Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Mad Poet - Open Your Eyes (Spoken Word Poetry)

The Mad Poet is a spoken word artist from the Jane-Finch area. The Mad Poet uses this eclectic musical style to showcase her commentary about the social and racial realities growing up in Jane and Finch.

Open Your Eyes
2007 / 4:05
The Mad Poet (a.k.a. Melissa Dean)
Directed by Paul Nguyen

[and for more great poetry please visit thepoetryman at A Poetic Justice]

Def Poetry Jam: Alicia Keys - POW

Porn industry seeks own stimulus ... package

Adult industry titans say economy has made Americans 'go limp'

Seems everyone is lining up for a government handout, but in the case of the porn industry, you may wonder where the hands have been.

TMZ is reporting that Hustler's Larry Flynt and "Girls Gone Wild" creator Joe Francis are asking for a $5 billion federal bailout of adult entertainment because "the economy has made America's appetite for sex go limp."

The Web site claims adult DVD sales are down 22 percent in a year, numbers which are sure to deflate expectations at this weekend's AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas.

Porn may not be as recession-proof as originally thought. Not only are people spending less, but there's a lot of free competition available.

TMZ says Joe Francis, hounded by legal troubles, plans to go to Congress to ask for his own ... stimulus package. "Francis sees his industry like the big three automakers, only BIGGER" says TMZ. "Sounds like someone has a bone to pick."

Gee. Where to put that $5 billion? Subsidize silicone? Provide consumer incentives ("buy one, get one free")? Zero-percent financing to shoot the next installment of "Lex the Impaler"?

~ more... ~

The revenge of life

14 Dec, 2008

By IliasZ

Some thoughts on the events that are reshaping Greece these days

It's been a week since Alexandros was murdered. 7 days, which i spent mostly at home, because of a bad case of flu. Besides cursing my bad luck, i spent these days stuck in the internet and the telephone, reading and watching what was happening and what was being said, talking with friends that were on the streets. So, this is the view of an observer and i hope that such a view is useful as well.

Starting from a strictly political perspective: These days, the days of Alexandros, mark the fiercest social explosion this country has experienced since 1990-91, when the great pupil-student movement and the assassination of teacher Temponeras shook Greece. It's a revolt of the youth, and especially the pupil youth, that right now is writing its own history. Depending on how the situation evolves, a whole generation has the possibility to emancipate itself, to define its own starting point, to add another link to the historic chain: the 1-1-4 movement in the '60s, the Polytechnic uprising in 1973, the 1990-91 movement, the generation of Alexandros. Without underestimating the other big youth events of the past (the student movements of the late '70s, the recent movement against privatisation of university level education, the pupil movement of '98, the exploding moments of the "wild youth" like the '95 Polytechnic riots), it seems that this uprising has the amplitude, the symbolisms and the intensity to constitute a real catalyst for important social shifts. In a few words, it can change things.

And then a more sentimental reading of the events: Theses days donated generously to everyone, even to TV-viewers, unbelievable moments of beauty. Sometimes "classic" beauty, like thousands of 16 year old boys and girls in the streets, shouting, throwing stones, locking the cops in their police stations and then offering them flowers, crying and laughing. It opens your heart. Dwellers of cafes in Korai square, freeing "our children" from the riot police, residents in Nea Smirni, and in many other neighbourhoods and cities doing the same. There were also moments of "surreal" beauty, with the huge Christmas tree burning in front of the parliament being the most characteristic of those. And finally, so many moments of "wild" beauty - even if lots of people cannot appreciate them - hundreds of stones in the air, molotov cocktails lighting up the streets, and yes - banks and corporate stores burning. It doesn't really matter who started the fire, if people could do it with their minds there would be no bank standing in Greece right now. Such was the intensity of the collective craving in the streets.

The media, greek as well as international, reflecting i think the general feeling of "orderly" people worldwide, are under a state of shock. Especially the greek media change their "line" daily, sometimes even within a few minutes, trying to come up with a familiar, reassuring discourse, that would provide a feeling of safety in the face of events that they cannot understand and scare them to death. They try to fit what's happening in schemes they know (or think they know) and feel that they can control. But still, the "society of the orderly" was shocked last Monday when they saw thousands of organized pupils attacking police stations all over Greece. Where can one catalogue these images?

Comrade Halvatzis (an MP of the Greek Communist Party), last Thursday in a Parliament Session, declared with absolute certainty: "Pupils do not smash banks. Pupils, youth, students do not smash, do not destroy things". So then who does? The middle-aged, the public servants or the pensioners? See nothing, hear nothing, know nothing. In the face of the unexpected, a part of society (at the top as well as at its base) resorts to pure denial. They expel the cause of the events to the realm of the supernatural, discovering again the mythical and exotic creature of the "hoodbearer". They don't care why these people wear hoods in the demonstrations (a wild guess: because they don't want to be identified by the cameras and later receive a not so polite visit by the police). It doesn't matter one bit who is under the hood, what's his or her story. Anyways, the hoodbearer (the source of evil) is not entitled to any social or human attributes. Neither young, nor old. Neither a pupil, nor a student, a worker or simply unemployed. It's neither a boy, nor a girl. Hardly a person at all. It's simple the hoodbearer, who lives in another planet (the planet of the Enemies of Democracy) far away from us, and lands every now and then in the centre of Athens to destroy things. Or else, total absurdity is sometimes preferable to the fear of the unknown.

Another part of the society, fortunately much larger, understands that the events carry great importance, that they constitute an expression of social feelings that have grown to explosive dimensions. They are trying to locate the "why" of this uprising, to create linear relationships between cause and effect, in an effort to give meaning to the unexpected. The global media also fall in this category, attributing the uprising to the economic crisis, the unemployment and the government scandals. This logic is telling us that the youth are revolting because they fear that in the future they won't be able to find work, they won't be able to support a family, they won't be able to afford a house and a car. They rise up because they feel that they are denied the chance to live like the "grownups" live now. Which is to say: See everything, hear nothing and explain the "other" with your own values.

But if you really want to understand what other people are telling you, you just have to hear them. Clear your mind for a moment, open some space for new thoughts. The youth is revolting because they want to live. With every last one of the meanings of the word "life". They want to live freely, they want space to create, to emancipate themselves, to play. They don't want to spend their adolescence in 12 hour days of school and extra courses, their first adult years in the pointless chase of a university degree, the passport to a glorious 800 euro - 48 hours a week job in a boring office. They don't want to be dependent on their families in order to start a family of their own. And honestly, they don't even care about starting a family. Bored of "having fun" in video games cafes, clubs, stadiums, shopping malls and commercial concerts. They are not jealous of "normality" and do not seek it. On the contrary, they see this "promise" of normality getting even worse: the school even more exhausting, the hideous job getting even more hideous, the university starting to resemble the school. And marriage looking like a sentence to prison.

This is not a "no future" generation, it's simply a generation that does not accept the present as its future, that simply can't stand the idea that this present will freeze and reproduce forever. At 32, still "unsettled" in every sense of the word, this is how i feel part of this youth. We do not share the cynicism, the dysthymia of a society that keeps on repeating "what can you do, that's the way things will always be". We crave to construct our own, autonomous future. And there are a lot of things standing in our way. That's the point of unity between pupils, students, young working /unemployed /precarious adults. When you really want to live, a spark is enough to make you instinctively attack anything that you think stands in your way. In these moments the youth feels that police stations, riot police squads and banks are blocking their way, so they're just trying to push them aside. If they won't budge, you just have to burn them down (which of course doesn't work that way, but that's the drive to do it). And in personal life, the obstacles are being realized as your family, your bosses, your "responsibilities".

