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Sorry no, Reich is not the resistance.

Robert Reich is great. His historical analysis is sound, though hardly radical. His economics challenge the dominant media narrative. If his illuminations work for you, fine. But sorry no, Robert Reich is not the resistance. Reich is only playing the foil to Trump's villain. And how hard is that, really? Reacting to Trump is the Democratic Party line. Resistance means more than the third law of physics. But this focus on the Mueller probe is not even that. It's pure fourth fundamental state of matter.

Can a currency system be localized?

A friend of mine is studying alternative money systems in Boulder, and has solicited input from her varied professional circles. Here are the questions she poses about localizing community transactions: What is money? What does money do? What are certain properties of money (properties/qualities of money, of the realm of money)? What is the current money system now? How does it work? What are ‘problems’ with our current money system? Any thoughts about solutions to these perceived problems?    How do we ‘localize’ money to the community? Who/What are the communities we want to serve in developing a local currency infrastructure? Consumers/Citizens? Local business? Banks/Credit Unions? Who would benefit from a local currency? Who would not benefit? What are the various ‘possible’ geographical boundaries of this local money system? One business? A block of business? City?  Watershed?

Bob Edwards asks “We still Top Dog?”

Longtime neo-liberal shill and NPR war drummer Bob Edwards consults a soothsayer to placate his weekend audience's fears about where their hopeful handbasket appears to be headed. To his question about the USA still being top dog, the economic clairvoyant's answer is YES. Also, America has the psyche and bipolarity of a teenager, leaving us to infer also the same self-unawareness. But the big question was about President Obama's apparent inability to change the course set for him. YEP. The tracks of Bush's trainwreck read like your palm. Nothing to be done.

Vaneigem on energy as commodity

NMT's in-house Situationist has been conceptualizing a way forward well expressed in this May 2009 interview of Raoul Vaneigem: "We are being “offered” biofuels on the condition we agree to transgenic rapeseed farming. Eco-tourism will accelerate the plundering of our biosphere. Windmill farms are being built without any advantage to the consumers. Those are the areas where intervention is possible. Natural resources belong to us, they are free, they must be made to serve the freedom of life. It will be up to the communities to secure their own energy and food independence so as to free themselves from the control of the multinationals and their state vassals everywhere. Claiming natural power for our use means reclaiming our own existence first. Only creativity will rid us of work. ... Freeness is the only absolute weapon capable of shattering the mighty self-destruction machine set in motion by consumer society, whose implosion is still releasing, like a deadly gas, bottom-line mentality, cupidity, financial gain, profit, and predation. Museums and culture should be free, for sure, but so should public services, currently prey to the scamming multinationals and states. Free trains, buses, subways, free healthcare, free schools, free water, air, electricity, free power, all through alternative networks to be set up. As freeness spreads, new solidarity networks will eradicate the stranglehold of the commodity. This is because life is a free gift, a continuous creation that the market’s vile profiteering alone deprives us of." --Raoul Vaneigem, 2009 Interviewed by Hans Ulrich Obrist, for e-flux, Journal #6. See original article or the copy mirrored below: In Conversation with Raoul Vaneigem Hans Ulrich Obrist: I just visited Edouard Glissant and Patrick Chamoiseau, who have written an appeal to Barack Obama. What would your appeal and/or advice be to Obama? Raoul Vaneigem: I refuse to cultivate any relationship whatsoever with people of power. I agree with the Zapatistas from Chiapas who want nothing to do with either the state or its masters, the multinational mafias. I call for civil disobedience so that local communities can form, coordinate, and begin self-producing natural power, a more natural form of farming, and public services that are finally liberated from the scams of government by the Left or the Right. On the other hand, I welcome the appeal by Chamoiseau, Glissant, and their friends for the creation of an existence in which the poetry of a life rediscovered will put an end to the deadly stranglehold of the commodity. HUO: Could we talk about your beginnings? How did your participation in situationism begin, and what was your fundamental contribution? At the outset of your relationship with the SI, there was the figure of Henri Lefebvre. What did he mean to you at the time? Why did you decide to send him poetic essays? RV: I would first like to clarify that situationism is an ideology

