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Sat, 22 Jan 2022
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A Movement Too Big to Fail

burning credit card
© AP / Ted S. Warren
Protesters in Seattle melt a Bank of America debit card.
There is no danger that the protesters who have occupied squares, parks and plazas across the nation in defiance of the corporate state will be co-opted by the Democratic Party or groups like MoveOn. The faux liberal reformers, whose abject failure to stand up for the rights of the poor and the working class, have signed on to this movement because they fear becoming irrelevant. Union leaders, who pull down salaries five times that of the rank and file as they bargain away rights and benefits, know the foundations are shaking. So do Democratic politicians from Barack Obama to Nancy Pelosi. So do the array of "liberal" groups and institutions, including the press, that have worked to funnel discontented voters back into the swamp of electoral politics and mocked those who called for profound structural reform.

Resistance, real resistance, to the corporate state was displayed when a couple of thousand protesters, clutching mops and brooms, early Friday morning forced the owners of Zuccotti Park and the New York City police to back down from a proposed attempt to expel them in order to "clean" the premises. These protesters in that one glorious moment did what the traditional "liberal" establishment has steadily refused to do - fight back. And it was deeply moving to watch the corporate rats scamper back to their holes on Wall Street. It lent a whole new meaning to the phrase "too big to fail."

Blackbox

US: Secrets? Big Hole in White House Lawn Prompts Equally Big Questions

President Obama, who has been traveling the country urging Congress to pass his jobs bill so Americans can be put to work on infrastructure projects, need only look out a window in the West Wing to see one such project. Under way on his front lawn for the last 17 months, it is highly visible and yet mysterious.

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© Doug Mills/The New York Times
The project outside the West Wing, said to be renovation of the building’s air-conditioning and electrical systems.
For the first time in recent memory, the ground and pipes beneath the Oval Office are exposed, and each day, workers lower massive concrete blocks several stories underground. Cranes, trucks and construction workers file in and out of the hole, usually through a passageway between the White House and the Old Executive Office Building.

The cavernous hole has inspired much speculation. Is it an Olympic-size swimming pool for the fitness-conscious first couple? A more spacious bunker? A place, perhaps, to hide the deficit?

The General Services Administration says it is an elaborate renovation of the building's aging air-conditioning and electrical systems. These upgrades take place periodically, a G.S.A. spokeswoman, Sara Merriam, said, adding that Washington's Big Dig would soon continue on the other side of the White House grounds.

Chess

The FBI Goes Rogue on Iran: An Analysis by Dr. Lawrence Davidson

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© VeteransToday
Part I - Going Rogue Again

Back on 1 September 2011 I posted a piece (see essay six below) titled America's FBI Goes Rogue. The gist of that piece was that the FBI's Counter Terrorist Unit has transformed itself into an instigator of crime.

The Agency's modus operandi (MO) here reminds one of those carnivorous plants that have evolved physical shapes that lure their insect victims to their deaths. So too does the FBI's approach to "terror prevention" rely on spinning crime scenarios so as to lure unsuspecting "terrorists" into a criminal trap.

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© VeteransToday
The buck stops here! Will he get away again?
The recently announced arrest of the American-Iranian, Mansor Arbsibsiar, a "failed used car salesman turned drug peddler (who has a cousin employed by Iran's Quds Force, the special operations unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards) falls neatly into this MO. The U.S. Justice Department alleges that Arbsibsiar planned to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington. At the same time the Department assures us that, according to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, "for the entire operation, the government's confidential sources were monitored and guided by federal law enforcement agents." In this case the confidential source was a Drug Enforcement Agency operative, who is himself a convicted felon. According to Gareth Porter, the operative is heard on one of the FBI's clandestine recording "inducing Arbarsiar to agree to the assassination of the Saudi ambassador." That is entrapment and it is illegal. The "guides" are FBI agents who are involved in fabricating the crime itself. The result is a guaranteed arrest for the government. As Glenn Greenwald has noted, "nobody can deny its [the Department of Justice] record of excellence in thwarting its own terrorist plots." And indeed, not unexpectedly, Bharara reminded us that during the entire "terrorist" episode, "no one was actually in danger."

People

Failed banker-turned Senate candidate funds 'End the Occupation' website

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© Tom Leppert
In what appears to be an effort to garner email addresses for his U.S. Senate campaign, a Texas Republican who formerly served on Washington Mutual's board of directors has launched a website called "End Occupy," which blames young Americans and their "false sense of entitlement" for the country's current economic status.

"The Occupy Wall Street crowd represents the same flawed values that got our country into this economic mess," Tom Leppert's "EndOccupy.com" claims. "They possess a false sense of entitlement and think they should be receiving government handouts and run up the debt on an imaginary credit card by making hard-working Americans and future generations pay for the bill." It goes on to ask for petition signatures, which will be sent to President Barack Obama.

But for Leppert, who's running to replace Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), that allegation may just produce a round of laughter from the occupied streets of New York all the way to his home in Dallas, Texas, given his history. Leppert was one of the last chairmen of Washington Mutual's audit committee, right before the company earned the title of largest bank failure in U.S. history, fleecing shareholders of $63 billion.