Still, the intensity of this particular uprising also comes from its own starting point. When one feels that his or her life is in danger, even in the strict biological sense, reacting is also a matter of pure survival. Alexandros was just 16 years old, and if you hear what the pupils are saying, it's clear that they have totally identified with him. No obstacle, no fear can stand in the way of the instinct to survive. They can hit me, arrest me, expel me from school, but if i don't do something i could be next. The cop's bullet has awakened life's deepest reflexes in greek kids, and now...good luck to the orderly trying to get them back to the herd.

These days life is getting its revenge, with all its force. Only the evolution of events can tell us if this explosion of the desire to live will open creative paths, smaller or larger, or if it will be contained. I fear only for one outcome: that the dynamics of violence, which the mechanisms of power know excellently how to use, will draw the limits of this uprising. Anger and rage are initially propulsive feelings, but when they freeze they usually lead to depression. Besides personal psychology, this seems to be the case for social psychology as well. The best case scenario would be a solid "victory" for this movement, like the resignation of the government or at least of the whole police administration. The youth feels emancipated right now, and it needs a symbolic affirmation. One should not underestimate symbolism, it yields tremendous power. Alexandros himself is the best proof for that...

~ ~

When the Bee Gees were the anthem of Chinese reform

Deng was popular because he symbolized open-mindedness and pragmatism, as opposed to the Maoist radicalism and isolationism of the past. Foreign students in Beijing took Deng's political ascendancy as a signal, at last, for throwing away restrictions and relating with China and the Chinese people in a new and normal way.

For weeks, my dormitory on the campus of the Beijing Language Institute pulsated with dance parties, as if Boney M and the Bee Gees were the anthem of reform.

The restrictive system of curfews and gate registration – that effectively barred Chinese guests or Chinese girl friends during late hours – broke down. I once asked the old gatekeeper why he was no longer doing the job of screening and registering guests.

"It's supposed to be open-door now," he said. "I'm not sure, I'm confused."

[ ... ]

I began working for NBC News under Beijing Bureau Chief Sandy Gilmour soon after the bureau opened in late 1982. One memorable story we did was that of Charlie Two Shoes, which illustrates how China dealt with Western media in the early years of the open-door policy.

In 1946, U.S. Marines stationed in China during World War II adopted an 11-year-old boy and nicknamed him "Charlie Two Shoes" because that was easier to pronounce than his real name Tsui Chi Hsii. Charlie lived and learned English from his Marine buddies until 1949, when the Communist revolution forced the Americans out of China.
Charlie Two Shoes suffered imprisonment and humiliation as a suspected U.S. spy, but he clung on to his hopes. And true enough, by 1983, Charlie reestablished contact with his buddies, who in turn devised a plan to invite him to America.

Finding Charlie and obtaining media access was a challenge, as his village and vast areas of Shandong province remained off-limits to foreigners, even after four years of the open-door policy.

We negotiated repeatedly with the local government, and eventually we found common ground, convincing them that the story would benefit the newly re-established relations between the United States and China.

But there were compromises. We agreed not to venture into Charlie's village, but that rather the local government would transport him to Tsingdao, where Sandy could interview him for an exclusive report. We covered Charlie's departure for America, where he was joined years later by his family. The lesson of his story became an important guide for future news gathering in China.

~ more... ~

The Madoff Generation

I don't know what to call the generations on the rise, but Generation Xcess would do just fine for the one now in charge of global affairs. We have taken the greatest financial, technological and political opportunities the world has ever offered and abused them for our own pleasures, greed and egos. We read about Bernie Madoff so avidly because deep down, Bernie is one of us. He got what he could while he could.

That is particularly true, but not uniquely true, of Americans. Bernie was one of all of us who refused to vote for politicians who would raise our taxes and make the nation live within its means, even as we went to war. Bernie was one of all of us who did not demand more diligent supervision of financial markets as long as the outsize returns kept flowing. And in his own special way, Bernie was one of all of us who wasted energy in myriad forms, kept on consuming imported goods even when it meant going into debt to foreign lands that do not wish us well, and cut budgets for regulatory and law enforcement agencies even in the fat years.

So we got what we didn't pay for, too. And so will our children. They are awakening to this grossly unfair state of affairs.

This is a generational tragedy only a Shakespeare could love. But the playwright would have to become a foreign correspondent to write this one. The fuse of anger is already lit in Europe, where young people are more accustomed to taking to the streets to play out family and generational conflicts in political terms and the police are accustomed to responding forcefully.

Two weeks of student riots and protests in Greece have left at least 70 people injured and hundreds of businesses and shops vandalized. Sparked by the police killing of a 15-year-old protester, Greece's wave of unrest certainly reflects immediate local causes as well as deeper concerns about jobs and political fecklessness. It is hard to know just what to make of protesters hurling Molotov cocktails at the national Christmas tree, as occurred in Athens. Nothing good is my guess.

But the same dry kindling of the Greek uprising is scattered around Europe, where youth unemployment rates are double or triple those of the population over 24, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and retirement benefits are politically untouchable. Similar tensions are rising in China as the global recession deepens, in oil-producing countries such as Russia and Iran that are caught in the whiplash of rising and falling prices, and most of all in developing countries with broken governments and economies that punish the educated young disproportionately.

~ more... ~

African hot spots in 2009

As I noted in this column space at this same time last year, the end of one year and the beginning of another is an ideal time "both to take stock of where we have been and to look ahead at the paths we are likely to take and the battles which we will have to fight in the coming months." This is even truer when the specific area of interest under examination is the security situation in Africa, especially at a historic moment like the present one when, within the fortnight, Barack Obama will take the oath of office as the forty-fourth President of the United States of America, an event which, as I observed here two months ago, has been greeted with such enthusiasm by Africans that the new chief executive has "a rare opportunity to translate effusive sentiments of good will into a windfall of diplomatic capital which, if he husbands it prudently, can significantly advance America's values and interests on the continent while helping to achieve Africans' aspirations for peace, stability, and development."

What follows is a broad survey of five of the most significant conflicts or flashpoints which will require the attention of the incoming administration and its African and other international partners in the coming year.

~ more... ~

This quest for security endangers us all

The latest round of Israeli's 'search for security' is now unfolding before our eyes. The timing of the Israeli attacks is significant. Israeli elections are due mid 2009, the new US president takes over early January and the Palestinian president's term expires early January.

In all three cases the destruction of Hamas is seen as a plus allowing. In this transition period of the US president and the Israeli government, especially no one will bear any political cost of the killings. And the new governments in Tel Aviv and Washington will take over in a 'more secure minus Hamas' environment. That is at least what is intended.

After showering continuous death and destruction on the Gaza Israelis are now intermittently allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza. Also the Israeli government is busy trying to construct its own version of what is happening.

Here is the text of the interview BBC's World Today conducted on December 29 with Mark Regev is a spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and posted it on its web site.

