Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Howard Zinn on Activism: 'Don't Give Up'

Howard Zinn speaking on the importance of activism at the University of Chicago in November 2009. Must see for anyone committed to social change.

R. A. Wilson: 'Neither Satan Nor The Rockefellers Have Been Very Eager To Recruit Me'

From Acceleration of Knowledge (part 1 of 10)

Lady Gaga CD Used To Smuggle Top Secret US Government Details

David Renshaw reports for PopDash:

Lady Gaga has found herself at the centre of the much publicised 'Wikileaks Scandal' after it was discovered that thousands of sensitive US government documents were copied onto CD's officers believed contained the 'Bad Romance' stars music.

Amongst the information leaked to the infamous Wikileaks website include claims that the Chinese government regularly hack computers, discussions regarding a US invasion of Iran and allegations of 'innapropriate behaviour' from a member of the British Royal Family.

The documents were allegedly leaked by Bradley Manning, a gay soldier who claimed he wanted to unleash "worldwide anarchy" with the documents.

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And, from WikiLeaks release dumps on diplomacy byTommy Maple by Tommy Maple [The Independent Florida Alligator]:

WikiLeaks spewed out a bunch of classified American diplomatic documents this week, and it was disheartening to learn that what passes for statecraft these days could easily be mistaken for a worldly version of Us Weekly.

That the documents were all stolen and given to WikiLeaks by a young gay dude lip-synching Lady Gaga only ups the ante on the farcical nature of our spy networks.

Bradley Manning, giving plenty of ammunition to those in favor of keeping Lady Gaga fans out of the U.S. military, is quoted in London's Guardian newspaper telling a fellow hacker that he "would come in with music on a CD-RW labeled with something like 'Lady Gaga' … erase the music … then write a compressed split file. No one suspected a thing ... [I] listened and lip-synched to Lady Gaga's 'Telephone' while exfiltrating possibly the largest data spillage in American history."

It is of vital importance to the future of our country to immediately outlaw the access of critical national security documents to military or non-military personnel while they are listening to music featuring Lady Gaga, with additional punishment written into the law for any sort of fist-pumping or air drums.

The latest document dump by WikiLeaks mainly involves transmissions by our various ambassadors and diplomats that amount to snarky and inane musings about world leaders — most of which are patently obvious to even the most casual observer of geopolitics.

Back in the day, the fight against communism honed our spies in the cutthroat, zero-sum game of international espionage.

Now, in the mushy age of global materialism, we have spies like us.

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An Interview With WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange [Forbes]

From the interview by Andy Greenberg, Forbes

How much of this trove of documents that you're sitting on is related to the private sector?

About fifty percent.

You've been focused on the U.S. military mostly in the last year. Does that mean you have private sector-focused leaks in the works?

Yes. If you think about it, we have a publishing pipeline that's increasing linearly, and an exponential number of leaks, so we're in a position where we have to prioritize our resources so that the biggest impact stuff gets released first.

So do you have very high impact corporate stuff to release then?

Yes, but maybe not as high impact…I mean, it could take down a bank or two.

That sounds like high impact.

But not as big an impact as the history of a whole war. But it depends on how you measure these things.

When will WikiLeaks return to its older model of more frequent leaks of smaller amounts of material?

If you look at the average number of documents we're releasing, we're vastly exceeding what we did last year. These are huge datasets. So it's actually very efficient for us to do that.

If you look at the number of packages, the number of packages has decreased. But if you look at the average number of documents, that's tremendously increased.

So will you return to the model of higher number of targets and sources?

Yes. Though I do actually think…[pauses] These big package releases. There should be a cute name for them.


Megaleaks. That's good. These megaleaks…They're an important phenomenon, and they're only going to increase. When there's a tremendous dataset, covering a whole period of history or affecting a whole group of people, that's worth specializing on and doing a unique production for each one, which is what we've done.

We're totally source dependent. We get what we get. As our profile rises in a certain area, we get more in a particular area. People say why don't you release more leaks form the Taliban. So I say hey, help us, tell more Taliban dissidents about us.

These megaleaks, as you call them that, we haven't seen any of those from the private sector.

No, not at the same scale for the military.

Will we?

Yes. We have one related to a bank coming up, that's a megaleak. It's not as big a scale as the Iraq material, but it's either tens or hundreds of thousands of documents depending on how you define it.

Is it a U.S. bank?

Yes, it's a U.S. bank.

One that still exists?
Yes, a big U.S. bank.

The biggest U.S. bank?

No comment.

When will it happen?

Early next year. I won't say more.

What do you want to be the result of this release?

[Pauses] I'm not sure.

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Grimsson: Iceland Faring Much Better After Permitting Banks To Fail

From Iceland Is No Ireland as State Free of Bank Debt, Grimsson Says by Jonas Bergman and Omar R. Valdimarsson, Bloomberg:

Iceland's President Olafur R. Grimsson said his country is better off than Ireland thanks to the government's decision to allow the banks to fail two years ago and because the krona could be devalued.

"The difference is that in Iceland we allowed the banks to fail," Grimsson said in an interview with Bloomberg Television's Mark Barton today. "These were private banks and we didn't pump money into them in order to keep them going; the state did not shoulder the responsibility of the failed private banks."

Ireland's Prime Minister Brian Cowen said this week his government has discussed an 85 billion-euro ($112 billion) bailout with the European Union and International Monetary Fund after the country's banks threatened to bring the euro member to the brink of bankruptcy. Iceland's banks, which still owe creditors about $85 billion, were split to create domestic units needed to keep the financial system running, while foreign liabilities remained within the failed lenders.

As a consequence, "Iceland is faring much better than anybody expected," Grimsson said. The Icelandic state's liability on foreign depositor claims stemming from Icesave accounts at failed Landsbanki Islands hf should be put to a national referendum, he said.

"How far can we ask ordinary people -- farmers and fishermen and teachers and doctors and nurses -- to shoulder the responsibility of failed private banks," said Grimsson. "That question, which has been at the core of the Icesave issue, will now be the burning issue in many European countries."

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Burroughs Fix For The Day

Words Of Advice For Young People

Ah Pook Is Here (1994)(c)

Directed by
Philip Hunt

Writing credits
William S. Burroughs

Music from the album "William S. Burroughs - Dead City Radio"
Track 4 - "Ah Pook The Destroyer / Brion Gysin's All-Purpose Bedtime Story"
Music By, Performer - John Cale

Dresden Film Festival:
1995 Won Best Animation Film
Philip Hunt

Ottawa International Animation Festival:
1994 Won Media Prize Best Experimental Technique. Philip Hunt
(Tied with Divertimento No. 3: Brush Works (1994))

In Ireland, The Big Banking Names Are The Beneficiaries

From Who's being bailed out? by Michael Burke, Guardian

Some of that justified anger should also be directed at the European Central Bank. As with Greece, the crisis was provoked by the bank. In the case of Ireland it was the ECB's announcement that it would stop providing short-term funding to Ireland's stricken banks. In the case of Greece, it was an announcement that it would no longer accept Greek government bonds as collateral.

