Friday, February 21, 2014

New UC Berkeley Test Reveals Fantastically High Cesium Levels on California Roadside

Go To Original

For all the naysayers who said that Fukushima radiation wasn’t hitting the West Coast, here’s a new one for you. UC Berkeley lab tests are now showing high levels of cesium in cattle feed from a California dairy farm that was sent to a lab nine months prior to the test results being received  - a long delay that suggests levels are much higher now. Then, the one-two-punch – asphalt along a roadside in the sunny city which catches plenty of rainfall was then measured, much more recently, and a disturbing 3579 pci/kg were found. By anyone’s standards, that cannot just be chalked up as background radiation. Fukushima fallout isn't just coming via ocean currents. It is in our rain, air and soil now. 

After more than three years of government cover ups – from Japan, and within our own US agencies, the evidence is coming out from citizensUniversitiesonce-silenced scientists, and other reputable agencies making it almost impossible to keep the true damage of the Fukushima fallout quiet.

Those who have been looking for evidence – who haven’t seen fish washing up on their shores, or animals dying on their farms, insects with strange deformations – here’s the evidence. Radiation won’t kill you right away. It’s like other biotech and weaponized weather tactics our governments are using against their own people – it’s a soft kill that the disbelieving will wallow in, sadly, until they are already too far gone to realize the ‘conspiracy’ was truly to wipe out masses of people – whether it was done ignorantly for profit by the nuclear industry our as a false flag event to keep as all in check, and under totalitarian rule, will not matter.

Imagine entire crops of food that we rely upon from California, and along the West Coast of the US, Mexico and Canada being completely inedible due to radiation poisoning. The fish from the Pacific is already too toxic to eat, and our livestock will suffer, as clearly indicated by this UC study, as well. Japan has already reported silk worms that are Godzilla-like in their radioactive deformity, while the other 95% of the species simply died off, and they were just closest to the fire. For those still sticking their heads in the ground, the rest of us understand. This is not an easy pill to swallow, but the fact remains, it is time for some radical, revolutionary clean-up – of both of act as care-takers of this planet, and of the radioactive mess itself.

There are numerous ideas out there. It is time to measure their effectiveness and put them to use. Some experts suggest using amagnetic separation system to cull out cesium and other radioactive particles. Others suggest nano-silver could be useful. Hemp has been shown to be an incredible phytoremediation medium for contaminated soil, and the Keshe Foundation has some inexpensive suggestions on how to remediate soil, air, and water as well.

After all the clean up of radioactive waste, and billions of dollars which will likely be needed to even make a dent in its removal, nuclear energy plants need to be shut down one by one, and never permitted as a source of energy (or warfare) again.

Five Reasons the 1% Do Not Want Unemployment to Decrease

Go To Original

BuzzFlash at Truthout isn't breaking any new economic theory in stating that corporations and the 1% -- incuding the increasingly dominant Wall Street financial stranglehold on the economy -- are actually quite happy with permanently high (as long as it doesn't cause political de-stabilization) unemployment.

1) The most important value to high unemployment to the 1% is in the ever-increasing profit margin that comes from lowering the cost of labor by decreasing salaries and benefits.  This result from competition for jobs among a group of desperate employment seekers is that they have no choice but to accept low-paying jobs.  

Therefore, while the media likes to use the benchmark unemployment statistics as a sign of the economy "improving" if the government figure goes down, the 1% actually sees its lopsided share of US assets increase when the unemployment figures are higher and wages lower.

This reality, largely ignored by the mainstream media, is of course facilitated by the globalization of jobs to lower cost (often slave wage) settings, devaluing the US labor market even further.

A corporation that may best illustrate this is the favorite of many progressives: Apple.  Apple, as a New York Times series revealed awhile back, ruthleslly contracts overseas for labor at the lowest possible cost.  According to Robert Reich, only 6% of the cost of IPhone production expenditures is spent in the US.

Apple doesn't lower its prices to reflect lower labor costs, either.  It sits on tens of billions of dollars in cash profit, while selling overpriced trendy, innovative hi-tech products, relying on the consumer to pay the higher prices due to its brand identity.

