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1  The Economy / SOLUTIONS! / The Money Masters: Behind the Global Debt Crisis on: September 26, 2011, 03:29:16 pm
http://www.prisonplanet.com/the-money-masters-behind-the-global-debt-crisis.html

The Money Masters: Behind the Global Debt Crisis

Adrian Salbuchi
Global Research
Sept 26, 2011

In the US, we see untold millions suffering from the impact of mass foreclosures and unemployment; in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and Italy, stringent austerity measures are imposed upon the whole population; all coupled with major banking collapses in Iceland, the UK and the US, and indecent bail-outs of “too-big-to-fail” bankers (Newspeak for too powerful to fail).

No doubt, the bulk of the responsibility for these debacles falls squarely on the shoulders of caretaker governments in these countries that are subordinated to Money Power interests and objectives. In country after country, that comes together with embedded corruption, particularly evident today in the UK, Italy and the US.

As we assess some of the key components of today’s Global Financial, Currency and Banking Model in this article, readers will hopefully get a better understanding as to why we are all in such a crisis, and that it will tend to get much worse in the months and years to come.

Foundations of a Failed and False Model

Hiding behind the mask of false “laws” allegedly governing “globalised markets and economies,” this Financial Model has allowed a small group of people to amass and wield huge and overwhelming power over markets, corporations, industries, governments and the global media. The irresponsible and criminal consequences of their actions are now clear for all to see.

The “Model” we will briefly describe, falls within the framework of a much vaster Global Power System that is grossly unjust and was conceived and designed from the lofty heights of private geopolitical and geo-economic[1] planning centres that function to promote the Global Power Elite’s agenda as they prepare their “New World Order” – again, Newspeak for a Coming World Government.[2]

Specifically, we are talking about key think tanks like the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group, and other similar entities such as the Cato Institute (Monetary Issues), American Enterprise Institute and the Project for a New American Century that conform an intricate, solid, tight and very powerful network, engineering and managing New World Order interests, goals and objectives.

Writing from the stance of an Argentine citizen, I admit we have some “advantages” over the citizens of industrialised countries as the US, UK, European Union, Japan or Australia, in that over the last few decades we have had direct experience of successive catastrophic national crises emanating from inflation, hyper-inflation, systemic banking collapse, currency revamps, sovereign debt bond mega-swaps, military coups and lost wars…

Finance vs the Economy

The Financial system (i.e., a basically unreal Virtual, symbolic and parasitic world), increasingly functions in a direction that is contrary to the interest of the Real Economy (i.e., the Real and concrete world of work, production, manufacturing, creativity, toil, effort and sacrifice done by real people). Over the past decades, Finance and the Economy have gone their totally separate and antagonistic ways, and no longer function in a healthy and balanced relationship that prioritises the Common Good of We the People. This huge conflict between the two can be seen, amongst other places, in today’s Financial and Economic System, whose main support lies in the Debt Paradigm, i.e., that nothing can be done unless you first have credit, financing and loans to do it. Thus, the Real Economy becomes dependent on and distorted by the objectives, interests and fluctuations of Virtual Finance.[3]

Debt-Based System

The Real Economy should be financed with genuine funds; however with time, the Global Banking Elite succeeded in getting one Sovereign Nation-State after another to give up its inalienable function of supplying the correct quantity of National Currency as the primary financial instrument to finance the Real Economy. That requires decided action through Policies centred on promoting the Common Good of We The People in each country, and securing the National Interest against the perils posed by internal and external adversaries.

Thus, we can better understand why the financial “law” that requires central banks to always be totally “independent” of Government and the State has become a veritable dogma. This is just another way of ensuring that central banking should always be fully subordinated to the interests of the private banking over-world – both locally in each country, as well as globally.

We find this to prevail in all countries: Argentina, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, the European Union and in just about every other country that adopts so-called “Western” financial practice. Perhaps the best (or rather, the worst) example of this is the United States where the Federal Reserve System is a privately controlled institution outright, with around 97% of its shares being owned by the member banks themselves (admittedly, it does have a very special stock scheme), even though the bankers running “Fed” do everything they can to make it appear as if it is a “public” entity operated by Government, something that it is definitely not.

One of the Global Banking Over-world’s permanent goals is – and has been – to maintain full control over all central banks in just about every country, in order to be able to control their public currencies.[4] This, in turn, allows them to impose a fundamental (for them) condition whereby there is never the right quantity of public currency to satisfy the true demand and needs of the Real Economy. That is when those very same private banks that control central banking come on scene to “satisfy the demand for money” of the Real Economy by artificially generating private bank money out of nothing. They call it “credits and loans” and offer to supply it to the Real Economy, but with an “added value” (for them): (a) they will charge interest for them (often at usury levels) and, (b) they will create most of that private bank money out of thin air through the fractional lending system.

At a Geo-economic level, this has also served to generate huge and unnecessary public sovereign debts in country after country all over the world. Argentina is a good example, whose Caretaker Governments are systematically ignorant and unwilling to use one of the sovereign state’s key powers: the issuance of high power non-interest generating Public Money (see below for a more detailed definition). Instead, Argentina has allowed IMF (International Monetary Fund) so-called “recipes” that reflect the global banking cartel’s own interests to be imposed upon it in fundamental matters like what are the proper functions of its Central Bank, sovereign debt, fiscal policy, and other monetary, banking and financial mechanisms, that are thus systematically used against the Common Good of the Argentine People andagainst the National Interest of the country.

This system and its dreadful results, now and in the past, are so similar in so many other countries – Brazil, Mexico, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, UK, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Indonesia, Hungary, Russia, Ukraine… that it can only reflect a well thought-out and engineered plan, emanating from the highest planning echelons of the Global Power Elite.

Fractional Bank Lending

This banking concept is in use throughout the world’s financial markets, and allows private banks to generate “virtual” Money out of thin air (i.e., scriptural annotations and electronic entries into current and savings accounts, and a vast array of lines of credit), in a ratio that is 8, 10, 30, 50 times or more larger than the actual amount of cash (i.e., public money) held by the bank in its vaults. In exchange for lending this private “money” created out of nothing, bankers collect interest, demand collateral with intrinsic value and if the debtor defaults they can then foreclose on their property or other assets.

The ratio that exists between the amount of Dollars or Pesos in its vaults and the amount of credit private banks generate is determined by the central banking authority which fixes the fractional lending leverage level (which is why controlling the central bank is so vital strategically for private banker cartels). This leverage level is a statistical reserve based on actuarial calculations of the portion of account holders who in normal time go to their banks or ATM machines to withdraw their money in cash (i.e., in public money notes). The key factor here is that this works fine in “normal” times, however “normal” is basically a collective psychology concept intimately linked to what those account holders, and the population at large, perceive regarding the financial system in general and each bank in particular.

So, when for whatever reason, “abnormal” times hit – i.e., every time there are (subtly predictable) periodic crises, bank runs, collapses and panics, which seem to suddenly explode as happened in Argentina in 2001 and as is now happening in the US, UK, Ireland, Greece, Iceland, Portugal, Spain, Italy and a growing number of countries – we see all bank account holders running to their banks to try to get their money out in cash. That’s when they discover that there is not enough cash in their banks to pay, save for a small fraction of account holders (usually insiders “in the know” or “friends of the bankers”).

For the rest of us mortals “there is no more money left,” which means that they must resort to whatever public insurance scheme may or may not be in place (e.g., in the US, the state-owned Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation that “insures” up to US$250,000 per account holder with taxpayer money). In countries like Argentina, however, there is no other option but to go out on the streets banging pots and pans against those ominous, solid and firmly closed bronze bank gates and doors. All thanks to the fraudulent fractional bank lending system.

Investment Banking

In the US, so called “Commercial Banks” are those that have large portfolios of checking, savings and fixed deposit accounts for people and companies (e.g., such main street names as CitiBank, Bank of America, JPMorganChase, etc.; in Argentina, we have Standard Bank, BBVA, Galicia, HSBC and others). Commercial Banks operate with fractional lending leverage levels that allow them to lend out “virtual” dollars or pesos for amounts equal to 6, 8 or 10 times the cash actually held in their vaults; these banks are usually more closely supervised by the local monetary authorities of the country.

A different story, however, we had in the US (and still have elsewhere) with so-called global “Investment Banks” (those that make the mega-loans to corporations, major clients and sovereign states), over which there is much less control, so that their leveraging fractional lending ratios are far, far higher. This greater flexibility is what allowed investment banks in the US to “make loans” by, for example, creating out of thin air 26 “virtual” Dollars for every real Dollar in cash they held in their vaults (i.e., Goldman Sachs), or 30 virtual Dollars (Morgan Stanley), or more than 60 virtual Dollars (Merrill Lynch until just before it folded on 15 Sept 2008), or more than 100 virtual Dollars in the cases of collapsed banks Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers.[5]

Private Money vs Public Money

At this point in our review, it is essential to very clearly distinguish between two types of Money or Currency:

Private Money – This is “Virtual” Money created out of thin air by the private banking system. It generates interests on loans, which increases the amount of Private money in (electronic) circulation, and spreads and expands throughout the entire economy. We then perceive this as “inflation.” In actual fact, the main cause of inflation in the economy is structural to the interest-bearing fractional lending banking system, even among industrialised countries. The cause of inflation nowadays is not so much the excessive issuance of Public Money by Government as all so-called banking experts would have us believe but, rather, the combined effect of fractional lending and interest on private banking money.

Public Money – This is the only Real Money there is. It is the actual notes issued by the national currency entity holding a monopoly (i.e., the central bank or some such government agency) and, as Public Money, it does not generate interest, and should not be created by anyone other than the State. Anybody else doing this is a counterfeiter and should end up in jail because counterfeiting Public Money is equivalent to robbing the Real Economy (i.e., “we, the working people”) of their work, toil and production capabilities without contributing anything in return in terms of socially productive work. The same should apply to private bankers under the present fractional lending system: counterfeiting money (i.e., creating it out of thin air as a ledger entry or electronic blip on a computer screen) is equivalent to robbing the Real Economy of its work and production capacity without contributing any counter-value in terms of work.

Why We Have Financial Crises

A fundamental concept that lies at the very heart of the present Financial Model can be found in the way huge parasitic profits on the one hand, and catastrophic systemic losses on the other, are effectively transferred to specific sectors of the economy, throughout the entire system, beyond borders and public control.

As with all models, the one we suffer today has its own internal logic which, once properly understood, makes that model predictable. The people who designed it know full well that it is governed by grand cycles having specific expansion and contraction stages, and specific timelines. Thus, they can ensure that in bull market times of growth and gigantic profits (i.e., whilst the system, grows and grows, is relatively stable and generates tons of money out of nothing), all profits are privatised making them flow towards specific institutions, economic sectors, shareholders, speculators, CEO and top management & trader bonuses, “investors”, etc who operate the gears and maintain the whole system properly tuned and working.

However, they also know that – like all roller coaster rides – when you reach the very top, the system turns into a bear market that destabilises, spins out of control, contracts and irremediably collapses, as happened to Argentina in 2001 and to the better part of the world since 2008, then all losses are socialised by making Governments absorb them through the most varied transference mechanisms that dump these huge losses onto the population at large (whether in the form of generalised inflation, catastrophic hyperinflation, banking collapses, bail-outs, tax hikes, debt defaults, forced nationalisations, extreme austerity measures, etc).

The Four-sided Global “Ponzi” Pyramid Scheme

As we know, all good pyramids have four sides, and since the Global Financial System is based on a “Ponzi” Pyramid Scheme, there’s no reason why this particular pyramid should not have four sides as well.

Below is a summary of the Four-side Global “Ponzi” Pyramid Scheme that lies at the core of today’s Financial Model, indicating how these four “sides” function in a coordinated, consistent, and sequential manner.

Side One – Create Public Money Insufficiency. This is achieved, as we explained above, by controlling the National Public entity that issues public money. Its goal is to demonetise the Real Economy so that the latter is forced to seek “alternative funding” for its needs (i.e., so that it has no choice but to resort to private bank loans).

Side Two – Impose Private Banking Fractional Lending Loans. This, as we said, is virtual private money created out of thin air on which bankers charge interest – often at usury levels – thus generating enormous profit for “investors,” creditors and all sorts of entities and individuals who operate as parasites living off other people’s work. This would never have been the case if each local central bank were to flexibly generate the correct quantity of Public Money necessary to satisfy the needs of the Real Economy in each country and region.

Side Three – Promote a Debt-Based Economic System. In fact, the whole Pyramid Model is based on being able to promote this generalised paradigm that falsely states that what really “moves” the private and public economy is not so much work, creativity, toil and effort of workers, but rather “private investors,” “bank loans” and “credit” – i.e., indebtedness. With time, this paradigm has replaced the infinitely wiser, sounder, more balanced and solid concept of corporate profit being reinvested and genuine personal savings being the foundation for future prosperity and security. Pretty much the way Henry Ford, Sr. originally grew his most successful company.

Today, however, Debt reigns supreme and this paradigm has become entrenched and embedded into people’s minds thanks to the mainstream media and specialised journals and publications, combined with Ivy League universities’ Economics Departments that have all succeeded in imposing such “politically correct” thinking with respect to financial matters, especially those relating to the proper nature and function of Public Money.

The facts are that this Model generates unnecessary loans so that banking creditors can receive huge profits, which includes promoting uncontrolled, unwarranted and often pathological consumerism, which goes hand in hand with the increasing abandonment of the traditional value of “saving for a rainy day.”

Such debts having political and strategic goals rather than merely financial ones, are usually given a thin layer of “legality” so that they may be imposed by the creditor on the debtor (i.e., in the case of The Merchant of Venice, the bond entered into between Antonio and Shylock giving the latter the legal right to a pound of the former’s flesh; in the case of chronically indebted countries like Argentina, such “legality” is achieved through a complex public debt laundering[6] mechanism carried out by successive formally “democratic” Caretaker Governments to this very day).

Side Four – Privatisation of Profits/Socialisation of Losses. Lastly, and knowing full well that, in the long run, the numbers of the entire Cycle of this Model never add up, and that the whole system will inevitably come crashing down, the Model imposes a highly complex and often subtle financial, legal and media engineering that allows privatising profits and socialising losses. In Argentina, this cycle has become increasingly visible for those who want to see it, because in our country the local “Ponzi” Pyramid Cycle lasts on average 15 to 17 years, i.e., we’ve had successive collapses involving brutal devaluation (1975), hyperinflation (1989) and systemic banking collapse (2001), however in the industrialised world, that cycle was made to last almost 80 years (i.e., three generations spanning from 1929 to 2008).

Conclusions

The fundamental cause of today’s on-going global financial collapse that exerts massive distortions over the Real Economy – and the ensuing social hardship, suffering and violence – is clear: Virtual Finance has usurped a pedestal of supremacy over the Real Economy, which does not legitimately belong to it. Finance must always be subordinated to, and in the service of, the Real Economy just as the Economy must heed the law and social needs of the Political Model executed by a Sovereign Nation-State (as we back-engineer this entire system, we thus understand why it is necessary for the Global Power Elite to first erode the sovereign Nation-State and to eventually do away with it altogether, in order to achieve its monetary, financial and political ends).

In fact, if we look at matters in their proper perspective, we will see that most national economies are pretty much intact, in spite of having been badly bruised by the financial collapse. It is Finance that is in the midst of a massive global collapse, as this Model of “Ponzi” Finance has grown into a sort of malignant “cancerous tumour” that has now “metastasised,” threatening to kill the whole economy and social body politic, in just about every country in the world, and certainly in the industrialised countries.

The above comparison of today’s financial system with a malignant tumour is more than a mere metaphor. If we look at the figures, we will immediately be able to see signs of this financial “metastasis.” For example, The New York Times in their 22 September 2008 edition explains that the main trigger of the financial collapse that had exploded just one week earlier on 15 September was, as we all know, mismanagement and lack of supervision over the “Derivatives” market. The Times then went on to explain that twenty years earlier, in 1988, there was no derivatives market; by 2002 however, Derivatives had grown into a global 102 trillion Dollar market (that’s 50% more than the Gross Domestic Product of all the countries in the world, the US, EU, Japan and BRICS nations included), and by September 2008, Derivatives had ballooned into a global 531 trillion Dollar market. That’s eight times the GDP of the entire planet! “Financial Metastasis” at its very worst. Since then, some have estimated this Derivatives global market figure to be in the region of One-Quadrillion Dollars…

Naturally, when that collapse began, the caretaker governments in the US, European Union and elsewhere, immediately sprang into action and implemented “Operation Bail-out” of all the mega-banks, insurance companies, stock exchanges and speculation markets, and their respective operators, controllers and “friends.” Thus, trillions upon trillions of Dollars, Euros and Pounds were given to Goldman Sachs, Citicorp, Morgan Stanley, AIG, HSBC and other “too big to fail” financial institutions… which is newspeak for “too powerful to fail”, because they hold politicians, political parties and governments in their steel grip.

All of this was paid with taxpayer dollars or, even worse, with uncontrolled and irresponsible issuance of Public Money bank notes and treasury bonds, especially by the Federal Reserve Bank which has, in practice, technically hyper-inflated the US Dollar: “Quantitative Easing” they call it, which is Newspeak for hyperinflation.

So far, however, like the proverbial Naked Emperor, nobody dares to state this openly. At least not until some “uncontrolled” event triggers or unmasks what should by now be obvious to all: Emperor Dollar is totally and completely naked.[7] When that happens, we will then see bloody social and civil wars throughout the world and not just in Greece and Argentina.

By then, however, and as always happens, the powerful bankster clique and their well-paid financial and media operators, will be watching the whole hellish spectacle perched in the safety and comfort of their plush boardrooms atop the skyscrapers of New York, London, Frankfurt, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo…


Footnotes

1. The concept of “Geoeconomics” was coined by the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, through a studies group honouring Maurice Greenberg, the financier who was for decades CEO of American International Group (AIG) which collapsed in 2008 and had strong conflict-of-interest ties with major insurance and reinsurance broker Marsh Group whose CEO was his son Jeffrey. Both father and son were indicted for fraud by then New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer. Spitzer would later pay a very heavy price for this after becoming Governor of New York State when someone “discovered” his sex escapades which were quickly blown up into a major scandal by The New York Times

2. We have described the basic Global Power Elite structure, model and objectives in our e-Book The Coming World Government: Tragedy & Hope?, available through www.asalbuchi.com.ar.