The response of financial markets was both swift and brutal, leading to a buyers' strike of government debt and the inevitable bailout. But it is important to be absolutely clear who is being bailed out. In the case of Greece the total amounted to €110bn, while there are fears that in the Irish case the rumoured sum of less than €100bn will not be enough to repay all the creditors.

It is these creditors who are being bailed out. There is not a cent in either package that will be used to stop school or hospital closures or to prevent a single lost job. In fact, the Dublin government has just published its national recovery plan, which will lead to an acceleration of the downward spiral. There is a further round of cuts to welfare entitlements, to public sector pay and jobs, and a 12% reduction in the minimum wage. All these have the effect of depressing the incomes and spending of the middle-income earners and the poor – who spend a much greater portion of their income. So the policy will further depress consumer spending, which will in turn cause job losses and depress tax revenues. Real spending on education will fall by 7.5% over the next four years, while health spending will plunge 12.5%. Given the rising numbers of the elderly, the real fall in spending per patient will be deeper. Expenditure on other programmes will drop by an average of 27.5%.

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Bleeding for Civil Disobedience - Anarchists Against the Wall Tour North America

By Meagan Wohlberg, The Link

There is an old saying which suggests that "good fences make good neighbours."
But you may have a hard time hearing that in the West Bank.

"There are streets you can step on because you are Jewish and Palestinians have to take a different path[…] It's very difficult to see this kind of separation," said Noam Lekach of Israeli direct action group Anarchists Against the Wall.

AATW visited Concordia last Friday as part of the organization's North American speaking and fundraising tour.

The group, which has participated in thousands of demonstrations and other acts of protest against what they call the "Israeli occupation" of Palestine, is in desperate need of money to address rising legal fees created by the constant arrests of its members and others in the movement.

"Activists both Israeli and Palestinian are being arrested all the time and legal expenses are very high," said Lekach. "AATW has decided to pay all legal expenses of any Palestinian arrested. We are $15,000 in debt to our lawyers."

Founded in 2003 after Palestinians invited several Israeli activists to join in the popular struggle against the construction of the wall that divides Palestinians from Israelis, AATW's first action was to protest the fence at a point where it cut Palestinian farmers off from their land. During the action, Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition at the demonstrators, injuring some of the Israeli activists. According to Lekach, this had permanent consequences for the popular struggle.

"For the first time the Israeli press was dealing with resistance," said Lekach. "Many asked why the soldiers did not have non-live ammunition. Until then, the IDF didn't think about rubber bullets or tear gas because there were only Palestinians, because according to the Israeli state, my blood is worth more than Palestinian blood."

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Mask-Wearing Protestors in D.C. Can Now Be Arrested

Freeman Klopott reports for The Examiner:

Wearing a mask while protesting outside a residence without telling D.C. police first could now get you arrested.
The D.C. Council has unanimously passed a strongly worded bill to deal with an animal rights group that has been known to wear masks and appear unannounced outside District residents' homes shouting things like "You should die." Residents have been complaining to their council members that they felt "terrorized." Critics of the bill say it's too broad and limits First Amendment rights.

[ ... ]

The animal rights group in question, Defending Animal Rights Today and Tomorrow is the local offshoot of Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty. The international group was set up in 1996 to organize protests against Huntington Life Sciences, a European company that provides animals for corporate science experiments.

According to the group's Web site, they recently protested outside the Dupont Circle home of a Goldman Sachs executive, who the group claims is connected to HLS. It's unclear how, and DARTT didn't respond to requests for comment for this story. Pictures show the protesters wearing masks, and white trench coats with a bloodlike substance on them.

Now, police have the authority to arrest the protesters -- groups of three or more -- on sight if they:

» Fail to inform police before a protest;

» Protest outside a residence between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.;

» Wear masks.

The American Civil Liberties Union came out against the bill.

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A Celebration of Street Photography, as Anti-Terror Backlash Fades

By Pete Brook, Wired

Take a picture, go to jail.

It may seem absurd, but since 2005 that scenario or something like it was playing out with surprising regularity on public streets in Britain, where draconian anti-terror legislation declared photographers "suspicious" merely for carrying camera equipment.

At its height, a tweed-wearing photographer was branded a terrorist by a London Tube worker, police deleted a young Austrian tourist's photos "to prevent terrorism," an Italian student was arrested for filming in London's financial district, and an architectural historian was detained for photographing a building designed by his grandfather.

Now, the tide is turning. The suspicious-photo law was suspended this summer, and September saw the release of Street Photography Now, an anthology of famous and not-so-famous works by street photographers from across the globe, aimed at highlighting the substantial artistic merits of the form.

[ ... ]

The Prevention of Terrorism Act passed into British law in 2000. Section 44 established the authority of police officers to stop and search members of the public. In 2005, the law was revised to declare carrying photography equipment suspicious behavior.

The tension reached a tipping point in 2008, when London's Metropolitan police launched a poster campaign singling out the act of photography as suspicious — a tactic since repeated by the TSA in the United States. The photo community rallied, organizing campaigns such as I'm a Photographer, Not a Terrorist, and educating one another on their rights through bodies such as the National Union of Journalists' London Photographers Branch. Photographers also used flash-mob tactics in acts of civil disobedience in Trafalgar Square and at Scotland Yard, London police headquarters.

Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner John Yates issued a reminder in December 2009 that no laws prevent people from photographing buildings. By January 2010, the stop-and-search powers granted under Section 44 were ruled illegal by the European Court of Human Rights. Section 44 was finally suspended this summer. British lawmakers are now rewriting it.

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Civil Disobedience as Theater

From Civil disobedience is a tactic not a right by Jana Mills (The Comment Factory):

There is a real sense that protest, and relatively peaceful direct action has been ineffectual up to this point. Many more will no doubt resort, in desperation, to violence over the coming years. One of the choice chants heard on the streets of Westminster on Wednesday was "you say cut back we say fight back". But unless we learn the lessons of previous battles, no amount of protests or chants will make a dent in George Osborne's plans. There must be a fight back, but it must coordinated, imaginative and disciplined if it is to be effective.

The pioneers of civil disobedience had a sense of political theatre. Gandhi held the media in the palm of his hand. He knew what would make good copy on breakfast tables the next morning. As we operate in an altogether different media environment we must learn to present the issues which we care about though creative and illustrative protest in such a way that will look good on the Six O'Clock News. The well meaning men who, nearly naked, dragged their friend, tied to a wooden plan, through the NUS demo on Wednesday were certainly creative but they failed to appreciate that an effective protest must also be illustrative. How did their protest, imaginative as it was, dramatise a complex issue?