2) By forcing US laborers into lower-paying jobs with reduced benefits, the 1% profiteers are forcing an increase in debt among the working class and unemployed.  This debt is then charged at interest rates such as credit cards, which can easily reach around 30%.  This is one of the fundamental Wall Street financial expectations: there will be increasing workers who need to debt at usorious interest rates to survive.  

Of course, the debt servicers make millions of dollars in bonuses at the expense of the decreasingly paid worker. (The salary of American workers has been stagnant for decades, adjusted for inflation.)

3) Living paycheck to paycheck -- and if a worker has any spare money, receiving literally .01 interest in a savings account -- laborers have virtually no funds to support political candidates of their choice.  This leaves the campaign finance arena mostly to the likes of the Koch brothers and other billionaires.   Given that national and most statewide (and even congressional) elections are hashed out over television and radio, the men and women with the million and billion dollar bottom lines can write the checks that pull the strings on what has largely become the appearance of a democratic process -- but is in actuality a blended oligarchy.

4) Higher unemployment and lower wages means that corporations can "re-tool" their products to a more affluent market that further increases their profit margin, since the wealthy tend not to be bargain shoppers. 

5) Over the years, we have read how some 1% figures, such as Steve Schwarzman (who threw a 60th birthday party in the New York Armory in which he reportedly paid Rod Stewart $1 million to sing for him and his well-heeled) pals, bemoan their critics. 

Venture capitalist Tom Perkins doubled down on a recent tasteless and alternative reality claim that the wealthy were being persecuted as the Jews were by Hitler (Schwarzman, who is Jewish, made a similar remark a couple years back) with the notion that people should be allowed an increase in the number of political votes based on the size of their humongous cash hordes and financial holdings:

And, just as everyone was thinking that Perkins was a tiny bit off his rocker, he suggested that he had the solution to America's problems. In order to vote, he proposed, everyone should have to have paid at least $1 in taxes.

"And those who have paid a million dollars in taxes," he continued, "should have a million votes."

Later, he walked back the comment made at the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, by claiming, "I intended to be outrageous."

There's a theory that the wealthy do believe that they are anointed.  This speculation about their world view is not that different from the monarchies that democracies revolted against.  It presupposes that the people of the world are set in sort of a pre-determined caste system.  In this world view, those who inherit wealth (which is a high percentage of the super rich -- just look at the Walton and Koch heirs) are inherently more deserving of their billions.  Those persons who ruthlessly claw their way to the top -- with money appearing to be their ultimate criteria for the value of their lives -- have been chosen to acquire fortunes because of their basic worthiness, this theory argues.

So, there you have it, five reasons the 1% do not really want unemployment to decrease.  They are in a gilded stratosphere of wealth right now, making a killing with low labor costs and a generally soaring stock market (with some recent readjustment).

Their economy is soaring to the heavens -- and for it to continue to reach new unprecedented heights of opulence, it is essential -- in their thinking -- that the cost of labor continue to be pushed down, further and further.  That can most easily be accomplished if there are a surplus of workers and a scarcity of jobs.