3. For more information, see the Third Pillar of the Second Republic Project “Reject the Debt-Based Economy” on www.secondrepublicproject.com.

4. Some notable exceptions: Today: Libya, Iran, Syria, China; In the past: Peron’s Argentina, Germany and Italy in the 30’s and 40’s…. Are we seeing a pattern here?

5. See The New York Times, 22 September 2008

6. See White Paper comparing Debt Laundering mechanisms to Money Laundering mechanisms, lodged under Pillar No 3 “Reject the Debt-Based Economy” of Second Republic Project in www.secondrepublicproject.com.

7. This is more fully described in the author’s book The Coming World Government: Tragedy & Hope?, in the chapter “Death & Resurrection of the US Dollar”. Details on www.asalbuchi.com.ar. Also available upon request by E-mail: salbuchi@fibertel.com.ar.
2  The War Room / 9/11 Material & Research / FAILING TO RESIST EVIL LEADS TO INSANITY, POVERTY AND THE LOSS OF ALL OUR RIGHTS on: September 16, 2011, 02:05:13 pm
http://www.prisonplanet.com/the-failure-to-stand-up-to-evil-leads-to-insanity-poverty-and-the-loss-of-all-our-rights.html

The Failure to Stand Up to Evil Leads to Insanity, Poverty and the Loss of All Our Rights

Washington’s Blog
March 24, 2011

Preface: I am using the word “evil” in its secular sense in this essay, as in a horrible, destructive act … religion is beyond the scope of this essay.

When someone fails to stand up to a heinous act, that leads to a whole chain of events.

It Enables More Destructive Acts

Initially, by failing to stand up to the bad act, we are enabling the person who committed it to do bigger and worse things in the future.

Army psychiatrist and Christian philosopher M. Scott Peck wrote extensively on evil in People of the Lie (since Peck was a psychiatrist and an empirical researcher, his investigation of the dynamics of those who commit heinous acts and the subsequent attempts to cover them up is very interesting, even for atheists who will disregard all religious overtones). As Peck wrote:

    It is necessary that we first draw the distinction between evil and ordinary sin. It is not their sins per se that characterize evil people…The central defect of the evil is not the sin but the refusal to acknowledge it.

And a longer passage:

    We lie only when we are attempting to cover up something we know to be illicit. Some rudimentary form of conscience must precede the act of lying. There is no need to hide unless we first feel that something needs to be hidden. We come now to a sort of paradox. Evil people feel themselves to be perfect. At the same time, however, they have an unacknowledged sense of their own evil nature. Indeed, it is this very sense from which they are frantically trying to flee. The essential component of evil is not the absence of a sense of sin or imperfection but the unwillingness to tolerate that sense. At once and the same time, the evil are aware of their evil and desperately trying to avoid the awareness. Rather than blissfully lacking a sense of morality like the psychopath, they are continually engaged in sweeping the evidence of their evil under the rug of their own consciousness (or attempting to redefine their evil as good). The problem is not a defect of conscience, but the effort to deny the conscience its due. We become evil by attempting to hide from ourselves. The wickedness of the evil is not committed directly, but indirectly as a part of this cover-up process. Evil originates not in the absence of guilt but in the effort to escape it. Since they will do almost anything to avoid the particular pain that comes from self-examination, under ordinary circumstances, the evil are the last people who would ever come to psychotherapy. The evil hate the light – the light of goodness that shows them up, the light of scrutiny that exposes them, the light of the truth that penetrates their deception.

So when people fail to stand up to the heinous acts of a bad person, they are empowering that person’s cover up, the very core of their propensity to do further bad acts in the future.

It Destroys Our Ability to Think Rationally

Moreover, failure to stand up to the bad act requires people to rationalize their failure to act, which in turn ends up literally warping their thinking process.

As I’ve repeatedly pointed out, people will go to extreme lengths to rationalize their failure to recognize bad actions by those in power:

---------------

Sociologists from four major research institutions investigated why so many Americans believed that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11, years after it became obvious that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

The researchers found, as described in an article [.pdf] in the journal Sociological Inquiry (and re-printed by Newsweek):

    *  Many Americans felt an urgent need to seek justification for a war already in progress.

    *  Rather than search rationally for information that either confirms or disconfirms a particular belief, people actually seek out information that confirms what they already believe.

    *  “For the most part people completely ignore contrary information.”

    *  “The study demonstrates voters’ ability to develop elaborate rationalizations based on faulty information.”

    *  People get deeply attached to their beliefs, and form emotional attachments that get wrapped up in their personal identity and sense of morality, irrespective of the facts of the matter.

    *  “We refer to this as ‘inferred justification, because for these voters, the sheer fact that we were engaged in war led to a post-hoc search for a justification for that war.

    *  “People were basically making up justifications for the fact that we were at war.”

    *  “They wanted to believe in the link (between 9/11 and Iraq) because it helped them make sense of a current reality. So voters’ ability to develop elaborate rationalizations based on faulty information, whether we think that is good or bad for democratic practice, does at least demonstrate an impressive form of creativity.

An article … in Alternet discussing the Sociological Inquiry article helps us to understand that the key to people’s active participation in searching for excuses for actions by the big boys is fear:

    Subjects were presented during one-on-one interviews with a newspaper clip of this Bush quote: “This administration never said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and al-Qaeda.” The Sept. 11 Commission, too, found no such link, the subjects were told.

    “Well, I bet they say that the commission didn’t have any proof of it,” one subject responded, “but I guess we still can have our opinions and feel that way even though they say that.”

    Reasoned another: “Saddam, I can’t judge if he did what he’s being accused of, but if Bush thinks he did it, then he did it.”

    Others declined to engage the information at all. Most curious to the researchers were the respondents who reasoned that Saddam must have been connected to Sept. 11, because why else would the Bush Administration have gone to war in Iraq?

    The desire to believe this was more powerful, according to the researchers, than any active campaign to plant the idea.

    Such a campaign did exist in the run-up to the war…

    He won’t credit (politicians spouting misinformation) alone for the phenomenon, though.

    “That kind of puts the idea out there, but what people then do with the idea … ” he said. “Our argument is that people aren’t just empty vessels. You don’t just sort of open up their brains and dump false information in and they regurgitate it. They’re actually active processing cognitive agents”…

    The alternate explanation raises queasy questions for the rest of society.

    “I think we’d all like to believe that when people come across disconfirming evidence, what they tend to do is to update their opinions,” said Andrew Perrin, an associate professor at UNC and another author of the study…

    “The implications for how democracy works are quite profound, there’s no question in my mind about that,” Perrin said. “What it means is that we have to think about the emotional states in which citizens find themselves that then lead them to reason and deliberate in particular ways.”

    Evidence suggests people are more likely to pay attention to facts within certain emotional states and social situations. Some may never change their minds. For others, policy-makers could better identify those states, for example minimizing the fear that often clouds a person’s ability to assess facts …

The Alternet article links to a must-read interview with psychology professor Sheldon Solomon, who explains:

    A large body of evidence shows that momentarily (raising fear of death), typically by asking people to think about themselves dying, intensifies people’s strivings to protect and bolster aspects of their worldviews, and to bolster their self-esteem. The most common finding is that (fear of death) increases positive reactions to those who share cherished aspects of one’s cultural worldview, and negative reactions toward those who violate cherished cultural values or are merely different.

    ***

    Investors – as with politicians or Americans in general – believe that “when (they) come across disconfirming evidence . . . . they tend to … update their opinions”, but in reality, they cling to the beliefs they formed during certain heightened emotional states, such as fear.

As NPR noted last July:

    New research suggests that misinformed people rarely change their minds when presented with the facts — and often become even more attached to their beliefs.

    ***

    A new body of research out of the University of Michigan suggests … that we base our opinions on beliefs and when presented with contradictory facts, we adhere to our original belief even more strongly.

    The phenomenon is called backfire, and it plays an especially important role in how we shape and solidify our beliefs on immigration, the president’s place of birth, welfare and other highly partisan issues.

    ***

    It’s threatening to us to admit that things we believe are wrong. And all of us, liberals and conservatives, you know, have some beliefs that aren’t true, and when we find that out, you know, it’s threatening to our beliefs and ourselves.

    ***

    This isn’t a question of education, necessarily, or sophistication. It’s really about preserving that belief that we initially held.

Torture as a Quintessential Evil of the Last Decade

A good example of this dynamic is with torture.

Americans were first told by our government that we were not torturing anyone. Then, the government admitted it did a “little” waterboarding, but said that’s not torture, and that it was necessary to prevent more Al Qaeda attacks.

The truth, however, is that top experts in interrogation say that:

     *  Torture doesn’t work in providing information which will keep us safe.

     *  Torture actually reduces our national security and creates new terrorists.

     *  Most of those tortured were innocent.

     *  Torture has been used throughout history – not to gain information – but as a form of intimidation, to terrorize people into obedience. In other words, at its core, torture is a form of terrorism.

More importantly, the specific type of torture which was used the the U.S. in Iraq and Guantanamo was tailor-made to extract false confessions.

As I previously pointed out:

---------------

Senator Levin revealed that the the U.S. used torture techniques aimed at extracting false confessions.

McClatchy subsequently filled in some of the details:

Former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the interrogation issue said that Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld demanded that the interrogators find evidence of al Qaida-Iraq collaboration…

For most of 2002 and into 2003, Cheney and Rumsfeld, especially, were also demanding proof of the links between al Qaida and Iraq that (former Iraqi exile leader Ahmed) Chalabi and others had told them were there.”It was during this period that CIA interrogators waterboarded two alleged top al Qaida detainees repeatedly — Abu Zubaydah at least 83 times in August 2002 and Khalid Sheik Muhammed 183 times in March 2003 — according to a newly released Justice Department document…

When people kept coming up empty, they were told by Cheney’s and Rumsfeld’s people to push harder,” he continued.”Cheney’s and Rumsfeld’s people were told repeatedly, by CIA . . . and by others, that there wasn’t any reliable intelligence that pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Saddam . . .

A former U.S. Army psychiatrist, Maj. Charles Burney, told Army investigators in 2006 that interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility were under “pressure” to produce evidence of ties between al Qaida and Iraq.

“While we were there a large part of the time we were focused on trying to establish a link between al Qaida and Iraq and we were not successful in establishing a link between al Qaida and Iraq,” Burney told staff of the Army Inspector General. “The more frustrated people got in not being able to establish that link . . . there was more and more pressure to resort to measures that might produce more immediate results.”

“I think it’s obvious that the administration was scrambling then to try to find a connection, a link (between al Qaida and Iraq),” [Senator] Levin said in a conference call with reporters. “They made out links where they didn’t exist.”

Levin recalled Cheney’s assertions that a senior Iraqi intelligence officer had met Mohammad Atta, the leader of the 9/11 hijackers, in the Czech Republic capital of Prague just months before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The FBI and CIA found that no such meeting occurred.

In other words, top Bush administration officials not only knowingly lied about a non-existent connection between Al Qaida and Iraq, but they pushed and insisted that interrogators use special torture methods aimed at extracting false confessions to attempt to create such a false linkage. See also this and this.

Paul Krugman eloquently summarized the truth about the type of torture used:

Let’s say this slowly: the Bush administration wanted to use 9/11 as a pretext to invade Iraq, even though Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. So it tortured people to make them confess to the nonexistent link.

There’s a word for this: it’s evil.

---------------

Indeed, one of the two senior instructors from the Air Force team which taught U.S. servicemen how to resist torture by foreign governments when used to extract false confessions has blown the whistle on the true purpose behind the U.S. torture program.

As Truth Out reported yesterday:

    Jessen’s notes were provided to Truthout by retired Air Force Capt. Michael Kearns, a “master” SERE instructor and decorated veteran who has previously held high-ranking positions within the Air Force Headquarters Staff and Department of Defense (DoD).

    Kearns and his boss, Roger Aldrich, the head of the Air Force Intelligence’s Special Survial Training Program (SSTP), based out of Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington, hired Jessen in May 1989. Kearns, who was head of operations at SSTP and trained thousands of service members, said Jessen was brought into the program due to an increase in the number of new SERE courses being taught and “the fact that it required psychological expertise on hand in a full-time basis.”

    Jessen, then the chief of Psychology Service at the US Air Force Survival School, immediately started to work directly with Kearns on “a new course for special mission units (SMUs), which had as its goal individual resistance to terrorist exploitation.”

    The course, known as SV-91, was developed for the Survival Evasion Resistance Escape (SERE) branch of the US Air Force Intelligence Agency, which acted as the Executive Agent Action Office for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Jessen’s notes formed the basis for one part of SV-91, “Psychological Aspects of Detention.”

    ***

    Kearns was one of only two officers within DoD qualified to teach all three SERE-related courses within SSTP on a worldwide basis, according to a copy of a 1989 letter written Aldrich, who nominated him officer of the year.

    ***

    The Jessen notes clearly state the totality of what was being reverse-engineered – not just ‘enhanced interrogation techniques,’ but an entire program of exploitation of prisoners using torture as a central pillar,” he said. “What I think is important to note, as an ex-SERE Resistance to Interrogation instructor, is the focus of Jessen’s instruction. It is exploitation, not specifically interrogation. And this is not a picayune issue, because if one were to ‘reverse-engineer’ a course on resistance to exploitation then what one would get is a plan to exploit prisoners, not interrogate them. The CIA/DoD torture program appears to have the same goals as the terrorist organizations or enemy governments for which SV-91 and other SERE courses were created to defend against: the full exploitation of the prisoner in his intelligence, propaganda, or other needs held by the detaining power, such as the recruitment of informers and double agents. Those aspects of the US detainee program have not generally been discussed as part of the torture story in the American press.”

    ***

    Jessen wrote that cooperation is the “end goal” of the detainer, who wants the detainee “to see that (the detainer) has ‘total’ control of you because you are completely dependent on him, and thus you must comply with his wishes. Therefore, it is absolutely inevitable that you must cooperate with him in some way (propaganda, special favors, confession, etc.).”

    ***

    Kearns said, based on what he has read in declassified government documents and news reports about the role SERE played in the Bush administration’s torture program, Jessen clearly “reverse-engineered” his lesson plan and used resistance methods to abuse “war on terror” detainees.

So we have the two main Air Force insiders concerning the genesis of the torture program confirming – with original notes – that the whole purpose of the torture program was to extract false confessions.

They Got the False Confessions They Wanted

And false confessions were, in fact, extracted:

---------------

The Miami Herald ran a story entitled “Alleged 9/11 mastermind: `I make up stories’”, noting:

    Accused al Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed complained that interrogators tortured lies out of him…

    ”I make up stories,” Mohammed said …

    In broken English, he described an interrogation in which he was asked the location of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

    ”Where is he? I don’t know,” Mohammed said. ‘Then he torture me. Then I said, ‘Yes, he is in this area or this is al Qaeda which I don’t know him.’ I said no, they torture me.”

This is not new. It has already been documented that Mohammed confessed to crimes which he could not have committed, and that he said that he gave the interrogators a lot of false information – telling them what he thought they wanted to hear – in an attempt to stop the torture.

Indeed, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told the Red Cross:

    During the harshest period of my interrogation I gave a lot of false information in order to satisfy what I believed the interrogators wished to hear in order to make the ill-treatment stop. I later told the interrogators that their methods were stupid and counterproductive. I’m sure that the false information I was forced to invent in order to make the ill-treatment stop wasted a lot of their time and led to several false red-alerts being placed in the U.S.

And see this Washington Post report.

***

Dick Cheney claimed that waterboarding Khalid Shaikh Mohammed stopped a terror attack on L.A., but as the Chicago Tribune notes:

    The Bush administration claimed that the waterboarding of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed helped foil a planned 2002 attack on Los Angeles — forgetting that he wasn’t captured until 2003.

(see this confirmation from the BBC: “Khalid Sheikh Mohammed … was captured in Pakistan in 2003″).

---------------

And as I pointed out last year:

---------------

[A]ccording to NBC news:

     *  Much of the 9/11 Commission Report was based upon the testimony of people who were tortured.

     *  At least four of the people whose interrogation figured in the 9/11 Commission Report have claimed that they told interrogators information as a way to stop being “tortured.”

     *  One of the Commission’s main sources of information was tortured until he agreed to sign a confession that he was NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO READ.

     *  The 9/11 Commission itself doubted the accuracy of the torture confessions, and yet kept their doubts to themselves.

***

Remember, as discussed above, the torture techniques used by the Bush administration to try to link Iraq and 9/11 were specifically geared towards creating false confessions (they were techniques created by the communists to be used in show trials).

***

The above-linked NBC news report quotes a couple of legal experts to this effect:

    Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, says he is “shocked” that the Commission never asked about extreme interrogation measures.

    “If you’re sitting at the 9/11 Commission, with all the high-powered lawyers on the Commission and on the staff, first you ask what happened rather than guess,” said Ratner, whose center represents detainees at Guantanamo. “Most people look at the 9/11 Commission Report as a trusted historical document. If their conclusions were supported by information gained from torture, therefore their conclusions are suspect.”…

    Karen Greenberg, director of the Center for Law and Security at New York University’s School of Law, put it this way: “It should have relied on sources not tainted. It calls into question how we were willing to use these interrogations to construct the narrative.”

---------------

I also pointed out:

---------------

The official 9/11 Commission Report states:

Chapters 5 and 7 rely heavily on information obtained from captured al Qaeda members. A number of these “detainees” have firsthand knowledge of the 9/11 plot. Assessing the truth of statements by these witnesses-sworn enemies of the United States-is challenging. Our access to them has been limited to the review of intelligence reports based on communications received from the locations where the actual interrogations take place. We submitted questions for use in the interrogations, but had no control over whether, when, or how questions of particular interest would be asked. Nor were we allowed to talk to the interrogators so that we could better judge the credibility of the detainees and clarify ambiguities in the reporting.