The economic quicksand that sinks us

Funny how it is that when both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party both have the same economic program, that so many of the same actors are pointing fingers at each other? But then again what could we really expect from these two partisan camps run by the same economic interests? What we have now is a situation where More of the Same means CHANGE, and those that push CHANGE actually push More of the Same! Most of us just kind of watch from our points stuck in the economic quicksand and hope that somehow, somebody manages to throw us all a rope to help pull us out with. Good luck... Salon has an article where it mentions some of the critics of the Obama Presidency's economic policies. None of the summaries mentions anything about the War Budget's effects on the greater economic quicksand we currently reside in! That's kind of amazing, really it is. Still, check Salon out and see who are the people the article highlights... The Prophets of Doom- Meet the Cassandras, 14 economists, bloggers, politicians and businesspeople of all political stripes who have become the most strident critics of President Obama's stewardship of the economy. Amazingly, the author at Salon who selected these 14 people missed including Joseph Stiglitz! Well here he is then with his latest commentary, Obama’s Ersatz Capitalism And what about James Galbraith? Here below is what he says on Democracy Now back in February. Economist James Galbraith: Bailed-Out Banks Should Be Declared Insolvent ' With estimates of the cost of addressing the financial crisis exceeding $9.7 trillion, we speak with economist and University of Texas professor James Galbraith, author of The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too. Galbraith says rather than pouring billions into propping up troubled giant banks, the government should declare them insolvent.' There are so many notable people who don't like Obama's economic policy that trying to include only 14 people in the list by Salon was a little bit unwise on their part. It is simple reality that Obama and his recycled Clintonistas are in quick danger of becoming sunk in this economic quicksand, too, since they seem to only know how to pour gasoline on the fire.... uh... I meant pour water into the quicksand.... or is it to throw tax monies into the economic quicksand? Oh well, the idea is the same. Obama only knows how to sink us all yet further into the economic quicksand not get us out of it like some sort of fantasy Super Hero Economist could. HOPE for CHANGE is now underneath the muck.

Apres nous, le Depression

If it matters what to call this financial crisis, what is it? Is America in a recession? When does a deep recession approach a depression? When is an economic crash revealed to be a collapse? Before we can rename the Great Depression, as we did the Great War (WWI), in deference to this latest, we would do better to address the cataclysm which left this depression. It was not a meteor, not the foot of Godzilla, nor a collapsed salt mine. The scorched earth we see about us, this rapidly degrading economy, is the destruction wrought by a Norman raid; a blitz of rape and pillage with brutal indifference. It wouldn't matter what you call it except that the raiders are still among us. If your valuables are still intact, it's because they haven't yet been sacked. If you still have your house, it's not because the tethers aren't attached, it's that they haven't started towing it off. When you can see this robbery for what it is, you'll know that history can tell us that the barbarians do not leave even gold fillings unmolested. Do you doubt a viking analogy? Look at the economic news today. Over half a million jobs lost in January, over three million jobs lost already. On the same day, the stock market rallies upward. While you are losing your livelihood, those who invested in the long ships are heartened by the projected success of this raid.

A fine mess you got us into, said the fat man to the little man

I'm convinced the economic "mess" we find ourselves in, is of the Laurel and Hardy variety. The iridescent definition of "mess" leads us to infer that our predicament-mess, results from a clutter-mess of options. To hear the parade of experts, our financial mess is a chaotic tangle to dumbfound even a string theorist. I think it's more like a job for CSI. This "mess" is painted to obscure an entirely un-messy crime scene. The common American is in a mess alright, we're staring at a bare bank vault floor. Sleuths can trace a fugitive's ATM visits, and every bank transaction above $2,500, do you think they can't follow the money when it's in the twelve figures, if they wanted to? The mess may be a clutter of fingerprints and a tangle of wire transfers to Switzerland. Maybe we face a daunting defensive line of corporate lawyers. The press is no helping any, choosing to interview the usual odd-footed pundits, instead of the over hundred economists trying to beat down the door to oppose the various economic stimulus bank heists. The entire public discourse is being dumbed down. The MSNBC text title beneath Obama as he gave his Daschle mea culpa, read "IS CHANGE TOO DIFFICULT?" By the way, couldn't the President of the United States have enough clout to answer each question about Tom Daschle with a quick admission and segue to a pitch for his proposed stimulus package? Next the spotlight moved to Joe the Plumber, the Senate Republicans inviting him to a closed door session where he could brief them on his Middle East junket, the stimulus, and party strategy. Joe the Not Even Licensed Plumber? I was beginning to suspect Sarah Palin had been selected as a ruse to give the American people no choice but to elect a black man to the presidency. Now it appears the GOP was purposefully courting idiocy, and realizes now perhaps that it hadn't aimed low enough. Maybe it hopes to recreate its success in the shoes of Dumb George. To Joe the Plumber, every problem is not going to look like three quarter inch pipe in need of a wrench. Problems like the economy, or how to use your watch to calculate how to get to a political rally on time, are going to look like powerful quandaries. And the media hopes to use Joes like Joe as a Greek Chorus, or in modern parlance, a focus group of one, to demonstrate to the public beast that Joe the Everyman Us is stumped. Does Obama have the votes to pass this or that? Even with a Democratic majority, polls will show that if Joe Public can't count it on the fingers of both hands, he'll believe the pundits when they say Obama doesn't.

Who is the economy calling stupid?