World Bank Whistleblower Reveals How The Global Elite Rule The World

Go To Original
Karen Hudes is a graduate of Yale Law School and she worked in the legal department of the World Bank for more than 20 years.  In fact, when she was fired for blowing the whistle on corruption inside the World Bank, she held the position of Senior Counsel. 
She was in a unique position to see exactly how the global elite rule the world, and the information that she is now revealing to the public is absolutely stunning.  According to Hudes, the elite use a very tight core of financial institutions and mega-corporations to dominate the planet. 
Karen Hudes 
The goal is control.  They want all of us enslaved to debt, they want all of our governments enslaved to debt, and they want all of our politicians addicted to the huge financial contributions that they funnel into their campaigns.  Since the elite also own all of the big media companies, the mainstream media never lets us in on the secret that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way that our system works.
Remember, this is not some “conspiracy theorist” that is saying these things.  This is a Yale-educated attorney that worked inside the World Bank for more than two decades.  The following summary of her credentials comes directly from her website
Karen Hudes studied law at Yale Law School and economics at the University of Amsterdam. She worked in the US Export Import Bank of the US from 1980-1985 and in the Legal Department of the World Bank from 1986-2007. She established the Non Governmental Organization Committee of the International Law Section of the American Bar Association and the Committee on Multilateralism and the Accountability of International Organizations of the American Branch of the International Law Association.
Today, Hudes is trying very hard to expose the corrupt financial system that the global elite are using to control the wealth of the world.  During an interview with the New American, she discussed how we are willingly allowing this group of elitists to totally dominate the resources of the planet…
A former insider at the World Bank, ex-Senior Counsel Karen Hudes, says the global financial system is dominated by a small group of corrupt, power-hungry figures centered around the privately owned U.S. Federal Reserve. The network has seized control of the media to cover up its crimes, too, she explained. In an interview with The New American, Hudes said that when she tried to blow the whistle on multiple problems at the World Bank, she was fired for her efforts. Now, along with a network of fellow whistleblowers, Hudes is determined to expose and end the corruption. And she is confident of success.
Citing an explosive 2011 Swiss study published in the PLOS ONE journal on the “network of global corporate control,” Hudes pointed out that a small group of entities — mostly financial institutions and especially central banks — exert a massive amount of influence over the international economy from behind the scenes. “What is really going on is that the world’s resources are being dominated by this group,” she explained, adding that the “corrupt power grabbers” have managed to dominate the media as well. “They’re being allowed to do it.”
Previously, I have written about the Swiss study that Hudes mentioned.  It was conducted by a team of researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland.  They studied the relationships between 37 million companies and investors worldwide, and what they discovered is that there is a “super-entity” of just 147 very tightly knit mega-corporations that controls 40 percent of the entire global economy
When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a “super-entity” of 147 even more tightly knit companies – all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity – that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network. “In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network,” says Glattfelder. Most were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group.
But the global elite don’t just control these mega-corporations.  According to Hudes, they also dominate the unelected, unaccountable organizations that control the finances of virtually every nation on the face of the planet.  The World Bank, the IMF and central banks such as the Federal Reserve literally control the creation and the flow of money worldwide.
At the apex of this system is the Bank for International Settlements.  It is the central bank of central banks, and posted below is a video where you can watch Hudes tell Greg Hunter of the following…
“We don’t have to wait for anybody to fire the Fed or Bank for International Settlements . . . some states have already started to recognize silver and gold, the precious metals, as currency”
Most people have never even heard of the Bank for International Settlements, but it is an extremely important organization.  In aprevious article, I described how this “central bank of the world” is literally immune to the laws of all national governments…
An immensely powerful international organization that most people have never even heard of secretly controls the money supply of the entire globe.  It is called the Bank for International Settlements, and it is the central bank of central banks.  It is located in Basel, Switzerland, but it also has branches in Hong Kong and Mexico City.  It is essentially an unelected, unaccountable central bank of the world that has complete immunity from taxation and from national laws.  Even Wikipedia admits that “it is not accountable to any single national government.“  The Bank for International Settlements was used to launder money for the Nazis during World War II, but these days the main purpose of the BIS is to guide and direct the centrally-planned global financial system.  Today, 58 global central banks belong to the BIS, and it has far more power over how the U.S. economy (or any other economy for that matter) will perform over the course of the next year than any politician does.  Every two months, the central bankers of the world gather in Basel for another “Global Economy Meeting”.  During those meetings, decisions are made which affect every man, woman and child on the planet, and yet none of us have any say in what goes on.  The Bank for International Settlements is an organization that was founded by the global elite and it operates for the benefit of the global elite, and it is intended to be one of the key cornerstones of the emerging one world economic system.
This system did not come into being by accident.  In fact, the global elite have been developing this system for a very long time.  In a previous article entitled “Who Runs The World? Solid Proof That A Core Group Of Wealthy Elitists Is Pulling The Strings“, I included a quote from Georgetown University history professor Carroll Quigley from a book that he authored all the way back in 1966 in which he discussed the big plans that the elite had for the Bank for International Settlements…
[T]he powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations.
And that is exactly what we have today.
We have a system of “neo-feudalism” in which all of us and our national governments are enslaved to debt.  This system is governed by the central banks and by the Bank for International Settlements, and it systematically transfers the wealth of the world out of our hands and into the hands of the global elite.
But most people have no idea that any of this is happening because the global elite also control what we see, hear and think about.  Today, there are just six giant media corporations that control more than 90 percent of the news and entertainment that you watch on your television in the United States.
This is the insidious system that Karen Hudes is seeking to expose.  For much more, you can listen to Joyce Riley of the Power Hour interview her for an entire hour right here.