In other words, the 9/11 Commissioners were not allowed to speak with the detainees, or even their interrogators. Instead, they got their information third-hand.

The Commission didn’t really trust the interrogation testimony. For example, one of the primary architects of the 9/11 Commission Report, Ernest May, said in May 2005:

    We never had full confidence in the interrogation reports as historical sources.

As I noted last May:

Newsweek is running an essay by [New York Times investigative reporter] Philip Shenon saying [that the 9/11 Commission Report was unreliable because most of the information was based on the statements of tortured detainees]:

    The commission appears to have ignored obvious clues throughout 2003 and 2004 that its account of the 9/11 plot and Al Qaeda’s history relied heavily on information obtained from detainees who had been subjected to torture, or something not far from it.

    The panel raised no public protest over the CIA’s interrogation methods, even though news reports at the time suggested how brutal those methods were. In fact, the commission demanded that the CIA carry out new rounds of interrogations in 2004 to get answers to its questions.

    That has troubling implications for the credibility of the commission’s final report. In intelligence circles, testimony obtained through torture is typically discredited; research shows that people will say anything under threat of intense physical pain.

    And yet it is a distinct possibility that Al Qaeda suspects who were the exclusive source of information for long passages of the commission’s report may have been subjected to “enhanced” interrogation techniques, or at least threatened with them, because of the 9/11 Commission….

    Information from CIA interrogations of two of the three—KSM and Abu Zubaydah—is cited throughout two key chapters of the panel’s report focusing on the planning and execution of the attacks and on the history of Al Qaeda.

    Footnotes in the panel’s report indicate when information was obtained from detainees interrogated by the CIA. An analysis by NBC News found that more than a quarter of the report’s footnotes—441 of some 1,700—referred to detainees who were subjected to the CIA’s “enhanced” interrogation program, including the trio who were waterboarded.

    Commission members note that they repeatedly pressed the Bush White House and CIA for direct access to the detainees, but the administration refused. So the commission forwarded questions to the CIA, whose interrogators posed them on the panel’s behalf.

    The commission’s report gave no hint that harsh interrogation methods were used in gathering information, stating that the panel had “no control” over how the CIA did its job; the authors also said they had attempted to corroborate the information “with documents and statements of others.”

    But how could the commission corroborate information known only to a handful of people in a shadowy terrorist network, most of whom were either dead or still at large?

    Former senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, a Democrat on the commission, told me last year he had long feared that the investigation depended too heavily on the accounts of Al Qaeda detainees who were physically coerced into talking. …

    Kerrey said it might take “a permanent 9/11 commission” to end the remaining mysteries of September 11.

---------------

This essay will not go too far down the rabbit hole of 9/11.

The point is that the government used a specific set of torture techniques created to extract false confessions which would support a rationale for the Iraq war and the war on terror and which would allow a superficial reading of September 11th itself.

If we fail to stand up to this act of evil – the use of torture to obtain false confessions – we are not only complicit, but we will also eventually drive ourselves crazy in trying to rationalize what was done in our name.

It Disempowers Us and Leads to the Loss of All of Our Rights

As Yves Smith writes today about the Truth Out article:

    This revelation raises troubling questions about how programs like this relate to the coarsening of American society. Some readers will no doubt argue that trying to connect the dots between programs designed for use in combat settings and broad social trends is overreaching. Yet look at the themes Jessen stresses: control, dependency, compliance and cooperation. To use one pet example, why are people so apathetic in the wake of widespread abuses by banks, first the extortions that took place during the bailouts, and now the continued flouting of the law in mortgage servicing and foreclosures?

    Although there was no single architect like Jessen for the various elements of our current economic paradigm, they do seem to work to weaken, and perhaps in some cases, to break the will of ordinary citizens to stand up to their tormentors large and small. A policy preference for higher levels of unemployment (to keep inflation down and workers in their place) have reduced many if not most individuals’ sense of control of their own destiny and increased their sense of dependence. When job tenures are short and replacement work at the same level of pay can be hard to get, that alone produces a good deal of the sought-after state, compliance.

    Add to that an information apparatus which allows employers to see minor transgressions like late payment and misdemeanors such as getting arrested at protests, and you have effective mechanisms for social control. And there are those who look at the abuse of Bradley Manning, which would have seemed inconceivable fifteen years ago, and wonder who else might be deemed to be enough of a threat to merit similar mistreatment.

In other words, the failure to stand up to a heinous act not only destroys our ability to think, but also makes it less likely we will stand up to future bad acts … thus disempowering us.

That is the road to poverty, and a complete loss of all of our rights …
3  The War Room / 9/11 Material & Research / The 13 Psy-Ops Against You on: September 16, 2011, 02:03:54 pm
http://www.prisonplanet.com/the-13-psy-ops-against-you.html

The 13 Psy-Ops Against You

Saman Mohammadi
The Excavator
August 24, 2011

Six months ago, Rolling Stone’s Michael Hastings reported that the “U.S. Army illegally ordered a team of soldiers specializing in “psychological operations” to manipulate visiting American senators into providing more troops and funding for the war,” in his article “Another Runaway General: Army Deploys Psy-Ops on U.S. Senators.”

The reality that psychological operations play a big part in our 21st century, media-saturated society is rarely discussed in the print and television media, for obvious reasons. So I was very happy that Rolling Stone was shedding some light on the mental battlefield that politicians, soldiers, journalists, military generals, geopolitical analysts, think tank elitists, and citizens all live on in this century.

Alex Jones has made famous the idea that there is an Infowar being waged against the American people and the global public mind. This is a hundred percent true. We are at war with gangsters and corporate monopolists who control our governments from behind the scenes through a shadow and informal government-private network comprised of top government officials, corporate insiders, media kings, and politically connected individuals.

Whether you are watching television on your couch, manning a checkpoint in Iraq, propagating the latest talking points in Washington, or surfing the internet, the information we breathe into our mental lungs and muscles of perception is perhaps as important as the air we breathe in our homes, offices and streets. Through the suppression and perversion of information, we become enslaved to politically constructed perceptions and fake narratives that a benefit a privileged few.

Making people familiar with the concept that our current reality is manipulated and politically engineered is a slow process, but not impossible. Once the full awakening to the truth happens inside an individual it’s like waking up to a whole new world. After that, it becomes an obsession to strengthen your mental muscles of perceptions and achieve as much mental clarity as possible about the crazy world you live in.

Below, I list, according to my knowledge, the most important thirteen psychological operations that are being carried out against you, without your consent, by the power elite in America, Israel and the West.

1. The war on terror is a war on your rights, privacy, mind and everyday reality. This is a war fought in the name of goodness and freedom, but increasingly the architecture of propaganda that surrounds the war is falling apart.

In America and other Western nations freedom fighters are being demonized as domestic terrorists, while real terrorists like the al-Qaeda fighters in Libya are hailed by the Western media as defenders of liberty. Clearly, the propaganda in the war on terror does not add up.

2. The war on Social Security, Medicare, public pension plans, the general welfare, and the public good. Say what you will about government pension programs, the fact remains that seniors and workers put their own money aside every month under the assumption that the federal government would hold up its end of the deal.

A government program is not “an entitlement” when you paid taxes for the program. The only industries that are receiving government entitlements are the military, big banks, and political monopolies like GE, Monsanto, etc. These banks and corporations, especially the private Federal Reserve Bank, have committed crimes and robbed the American people. Abusing the political system in Washington is one thing, but destroying an entire nation is treasonous and unforgivable.

3. The war on self-sufficiency. The federal government in Washington is not allowing American citizens and families secure independent sources of economic livelihood and access alternative food markets and trade markets. The war on raw milk, organic farming, local production of food, and small farms is an attack on the American family, the community, and the nation. Who benefits? A few monopolistic, anti-free market, multinational corporations. They are political monopolies. Every totalitarian state has them. And the same trend can be seen in other Western nations.

As Alex Jones says in this video: “They don’t want you growing your own crops and selling it to your neighbour, or producing your own eggs and selling it, or having lemonade stands. That’s all over. The whole police state apparatus is here to revenue generate and to shut down the underground economy. That’s the essence of an occupied country.”

4. The war on knowledge and freedom of information. The greatest weapon that the tyrants who control modern secret intelligence agencies have on their side is the public disbelief about the evil nature of their existence, aims, goals and methods. Any truth that implicates the CIA, Israel’s Mossad and the MI6 in treasonous crimes against the populations they are meant to serve and defend is smeared as a “conspiracy theory.” The corporate-state media is complicit in this concerted attack on public knowledge and real history.

If it wasn’t for the success of the alternative media and voices like Alex Jones, Jesse Ventura, Richard Gage, David Ray Griffin, William Rodriguez, as well as others who tell the truth about the 9/11 attacks, then there would be no hope to speak of. We would be lost, and defenseless against the evil forces of tyranny.

5. The war on hope. It is a fallacy that there are no heroes in the present age. John F. Kennedy was a hero. William Cooper was a hero. Ron Paul is a hero. Alex Jones is a hero. Jesse Ventura is a hero. It is important to praise such people because they tell the truth, defend the public good, and fight for freedom.

The reason why the establishment media says “Ron Paul can’t win,” even when he is leading in the polls is because they want the American people to admit defeat, and pick between two evils in the voting booth every four years. But there is hope to improve the political situation and restore the people’s voice in the American government. President Obama does not represent that hope. He is the anti-hope virus who is eating away at the fruits of hope from inside the system which is controlled by larger political and economic forces.

6. The war on reality and truth. This is an era of media misinformation, political fantasies and lies. There is a siege on the American mind and the global mind. This is also a war on real history and real science. What the 9/11 fraud and the laughable NIST report on World Trade Center 7 shows is that even in this scientifically advanced age, even in a supposedly democratic society, political and economic elites are able to use the name of science to cover up their crimes.

7. The war on language. The strategic deployment of language by politicians, the pentagon, corporations and media institutions to win political points, and advance their secret, undeclared agendas, is a basic fact of our age.

The social, cultural and political programming of society through the deliberate misuse of language should be categorized as a crime against humanity. Those institutions and individuals who practice the manipulation of language to twist the public mind and confuse the herd should be held accountable in some form.

Political talking points have no place in public conversations about large and complicated issues. The soundbite media and the teleprompter presidency are serious threats to the public good. Notice how Barack Obama speaks. The guy is a robot and a machine who doesn’t have real thoughts of his own.

Most successful politicians like Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George Bush and Rick Perry have to act like robots because they are inauthentic creatures who smile and wave at you while behind your back they screw you. As John Lennon said, “But first you must learn how to smile as you kill, If you want to be like the folks on the hill.”

[Continued...]
4  The War Room / 9/11 Material & Research / 14 Conspiracy Theories That The Media Now Admits Are Conspiracy Facts on: September 16, 2011, 02:02:04 pm
http://www.prisonplanet.com/14-conspiracy-theories-that-the-media-now-admits-are-conspiracy-facts.html

14 Conspiracy Theories That The Media Now Admits Are Conspiracy Facts

The American Dream
Aug 24, 2011



How many times have you heard the mainstream media dismiss certain points of view as “conspiracy theories”?  It seems as though one of the easiest ways to brush something off is to label it as something that only “conspiracy theorists” would believe.  Well, you know what?  A whole lot of the time the “conspiracy theorists” are right and the mainstream media is wrong.  In fact, we owe a great debt to “conspiracy theorists” because they will go places and investigate things that the mainstream media would never even touch.  The reality is that the mainstream media only tells us what the government and the big corporations want us to hear, and much of the time it is those in the alternative media that are left with the task of trying to figure out what the real truth is.  So don’t look down on conspiracy theories or conspiracy theorists.  In a world where almost everything we are told is a lie, the truth can be very difficult to find.
 
The following are 14 conspiracy theories that the media now admits are conspiracy facts….

[Continued...]
5  The War Room / 9/11 Material & Research / 11 Reasons Why The 9/11 Fable is So Popular on: September 16, 2011, 02:01:14 pm
http://www.prisonplanet.com/11-reasons-why-the-911-fable-is-so-popular.html

11 Reasons Why The 9/11 Fable is So Popular

THE EXCAVATOR
Aug 1, 2011

1. The bigness of the lie. Adolf Hitler said: “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” William Hazlitt said, “the greater the lie, the more enthusiastically it is believed and greedily swallowed.” And Hannah Arendt said:

    This doubt of people concerning themselves and the reality of their own experience only reveals what the Nazis have always known: that men determined to commit crimes will find it expedient to organize them on the vastest, most improbable scale. Not only because this renders all punishments provided by the legal system inadequate and absurd; but because the very immensity of the crimes guarantees that the murderers who proclaim their innocence with all manner of lies will be more readily believed than the victims who tell the truth. (The Portable Hannah Arendt; pg. 120).

2. Mythical archetype of Osama Bin Laden and Islamic terrorists. Osama Bin Laden’s iconic image and the creed of Islamic jihad against Western civilization is exciting historical material. It makes for a good Hollywood script. People are captivated and scared at the thought of Muslims rising against their oppressors, striking at the heart of the West and destroying America’s two biggest cultural artifacts, the Pentagon and World Trade Center. But it is fiction, not reality.

The imperial masters of fiction crafted the Osama Bin Laden myth to symbolically represent the new spirit of the times and the changing nature of the global order in the post-Soviet Union collapse.

How do you lead a disoriented and leaderless mob? The Neocons, CIA, Mossad, and MI6 know the trick. You put your own manufactured revolutionary figurehead in front of the mob to mislead it and misdirect it towards violence and vengeance. In this case that figurehead is Bin Laden. This trick works the same in every society and in every age. Getting in front of the mob with a flag and a simplistic creed to follow is one of the ancient tricks of statecraft.

3. Most people are children who are easily controlled by fear and mentally guided by authoritative rhetoric. They will believe any absurdity if voices of authority tell them it is true. Authority is their father, and government is their mother. The State is infallible to them. They are psychologically incapable of mental rebellion and of questioning government stories and government statements.

4. Peer pressure, and the fear of mockery and ridicule. A lot of people, especially on the left, are afraid of being called a kook and a conspiracy theorist so they don’t ever go out on a limb and tell the truth as they know it. They believe it is insane to question the foundations of the official 9/11 story so they don’t even bother to examine the facts and evidence that serves as the bedrock of the 9/11 truth movement. The human herd stampedes on the fields of facts and the valleys of truth to get to the desert of ignorance.

5. Terrorism is regarded as a mysterious, hidden and arcane phenomena, and by showing proof that the CIA, Mossad and MI6 are behind terror attacks in the West we give people the knowledge to re-examine their beliefs and to act.

The idea that false flag terrorism can be explained by examining historical data (Operation Gladio in Europe, Pearl Harbor Attack, Gulf of Tonkin, U.S.S. Liberty) and by researching all the evidence complied by average citizens is an idea that discomforts a lot of people. They are put on the spot, because suddenly their false perception of the 9/11 events and terrorism in general unravels and shatters.

6. The financial-terrorism-media-military-industrial-Zionist-congressional complex is a beast of prey that puts out propaganda everyday to create a culture of disinformation and myth. This beast controls the most sacred opinions of the people.

As a result of the government-media war against the public mind the truth is mistaken for a product of insanity whilethe lie is cherished and protected. In this state most people are like fish in the water, they have no grasp that they are living and breathing in an ocean of lies.

7. Mass social, cultural, and political brainwashing. Western society is controlled by totalitarian governments and a totalitarian media system that includes television, print media, publishing companies, films, music, and other aspects of the culture industry. Conformity is preached and uniformity of thought is encouraged. A radical diversity of opinion about the war on terrorism, 9/11, and other government myths is not allowed.

8. A lack of knowledge of history. A lot of people are unaware of Operation Gladio, the U.S.S. Liberty attack, and the reality of false flag terrorism.

9. A lack of skepticism, curiosity and a sense of wonder. 9/11 truth deniers believe all knowledge about terrorism is settled, and that the government has a monopoly on truth. So they feel free to give up their mental independence on the question of 9/11 and go with the flow instead of using their analytical skills to dig deeper.

10. A lack of humility to admit ignorance. 9/11 truth deniers have a very high opinion of themselves and a low opinion of 9/11 truth-tellers. Why? Because they are arrogant, fearful and close-minded individuals.

11. The 9/11 lie is sacred. To question the lie and say the shadow governments of the United States and Israel were behind the attacks is sacrilegious and blasphemes. Questioning the lie threatens not just an entire worldview, but civilization as we know it. The individual’s sense of well-being is based on the lie being real, and he/she undergoes the terror of psychological transformation when coming to face to face with the monstrous truth about 9/11.

The lie is a psychological attack on the community, the individual, and nature. The criminal conspirators behind the attacks and the cover-up want to destroy not just the truth and the dark history of that day, but the very idea of truth itself.
6  The War Room / 9/11 Material & Research / Re: Why government shills & intellectual cowards LOVE the term "conspiracy theory" on: September 16, 2011, 01:59:36 pm
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25501

Conspiracies

by Paul Craig Roberts
Global Research
July 4, 2011

In a June column, I concluded that “conspiracy theory” is a term applied to any fact, analysis, or truth that is politically, ideologically, or emotionally unacceptable. This column is about how common real conspiracies are. Every happening cannot be explained by a conspiracy, but conspiracies are common everyday events.  Therefore, it is paradoxical that “conspiracy theory” has become a synonym for “unbelievable.”

Conspiracies are commonly used in order to advance agendas. In the July issue of American Rifleman, a National Rifle Association publication, the organization’s executive vice president, Wayne Lapierre reports on a congressional  investigation led by Senator Charles Grassley and Representative Darrell Issa of a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and Department of Justice conspiracy to further gun control measures by smuggling guns across the border to Mexican criminals and blaming it on American firearm sellers.

Lapierre writes:

    “Thanks to federal agents coming forth with evidence on the gun smuggling operation, this government sanctioned criminal conspiracy has been exposed.