Okay, I've had enough of our readiness to believe, about the economy, that nobody knows what's going on. Nobody will tell you what's going on, is what's going on. Even my deepest thinking friend tells me, "Eric, they really don't know" (The game theorists, the would-be global axis shifters, don't know.) He may be right, but that's not who we're talking about. Between those guys, and you and I, who have no clue about where the economy is going, is a hand-basket courier. That composite abstraction at the handlebars knows the destination, he's being paid cost-plus for the delivery, and he knows enough to collect his fee in advance. We thought "it's the economy, stupid" was directed at George Bush the Senior. Who is/was stupid? I'm finding the syncronicity of Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill song "Isn't it ironic?" superlatively ironic. The era when a mass audience un-learned the meaning of irony, was when the joke was really on us. Today the accepted theme to describe the economy is: nobody knows. I recently heard the governor of Colorado speak to the need for budget cuts in these hard times. He introduced the subject of the economic downturn by explaining, almost as a throwaway foregone conclusion, "Nobody saw this coming." I thought, really? This is what Americans are satisfied to expect for leadership? Elected authority figures return our system to us, broken, with not a mea culpa, but mea confuso. And we buy it. For me, this no-comprendo motif doesn't play well in Adagio. Today DC's new lawmakers want to know what's become of the first half of the TARP bailout money, and the good-enough-for-primetime answer is "nobody knows." Don't you just want to stand up and beg your fellow audience members for a collective show of incredulity? "NOBODY KNOWS?!" Whoever pocketed the 350 Billion, KNOWS. From explanations of the graft in Iraq, we the television public KNOW that just one million dollars in t-bills weighs more than you can get past surveillance cameras. From nighttime video of the economic collapse in Argentina, documentary footage viewers know it takes a continuous train of armored trucks to do a run on the banks before the public gets there. By the way, I'm certain Billion is always capitalized, out of respect for its size. "Nobody knows" where went the 350 Billion? No. Nobody who knows, intends to tell us. Either way, we don't get to know, but the distinction makes a difference, don't you think? The excuse we're given for not dwelling on this incongruity, nudge nudge wink wink, is that all misdirection is for the sake of consumer confidence. To look behind the green curtain is to become dis-illusioned. If you explain the slight of hand, instead of building confidence, you throw fuel on consumer doubt. The better economists opposed the bailout. Hundreds of them signed a petition to tell us what's going on is a heist. Under George Bush, bankers have been making off with the US treasury. What they couldn't spend pay themselves

The American dyslexia for economics

The interest rate for banks is down to zero. B of A and Citibank are still charging 39%. What again does economic news have to do with me?   The biggest news on the economy was BREAKING NEWS a week ago: the US economy is in a recession, and has been for over a year. Can news a year old still be news? What news exactly are we getting from the experts, economists and other mesmerists paraded on the television every evening? We consult them on a minute by minute basis, actually, on 24/7 cable news stations, for every hint of a whiff of where the weather vane might indicate the US economy is blowing. If the stock market doesn't hang on their every diagnosis, it reacts to what unelected, self-made officials say. Now we're led to understand all that spinning can flip-flop for a year-old contradictory study. And who's going to let America know when we've hit a full-on depression? Will we be told it before the decade is enshrined post-facto in a Time-Life retrospective? Are those in charge so cynical that they count on the public knowing the truth in spite of their lies, because it's we who endure the effects in real time anyway? The media can lie about unemployment figures too --what could it possibly matter to the unemployed? It's not only ADD. Americans understand why too-sobering statistics are kept from us, lest a post-mortem induce pre. We are the great engine of consumerism, running on pure flattery. I think it's the same self-defeating fatalism which fuels the life insurance scam. We bet against ourselves. We buy self-help books. We are eternally sick. But does the economy really work so? Would an autopsy be self-fulfilling? Can an economy go sour due to one bad-apple-attitude, or would it be because of the lost jobs? I'm guessing this is where the University of Chicago meets Euripides, or if it prefers, palmistry. There's a global comeuppance in your future, you small fraction of Earth's population who have expended the lion's share of its resources. That's what will introduce the American quality of life to harsh earthbound reality. Keeping American consumers in debt is less a magician's act of driving the economy, than it is a swindler's function of distracting the poor dupe until he's lost his shirt. But this swindler is not planning to catch the next bus out of town. This banking scam isn't over until the shirtless victim is thrown out the saloon door and into the street, where's he's got no redress but to face line after line of well armed riot police.