Our Sinister Dual State

Go To Original

On Thursday the former National Security Agency official and whistle-blower William E. Binneyand I will debate Stewart A. Baker, a former general counsel for the NSA, P.J. Crowley, a former State Department spokesman, and the media punditJeffrey Toobin. The debate, at Oxford University, will center on whether Edward Snowden’s leaks helped or harmed the public good. The proposition asks: “Is Edward Snowden a Hero?” But, on a deeper level, the debate will revolve around our nation’s loss of liberty.

The government officials who, along with their courtiers in the press, castigate Snowden insist that congressional and judicial oversight, the right to privacy, the rule of law, freedom of the press and the right to express dissent remain inviolate. They use the old words and the old phrases, old laws and old constitutional guarantees to give our corporate totalitarianism a democratic veneer. They insist that the system works. They tell us we are still protected by the Fourth Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Yet the promise of that sentence in the Bill of Rights is pitted against the fact that every telephone call we make, every email or text we send or receive, every website we visit and many of our travels are tracked, recorded and stored in government computers. The Fourth Amendment was written in 1789 in direct response to the arbitrary and unchecked search powers that the British had exercised through general warrants called writs of assistance, which played a significant part in fomenting the American Revolution. A technical system of surveillance designed to monitor those considered to be a danger to the state has, in the words of Binney, been “turned against you.”

We live in what the German political scientist Ernst Fraenkelcalled “the dual state.” Totalitarian states are always dual states. In the dual state civil liberties are abolished in the name of national security. The political sphere becomes a vacuum “as far as the law is concerned,” Fraenkel wrote. There is no legal check on power. Official bodies operate with impunity outside the law. In the dual state the government can convict citizens on secret evidence in secret courts. It can strip citizens of due process and detain, torture or assassinate them, serving as judge, jury and executioner. It rules according to its own arbitrary whims and prerogatives. The outward forms of democratic participation—voting, competing political parties, judicial oversight and legislation—are hollow, political stagecraft. Fraenkel called those who wield this unchecked power over the citizenry “the prerogative state.”

The masses in a totalitarian structure live in what Fraenkel termed “the normative state.” The normative state, he said, is defenseless against the abuses of the prerogative state. Citizens are subjected to draconian laws and regulations, as well as arbitrary searches and arrests. The police and internal security are omnipotent. The internal workings of power are secret. Free expression and opposition political activity are pushed to the fringes of society or shut down. Those who challenge the abuses of power by the prerogative state, those who, like Snowden, expose the crimes carried out by government, are made into criminals. Totalitarian states always invert the moral order. It is the wicked who rule. It is the just who are damned.

Snowden, we are told, could have reformed from the inside. He could have gone to his superiors or Congress or the courts. But Snowden had numerous examples—including the persecution of the whistle-blower Thomas Drake, who originally tried to go through so-called proper channels—to remind him that working within the system is fatal. He had watched as senior officials including Barack Obama lied to the public about internal surveillance. He knew that the president was dishonest when he assured Americans that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which meets in secret and hears only from the government, is “transparent.” He knew that the president’s statement that Congress was “overseeing the entire program” was false. He knew that everything Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the press, the Congress and the public about the surveillance of Americans was a lie. And he knew that if this information was to be made available to the public he would have to do so through a few journalists whose integrity he could trust.

