicholson, defended the agency, saying it has cut its warehouse costs from $7.6 million in 2009 to $3.5 million in 2011.

But Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) suggested that the TSA consider what he said was a cheaper, more effective alternative to the scanners: bomb-sniffing dogs.

“People are going to die if you continue to make these kinds of asinine decisions,” he told Nicholson. “Go get the dogs.” […]

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/may/13/business/la-fi-0514-travel-briefcase-20120514

This madness needs to stop.  The people in charge are making such bad decisions in part, perhaps, because many of them are so stupid that if they were in elementary school, they’d be riding the short bus, but mainly because they are soulless, shark-eyed, low-level grifters, bought and paid for.  They no longer serve the country – its people or its best interests.  They are deliberately letting our country go to ruin internally while spending our money on instigating wars, killing people in far-off lands, and handing buckets of cash to the biggest banks and corporations they can find.  When they do spend our own taxpayer money domestically, it is only for projects that poison our water and our air, bail out the companies that ship our jobs overseas, or are designed to keep us in line lest we get out of hand while they bankrupt the nation.

Support or join in protest.  If you feel you have to vote in what is now basically a one-party election, vote for a third party.  Vote for Jill Stein or Rocky Anderson.  The only reason we have the idea that a third party can’t win is because that is what the media and the power-brokers want us to believe.  Stop believing this bullshit.  Support the Occupy movement.  They are trying to change this thing around.  The only reason you think they are irrelevant is because that is what the media and the power-brokers want you to believe.  Stop believing this bullshit.  Maybe it is too late and we will quietly crumble into a third-world country anyway with few of us taking note as it happens or understanding why.  But for God’s sake, if you get any of it, if you have a glimmer of understanding, stand up and protest in whatever way you can.

Some creative people in the Occupy movement have designed a set of cards that can be used for educational purposes.  Each card contains information about a different topic.  You can print the cards yourself from their website, or order them from Occucards.  So far, they have ten different cards, with more in the works.  The information is succinct and factual.  You can view, order, or print your own copies from this site:  http://www.occucards.com/

If you choose not to order, but want to support the project, I’m sure they will be pleased to accept donations to continue their work.  I am not affiliated with this project in any way, by the way.  Kitt (thank you!) brought Occucards to my attention in the comments and I think it is a wonderful idea – I am happy to help spread the word.

Sample: Occucard on the US Monetary System, back:

The Monetary System
The text as it appears on the back of the card
Federal banking rules allow banks to make loans of up to nine times the amount of money they have in reserve. This is called “fractional reserve banking” and is the process by which private banks increase the money supply by creating and loaning out more money than they actually have. Fractional reserve banking is commonly misunderstood to mean that banks must put 10% of their money into reserves, after which they can loan out the remaining 90%. But in fact, when banks put money in reserve, they are then allowed to create and loan out new money, up to nine times the amount they actually put in reserve, or 900% more. This means that when a bank makes a loan, it is literally loaning money into existence. This newly created money enters into circulation and increases the nation’s overall money supply. Then, as the borrower begins making loan payments back to the bank, the principle portion of each payment is removed from circulation, while the interest remains, becoming the bank’s profit. This entire process takes place digitally. No paper money needs to be printed, since loans and repayments are made simply by increasing and decreasing account balances on computers.
This awesome power to create money out of nothing is the reason banks are the most powerful institutions in the nation. The ability to loan new money into existence gives private banks unlimited capital with which to finance and control society’s development, and the pursuit of profit is their only consideration. Commercial bank loans are awarded with no consideration for the social or environmental consequences of the commercial activity, but rather solely on whether the business will make money and hence be able to pay back the loan with interest. The immense wealth banks are able to accrue through this process also allows them to manipulate society’s political institutions. By funding the political campaigns of both major parties and hiring huge armies of lobbyists, banks and other giant corporations have subverted the political process, resulting in a government unresponsive to the needs of citizens.
Currently, all new money entering into circulation is created by banks through the process of issuing loans, which saddles the population with massive debt. However, there are other ways money can be created. The U.S. government could create its own money (rather than borrowing it from the Federal Reserve) and release it into circulation in the form of salaries and wages via public works programs, or in the form of subsidies given directly to private companies that provide benefits to society. Spending money into existence like this increases the money supply without creating debt.
The wholesale privatization of the money creation process, where all new money is released into circulation in the form of bank loans, and where the US Government is forced to borrow money from the Federal Reserve (or else tax the people) before it can spend, enriches private banks at the expense of ordinary Americans, the majority of whom are perpetually in debt. Given the power of large, financial corporations over our government, returning to a just monetary system will require a broad-based movement of protest, education and civil disobedience.
References and external links
http://www.positivemoney.org.uk/2011/12/capitalism/