Uncle Tom’s Hotel Rwanda

Let's clear something up for the sake of poetic justice. Uncle Tom was a maltreated slave who bore his burden with dignity. He was no collaborator, no stool pigeon, no upper class of black slave that kept the lower savages in order. That "Uncle Tom" is what the term has come to mean: a white man's black man, owing perhaps to the original character's civilized humanity which a white reader might not have expected to be a capacity of an African slave. The neo-Uncle Tom is a Tutsi. I heard the film Hotel Rwanda was just incredible, I'm sure it was. I watched the Frontline documentary to commemorate the anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda and so thought I knew the sad story already. Well I was right and I was wrong, but not about the film. The mounting trouble in the Democratic Republic of Congo is causing leaders to forewarn of genocide such as Rwanda experienced in 1994. We're told the same Hutus are marauding today. In addressing the issues of the Congo, do we have an understanding of what happened in 1994, beside the film dramatization? The question to ask is whether what happened in Rwanda was genocide. That's not to minimize the killings, but to scrutinize the motives. Was the fighting between Hutus and Tutsis racially motivated tribal warfare, or was it class warfare? Were the events of 1994 components of a peasant rebellion, distinguished by the opposing forces being from different ethnicities? The distinction is critical. Behind the Hotel Rwanda imagery is the theme that African tribes need to be protected from each other. This happens in the form of UN intervention usually. The storytellers also know that if the narrative is bloody enough, a Western audience is just as ready to throw up its hands. Thus our impulse to join the Peace Corps or Medecins Sans Frontieres is quietly scrubbed in favor of calling in the cavalry. And then, only in the event of genocide. Someone keeps wanting Westerners to believe that African tribes will continue to kill each other regardless what we do. Is it true? No, the Africans fight because of what we do. The Tutsi victims of Hotel Rwanda were not just hotel keepers and clerks. The Tutsis were the administrative enforcers of post-colonial central Africa. The Hutus were the oppressed, and rose up against the Tutsis after generations of oppression and killings. If Africa were let to develop autonomous states from its indigenous populations, its people could put their natural resources to use improving their lives. Instead, our post-colonial tentacles continue to stir up instability. Our business interests make sure that the native Africans never get their footing. We fund strong men to enforce violent rule over the inhabitants. It's a controlled instability that facilitates the minimal societal infrastructure our traders require. But instability is difficult a balancing act. When the mayhem gets out of hand, peace-keepers are brought in at the people's expense, to restore the disordered order.

Save the Copper Cobalt Coltan of Congo?

COpper, CObalt and COltan are among the precious resources we are sucking from the COngo. Could their names too derive from a common origin? We're hearing suddenly of horrendous atrocities from there, although the Congolese have been suffering for over a decade. Has excess violence begun to threaten our mineral supply? Have you heard of Coltan? It's the rare material used in cell phones and laptops. The Congo is the world's chief source of Coltan and supplies other invaluable resources to industry, particlarly weapons and electronics. I would have thrown in Diamonds, Uranium and Oil if they'd started with CO. Western industry takes a wealth of mineral resource from impoverished Africa. Post-colonial Africa is a myth. Or, it's not what as it sounds. Colonial Africa, self-liberated in the post war era, remains occupied by white man, in the guise of corporations. It's just the administrators on the ground who've changed color. And the multinational corporations dictate a wholly other civilized set of governing principles. No longer need the natives be clothed or educated, for business it's enough that they be herded, to staff mines and factories, in gulags or slums. The multinational businesses fund ruthless local regimes to maintain instability, the better for extraction industries to rob the land. Read more

Alan is shocked!!!!!

Alan Greenspan represents more than any individual anywhere, the bipartisan fact that there is no real difference between the 2 chosen parties of our corporate dictatorship here in America. Let's fact, it... Greenspan has been the darling of both the Democratic and Republican Parties for a very long time now. He's The Man! He has been running the economic show that has now put the world capitalist economies in tail spin, you and I on board. Poor Alan is shocked!!!!!! Poor Old Alan... He's shocked!!!!!! He says he just doesn't know any more. He's shocked!!!!!! This guy really takes the cake, now doesn't he. He was held up to the level of Jesus Christ in the eyes of the American monied class who held him high above our heads as some great genius know-it-all, and now his temple is shaking in its foundations. Remember these slime balls celebrating when their Cold War spending crashed the ex Soviet Union? Remember them not giving a damn about what they did to the Russian people? Remember smug old Alan? In spite of all these croc tears and croc shock by the like ilk of Alan Greenspan, they will give about as much a damn about you as they did about the Russians. They don't give a damn about you and the rest of Working Class America anymore than they cared about the Gooks and Ragheads (their words for them, not mine) they screwed over to make their super profits. I take that back, they are actually worried more about you and how you might soon grow to hate them passionately. Got it? Alan is shocked!!!!! But he's 82, damn him, and now there's not much justice we can do for him... He wants forgiveness does he? Who knows? He simply has no god beyond money.... just our money that is now just so much trashed out planet. Alan is shocked!!!!!!! And so is the planet.