I was a plaintiff before the Supreme Court in Clapper v. Amnesty International, which challenged the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. This act authorizes surveillance without a showing, or probable cause, that a targeted person is an agent of a foreign power. The court dismissed our lawsuit because, it said, the idea that we were targets of surveillance was “based too much on speculation.” That Supreme Court ruling was then used by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to deny the credibility, or standing, of the other plaintiffs and me when it heard the Obama administration’s appeal of our successful challenge to Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a provision that permits the U.S. military to detain citizens in military facilities, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely. The government, in both court cases, did not attempt to defend the surveillance and detention programs as constitutional. It said that I and the other plaintiffs had no right to bring the cases to court. And the courts agreed.

This deadly impasse, the tightening of the corporate totalitarian noose, would have continued if Snowden had not jolted the nation awake by disclosing the crimes of the prerogative state. Snowden’s revelations triggered, for the first time, a genuine public debate about mass surveillance. Since the disclosures, three judges have ruled on the NSA’s surveillance program, one defending it as legal and two accusing the NSA of violating the Constitution. A presidential panel has criticized the agency’s blanket surveillance and called for reform. Some members of Congress—although that body authorized the Patriot Act and its Section 215, which ostensibly permitted this wholesale surveillance of the public—have expressed dismay at the extent of the NSA’s activities and the weakness of its promised reforms. Maybe they are lying. Maybe they are not. Maybe reforms will produce improvements or maybe they will be merely cosmetic. But before Snowden we had nothing. Snowden’s revelations made us conscious. And as George Orwell wrote in his dystopian novel “1984”: “Until they become conscious they will never rebel. ...”

“Now, we’re all familiar with Congress’ most dramatic oversight failure,” said Ben Wizner, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union Speech, Privacy & Technology Project and a legal adviser to Snowden, in a recent debate over Snowden with R. James Woolsey, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency. “And this was in the notorious exchange between Sen. Ron Wyden and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Wyden had asked, did the NSA collect any type of data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans? Clapper’s answer was, ‘No, sir.’ Now, this brazen falsehood is most often described as Clapper’s lie to Congress, but that’s not what it was. Wyden knew that Clapper was lying. Only we didn’t know. And Congress lacked the courage to correct the record—allowed us to be deceived by the director of national intelligence.”

Societies that once had democratic traditions, or periods when openness was possible, are often seduced into totalitarian systems because those who rule continue to pay outward fealty to the ideals, practices and forms of the old systems. This was true when the Emperor Augustus dismantled the Roman Republic. It was true when Lenin and the Bolsheviks seized control of the autonomous soviets and ruthlessly centralized power. It was true following the collapse of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Nazi fascism. Thomas Paine described despotic government as a fungus growing out of a corrupt civil society. And this is what has happened to us.

No one who lives under constant surveillance, who is subject to detention anywhere at any time, whose conversations, messages, meetings, proclivities and habits are recorded, stored and analyzed, can be described as free. The relationship between the U.S. government and the U.S. citizen is now one of master and slave. Yet the prerogative state assures us that our rights are sacred, that it abides by the will of the people and the consent of the governed.

The defense of liberty, which Snowden exhibited when he cast his fortune, his safety and his life aside to inform the public of the forces arrayed against constitutional rights, entails grave risks in dual states. It demands personal sacrifice. Snowden has called us to this sacrifice. He has allowed us to see who we are and what we have become. He has given us a chance. He has also shown us the heavy cost of defiance. It is up to us to seize this chance and dismantle the prerogative state. This means removing from power those who stole our liberty and lied to us. It means refusing to naively trust in their promised reform—for reform will never come from those who are complicit in such crimes. It will come through Americans’ construction of mass movements and alternative centers of power that can mount sustained pressure. If we fail to sever these chains we will become, like many who did not rise up in time to save their civil societies, human chattel.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mass Unemployment In America