Cult

US: Bishops Are Behind the 'Let Women Die' Act and the Push Against Birth Control - Even As They're Under Fire for Sex Abuse Scandals

The first bishop in the US is indicted for child sex-abuse coverup; meanwhile, his colleagues push for laws that will intrude on our sexual freedom.

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© Agency France Presse
Last week, the House's passage of the now-notorious H.R. 358 -- also known as the "Let Women Die" bill -- caused deserved outrage. But the bill's connection to the high-ranking Catholic group that fought for its passage, even while the American church is fighting a horrific new sex abuse scandal, hasn't been given the attention it deserves.

The new bill (which the president has vowed to veto) would essentially obliterate abortion coverage by both public and private insurers, and most egregiously get hospitals off the hook for refusing to perform abortions for women whose lives are in immediate danger. It would literally allow hospitals to let women die with impunity.

War Whore

America's Secret Empire of Drone Bases: Its Full Extent Revealed for the First Time

drone aircraft
© U.S. Air Force Photo/Lt. Col. Leslie Pratt
A ground-breaking investigation examines the most secret aspect of America's shadowy drone wars and maps out a world of hidden bases dotting the globe.

They increasingly dot the planet. There's a facility outside Las Vegas where "pilots" work in climate-controlled trailers, another at a dusty camp in Africa formerly used by the French Foreign Legion, a third at a big air base in Afghanistan where Air Force personnel sit in front of multiple computer screens, and a fourth that almost no one talks about at an air base in the United Arab Emirates.

And that leaves at least 56 more such facilities to mention in an expanding American empire of unmanned drone bases being set up worldwide. Despite frequent news reports on the drone assassination campaign launched in support of America's ever-widening undeclared wars and a spate of stories on drone bases in Africa and the Middle East, most of these facilities have remained unnoted, uncounted, and remarkably anonymous -- until now.

Run by the military, the Central Intelligence Agency, and their proxies, these bases -- some little more than desolate airstrips, others sophisticated command and control centers filled with computer screens and high-tech electronic equipment -- are the backbone of a new American robotic way of war. They are also the latest development in a long-evolving saga of American power projection abroad -- in this case, remote-controlled strikes anywhere on the planet with a minimal foreign "footprint" and little accountability.

Chess

Obama's Organic Game

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© Carolyn Kaster / AP Photos
What caused the simmering rage at Obama to boil over? A small flowering plant in the pea family, Fabaceae, known as alfalfa.
Leaders from the organics industry and the genetically-modified-foods lobby are tangling in Washington over whether GMOs should be labeled as such. Eve Conant on the debate over "Frankenfoods."

The distance between New York and Washington, D.C., is 313 miles, a number that became especially relevant last week to activist Adam Eidinger as he prepared to set out on foot for the capital, along with hundreds of other food activists, farmers, and business leaders.

"Many organic leaders realized this past spring that, basically, we don't have a friend in the White House," says Eidinger, who hopes the march will accomplish what good will could not. "We're going over the cliff here. This is very much a personal thing with the president now."

Bad Guys

Liam Fox Is Not a 'Useful Idiot': Disgraced Former UK Defence Secretary Knowingly Served Israel

Liam Fox Israeli flag
A rather stinky Israeli espionage mole has just been exposed in Britain. Yesterday, Liam Fox the Defence Secretary resigned following revelations about his dubious relationship with Adam Werritty. Some 17 years younger than Fox, Werrity has been involved with Fox both in business and in the conservative Atlanticist think-tank 'The Atlantic Bridge'. While Fox was Defence Minister, Werrity visited Fox at the Ministry on many occasions, accompanied Fox on numerous official trips, attended some of his meetings with foreign dignitaries and used official-looking business cards which announced him as an 'adviser' to Fox - and all despite having no official government post whatsoever. However, it has now also been revealed that Fox and Werritty were heavily financed by the Israeli lobby and 'beyond'.

Bad Guys

Buying yourself a President: Herman Cain closely tied to Koch brothers

Herman Cain koch brothers
© The Associated Press
Herman Cain speaks during an April dinner sponsored by Americans for Prosperity and the Koch brothers, billionaires who bankroll right-leaning causes.
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has cast himself as the outsider, the pizza magnate with real-world experience who will bring fresh ideas to the nation's capital. But Cain's economic ideas, support and organization have close ties to two billionaire brothers who bankroll right-leaning causes through their group Americans for Prosperity.

Cain's campaign manager and a number of aides have worked for AFP, the advocacy group founded with support from billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, which lobbies for lower taxes and less government regulation and spending. Cain credits a businessman who served on an AFP advisory board with helping devise his "9-9-9" plan to rewrite the nation's tax code. And his years of speaking at AFP events have given the businessman and radio host a network of grass-roots fans.

Attention

THIS? on FOX News? 'Israelis, Saudis' behind Iran terror plot

From PressTV Mobile: