Saturday, December 03, 2011
Wall Street has raked in more profits in just the last 30 months then they did in the entire eight years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis
Do you know who Elizabeth Duke is? How about Donald Kohn or Kevin Warsh? No? Well - you should. Because while Congress was debating back in 2008 whether or not to bailout banksters with a $700 billion blank check - these guys and girls were just doing it. They were funneling $7.7 trillion to Wall Street under the table - without one constituent phone call - without worrying about one election - without having to give one explanation.
They were able to do that because they're members of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors - a group of people who are not voted into office, but have the power to completely dictate monetary policy in America. They are not politicians - they're technocrats - they're bankers and financial experts. Technocrats aren't interested in democracy - it takes too long, and often the interests of the majority of voters don't quite line up with the interests of the minority of bankers and foreign investors. Or - to put it in today's terms - the interests of the 99 percent rarely line up with the interests of the 1 percent. That's why - back in 2008 - the technocrats at the Fed weren't interested in waiting for Congress - with all of its open debate and constituent services - to bail out the banks - they just went ahead and did it themselves. According to documents obtained by Bloomberg News - in 2009 - the Fed dished out $7.7 trillion in no-strings-attached, super-low interest loans to Wall Street's biggest players.
That's $7.7 trillion!
That's more than half of the total value of EVERYTHING - every single thing produced in America - that same year. $7.7 TRILLION out the door - with no one bothering to inform the electorate about it until now. And since they were super-low interest loans - banks made enormous profits off of them. Six of the nation's biggest banks - like Morgan Stanley and Bank of America - pocketed a not-too-shabby $13 billion in undisclosed profits, thanks to the deal with the technocrats at the Fed. So today - thanks to a decision made by technocrats, and not politicians - the too-big-to-fail banks are even bigger, and Wall Street has raked in more profits in just the last 30 months then they did in the entire eight years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis.
and guess what ol' thom advocates as the remedy...? gee... it's the same remedy called for by ron paul...!
Only when the Federal Reserve becomes an instrument of the people to calm the mood swings of the market - and not a piggy bank for transnational banking corporations - can we really protect ourselves from a technocratic takeover in the future. And the way to do it is pretty straightforward - it was Alexander Hamilton's idea back in the George Washington administration. Have the central bank owned by the US government and run by the Treasury Department, so all the profits from banking go directly into the Treasury and you and I pay less in taxes while the banksters on Wall Street can find a job at Wal-Mart.
The good people of North Dakota did just this, back in 1919, established something very much like this - the Bank of North Dakota - and it's kept the state in the black, and kept its farmers, manufacturers and students protected from the predations of New York banksters for nearly a century. It's time for every state to charter their own state bank, just like North Dakota did, and for the Treasury Department to either buy the Fed from the for-profit banks that own it, ohttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifr simply nationalize it.
Only when we get control of our money out of the hands of sociopathic banksters will our democracy begin to function for the people instead of just for the banksters.
it's interesting to see thom turning up on rt... we can be reasonably sure we're not going to see him turning up on msnbc any time soon...
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There is no law except for street justice and vigilante law
the above is the full 26-minute clip from today's keiser report... there's a lot in there but the point i want to emphasize starts at 2:12... what keiser is saying - and with which i totally agree - is that, for people like paulson and the other criminal bankers, at this point in time, there IS no law... they are free to operate without consequences, laying waste to the global economy as they see fit and turning the 99.5% into serfs in perpetual bondage... Submit To Propeller
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Money in politics - addiction as a metaphor for corruption
william b. daniels in truthout...
Addiction and recovery metaphors are helpful for framing the private money crisis facing American democracy. The funders and the lobbyists are the dealers. Private money is the drug of choice. Members of Congress are the addicted consumers. Cynical and apathetic voters and the Citizens United Supreme Court justices are the codependents who enable the corruption machine to continue functioning. There can be no sobriety unless there is complete abstinence. This dynamic is what makes Congressional reform so daunting and cynicism such a facile response.
Can we afford to be cynical? Do we give up on electoral politics and accept that our democracy is a corrupt, private-money machine? Or do we stop being codependent? Do we intervene and take steps to stop the new bosses in 2012? Do we confront the elephant in the room and show the addicts, the dealers and the codependents that we, the people, are the higher power of the Constitution?
We have all the tools. We can register voters and counter voter suppression laws. We can cultivate and support local and state candidates committed to the public interest. We can contribute. We can seek out every eligible voter who believes in the public interest and persuade them to vote. We can vote and participate in get-out-the-vote drives in our own communities.