 

Live free and/or die.

In case anyone was wondering why the US gov’t went to such absurd lengths to concoct a bizarre and obviously false “Iranian terrorist coming to attack us and our friends in the embassy of the House of Saud on US soil”, here is the story that will explain the timing, the heated Fear Factor in the MSM about the “Iranian terrorist”, and the real reason behind the sudden appearance of this Texasusedcarsalesman/Iranian mad-dog terrorist:

http://www.tehrantimes.com/index.php/economy-and-business/1748-1st-oil-shipment-sold-on-iran-oil-bourse

Here is Pepe Escobar showing how utterly absurd the “plot” was.  The whole point of this ridiculous exercise is to ramp up sympathy for the House of Saud and to attempt to demonize Iran further.    The bloodthirsty Condaleeza Rice, George Bush, and Dick Cheney Susan Rice, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton would love nothing more than another US war.  Just because death is what they do best.

 

And lest you be under the mistaken impression that Occupy Wallstreet was having any sway with Congress, we give you three brand new trade deals, guaranteed to off-shore more US jobs.  Congress: screwing the public because we can.  Yes, we can.

Finally, a tiny, small-print note about home foreclosures in the 3rd Q.  They increased.  But this is a GOOD thing, citizens, because it “frees up the housing market”, “eases doubts and concerns”, and does other goodly good things which are much too complicated to go into right now.  Don’t worry your pretty little heads about it.  Anyway, this is merely a test to see if you’ve all forgotten about the MERS bank and robo-signing issues.  What’s that you say?  “What MERS bank?”  Oh, good.  You HAVE forgotten about it.  That’s what we were hoping for by failing to mention in any article about foreclosures that almost all of them are still taking place within the MERS system.


http://news.yahoo.com/us-foreclosure-activity-edged-higher-3q-040216885.html

What is the plan here?  The CIA and the Pentagon have some plans for us, for sure.  There IS someone in charge, after all; don’t fret about that, citizens.

Article from warisacrime.org: “Crazy Horse – Back on the Warpath”, a speech by Bruce Gagnon.
Quotes from the article:

…A few years ago during the Bush administration I was watching one of my favorite TV programs, C-SPAN, and I saw a startling program.  They introduced the speaker at a military conference as Donald Rumsfeld’s strategy guy.  His name was Thomas Barnett, who at that time was an instructor at the Naval War College in Rhode Island.  He wrote a book called the Pentagon’s New Map.  First, I want to say something about the audience.  It was a huge auditorium.  High-level military brass from all the services was present, and in the introduction they said high-level CIA people were there as well.  Barnett was there to lay out for the highest levels of the military the new Pentagon military strategy.

Barnett essentially said this: Because of corporate globalization of the world’s economy, every different country is going to have a different role in the future, a different job. We’re not going to make things in America anymore.  We’re not going to have jobs in America because it’s cheaper for the corporations to go overseas, maximize profits internationally, to build cars and clothes and shoes, refrigerators, computers, everything else. Our role under corporate globalization will be security export. 

Thus it’s no coincidence that today in America the number one industrial export product of our nation is weapons, and when weapons are your number one industrial export product, what is your global marketing strategy for that product line?

Barnett went on to say that there would essentially be two military services in the future.  Because of space technology, the old distinction between Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, he said, is being rubbed out.   One he called “leviathan” whose job would be to go in, shock and awe, do a complete destruction of a particular country, and the other service will be “systems administration,” sys-ad he called it.  He said these troops would never come home.  After we’ve gone in with leviathan, completely destroyed a country, systems administration will go in and run the country.  Yes, they’ll set up a puppet government, of course, like Libya or in Afghanistan, but systems administration will run the country and will never come home.  In fact, just about two years ago I read that Lockheed Martin had gotten a huge contract from the Pentagon to begin training the new generation of systems administration warriors.