Israeli Spokesman: I would really urge a word of caution about the statements about high civilian casualties in Gaza, I am not sure it is true. Hamas has established in Gaza over the last year or so a Taleban like regime —  they have eroded independent institutions, civil society has become under the boot of Hamas…and it is very difficult to find accurate numbers.

BBC: So you saying don't believe the numbers coming out of Gaza.

Israeli Spokesman: Correct. They are questionable. Listen to what Hamas is saying like as if its only civilians are being hit and that we haven't hit a single Hamas gunmen. It's obviously not true.

BBC: But surely you have seen the images of men women and children in hospitals those wounded and those dead? Is Israel not concerned about the widening humanitarian crisis that is being created as a result of the bombardment?

Israeli Spokesman: Today some one hundred trucks will be entering Gaza with humanitarian support foodstuff, medicines and so forth. We don't want to see humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

This Israeli fabrication cannot fly in the face of facts. Neither does its concern for the Palestinian liberty and civil society! People see the truth that some sections of the Western and Arab media, including the BBC, are transmitting through airwaves. We know the latest round of Tel Aviv-authored and executed carnage of the illfated, helpless but unyielding, Palestinians is underway.

Is there no one to protect and comfort those dying and devastating Palestinians, the young and old, the children, women? The answer is hardly anyone who can exert power at the national or global level.

Otherwise, there are millions whose hearts bleed for the Palestinians —  the truly wretched of our earth, for the children of a lesser god.

~ more... ~

South Asia at war

CAMBRIDGE - Last month's terrorist assault in Mumbai targeted not only India's economy and sense of security. Its broader goal was to smash the India-Pakistan dŽtente that has been taking shape since 2004.

The attackers did not hide their faces or blow themselves up with suicide jackets. Anonymity was not their goal. They wanted to be identified as defenders of a cause. Unless this cause is fully understood, and its roots revealed across the region, this attack may prove to be the beginning of the unmaking of South Asia.

Regional conflict, involving all of the region's states and increasing numbers of non-state actors, has produced large numbers of trained fighters, waiting for the call to glory. Within both India and Pakistan, economic disparities and a sense of social injustice have created fertile ground for conflict. The use and abuse of religious fervor, whether "jihadi" or "Hindu fundamentalist," are striking at the roots of communal harmony across South Asia.

Much of the current trouble can be traced to Afghanistan, whose tragedy could never have remained confined within its designated borders. The dynamics of the region changed when the Afghan freedom fighters of 1980's were converted into "mujahidin" through a criminal enterprise in which both the West and the Muslim world happily participated. Pakistan, always insecure about India, became the hub of this transformation. The West thought it had moved on after the fall of the Soviet empire, but the region - and increasingly the global community - continues to pay a heavy price for this unholy project.

The ills of two decades in South Asia can be attributed to the Afghan jihad years: the rise of the Taliban, the dominance of Pakistani-sponsored religious fanatics within the Kashmir freedom movement, and the eventual spread of sectarian conflict within Pakistan. In Afghanistan, Pakistan's military and intelligence agencies sought "strategic depth" against India. Moreover, they wanted payback for India's role in supporting the revolt in the 1960's and 1970's that led to Bangladesh's independence from Pakistan.

India is not blameless here. It was pursuing a two-pronged strategy - making the argument that all was well in Kashmir (a blatant lie) and supporting ethnic confrontation in Pakistan. Violent intelligence wars between Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) have become a brutal reality in South Asia.

~ more... ~

Internet censorship and the revolt of the masses

Democratic governments have toyed with the idea of Internet censorship for years. ISP-level filtering technology is slowly progressing, but the changing politics of Internet usage is undermining public support for censorship. The issue of Internet content censorship has been a staple of politics since the mid-1990s. Attempts have been made to regulate content. In Western countries, these efforts have typically focused on content providers, with ISPs in the secondary role of taking down illegal or offensive content as instructed by police or regulators. To some, ISP-level filtering technology seems to offer an alternative. But does it?

It seemed like a good idea at the time

The Australian government came to power in November 2007 with a plan to trial ISP-level filtering at a national level. At the time, this seemed an innocuous proposal. Who could oppose just trialing something?

A laboratory trial by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) was inconclusive. It found that ISP level filtering could slow networks by as much as 87%, as little as 2%, or something in between, depending on the product being tested.

But real-world filtering must rely on a blacklist, a keyword filter or some other mechanism, which will always deliver a number of false negatives and (worse) false positives. That is, 'bad' content will get through and 'good' content will be blocked, no matter how efficient the filter.

So there was nothing in the trial to attract ISPs, which could only face additional cost and degraded performance if filtering were implemented.

That would have been a good place for the government to stop, and a perfect excuse to do so. However, the government announced that it wished to proceed to field trials. This is when the trouble began. A barrage of negative press and online petitions were fuelled by the refusal of major ISPs to become involved in the field trials. The Minister was forced to defend the project against opposition attack.

~ more... ~

History beyond the nation-state

When Matthew Connelly was looking at graduate schools, he knew that his application wouldn't land naturally on any one historian's pile to review. The departments, he said, were made up of “Americanists, Europeanists, and otherists.” Connelly, now an associate professor of history at Columbia University, was none of the above. He wanted to explore ideas related to Algeria's independence from France, but didn't want to be called a scholar only of French colonialism or only of North Africa, and he didn't want to restrict himself to the power of governments and the military. The ideas associated with that revolt don't belong just with one topic, he said Saturday at a session of the annual meeting of the American Historical Association.

Connelly is a proponent of “transnational” history, a field that is still being defined. Some people have been doing it for a long time, and the name has been used for several years now. But in a sign that it is achieving a critical mass of scholars and putting down roots, the AHA held a session on “doing transnational history” in order to highlight both some of the promising work and the efforts to support scholars who do it.

While some people use “transnational” and “international” and “global” interchangeably, those on the panel Saturday and other leaders in the field tend to view transnational as more than just international or global. The focus on transnational is on movements or ideas or conditions that cross national borders and that are not best examined through the structure of the nation-state. So somebody could do research comparing key events that took place in various countries, doing lots of comparative work about government leaders and their actions, and that would be global or international, but not transnational.

Many of the most significant developments in history — whether in religion, philosophy, the environment, or other aspects of life — happen “irrespective of national identities,” said Akira Iriye, a professor of history at Harvard University. “It's a very exciting moment in the profession to see so many historians moving in this direction.”

~ more... ~

Global Recession, Nigeria and the Merril Lynch Fallacy

The celebration of the triumph of Capitalism over Communist ideals was indeed a hasty and premature one and a function of naive understanding of classic Marxist ideology and the dialectics of international political economy in a changing world. Though I am not a practicing communist(so that I am not misunderstood), but has anybody asked why the Governments of Capitalist economies - The US, Britain, France Germany, Japan etc are now buying up shares and debts of private financial institutions? Why did the world's largest capitalist society the United States massively elect a President who was characterised as a Communist and a redistributor of wealth? This apparent recourse to the same Communist ideals whose repudiation had formed the basis of modern day capitalism is an eloquent testimony that indeed the world did not arrive at the end of history with capitalism, and the last man will certainly not be liberal democracy.