Every time a hit piece attacks a candidate committed to public-interest policies, we strike back with the truth and the facts. We explain the manipulation to our friends and acquaintances. When we see an ad promoting an evidence-free ideological candidate, we expose it as the machine talking. When we see candidates thriving without a campaign organization, we check for their boss connections. By striking back in these and similar ways, we will help to knock out the candidates the new bosses purchased with private money.
So power up, cynics. We are America’s higher power. We need your help to change our dysfunctional republic and restore the American social contract.
mr. daniels has considerably more faith in our profoundly and - dare i say - terminally broken system than i do... i have been belaboring what to do for a number of years and have come to the conclusion that incremental fixes simply ain't gonna cut it... i believe the only thing that can save us now is a constitutional convention and what's the likelihood we're going to see one of those any time soon...? the other option is a deus ex machina which i give about the same odds of happening... Submit To Propeller
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Wikileaks Julian Assange awarded top Australian journalism prize & U.S. wants to put him in jail
the times of india...
sydney morning herald...
US targets WikiLeaks like no other organisation
WIKILEAKS is the target of an ''unprecedented'' US government criminal investigation, Australian diplomatic cables obtained by the Herald reveal.
The cables also show the Australian government wants to be forewarned about moves to extradite Julian Assange to the United States, but that Australian diplomats raised no concerns about him being pursued by prosecutors on charges of espionage and conspiracy.
The cables, released under freedom of information to the Herald this week, show Australian diplomats have been talking to the US Justice Department for more than a year about US criminal investigations of WikiLeaks and Mr Assange.
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While the Justice Department has been reluctant to disclose details of the WikiLeaks probe, the Australian embassy in Washington reported in December 2010 that the investigation was ''unprecedented both in its scale and nature'' and that media reports that a secret grand jury had been convened in Alexandria, Virginia, were ''likely true''.
Last week the Foreign Affairs Minister, Kevin Rudd, told Parliament the government was ''not aware of any current extradition request [for Mr Assange] by US authorities'' and has ''no formal advice'' on a US grand jury investigation directed at WikiLeaks.
wouldn't it be nice if our government was as dogged about going after criminal banksters as it is those who are providing information to the citizenry...? Submit To Propeller
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John Boehner asks for responses to a survey that's already filled out
Dear Fellow Conservative,
The latest unemployment figures are out – and while any job creation is welcome news, too many Americans are still looking for work.
It’s been more than two-and-a-half years since President Obama forced his massive “stimulus” into law with a promise that it would keep unemployment below eight percent. Sadly, that promise remains unfulfilled.
To bring about true economic recovery, I need your help to build support for common-sense solutions to help create jobs. Here’s what you can do today:>> Take my survey on jobs and the economy. Which part of the GOP’s Plan for America’s Job Creators do you most want enacted today? Should President Obama reverse his decision to delay the Keystone Pipeline project and sacrifice more than 20,000 American jobs? These are just a few of the questions I have for you.
>> Make an immediate contribution of $25, $50, $100 or more to assist me in the fight to help create new jobs by preventing tax hikes, eliminating excessive government red tape, tapping into America’s vast energy resources, repealing ObamaCare, and more.
Your participation in this important survey – and your immediate contribution of $25, $50, $100, $250 or more – is critical to my efforts to advance the GOP’s jobs agenda of lower taxes, less spending and greater freedom in Democrat-controlled Washington.
Thank you in advance for your support. Together, we can help small businesses create jobs and restore the American dream for future generations.
P.S. I can’t overstate how important it is that I have your input. Please fill out my survey on jobs and the economy and follow-up with an immediate online contribution of $25, $50, $100, $250 or more to help me continue to lead the fight to cut government spending and remove barriers to private-sector job creation in America. Thanks again!
i thought, what the heck, let's see what the survey is all about... maybe i'd even respond... here's what opened up when i clicked the link... (since i had to reduce it to fit the blog format, for easier reading, you can click here for a larger version...)
now, i don't know about you, but i have serious doubts about the professionalism of any survey that comes already filled in... not only that, but virtually all choices for all questions with the exception of the last four offer no option but to regurgitate republican talking points... i know democrats are no saints in the spin, slant and bullshit department and i'm sure if i went looking, i could find similar examples for them but, really folks, the "team boehner" survey isn't a survey... at best it's a pep rally and at worst it's an outright insult to anyone with two brain cells to rub together...