From Street theatre: the drama of civil disobedience by Sophie Nield (Guardian):

Demonstrators have often used theatrical devices to make their point, and the fact is that the supposed line between theatre and civil disobedience has never been clear-cut. Many this week have drawn attention to the suffragettes in Edwardian England, who, under the eyes of watching police, took out toffee hammers and smashed in plate-glass windows of the new department stores. Abbie Hoffman and the "yippie" movement in 1960s America deliberately used the tactics of theatrical display and culture jamming to maximise attention to their anti-Vietnam protests. In 1967, as 35,000 demonstrators surged towards the Pentagon, Hoffman (with the assistance of Allen Ginsberg, chanting helpfully), tried to levitate the building, later claiming it rose three feet. In May of the same year, several yippies took a tour of the New York stock exchange: once inside, they threw money over the rail on to the trading floor. Hoffman described what happened: "The big ticker tape stopped and the brokers let out a mighty cheer. The guards started pushing us and the brokers booed. Free speech," he added, "is the right to shout theater in a crowed fire!"

Hoffman's aim was to get the Yippie protests on to the television news, providing colourful material for the wacky five-minute slot after the more serious items. But it wasn't ever about pure theatre: two days after the Pentagon protest, protesters walked into an induction centre in Baltimore and poured a mixture of human and animal blood on files belonging to those facing conscription, while young men made bonfires on courthouse steps of their real draft cards. During reclaim the streets anti-roads protest in the late 1990s, figures danced on stilts wearing carnival costumes under which pneumatic diggers tore up the roads. In Sydney in 2007, the satirical comedy group the Chaser drove a motorcade with fake Canadian credentials through the high-security cordon surrounding a meeting of the Australia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group, and were only stopped when one of them emerged from the car dressed as Osama bin Laden. Their fake security passes were printed with the word "joke". But they were arrested by real police.

Mass Surveillance and State Control: The Total Information Awareness Project

By Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D. (Psychology Today):

Did you know that The Department of Defense has an ongoing research project to remote control soldier's emotions and tolerance for stress?  A soldier who didn't display fear in dangerous situations and didn't experience fatigue, would make a better fighting machine.  And what better way to turn a human being into a mere machine devoid of personal freedom and autonomy.  In a world that is under total surveillance, there is not likely to be much we could call freedom.  Freedom to speak or think would be freedom to speak or think what the authorities permit.

In my new book, Mass Surveillance and State Control: The Total Information Awareness Project, I detail the ways in which our personal privacy has been and continues to be eroded and how we are now heading toward a brave new world of total information awareness and control.  Now afoot is an interconnected web of trends toward greater and greater modes of control, which will predictably advance with the advent of new technologies and the loosening of constitutional safeguards against the abridgment of privacy.  Accordingly, what is needed now more than ever before in the history of humankind is a vigilant, well organized, grass roots effort to stem this malignant tide before it is too late.
Steadily escalating is the program of warrantless wiretapping of millions of American's personal, electronic communications, which began under the Bush administration.  This mass dragnet of personal email messages, phone calls, and Internet searches is now being done with a virtual blank check from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FIS) courts, which were originally created in 1978 to assure that, in gathering foreign intelligence, the government would not abridge the Fourth Amendment rights of Americans.

The Obama administration has blocked law suits against telecom companies such as AT&T for assisting the National Security Agency in this mass dragnet of electronic communications; and it has also sealed up the ability of American citizens to seek redress by suing the federal government, even if it can be shown that such wiretaps had been unlawfully conducted.

[ ... ]

Did you know that Thomson Reuters, which controls Reuter's News Service, now also maintains a massive data warehouse consisting of the personal information of millions of Americans?  This includes health, credit card, and banking records, and virtually all other online, personal data.  Military contractors such as Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) supply data mining software to government agencies such as the NSA, which enables these agencies to analyze the information in this massive database, including integrating it with other personal data such as email and phone conversations, web sites you have visited, and Internet searches you have conducted.

Did you consider that the software, which integrates and parses through this massive web of information, is prone to yielding false positives?  In other words, by some fluke, you can end up on a government watch list, or worse, branded an "unprivileged enemy belligerent," taken into custody, and given "enhanced interrogated."  It is no longer a matter of thinking you have nothing to hide when everyone is now considered a terrorist suspect.

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‘Chipped’ Detainees, Iran Mega-Missiles And More in Latest WikiLeaks

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia told a senior White House official to consider surgically implanting homing devices under Guantanamo Bay detainees' skin. That's one of the many potentially embarrassing comments from diplomatic back rooms now being made public by WikiLeaks.

During a March 2009 meeting with John Brennan, President Obama's closest counterterrorism adviser, Abdullah proposed shooting electronic chips into the residual Guantanamo population, "allowing their movements to be tracked with Bluetooth." Abdullah appears to have come up with the idea on the fly during their meeting — "I've just thought of something," the cable quotes him saying — and considered forced subcutaneous chip implantation uncontroversial, since it's already "done with horses and falcons."

Brennan appears to have gingerly waved him off: "[H]orses don't have good lawyers," he replied, "but agreed that keeping track of detainees was an extremely important issue that he would review with appropriate officials when he returned to the United States."

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Utah News Reports That Collecting/Using Rainwater is Illegal

Monday, November 29, 2010

The AMBO Declaration: Where the Vulnerable are Disposable

The Tarawa Climate Change Conference (TCCC), took place from November 9th -11th in Tarawa, Kiribati, a highly threatened atoll in the Ocean Pacific. It concluded with the release of the Ambo Declaration that was endorsed by Australia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Fiji, Japan, Kiribati, Maldives, Republic of the Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, and Tonga. Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, attended the conference as observers, yet did not sign the declaration. With observer status states are able to participate in the deliberation process.

On November 17, 2010: a new study published by Maplecroft, rated 183 countries on their CO2 emissions from energy use and identified Australia (#2), USA (#3), Canada (#4) as three of the top six nations guilty of the worst performance in relation to CO2 emissions. Furthermore the group of 6 are the only countries rated as 'extreme risk' by Maplecroft on the basis of their high CO2 emissions from energy use. The tons of carbon emissions per capita for these countries are as follows: Australia: 20.82, United States: 19.18 and Canada at 17.27. Compare these amounts to the drowning citizens of Kiribati whose per capita emissions are a mere 0.3 tons.

The speaker of the Kiribati parliament called for the 18 countries taking part in the Tarawa Climate Change Conference to reach a consensus and agree on common goals. But how do vulnerable countries whose goal is simply to survive, find common ground with the participating major Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emitting countries that demand economic growth be allowed to continue under the current economic system – that being the capitalist system – the root cause of climate change in the first place? Such conferences which have the mandate to seek common ground through consensus, more often than not, lead to the lowest common denominator with the voice of those most vulnerable being crushed.

Behind the Veil

Given that Canada, Australia and the United States are three of the highest per capita GHG emitters in the world, as well as being the leading climate change obstructionists within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) processes, it seems reasonable to assume that these three states were in attendance to ensure the vulnerable states would not present a declaration reflecting strong demands at the upcoming climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico. While Canadians understand the consequences of climate change for the world's most vulnerable, the Canadian Harper minority Government nonetheless muses that climate change is a great opportunity to expand economic growth by further exploiting natural resources in a melting North.

