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Fri, 27 Jan 2023
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Some Outrageous Facts about US Inequality

© AP/Mark Lennihan
A homeless person sits under blankets at a Wall Street subway station in New York City.
Studying inequality in America reveals some facts that are truly hard to believe. Amidst all the absurdity a few stand out.

1. U.S. companies in total pay a smaller percentage of taxes than the lowest-income 20% of Americans.

Total corporate profits for 2011 were $1.97 trillion. Corporations paid $181 billion in federal taxes (9%) and $40 billion in state taxes (2%), for a total tax burden of 11%. The poorest 20% of American citizens pay 17.4% in federal, state, and local taxes.

2. The high-profit, tax-avoiding tech industry was built on publicly-funded research.

The technology sector has been more dependent on government research and development than any other industry. The U.S. government provided about half of the funding for basic research in technology and communications well into the 1980s. Even today, federal grants support about 60 percent of research performed at universities.

IBM was founded in 1911, Hewlett-Packard in 1947, Intel in 1968, Microsoft in 1975, Apple and Oracle in 1977, Cisco in 1984. All relied on government and military innovations. The more recently incorporated Google, which started in 1996, grew out of the Defense Department's ARPANET system and the National Science Foundation's Digital Library Initiative.

The combined 2011 federal tax payment for the eight companies was just 10.6%.


Nicolas Sarkozy's home raided by French police

Detectives investigating alleged illegal campaign-financing by L'Oreal heir Liliane Bettencourt search Carla Bruni's mansion

French police have raided the home and offices of the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy as part of an investigation into illegal campaign financing and alleged brown envelopes of cash from France's wealthiest woman, the L'Oreal hairspray heiress Liliane Bettencourt.

Police searched the mansion rented by Carla Bruni in a chic gated community in the west of Paris, where she and Sarkozy live with Bruni's 11-year-old son and the couple's new baby daughter. Officers also searched the office of the legal firm where Sarkozy is a partner and the new office he moved into after losing the presidential election to Socialist Francois Hollande in May.

The Sarkozys were not present as they had left for a Quebec chalet holiday on Monday, Sarkozy's lawyer said.

As president, Sarkozy had judicial immunity which protected him from legal investigations, but this expired on 16 June.


Propaganda Alert! Psychologically disturbed Syrian state TV reporter 'defects'

© Guardian
Ghatan Sleiba, who told Western authority figures what they wanted to hear, that 'the rebels' aka al Qaeda are in control of much of eastern Syria... before backtracking and saying they were in "quasi-control"... which really means they are totally out of control massacring civilians at will.
Ghatan Sleiba, from the pro-Assad al-Dunya channel, says he has been providing intelligence to the rebels for months

A presenter from the Syrian regime's main television channel has defected to the opposition and revealed he has been secretly providing intelligence to rebels for the past seven months.

Ghatan Sleiba, who worked for both the state-owned al-Akhbariya network and the al-Dunya channel, is believed to be the first high-profile defector from Damascus's powerful propaganda arm. "I am the first and I will probably be the last," he told the Guardian in southern Turkey. "There are some others who also want to run, but there are more who love the regime from the depths of their hearts."

In military defections on Monday, a Syrian general from an artillery division and seven officers were among dozens of soldiers, mostly serving in Homs province, who also fled to Turkey, a Syrian activist and Free Syria Army sources told Reuters.

Comment: The al-Jazeera guy sussed him out. This Ghatan Sleiba is about as trustworthy as someone you'd find locked in a mental institution.


France next on the economic hit list? 'Austerity looms large for France'


The 'world economy' in a nutshell
Despite the French president's campaign pledge to avoid implementing harsh austerity measures, a report says his government is in dire need of cutting jobs and implementing economic reforms to achieve a European deficit target.

According to a report by France's national audit office on Monday, Paris needs to come up with EUR 33 billion (USD 42 billi
on) in savings next year to meet its European deficit goal of three percent of gross domestic product.

This comes as auditors have already noted in an in-depth review that the state requires EUR 6-10 billion (USD 7.6-12.6 billion) in budget savings in 2012 to reach the deficit target of 4.4 percent of the GDP.

Officials have warned that "2013 is a crucial year" as France "is in the danger zone in terms of its economy and public finances."

Star of David

Flashback to Jewish Ghettos in Poland under the Nazis: Hebron border police officer kicks a Palestinian child

A B'Tselem video volunteer documented an Israeli Border Police officer kicking a Palestinian child while another officer held the boy. The incident took place on the 29th of June 2012 near the Tomb of the Patriarchs, in Hebron's H2 area. The child, Abd a-Rahman Burqan, who is nine years old, lives with his family near the parking lot used by Israeli vehicles outside of the Tomb. The video shows a Border Police officer ambushing a child from around the corner. As the child walks past, the officer grabs him by the arm and says: "why are you making trouble?" The officer then drags the child, who is screaming, on the ground for a few seconds. A second Border Police officer then appears and kicks the boy. The officer then lets the child go. He runs away, and the two Border Police officers leave the scene as well. The incident was filmed by a volunteer in B'Tselem's camera distribution project, from inside his home. The volunteer told B'Tselem that he began to film when he noticed the officer hiding behind the wall. B'Tselem will refer the case to the Justice Ministry's Department for the Investigation of Police.