[Cross-posted at Firedoglake] Submit To Propeller
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The extremists on two sides of a conflict are almost always identical
glenn, in his usual masterful and thorough way, makes the same case for those who ceaselessly push the war on terror and those who ceaseless wage the war of jihad...
The Enemy — which America’s warriors maintain and glorify with their endless we-are-at-War! fixation and in whose name Endless War is waged and civil liberties are destroyed — is, indeed, “on many counts the projection of the self.” There’s a good reason why Al Qaeda members and American would-be warriors are both equally desperate to maintain the we-are-at-War! mindset: it’s what gives them purpose and justifies everything they do.
i've only excerpted a small portion of glenn's post... it's well worth reading in its entirety as it sets forth a compelling perspective on these two events from thursday...
(1) the Democratic-led Senate rejuvenated and expanded the War on Terror by, among other things, passing a law authorizing military detention on U.S. soil and expanding the formal scope of the War; and (2) Obama lawyers, for the first time, publicly justified the President’s asserted (and seized) power to target U.S. citizens for assassination without any transparency or due process.
interesting times, eh...? Submit To Propeller
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Thursday, December 01, 2011
Robert Jensen on Occupy: We demand that you stop demanding a list of demands
The demand for demands is an attempt to shoehorn the Occupy gatherings into conventional politics, to force the energy of these gatherings into a form that people in power recognize, so that they can roll out strategies to divert, co-opt, buy off, or - if those tactics fail - squash any challenge to business as usual.
Rather than listing demands, we critics of concentrated wealth and power in the United States can dig in and deepen our analysis of the systems that produce that unjust distribution of wealth and power. This is a time for action, but there also is a need for analysis. Rallying around a common concern about economic injustice is a beginning; understanding the structures and institutions of illegitimate authority is the next step. We need to recognize that the crises we face are not the result simply of greedy corporate executives or corrupt politicians, but rather of failed systems. The problem is not the specific people who control most of the wealth of the country, or those in government who serve them, but the systems that create those roles. If we could get rid of the current gang of thieves and thugs, but leave the systems in place, we will find that the new boss is going to be the same as the old boss.
The economic system underlying empire building today has a name: capitalism. Or, more precisely, a predatory corporate capitalism that is inconsistent with basic human values. This description sounds odd in the United States, where so many assume that capitalism is not simply the best among competing economic systems, but the only sane and rational way to organize an economy in the contemporary world. Although the financial crisis that began in 2008 has scared many people, it has not always led to questioning the nature of the system.
That means the first task is to define capitalism: that economic system in which (1) property, including capital assets, is owned and controlled by private persons; (2) most people must rent their labor power for money wages to survive; and (3) the prices of most goods and services are allocated by markets.
The theory behind contemporary capitalism explains that because we are greedy, self-interested animals, a viable economic system must reward greedy, self-interested behavior.
Why is it that we must accept an economic system that undermines the most decent aspects of our nature and strengthens the cruelest? Because, we're told, that's just the way people are.
The people who run this world are eager to contain the Occupy energy not because they believe the critics of concentrated wealth and power are wrong, but because somewhere deep down in their souls (or what is left of a soul), the powerful know we are right. People in power are insulated by wealth and privilege, but they can see the systems falling apart.
The Occupy gatherings do not yet constitute a coherent movement with demands, but they are wellsprings of reasonable illusions. Rejecting the political babble around us in election campaigns and on mass media, these gatherings are an experiment in a different kind of public dialogue about our common life, one that can reject the forces of terror deployed by concentrated wealth and power.
With that understanding, the central task is to keep the experiment going, to remember the latent power in people who do not accept the legitimacy of a system.
i extracted the parts of the article that most closely resonated with me... imho, jensen is way too pessimistic and dark in his view of the near-term future... however, his systemic view is, again imho, the right view... the only way we're going to work our way out of this mess is by approaching things systemically... as jensen says...
If we could get rid of the current gang of thieves and thugs, but leave the systems in place, we will find that the new boss is going to be the same as the old boss.
yep, yep and yep... Submit To Propeller
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The view from Germany - The GOP is ruining the entire country's reputation
A Club of Liars, Demagogues and Ignoramuses
The US Republican race is dominated by ignorance, lies and scandals. The current crop of candidates have shown such a basic lack of knowledge that they make George W. Bush look like Einstein. The Grand Old Party is ruining the entire country's reputation.
spending as much time outside of the u.s. as i have over the past years, i am endlessly fascinated and horror-struck by turns at the views of the united states held by people outside the country... sadly, i often find those views to be considerably more honest and accurate than the views of those inside the country... Submit To Propeller
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American Airlines will use its bankruptcy as a $10B bailout by kicking its pensions to taxpayers
Taxpayers May Have To Pay AMR Pension Bill
US firms or taxpayers could end up paying for the bankruptcy of American Airlines if the carrier abandons its pension plans as part of a restructuring drive, US pension insurers told the online edition of the Financial Times.