The contention by Western Capitalist theorists (left unchallenged for decades) was that the extreme exploitation of the working class in Europe and America which Karl Marx had predicted will lead to a common consciousness and consequently a revolt against the system, did not eventually occur as a result of the so called flexibility of the capitalist system which provides through its welfare mechanism a substantially decent living for the so exploited workers to make for a minimum standard of living. Nothing could be farther away from the truth than this. This theory tended to treat in context, the economies of Europe as distinct and insular from the colonial economies that funded their wealth during the colonial era. Indeed the predicted contradictions of Capitalism occurred internationally. It was the sweat, blood and sufferings of the workers and masses in the former colonies that provided the cushion for the working class in Europe and America. By taking from sources (the colonies) to which they were not giving back anything, the Governments of the Imperial States had an excess with which they provided more for their own working class and thus created the so - called flexibility of capitalism.

[ ... ]

Last month, the Nigerian reading public was thrown into a frenzy of jubilation when Merril Lynch, a leading global financial management and advisory company, released a report saying that Nigeria is the safest economy on earth in the face of the global financial crisis rocking the biggest economies in the world presently. The message behind this report is that the Nigerian economy has the least vulnerability to the financial crisis in the global system occasioned by massive credit crunch.

First of all, there are two key issues I will like to address here - the statement by Merril Lynch as it is, and the context of the statement in terms of its nuances and subtexts. Taken austerely, that statement simply amounts to an incalculable pettiness of instincts. It is reminiscent of seventy year old woman rejoicing because a foreteller assured her she will not die of childbirth. The Nigerian economy is a semi-primitive economy with only the barest minimal level of credit financing. It is a cash- based economy operating at the periphery of the global financial credit system hence insulated from speculation based exchanges within the international division of labour. Need anyone tell us that such an economy cannot go into a credit crunch? A man who is carrying nothing does not break anything.

~ more... ~

Global Revolt - By Amory Starr, Tim Russo

Direct Action gives a short history of the worldwide anti-globalization movement and provides social activists with all they need to know about the key concepts and manifestos in this richly diverse mobilization of the people. It provides a veritable user's guide to the key debates going on in the movement and explains the array of tactics and actions people are using around the world to put pressure on the powerful in order to defeat free market capitalism and globalization. It emphasizes the political alternatives available and stresses the positive contribution activists can make.

~ more... ~

Israel may face charges for war crimes

Israel has committed war crimes and should be prosecuted in an international court, says Raji Sourani, head of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) in Gaza.

"The repeated bombing of clearly marked civilian buildings, where civilians were sheltering, crosses several red lines in regard to international law," Sourani told IPS.

Palestinian Authority (PA) delegate to Britain Professor Manuel Hassassian has said the PA will launch legal proceedings against Israeli leaders it says are responsible for war crimes in Gaza, according to a Palestinian news report.

Another 22 Palestinians were killed Wednesday morning in bombing and shelling as Israel's Operation Cast Lead entered day 11. The dead included four people killed in the shelling of a children's playground near a mosque in the Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood of Gaza city.

Six Israelis were treated for shock as several rockets from Gaza hit Israel.

Hassassian's comment came in the wake of Israeli shelling of a UN school in Jabaliya refugee camp Tuesday afternoon which killed over 40 Palestinians. Several other UN schools in the Gaza Strip were also hit in the last few days, resulting in a number of casualties.

The UN called for an investigation, stating that prior to the current operation the Israelis were given the precise coordinates of all UN institutions in Gaza.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has already condemned an Israeli attack on two members of the Palestinian Red Crescent (PRC) last week. The ICRC said the medics were wearing fluorescent jackets, their ambulances were clearly marked, and their flashing lights were on.

~ more... ~

Attack of the Turanian Land-Snatchers (Greece-Turkey)

What taxes the mind more than Europe's inability or rather disinclination to provide stringent ground rules for Turkey's integration with Europe, is the Greek government's practice of placing the Greek minority's property rights rather low on the agenda of Graeco-Turkish relations. Indeed, this seems to be fatal, considering that recourse does exist for claims of compensation or restitution of wrongly appropriated land by minority groups, to the European Court of Human Rights. Given that legal experts generally rate the Constantinopolitans' chances of success at that forum at 90%, one is at a loss to consider why this avenue is not being vigorously pursued. Fear, and a repeat of the pogrom of 1955 may have a lot to do with this.

This notwithstanding, the precedent set by the Loizidou case in occupied Cyprus could be wielded with great effect both on worldwide public opinion and Turkish policy. Though it may prevaricate and attempt to avoid responsibilities, a Turkey that will enter the European Union will have to eventually accept the judgments of its courts or face exclusion and/or expulsion. In contrast to Greece, which is content to leave those who more than anyone else have remained true to her through over 600 years of asphyxiating pressure, Turkey has identified the risk of mass applications to the European Courts by Christian communities and it is for this reason that confiscated land is sold off to third parties so quickly. Presumably, if push comes to shove, Turkey will seek a "compensation deal," which will come too little to late for the terrorized last few remnants of Byzantium, unless legal assistance is given to them by their compatriots.

Similarly, there is absolutely no point in being in Europe, unless Greece utilizes the European judicial system to the full, in order to protect its cultural heritage and its people. There is no reason why this cannot be done for instance, not only in the case of minority charitable institutions, but in the matter of the re-opening of the Halki Theological College. Despite promises by Prime Minister Erdogan and the fact that a multitude of private educational institutions have now been opened in Turkey, the Turkish government denies its Christian minorities their religious freedom by keeping this important College closed. Furthermore, it has legislated so that the various Greek graveyards that dot Constantinople now belong to local councils, rather than the Church and the Greek community. These are issues in which Greece needs to actively assist the ailing Greek community of Constantinople, rather than merely pay lip service to it like the West does, as if it were an alien, unimportant flock of ghosts soon to be consigned only to an existence in the musty tomes of history.

~ more... ~

Musical Innerlube: 10CC - I wanna rule the world

Palestine: Let people know what happens there

Please keep forwarding these facts. Let people know what happens there.

Por favor reenvia ese mail. El mundo debe saber que pasa alla.

أرجوك استمر في تمرير هذه الحقائق، اجعل العالم يعرف ماذا يحدث هناك في فلسطين

Making sure they get to school.

Helping Ladies across the street..

Providing childcare

[picture removed by mod due to their disturbing nature]

Allowing them a place to rest (permanently)

[pictures removed by mod due to their disturbing nature]

Access to Health care.

Construction projects (demolition)

[picture removed by mod due to their disturbing nature]

Respecting American and British pacifist resisters (such as American Rachel Corrie)

And others.

And if you are not satisfied, now, with the truth the following pictures are war crimes as defined by the UN, The Hague and the Geneva Convention.

Using images of your enemy dead or alive (violation)

Human shields (violation)

Live Burial Torture (violation)

And as a last resort, Execution (violation)

These IDF soldiers have faces... I can clearly see them...Cant you? Why are they not being prosecuted? Because it is systematic process that is driven by the government designed to force the people of Palestine into exile so Israel can claim all the land and resources.

This where my American tax dollars are going, do you know where your tax dollars are at? TAKE THE TIME TO FIND THE TRUTH. So many lives depend on it I, like so many Americans, am Caucasian, non-Arab, and religious. I can no longer sit back with good conscience and do nothing while my government is supporting the types of terrorist actions that we have condemned Muslim Fundamentalist for. Call your Congressman and Senator, send an email to the White House and demand that our government negotiate FAIRLY with both sides and bring a fair and just solution to Palestine and Israel .