Go To Original
Speaking Friday in advance of signing a bill slashing $8.7 billion from the food stamp program, President Barack Obama hailed the dismal jobs report for January released earlier that day. Wall Street also reacted enthusiastically, rallying to send the Dow Jones Industrial average higher by 160 points.
The US economy created 113,000 jobs in January, according to Friday’s report, far fewer than the 189,000 economists had predicted. It was the second consecutive month of slow job growth, following December’s increase of 75,000.
There are mounting warnings by economists that the US confronts long-term economic stagnation and high unemployment into the indefinite future. TheAssociated Press ran a piece Sunday entitled “US economy may be stuck in slow lane for long run,” and last month former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers warned of “secular stagnation.”
Mass unemployment has become a permanent fact of life in the United States and much of the rest of the world.
* Officially, there are ten million unemployed people in the US, up from 6.8 million in 2007.
* Fully 3.6 million people have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more, according to the official jobless rolls. This figure is three times larger than it was in 2006, when there were 1.1 million long-term unemployed.
* Nearly 36 percent of the unemployed have been out of work for more than 27 weeks, three times higher than the average between 1948 and 2008. The mean duration of unemployment currently stands at 35.4 weeks, up from 16.9 weeks in 2006.
These figures tell just part of the story, since they track only those who are actively looking for work. According to a survey by the Economic Policy Institute, a further 5.73 million “missing workers” have dropped out of the labor force over the past five years for non-demographic reasons. If these missing workers were counted as unemployed, the unemployment rate would be 9.9 percent.
The true scale of the jobs deficit is indicated by the fact that the US economy had 866,000 fewer jobs last month than it had in January 2008, while the working-age population had increased by ten million people.
This was the context in which Obama boasted of the success of his economic policies as he prepared to sign a measure cutting food assistance by almost $100 per month for nearly a million needy households. Obama and the Democrats are absurdly posing as opponents of inequality and champions of the poor even as they join with the Republicans in dismantling social benefits and impoverishing ever broader layers of the population.
The cuts in food stamp benefits come on top of the expiration of jobless benefits for 1.4 million long-term unemployed workers and the passage of a bipartisan budget that keeps in place $1 trillion in across-the-board “sequester” cuts over the next decade.
Following his speech Friday, Obama met with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to demonstrate once again his support for the bankruptcy of Detroit, which is being used to gut city workers’ pensions and health benefits, setting a precedent for similar attacks on public-sector workers across the country.
The ruling class policy of unlimited cash handouts for the rich coupled with sweeping reductions in social programs, mass layoffs and wage-cutting has caused social inequality to soar. By one estimate, based on the comparison of mean and median incomes, social inequality has grown four times faster under Obama than under Bush.
The wealth of America’s billionaires hit $1.2 trillion last year, more than double what it was in 2009, while workers’ wages have stagnated or declined. Between 2007 and 2012, median household income in the United States plummeted by 8.3 percent.
Obama’s response to the jobs report reflects callous indifference to growing social distress and suffering and the disconnect that exists between the entire political establishment and the concerns and needs of the people. It also tacks the views of his core social constituency—the rich and the super-rich—as registered by Friday’s rise in share values on Wall Street.
As economist Robert Reich pointed out in a blog posting Sunday, Wall Street reacted positively to the poorer-than-expected employment report for definite material reasons. Slow job growth increases the likelihood that the Fed will keep interest rates near zero for the indefinite future, and raises the possibility that the central bank will slow down its “tapering” of bond purchases, which have pushed the stock market to record heights and injected trillions of dollars into the financial markets.
This will enable corporations to continue to borrow cheaply and use the cash to buy back their own stock, sending share prices even higher and guaranteeing record profits for speculators and record pay packages for executives.
Continued mass unemployment will, moreover, push workers’ wages even lower.
Meanwhile, big business can continue to amass a cash hoard, already at $1.5 trillion, and use it to speculate and buy more and bigger mansions and yachts rather than invest in manufacturing and production, rebuild the country’s infrastructure, and hire the unemployed.
Such are the real considerations behind the policies of both corporate America and its political instrument, the Obama administration.
More than five years after the Wall Street crash, chronic mass unemployment and the growth of social inequality underscore the fact that the financial meltdown was the expression of a systemic crisis. It marked the breakdown and failure of the capitalist system.
The crisis, triggered by the criminal practices of the banks, was seized upon by the ruling class to launch a social counterrevolution to reverse all of the gains won by workers in the course of a century of struggle. The trade unions have played an indispensable role, blocking and sabotaging every effort of the working class to fight back.
Working people must reject all calls for sacrifice and concessions, which only pave the way for even more brutal attacks. Instead, mass opposition to the ruling class assault on jobs, wages and living standards must be mobilized in a struggle against Obama and both parties of big business aimed at reorganizing society to meet social needs instead of effecting the ever more obscene enrichment of a corporate-financial elite.