Taking on the airline's pension plans would widen the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's (PBGC) financial deficit and could require the insurer to charge higher premiums, director Joshua Gotbaum, head of the federal agency that insures private pensions, told the newspaper.
Tom Horton, the new chief executive of American Airlines and its parent company AMR said the fact the company had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection did not mean its pension plans would definitely move to the PBGC, but he indicated it was a real possibility, according to the article.
"The pensions in particular are very expensive, it is a very big part of our cost disadvantage relative to the rest of the industry. And so, given our plans to reduce costs to a more sustainable level, we are going to have to look at those costs," he is quoted as saying.
The PBGC said on Tuesday that American's four traditional pension plans covering 130,000 workers and retirees collectively report USD$8.3 billion in assets to cover roughly USD$18.5 billion in promised benefits.
so far, i haven't seen any stories putting this in the context of a "bailout" although that's certainly what it would be... Submit To Propeller
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Fear that the justifications they have long given for the War no longer exist
Here are the bill’s three most important provisions:
(1) mandates that all accused Terrorists be indefinitely imprisoned by the military rather than in the civilian court system; it also unquestionably permits (but does not mandate) that even U.S. citizens on U.S. soil accused of Terrorism be held by the military rather than charged in the civilian court system (Sec. 1032);
(2) renews the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) with more expansive language: to allow force (and military detention) against not only those who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks and countries which harbored them, but also anyone who “substantially supports” Al Qaeda, the Taliban or “associated forces” (Sec. 1031); and,
(3) imposes new restrictions on the U.S. Government’s ability to transfer detainees out of Guantanamo (Secs. 1033-35).
it's glenn's analysis that i find to be the really interesting part...
I haven’t written about this bill until now for one reason: as odious and definitively radical as the powers are which this bill endorses, it doesn’t actually change the status quo all that much. That’s because the Bush and Obama administrations have already successfully claimed most of the powers in the bill, and courts have largely acquiesced. To be sure, there are dangers to having Congress formally codify these powers. But a powerful sign of how degraded our political culture has become is that this bill — which in any other time would be shockingly extremist — actually fits right in with who we are as a nation and what our political institutions are already doing. To be perfectly honest, I just couldn’t get myself worked up over a bill that, with some exceptions, does little more than formally recognize and codify what our Government is already doing.
now, prepare to be chilled to the bone...
Indefinite, charge-free military detention of people accused — accused – of Terrorism has been fully embraced by both the Bush and Obama administrations (it’s one of the reasons some of us have been so vocally critical). The Obama administration has gone even further and argued that it has the power not merely to detain accused Terrorists (including U.S. citizens) without due process, but to kill them. It is true that the Obama DOJ has chosen to try some accused Terrorists in civilian courts — and this bill may make that more difficult — but the power of military detention already rests with the Executive Branch. And while it would be worse for Congress to formally codify these powers and thus arguably overturn long-standing prohibitions on using the U.S. military on U.S. soil, the real legal objections to such detention are grounded in Constitutional guarantees, and no act of Congress can affect those. In sum, this bill would codify indefinite military detention, but the actual changes when compared to what the Executive Branch is doing now would be modest. That’s not a mitigation of this bill’s radicalism; it’s proof of how radical the Executive Branch under these two Presidents has already become.
on the aumf (authorization for the use of military force)...
We have the same story with this provision. On paper, Levin/McCain would expand the War on Terror by codifying more expansive language defining the scope of the conflict than is contained in the 2001 AUMF. The old AUMF only authorized force (which the Supreme Court found includes military detention) “against those nations, organizations, or persons [the President] determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided” the 9/11 attack and those nations which harbored them. By contrast, Levin/McCain would also authorize force against “a person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.” This is intended to allow force to be used against groups that did not even exist at the time of 9/11 — such as the ones in Yemen and Somalia — as well to allow force against persons who may not be a member of those groups but who provide “substantial support.”