Why was it that the world leaders on climate change such as Bolivia and Tuvalu were not in attendance? The non-participation of Tuvalu, which is one of the most threatened island states, and of Bolivia, which has been at the forefront of climate change negotiations should raise red flags and alarm bells. The fact that these world leaders on climate change were either not invited, or they made a conscious decision not to participate, begs the question if one critical purpose of this conference, in the eyes of the major GHG emitting developed states, was an opportunity to undermine Bolivia, as well as, further isolate Tuvalu's position.

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South Korea: Despatch From the Frontline of World War Three

If Hollywood ever needs somewhere to start World War Three, Yeonpyeong would be a good choice. North Korea is in plain view, about as far away as Portsmouth is from Ryde. A notice at the ferry terminal warns you to call a hotline number if you see enemy frogmen. On Tuesday afternoon, from an artillery base close enough to be visible through binoculars, the North Koreans launched a rather more direct assault.

A whole street of houses and shops in the village stands charred and ruined. Blackened bar-stools and twisted bicycles show the force of the blast, and even three days later the smell of burning remained. Dogs, some of them wounded, run or limp through the streets, abandoned by their owners in the panic to get away. The village is empty of all but journalists. On the boat back, I spoke to a policeman who collected the bodies of the two civilians killed. “One of them was just a totally burnt-out shell, a skeleton,” he said. “The other was scattered, blown apart.”

According to local media, the North Koreans used “hyperbaric,” or fuel-air, explosives – rare and unusually destructive weapons, only just this side of breaching international law. But then the attack itself, Pyongyang’s first, in its own words, “precisely aimed” land assault on South Korea's civilians since the end of the war in 1953, broke wholly new and dangerous ground.

In the five days since it happened, South Koreans’ behaviour has mirrored that of Jang Gee-Yeon. Like the tanker driver, they were quite slow to react. The South Korean military took 13 minutes to return fire. President Lee Myung-bak’s first response was emollient: the country should, he said, “carefully manage the situation to prevent an escalation of the clash.” Street protests and manifestations of public outrage were notable by their absence.

But over the last forty-eight hours, the fear and tension here have grown. The country has almost palpably decided to get angry and scared. The defence minister resigned, or was sacked. Yesterday and on Friday, spreading demonstrations demanded stronger action from the government. In-Jae Lee, the mayor of Paju, only a few miles from the North Korean border, said the demo in his town was “not a protest, but a shout for survival.” He added: “If a government does not show strong resolution, then it is not capable of protecting its people.”

In Seoul, the capital, a few hundred former soldiers fought the police. Also yesterday, at the televised funeral of the two marines who were the raid’s other casualties, their top commander, Major-General You Nak-jun, promised to “repay North Korea a hundred and thousand-fold” for their deaths. The national alert status has been raised to Watchcon 2, the second-highest level. In this, perhaps the world’s most technologically-enabled country, even drivers are obsessively watching the rolling news channels, on little screens in their cars – and 22 people have been charged with spreading war rumours online or on Twitter.

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Spanish Woman Claims Ownership of the Sun

(AFP) – After billions of years the Sun finally has an owner -- a woman from Spain's soggy region of Galicia said Friday she had registered the star at a local notary public as being her property.

Angeles Duran, 49, told the online edition of daily El Mundo she took the step in September after reading about an American man who had registered himself as the owner of the moon and most planets in our Solar System.

There is an international agreement which states that no country may claim ownership of a planet or star, but it says nothing about individuals, she added.

[ ... ]

Duran, who lives in the town of Salvaterra do Mino, said she now wants to slap a fee on everyone who uses the sun and give half of the proceeds to the Spanish government and 20 percent to the nation's pension fund.

She would dedicate another 10 percent to research, another 10 percent to ending world hunger -- and would keep the remaining 10 percent herself.

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Predicting the Future With Porn?

An upcoming study to be published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology claims that test subjects were able to accurately predict future events--and that pornography was one of the tools used in research for the project. But the methodology is sound. Skeptics are impressed. Do humans really have extra-sensory perception (ESP)? Can it really be triggered by the latest issue of Penthouse?

The paper, "Feeling the Future: Experimental Evidence for Anomalous Retroactive Influences on Cognition and Effect," has a pre-publication version available online. Professor Daryl Bem of Cornell University carried out nine separate experiments with 1,000 university students. These experiments were intended to find evidence of "psi"--precognition or premonition. Bem defines it this way:

The term psi denotes anomalous processes of information or energy transfer that are currently unexplained in terms of known physical or biological mechanisms. Two variants of psi are precognition (conscious cognitive awareness) and premonition (affective apprehension) of a future event that could not otherwise be anticipated through any known inferential process. Precognition and premonition are themselves special cases of a more general phenomenon: the anomalous retroactive influence of some future event on an individual's current responses, whether those responses are conscious or nonconscious, cognitive or affective.

The most interesting of the nine experiments used pornography to test for ESP. Experimentees were asked 36 times to guess whether an image of "couples engaged in nonviolent but explicit consensual sexual acts" or a blank picture would show up on different sectors of a video screen. Subjects were able to predict the appearance of the pornographic picture 53.1% of the time--significantly above the statistical average of 50%.

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Join in on the World's Biggest Bank Run This December

By Robert E. Prasch, Alternet

"A spectre is haunting Europe." Its not the revolution that Karl Marx supposed would come about. Nor is it Parisian students and workers taking to the streets as in May 1968. It is the vision of hordes of Europeans striking back at those who caused the 2008 financial crash. This time, organizers are calling for the use of a new weapon, one available to any of us with a bank account. It is the simple act of removing all of our money from the banks, and doing so in mass on the same day - December 7th.

While it is hard to know who first thought of this marvelous act of political theater, it has begun to take serious traction in France and is now spreading across Europe. It has especially taken off since a ringing endorsement of the idea began making the rounds on YouTube and Facebook by the always amusing, and surprisingly thoughtful, ex-soccer star Eric Cantona. Cantona, already famous for his performances with Leeds United, Manchester United, and the French National Team, has remained in the public eye while developing new interests in photography, film, and live theater (Happily for the discerning taste of the French public, he is an excellent photographer, and in the latter endeavors he has the advantage of being mentored by a well-established and highly-talented young actress - his wife, Rachida Brakni).

Of late, the famously mercurial temper that Cantona exhibited on and off the soccer pitch has been redirected from rivals and unruly fans. A prominent target is French President Nicolas Sarkozy's proposal to create a ministry, museum, and mass public debate on "national identity, all of which Cantona publically ridiculed as "idiotic." His sights are now trained on the banking and financial system that he - correctly - holds responsible for France's current economic problems. This is important because Sarkozy and the EU leadership is using this crisis to erode welfare state protections even as ostensibly scarce public monies are deployed to shore up the banks most responsible for the problem.

