Bad Guys

The one Percent's Problem

© Unknown
Let's start by laying down the baseline premise: inequality in America has been widening for dec­ades. We're all aware of the fact. Yes, there are some on the right who deny this reality, but serious analysts across the political spectrum take it for granted. I won't run through all the evidence here, except to say that the gap between the 1 percent and the 99 percent is vast when looked at in terms of annual income, and even vaster when looked at in terms of wealth - that is, in terms of accumulated capital and other assets. Consider the Walton family: the six heirs to the Walmart empire possess a combined wealth of some $90 billion, which is equivalent to the wealth of the entire bottom 30 percent of U.S. society. (Many at the bottom have zero or negative net worth, especially after the housing debacle.) Warren Buffett put the matter correctly when he said, "There's been class warfare going on for the last 20 years and my class has won."

So, no: there's little debate over the basic fact of widening inequality. The debate is over its meaning. From the right, you sometimes hear the argument made that inequality is basically a good thing: as the rich increasingly benefit, so does everyone else. This argument is false: while the rich have been growing richer, most Americans (and not just those at the bottom) have been unable to maintain their standard of living, let alone to keep pace. A typical full-time male worker receives the same income today he did a third of a century ago.

From the left, meanwhile, the widening inequality often elicits an appeal for simple justice: why should so few have so much when so many have so little? It's not hard to see why, in a market-driven age where justice itself is a commodity to be bought and sold, some would dismiss that argument as the stuff of pious sentiment.

Put sentiment aside. There are good reasons why plutocrats should care about inequality anyway - even if they're thinking only about themselves. The rich do not exist in a vacuum. They need a functioning society around them to sustain their position. Widely unequal societies do not function efficiently and their economies are neither stable nor sustainable. The evidence from history and from around the modern world is unequivocal: there comes a point when inequality spirals into economic dysfunction for the whole society, and when it does, even the rich pay a steep price.

Let me run through a few reasons why.

Che Guevara

21 Signs That This Could Be A Long, Hot, Crazy Summer For The Global Financial System

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Mass protest in Montreal seen from the air
The summer of 2012 is shaping up to be very similar to the summer of 2008. Things look incredibly bleak for the global economy right now. Economic activity and lending are slowing down all over the planet, and fear is starting to paralyze the entire global financial system. Things did not look this bad back in the summer of 2011 and things certainly did not look this bad back in the summer of 2010. It is almost as if a "perfect storm" is brewing. Today, the global financial system is a finely balanced pyramid of risk, debt and leverage. Such a system requires a high degree of confidence and stability. But when confidence disappears and fear and panic take over, the house of cards can literally start collapsing at any time. Right now we are watching a slow-motion train wreck unfold and nobody seems to know how to stop it. Unless some kind of a miracle happens, things are going to look much different when we reach the start of 2013 than they do today.

The following are 21 signs that this could be a long, hot, crazy summer for the global financial system....

#1 There are rumors that major financial institutions are cancelling employee vacations in anticipation of a major financial crisis this summer. The following are a couple of tweets quoted in a recent article by Kenneth Schortgen Jr....

Light Saber

US Congresswoman Blackburn: TSA is staffed with pedophiles and child pornographers

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On Monday, Blackburn released a report titled "Not on my Watch": 50 Failures of TSA's Transportation Security Officers". The report lists 50 crimes committed by TSA agents, including two from Nashville International Airport.

Blackburn said that more needs to be done to keep bad apples out of the airport screening process.

"TSA needs to immediately remove themselves from the human resource business. This report details highly disturbing cases where pedophiles and child pornographers wearing federal law enforcement uniforms are not only patting down unsuspecting travelers, but in many cases stealing valuables from their bags. Enough is enough. It's time for Congress to step in and demand accountability from Administrator Pistole," said Blackburn.

Che Guevara

Northern Light: Why Canada's 'Casserole' Movement is All of Ours

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© Alexis Gravel
I gave a talk last week at Canada's Wilfrid Laurier University to the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Many in the audience had pinned small red squares of felt to their clothing. The carre rouge, or red square, has become the Canadian symbol of revolt. It comes from the French phrase carrement dans le rouge, or "squarely in the red," referring to those crushed by debt.

The streets of Montreal are clogged nightly with as many as 100,000 protesters banging pots and pans and demanding that the old systems of power be replaced. The mass student strike in Quebec, the longest and largest student protest in Canadian history, began over the announcement of tuition hikes and has metamorphosed into what must swiftly build in the United States - a broad popular uprising. The debt obligation of Canadian university students, even with Quebec's proposed 82 percent tuition hike over several years, is dwarfed by the huge university fees and the $1 trillion of debt faced by U.S. college students. The Canadian students have gathered widespread support because they linked their tuition protests to Quebec's call for higher fees for health care, the firing of public sector employees, the closure of factories, the corporate exploitation of natural resources, new restrictions on union organizing, and an announced increase in the retirement age. Crowds in Montreal, now counting 110 days of protests, chant "On ne lâche pas" - "We're not backing down."

Eye 2

Truth Rub In Your Face


Comment: We didn't quite believe it at first, but apparently the following videos are part of an advertising campaign for Hulu, an online video service jointly owned by NBCUniversal, News Corporation and the Walt Disney Company and essentially part of the move to saturate the Internet with mind-numbing garbage while the world burns.