~ Qatar Living ~

A tourist's video of Athens uprising in December

The revolution will not be televised

Gary Snyder : Smokey the Bear Sutra



Once in the Jurassic about 150 million years ago, the Great Sun Buddha in this corner of the Infinite Void gave a discourse to all the assembled elements and energies: to the standing beings, the walking beings, the flying beings, and the sitting beings--even the grasses, to the number of thirteen billion, each one born from a seed, assembled there: a Discourse concerning Enlightenment on the planet Earth.

"In some future time, there will be a continent called America. It will have great centers of power called such as Pyramid Lake, Walden Pond, Mt. Rainier, Big Sur, Everglades, and so forth; and powerful nerves and channels such as Columbia River, Mississippi River, and Grand Canyon. The human race in that era will get into troubles all over its head, and practically wreck everything in spite of its own strong intelligent Buddha-nature."

"The twisting strata of the great mountains and the pulsings of volcanoes are my love burning deep in the earth. My obstinate compassion is schist and basalt and granite, to be mountains, to bring down the rain. In that future American Era I shall enter a new form; to cure the world of loveless knowledge that seeks with blind hunger: and mindless rage eating food that will not fill it."

And he showed himself in his true form of


A handsome smokey-colored brown bear standing on his hind legs, showing that he is aroused and watchful.

Bearing in his right paw the Shovel that digs to the truth beneath appearances; cuts the roots of useless attachments, and flings damp sand on the fires of greed and war;

His left paw in the mudra of Comradely Display--indicating that all creatures have the full right to live to their limits and that of deer, rabbits, chipmunks, snakes, dandelions, and lizards all grow in the realm of the Dharma;

Wearing the blue work overalls symbolic of slaves and laborers, the countless men oppressed by a civilization that claims to save but often destroys;

Wearing the broad-brimmed hat of the west, symbolic of the forces that guard the wilderness, which is the Natural State of the Dharma and the true path of man on Earth:

all true paths lead through mountains--

With a halo of smoke and flame behind, the forest fires of the kali-yuga, fires caused by the stupidity of those who think things can be gained and lost whereas in truth all is contained vast and free in the Blue Sky and Green Earth of One Mind;

Round-bellied to show his kind nature and that the great earth has food enough for everyone who loves her and trusts her;

Trampling underfoot wasteful freeways and needless suburbs, smashing the worms of capitalism and totalitarianism;

Indicating the task: his followers, becoming free of cars, houses, canned foods, universities, and shoes, master the Three Mysteries of their own Body, Speech, and Mind; and fearlessly chop down the rotten trees and prune out the sick limbs of this country America and then burn the leftover trash.

Wrathful but calm. Austere but Comic. Smokey the Bear will Illuminate those who would help him; but for those who would hinder or slander him...


Thus his great Mantra:

Namah samanta vajranam chanda maharoshana Sphataya hum traka ham mam


And he will protect those who love the woods and rivers, Gods and animals, hobos and madmen, prisoners and sick people, musicians, playful women, and hopeful children:

And if anyone is threatened by advertising, air pollution, television, or the police, they should chant SMOKEY THE BEAR'S WAR SPELL:





And SMOKEY THE BEAR will surely appear to put the enemy out with his vajra-shovel.

Now those who recite this Sutra and then try to put it in practice will accumulate merit as countless as the sands of Arizona and Nevada.

Will help save the planet Earth from total oil slick.
Will enter the age of harmony of man and nature.
Will win the tender love and caresses of men, women, and beasts.
Will always have ripened blackberries to eat and a sunny spot under a pine tree to sit at.


...thus we have heard...

(may be reproduced free forever)

~ Sacred Texts ~

Love in the ruins of democracy - The Greek Uprising of 2008

"It is part of the wider attack of the state and the bosses against the entire society, in order to impose more rigid conditions of exploitation and oppression, to consolidate control and repression. From school and universities to the dungeons of waged slavery with the hundreds of dead workers in the so-called “working accidents” and the poverty embracing large numbers of the population… From the minefields in the borders, the pogroms and the murders of immigrants and refugees to the numerous “suicides” in prisons and police stations… from the “accindental [sic] shootings” in police blockades to violent repression of local resistances, Democracy is showing its teeth!"

Students of the occupied Athens School of Economics stated:

"The democratic regime in its peaceful façade doesn't kill an Alex every day, precisely because it kills thousands of Ahmets, Fatimas, JorJes, Jin Tiaos and Benajirs: because it assassinates systematically, structurally and without remorse the entirety of the third world, that is the global proletariat. It is in this way, through this calm everyday slaughter, that the idea of freedom is born: freedom not as a supposedly panhuman good, nor as a natural right for all, but as the war cry of the damned, as the premise of civil war."

In Athens alone, one thousand Anarchists spent New Year's Eve forsaking clubs and parties to gather outside prisons where their comrades were incarcerated. Throughout Greece, they remained close to those who were alone and locked away, trading chants of solidarity with the prisoners.

Much, but not all, of the insurrection activity has settled for now. Further student demonstrations in Greece are set to renew in early January. The rebellion is expected to continue and may take on new forms. The starting gun has been fired.

"And by anarchist spirit I mean that deeply human sentiment, which
aims at the good of all, freedom and justice for all, solidarity and
love among the people; which is not an exclusive characteristic only
of self-declared anarchists, but inspires all people who have a
generous heart and an open mind..."
-- Errico Malatesta, Italian anarchist, agitator & theorist.

~ more... ~

Who appointed Greek anarchists to run Greece?

Obviously from someone who doesn't 'get it':

Meanwhile, the demonstrations are spreading across Europe, where other students looking for a fun rumble are emulating their Greek colleagues. But Europe isn't alone in this. In my own university town of Santa Cruz, California, well known for its radical tastes, anarchists vandalized ATM machines and banks downtown on December 14th. These self-identified “anarchists” posted a web site justifying their vandalism “because the uprising of our comrades in Greece, England, Moscow and elsewhere will not go without a response.”
Somehow, these half-educated and overly hopped-up students believe that they are doing the great work of social activism. Of course they are delusional in thinking that their destructive behavior will change “corruption, nepotism, a failing education system, and poor economic prospects.” The 25% unemployment rate among young people is largely due to their unfitness for work needed by their societies. There are too many university degrees and too few mechanics, and they are too full of themselves to soil their hands with the infrastructure work so needed by all of our societies. They have no problem relegating this work to their “little brown brothers” from poorer places in the world – even coming illegally.
We could well have the same violence in the U.S., although we really do not have a history, as does Europe, of university rumbles as a rite of passage. Many students – those who are not immersed in their studies but instead take “Demonstrations 101” – are easily led. Mobs are notoriously mindless and violence is easily provoked. Anarchists (undoubtedly not young students) are organizing these mobs in “teach-ins,” where they offer a skewed version of history to eager and empty minds.
Marxists have long been masters of this process; now it is anarchists, who offer even less by way of solutions to social problems. A good professor would ask them: “How would YOU fix these social problems?” But nobody is really looking for solutions, arrived at through critical thinking, compromise, and lawful governance. These young people are not getting critical thinking; they are getting (quite unknown to them) mob manipulators and future dictators who will take away all their freedoms.
Anarchists are very good at burning stores, cars, and hurling petrol bombs and rocks at riot police, who are constrained from hurting them. In Greece, the Retailers Association said riots caused an estimated $135 million in damage to stores and was likely to cost businesses $2 billion in lost revenue. Dozens of people were injured in the rioting, while hundreds of stores were looted and more than 200 people arrested.