    “Leading an administration-wide cover up--marked by an arrogant dismissal of Congress’ constitutional role--is Attorney General Eric Holder, who has blocked all efforts to get to the truth. His minions have directed federal employees with knowledge of the gun-running scam to refuse to cooperate with congressional investigators.”

Many Americans will find the uncovered conspiracy hard to believe. The US Federal agency, BATFE, with the DOJ’s participation, has been providing firearms to Mexico’s drug cartels in order to create “evidence” to support the charge that US gun dealers are the source of weapons for Mexican drug gangs. The purpose of the government’s conspiracy is to advance the gun control agenda.

Attorney General Eric Holder’s stonewalling of the congressional investigation has resulted in Rep. Issa’s warning to Holder:  “We’re not looking at the straw buyers, Mr. Attorney General. We’re looking at you.”

The most likely outcome will be that Grassley and Issa will have accidents or be framed on sex charges.

Conspiracies are also a huge part of economic life. For example, the Wall Street firm, Goldman Sachs, is known to have shorted financial instruments that it was simultaneously selling as sound investments to its customers.  The current bailouts of EU countries’ sovereign debt is a conspiracy to privatize public domain. 

Economic conspiracies are endless, and most succeed. NAFTA is a conspiracy against American labor, as are H-1B and L-1 work visas. Globalism is a conspiracy against First World jobs.

The sex charge against Dominique Strauss-Kahn could turn out to have been a conspiracy.  According to the New York Times, the hotel maid has bank accounts in four states, and someone has been putting thousands of dollars into them.

Sometimes governments are willing to kill large numbers of their own citizens in order to advance an agenda. For example, Operation Northwoods was a plan for false flag terrorist events drafted by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and signed by General Lyman Lemnitzer.  It called for the CIA and other “black op” elements to shoot down Americans in the streets of Miami and Washington, D.C., to hijack or shoot down airliners, to attack and sink boats carrying Cuban refugees to the US, and to fabricate evidence that implicated Castro.  The agenda of the Joint Chiefs and the CIA was to stir up American fear and hatred of Castro in order to support regime change in Cuba.

Before the reader cries “conspiracy theory,” be apprised that the secret Operation Northwoods was made public on November 18, 1997, by the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board.  When the plan was presented to President Kennedy in 1962, he rejected it and removed Lemnitzer as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

Wikipedia quotes extensively from the plan’s menu of proposed false flag terrorist acts. Those who distrust Wikipedia can obtain a copy of the plan from the National Archives.

When I tell even highly educated people about Operation Northwoods, they react with disbelief--which goes to show that even US government-acknowledged conspiracies remain protected by disbelief a half century after they were hatched and 14 years after being revealed by the government.

[Continued...]
7  The War Room / 9/11 Material & Research / 9/11 Truth, “Conspiracy Theories,” And The Crisis of Communication on: September 16, 2011, 01:58:05 pm
http://www.prisonplanet.com/911-truth-conspiracy-theories-and-the-crisis-of-communication.html

9/11 Truth, “Conspiracy Theories,” And The Crisis of Communication

THE EXCAVATOR
June 23, 2011

“We don’t know when this madness will end but I do know that God is speaking. I have to believe that in my heart, and I have to know that God will use even this tragedy, to shake up the world.” – Unknown. You can hear the words in this video made by OwlMedic from 1:22 – 1:54.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d50CaHdwtX8

A psychological gap exists between the people who accept the truth that 9/11 was an inside job and the people who can not come to the same conclusion because it is too painful, depressing, and earth-shattering. I have made it my personal mission in life, along with thousands of other people, to bridge this psychological gap so that people see the 9/11 event from an entirely different perspective – from the innocent victims’ point of view, not from the evil government conspirators’ point of view.

Mankind’s future is dependent on our understanding that 9/11 was a false flag event committed by a small faction of criminal traitors who control the governments of America., Israel, and England. These traitors will continue to commit criminal acts of state violence because they want to build a global garrison state to control people’s freedom of movement and prevent a transnational revolution against the private banking occupation of America and the Western world.

As a result of the psychological divide between 9/11 truth tellers and 9/11 truth deniers there is a spiritual and emotional divide between people in modern Western culture. We have forgotten how to speak to each other. Instead of engaging in thoughtful discussions about politics people automatically use the words “cranks” “conspiracy theorists” and “racists” to smear anyone who disagrees with government narratives, especially liberals who should know better. The definition of liberal is, “Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.”

Modern liberals have many ugly prejudices and intolerantly accuse government critics of being paranoid and racist. They degrade the work and views of a true hero, Ron Paul, by saying he supports corrupt banks on Wall Street, when in fact he is going after the one institution that enables Wall Street to steal trillions of dollars from the American people: the private, fraudulent, and foreign owned Federal Reserve Bank.

Liberals’ hostility to criticism of the Federal Reserve and 9/11 truth is anti-liberal. I expect conservatives to religiously trust the voices of authority and unquestioningly accept what they say because conservatives like to go with the flow, but it is disappointing to see that liberals are matching conservatives’ blind ignorance.

What all this means is that the categories of liberal and conservative are no longer relevant political terms. We have to communicate with each other and define each other with a whole new political perspective. Northop Frye said that there is “a built-in wisdom in the human mind, which is a part of its need to survive,” (1). I think many of us are tapping into this built-in wisdom. It is something we must do because the prospect of a new world war threatens human survival and human civilization.

It is stupid to speak about a war between Western civilization and Islamic barbarism. Newsflash: none of us are civilized. Maybe the Swiss, but that’s it. We in the West are not in a state of civilization and a state of freedom because there are demons of war running amok who are staging barbaric false flag events like 9/11 to further their corrupt agendas.

The demonic war establishment in Washington, Israel and England use the media to cast out truth-tellers out of polite society by demonizing them as cranks and conspiracy theorists. Telling the truth is poison to the arrogant ears of power. Authorities and power structures that justify their existence on lies need people to believe in the lies or else they will perish.

The U.S. war establishment should have been destroyed after the fall of Communism because it was no longer needed. But it gained so much power in the name of fighting the Soviet Union that it was able to use its academic, media, and government resources to invent a new enemy, terrorism, to keep itself alive on the backs of the American people.

On 9/11 the war establishment revealed its true wolfish nature, proving that it was no longer the protector of the American people. I doubt the war establishment was ever America’s protector because America has been in the hands of private, foreign bankers ever since 1913.

The two points that need to be communicated to 9/11 truth deniers is that a free society and a war establishment cannot coexist, and that a war establishment needs to manufacture lies and myths to stay relevant in the lives of people. War makers like the neocons are natural enemies of peace, free speech, and justice. Either freedom survives, or Washington’s satanic war establishment will end up destroying itself and in the process bring this world down.

The War on Terror is 3/5 a war on language and 2/5 a war on thought. Paul Craig Roberts writes in his latest article called ‘Conspiracy Theory,’ that language is used by the U.S. government to construct false narratives of history and take away the freedoms of the people. Roberts writes: “A country whose population has been trained to accept the government’s word and to shun those who question it is a country without liberty in its future.”

[Continued...]
8  The War Room / 9/11 Material & Research / 9/11 and the Orwellian Redefinition of “Conspiracy Theory” on: September 16, 2011, 01:56:28 pm
http://www.prisonplanet.com/911-and-the-orwellian-redefinition-of-conspiracy-theory.html

9/11 and the Orwellian Redefinition of “Conspiracy Theory”

Paul Craig Roberts
Prisonplanet.com
June 20, 2011

While we were not watching, conspiracy theory has undergone Orwellian redefinition.

A “conspiracy theory” no longer means an event explained by a conspiracy. Instead, it now means any explanation, or even a fact, that is out of step with the government’s explanation and that of its media pimps.

For example, online news broadcasts of RT have been equated with conspiracy theories by the New York Times simply because RT reports news and opinions that the New York Times does not report and the US government does not endorse.

In other words, as truth becomes uncomfortable for government and its Ministry of Propaganda, truth is redefined as conspiracy theory, by which is meant an absurd and laughable explanation that we should ignore.

When piles of carefully researched books, released government documents, and testimony of eye witnesses made it clear that Oswald was not President John F. Kennedy’s assassin, the voluminous research, government documents, and verified testimony was dismissed as “conspiracy theory.”

In other words, the truth of the event was unacceptable to the authorities and to the Ministry of Propaganda that represents the interests of authorities.

The purest example of how Americans are shielded from truth is the media’s (including many Internet sites’) response to the large number of professionals who find the official explanation of September 11, 2001, inconsistent with everything they, as experts, know about physics, chemistry, structural engineering, architecture, fires, structural damage, the piloting of airplanes, the security procedures of the United States, NORAD’s capabilities, air traffic control, airport security, and other matters. These experts, numbering in the thousands, have been shouted down by know-nothings in the media who brand the experts as “conspiracy theorists.”

This despite the fact that the official explanation endorsed by the official media is the most extravagant conspiracy theory in human history.

Let’s take a minute to re-acquaint ourselves with the official explanation, which is not regarded as a conspiracy theory despite the fact that it comprises an amazing conspiracy. The official truth is that a handful of young Muslim Arabs who could not fly airplanes, mainly Saudi Arabians who came neither from Iraq nor from Afghanistan, outwitted not only the CIA and the FBI, but also all 16 US intelligence agencies and all intelligence agencies of US allies including Israel’s Mossad, which is believed to have penetrated every terrorist organization and which carries out assassinations of those whom Mossad marks as terrorists.

In addition to outwitting every intelligence agency of the United States and its allies, the handful of young Saudi Arabians outwitted the National Security Council, the State Department, NORAD, airport security four times in the same hour on the same morning, air traffic control, caused the US Air Force to be unable to launch interceptor aircraft, and caused three well-built steel-structured buildings, including one not hit by an airplane, to fail suddenly in a few seconds as a result of limited structural damage and small, short-lived, low-temperature fires that burned on a few floors.

The Saudi terrorists were even able to confound the laws of physics and cause WTC building seven to collapse at free fall speed for several seconds, a physical impossibility in the absence of explosives used in controlled demolition.

The story that the government and the media have told us amounts to a gigantic conspiracy, really a script for a James Bond film. Yet, anyone who doubts this improbable conspiracy theory is defined into irrelevance by the obedient media.

Anyone who believes an architect, structural engineer, or demolition expert who says that the videos show that the buildings are blowing up, not falling down, anyone who believes a Ph.D. physicist who says that the official explanation is inconsistent with known laws of physics, anyone who believes expert pilots who testify that non-pilots or poorly-qualified pilots cannot fly airplanes in such maneuvers, anyone who believes the 100 or more first responders who testify that they not only heard explosions in the towers but personally experienced explosions, anyone who believes University of Copenhagen nano-chemist Niels Harrit who reports finding unreacted nano-thermite in dust samples from the WTC towers, anyone who is convinced by experts instead of by propaganda is dismissed as a kook.

In America today, and increasingly throughout the Western world, actual facts and true explanations have been relegated to the realm of kookiness. Only people who believe lies are socially approved and accepted as patriotic citizens

Indeed, a writer or newscaster is not even permitted to report the findings of 9/11 skeptics. In other words, simply to report Professor Harrit’s findings now means that you endorse them or agree with them. Everyone in the US print and TV media knows that he/she will be instantly fired if they report Harrit’s findings, even with a laugh. Thus, although Harrit has reported his findings on European television and has lectured widely on his findings in Canadian universities, the fact that he and the international scientific research team that he led found unreacted nano-thermite in the WTC dust and have offered samples to other scientists to examine has to my knowledge never been reported in the American media.

Even Internet sites on which I am among the readers’ favorites will not allow me to report on Harrit’s findings.

As I reported earlier, I myself had experience with a Huffington Post reporter who was keen to interview a Reagan presidential appointee who was in disagreement with the Republican wars in the Middle East. After he published the interview that I provided at his request, he was terrified to learn that I had reported findings of 9/11 investigators. To protect his career, he quickly inserted on the online interview that my views on the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions could be dismissed as I had reported unacceptable findings about 9/11.

The unwillingness or inability to entertain any view of 9/11 different from the official view dooms to impotence many Internet sites that are opposed to the wars and to the rise of the domestic US police state. These sites, for whatever the reasons, accept the government’s explanation of 9/11; yet, they try to oppose the “war on terror” and the police state which are the consequences of accepting the government’s explanation. Trying to oppose the consequences of an event whose explanation you accept is an impossible task.

If you believe that America was attacked by Muslim terrorists and is susceptible to future attacks, then a “war on terror” and a domestic police state to root out terrorists become necessary to make Americans safe. The idea that a domestic police state and open-ended war might be more dangerous threats to Americans than terrorists is an impermissible thought.

A country whose population has been trained to accept the government’s word and to shun those who question it is a country without liberty in its future.
9  The War Room / 9/11 Material & Research / Destroying Freedom, Truth And Justice With The Power of Words on: September 16, 2011, 01:53:43 pm
http://www.prisonplanet.com/destroying-freedom-truth-and-justice-with-the-power-of-words.html

Destroying Freedom, Truth And Justice With The Power of Words

The Excavator
May 27, 2011

    “The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.” – Philip K. ****

    “Men must have spoken freely long before they formulated the idea of free speech. Perhaps the idea itself was developed in reaction against attempts to take it away from them — or in a fight to regain it.

    One way to get at the answer — and dig into the thoughts of a vanished civilization — is to examine the words they used. A thought or concept clearly held finds expression in a word that embodies it. If it wasn’t on their tongues, it wasn’t in their minds. The way to delve into their minds is to look into their vocabulary.” – I.F. Stone.

We should all reflect on the words we say, write, and think because words are powerful. Words are a bigger threat to freedom, justice, and truth than bullets because authoritarian governments can use words to enslave millions of minds and turn people into obedient machines without a will and without any understanding of their actions beyond the lies that their leaders tell them.

The term “conspiracy theory” has contributed more to the destruction and enslavement of America than the oligarchical Establishment’s assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, and other truth-telling political reformers. The stigma surrounding ideas and topics that are collectively referred to as “conspiracy theories” prevents people from thinking critically about the true intentions of their political leaders and the policies enacted by their government.

The claim that topics like 9/11 truth or the Federal Reserve are out of bounds and don’t belong in proper political discussion is an attack on free speech and justice. Whenever any idea or opinion is demarcated as crazy, paranoid, or cynical by political leaders and the Establishment it means they are afraid and have something to hide. President George Bush warned people to stay away from conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks because he didn’t want people to know that he played a big part in the planning and execution of 9/11.

Words can shape a people’s destiny for good or evil, hide ugly truths from the people, and protect the powerful from retribution. There are numerous examples of terms like “conspiracy theory” that are used to kill the free debate of ideas and ban critical opinion from mainstream discussion.

II. Before The Revolution Comes The Word

All revolutions are fought with words and ideas. The Western oligarchy’s revolution against Western liberty is no exception. They are presenting tyranny to the people by masking their evil designs in words from hallmark greeting cards.

Chinese and Soviet communists got rid of their political enemies through the primitive and old-fashioned way: killing them by the truckload. Western social engineers and America’s totalitarian establishment have instituted draconian change and directed Western civilization towards collectivist tyranny in a far less violent way. They learned from the Soviets and Chinese of how not to violently takeover a government and radically makeover a society from the top down. Since the end of World War II they have turned America upside down in a slow, gradual, step-by-step process by relying chiefly on propaganda, censorship, mental brainwashing, political harassment, cleansing of history in the people’s minds, subversive advertising, psychological conditioning, and perception management techniques.

Instead of banging heads and crushing skulls through the front door like the Soviets and Chinese did when their stubborn enemies resisted their draconian policies, the American and Western totalitarian revolutionaries came through the back door, silently, secretly, like petty thieves, without causing too much of an alarm. Naturally, large segments of the American and Western population have remained asleep throughout the past six decades, undeterred by the screaming of “conspiracy theorists” who are raising the alarm that tyrants and thieves have broken into the house and seek to burn it down to the ground. Thus, the sleeping people pose little threat to the traitorous intruders who have mega-death and mass slavery in store for them.

Freedom of speech is threatened in America and the West by words, not guns. Words like “conspiracy theorists” stop critical thought from naturally maturing into an informed opinion about history and the course of politics. Another freedom-destroying word is “domestic terrorist” which is used by the Department of Homeland Security and other unlawful government authorities to automatically stigmatize a person or a group who resist criminal government polices.

Words like “conspiracy theorists” and “domestic extremists” are words of darkness, evil, tyranny, and ignorance. These words are repeated by Western governments and the Western media for precise political purposes: to destroy free thought and free speech, as well as vilify freedom fighters, people who question government, politically awakened individuals, law abiding citizens, constitutionalists, and patriots who support the principles of freedom.

But words lose their power over time no matter how much they are repeated. To counter act this phenomenon, evil governments and rulers commit new atrocities to reinvigorate the words with meaning and bring new life to them. If the hijacked U.S. government stages another terrorist attack on the level of the September 11 attacks then the persecution of “conspiracy theorists” and “extremists” will be given a huge boost. The people might fall in line. Or they might not. This question can only be answered when the time comes.

[Continued...]
10  General / Activism / Divide And Conquer: Are The Left And The Right In America About To Go To War? on: September 10, 2011, 09:48:10 am
http://www.prisonplanet.com/divide-and-conquer-are-the-left-and-the-right-in-america-about-to-go-to-war-with-each-other.html

Divide And Conquer: Are The Left And The Right In America About To Go To War With Each Other?

The American Dream
Saturday, September 10, 2011

Every single day, America is becoming a little bit more divided.  It is probably not a stretch to say that there could be more political hatred in this country today than at any time since the Civil War.  In fact, there are some very disturbing signs that the very heated war of words between the two major political parties could soon spill over into very real violence in the streets. 

Instead of uniting and focusing on our real enemies and on our real problems, the left and the right in America seem ready to go to war with each other.  The mainstream media and those that control both political parties love to play “divide and conquer”, and in America today we are taught to pick one political “team” and to absolutely hate those on the other side.  But instead of two real choices, what we really have is a false left/right paradigm.  The reality is that the two political parties are controlled by the same people at the highest levels.  For example, did you know that 3 of the top 7 donors to Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008 were major Wall Street banks?  Both the Republicans and the Democrats are very tightly controlled.  That is why nothing seems to really change no matter who we elect.  But rather than waking up and uniting to take on our real problems, the American people are increasingly choosing to hate one another.