Barnett went on to say that young people in America, the angry, young men who are whiling away their time because they have no jobs would be perfect for leviathan because they’re angry, they’re connected to computer games, they’ll be good at doing things like flying drones and he basically described the militarization of our culture.  Last year I saw a manifestation of this.  I heard a rumor that Sears had a new line of kids’ clothes, and I went to see it with a friend because I really had to check this out, and what I discovered when I walked into the kids’ section of Sears was a complete display of military uniforms turned into kids clothing.  The message to the younger generation is this is all you’re going to be.  This is your future in America, either flipping hamburgers or coming into the military.

The other thing that Barnett talked about which is very important is the Pentagon’s new map.  He said there is part of the world today that is not submitting to the authority of corporate globalization.  He called it the non-integrating gap, and he clearly identified it.  He named the Middle East, where, of course, we are in Iraq today with our permanent military bases and these people won’t be coming home.  Central Asia where we are today in Afghanistan, again, we’re not coming home from there.  Africa where he said we will be fighting 20 years from now for their oil, well even sooner than that as NATO, our lap dog, has invaded Libya that sits on the largest supply of oil on the African continent. Finally, Barnett said parts of Latin America are included in this non-integrating gap, places like Venezuela where Hugo Chavez is not playing ball with corporate globalization.  Barnett maintained our job in America, under security export, will be to go into the non-integrating gap, and secure it to the benefit of corporate globalization.  Barnett said America would not do international treaties anymore because they will just stand in our way. Barnett also told this big audience, “Adolph Hitler never had to ask permission to invade another country and neither will we.”  This arrogance is why we are having endless war today….

Earlier today there was some mention of the new Super Committee in Congress, what I call the Congressional coup d’etat, where 12 members of the House and Senate have been given the power of God.  The Congressional Super Committee, that will be given these extraordinary powers to cut the federal budget, will be co-chaired by Senator Patty Murray, Democrat from Washington.  She is often called “Boeing’s Senator.”  There are huge conflicts of interest between these committee members, these 12 people, and the military industrial complex.  The Boston Globe reported just a few weeks ago that “The six Republicans and six Democrats represent states where the biggest military contractors – Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon, and Boeing Co. – build missiles, aircraft jet fighters and tanks while employing tens of thousands of workers.”  The Globe tried to make the case that it would be a “Doomsday” if this new Super Committee allowed major cuts in military spending.  Senator Murray, the Democrat, got $276,200 in campaign donations from these aerospace corporations since 2007, more than any other committee member.  Second place goes to Senator Max Baucus, the Democrat from Montana at $139,100, and third place went to the Republican, Dave Camp from Michigan who got $130,800, and the fourth spot was Skull and Bones member, Senator John Kerry, Democrat for Massachusetts, at $73,500.  You remember that election don’t you? When Skull and Bones ran against Skull and Bones.  When it was George W. Bush against John Kerry. You remember that, right?  So three out of the top four Super Committee recipients of weapons contractor’s cash are Democrats.  It’s a bad situation, coup d’etat, coup d’etat. …  http://tinyurl.com/6dsotcn

It’s all about Freedom, citizens.  We are Freeing the housing market.  Freeing you from the worries of handling a mortgage.  Freeing Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somolia, Pakistan, Yemen.  Soon we will be Freeing Iran and many other countries as well.  And you will be Freed from your job, if you haven’t already been, leaving you to live Freely, without the struggle of working at some tedious task for many tedious hours each week.  Yes, we have already Freed you from the worries of managing money – wasn’t that a chore?  You are Free of that one now.  We all like Freedom, citizens!  Live Free or Die!  Isn’t that the motto?  We will see to it that you do, indeed, either live Free – or Die.  Or, just because we can, perhaps we will manage it so that you will be able to do both at once.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 13, 2011 in austerity, Congress, economy, Iran, MERS, Occupy, trade agreements