Which brings us to the economics of a mass withdrawal of deposits from the banks. Will it bring about an actual bank run or financial crash? Certainly not. For one thing, an organized and deliberate action such as Cantona proposes lacks the element of panic so characteristic of bank runs. Additionally, the banks and the central banks overseeing them will have time to prepare for the event, and should be able to reallocate their holdings of cash, reserves, and other assets in advance. If necessary, banks can always borrow short-term funds on the inter-bank market or even directly from the central bank. A mass withdrawal should, however, shrink the profitability of banks, as retail deposits are normally considered cheap and stable sources of funds with which to finance loans. Large European banks, relative to their American peers, are more dependent on retail deposits, so they will especially miss these funds when the time comes to calculate profits and bonuses.

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WikiLeaks Under Denial of Service Attack (DDoS)

From Security Week:

WikiLeaks has reported that its Web site is currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack. The whistleblower Web site posted an update via Twitter early Sunday afternoon.

The attack comes around the time of an expected release of classified State Department documents, which the Obama administration says will put "countless" lives at risk, threaten global counterterrorism operations and jeopardize U.S. relations with its allies. The expected released of State Department documents is expected to be seven times the size of the 400,000 Iraq war documents released in October.

WikiLeaks noted that media outlets including El Pais, Le Monde, Speigel, Guardian & NYT will publish many US embassy cables tonight, even if WikiLeaks goes down from the DDoS attack.

The Web site seems to be inconsistent over the past 15 minutes or so, responding to some requests successfully and timing out other times.

WikiLeaks: US Senators Call for WikiLeaks to Face Criminal Charges

American Psychosis: What Happens to a Society That Cannot Distinguish Between Reality and Illusion?…

By Chris Hedges

The United States, locked in the kind of twilight disconnect that grips dying empires, is a country entranced by illusions. It spends its emotional and intellectual energy on the trivial and the absurd. It is captivated by the hollow stagecraft of celebrity culture as the walls crumble. This celebrity culture giddily licenses a dark voyeurism into other people's humiliation, pain, weakness and betrayal. Day after day, one lurid saga after another, whether it is Michael Jackson, Britney Spears or John Edwards, enthralls the country … despite bank collapses, wars, mounting poverty or the criminality of its financial class.

The virtues that sustain a nation-state and build community, from honesty to self-sacrifice to transparency to sharing, are ridiculed each night on television as rubes stupid enough to cling to this antiquated behavior are voted off reality shows. Fellow competitors for prize money and a chance for fleeting fame, cheered on by millions of viewers, elect to "disappear" the unwanted. In the final credits of the reality show America's Next Top Model, a picture of the woman expelled during the episode vanishes from the group portrait on the screen. Those cast aside become, at least to the television audience, nonpersons. Celebrities that can no longer generate publicity, good or bad, vanish. Life, these shows persistently teach, is a brutal world of unadulterated competition and a constant quest for notoriety and attention.

Our culture of flagrant self-exaltation, hardwired in the American character, permits the humiliation of all those who oppose us. We believe, after all, that because we have the capacity to wage war we have a right to wage war. Those who lose deserve to be erased. Those who fail, those who are deemed ugly, ignorant or poor, should be belittled and mocked. Human beings are used and discarded like Styrofoam boxes that held junk food. And the numbers of superfluous human beings are swelling the unemployment offices, the prisons and the soup kitchens.

It is the cult of self that is killing the United States. This cult has within it the classic traits of psychopaths: superficial charm, grandiosity and self-importance; a need for constant stimulation; a penchant for lying, deception and manipulation; and the incapacity for remorse or guilt. Michael Jackson, from his phony marriages to the portraits of himself dressed as royalty to his insatiable hunger for new toys to his questionable relationships with young boys, had all these qualities. And this is also the ethic promoted by corporations. It is the ethic of unfettered capitalism. It is the misguided belief that personal style and personal advancement, mistaken for individualism, are the same as democratic equality. It is the nationwide celebration of image over substance, of illusion over truth. And it is why investment bankers blink in confusion when questioned about the morality of the billions in profits they made by selling worthless toxic assets to investors.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Psywar from S DN on Vimeo.

The real battlefield is the mind

Metanoia: From the Greek - to perceive, to think, the result of perceiving or observing - metanoia means "a change of mind".

In Theology, metanoia is used to refer to the change of mind which is brought about in repentance.

The prefix "meta-" carries with it other variants that are consistent with the Eastern Greek philosophical mindset, "Meta-" is additionally used to imply "beyond" and "outside of." E.g., metamorphosis as a beyond-change; and, metaphysics as outside the limits of physics.

The Greek term for repentance, metanoia, denotes a change of mind, a reorientation, a fundamental transformation of outlook, of an individual's vision of the world and of her/himself, and a new way of loving others and the Universe. In the words of a second-century text, The Shepherd of Hermas, it implies "great understanding," discernment.

In Carl Jung's psychology, metanoia indicates a spontaneous attempt of the psyche to heal itself of unbearable conflict by melting down and then being reborn in a more adaptive form.

The 'Capitalist' Commons as Plan B to Save the System From Fundamentalist Neoliberalism?

Michel Bauwens, The P2P Foundation

In an extensive essay, George Caffentzis thinks we must be weary of commons that are conceived as saving the system of capital from fundamentalist neoliberalism, and believes we must learn to distinguish between 'capitalist commons' and 'anti-capitalist commons'. The essay examines the Zapatistas, Live8 and the Hobohemia Commons of the 30′s as case studies helping us distinguish one from the other.

* Source: The Future of 'The Commons': Neoliberalism's 'Plan B' or the Original Disaccumulation of Capital? George Caffentzis

Excerpted from George Caffentzis:

Part 1: The Capitalist Commons:

"Ostrom's reliance on social capital (the commonism in capitalism) to explain commons behaviour is part of a tendency among capitalist intellectuals that developed as a complement to neoliberalism.

The apparent triumph of neoliberalism with its aim to totalise the reign of capital has created its own reaction, that is, the conviction that there is a necessary 'commons' to capitalism itself. Thus the notion of 'social capital' and the importance of 'community' and 'trust' have been brought to the fore at the very moment of the so-called triumph of the market.28 In fact, this led to a re-recognition of a social ur-level before contract and 'the market' that structures them (which had been discussed for the first time by David Hume in Scotland during the eighteenth century) and is a sine qua non of capitalist accumulation.