What I am not saying is that any of us should just give up and agree with those that express views that we are 100% opposed to.  I am not saying that at all.

But what I am saying is that we can fundamentally disagree with others and yet still love them at the same time.

Right now, political hatred is rising to very frightening levels in America.  Just cruise around political websites on the Internet for a while.  What you will find will not be pleasant.

Just think about how Democrats and Republicans talk about each other at this point.

How would you describe the emotions that most Republicans feel for most Democrats?

How would you describe the emotions that most Democrats feel for most Republicans?

The sad thing is that the vast majority of the people representing us in Washington D.C. should never receive a single vote from any American voter under any circumstances.  We spend so much time defending them when the truth is that nearly all of them should be voted out.

But instead of waking up and understanding what the real issues are, most Americans are rallying around their political “teams” and are seething with hatred for their “enemies”.

Look, without love this country is not going to survive.  Yes, we need to vote most of the politicians in Washington D.C. out of office.  But that does not mean that we need to obsessively hate them.

The following are just a few recent examples of the rising political hatred that we are seeing in this country….

[Continued...]
11  General / Activism / Re: What's an IMF riot? Is it not "resistance" without a POLICY AGENDA? on: September 10, 2011, 09:46:11 am
http://www.prisonplanet.com/chaos-on-the-streets-of-america.html

Chaos On The Streets Of America

The American Dream
Sept 6, 2011

Should we just expect mass chaos on the streets of America every time a major holiday rolls around? At least 42 people were hit by gunfire in New York City over the Labor Day weekend. The violence got so bad that even the mayor felt compelled to publicly address it. In Chicago, at least 6 people (including a man in a wheelchair) were killed over the Labor Day weekend. Sadly, this is just a continuation of a trend that we have seen build over the past few years. At the beginning of the summer, there was terrible violence all over America during the Memorial Day weekend. We also saw violence break out during 4th of July celebrations. It appears that wherever large groups of young people gather in America today, there is going to be a very good chance that chaos is going to erupt.

Almost wherever you look, you can see the frustration of the American people starting to boil over. Very few public places seem to be immune.

For example, there have been very disturbing incidents of violence at quite a few NFL games recently.

[Continued...]
12  General / Activism / Ron Paul: Feds Preparing For “Breakdown Of Law And Order” [read: IMF RIOTS!] on: September 10, 2011, 09:43:26 am
http://www.prisonplanet.com/ron-paul-feds-preparing-for-%e2%80%9cbreakdown-of-law-and-order%e2%80%9d.html

Ron Paul: Feds Preparing For “Breakdown Of Law And Order”

Presidential candidate warns of government “power grab” in time of crisis

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Thursday, September 1, 2011

Asked about his recent comments regarding how authorities in the United States were “setting the stage for violence in this country,” Presidential candidate Ron Paul elaborated on how the federal government was preparing for a “breakdown in law and order.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfp0698dJqw

“They’re planning for any provision,” Paul told the Alex Jones Show, adding that the federal government is very much aware of history.

“You can have a breakdown of law and order so the people will unfortunately be begging for stabilization, and they’ll be inviting the federal government to come in and destabilize things, so I think they’re making plans along those lines,” said the Texas Congressman.

Responding to a question about whether such preparations were about a power grab on behalf of the federal government, Paul responded, “That’s their goal, it’s all about power.”

When pressed who the “they” were, Paul named the Federal Emergency Management Agency, who have come in for harsh criticism from the Congressman in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

Riots that emerged largely as a consequence of economic hardships have gripped Europe and the Middle East over the past 18 months, although little significant unrest has so far been seen in the United States.

However, many expect the situation to only become more volatile as America teeters on the brink of a double-dip recession.

With disapproval of Congress at an all time high as citizens are more disenfranchised with their political leadership than ever before, political commentators like pollster Pat Caddell have warned that many Americans are now “pre-revolutionary”.

Preparations for civil unrest in the United States have long been on the books, but those plans have recently been refreshed.

Immediately following the riots in the UK, the NYPD announced that it was training police to deal with disobedience, “should out-of-control riots break out here”.

As we reported three years ago, U.S. troops returning from Iraq were being re-allocated to occupy America, running checkpoints and training to deal with “civil unrest and crowd control” under the auspices of a Northcom program that revolved around deploying 20,000 active duty troops inside America to “help” state and local officials during times of emergency.

The date set for the completion of this program was 2011.
13  General / Activism / Re: What's an IMF riot? Is it not "resistance" without a POLICY AGENDA? on: September 10, 2011, 09:33:05 am
http://www.prisonplanet.com/half-of-americans-believe-austerity-will-lead-to-violent-unrest.html

Half Of Americans Believe Austerity Will Lead To Violent Unrest

Gold sales increase six fold in one week

Steve Watson
Prisonplanet.com
Aug 15, 2011



Almost half of all Americans believe that government spending cuts will lead to civil unrest on a scale recently seen in London, according to a new survey.

48% of respondents in a Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey indicated that they believe it is at least somewhat likely that if austerity measures are enacted there will be violence on the streets.

According to the survey, those under 50 years of age think unrest is more likely, with a majority of 58% believing cuts will make it likely.

Less Americans are convinced that tax hikes and stock market woes will trigger unrest, however, in both cases over a third still fear those factors will contribute to uprisings.

The survey found that 69% of Americans say they have been following news stories about the rioting in London at least somewhat closely, with 25% following very closely.

A plurality of 43% said that they believed the British Government’s announcement that “nothing is off the table” when it comes to dealing with the rioters was likely to deter more violence, where as 25% thought it would incite further trouble.

As we have repeatedly highlighted for some time now, austerity fascism is the realization of the global elite’s agenda for a “post-industrial revolution”.

If the situation is allowed to spiral out of control and the “post-industrial revolution” unfolds quicker and more unwieldy than anticipated, the global elite may find themselves with an entirely different kind of revolution on their hands – one led by the people against the corrupt plutocrats intent on exploiting the suffering they masterminded in the move towards an authoritarian one world government.

Top historians, social and financial analysts are warning that the draconian austerity measures currently being prepared and unleashed by governments in the west will cause riots and even revolutions as people react with fury in response to their jobs, savings, basic public services, pensions and welfare money being seized by the financial terrorists who caused the economic collapse in the first place.

A study released this month by economists Hans-Joachim Voth and Jacopo Ponticelli found that over the past century austerity has significantly increased the risk of violence and social instability.

A CNN report on the study notes:

[Continued...]
14  General / Activism / Re: What's an IMF riot? Is it not "resistance" without a POLICY AGENDA? on: September 10, 2011, 09:31:17 am
http://www.prisonplanet.com/10-signs-that-economic-riots-and-civil-unrest-inside-the-united-states-are-now-more-likely-than-ever.html

10 Signs That Economic Riots And Civil Unrest Inside The United States Are Now More Likely Than Ever

The Economic Collapse
Aug 15, 2011



You should let the video footage of the wild violence that just took place in London burn into your memory because the same things are going to be happening all over the United States as the economy continues to crumble.  We have raised an entire generation of young people with an “entitlement mentality”, but now the economy is producing very few good jobs that will actually enable our young people to work for what they feel they are entitled to.  If you are under 30 in America today, things look really bleak.  The vast majority of the good jobs are held by people that are older, and they aren’t about to give them up if they can help it.  It is easy for the rest of us to tell young Americans to “take whatever they can”, but the reality is that there is intense competition for even the most basic jobs.  For instance, McDonald’s recently held a “National Hiring Day [2]” during which a million Americans applied for jobs.  Only 6.2% of the applicants were hired.  In the old days you could walk down to McDonald’s and get a job whenever you wanted to, but now any job is precious.  The frustration among our young people is palpable.  Most of them feel entitled to “the American Dream” and they feel like the system has failed them.  Unfortunately, many of them are already turning to violence.  But the economic riots and the civil unrest that we have already seen are nothing compared to what is coming.  Americans are angry, and as the economy continues to collapse that anger is going to reach unprecedented heights.

In recent days, even many in the mainstream media have been openly wondering if the riots that happened in London could happen here too.  There is a growing acknowledgement that this country is headed down a very dark path.

The sad thing is that these riots accomplish absolutely nothing.  The recent London riots did not create any jobs and they certainly did not solve any economic problems.  Instead, they actually hurt the economy even more because a huge am0unt of property was destroyed and people are even more afraid to continue with business as usual.

But when people get to the end of their ropes, most of the time they are not thinking rationally.  When frustration erupts, the results can be very, very messy.

All over the United States we are already seeing some very troubling signs of the violence that is coming.  The following are 10 signs that economic riots and civil unrest inside United States are now more likely then ever...

[Continued...]
15  General / Activism / Re: What's an IMF riot? Is it not "resistance" without a POLICY AGENDA? on: September 10, 2011, 09:28:23 am
http://www.prisonplanet.com/brzezinski-middle-class-unrest-to-hit-u-s.html

Brzezinski: Middle Class Unrest To Hit U.S.

Globalist who wrote books advocating highly controlled society dominated by technocratic elite is now concerned about “disparity in society”

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Thursday, July 7, 2011

Zbigniew Brzezinski, who forty years ago wrote of a highly controlled future society where the population would be subjugated by a technocratic elite, appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe yesterday to predict that middle class unrest caused by economic disenfranchisement would soon hit America.

[Embedded video clip omitted - see original article.]

“I don’t want to be a prophet of doom — and I don’t think we are approaching doom — but I think we’re going to slide into intensified social conflicts, social hostility, some forms of radicalism, there is just going to be a sense that this is not a just society,” Brzezinski said, adding that civil unrest would begin when the lower middle class becomes severely affected by the economic fallout and rising unemployment.

The former National Security Advisor predicted “really serious international turmoil” as a result of the United States, Europe and Japan, the three traditional pillars of global economic strength, struggling with deep financial crises.

CFR member Brzezinski’s so-called concern about “disparity” and a “fair society,” as the rich get richer and the middle class becomes poorer, is completely hypocritical given the fact that he wrote books four decades ago virtually advocating precisely that system, where a tiny elite ruthlessly control and dominate the rest of humanity.

However, this is certainly not the first time that Brzezinski has expressed concerns that a growing rage caused by economic and social disenfranchisement could threaten the existing power structure.

[Continued...]
16  General / Activism / Re: What's an IMF riot? Is it not "resistance" without a POLICY AGENDA? on: September 10, 2011, 09:26:35 am
http://www.prisonplanet.com/greece-this-is-what-an-imf-riot-looks-like.html

Greece: This is What an IMF Riot Looks Like

Kurt Nimmo
Prison Planet.com
Thursday, June 30, 2011

The European stock market reacted jubilantly to news that the Greek parliament agreed to Mafia-like terms demanded by the international loan sharking operation, the IMF. Investors looked myopically at the boards showing the London FTSE 100 up a smidgen along with Frankfurt’s DAX and CAC-40 in Paris. In the United States, stock futures ticked up modestly as Wall Street opened for the day. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures for September delivery and Standard & Poor’s 500 contract for the same month are up 0.2% at 12,238.00 and 1,306.30, respectively.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo3t82ntchc

Markets reacted triumphantly in South Korea, India, Brazil and elsewhere. It has turned out to be a red letter day for the globalists and the financial class.

Meanwhile, on the streets of Athens, an IMF riot is in full swing. “Despite continuing protests – some violent – on the streets of Athens, investors were pleased that a euro-zone financial disaster had been averted,” the Wall Street Jounral cheerfully reports today.

The IMF riot will undoubtedly get worse later today as the Greek parliament figures out the mechanics of bankster-imposed austerity. It’s business as usual for the financial class on Wall Street, and in London and Brussels.

“Although one would not think it from the pictures from Athens, European policy makers have expressed their approval that Armageddon has been averted following the vote of approval in the Greek parliament,” said Dermot O’Leary, economist at Goodbody Stockbrokers.

Of course, it depends on how you define Armageddon.

When the IMF eliminated food and fuel subsidies for the poor in Indonesia in 1998, the people went into the streets and rioted. After the banksters jacked up water prices in Bolivia, a series of IMF riots broke out. There were riots in Ecuador over the rise in cooking gas prices imposed by the World Bank.

According to former chief economist at the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz, the IMF and World Bank meticulously plot these riots. It’s all part of the plan. Greece is being gutted economically so the banksters and transnational corporations can rush in and buy assets and resources for pennies on the dollar.

[Continued...]
17  General / Activism / Re: What's an IMF riot? Is it not "resistance" without a POLICY AGENDA? on: September 10, 2011, 09:24:17 am
http://www.prisonplanet.com/the-handling-of-the-economic-crisis-may-lead-to-civil-unrest.html

The Handling of the Economic Crisis May Lead to Civil Unrest

Washington’s Blog
June 10, 2011

CNN’s Jack Cafferty notes that a number of voices are saying that – if our economy continues to deteriorate (which it very well might) – we are likely headed for violence, and civil unrest is a growing certainty.

Watch the must-see CNN viewer comments on this issue:

[Embedded video clip omitted - see original article]

Newsweek wrote two weeks ago:

    Reality is beginning to break through. Gas and grocery prices are on the rise, home values are down, and vast majorities think the country is on the wrong track. The result is sadness and frustration, but also an inchoate rage more profound than the sign-waving political fury documented during the elections last fall.

    ***

    In search of the earthly toll of this outrage, NEWSWEEK conducted a poll of 600 people, finding vastly more unquiet minds than not. Three out of four people believe the economy is stagnant or getting worse. One in three is uneasy about getting married, starting a family, or being able to buy a home. Most say their relationships have been damaged by economic woes or, perhaps more accurately, the dread and nervousness that accompany them.

    Could these emotions escalate into revolt?

Why are people so angry?

Well, as the Newsweek article points out:

[Continued...]
18  General / Activism / Re: Points of agreement = massive grassroots coalition on: September 10, 2011, 09:22:36 am
http://www.prisonplanet.com/ron-paul-and-dennis-kucinich-slam-obama-misuse-of-war-powers.html

Ron Paul And Dennis Kucinich Slam Obama Misuse Of War Powers

Fox News
April 4, 2011

Ron Paul, Denis Kucinich discuss the truth about Obama and his illegal war on Libya.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epcq7KqpYX0
19  The Economy / SOLUTIONS! / New Reality For Many Baby Boomers Will Be To Work As Wage Slaves Until They Die on: August 22, 2011, 12:09:19 pm
http://www.prisonplanet.com/21-signs-that-the-new-reality-for-many-baby-boomers-will-be-to-work-as-wage-slaves-until-they-drop-dead.html

New Reality For Many Baby Boomers Will Be To Work As Wage Slaves Until They Drop Dead

The Economic Collapse
Aug 22, 2011



All over America tonight, millions of elderly Americans are wondering if their money is going to run out before it is time for them to die.  Those that are now past retirement age are not going to be rioting in the streets, but that doesn’t mean that large numbers of them are not deeply suffering.  There are millions of elderly Americans that are leading lives of “quiet desperation” as they try to get by on meager fixed incomes.  Many are surviving on Ramen noodles, oatmeal, peanut butter or whatever other cheap food they can find in the stores.  There are some that are so short on cash that they will not turn on the heat in their homes until things get really desperate.  As health care costs soar, millions of elderly Americans find themselves deep in debt and facing huge medical bills that they cannot possibly pay.  A lot of older Americans would go back to work if they could, but jobs are scarce and very few companies seem to even want to consider hiring them.  Right now caring for all of the Americans that have already retired is turning out to be an overwhelming challenge, and things are about to get a whole lot worse.  On January 1st, 2011 the very first Baby Boomers turned 65.  A massive tsunami of retirees is coming, and America is not ready for it.

Sadly, most retirees have not adequately prepared for retirement.  For many, the recent economic downturn absolutely devastated their retirement plans.  Many were counting on the equity in their homes, but the recent housing crash crushed those dreams.  Others had their 401ks shredded by the stock market.

Meanwhile, corporate pension plans all across America are vastly underfunded.  Many state and local government pension programs are absolute disasters.  The federal government has already begun to pay out significantly more in Social Security benefits than they are taking in, and the years ahead are projected to be downright apocalyptic for the Social Security program.

So needless to say, things do not look good for the Baby Boomers that are now approaching retirement age.

The following are 21 signs that the new reality for many Baby Boomers will be to work as wage slaves until they drop dead….

[Continued...]
20  The Economy / SOLUTIONS! / Thousands Camp Out for Job Fair as Jobless Rate Rises on: August 22, 2011, 12:07:36 pm
One of the key reasons why ruling-class parasites are having such a ridiculously easy time economically ass-raping the masses is that We the People have yet to unite politically against them.

And one of the key reasons a critical mass of us have yet to unite is that far too many of our fellow citizens are too busy looking down their snooty little noses at whoever happens to be further down the economic ladder than they are at the moment.

For instance, how many times have you heard some blame-the-victim-firster wax self-righteous about what "lazy deadbeats" welfare recipients are -- as if to say that, contrary to reality, there are not far fewer job openings than there are people in need of employment?

Until enough of us stop looking for excuses to blame the victims of economic terrorism instead of the terrorists themselves, it will be business as usual for the parasitic ruling elite, and will consequently be just a matter of time before practically all of us are in a bitter, demoralizing struggle for mere survival, not just the bottom 40%.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/thousands-camp-out-for-job-fair-as-jobless-rate-rises.html

Thousands Camp Out for Job Fair as Jobless Rate Rises

JULIE NA
ABC News
August 19, 2011

Thousands of unemployed waited overnight, camping out in their business suits and office heels and braving the tormenting heat in Atlanta to stand in line for a job fair Thursday. Authorities treated 20 people for heat exhaustion as they struggled to keep the line moving and get people moved inside.

The incredible turnout at the job fair comes on the heels of the state labor commissioner’s announcement that Georgia’s jobless rate rose.