How a ‘credit crunch’ can help kick an economic depression into place

In a system...where the entire continuity of the...process rests upon credit, a crisis must obviously occur -- a tremendous rush for means of payment -- when credit suddenly ceases and only cash payments have validity. At first glance, therefore, the whole crisis seems to be merely a credit and money crisis. And in fact it is only a question of the convertibility of bills of exchange into money. But the majority of these bills represent actual sales and purchases, whose extension far beyond the needs of society is, after all, the basis of the whole crisis. At the same time, an enormous quantity of these bills of exchange represents plain swindle, which now reaches the light of day and collapses; furthermore, unsuccessful speculation with the capital of other people; finally, commodity-capital which has depreciated or is completely unsaleable, or returns that can never more be realized again. The entire artificial system of forced expansion of the [ecomony] cannot, of course, be remedied by having some bank, like the [Federal Reserve], give to all the swindlers the deficient capital by means of its paper and having it buy up all the depreciated commodities at their old nominal values. Incidentally, everything here appears distorted, since in this paper world, the real price and its real basis appear nowhere, but only bullion, metal coin, notes, bills of exchange, securities. Particularly in centers where the entire money business of the country is concentrated, like London [or New York]...the entire process becomes incomprehensible.

Economic meltdown and the deafening silence of Barack Obama

Barack Obama has had ample opportunity to articulate a different program than George Bush and McCain's foreign policy of continual war, militarism, and imperialism yet failed to do so. But still possibly some redeeming of his character and political program was possible in regards to domestic issues? However he has completely failed that test, too, and has shown no signs of opposing any of the Bush-McCain agenda to transfer the colossal private debt of America's private financial institutions onto the Federal Budget itself. In short, he too favors bankrupting the American people as a whole by saddling the American tax payer with private debt run up by the super rich economic elites of our country. What we have seen is a turn from 'trickle down' theorizing by the bought and paid for talking heads of media and business to an open assault on the American people that we should all call and label the Flood Up Economic Doctrine. Instead of just 'socialism' for the military industrial complex, we now will see 'socialism' being advocated and put into place for the Military industrial financial complex. None of this is socialism, of course, but rather is nothing more than corporate welfare provided by from the money of workers the capitalist class exploits. Barack Obama is a pig in liberal lipstick here. In fact, women do like him and give more than twice the amount to his campaign as they do to the other campaign with bright red lipstick, the McCain-Palin louts. But there is nothing different about these two groupings, except the label branding. Barack Obama, too, will give away public money to bail out the super rich, though in fact, they will merely sink the American public and provide no real 'bailout' at all. Vote for Obama hoping for some different policies, but it appears that you will become quickly disappointed. It is most probably that Obama and the Democrats will move into the White House, if only because the branding of the McCain ticket is having to cover up the ugliest pig with lipstick on of them all. They are having to paint lipstick on George W. Bush, and that is a sorry sight to the American public by now. Look for further signs of electrical economic collapse in the Whither Forecast for tomorrow.

George Will’s vocabulary outshines him

COLORADO SPRINGS- Some people look smaller in person than they do on TV. Many of us only know George Will from newsprint, but in person he's an organ grinder's monkey, amusingly agile, if a little threatening, but basically smallish and tethered to somebody asking for money. Maybe it was my perspective from the steep audience seating in the South Theater of CC's new Cornerstone Arts Center. Maybe it was looking down at George as he walked in circles between folksy baseball anecdotes, over-simplified economics and patronizing criticism of the American culture of entitlement. I wanted to ask how a gentleman of his obvious acuity got any pleasure from addressing audiences like they were idiots. People who applauded him, by the way, and laughed at the slightest old joke. "Half of all students are of below average intelligence." Hahahahaha. "I'm glad you got that one." Hahahahaha. I remember a professor I had in an advanced math class who used to berate us undergrads for the time he had to waste with us. Tonight's audience was filled to overflow with Colorado Springs' better-heeled hayseeds, but George Will seemed perfectly at home. Will's "reflections on the 2008 election" consisted of the usual horse race stats about which states have to be won by whom in order to satisfy the probabilities of precedent. "History is consistent after all," he was attributing this adage to someone I think, "right up until the moment it isn't." Hahahaha. Numbers and groups of states, etc. The next president may again win the necessary electoral votes and loose the popular vote. As a gesture to the college age portion of tonight's audience, Will offered that all the statistical stars were lining up for a Democratic win in November, but to his contemporaries in the theater Will later confided that he didn't consider Obama ready to lead. He also opined that Sarah Palin would provide a refreshing change to Washington DC. Thankfully the Pulitzer Prize rewardee soon wrapped up his election year remarks and got back on the horse he undoubtedly had been commissioned to ride. Scold Americans for their entitlement mentality and convince them to privatize Social Security. There followed a Libertarian mocking of all social responsibility, and an incredible stretching of credulity seeing the absence of ready rebuttal. Take for example, Big Pharma. George Will applauds Big Pharma and the obscene profits they reap. Those profits are only appropriate, he says, considering the tremendous costs the pharmaceuticals bear with R&D and the circumnavigation of regulations. Really George? Profit is the product of income minus expense. You want to count the expenses twice? One might compare profit against expense in the light of risk, but wouldn't that be to beg the definition of "obscene" profits, considering none have reported obscene losses? Will chastised the growth of the Agricultural Department citing the narrowing ratio of Ag employees to American Farmers, without referencing the precipitous rise of Big Agra and the eclipse of family farms. Of course, entitlement programs were the chief evil, while no mention