These friends of capitalism revealed that neoliberalism was capitalism's own worst enemy, especially when not controlled by the threat of an alternative. For capitalism can reach, both theoretically and practically, what I call the 'Midas Limit' (when all transactions are based on pure utility maximising without any concern for the poorly sanctioned rules of fair exchange, and hence are surfeited with fraud and deception, or in other words, individualism gone wild). Such a generalised condition threatens the system's own survival as illustrated by the periodic crises produced by a generalised 'lack of trust' from the days of the burst of the South Sea Bubble when the system reached one of the first Midas limits. Some have speculated that this limit was again reached in the so-called 'dot.com' era of the late 1990s when Enron and Tyco executives (among thousands of others) were largely looking to the value of their own stock portfolios rather than the long-term health of the corporations they were running. There is little doubt that an even more dangerous Midas limit was reached once more in the 'subprime' mortgage crisis of 2007 that has led to the freezing of credit and a worldwide recession in 2009. This era has given what might be thought to be oxymoronic creatures, capitalist moralists or business ethicists, a new burst of employment in lamenting the 'state of the world' and drawing up new rules to generate trust in the executors of capital's will.

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Cynthia Mckinney Reveals 5,000 Executed Post Katrina

Cynthia McKinney tells CR 10 about 5,000 mostly men executed in N.O. post Katrina.

Ajit Pyati on News Media and the War Against Terror

A talk given by Ajit Pyati at a Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS) panel held Oct. 24, 2007 (University of Western Ontario). In it, Pyati addresses the post-9/11 war on terror in a U.S. library science context. He focuses his remarks on how the war has influenced American library services, government information policy and "the freedom to read." Also, Pyati discusses how information needs to be conceptualized in relation to its role on culture.

An Interstate Bicycling System

By Winona Bateman, Yes! Magazine

"People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning. This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized."

When U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood made this announcement at the National Bike Summit last March, he became an instant superstar with bicycling advocates who work hard to create and maintain cycling routes as part of their local, state, and regional transportation networks.

In July, Secretary LaHood took it a step further—embracing the creation of a U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS), a project that will connect many of the existing (and envisioned) bicycle routes around the country into an official, national network of cycling routes, linked coast-to-coast across state lines.

LaHood wrote, "The U.S. Bicycle Route System is not just a bunch of bike paths; we're talking about a transportation system. It will facilitate travel between communities and to historic and cultural landmarks. It will give people living in more rural areas a way to travel into a nearby urban area by bicycle. Urban and suburban residents will have better access to rural recreation areas. And—like our interstate highway system—it will facilitate long-distance travel by bicycle, whether across one's state or across the country."

If implemented as planned, the U.S. Bicycle Route System will become the largest official cycling network on the planet, encompassing more than 50,000 miles of routes.

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Will WikiLeaks Unravel the American “Secret Government”?

The U.S. Department of State is working overtime sending messages to ally capitals warning the impending release of classified documents by WikiLeaks could harm relations in what is seen as a pre-emptive move of unprecedented scale to neutralize the impact of the unveiling of embarrassing and compromising details about the inner workings of the government apparatus.

After making shattering revelations about the U.S. policy -- and its practice -- in Iraq and Afghanistan, WikiLeaks seems to be targeting this time the core of the U.S. government machinery, especially the subterranean diplomatic channels it employs while cutting deals and enforcing compliance in world capitals.

This knowledge has set off a diplomatic counter-offensive of never-before-seen proportion. The U.S. embassies in allied capitals have been forewarned of the release of documents which could potentially destabilize friendly relations.

The State Department, in an advance fire-fighting mode, has said the consequences of the WikiLeaks bombshell to American interests could be severe as the whistleblower website could reveal instances of allies breaking ranks secretly to pursue policies harmful to each other and squarely contradicting publicly stated stances.

"Without getting into specifics, typical cables describe summaries of meetings, analysis of events in other countries and records of confidential conversations with officials of other governments and with members of civil society. ... They are classified for a very good reason. They contain sensitive information and reveal sources of information that impact our national interests and those of other countries," State Department spokesman P.J.Crowley said.

Researchers have often pointed out the stark contrast between nation states' declared policies -- and the means to achieve them -- and what actually transpires on the ground. The inner workings, the dark secrets and shady deals never see the light of day until they may be declassified years later, severely undermining democratic values of truth and transparency.

Now WikiLeaks is out to run a knife through a mountain of classified documents revealing how the proverbial 'secret government' works its way through cluttered diplomatic channels. And that certainly could be embarrassing to lots of people in many capitals, more so in Washington.

The Pentagon has already warned the U.S. Senate and House Armed Services Committees that the leaks will "touch on an enormous range of very sensitive foreign policy issues." "We anticipate that the release could negatively impact U.S. foreign relations," Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Elizabeth King said in an e-mail to the defense committees.

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US Corporations Shatter Profit Records

US corporations took in $1.659 trillion in the third quarter, breaking records going back 60 years, according to a Commerce Department report released Tuesday. It was the seventh consecutive quarter of profit growth at "some of the fastest rates in history" according to the New York Times.

If any more proof were needed, the third quarter profit record exposes the lie promoted by Democrats and Republicans alike that only the "free market" and private businesses can reverse the nation's 9.6 percent unemployment rate. The corporations and banks are sitting on a cash hoard in the trillions of dollars. This money is not being used to hire workers, but to line the pockets of the executives and top shareholders.

The profit bonanza that lasted from July through September eclipsed the old record of $1.655 trillion established in the third quarter of 2006—just as the money-mad speculation of the financial elite was hurtling the US and world economy toward the precipice of its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

The resulting financial crisis, which erupted in the autumn of 2008, threatened a total collapse of the global financial system. In response, the governments of the world, led by the US, used the disaster to hand over tens of trillions in public wealth to the very finance houses that triggered the crisis. This process continues, as demonstrated by the International Monetary Fund/European Union-dictated rescue of the Irish banks this week.

The enormous profit realized by US corporations in the third quarter are only the latest indication that the Bush-Obama bailout of the financial and corporate elite has achieved its desired aim of protecting the personal fortunes of the rich:

*Annual bonuses rose by 11 percent for executives at the 450 largest US corporations last fiscal year, according to a recent survey published by the Wall Street Journal. Overall, median compensation—including salaries, bonuses, stocks, options and other incentives—rose by three percent to $7.3 million in 2009. Shareholder returns increased by 29 percent.

*An October survey by the Wall Street Journal found that employees at 35 of the biggest banks, investment banks, hedge funds, money management firms, and securities exchanges will be paid a record $144 billion in 2010.

*According to Forbes magazine, the net worth of the 400 richest Americans increased by 8 percent in 2010, to $1.37 trillion, more than the GDP of India, population 1.2 billion.

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Assessing Leon Trotsky Seventy Years After His Assassination

Report given at the annual convention of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies
by David North

...The last 20 years have witnessed an anti-intellectual counter-revolution in the field of Soviet studies in general and, in particular, the study of Leon Trotsky. The initial cause of this reaction is not difficult to identify. The dissolution of the Soviet Union had a demoralizing effect on broad sections of the liberal intelligentsia in the United States and Western Europe. Whatever their individual political convictions, all the historians who did serious work on the Russian Revolution were motivated by the belief that October 1917 represented a major turning point in world history. Its origins, the event itself, its aftermath, and those who played an important role in this historical drama demanded conscientious study. The collapse of 1991 seemed to invalidate that fundamental belief. The era of bourgeois triumphalism and its house intellectual, Francis Fukuyama, had arrived, courtesy of the RAND Corporation. The October Revolution, it was now proclaimed, was not only a political crime. It was a mistake, and a pointless one at that!