The state unemployment rate increased to 10.1 percent in July from the 9.9 percent in June. The unemployment rate for African-Americans stands at 15.9 percent, far above the national rate of 9.1 percent.

July marks the 48th consecutive month that Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate.

Full story here.
21  The Economy / SOLUTIONS! / The World's Money Is Draining Away ... Where's It Going? on: August 22, 2011, 11:54:37 am
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=26004

The World's Money Is Draining Away ... Where's It Going?

by Washington's Blog



Global Research
August 12, 2011



Spiegel asks:

    "Is The World Going Bankrupt?"

That is an odd question.

If some people are losing money, others must be gaining money, right?

But where is all the money going?



Bloomberg's Jonathan Weil hints at the answer in a post entitled "Is There Enough Money on Earth to Save the Banks?"

    Two years ago the central planners convinced investors that the biggest surviving financial institutions would be able to earn their way back to health, in part through low interest rates and taxpayer support. The pressing question soon may be whether there is enough money on the planet to save the system as we know it, and if so, how much longer it will be before a crisis comes along that finally swamps the ability of governments to contain it.

    One-hit wonders such as Fed-induced stock-market rallies can induce euphoria momentarily. They don’t fix the big problem.



As I've previously noted, the giant banks are drawing the American and world economy down into a black hole. If we don't break up the giant banks now, they'll be bailed out again and again, and virtually all independent economists and financial experts say that will drag the world economy down with them.

Indeed, many economists and financial experts say that we'll have a never-ending depression or perpetual zombification unless the banks and bondholders are forced to write down their debt.

But the question remains: if all of the world's money (of the Western world, anyway) is draining out, where's it going to?



Economists note:

    A substantial portion of the profits of the largest banks is essentially a redistribution from taxpayers to the banks, rather than the outcome of market transactions.

Indeed, all of the monetary and economic policy of the last 3 years has helped the wealthiest and penalized everyone else. See this, this and this.

A "jobless recovery" is basically a redistribution of wealth from the little guy to the big boys.

The Bush tax cuts and failure to enforce corporate taxes also redistribute wealth to the top 1%. See this and this.

Economist Steve Keen says:

    "This is the biggest transfer of wealth in history", as the giant banks have handed their toxic debts from fraudulent activities to the countries and their people.

Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz said in 2009 that Geithner's toxic asset plan "amounts to robbery of the American people".

And economist Dean Baker said in 2009 that the true purpose of the bank rescue plans is "a massive redistribution of wealth to the bank shareholders and their top executives".

The money of individuals, businesses, cities, states and entire nations are disappearing into the abyss ...



... and ending up in the pockets of the top .1% richest people.
22  The Economy / SOLUTIONS! / S&P's: Just More Corrupt Wall Street Insiders Waging Class War on America on: August 22, 2011, 11:52:45 am
“There’s class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

-- Warren Buffet, New York Times, November 26, 2006

---------------------------

http://www.alternet.org/module/printversion/151935

Standard and Poor's: Just More Corrupt Wall Street Insiders Waging Class War on America

By Joshua Holland
AlterNet
August 7, 2011

Standard and Poor's decision to downgrade our public debt [.pdf] tells us absolutely nothing about the probability of the federal government meeting its future obligations. The move really only offers us some compelling evidence of the corruption eating away at the foundations of yet another key Wall Street institution.

I should say that it offers us additional evidence. According to a Senate investigation concluded earlier this year — a probe that was greeted with a collective "ho-hum" by the corporate media — S&P and Moody's, another leading agency, “issued the AAA ratings that made ... mortgage backed securities ... seem like safe investments, helped build an active market for those securities, and then, beginning in July 2007, downgraded the vast majority of those AAA ratings to junk status.” And when they did, it “precipitated the collapse of the [mortgage-backed securities] markets and, perhaps more than any other single event, triggered the financial crisis. (PDF)”

According to the Senate investigation, in the years leading up to crash, “warnings about the massive problems in the mortgage industry” — including internal warnings from their own analysts — had been ignored because of the “the inherent conflict of interest arising from the system used to pay for credit ratings” — the big “rating agencies were paid by the Wall Street firms” that were making a fortune selling that glossed-up garbage to credulous investors.

The almost surreal irony here is that it was the economic crisis that the ratings agencies facilitated which led to a massive drop in tax revenues, and it was that, more than any other single factor, which caused the large deficits the federal government has been running in recent years. In other words, the agencies themselves played a pivotal role in driving up the national debt. Yet, rather than doing the honorable thing and throwing themselves out of their high-rise windows in the wake of the crash, S&P's management had the nerve to start playing politics with that very same debt.

At the height of the debate over raising the debt ceiling, the elite ratings agency issued a remarkable warning: The firm said that it would downgrade U.S. treasuries even if the limit were raised. The only way the government could avoid such a move, the agency warned, was for Congress to rubber-stamp the ostensibly “balanced,” $4 trillion debt-reduction package — one that included largely unspecified “entitlement reforms” — that Barack Obama had offered the GOP (S&P insisted that it didn't favor any specific policy approach, but it did specify a “balanced approach” worth $4 trillion shortly after Obama floated the proposal).

Congress eventually raised the limit in exchange for a lesser figure of up to $2.7 trillion worth of deficit reduction, and late Friday, after the markets were safely closed and the world's traders had headed home for the weekend, S&P shot its hostage.

[Continued...]

---------------------------
23  The Economy / SOLUTIONS! / Neoliberalism's Newest Product: The Modern Slave Trade on: August 22, 2011, 11:50:25 am
"Are there no prisons...or workhouses...or treadmills?" -- Ebenezer Scrooge

----------------------------

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25888

Neoliberalism's Newest Product: The Modern Slave Trade

by Ignacio Ramonet
Global Research
August 3, 2011

PARIS, Jul (IPS) Two centuries after the abolition of slavery we are seeing the reintroduction of an abominable practice: human trafficking. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that 12.3 million people each year are taken captive by networks tied to international crime and used as forced labour in inhuman conditions.

In the case of women, the victims are subjected mostly to sexual exploitation while others are exploited as domestic servants. There is also the case of youths who are taken captive through various scams so their body parts can be sold in the international human organ trade.

These practices are expanding more and more to satisfy the demand for cheap labour in sectors like the hotel and restaurant industries, agriculture, and construction.

The OSCE dedicated two days of its last international conference in Vienna in late June to this subject. Though the phenomenon is international, various specialists asserted that the plague of slave labour is growing rapidly in the EU. Unions and labour groups estimate that in Europe there are hundreds of thousands of workers subjected to the blight of slavery.

In Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK, and other countries of the EU, foreign migrant workers attracted by the mirage of Europe find themselves trapped in the networks of various mafias and working in conditions like slaves of past ages. An ILO report reveals that south of Naples, for example, 1200 homeless farm labourers work twelve hours per day in greenhouses without contracts and for miserable pay, guarded by private militias and living in what resemble concentration camps.

This "work camp" is not the only one in Europe; thousands and thousands of undocumented immigrants have met similar fates, victims of a modern slave trade flourishing in any number of European countries. According to various unions, this form of forced labour accounts for almost 20 percent of agricultural production.

Responsibility for this expansion of human trafficking lies largely with the current dominant economic model. In effect, the form of neoliberal globalisation than has been imposed over the last three decades through economic shock therapy has devastated the most fragile levels of society and imposed extremely high social costs. It has created a fierce competition between labour and capital. In the name of free trade, the major multinationals manufacture and sell their goods around the world, producing where labour is cheapest and selling where the cost of living is highest. The new capitalism has made competitiveness its primary engine and brought about a commodification of labour and labourers.

Globalisation, which offers remarkable opportunities to a lucky few, imposes on the rest, in Europe, a ruthless and unmediated competition between EU salary workers, small businesses, and small farmers and their badly-paid, exploited counterparts on the other side of the world. The result we now see clearly before us: social dumping on a planetary scale.

For employment the result is disastrous. For example, in France in the last twenty years this phenomenon has caused the elimination of more than two million jobs in the industrial sector alone.

Certain sectors in Europe where there is a chronic shortage of labour tend to use undocumented workers, which in turn fuels the trafficking of more workers by clandestine networks that in many cases force them into slave labour. Numerous reports clearly evidence the "sale" migrant farm workers.

Despite the many tools of international law available to combat these crimes, and despite the proliferation of public statements by government officials condemning them, the public will to put an end to the practice is weak. In reality, the management of industry and construction and major agricultural exporters exert constant pressure on governments to turn a blind eye to the trafficking of undocumented workers.

Industry management has always supported mass immigration because it depresses the price of labour. Reports by the European Commission and BUSINESSEUROPE (an association of European industries and businesses) have called for more immigration for decades.

But today's human traffickers are not the only ones exploiting slave labour: now a form of "legal servitude" is being developed. For example, last February in Italy Fiat served its workers with the following extortionate ultimatum: either agree to work more, for less money, in worse conditions, or the company will shift operations to Eastern Europe. Faced with the prospect of being fired and terrorised by the conditions in Eastern Europe, with its rock bottom wages and no weekends off, 63 percent of the Fiat workers voted for their own exploitation.

In Europe many employers, taking advantage of the crisis and brutal fiscal adjustment policies being imposed, are trying to establish similar forms of "legal servitude".

[Continued...]

----------------------------

I'm reminded of the following:

----------------------------

http://www.wealthandwant.com/docs/ajo_slavery.html

SLAVERY

By Arthur J. Ogilvy

THE SLAVER

Suppose I own a sugar estate and 100 slaves, all the land about being held in the same way by people of the same class as myself.

It is a profitable business, but there are many expenses and annoyances attached to it.

I must keep up my supply of slaves either by buying or breeding them.

I must pay an overseer to keep them continually to their work with a lash. I must keep them in a state of brutish ignorance (to the detriment of their efficiency), for fear they should learn their rights and their power, and become dangerous.

I must tend them in sickness and when past work.

And the slaves have all the vices and defects that slavery engenders; they have no self-respect or moral sense; they lie, they steal, they are lazy, shirking work whenever they dare; they do not care what mischief their carelessness occasions me so long as it is not found out; their labor is obtained by force, and given grudgingly; they have no heart in it.

All these things worry me.

FLASH! ....

Suddenly a brilliant idea strikes me. I reflect that there is no unoccupied land in the neighbourhood, so that if my laborers were free they would still have to look to me for work somehow.

So one day I announce to them that they are all free, intimating at the same time I will be ready to employ as many as I may require on such terms as we may mutually and independently agree.

What could be fairer? They are overjoyed, and falling on their knees, bless me as their benefactor. Then they go away and have a jollification, and next day come back to me to arrange the new terms.

THEY BELIEVE ...

Most of them think they would like to have a piece of land and work it for themselves, and be their own masters. All they want is a few tools they have been accustomed to use, and some seed, and these they are ready to buy from me, undertaking to pay me with reasonable interest when the first crop comes in, offering the crop as security. As for their keep, they can easily earn that by working a few weeks on and off on any of the plantations, or by taking a job clearing or fencing, or such like. This will keep them going for the first year, and after that they will be better able to take care of themselves.

HOLD ON, NOW!

"But," softly I observe, "you are going too fast. Your proposals about the tools and seed and your maintenance are all right enough, but the land, you remember, belongs to me. You cannot expect me to give you your liberty and my own land for nothing. That would not be reasonable, would it?" They agree it would not, and begin to propose terms.

A fancies this bit of land, and B that. But it soon appears that I want this bit of land for my next year's clearing, and that for my cows, and another is too close to my house and would interfere with my privacy, and another is thick forest or swamps, and would require too long and costly preparation for me who must have quick returns in order to live, and in short that there is no land suitable that I care to part with.

THE BENEFACTOR

Still I am ready to do what I promised — "to employ as many as I may require, on such terms as we may mutually and independently agree." But as I have now got to pay them wages instead of getting their work for nothing. I cannot of course employ all of them. I can find work for ninety of them, however, and with these I am prepared to discuss terms.

At once a number volunteered their services at such wages as their imagination had been picturing to them. I tell the ninety whose demands are most reasonable to stand on one side. The remaining ten look blank, and seeing that since I won't let them have any of the land, it is a question of hired employment or starvation, they offer to come for a little less than the others. I tell these now to stand aside, and ten others to stand out instead. These look blank now, and offer to work for less still, and so the "mutual and voluntary" settlement of terms proceeds.

But, meanwhile, I have been making a little calculation in my head, and have reckoned up what the cost of keeping a slave, with his food and clothes, and a trifle over to keep him contented, would come to, and I offer that.

They won't hear of it, but as I know they can't help themselves, I say nothing, and presently first one and then another gives in, till I have got my ninety, and still there are ten left out, and very blank indeed they look. Whereupon, the terms being settled, I graciously announce that though I don't really want any more men, still I am willing, in my benevolence, to take the ten, too, on the same terms, which they promptly accept, and again hail me as their benefactor, only not quite so rapturously as before.

WAGE SLAVES? ...

So they all set to at the old work at the old place, and on the old terms, only a little differently administered; that is, that whereas I formerly supplied them with food, clothes, etc., direct from my stores, I now give them a weekly wage representing the value of those articles, which they will henceforth have to buy for themselves.

There is a difference, too, in some other respects, indicating a moral improvement in our relations. I can no longer curse and flog them. But then I don't want to; it's no longer necessary; the threat of dismissal is quite as effective, even more so; and much pleasanter for me.

I can no longer separate husband from wife, parent from child. But then again, I don't want to. There would be no profit in it; leaving them their wives and children has the double advantage of making them more contented with their lot, and giving me greater power over them, for they have now got to keep these wives and children out of their own earnings.

My men are now as eager as ever to come to me to work as they formerly were to run away from work. I have neither to buy or breed them; and if any suddenly leave me, instead of letting loose the bloodhounds, I have merely to hold up a finger or advertise, and I have plenty of others offering to take their place. I am saved the expense and worry of incessant watching and driving. I have no sick to attend, or worn-out pensioners to maintain. If a man falls ill there is nothing but my good nature to prevent my turning him off at once; the whole affair is a purely commercial transaction — so much wages for so much work. The patriarchal relation of slave-owner and slave is gone, and no other has taken its place. When the man is worn out with long service I can turn him out with a clear business conscience, knowing that the State will see that he does not starve.

Instead of being forced to keep my men in brutish ignorance, I find public schools established at other people's expense to stimulate their intelligence and improve their minds, to my great advantage, and their children compelled to attend these schools. The service I get, too, being now voluntarily rendered (or apparently so) is much improved in quality. In short, the arrangement pays me better in many ways.

REJOICE! I AM CAPITAL AND I EMPLOY PEOPLE!

But I gain in other ways besides pecuniary benefit. I have lost the stigma of being a slave driver, and have, acquired instead the character of a man of energy and enterprise, of justice and benevolence. I am a "large employer of labour," to whom the whole country, and the labourer especially, is greatly indebted, and people say, "See the power of capital! These poor labourers, having no capital, could not use the land if they had it, so this great and far-seeing man wisely refuses to let them have it, and keeps it all for himself, but by providing them with employment his capital saves them from pauperism, and enables him to build up the wealth of the country, and his own fortune together."

Whereas it is not my capital that does any of these things. lt is not my capital but the labourer's toil that builds up my fortune and the wealth of the country.

It is not my employment that keeps him from pauperism, but my monopoly of the land forcing him into my employment that keeps him on the brink of it. It is not want of capital that keeps the labourer from using the land, but my refusing him the use of the land that prevents him from acquiring capital. All the capital he wants to begin with is an axe and a spade, which a week's earnings would buy him, and for his maintenance during the first year, and at any subsequent time, he could work for me or for others, turnabout, with his work on his own land. Henceforth with every year his capital would grow of itself, and his independence with it, and that this is no fancy sketch, anyone can see for himself by taking a trip into the country, where he will find well-to-do farmers who began with nothing but a spade and an axe (so to speak) and worked their way up in the manner described.

ENTER THE LANDLORD ....

But now another thought strikes me. Instead of paying an overseer to work these men for me, I will make him pay me for the privilege of doing it. I will let the land as it stands to him or to another — to whomsoever will give the most for the billet. He shall be called my tenant instead of my overseer, but the things he shall do for me are essentially the same, only done by contract instead of for yearly pay. He, not I, shall find all the capital, take all the risk, and engage and supervise the men, paying me a lump sum, called rent, out of the proceeds of their toil, and make what he can for himself out of the surplus.

The competition is as keen in its way for the land, among people of his class, as it is among the labourers for employment, only that as they are all possessed of some little means (else they could not compete) they are in no danger of immediate want, and can stand out for rather better terms than the labourers, who are forced by necessity to take what terms they can get.

The minimum in each case amounts practically to a "mere living", but the mere living they insist on is one of a rather higher standard than the labourers'; it means a rather more abundant supply and better quality of those little comforts which are next door to necessaries. It means, in short, a living of a kind to which people of that class are accustomed.

For a moderate reduction in my profits, then — a reduction equal to the tenant's narrow margin of profit — I have all the toil and worry of management taken off my hands, and the risk too, for be the season good or bad, the rent is bound to be forthcoming, and I can sell him up to the last rag if he fails of the full amount, no matter for what reason; and my rent takes precedence of all other debts.

All my capital is set free for investment elsewhere, and I am freed from the odium of a slave owner, notwithstanding that the men still toil for my enrichment as when they were slaves, and that I get more out of them than ever.

If I wax rich while they toil from hand to mouth, and in depressed seasons find it hard to get work at all; it is not, to all appearances, my doing, but merely the force of circumstances, the law of nature, the state of the labour market — fine sounding names that hide the ugly reality.

If wages are forced down it is not I that do it; it is that greedy and merciless man the employer (my tenant) who does it. I am a lofty and superior being, dwelling apart and above such sordid considerations. I would never dream of grinding these poor labourers, not I! I have nothing to do with them at all; I only want my rent -- and get it. Like the lilies of the field, I toil not, neither do I spin, and yet (so kind is Providence!) my daily bread (well buttered) comes to me of itself. Nay, people bid against each other for the privilege of finding it for me; and no one seems to realise that the comfortable income that falls to me like the refreshing dew is dew indeed; but it is the dew of sweat wrung from the labourers' toil. It is the fruit of their labour which they ought to have; which they would have if I did not take it from them.