Global economic rapists are at it again

Why protest the G8 Summit July 7-9? Those hoodlums always look so determined. Here's the rationale by the Emergency Exit Collective: The 2008 G8 on Hokkaido, a Strategic Assessment Emergency Exit Collective Bristol, Mayday, 2008 The authors of this document are a collection of activists, scholars, and writers currently based in the United States and Western Europe who have gotten to know and work with each other in the movement against capitalist globalization. We’re writing this at the request of some members of No! G8 Action Japan, who asked us for a broad strategic analysis of the state of struggle as we see it, and particularly, of the role of the G8, what it represents, the dangers and opportunities that may lie hidden in the moment. It is in no sense programmatic. Mainly, it is an attempt to develop tools that we hope will be helpful for organizers, or for anyone engaged in the struggle against global capital. I It is our condition as human beings that we produce our lives in common. II Let us then try to see the world from the perspective of the planet’s commoners, taking the word in that sense: those whose most essential tradition is cooperation in the making and maintenance of human social life, yet who have had to do so under conditions of suffering and separation; deprived, ignored, devalued, divided into hierarchies, pitted against each other for our very physical survival. In one sense we are all commoners. But it’s equally true that just about everyone, at least in some ways, at some points, plays the role of the rulers—of those who expropriate, devalue and divide—or at the very least benefits from such divisions. Obviously some do more than others. It is at the peak of this pyramid that we encounter groups like the G8. III The G8’s perspective is that of the aristocrats, the rulers: those who command and maintain that global machinery of violence that defends existing borders and lines of separation: whether national borders with their detention camps for migrants, or property regimes, with their prisons for the poor. They live by constantly claiming title to the products of others collective creativity and labour, and in thus doing they create the poor; they create scarcity in the midst of plenty, and divide us on a daily basis; they create financial districts that loot resources from across the world, and in thus doing they turn the spirit of human creativity into a spiritual desert; close or privatize parks, public water taps and libraries, hospitals, youth centers, universities, schools, public swimming pools, and instead endlessly build shopping malls that channels convivial life into a means of commodity circulation; work toward turning global ecological catastrophe into business opportunities. These are the people who presume to speak in the name of the “international community” even as they hide in their gated communities or meet protected by phalanxes of riot cops. It is critical to bear in mind that the ultimate aim of their policies is never to create community but to introduce and maintain divisions

SEIU July 17 protest of private equity

Join the Service Employees International Union, Move-On and Amnesty International to demonstrate for tax reform to curb abuse by private equity firms and buyout barons raiding our jobs and economy.

Eco-conscious, yes. Sustainable? Hardly.

The First Affirmative Financial Network may be green and may encourage eco-progressive development, but offering investors continued profits based on growing market activity is a far cry from an environmentally sustainable footprint.

An American Socialism?

In the current housing bankruptcy "crisis" which was in fact created by the privately owned Fed through interest rates that reached 1% in 2003 combined with lax oversight of the banks, the bail out now being talked about in Congress will help... no surprise... the banks by and large. It is meant to deceive the public again by using words such as "helping" the homeowners, or "saving" peoples homes. NOTE: When you save a mortgage you save the bank's payments by insuring they keep coming in. Besides the fact that people don't own their homes, the banks do! Regardless, in a socialist system this kind of gross manipulation would never have happened in the first place. And the half honest sensible solution by these charlatans in Congress should be to refi these homes to these homebuyers at the new lesser value. Because the value is lost anyway. And these homes were wildly overvalued by an out of control speculatory financial cabal. Besides, the bundled debt obligations and structured investment vehicles are worthless. Adding misery, the value of these homes will keep crashing. The rub? The banks and Investors made millions off these paper schemes and walked away... and probably paid little or no taxes. And now, the home buyers who were preyed upon by these lenders, owe money on a devalued home that was used only as a commodity by the "gentlemen" on Wall St. to manipulate, through the creation of CDO's and SIVs? Sure! That's capitalism. Systemic political and corporate corruption. And it's going to get worse. Congress desperately needs this property tax, interest payment, revenue stream to keep flowing to the banks and the states. But the reason this is a problem for Congress of "what is the best poison" to cure this, is that to bail out the home buyer who got screwed, is using tax money to keep receiving tax money. It's double taxation!! And a zero sum game... besides rewarding the crooks. More deficit spending. But the Fed doesn't care about homeowners and thusly told Congress as much by introducing Paulson's new scheme to have the Fed take over the duties of the SEC and oversight of the big investment banks and their financial debauchery and chicanery. To keep the graft and secret deals going. The "dark trades" as they're called. And spineless Congress cannot protest. They are owned by the Fed. In fact they are linked in responsibility by their repealing of the Glass-Steagall act with Greenspan's urging (which Clinton didn't veto) and attaching the Commodities Reauthorization Act attached to an appropriations bill in 2000. Ahhh the rewards for the capitalist elite are sweet indeed. No accountability, no worries, no chance of getting the blame. The yellow press at their beckon call. Socialism would put all properties under the ownership of the people with all rents going to the citizens public fund and distributed to each social association for necessary services, loans, needs. There is no reason for housing or land to have any