Stormtrooper

Whatever Happened to Justice? Supreme Court OKs Police Tasering Pregnant Women

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." - Martin Luther King Jr.
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© unknown
The Supreme Court declined to hear a case involving the Seattle PD's use of a Taser on pregnant woman Malaika Brooks (shown here with her daugher).
Once again, the United States Supreme Court has proven Clarence Darrow, a civil liberties attorney and long-time advocate for the Constitution, correct in his assertion that "there is no such thing as justice - in or out of court." In meting out this particular miscarriage of justice, the Supreme Court recently refused to hear the case of a pregnant woman who was repeatedly tasered by Seattle police during a routine traffic stop simply because she refused to sign a speeding ticket.

Malaika Brooks, 33 years old and seven months pregnant, was driving her 11-year-old son to school on a November morning in 2004, when she was pulled over for driving 32 mph in a 20 mph school zone. Instructing her son to walk the rest of the way to school, Malaika handed over her driver's license to Officer Juan Ornelas for processing. However, when instructed to sign the speeding ticket - which the state inexplicably requires, Malaika declared that she wished to contest the charge, insisting that she had not done anything wrong and fearing that signing the ticket would signify an admission of guilt.

What happened next is a cautionary tale for anyone who still thinks that they can defy a police officer, even if it's simply to disagree about a speeding ticket. Rather than issuing a verbal warning to the clearly pregnant (and understandably emotional) woman, Officer Ornelas called for backup. Officer Donald Jones subsequently arrived and told Brooks to sign the ticket. Again she refused. The conversation became heated. The cops called in more backup. The next to arrive was Sergeant Steven Daman, who directed Brooks to sign the ticket, pointing out that if she failed to do so, she would be arrested and taken to jail. Again, Malaika refused.

Bad Guys

America's Total War

© Reuters / Gil Cohen Magen
President Obama promised change, but there's little of it in his war policies, which are harsher than those of George W. Bush.US drone bombings often target not just "terrorists" but all "military-age males in a strike zone as combatants."

"Unless there is explicit posthumous intelligence proving otherwise", that is.

As an extensive recent report in the New York Times explains, for all practical purposes Obama is applying what can best be described as a Total War Doctrine, bringing government, military and media propaganda PsyWar under one strategy.

The concept of "Total War" - war involving not just the military but all civilians irrespective of age or sex, together with the entire infrastructure of a country - became a horrible reality during the 20th century, driven for the most part by steering scientific discoveries and technological progress towards unlimited use in warfare. Total War is very much alive today and is being spearheaded by the United States and its Allies.

This is being abetted on all fronts by US, European and global mainstream media that willingly oblige. In the case of Obama's Total War Doctrine, the media go along with US official policy, and describe the murder of innocent people who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when American democracy-building drone bombs fall, as "militant combatants".

Comment: It won't stop because, as Lobaczewski wrote in Political Ponerology, "Germs are not aware that they will be burned alive or buried deep in the ground along with the human body whose death they are causing." Nothing less than a broad-spectrum shift in awareness would cause people to see the psychopaths for what they really are. For that to happen before the whole world is consumed by Total War, from where we're standing, is gonna take a miracle of some sort.


Yoda

Bush Convicted of War Crimes at Tribunal: Interview with US prosecutor Francis Boyle

Francis Boyle: Judgement at Indonesian hearing may help push case at ICC; Obama is also in violation for not pursuing indictment.

Francis Boyle is a Professor of Law at the University of llinois School of Law, where he currently teaches courses on Public International Law and International Human Rights. He was a part of the prosecutionteam that tried former US President George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their legal advisors in absentia in Malaysia.


Vader

Cleaning Up Obama's "Dark Side"

© Unknown
Obama's handlers, with the able assistance of the New York Times, paint a presidential portrait that "reconciles the old, imagined Obama with Dick Cheney's 'dark side.'" The president routinely violates international law and subverts the U.S. Constitution but, we are told, he does so with a keen sense of moral obligation. His millions of victims should be pleased.

"The Times report is yet another attempt to compartmentalize the escalating aggression against civilized norms of international behavior by the U.S. and its allies."

It took two teams to script the 6,000-word psycho-drama headlined Secret 'Kill List' Proves a Test of Obama's Principles and Will, in the May 29 New York Times. Reporters Jo Becker and Scott Shane got the byline, but the real content - the intended message - was provided by "three dozen current and former advisors" to the president whose 'insights' shaped the production. This symbiosis of State content-provider and corporate media packager passes for probing journalism in the United States. The public is left with the impression (in the advertising sense of the word) of a president who deploys armadas of drones - but with a conscience - a man of "deep reserve" who "approves lethal action without hand-wringing," yet is determined "to align the fight against Al Qaeda with American values." In case the god-fearing are not convinced that Barack Hussein Obama is a sufficiently Christian soldier, the president's counterterrorism advisor, John Brennan, a 25-year veteran of the CIA, acts as a "priest whose blessing has become indispensable to Mr. Obama."

Eye 1

Veteran Force Vaccinated After Arrest At Bilderberg 2012

An exclusive interview with a U.S. veteran who was arrested on Thursday May 31st, at the 2012 Bilderberg 2012 meetings.

This veteran was apparently forcefully vaccinated and intimated by Fairfax County Police who were trying to scare protesters of the global power structure.