Greek interior minister survives Cabinet reshuffle

Greece's embattled leader reshuffled his Cabinet on Wednesday but retained his interior minister, who has been sharply criticized for the government's handling of riots across the nation last month.

The riots, the worst civil unrest Greece had seen in decades, spread to many cities and hurt the increasingly unpopular Conservative government, 16 months after Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis was re-elected. He has a majority of just one seat in parliament, and has faced several scandals and dissent within his own party.

The changes in the Karamanlis' reshuffle included the replacement of Giorgos Alogoskoufis as finance minister by his deputy, Yiannis Papathanasiou. Alogoskoufis has been credited with maintaining relatively high growth as Europe's economy slowed down, but also had to implement unpopular spending restraints.

The prime minister kept several other key posts unchanged, including the ministers of defense, foreign affairs and interior, who oversees the police.

Giorgos Papaconstantinou, a spokesman for the opposition Socialist party, said the reshuffle would not solve any of Greece's problems.

~ more... ~

Successor to November 17 terror group believed exploiting unrest in Greece

"This is a group clearly trying to murder police," Greek police commander Vassilis Tsiatouras said.

Officials said the Revolutionary Struggle, which relayed its claim in a telephone call to a Greek television station, could be one of several anti-Western groups that have sought to exploit the anti-police riots over the last month. They said some of the groups were believed to have changed their names to avoid arrest.

The riots, mostly by young Greeks, have begun to include the use of firearms. In January 2009, police were attacked several times with light arms fire by those who appeared to be demonstrators.

The Revolutionary Struggle, deemed a terrorist group by the European Union, was first reported in 2003. In 2007, the group claimed responsibility for the firing of an anti-tank rocket toward the U.S. embassy. Both Greece and the United States have offered a $2 million reward for information that would lead to the arrest of leaders of the Revolutionary Struggle.

Officials said the Revolutionary Struggle was also believed involved in a submachine gun attack on police. They said the 9 mm weapon was also said to have been fired toward a police station in Athens in 2007.

~ more... ~

Did the Holy Roman Empire plan the Greek crisis?

 The rioting started December 6 after police shot and killed 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos. His death triggered a fierce reaction across the country.

But Alexandros's tragic death was simply the spark. The real fuel for the fire came from Greece's troubled economy.

Many of the people rioting are angry about the government's handling of the economic crisis. The unions want higher social spending, wages and pensions. Greece's two largest unions, the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (gsee) and the adedy civil servants union, had planned a public demonstration in protest of the failing economy before Alexandros's shooting. The melee caused by this huge demonstration merged with the mass youth riots to create chaos on city streets in Greece and grind the nation to a standstill.

The Greek government can do little to fix the nation's economy though. Greece's fate was, in many ways, sealed seven years ago.

In 2001, Greece adopted the euro, as a member of the European Union. At that point, Greece's succeeding economic boom and following bust became inevitable. Columnist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard explained the situation in the Telegraph: “[T]here is obviously a problem for countries like Greece that were let into emu [Economic and Monetary Union] for political reasons before their economies had been reformed enough to cope with the rigors of euro life—over the long run. …

“Greece's euro membership has now led to a warped economy. The current account deficit is 15 percent of gdp, the eurozone's highest by far. Indeed, the deficit ($53 billion) is the sixth-biggest in the world in absolute terms—quite a feat for a country of 11 million people” (Dec. 10, 2008).

Greece's foreign debt is a staggering 91 percent of its gross domestic product. Greece's banks are in crisis. The government has pledged to bail them out with €28 billion. But with Greece's economy in such bad condition, the Greek government will have difficulty borrowing the €28 billion it wants to give the banks. This could mean it will have to take the money away from its social welfare programs. That would make social unrest in Greece even worse.

There is no way out—and, according to some analysts, it was designed from the beginning to become that way. Those analysts agree with the brutal facts unfolding in Europe.

Bernard Connolly is a civil servant who authored The Rotten Heart of Europe, which exposed the evils of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism and the truth about the European Union. Over a year ago, he explained the process in an article in the Telegraph: “[T]he EU quite deliberately created the most dangerous credit bubble of all: emu. And, whereas the mission of the Fed is to avoid a financial crisis, the mission of the ecb [European Central Bank] is to provoke one. The purpose of the crisis will be, as Prodi, then Commission president, said in 2002, to allow the EU to take more power for itself. The sacrificial victims will be, in the first instance, families and firms (and banks and investors) in countries such as Ireland …. Subsequently, German savers (or British taxpayers) will bear the burden of bailouts that a newly empowered 'EU economic government' will ordain” (Aug. 20, 2007, emphasis mine).

When the current European economic union was formalized, it became inevitable that countries like Greece would eventually face economic crises. Through the inclusion of Germany, the economic union allowed for European-wide interest rates that were much lower in countries like Greece than would normally have been possible. Low interest rates encouraged massive borrowing and artificially stimulated a boom. But as with all bubbles, eventually it popped. What Greece and other countries in southern Europe in particular are dealing with now is the aftermath.

~ more... ~

The alternative's alternative

6 Jan, 2009

The 'alternative media,' an early-adopter of web technologies, has been left behind by the hyper-individualism of citizen journalism's new turns, Evgeny Morozov writes for openDemocracy.

By Evgeny Morozov for

Whatever their impact on the domestic politics in Greece, the youth riots that have besieged Athens and other Greek cities earlier this month have also given rise to a new global phenomenon - the "networked protest." While it was not for the first time that the Internet has made the planning and the execution of the protest actions more effective, it was probably the first time that an issue of mostly local importance has triggered solidarity protests across the whole continent, some of them led by the Greek diaspora, but many of them led by disaffected youth who were sympathetic of the movement's causes.

The Internet was crucial to this whole effort, as many amateur photos and videos were shared and uploaded online instantaneously by the very participants in the protests, creating an illusion of remote participation for anyone who was following the protests on blogs and other social media. Whether the Internet has actually helped to recruit many new protesters in Greece itself is debatable; it is, after all, a national issue that is hard to miss for anyone, whether they spend most of their offline or online.

The Internet's role in generating protests outside of Greece has been much more prominent, as has made it possible for protesters to form networks across borders, better coordinate campaigns and to keep international protest activities, no matter how small, in the news. Most of those networks are by all means weak and short-lived - it's even possible that the majority of 150,000 people who joined the Facebook group will leave it soon after the protests are over - yet, they were still effective in the short term, giving us a glimpse of what the transnational networked public sphere might look like.

That so many radicals have taken to the Web in search of a global platform is not surprising; since its very early days, it has been a magnet for revolutionary forces. From the anti-Milosevic groups in Serbia in late 1990s to the Zimbabwean opposition in 2008, the democratic protest movements have been exploring and experimenting with the Internet, hoping that it could amplify their traditional methods of organizing and sustaining protest.