Comment: A snapshot of daily life for Palestinians under Israeli rule. The state of Israel treats Palestinians like the Nazis treated minorities and the whole world pretends it is normal and acceptable. But it should be obvious to any rational human being that what is acceptable in the Jewish state is not substantially different than what was acceptable in the Third Reich.

This Palestinian boy should count himself lucky though, he could just have easily been shot through the head by an Israeli soldier, who would have then been found innocent. In the totalitarian world he lives in, the world Zionists and psychopaths in power everywhere envisage for all humanity in the very near future, he will have to become very street-smart if he is to survive into adulthood.


US Muffling Opposition Voice by Secretly Liquidating Dissidents: Analyst

9/11 truth
A US political analyst says despite Washington's claims to being a pioneer in promoting freedom of speech and human rights, the American government is actually disabling and even killing dissidents by inconspicuous means.

"The post-9/11 USA is no longer a beacon of human rights. As former President Jimmy Carter recently wrote in the New York Times, the United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights," Kevin Barrett wrote in an article published on the Press TV website.

Referring to recent remarks of President Barak Obama administration's information czar Cass Sunstein, who openly noted that the US government should "disable the purveyors of conspiracy theories," the analyst said one way to disable the purveyors of conspiracy theories is to terrorize them with death threats.


Researches in Texas Use Spoofing to 'Hack' into a US Drone

© unknown
A US assassination drone.
American researchers at the University of Texas have successfully taken control of a flying drone by "hacking" into its GPS system, showing its weaknesses to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

During the experiment at the University of Texas at Austin's Radio navigation Laboratory, Professor Todd Humphreys and his team successfully hijacked a drone by "spoofing" its GPS receiver.

Humphreys says that Iran's success in bringing down a US spy drone last December gave him the idea of doing the experiment.

"So we decided to conduct the experiment, which showed us that it's possible to take control of a flying drone," Humphrey said.

Humphreys says that unlike military UAVs, which use an encrypted GPS system, most drones that will fly over the US will rely on civilian GPS, which is not encrypted and wide open to infiltration.


Video Shows Israeli Police Roughing Up Palestinian Child

Human rights group B'Tselem has uploaded a video showing Israeli police officers brutally attacking a Palestinian child, providing more evidence of Israeli violence against Palestinian children.

A volunteer shot the video near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the city of al-Khalil (Hebron) in the south of the occupied West Bank on June 29 for the B'Tselem human rights organization and the group uploaded the video on YouTube on Monday.

The video shows one border policeman apprehending a nine-year-old boy, identified as Abd al-Rahman Burkan, and knocking him to the ground while the child shouts.


Allegations: Iranians Planned to Attack US, Israeli Targets in Kenya

© ABC News
The frightening faces of Evil: Iranians who allegedly planned to attack US and Israeli targets in Kenya.
Two Iranian men who led officials to a 33 pound stash of explosives have now allegedly admitted they were plotting to attack, U.S., Israel, Saudi or British targets in Kenya, according to the Associated Press.

Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammad and Sayed Mansour Mousavi, who appeared in a Nairobi court last week, were arrested on June 19 in Nairobi and then led Kenyan authorities to 15 kilograms of explosives in Mombasa. They are believed to be members of the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, say Kenyan officials.

Last fall, the U.S. disrupted an alleged plot by the Quds Force to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. in Washington. Earlier this year, the Azerbaijani government arrested nearly two dozen Iranians who were allegedly plotting attacks on Western targets, and Thai police arrested a group of Iranian nationals after they allegedly attempted to flee a rented residence where bombs had detonated by flinging explosives at a taxi driver and police. Indian police have identified, but not apprehended, three Iranian suspects in the February bombing of an Israeli diplomatic vehicle. Israeli officials say a similar bomb was found on an Israeli vehicle in Tbilisi, Georgia but was defused.

Comment: US officials peddle false intel about Saudi Ambassador 'Plot'

Iran accuses Israel and US of assassinating scientist - "..security experts have suggested that they bore the hallmarks of operations carried out by the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad."

There you have it folks, more smoke and mirrors to blame the Victim (Iran) of doing exactly what the West themselves are doing.


Corporate Media is Snookering You on Syria

The hijacking of the Arab Spring has been aided by a media that airs propaganda on Syria.

For those versed in the black arts of propaganda, the hijacking of Arab Spring must be a beauteous thing to behold.

First came evidently spontaneous uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. Then some up-and-comer in Washington or London or Paris had a brainstorm, a new twist on a very old idea: if you can't beat em, join em. Or even better, co-opt them, and use them for your own purposes.

The old way of getting rid of "inconvenient" leaders was so 20th-century - in the case of Saddam Hussein, a monstrous lie followed by a massive bloodletting on both sides. Tahrir Square suggested how to bring down a regime in a manner far less costly and far more palatable to the public: lots of medium-sized and little lies, war through Twitter, war through expendable proxies. Provide financial incentives to key figures to publicly renounce the old leadership, create a steady stream of heart-rending moments and photos and allegations, generate endless "human rights violations" by baiting the government into a military response, then very publicly petition international bodies for redress of humanitarian concerns.

Muammar Qaddafi, a fiercely independent, quasi-socialistic African transnationalist, was the guinea pig. A brilliant disinformation campaign isolated him, authentic domestic grievances were encouraged, and a whole war was conducted on behalf of the West with nary a Western soldier putting boots to ground.