The very idea that the October Revolution posed even the possibility of a historically viable alternative to capitalism had been massively refuted.

This argument had a substantial impact on the academic community, whose confidence in human progress had already been undermined, even before the dissolution of the Soviet Union, not only by the blather of the Reagan years but also by the subjectivism and irrationalism of the Frankfurt School and Post-Modernism. However, the effort to deny the substance and legitimacy of October 1917 rested from the start on very shaky historical and intellectual foundations. After all, the Soviet state, which arose out of the revolution, had survived not merely for 71 days, as in the case of the Paris Commune, but for 73 years. In the course of its existence, the Soviet Union had undergone an extraordinary industrial transformation, defeated Nazi Germany in war, vastly raised the living standards and cultural level of its people, recorded remarkable achievements in science, and exercised immense global influence. Moreover, the claim that the outcome of December 1991 was the inexorable product of October 1917 required that historians either belittle or ignore alternatives to the course of Soviet development under Stalin and his successors—alternatives that were not only imagined, but which were actually programmatically formulated and fought for. One particularly cynical example of this approach is to be found in the writings of British historian Eric Hobsbawm, a long-time member of the Stalinist British Communist Party, who justified Stalin's regime as "the only game in town."

Ironically, the claim by anti-Marxists that the final outcome of Soviet history followed inevitably from the 1917 Revolution—that the political and economic policies that were pursued from the early days of War Communism and the NEP through to collectivization, the Liberman reforms and Gorbachev's Perestroika represented the sole conceivable path of development—mirrored the arguments of the Stalinist regime, which sought to cloak its errors by depicting bureaucratic arbitrariness as an expression of "historical necessity." This perversion of a genuinely materialist and dialectical conception of Marxist determinism by Stalin was capably exposed by Professor Day in 1990 in his perceptive refutation of the "Blackmail of the Single Alternative."[1] Day's essay was written on the very eve of the definitive failure of Gorbachev's Perestroika, the Stalinist bureaucracy's dissolution of the USSR, and the restoration of capitalism. ...

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Italian Student Protesters Occupy Leaning Tower of Pisa

Italian students protesting at education reforms have targeted two top tourist attractions, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Colosseum.

Tourists were evacuated as some protesters hung out a banner from the top tier of the medieval tower while hundreds more stood by on the ground.

In Rome, students jumped over turnstiles to protest briefly inside the ancient amphitheatre.

The Italian parliament is due to vote on the reforms on Tuesday.

Students and academics are outraged over cuts of around 9bn euros (£8bn, $12bn) and the proposed loss of 130,000 jobs in the education system, AFP news agency reports.

In Pisa, about 2,000 students marched through the city, forming a human chain around the tower to prevent tourists from entering, the Italian news agency Ansa reports.

The tower was closed to the public with the students still inside, an AFP photographer said.

Some of the protesters at the Colosseum climbed up the face of the ancient ruin to hang a banner reading "No Cuts, No Profit!".

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CIA Brain Experiments Pursued in Veterans’ Suit

By Jeff Stein, Washington Post

The CIA is notorious for its Cold War-era experiments with LSD and other chemicals on unwitting citizens and soldiers. Details have emerged in books and articles beginning more than 30 years ago.

But if military veterans have their way in a California law suit, the spy agency's quest to turn humans into robot-like assassins via electrodes planted in their brains will get far more exposure than the drugs the CIA tested on subjects ranging from soldiers to unwitting bar patrons and the clients of prostitutes.

It's not just science fiction -- or the imaginings of the mentally ill.

In 1961, a top CIA scientist reported in an internal memo that "the feasibility of remote control of activities in several species of animals has been demonstrated…Special investigations and evaluations will be conducted toward the application of selected elements of these techniques to man," according to "The CIA and the Search for the Manchurian Candidate," a 1979 book by former State Department intelligence officer John Marks.

"[T]his cold-blooded project," Marks wrote, "was designed … for the delivery of chemical and biological agents or for 'executive action-type operations,' according to a document. 'Executive action' was the CIA's euphemism for assassination."

The CIA pursued such experiments because it was convinced the Soviets were doing the same.

Victims have sought justice for years, in vain. Now, almost 40 years later, a federal magistrate has ordered the CIA to produce records and witnesses about the LSD and other experiments "allegedly conducted on thousands of soldiers from 1950 through 1975," according to news accounts.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John Larsen's Nov. 17 order exempted the agency from having to testify about electrode tests on humans, but Gordon P. Erspamer, lead attorney for the veterans, says "we are pursuing this as well."

"There is no question that these experiments were done," Erspamer said by e-mail Tuesday, "but defendants say that they used private researchers and test subjects drawn from prisons, hospitals and nursing homes as subjects, not active duty military [personnel]. CIA said it had no one knowledgeable on this topic."

Erspamer, senior counsel in the San Francisco office of Morrison & Foerster, said "several" CIA witnesses "are…still alive," naming some that have been publicly identified, but opting to keep secret others before he calls them.

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Günter Wallraff's Deviant Brand of Journalism

From Günter Wallraff film Black on White exposes casual racism in Germany

German politicians have been urging foreign residents to integrate more deeply into society — and so Kwami Ogonno, a Somali, decided to do his bit.

He tried to rent an apartment, join the local allotment community, stay the night at a campsite and apply for a hunter's licence — a fair introduction to mainstream German society. But at every juncture he was blocked, and often rudely rejected.

Kwami Ogonno is, in fact, Günter Wallraff — one of Germany's top investigative reporters — and he has now made a film, Black on White, and written a book about his expeditions into the country's racially prejudiced undergrowth.

Blacked-up and wearing an implausible Afro-style wig, Mr Wallraff's first point was quickly apparent: that the Germans are so unaccustomed to seeing black faces in everyday life that they cannot distinguish his not-very-convincing caricature from the real thing. The result is, if anything, more revealing than Sacha Baron Cohen's fictional character Borat — supposedly a Kazakh reporter — who exposed bigotry in the US.

One of Kwami's first destinations was a guard-dog training centre in Cologne. Kwami explained that he would like to train his dog to defend him from skinheads, but the owner of the centre took one look at the pseudo-Somali — whose skin colouring involved two hours of spraying — before blurting out: "Sorry, no places left on the course." When Kwami persisted, the owner cited an absurdly high sign-up fee of ¤250 (£226). A voice could be heard off-camera saying: "And those rates are about to go up!"

Kwami gave up, but Mr Wallraff's secret camera team remained in place long enough to film a white German trying to enrol shortly afterwards — and being accepted immediately, and charged the usual fee of ¤60. ...

