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The Betrayal of Adam Smith

Adam Smith on a 20 pound bill
This is an excerpt from When Corporations Rule the World, 2nd Edition, by David C. Korten.

It is ironic that corporate libertarians regularly pay homage to Adam Smith as their intellectual patron saint, since it is obvious to even the most casual reader of his epic work The Wealth of Nations that Smith would have vigorously opposed most of their claims and policy positions.

For example, corporate libertarians fervently oppose any restraint on corporate size or power. Smith, on the other hand, opposed any form of economic concentration on the ground that it distorts the market's natural ability to establish a price that provides a fair return on land, labor, and capital; to produce a satisfactory outcome for both buyers and sellers; and to optimally allocate society's resources.

Through trade agreements, corporate libertarians press governments to provide absolute protection for the intellectual property rights of corporations. Smith was strongly opposed to trade secrets as contrary to market principles and would have vigorously opposed governments enforcing a person or corporation's claim to the right to monopolize a lifesaving drug or device and to charge whatever the market would bear.

Bizarro Earth

Update: Clear and Present Danger

denver mural
© Cassiopaea.org
The one thing that's been proven is the absolute fear-mongering that's being used to drive us is false. I've seen members turn to each other and say if we don't pass this bill, we're going to have martial law in the United States. -- Rep. Brad Sherman, October 1, 2008
We've had a bad feeling these past several years, as those of you who have read these pages may know, that the Iraq disaster wasn't so much a resource grab or to encircle Iran and Russia, nor just to protect Israel, but something more sinister: training soldiers to be mindless killers so that when they're brought back home they would have no problem killing their fellow citizens when martial law is declared and the cow pies really hit the fan.

Wall Street

Signs Economic Commentary for 6 October 2008

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Summary: The big financial bailout plan finally passed in the U.S. Congress Friday over the strong objections of the public. Will the bailout prevent the coming depression? Probably not. Mortgage securities are only a part of the problem.

The bailout plan is more than just a giveaway to the rich as represented by the big banks (although it is that). It probably is a panicked attempt to forestall the real potential crisis: a collapse of the huge, unregulated hedge funds based on derivatives and Credit Default Swaps (CDS).


Vader

NYT: Is Palin prepping to be the prez?

It's Sunday, so it's a good day to chew on esoteric stuff. It goes down easier.

Here's a provocative column from the New York Times' Frank Rich, who asks the question: Why is Sarah Palin acting like someone who believes she is going to be president very soon?

Comment: On the contrary, there is quite enough "paint on this canvas", for those who have eyes to see. The reader is encouraged to search SOTT page for articles related to Palin, dominionism and theocracy, to get a fair and extensive scoop on what she is about.


Heart

Ex-Mossad agent's daughter protests occupation

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Tamar Katz, Miya Tamarin and Omer Goldman - Israelis with a conscience
The daughter of an ex-Mossad deputy has refused to do military service because of Israel's killing of Palestinian civilians.

Omer Goldman, daughter of Natalin Granot, former deputy to the head of Mossad, was imprisoned on Tuesday after she, along with two other Israeli women, Miya Tamarin and Tamar Katz, refused to enter the army.

"I feel obligated morally, to refuse," Goldman said.

"I often traveled to the occupied territories, and saw with my own eyes, what the Israeli army is [doing] there are things [with] which I can not cooperate."

Pistol

Three Reasons JFK was Murdered

John F Kennedy_Caroline Kennedy
Like Rome, the US is forever scarred by murder. In our lifetimes, the best and brightest are snuffed before our very eyes by the cowardly, unseen, shadowy exercise of pure evil and rotten ambition. Those who benefited most from JFKs murder are most certainly guilty of it.

JFK tried to strip the power of the FED, abolish the Oil Depletion Allowance, and 'smash the CIA into a thousand pieces'. No President since has dared to piss off so many powerful and ruthless people. Qui bono?

Comment: Read also the SOTT exclusive JFK series, starting here.


Coffee

A bailout and a new world

The George W Bush administration's US$700 billion no-accountability scheme, globally, informally dubbed "cash for trash", is making all the headlines. Simultaneously, there's the small matter of the United Nations General Assembly sanctioning the troubled birth of a new, multipolar world. As a 21st-century counterpart to the Dadaist Manifesto, this chain of events is priceless.

Pistol

Timeline: School shootings since 1966

August 1966, United States: A student at the University of Texas in Austin killed 14 people and wounded 31 others in a shooting rampage from the observation deck of the university's 32-storey administrative building. Charles Joseph, 25, was eventually shot and killed by police. An autopsy revealed he had a highly cancerous brain tumour.

Magnify

Row over Internet "war plans" highlights China-Vietnam tensions

Relations between Vietnam and China deteriorated over the past fortnight after Hanoi formally protested at online discussions in China about a war with Vietnam. While only a small layer of Chinese nationalist fanatics made the web postings, the incident underscores the ongoing tensions between the two countries, which have conflicting strategic and economic interests, including in the South China Sea.

According to the South China Morning Post on September 5, Hanoi has twice summoned senior Chinese diplomats to express concerns about the "war plans" that have been appearing on Chinese web sites since August. The plans supposedly outline a full-scale invasion of Vietnam, starting with five days of missile strikes. Following a naval blockade and electronic jamming of Vietnam's communications, 310,000 Chinese troops would sweep into northern Vietnam from the Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Guangxi and from the South China Sea.

Wolf

Ex Mossad Agent Tzipi Livni set to become new Israeli PM after party vote



Tzipi Livni
©Reuters

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was set to be Israel's next prime minister after a comfortable victory on Wednesday in a party leadership election to choose a replacement for Ehud Olmert.

"The good guys won," the former corporate lawyer and one-time Mossad intelligence agent told supporters within the ruling centrist Kadima party after exit polls gave her a clear margin over retired general Shaul Mofaz, the transport minister.

Palestinian peace negotiators -- and possibly the sponsors of the peace process in Washington -- were among those applauding as official results began to confirm a win for Livni, who has led talks with the Palestinians this year.

Comment: Israel's answer to President Palin?