A few such efforts - particularly those, where technology did play an important like (such as Ukraine's mobilization success in 2004) - have attracted quite significant attention from policy-makers and academics alike. For example, Patrick Meier, an affiliate of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, a think-tank at Harvard University and a PhD student at Tufts University, is currently running large-scale econometric models to observe how Internet access is correlated with political instability. Meier has found that an increase in cell-phone availability increases the likelihood (at least perceived by the public) that the government might be overthrown by violent means.

While extremely useful in analyzing the dynamics of technology-powered democratic change in authoritarian societies, models like Meier's still do not offer much insight into the role that the Internet plays in stimulating protest in countries like Greece. Elucidating its contribution to inciting and sustaining violent turmoil in well-off and well-wired democratic societies - where it usually empowers the marginalized and leftist group - is a puzzle for many scholars of the Internet. The solution to this puzzle might be particularly useful to various global movements that strive to unite the despised and the disaffected of this world in order to accomplish what Lenin and Trostky couldn't do in 1917: start a world revolution. The anti-globalization movement would for sure be one of them.

However, close observers of the riots on the Internet could not help noticing that the anti-globalists - the usual suspects of any loud public mischief - were hardly visible in the virtual space. This could have been strategic: their members may have preferred to act behind the curtains and avoid publicity. Yet another explanation is also possible: professional anti-globalists have simply been outnumbered by thousands of "freelance radicals," who have skillfully exploited the Internet, bypassing the cantankerous anti-globalist media in its entirety raising many questions about its usefulness and its future role.

Historically, the anti-globalization movement and its earlier national precursors have had a long and eventful engagement with media, old and new, always eager to embrace the latest gadgets and trends. From clandestine radio stations that empowered the liberation movement in El Salvador in the 1980s to the Zapatista's flirtation with the Internet in mid 1990s, Che Guevara's heirs were in the avant guard of media innovation. As access to the Internet became more widespread, the anti-globalization activists from all over the world found themselves connected to its giant protest grid and it seemed logical to build a lean, fast, and cheap reporting network to take advantage of it.

The most impressive of such networks- the Independent Media Center (or Indymedia) - sprang up in the wake of the Seattle anti-WTO protests of 1999, acquiring a cult status in the anti-globalization community overnight. Since then, Indymedia has been busy supplying their contributors with reporting equipment, organizing media trainings, and helping their stringers get their stories out to the general public. The years that followed - with a plenty of protest action around WTO and G8 summits - marked the renaissance of the alternative media.

However, by 2008 the usefulness of such initiatives seems less obvious; what looked novel in 1999 looks unnecessarily centralized and hierarchical today. In the aftermath of the protests, many Greek bloggers and citizen journalists naturally fitted the live news sections of premier American and Europe TV stations, got a chance to tell their stories, didn't need any special equipment but cell phones and laptops, and they certainly didn't need yet another platform for documenting what they saw or what they thought - they all had their own blogs and Twitter accounts, to post to.

With so much riot-related digital content generated elsewhere, the anti-globalization media faces oblivion and needs to find a new role. Curating all the numerous amateur photos, videos, and comments emerging from the riots would be one meaningful contribution they can make. Consider thousands of videos uploaded to YouTube, photos uploaded to Flickr, as well as blog and Twitter messages flying around the Web - it was virtually impossible for Greek and foreign observers alike to make sense of what was going on. And although Indymedia and several other anti-globalization outlets did try to aggregate some of this content at the outset of the riots, they attempts were short-lived, leaving the global public without the curator it needed so badly.

Indymedia's predicament is not unique. Many less radical institutions - governments, NGOs, think tanks - are struggling to address the same challenge, unable to respond to the rapidly shifting balance of power between the individual and the institution radically disrupted by the Internet. In today's ultra-networked world, an unaffiliated individual with a laptop and an Internet connection is often more influential and resourceful than an organization with a staff of twenty and a fax machine was only twenty years ago. This is a truly strange period of institutional change when an organization's vast assets also look like its greatest liabilities.

The Web's unmatched usefulness in providing access to research materials, mobilizing supporters, and raising money has already triggered protracted and painful soul-searching among many hierarchical, well-staffed and budget-driven organizations, who are getting increasingly unsure of their future role. However, just as traditional media organizations are gradually nudging towards embracing aggregation and curation as activities where they could add value, other institutions, whether anti-globalist or not, will have little choice but to follow suit and become the new networking hubs - rather than the headquarters - of social change, which would be increasingly enacted by individuals.

Evgeny Morozov is the founder of Poymeme. He is an Open Society Fellow and writing a book on how authoritarian governments deal with challenges from the Web.

~ Open Democracy ~

[ via International Relations and Security Network ]

The PRE-PLANNED financial/economic 911 of 2008

5.      Their MO! What else, but controlled demolition?  Throughout 2008, and especially this month of September, we have seen some of the world's largest banks, brokerage houses, mortgage lenders, insurance companies and investment brokers go bust, as each of them fell perfectly into their own footprint faster than you can say:  C  O  N  T  R  O  L  L  E  D        D  E  M  O  L  I  T  I  O  N  ! ! ! 

6.      The 700 billion dollar Bailout Plan is just like the Patriot Act, isn't it?  Only this time it's maybe a 2 or 3 page document (in its original form) that conferred absolute authority on the Executive Branch to do just about anything they want with the taxpayer's money.  And they want it rubber stamped now. Not tomorrow. NOW!!!  Without discussion, or unnecessary congressional debate.  Talk about Shock & Awe being used against the American people, and their elected representatives!?!  "The Greatest Depression" never sounded more like "Weapons of Mass Destruction", eh?!?!  

7.      Now we know we can expect further gyrations, panics and precipitous declines in the market and elsewhere, just as we had anthrax attacks in the Capital, beltway snipers in Maryland in October of  '02, the 3/11/04 train bombings in Madrid, and the 7/7/05 bombings in London.  Not to mention the 50+ other synthetic terror events staged throughout the world to enforce compliance and create distraction. 

8.      The sudden and dramatic downfall of NY Gov Eliot Spitzer can also now be seen in its proper light.  Having left the reservation one too many times, he simply could not be trusted to go with their flow.  He had their numbers, their signatures (especially their MO's), their addresses --- the whole ball of wax, as well as his own reputation to burnish.  Eliot, to seal his fate, wrote a masterful expose on the subprime mortgage fiasco/fraud that was published in the WashPo just weeks before his public humiliation.  He had recently testified before Congress in fine revelatory fashion as well.  The elimination of John O'Neil, Head of Security at the WTC complex, is quite similar, except that John O. – a great patriot – died on 911, having just been given the job. 

9.      To date, the most obvious and glaring example of this manipulated takedown is the case of a US Senator from New York.  His letter to the FDIC contained confidential information that triggered the IndyMac bank collapse back in July.  California AG Jerry Brown was called to review the entire affair after the Office of Thrift Supervision Director explicitly blamed the letter for causing a run on the bank (3rd largest bank failure in US history).  This episode is eerily reminiscent of Larry Silverstein's order to, "Pull it." just prior to the expertly controlled demolition of Building # 7 on 911. 