Death spiral economy

The fascist business model in full view, unapologetic. Unaccountable. The Democrats have no intention of changing it. They have to protect their major donors. Obama is fully backed by Wall Street capitalists. He talks the talk of reform but he cannot and won't walk the walk. He won't tell you the real problem is the FED who created this mess. He's just another black face in a high place. Powerless. Selling the illusion of hope. No substance. USB bank today declaring more massive losses/write-offs. Muni-bonds and huge retirement funds will soon be reporting major losses. Member of PERA? Watch out! And of course when states start hurting bad, the taxes on these criminals who created this won't be raised, nor fees increased on the oil companies who've raked in massive profits over the last 5 years... rather services and state education funding will be cut dramatically. Adding to the death spiral. Don't you just love American capitalism? It's a war/service cheap imports, low wages race to the bottom economy. And the vultures are coming out picking the bones of the unemployed and devalued real estate. Predators and scavengers. That's the real U.S. economy. We've lost all the gains from our productivity, we could have enjoyed, to these corporations and bankers/financial firms and war arms mfgrs. in their increased profits and paper schemes. Then by job loss, then poverty, our few possessions are lost-sold to the bottom feeders and other desperate folk. A new American Socialism is needed that will stop war, take back the control of the currency from the Fed, abolish the IRS, abolish the corporate structure, abolish Wall Street and its speculators and commodities traders, and make the banks use social credit with low or no interest loans. Only low admin fees allowed. Then fully fund education through college, provide a national dividend to all citizens, fund a natl. health insurance program and return the means and ownership of production to the workers so that no non-productive parasitical outsider (stockholder) can make a profit from that company. Then turn our economy inward to the benefit of our people first with few exceptions in limited import and exports. And a radical energy transformation to zero point sources and hydrogen. Of course non of this will ever happen. As a famous autistic said: "I'm not a stupid person... Jenny." "Not surprisingly, neither in Paulson’s remarks nor in the 214 pages of the plan he released is there any suggestion that Wall Street firms or their top executives be called to account and held legally culpable for the economic and social disaster that has resulted from their reckless and often deceptive, if not outright illegal, policies and actions. US Treasury plan shields Wall Street speculators" -wsws.org April Fools: The Fox To Guard The Banking Henhouse - by Dr. Ellen Brown - 2008-03-31 U.S. Treasury Regulatory Reform Proposals: Hapless, Helpless, Hopeless - by Richard C. Cook - 2008-03-31 New World Order. A Planned World Economy Mankind at the Turning Point Part 3 - by Brent Jessop - 2008-03-31 Republicans and

Knowing we are in over our heads

One reason we have governments, for you inquiring civil libertarians, is for guidance. I can certainly think of two matters which might always evade common man's grasp: nutrition and economics. In spite of all best efforts to educate a public, we may have to agree that nutrition and economics are too big for the layman to grapple. We elect representatives to Washington to advise our lives about complexities like these. Take for example the fudgsicle, it's "low fat" but probably not on the whole going to make you skinnier. By the taste, the fudgsicle is made of sugar. So where does that put it, as obesity causal factors go? Regulating calorie intake vis-a-vis carbs, electrolytes, supplements, additives, toxins and who knows what, is not a static math problem. It's about maintaining a buoyant equilibrium as we move our bodies forward in our mortal trajectory. It's like keeping the steam pressure up on an old locomotive, there was a reason the train drivers were called engineers. A steam engine didn't start and go like its Lionel Train facsimile, it had to be tended, coaxed and fed lest it a) falter or b) explode. Not everyone can be an engineer. We can read how-tos, and feel good about taking the levers, but ultimately the pop-guides are written to take us in circles to the next self-help over-simplification. Likewise, not everyone can understand economic theory. We like to apply our bookkeeping common sense, our coupon-clipping savvy, and Nike GTD ethic to the federal budget: just balance it, but spreading greater prosperity is much more complicated than that. Try conducting even domestic trading with "neither a borrower nor a lender be." That's why we elect administrators, that's why we make them give big speeches to demonstrate their competence. We know we want smart people to be in charge. You'd think that concern would be intuitive, but we have learned it to be otherwise. Evidently we need at the very least to be taught in our schools that our leaders must have more than the common sense of our drinking buddies. Our educational system must keep citizens up to speed to appreciate that governance is a demanding task. We don't need to know the complexities, but we need to know enough to tell buffoons like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity that their homespun drivel is for uneducated morons.