From Gunter Wallraff uncovers racism in Germany; thru a White Mans' Eyes

You Know It's bad when a whiteman goes undercover and then says it's bad. check out this clip, where he is applying for a flat.

Apparently he wanted to get the real "flava of bavaria" uncut. in this clip we see him getting sprayed up and then on a bus with some rather unhappy soccer fans; who are not down with his steelo.

this is more representative of what I've personally seen in germany when attending sporting events and you are the sole darker face.  many other darker people have remarked to me over the years that they did not enjoy their trips to germany.

in the 90′s quite a few of my african american business associates remarked to me that they had experienced the same cold and differientiating treatment; because they were darker skinned. one was a senior account rep for amex who basically rejected the treatment and shut down a major account for purchases;  due to their lack of sensitivity to minority contractors and associates. he cancelled their ghost card on the spot. bamm.

Clearly they just didn't realize that He Wasn't The One..

yeah, been there did that. never again..

FYI – Schwarzer translates to Black. It's  Arnold Schwarzenegger. so you know his name means Arnold Black well you got it,,

Germans are not into coloring outside the lines. no sirree bob

From Günter Wallraff says 9/11 the work of Covert Ops


Bin Laden ist also nicht der Drahtzieher?
(Bin Laden is therefore NOT the mastermind?)


Hinter den Anschlägen steckt ein Plan, mit eiskaltem Kalkül und einer Langzeitstrategie.
(the attacks went according to a plan of cold reasoning and long-term-strategy)

Und man muss davor warnen, dass unsere Politiker in diese Falle tappen,
(and one has to warn of our politicians stepping into this trap)

damit nicht eine Neuaufteilung der Welt im Sinne dieser Terroristen geschieht ...
(so that a new, terrorist-designed division of the world is prevented)


... die Sie im arabischen Raum sehen.
(which you see inside te arabic realm)


Ja. Ich sehe die Aktion aber nicht auf einen Einzelnen konzentriert.
(Yes. I see this act not concentrated on the idividual.)

Es ist die Handschrift von Geheimdienst-Experten.
(It is the hand-writing of intelligence-experts)

Aus welchem Land oder Ländern dies genau beaufragt wurde,
wird sich vielleicht nie exakt beweisen lassen.
(From which country or countries this was commanded
may never be exactly provable)

Wallraff came to prominence thanks to his striking research methods. This style of research is based on what the reporter experiences personally after inveigling himself into the heart of the subject under investigation. Wallraff would construct a fictional identity so that he was not recognisable as a journalist. In this way, he created books which denounce what he considers to be social injustices and which try to provide readers with new insights into the way in which society works.

Life and work

Wallraff first took up this kind of investigative journalism in 1969 when he published 13 unerwünschte Reportagen ("13 undesired reports") in which he described what he experienced when acting the parts of an alcoholic, a tramp, and a worker in a chemicals factory.

He traveled to Greece in May 1974 at the time of the Ioannides dictorship. While in Syntagma Square, he protested against human right violations. He was arrested and tortured by the police, as he did not carry, on purpose, any papers on him that could identify him as a foreigner. After his identity was revealed, Wallraff was convicted and sentenced to 14 months in jail. He was released in August, after the end of the dictatorship. ...

A Recipe for Fascism

Chris Hedges writes for Truthout:

The failure to question the utopian assumptions of globalization has left us in an intellectual vacuum. Regulations, which we have dismantled, were the bulwarks that prevented unobstructed brutality and pillaging by the powerful and protected democracy. It was a heavily regulated economy, as well as labor unions and robust liberal institutions, which made the American working class the envy of the industrialized world. And it was the loss of those unions, along with a failure to protect our manufacturing, which transformed this working class into a permanent underclass clinging to part-time or poorly paid jobs without protection or benefits.

The "inevitability" of globalization has permitted huge pockets of the country to be abandoned economically. It has left tens of millions of Americans in economic ruin. Private charity is now supposed to feed and house the newly minted poor, a job that once, the old liberal class argued, belonged to the government. As John Ralston Saul in "The Collapse of Globalization" points out, "the role of charity should be to fill the cracks of society, the imaginative edges, to go where the public good hasn't yet focused or can't. Dealing with poverty is the basic responsibility of the state." But the state no longer has the interest or the resources to protect us. And the next target slated for elimination is Social Security.

That human society has an ethical foundation that must be maintained by citizens and the state is an anathema to utopian ideologues of all shades. They always demand that we sacrifice human beings for a distant goal. The propagandists of globalization—from Lawrence Summers to Francis Fukuyama to Thomas Friedman—do for globalization and the free market what Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky did for Marxism. They sell us a dream. These elite interpreters of globalism are the vanguard, the elect, the prophets, who alone grasp a great absolute truth and have the right to impose this truth on a captive people no matter what the cost. Human suffering is dismissed as the price to be paid for the coming paradise. The response of these propagandists to the death rattles around them is to continue to speak in globalization's empty rhetoric and use state resources to service a dead system. They lack the vision to offer any alternative. They can function only as systems managers. They will hollow out the state to sustain a casino capitalism that is doomed to fail. And what they offer as a solution is as irrational as the visions of a Christian America harbored by many within the tea party.

We are ruled by huge corporate monopolies that replicate the political and economic power, on a vastly expanded scale, of the old trading companies of the 17th and 18th centuries. Wal-Mart's gross annual revenues of $250 billion are greater than those of most small nation-states. The political theater funded by the corporate state is composed of hypocritical and impotent liberals, the traditional moneyed elite, and a disenfranchised and angry underclass that is being encouraged to lash out at the bankrupt liberal institutions and the government that once protected them. The tea party rabble, to placate their anger, will also be encouraged by their puppet masters to attack helpless minorities, from immigrants to Muslims to homosexuals. All these political courtiers, however, serve the interests of the corporate state and the utopian ideology of globalism. Our social and political ethic can be summed up in the mantra let the market decide. Greed is good.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Collapse - Michael C. Ruppert Documentary

A documentary on Michael Ruppert, a police officer turned independent reporter who predicted the current financial crisis in his self-published newsletter, From the Wilderness.

Global Warming: Meat The Truth


How to stop global warming? This extraordinary movie made by the Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation from Holland shows us the whole and bitter truth about the influence of the meat industry on our climate and on the devastation of our environment, water and air.

The other day I was watching a lecture from Dr. Neal Barnard. He's a Vegan so of course he's a tad biased, but during the lecture he made the remark that in America, 1 million animals are killed per hour for consumption. That's a shock statement, which curiously is very shocking though I quite admittedly won't be curbing my animal addiction anytime soon. It's not that I wouldn't want to, it's just, well... I think I like meat.... No really, though I am beginning to find food which have begun to change my mind. I'm absolutely in love with the Mushroom Lover's veggie burgers. ...


image from http://www.spitting-image.net

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