This sketch illustrates the fact that chattel slavery is not the only nor even the worst form of bondage. When the use of the earth — the sole source of our daily bread — is denied unless one pays a fellow creature for permission to use it, people are bereft of economic freedom. The only way to regain that freedom is to collect the rent of land instead of taxes for the public domain.

Once upon a time, labour leaders in the USA, the UK and Australia understood these facts. The labour movements of those countries were filled with people who fought for the principles of 'the single tax' on land at the turn of the twentieth century. But since then, it has been ridiculed, and they have gradually yielded to the forces of privilege and power — captives of the current hegemony — daring no longer to come to grips with this fundamental question, lest they, too, become ridiculed.

And so the world continues to wallow in this particular ignorance — and in its ensuing poverty and debt.


----------------------------
24  The Economy / SOLUTIONS! / What privilege-worshipping right-wingers DON'T want you to know about tax cuts! on: August 22, 2011, 11:46:50 am
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnrEHFwZ9hk

--------------------------------------

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25811

Tax Cuts for the Middle Class and Poor STIMULATE The Economy, But Tax Cuts for the Wealthy HURT The Economy

by Washington's Blog
Global Research
July 28, 2011

Extreme conservatives push for tax cuts ... but just for the wealthy.

Extreme liberals are against all tax cuts, believing that we need higher taxes to pay for government programs ... and that taxes somehow won't create any drag on the economy.

Both extremes are wrong.

In fact, tax cuts for the middle class and poor stimulate the economy, but tax cuts for the wealthy hurt the economy.

This is actually a very simple concept, although some politicians and economists unintentionally or intentionally muddy the waters.

As Ed Harrison notes today:

--------------------------

Bruce Bartlett, a Republican political appointee and domestic policy advisor to Ronald Reagan, points out that:

    Taxes were cut in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006.

    It would have been one thing if the Bush tax cuts had at least bought the country a higher rate of economic growth, even temporarily. They did not. Real G.D.P. growth peaked at just 3.6 percent in 2004 before fading rapidly. Even before the crisis hit, real G.D.P. was growing less than 2 percent a year...

    According to a recent C.B.O. report, they reduced revenue by at least $2.9 trillion below what it otherwise would have been between 2001 and 2011. Slower-than-expected growth reduced revenue by another $3.5 trillion.

    Spending was $5.6 trillion higher than the C.B.O. anticipated for a total fiscal turnaround of $12 trillion. That is how a $6 trillion projected surplus turned into a cumulative deficit of $6 trillion.

Bartlett offers this killer chart as a summary of the numbers:

       

If you recall, it was George W. Bush’s father, GWH Bush, who, when campaigning against Reagan, called supply side economics’ claims that tax cuts pay for themselves Voodoo Economics. And Bush was proved right when deficits spiralled out of control and both Reagan and Bush were forced to raise taxes.

***

The Bush tax cuts accrued disproportionately to the wealthy. The Tax Policy Center shows that 65 percent of the dollar value of the Bush tax cuts accrued to the top quintile, while 20 percent went to the top 0.1 percent of income earners.

If you want to talk about redistribution, there it is.

--------------------------

The New York Times reported in 2007:

    Families earning more than $1 million a year saw their federal tax rates drop more sharply than any group in the country as a result of President Bush’s tax cuts, according to a new Congressional study.

    The study, by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, also shows that tax rates for middle-income earners edged up in 2004, the most recent year for which data was available, while rates for people at the very top continued to decline.

    Based on an exhaustive analysis of tax records and census data, the study reinforced the sense that while Mr. Bush’s tax cuts reduced rates for people at every income level, they offered the biggest benefits by far to people at the very top — especially the top 1 percent of income earners.

The Economic Policy Institute reported in June:

    The Bush-era tax changes conferred disproportionate benefits to those at the top of the earnings distribution, exacerbating a trend of widening income inequality at a time of already poor wage growth.

    ***

    The top 1% of earners (making over $620,442) received 38% of the tax cuts. The lower 60% of filers (making less than $67,715) received less than 20% of the total benefit of Bush’s tax policies.

       

    The Bush-era tax cuts were designed to reduce taxes for the wealthy, and the benefits of faster growth were then supposed to trickle down to the middle class. But the economic impact of cutting capital gains rates and lowering the top marginal tax rates never materialized for working families. Inflation-adjusted median weekly earnings fell by 2.3% during the 2002-07 economic expansion, which holds the distinction for being the worst economic expansion since World War II.

This isn't complicated. Rampant inequality largely caused the Great Depression and the current economic crisis (and see this). Cutting taxes on the middle and lower classes reduces inequality and stimulates the consumer economy. But cutting taxes for the wealthy reduces aggregate consumer demand.

As economics professor Robert Reich notes [.pdf]:

[Continued...]

--------------------------------------

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZkfmY1PMng
25  The Economy / SOLUTIONS! / Class War Without Mercy on: August 22, 2011, 11:44:57 am
“There’s class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

-- Warren Buffet, New York Times, November 26, 2006

-------------------------------

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25754

Class War Without Mercy
Vast wealth for those at the top, unemployment and poverty for the rest of society

by Gregory Elich



Global Research
July 23, 2011

One can never have too much money. In the U.S., the top one percent of the population rakes in almost a quarter of the national income and enjoys 40 percent of the wealth. That class sees this as a problem. It is not enough.

For ordinary workers, the recession brought only economic hardship. But for corporate America, it meant one thing: opportunity. This is the chance to permanently mold the economy into something approximating the Third World model: vast wealth and privilege for those at the top, and unemployment, falling wages, and inadequate or nonexistent social services for the rest of society.

The recession ended two years ago, yet more than nine percent of the population remains without work. If one takes into account discouraged workers and part-time workers wanting a full-time position, nearly one sixth of the workforce is underutilized. For people of African descent, the situation is even more dire, with unemployment approaching a rate twice as high. Yet, a jobs program has never been on lawmakers' agenda.

Instead, the trend has been to slash benefits at a time of heightened need, while simultaneously calling for more tax cuts for the wealthy. Deficits run up by the George W. Bush Administration and President Barack Obama have handed the right wing a cudgel to impose their will and discipline workers. President Obama needed no votes from Congress had he been willing to simply let the Bush tax cuts expire. By insisting on an unwinnable partial continuation of the tax cuts, Obama ensured that the entire package would remain in effect. At a time when the recession has caused a plunge in tax revenue, starving the government of funds when they are most needed is exacting a toll on the well being of the population, and opening the door for slashing benefits. According to the Congressional Budget Office, continuation of the Bush tax cuts through the year 2020 will contribute $3.3 trillion toward the national debt. This is money that would be better utilized in providing much needed social services and launching a real jobs program, assuming of course, the political will to do so - which has been noticeably lacking.

Add in the fact that the Bush Administration's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were mostly run on borrowed funds to the tune of $1.2 trillion. Take into consideration associated costs, and the total price tag on the Iraq and Afghan wars rises to at least $3.2 trillion, according to the Costs of War project. Those wars are still underway, chewing up resources, and for good measure President Obama has added a third war, in Libya. There is no end in sight for military adventurism, and the defense budget remains sacrosanct. For all the talk of budget cuts, this department remains immune. Indeed, the House of Representatives recently voted to boost the already bloated defense budget by an additional $17 billion.

What we get instead of a responsible and progressive tax policy or trimming of the defense budget is the steady drumbeat of debt panic, with loud demands to cut social services, shrink pensions and pay, and, oddly enough, provide additional tax reductions for the well-to-do. This debt panic has become the driving argument for a ferocious assault on workers. Class war is being waged, and sensing victory, the owning class is taking no prisoners.

[Continued...]

-------------------------------
26  The Economy / SOLUTIONS! / Rampant Unemployment = The Death Of The Middle Class on: August 22, 2011, 11:41:33 am
http://www.prisonplanet.com/rampant-unemployment-the-death-of-the-middle-class.html

Rampant Unemployment = The Death Of The Middle Class

40 Facts That Prove The Working Class Is Being Systematically Wiped Out

The Economic Collapse
July 9, 2011



Without an abundance of good jobs, the middle class in the United States is going to shrivel up and die.  Right now, rampant unemployment is absolutely killing communities all over America.  Hopelessness and poverty are exploding and many are now wondering if we are actually witnessing the slow death of the middle class.  There simply are not nearly enough “good jobs” to go around anymore, and even many in the mainstream media are referring to this as a “long-term structural problem” with the economy.  The only thing that most working class Americans have to offer in the marketplace is their labor.  If nobody will hire them they do not have any other ways to provide for their families.  Well, there is a problem.  Today wealth has become incredibly centralized.  The big corporations and the big banks dominate everything.  Thanks to incredible advances in technology and thanks to the globalization of our economic system, the people with all the money don’t have to hire as many ordinary Americans anymore.  They can hire all the labor they want on the other side of the globe for a fraction of the cost.  So the rich don’t really have that much use for the working class in America anymore.  The only thing of value that the working class had to offer has now been tremendously devalued.  The wealthy don’t have to pay a lot for physical labor anymore.  Thousands of our factories and millions of our jobs have been shipped overseas and they aren’t coming back.  The big corporations are thriving while tens of millions of ordinary Americans are deeply suffering.  Almost all of the wealth being produced by our economy is going to a very centralized group of people at the very top of the food chain.  The rich are getting richer and the working class is being systematically wiped out.

So the fact that we are facing rampant unemployment that never seems to go away should not be a surprise to anyone.  Today, the “official” unemployment rate went up to 9.2 percent even though a whopping 272,000 Americans “dropped out of the labor force” in June.  The government unemployment figure that includes “discouraged workers” went up from 15.8% to 16.2%.  The mainstream media is proclaiming that this was “a horrific report” because most economists were expecting much better news.

Well, guess what?

Things are going to get a whole lot worse.

More job cuts are coming.  One recently released report found that the number of job cuts being planned by U.S. employers increased by 11.6% in June.

It is also being projected that state and local governments across the U.S. will slash nearly half a million more jobs by the end of next year.

Needless to say, things don’t look good.

Most people that still have jobs are desperately trying to hold on to them.

Employers know that most workers are easily replaceable these days, so wages are not moving up even though the cost of living is.

We are right in the middle of the worst employment downturn since World War 2.  Jay-Z recently summed up the situation this way….

    “Numbers don’t lie. Unemployment is pretty high.”

Jay-Z certainly has a way with words, eh?

If something is not done about the rampant unemployment in this nation, the death of the middle class will accelerate.

Most Americans just assume that the United States will always have a large middle class, but there is no guarantee that is going to happen.  In fact, there is a whole lot of evidence that the middle class in America is rapidly shrinking.

Take a few moments to read over the facts compiled below.  Taken together, they provide compelling evidence that the working class is being systematically wiped out….

[Continued...]
27  The Economy / SOLUTIONS! / The Economy Cannot Recover As Long As Inequality Continues to Skyrocket on: August 22, 2011, 11:39:54 am
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25529

The Economy Cannot Recover As Long As Inequality Continues to Skyrocket ... But Government Policy Is INCREASING Inequality

by Washington's Blog
Global Research
July 6, 2011

The Economist noted in January:

    Hu Jintao, David Cameron, Warren Buffett and Dominique Strauss-Kahn ... have all worried, loudly and publicly, about the dangers of a rising gap between the rich and the rest.

    ***

    A new survey by the World Economic Forum, whose annual gathering of bigwigs in Davos begins on January 26th, says its members see widening economic disparities as one of the two main global risks over the next decade (alongside failings in global governance).

Numerous prominent economists in government and academia have all said that large inequalities can cause - or at least contribute to - financial crises, including:

       *  Robert Shiller

       *  Joseph Stiglitz

       *  John Kenneth Galbraith

       *  Raghuram Rajan

       *  Robert Reich

       *  Mark Thoma

       *  Emmanuel Saez

       *  Thomas Piketty

       *  David Moss

       *  Kemal Dervi

       *  Michael Kumhof

       *  Romain Rancière
 
       *  Robert Wade

       *  David Ruccio

       *  Marriner S. Eccles (Federal Reserve chairman from 1934 to 1948)

Add Alan Greenspan to the list, who says:

    Our problem basically is that we have a very distorted economy, in the sense that there has been a significant recovery in our limited area of the economy amongst high-income individuals...

    Large banks, who are doing much better and large corporations, whom you point out and everyone is pointing out, are in excellent shape. The rest of the economy, small business, small banks, and a very significant amount of the labour force, which is in tragic unemployment, long-term unemployment - that is pulling the economy apart. The average of those two is what we are looking at - that they are fundamentally two separate types of economies.

And IMF economists. As Bnet wrote in May:

    New research (shows) that high income inequality may actually hurt long-term economic growth. Two economists at the International Monetary Fund, Andrew G. Berg and Jonathan D. Ostry, released a paper in April that concludes that countries with high inequality are more likely to have shorter spells of positive growth compared to countries with less inequality. That’s another way of saying that high inequality hurts the economy.

    Instead of looking purely at the relationship between inequality and growth, Berg and Ostry examined the relationship between inequality and the duration of periods of positive growth. They measure a growth spell as a period of sustained growth and estimate the effect of inequality and other factors on how long growth spells last.

    Their model included a variety of factors that economics have previously found to affect economic growth, such as external shocks, the initial income of the country (ie., did it start out very poor or wealthy?), the institutional make-up of the country, its openness to trade, and its macroeconomic stability.

    The finding: Only income inequality stood out “as a key driver of the duration of growth spells.”

    The economics concluded with the following:

    “The main results in this note are that (i) increasing the length of growth spells, rather than just getting growth going, is critical to achieving income gains over the long term; and (ii) countries with more equal income distributions tend to have significantly longer growth spells. …. growth and inequality-reducing policies are likely to reinforce one another and help to establish the foundations for a sustainable expansion.”

Economics professors Saez (UC Berkeley) and Piketty (Paris School of Economics) show that the percentage of wealth held by the richest 1% of Americans peaked [.pdf] in 1928 and 2007 - right before each crash:

       

The Washington Post's Ezra Klein wrote in June:

       

    ***

    Krugman says that he used to dismiss talk that inequality contributed to crises, but then we reached Great Depression-era levels of inequality in 2007 and promptly had a crisis, so now he takes it a bit more seriously.

    The problem, he says, is finding a mechanism. Krugman brings up underconsumption (wherein the working class borrows a lot of money because all the money is going to the rich) and overconsumption (in which the rich spend and that makes the next-most rich spend and so on, until everyone is spending too much to keep up with rich people whose incomes are growing much faster than everyone else's).

(The graphics above are slightly misleading, as Saez notes that inequality is actually worse now than it's been since 1917 [.pdf].)

Robert Reich has theorized [.pdf] for some time that there are 3 causal connections between inequality and crashes:

[Continued...]
28  The Economy / SOLUTIONS! / Unemployment: No Extended Benefits For People Laid Off From Now On on: August 22, 2011, 11:36:01 am
http://www.infowars.com/unemployment-no-extended-benefits-for-people-laid-off-from-now-on/

Unemployment: No Extended Benefits For People Laid Off From Now On

Arthur Delaney
The Huffington Post
June 30, 2011

After this week, workers laid off through no fault of their own will not be eligible for any of the generous extended unemployment benefits layoff victims have received from the federal government since 2008.

States typically provide the first 26 weeks of unemployment insurance and Congress has provided extensions during every recession since the 1950s. But the current extensions, which give the unemployed an unprecedented 73 additional weeks of aid in some states, are set to expire at the beginning of January.

“There’s a real potential cliff coming for unemployed people,” emailed Judy Conti, a lobbyist for the National Employment Law Project, a worker advocacy group. “The federal unemployment programs all expire at the end of this year. This means that anyone who is laid off on July 1st or later, will ONLY receive state benefits unless Congress acts to keep these needed programs up and running.”

Read more

------------------------

Note: Even more disturbing than the termination of unemployment benefits both in the midst of a banker-engineered depression and in the context of trillions of tax dollars being wasted on banker bailouts and terroristic wars of aggression is the fact that an alarming number of privilege-worshipping, austerity-promoting right-wingers become giddy with delight upon hearing the news of such termination, because they actually perceive it as an advancement of "liberty." 
29  The Economy / SOLUTIONS! / The Rich Are Destroying the Economy on: August 22, 2011, 11:33:42 am
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25232

The Rich Are Destroying the Economy

by Shamus Cooke



Global Research
June 12, 2011

Ever since the Great Recession shook the foundations of the U.S. economy, President Obama has been promising recovery. Evidence of this recovery, we were told, was manifested in the massive post-bailout profits corporations made. Soon enough, the President assured us, these corporations would tire of hoarding mountains of cash and start a hiring bonanza, followed by raising wages and benefits. It was either wishful thinking or conscious deception. The recent stock market meltdown has squashed any hope of a corporate-led recovery.

The Democrats fought the recession by the same methods the Republicans used to create it: allowing the super rich to recklessly dominate the economy while giving them massive handouts. This strategy, commonly referred to as Reaganomics or Trickle Down Economics, is now religion to both Democrats and Republicans; never mind the staged in-fighting for the gullible or complicit media.

When it becomes obvious to even the President that the economic recovery never existed beyond the bank accounts of the rich, questions will have to be answered. Why, for example, did nobody in either political party foresee the disastrous consequences of the bailouts? Not only did the U.S. deficit drastically increase but the same U.S. corporations that caused the recession were given reinforcement for their destructive actions, ensuring that it would continue unabated.

In his book, Crisis Economics, Nouriel Roubini outlines the insane response to the recession by Republicans and Democrats. Because both parties simply threw money at the banks and hedge funds instead of punishing them, a condition of "moral hazard" was created, meaning, that banks would assume another bailout would come their way if they destroyed the economy again -- too big too fail, remember? Roubini explains how the Democrats allowed the "too big" banks to get even bigger; how Wall Street salaries based on short-term profits went unregulated; how the regulations that were put into place were inadequate and filled with loopholes; how nothing of any significance changed.