Nobel Prize impostor to speak at CC

Colorado College, our evolving Neo-Liberal Arts school, has been inviting a slew of globalization advocates to intone on patriarchal economics. The latest, game theory "Cold Warrior" Thomas Schelling, will speak on Thursday, Feb. 21st. Schelling is being lauded as a "Nobel Laureate of Economics." Except there is no such thing as a Nobel prize for economics. The "Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel" is to the Nobel prize, what air hockey is to hockey. If air hockey was played by chiseling cardsharps. The would-be Nobel ruse is exposed with regularity, but without traction in the mainstream press. Every year the impostor recipients steadfastly don the stripes and hit the lecture circuit as "laureates." The current issue of Adbusters revisits the scheme, and this time even recommends rescinding a number of the fraudulent awards. The most egregious it suggests, which have harmed mankind by encouraging wrong-headed laissez-fair policy, went to Milton Friedman in 1976, Robert Solow in 1987, and Gary Becker in 1992. "Further recalls may be necessary." We can only hope Thomas Schelling and his "junk economics," lobbying as he has against the Kyoto Treaty and for the Copenhagen Consensus, will be next. Presumably to make amends for inventing dynamite, Alfred Nobel endowed a peace prize in 1907 to be awarded each year in the areas of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace, where such work contributed to the well being of mankind. Nobel made zero provisions for offering an award to economists. In the late sixties, a cabal of economists contrived to make their own prize, through the Bank of Sweden, "in honor of Alfred Nobel," presuming to correct Nobel's shortsightedness, in defiance of his apparent farsightedness. And indeed the only economists which they have honored have been the malevolent World Bank booster variety.

Will economic stimulus avoid recession?

The capitalists system is in meltdown. The apologist candidates won't tell us what the real problems are because they were asleep at the wheel and have voted in support of and taken part in the corrupt capitalist system. They're all millionaires!!!! It's time to start a new economy and new currency, end war, cut the military budget to 1/4 of what it is and dismantle the Fed. ...and the parasitical Stock Market gambling casino that robs those who produce goods and services of their bounty. Will Economic Stimulus Measures Stave Off Recession? by Richard C. Cook The 2008 Presidential Election: Concepts Progressives Must Know About Monetary Policy and History Greenspan's Dark Legacy Unmasked by Stephen Lendman C.H. Douglas: Pioneer of Monetary Reform - A National Dividend and Social Credit. by Richard C. Cook Sovereign Wealth Funds www.goldenjackass.com

When America wheezes…

"When America sneezes, Asia catches a cold."   Or so the adage goes. NPR referred to it as a cliche, and canvassed the foreign press for regional varients. The news being, apparently, that the American economy hiccuped or other such trifle. I cannot help thinking of Chekhov's The Death of a Government Official, adapted for the stage as The Sneeze. NPR went on: "When the US sneezes, Shanghai catches a cold." A subset. "When America sneezes, Britain catches a cold." Mimicry. "When America sneezes, things get feverish in South Africa." Credited for imagination. The trivialization continued, from: "When America sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold" to "When America sneezes, does the world still catch a cold?" Then NPR asked a financial skeptic to assess the veracity of this cliche. She explained that a sneeze had a generally small radius of effect, and that a handshake was more likely to spread a cold. She was on the right track, wasn't she? A sneeze is but a trifle. The net effect of course, was to reiterate, reinforced through repetition, that America has sneezed, and it's up to others to mind their health. It was a sneeze, that's all. The light headed, somewhat hazy feeling you are experiencing? Just a sneeze. You're not faint, you're not about to collapse into an indefinite convalescence with pneumonia. When America is bed bound with consumption, there's no one unaffected to bring her chicken soup. That's where the medicinal analogy ends. When our economy is out for the count, competitors have their arms raised in the air, ready for the next comer, looking for the next Golden Goose. Business is war. Sun Tsu's Art of War is after all shelved under Business. If this were a child's game, it would be King of the Hill, not Doctor.

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