10.  Just as 911 was perpetrated as a cover for: (i) inaugurating the War on Terror, (ii) overtly advancing the NWO regime globally (in contrast to this previously covert operation), (iii) imposing a police state (Homeland Security) in the US (by gutting the US Constitution), UK and elsewhere, (iv) dominating and securing oil/gas reserves in the Middle East and Cacaucus (to include running energy pipelines through Afghanistan and stealing Iraq's oil wealth via military invasion), (v) jump starting the Afghan opium trade, etc., etc., etc., the ECO/FIN 911 of  '08 is a cover for many of these same agenda items.  However, there is one little item that is particularly high on the current agenda.  And that concerns the derivatives market, which in its totality approximates somewhere between 750 trillion and 1 quadrillion dollars of instruments as of 2008.  In fact, the subprime mortgage defaults are just a tip of the tip of the iceberg when compared to the real megilla – DERIVATIVES.  This is what they're really worried about, and having to cover for.  Except this is a quadrillion dollar megilla that can't be covered without unraveling the entire capitalistic system, and its fascist corpocracy and kleptocratic oligarchy.

~ more... ~

Another prophet profit should've listened to

From To Combat Terrorism, a Systems Approach is Vital [17 Jul, 2002]

Russell L. Ackoff is an emeritus professor at Wharton and a leading proponent of systems theory. He recently attended a meeting where economists and other experts were weighing the chances of terrorist attacks crippling the U.S. economic system. That discussion surprised Ackoff. “Why should terrorists attack the U.S. economic system?” he wondered. “They don't have to; CEOs are already doing a fine job of that.”

Effect of subliminal marketing greater than thought

Marketing statements influence us subliminally more than was ever assumed. Even when you are not aware of being exposed to advertising material, it can still affect your actions. This emerged from research by Marieke Fransen of the University of Twente, who will be obtaining her doctorate from the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences on 19 December.

Marketing seems almost part of the fabric of our society, with branding, advertising and slogans practically everywhere. If you question people, they say they do not think advertisements influence them. The literature on the subject reveals that this is certainly not the case, indicating that the effect is partly subliminal, i.e. automatic. However, hardly any fundamental research has been done so far into the subliminal effects of marketing communications. This was the motivation for Fransen to delve into the subject. It emerged that the subliminal component was greater than had ever been assumed.


One of the PhD candidate's studies supporting the above conclusion involved exposing test subjects to a well-known insurance brand. Possibly because of associations with disasters, illness and accidents, the test subjects were reminded of their mortality. A strategy for reducing death-related anxiety is to spend money. Test subjects exposed to the insurance brand showed the intention of spending more money in the near future than test subjects who had not been exposed to the brand, although the former were not aware of the influence. Fransen was able to measure the effect of exposure when the subjects were aware of it, as well as that of subliminal exposure. Subliminal exposure is so short that a test subject does not even see it. The PhD candidate also examined the way in which the exposure to marketing occurs (modality), in other words, whether a brand is presented visually or aurally. Her research revealed that marketing is most effective if a brand is presented twice using the same modality.

Note for the press

Marieke Fransen conducted her research at the department of Marketing Communication & Consumer Psychology and the Institute of Behavioural Research, with Prof. A.T.H. Pruyn and Dr B.M. Fennis as supervisors. Her thesis and a summary of it are available in electronic form. Contact for the press: Joost Bruysters, tel. 06 1048 8228.

~ University of Twente ~

Oakland, Ca Fruitvale Bart Station Shooting. Full Video and interview with Karina Vargas

A home video has surfaced showing the events surrounding the shooting death of 22-year-old man by police at a Bay Area Rapid Transit station in Oakland early New Year's day. A copy of the videotape was provided Saturday to CBS 5 by the woman who captured the scene on camera.

Karina Vargas told CBS 5 that she was making the tape available so the public would know what transpired shortly after 2 a.m. Thursday at BART's Fruitvale station when Oscar Grant was shot.

The video, that Vargas said she shot on a brand new camera she received for Christmas, would seem to support previous witnesses accounts that Grant was laying on his stomach with his hands behind him on the train platform when a single shot was fired by a BART officer.

According to Vargas, Grant was not resisting when the gunshot was fired. Vargas said she was standing only about 5 feet away from the shooting scene. She also said she resisted an officer's attempt to confiscate her camera.

Vargas, who said she was on her way home from a New Year's celebration along the Embarcadero in San Francisco when she witnessed the shooting, contended that Grant's "rights were definitely violated" by police.

BART officials have said Grant was unarmed and implied the shooting was an accident, saying the officer's gun discharged while he and four other officers responded to reports that two groups of young men were fighting on a train that had come from San Francisco and was en route to the Dublin/Pleasanton station.

Grant's family in Hayward has formally hired attorney John Burris to look into the circumstances surrounding his death.

The Oakland attorney, who has filed numerous lawsuits against police departments on behalf of family members of people who have been shot and killed by officers, scheduled a Sunday morning news conference to discuss developments in the case.

"It's an outrageous set of facts. My sense is clear that this was an unjustifiable shooting," Burris said based on witness statements, but prior to the videotape being made public. "There were no movements and he was not trying to overrun the police officer. A gun cannot discharge accidentally, you have to have your finger on the trigger."

"When conduct like this occurs, there is a price to pay," he added. "Police have to be held accountable when they engage in this kind of unlawful conduct."

BART officials have not released the name of the officer who shot Grant. They said the officer has worked for BART for nearly two years and was placed on administrative leave following the shooting.

The Alameda County District Attorney's office is handling the official investigation into the shooting. The D.A.'s office has not commented on the case.

Vets sue CIA, DoD over military experiments

Six veterans who say they were exposed to dangerous chemicals, germs and mind-altering drugs during Cold War-era experiments filed a federal lawsuit against the CIA, Department of Defense and other agencies Wednesday.

The veterans say they volunteered for military experiments as part of a wide-ranging program started in the 1950s to test nerve agents, biological weapons and mind-control techniques, but were not properly informed of the nature of the experiments.

They blame the experiments for poor health and are demanding the government provide their health care. They also want the court to rule that the program was illegal because its administrators failed to get their consent.

Marie Harf, a CIA spokeswoman, declined to comment on the lawsuit, which seeks class action status on behalf of all participants allegedly exposed to harmful experiments without their knowledge. Vietnam Veterans of America, a veterans advocacy group, is also a plaintiff.

The suit, filed in San Francisco, alleges that at least 7,800 U.S. military personnel served as volunteers to test experimental drugs such as LSD at the Edgewood Arsenal near Baltimore, Md., during a program that lasted into the 1970s, and that many others volunteered for similar experiments at other locations.

"In virtually all cases, troops served in the same capacity as laboratory rats or guinea pigs," the lawsuit states.

~ more... ~

Russians in a hurry: bistro

Definitions of bistro on the Web:

* Fr. A small restaurant, featuring simple fare, sometimes with entertainment.

Well yes, but it originated after the Napoleonic Wars when there were Russian troops in Paris, often in a hurry to get served, so they would call out "Быстро!" ("Bystro"!) to the waiters, meaning "Quickly! Hurry up!". So a restaurant set up to satisfy them became know as a bistro, which at the time must have been the equivalent of what we call a "fast food joint". But bistros these days are not at all the same as fast food joints.

~ ProZ forum Translation Bloopers ~


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