Roubini has also written extensively about how the post-bailout Federal Reserve policies were fueling a commodity bubble that may be in the midst of bursting, possibly triggering a double dip recession. Essentially the big banks and rich investors were borrowing cheap dollars from the Fed and investing abroad in commodities with the hopes of higher returns. Roubini states:

“The risk is that we are planting the seeds of the next financial crisis...this asset bubble is totally inconsistent with a weaker recovery of economic and financial fundamentals." (October 27, 2009).

This investor-created commodity bubble pushed up prices in oil, food, and other basic products, causing further pain for working families and the economy as a whole. This speculative bubble was easily predictable but ignored by both political parties, since they claimed the bubble was a sign of recovery.

[Continued...]
30  The Economy / SOLUTIONS! / 29 Stats About Extreme Income Inequality In America That Will Blow Your Mind on: August 22, 2011, 11:31:34 am
http://www.prisonplanet.com/will-the-banksters-and-the-corpocracy-eventually-own-it-all-29-statistics-about-extreme-income-inequality-in-america-that-will-blow-your-mind.html

Will The Banksters And The Corpocracy Eventually Own It All? 29 Statistics About Extreme Income Inequality In America That Will Blow Your Mind

The Economic Collapse
June 6, 2011

Today, average Americans have less power relative to the monolithic corporate and governmental institutions that dominate our society than at any other point in U.S. history.  Sadly, this is not what our founding fathers ever envisioned.  Our founding fathers established a government “of the people, by the people, for the people”, but what we have today is very far from that ideal.  In America today, wealth and power are very highly concentrated, and if you have neither wealth nor power than most of our politicians really do not have any interest in you.  Over the past several decades, those with huge amounts of money and power have been busy rigging the game so that the rest of the money and power slowly but surely funnels into their hands.  If current trends continue, the banksters and the corpocracy will eventually own it all.  Below you will find 29 statistics about extreme income inequality in America.  Sadly, most of these statistics will be out of date in a year or two because wealth and power will be much more concentrated by that time.

If you are a “Kool-Aid drinking Democrat” you are going to be really upset by this article.  If you are a “Kool-Aid drinking Republican” you are going to be really upset by this article.

Most Republicans have been brainwashed into believing that “capitalism” means cheerleading while the big corporations hoover up money and power.

Most Democrats have no trouble with big corporations either because most establishment Democrats have been brainwashed into believing that large concentrations of power (whether governmental or corporate) are generally good.  Most Democrats just wish that big corporations were a little less greedy and were a little more “socially responsible”.

Today, the big banks, the big corporations and the federal government are all in bed with one another and it is average Americans that always lose out.

Our founding fathers tried to warn us about large concentrations of power.  They attempted to establish a very limited central government, they wanted to keep us free from the tyranny of the big banks and they were very suspicious of large corporations.

In a 2010 article, Rick Ungar noted that corporations were very seriously restricted in the early days of America….

    After the nation’s founding, corporations were, as they are today, the result of charters granted by the state. However, unlike today, they were limited in how long they were permitted to exist (typically 20 or 30 years), only permitted to deal in one commodity, they could not own shares in other corporations, and their property holdings were expressly limited to what they needed to accomplish their corporate business goals.

My how things have changed.

“Capitalism” is supposed to be about the empowerment of individuals and families and small businesses.

Instead, today “capitalism” has come to mean something completely different. Today, the biggest, meanest concentrations of wealth devour everyone else with a big assist from the government.

At this point, average Americans mean next to nothing in the political process. This point was eloquently made in a recent column by Robert Reich….

    The unemployed are politically invisible. They don’t make major campaign donations. They don’t lobby Congress. There’s no National Association of Unemployed People.

    Their ranks are filled with women who had been public employees, single mothers, minorities, young people trying to enter the labor force, and middle-aged men who have been out of work for longer than six months. You couldn’t find a collection of people with less political clout.

I would not normally quote Robert Reich, but he made a good point. If you don’t have an army of lobbyists or any money to give to them then most of our politicians don’t really care what you think or how much you are hurting.

Just think about the amount of power and money that Exxon Mobil or Wal-Mart has compared to the amount of power and money that an average American has.

Our society has veered very far from the egalitarian ideal that our founding fathers once hoped for.

The corporate giants are so powerful that it is next to impossible for small businesses to directly compete with them.

Just try it some time.

Many banks and corporations have become so big that the world literally cannot afford for them to fail.

For example, three U.S. corporations control approximately 90% of the world’s grain trade.

So what happens if those three corporations collapse?

That is something to think about.

But of course average Americans are never “too big to fail”. The big banks begged and begged for bailouts, but if you are late on your debt payments they will chuck you into prison.

Also, when wealth and power are so highly concentrated, economic rewards flow only to a few. Corporatism (as opposed to true capitalism) produces a handful of winners and a whole lot of losers.

As I have written about previously, the middle class is being destroyed. If current trends are allowed to continue long enough we eventually won’t have much of a middle class left at all.

The following are 29 statistics about extreme income inequality in America that will blow your mind….

[Continued...]
31  The Economy / SOLUTIONS! / 20 Facts About US Inequality That Everyone Should Know on: August 22, 2011, 11:29:51 am
http://www.prisonplanet.com/20-facts-about-us-inequality-that-everyone-should-know-with-an-update-on-the-uber-wealthy-and-global-wealth-inequality.html

20 Facts About US Inequality That Everyone Should Know (With An Update On The Uber-Wealthy And Global Wealth Inequality)

Tyler Durden
Zero Hedge
June 5, 2011

Courtesy of the Stanford Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality, we bring you the “20 facts about US Inequality that Everyone Should Know”. For everything one has always wanted to know about wage inequality, CEO pay, homelessness, education wage premium, gender pay gaps, occupational sex segregation, racial gaps in education, racial discrimination, child poverty, residential segregation, health insurance, inter and intragenerational income mobility, bad jobs, discouraged workers, wealth inequality, labor market deregulation, job losses, immigrants and inequality and productivity and real income, this is the definitive resource.

1. Wage Inequality

Over the last 30 years, wage inequality in the United States has increased substantially, with the overall level of inequality now approaching the extreme level that prevailed prior to the Great Depression. This general characterization of the inequality trend oversimplifies, though, the actual pattern of change: The chart below shows that the trend at the top of the income distribution (the “upper tail”) is not exactly the same as the trend at the bottom of the distribution (the “lower tail”). “Lower-tail” inequality is measured here by taking the ratio of wages at the middle of the income distribution (i.e., the 50th percentile) to those near the bottom of the distribution (i.e., the 10th percentile); “upper-tail” inequality is measured by taking the ratio of wages near the top of the distribution (i.e., the 90th percentile) to those at the middle of the distribution (i.e., the 50th percentile of workers). We find that lower-tail inequality rose sharply in the 1980s and contracted somewhat thereafter, while upper-tail inequality has increased steadily since 1980.

[Continued...]
32  The Economy / SOLUTIONS! / One percent holds 39 percent of global wealth on: August 22, 2011, 11:27:56 am
http://www.prisonplanet.com/one-percent-holds-39-percent-of-global-wealth.html

One percent holds 39 percent of global wealth

AFP
June 1, 2011

WASHINGTON — Around one percent of households have 39 percent of the globe’s wealth according to a study published Tuesday, pointing to increased inequalities in the wake of the global downturn.

The number of millionaire households across the globe increased 12 percent in 2010, according to The Boston Consulting Group report, increasing millionaires’ share of wealth from 37 percent in 2009.

Despite being at the epicenter of the global financial meltdown, the United States had by far the most millionaires last year, with 5,220 millionaire households, and increase of 1.3 percent from the previous year.

Japan was second with 1,530 and China third with 1,110.

Full article here
33  The Economy / SOLUTIONS! / 20 Facts About Child Hunger And Child Poverty That Will Break Your Heart on: August 22, 2011, 11:25:40 am
http://www.prisonplanet.com/20-facts-about-child-hunger-and-child-poverty-that-will-break-your-heart.html

20 Facts About Child Hunger And Child Poverty That Will Break Your Heart

The Economic Collapse
May 12, 2011

Did you know that nearly half of the 44 million Americans that are on food stamps today are children?  Did you know that more than a fifth of all U.S. children are living in poverty and that a fourth of all U.S. children are enrolled in the food stamp program?  Did you know that most of the people that starve to death around the globe are children?  In 2011, child hunger and child poverty are major problems in the United States and they are at epidemic levels in many areas of the world.  The facts that are you are about to read are tough to stomach and they are meant to break your heart.  Most of us need to be touched on an emotional level before we will take action.  As I have written about previously, the world is on the verge of a horrific global food crisis.  Unless a miracle happens, there is not going to be nearly enough food for everyone in the world in the future.  We all need to prepare so that we will be able to feed our own families when that time comes and so that we will be able to be generous and share with others in need.
 
The food stamp program is the modern equivalent of the old-fashioned bread lines.  Today, the number of Americans on food stamps is absolutely exploding.  Despite claims that the economy is “recovering”, the number of Americans relying on food assistance just continues to increase.
 
Many food retailers have seen food stamp usage soar to unprecedented levels.  Just check out the following quote from a recent article posted on the website of a local Pennsylvania news station….

    “The trend started about three years ago and it has increased significantly we have some stores up 40% from last year,” said Scott Karns owner of seven Karns Supermarkets in central PA.

Sadly, a disproportionate number of those on food stamps are children.  Even as you read this article, there are millions of children in the United States that are wondering where their next meal is going to come from.
 
The following are 20 facts about child hunger and child poverty that will break your heart….

[Continued...]
34  The Economy / SOLUTIONS! / The corporatocracy continues to wage class warfare on: August 22, 2011, 11:23:01 am
http://www.prisonplanet.com/ceos-at-the-nations-largest-companies-were-paid-better-last-year-than-they-were-in-2007-when-unemployment-was-roughly-half-what-it-is-today.html

“CEOs at the Nation’s Largest Companies Were Paid Better Last Year Than They Were In 2007, When … Unemployment Was Roughly Half What It Is Today”

Washington’s Blog
May 7, 2011

CNN Money points out:

    Just 22% believe the country is on the right track, Rasmussen tells us. According to a new Gallup poll, more than half of us say the economy is in recession or depression, despite the fact that output has been expanding since the summer of 2009. In fact, more of us (29%) say the country is in a depression than say the economy is growing (27%).

    There’s a good reason for this: As inflation surges at the store and the gas pump, the economy is stalling. And the heart of the problem could very well be the Federal Reserve’s $600 billion “QE2″ money-printing initiative, which was implemented last November to great fanfare on Wall Street and is set to end in June.

    ***

    Yes, the stock market has posted impressive gains since the idea of QE2 surfaced….

    But stock ownership is concentrated among the wealthy: On average, just 12% of households worth $100,000 or less own stocks and mutual fund shares outside their retirement plans — a group that comprises 74% of the total population. While many more own shares through 401ks and IRAs, they’re not in a position to easily tap that wealth for current spending.

    At the same time, QE2 has pushed up borrowing costs, pressing down the prices of homes — a much more widely held asset. The Case-Shiller Home Price Index started falling last summer as the idea of QE2 was floated, and it hasn’t stopped since. The broad 20-city index now sits below 2009 levels.

    This is a continuation of trends that have been in place since the recession ended in 2009. According to Credit Suisse equity strategist Douglas Cliggott, it suggests the improvement in net worth during the past two and half years “has been heavily skewed towards that relatively small part of the U.S. population that has significant equity holdings.”

    While the program has helped push up the cost of living for all of us — sending inflation into the red zone and damaging consumer confidence — evidence suggests its benefits have accrued only to the top tier of the net-worth ladder.

    In other words, the Fed’s “stimulus” has made the rich richer, with limited impact in terms of new spending. It’s made the vast majority of people poorer, and less able to spend. It’s this tradeoff that threatens to snuff out the feeble, three-year-old economic recovery.

And salaries have only gone up for the very top. AP notes:

[Continued...]
35  The Economy / SOLUTIONS! / Is THIS the only reason millions of Americans haven't already starved to death? on: August 22, 2011, 11:21:25 am
http://www.prisonplanet.com/about-1-in-7-in-u-s-receive-food-stamps.html

About 1 in 7 in U.S. Receive Food Stamps

Sara Murray
WSJ
Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Growth in the food stamp program appeared to reach a plateau in February — with 14.3% of the population relying on the safety net program.

The number of food stamp recipients was essentially flat in February, the most recent month available, with 44.2 million Americans receiving benefits, according a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (See a sortable breakdown of the data here.)

The food stamp program ballooned during the recession as workers lost their jobs or saw their hours and income reduced. The rise in recipients has begun to flatten in recent months, which may mean that as the economy is improving fewer Americans are seeking to join the program. Enrollment in the program is still high though, with 11.6% more people tapping benefits in February than the same month a year earlier.

Food stamp numbers aren’t seasonally adjusted though, meaning a variety of factors could influence the monthly tallies and the program could grow again in coming months.

Full story here.

------------------------------

Something to keep in mind as you read the following:

-- "The budget [by Senator Rand Paul] provides two years of war funding, at the President’s requested levels."

-- "The food stamp program and the child nutrition program" (cut)

-- "The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program" (eliminate)

-- "Affordable Housing Program" (eliminate)

Source: http://campaignforliberty.com/materials/RandBudget.pdf
36  The Economy / SOLUTIONS! / Study: Most Americans Want Wealth Distribution Similar to Sweden on: August 22, 2011, 11:19:35 am
http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/569425/study%3A_most_americans_want_wealth_distribution_similar_to_sweden/

Study: Most Americans Want Wealth Distribution Similar to Sweden

By Daniel Tencer
AlterNet
April 24, 2011

Americans generally underestimate the degree of income inequality in the United States, and if given a choice, would distribute wealth in a similar way to the social democracies of Scandinavia, a new study finds.

For decades, polls have shown that a plurality of Americans -- around 40 percent -- consider themselves conservative, while only around 20 percent self-identify as liberals. But a new study from two noted economists casts doubt on what values lie beneath those political labels.

According to research (PDF) carried out by Michael I. Norton of Harvard Business School and Dan Ariely of Duke University, and flagged by Paul Kedrosky at the Infectious Greed blog, 92 percent of Americans would choose to live in a society with far less income disparity than the US, choosing Sweden's model over that of the US.

What's more, the study's authors say that this applies to people of all income levels and all political leanings: The poor and the rich, Democrats and Republicans are all equally likely to choose the Swedish model.

[Continued...]
37  The Economy / SOLUTIONS! / Privilege-induced rack-renting continues to create poverty amidst plenty on: August 22, 2011, 11:16:31 am
With particular regard to said tax system, whenever this system is in place, there is always -- in the words of economist Fred Foldvary -- a "constanct race” between (a) the process by which labor-saving technology increases wages and (b) the process by which increasing numbers of people with increasing incomes all competing for access to the same amount of land enables titleholders to absorb much of these wage gains through higher rent demands while providing no service in return -- a parasitic process commonly referred to as rack-renting.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/soaring-costs-force-some-renters-to-choose-between-shelter-and-food.html

Soaring Costs Force Some Renters To Choose Between Shelter And Food

Yepoka Yeebo
Huffington Post
April 27, 2011

NEW YORK — Around 10 million American households — or one in every four families that rent their homes — could have to choose between paying rent, buying groceries or keeping current with bills, according to a report released Tuesday.

The number of households spending more than 50 percent [.pdf] of their income on rent and bills jumped by 2.6 million over the last decade, according to a Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies report. Economists generally consider “affordable” rent to cost about 30 percent of a tenant’s income.

When housing costs hit certain levels, many Americans are forced to choose between rent and food. “In real terms, it means more people have less money to spend on household necessities such as food, health care, or savings,” Eric Belsky, director of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, said in the report. Households which spend 50 percent or more of their income on rent also spend almost 40 percent less on food and over 50 percent less on health care than households with more affordable rent.

“In the last decade, rental housing affordability problems went through the roof,” Belsky said in the report. “And these affordability problems are marching up the income scale,” he added.

Already, rising rents mean the household budgets of working-class and middle-class families are under strain. Growing numbers of middle-income, and lower-middle-income renters are spending between 30 percent and 50 percent of their incomes on rent. And the report found that rents could start to soar as the recovery takes hold.

Full article here
38  The Economy / Taxation / Michael Hudson on the importance of economic rent on: July 25, 2011, 09:26:39 am
In the following clip Professor Michael Hudson talks about the importance of economic rent:

       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Elg6i3NxvdE
39  The Economy / Taxation / Bill O’Reilly Calls For New National Sales Tax on: July 25, 2011, 09:23:51 am
http://www.prisonplanet.com/bill-oreilly-calls-for-new-national-sales-tax.html

Bill O’Reilly Calls For New National Sales Tax

You Tube
July 13, 2011

       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BiB7aSVINw

O’Reilly calls for Americans to be hit with a 1% national sales tax, moving closer to a European-style system where people not only have some of the highest income taxes in the world, but also pay 20% or more in sales taxes (VAT).
40  General / General Discussion / The Queen has trouble making ends meet and no real political power??? on: July 14, 2011, 06:49:26 pm
The Queen has to pay tax and in the last ten/fifteen years has had to sell some of her property to pay for the upkeep/repair of others.

Oh, that poor dear, how dreadful it must be to be a multi-billionaire. How does she even pay for her telephone bill? 

As for the "taxes" she supposedly pays, I need verifiable sources for this.

Quote
The owning of the whole country, and of others via the commonwealth is a much overstated one IMO, that does not reflect the reality, since it is more about standing on ceremony than a reflection of any remaining reality from the situation in this country and its dominance of 25% of the world's landmass and populus just over a hundred of years ago.

Sorry, but that talking point was debunked long ago. Please see the following:

http://www.prisonplanet.com/queen-dissolves-canadian-parliament-for-third-time-in-3-years.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--FXqsr4ZvM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DAyIJjGTjw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sODSVld70VI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rd1CIEgRarA
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