The Real Reason the Syrian "Peace" Talks Collapsed In Geneva

The Syrian "peace" talks fell apart without any progress being made, and of course John Kerry placed the blame squarely on Assad, but what's the real story?

Go To Original

The collapse the Syrian peace talks war pre-show shouldn't come as any surprise to anyone who has been following events in the region over the past several years. Nor should it come as any surprise to see U.S. government officials turn reality on its head as they spin a narrative that depicts their role in a favorable light. This is all just par for the course in the macabre circus of public relations and geopolitics that the American empire has become. But is anybody really biting the official line anymore?
The official line (according to Secretary of State John Kerry) is that Assad sabotaged the negotiations by "stonewalling". The issue that Assad supposedly stonewalled on was on the question of setting up a new transitional government in Syria. That's a sugar coated way of saying that the U.S. government wants a regime change and anything short of that is unacceptable.
To put this into context, the U.S. government has been arming and funding violent extremists in Syria for several years now in their attempt to overthrow Assad. These U.S. backed militants have been caught massacring entire villages (according to Human Rights Watch), they have been caught torturing and beheading civilians (there's plenty of video evidence of this if you have the stomach for it), and all of the physical evidence related to the Sarin gas attacks that the West attempted to use as its pretext for military strikes points to the rebels being responsible.

(It's worth noting that Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has come forward to say that Obama lied about the Syrian chemical weapons attacks).
The U.N. investigator on the case, Carla Del Ponte, has publicly stated that there is no evidence that the Syrian government was involved in the sarin gas attacks and that in fact the evidence points toward the rebels being responsible (see video below).

WARNING: The video below shows real footage of Syrian rebels murdering a catholic priest. Do not click play if children are in the room, or if you have a weak stomach. We're adding this here only for those who doubt the fact that the militants that the U.S. government is backing are quite literally terrorists.

So the U.S. government gives weapons and money to a gaggle of ruthless religious fanatics who then go on to reek mayhem in your country and if you successfully defend yourself and refuse to hand over power to the aggressors you're the bad guy. This is the Alice in Wonderland version U.S. government officials and their lap dogs in the mainstream media have been peddling.


Kerry blames Assad for the collapse of the "peace" talks:
Syrian rebels killing civilians:
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh Says Obama Lied About The Syrian Chemical Weapons Attacks:
Direct article written by Seymour Hersh:
According to the U.N. investigation the March 19th chemical weapons attack turned out to be committed by the rebels:
Russia agrees that the rebels were behind the attacks:

"Good" and "Bad" War - and the Struggle of Memory Against Forgetting

Go To Original
Fifty years ago, E.P. Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class rescued the study of history from the powerful. Kings and queens, landowners, industrialists, politicians and imperialists had owned much of the public memory. In 1980, Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States also demonstrated that the freedoms and rights we enjoy precariously - free expression, free association, the jury system, the rights of minorities - were the achievements of ordinary people, not the gift of elites.
Historians, like journalists, play their most honorable role when they myth-bust. Eduardo Galeano's The Open Veins of Latin America (1971) achieved this for the people of a continent whose historical memory was colonized and mutated by the dominance of the United States.
The "good" world war of 1939-45 provides a bottomless ethical bath in which the West's "peacetime" conquests are cleansed. Demystifying historical investigation stands in the way. Richard Overy's 1939: the countdown to war (2009) is a devastating explanation of why that cataclysm was not inevitable.
We need such smokescreen clearing now more than ever. The powerful would like us to believe that the likes of Thompson, Zinn and Galeano are no longer necessary: that we live, as Time magazine put it, "in an eternal present," in which reflection is limited to Facebook, and historical narrative is the preserve of Hollywood. This is a confidence trick. In 1984, George Orwell wrote: "Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."
The people of Korea understand this well. The slaughter on their peninsula following the Second World War is known as the "forgotten war," whose significance for all humanity has long been suppressed in military histories of cold war good versus evil.
I have just read The Korean War: A History by Bruce Cumings (2010), professor of history at the University of Chicago. I first saw Cumings interviewed in Regis Tremblay's extraordinary film, The Ghosts of Jeju, which documents the uprising of the people of the southern Korean island of Jeju in 1948 and the campaign of the present-day islanders to stop the building of a base with American missiles aimed provocatively at China.
Like most Koreans, the farmers and fishing families protested the senseless division of their nation between north and south in 1945 - a line drawn along the 38th Parallel by an American official, Dean Rusk, who had "consulted a map around midnight on the day after we obliterated Nagasaki with an atomic bomb," wrote Cumings. The myth of a "good" Korea (the south) and a "bad" Korea (the north) was invented.
In fact, Korea, north and south, has a remarkable people's history of resistance to feudalism and foreign occupation, notably Japan's in the 20th century. When the Americans defeated Japan in 1945, they occupied Korea and often branded those who had resisted the Japanese as "commies." On Jeju island, as many as 60,000 people were massacred by militias supported, directed and, in some cases, commanded by American officers.
This and other unreported atrocities were a "forgotten" prelude to the Korean War (1950-53), in which more people were killed than Japanese died during all of World War II. Cumings' tally of the degree of destruction of the cities of the North is astonishing: Pyongyang, 75 percent; Sariwon, 95 percent; Sinanju, 100 percent. Great dams in the north were bombed to unleash internal tsunamis. "Anti-personnel" weapons, such as Napalm, were tested on civilians. Cumings' superb investigation helps us understand why today's North Korea seems so strange: an anachronism sustained by an enduring mentality of siege.
"The unhindered machinery of incendiary bombing was visited on the North for three years," he wrote, "yielding a wasteland and a surviving mole people who had learned to love the shelter of caves, mountains, tunnels and redoubts, a subterranean world that became the basis for reconstructing a country and a memento for building a fierce hatred through the ranks of the population. Their truth is not cold, antiquarian, ineffectual knowledge." Cumings quotes Virginia Wolf on how the trauma of this kind of war "confers memory."
The guerrilla leader Kim Il Sung had begun fighting the Japanese militarists in 1932. Every characteristic attached to the regime he founded - "communist, rogue state, evil enemy" - derives from a ruthless, brutal, heroic resistance: first to Japan, then the United States, which threatened to nuke the rubble its bombers had left. Cumings exposes as propaganda the notion that Kim Il Sung, leader of the "bad" Korea, was a stooge of Moscow. In contrast, the regime that Washington invented in the south, the "good" Korea, was run largely by those who had collaborated with Japan and America.
The Korean War has an unrecognized distinction. It was in the smouldering ruins of the peninsula, that the United States turned itself into what Cumings calls "an archipelago of empire." When the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s, it was as if the whole planet was declared American - or else.
But there is China now. The base currently being built on Jeju Island will face the Chinese metropolis of Shanghai, less than 300 miles away, and the industrial heartland of the only country whose economic power is likely to surpass that of the United States. "China," says President Obama, in a leaked briefing paper, "is our fast emerging strategic threat." By 2020, almost two-thirds of all US naval forces in the world will be transferred to the Asia-Pacific region. In an arc extending from Australia to Japan and beyond, China will be ringed by US missiles and nuclear weapons-armed aircraft. Will this threat to all of us be "forgotten," too?