Here again, though, this is already what the U.S. Government is doing. The Obama administration has repeatedly insisted – and some courts have accepted — that the 2001 AUMF already includes not only Al Qaeda but “associated forces.” Thus, insists the Obama administration, it has the right to bomb Yemen and Somalia under the terms of the 2001 AUMF even though the targeted groups didn’t even exist at the time of the attack — and to detain people who had nothing to do with 9/11 — because they are already interpreting the 2001 AUMF in the same way as Levin/McCain define the war: Al Qaeda and “associated forces,” and not just members of Terrorist groups but those who “substantially support” such groups.
on obama's veto threat...
Let’s be very clear, though, about what the “veto threat” is and is not. All things considered, I’m glad the White House is opposing this bill rather than supporting it. But, with a few exceptions, the objections raised by the White House are not grounded in substantive problems with these powers, but rather in the argument that such matters are for the Executive Branch, not the Congress, to decide. In other words, the White House’s objections are grounded in broad theories of Executive Power. They are not arguing: it is wrong to deny accused Terrorists of a trial. Instead they insist: whether an accused Terrorist is put in military detention rather than civilian custody is for the President alone to decide.
glenn's equally chilling summary...
If someone had said before September 11 that the Congress would be on the verge of enacting a bill to authorize military detention inside the U.S., it would be hard to believe. If someone had said after September 11 (or even after the 2006 and 2008 elections) that a Democratic-led Senate — more than ten years later, and without another successful attack on U.S. soil — would be mandating the indefinite continuation of Guantanamo and implementing an expanded AUMF, that, too, would have been hard to believe. But that’s exactly what Congress, with the active participation of both parties, is doing. And the most amazing part of it all is that it won’t change much, because that is more or less what Washington, without any statutory authorization, has already done. That’s how degraded our political culture is: what was once unthinkable now barely prompts any rational alarm — not because it’s not alarming, but because it’s become so normalized.
i've lamented too many times about what's become of my country... it's very hard to witness this kind of degradation of fundamental principles that we have been witnessing virtually every day now for over ten years without lapsing into heart-numbing despair... Submit To Propeller
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Glenn: The Washington Post Op-Ed page is truly the belly of the beast of America’s rotted media discourse
Ruth Marcus reveals another journalistic value
The secrecy-loving mind of the U.S. journalist
The victims the NYT Editors forgot
would that other columnists would hold our rotten media's feet to the fire the way glenn does... Submit To Propeller
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Putting natural persons back in charge of our government
With the end of corporate personhood, it will be possible for the humans of the United States and every nation in the world to define the terms of a new economy. With natural persons once again in charge of government, we can redefine the rules of business so that corporations are profitable when their actions lead to sustainability and a clean environment, respond to values defined by local communities, and promote and develop renewable forms of energy. We can strip out the strings and the harnesses put into regulatory law by corporate lobbyists so that the government agencies charged with protecting us from malefactors and criminals can once again work.
Once corporate personhood is eliminated and corporations are again seen as they really are—the fictitious legal creatures of the states that authorized and created them—all this can change. The rightful representatives of humans— our governments—can then pass laws like the ones that were once part of this nation and its states, forbidding corporations from attempting to influence the laws and the regulatory agencies that oversee their activities.
"Democracy alone can supply the vitalizing force to stir the peoples of the world into triumphant action," Truman said, "not only against their human oppressors, but also against their ancient enemies—hunger, misery, and despair."
The role of government is to protect, defend, and represent the interests of its own people, he said. "Democracy maintains that government is established for the benefit of the individual, and is charged with the responsibility of protecting the rights of the individual and his freedom in the exercise of his abilities." Citing Locke’s concept of natural rights, he added, "Democracy is based on the conviction that man has the moral and intellectual capacity, as well as the inalienable right, to govern himself with reason and justice."
"natural persons"... kind of has a nice ring to it, doesn't it...? Submit To Propeller
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Monday, November 28, 2011
The 1% only care about making themselves richer at the expense of everyone else
It's time to expose the lies for what they are. The One Percent have rigged the deck over the last three decades to accomplish the most massive upward redistribution in the history of the world. These are not people who care about budget deficits or free trade or free markets. They care about making themselves richer at the expense of everyone else.
i know i'm being completely unrealistic, but wouldn't it be nice to see the views of someone like dean baker competing with the views of the 1% on traditional news media outlets...? i have to ask myself, why is that not happening...? the answer, obviously, is that the 1% control the traditional news media... Submit To Propeller
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The Occupy protesters are acting like citizens, believing they have the power to change things
In Occupy Wall Street, we are witnessing a rare event—the birth of a social movement. Ordinary people are engaging in sustained grassroots protest against the political order and against citizens’ exclusion from the decision-making that governs their lives. They seek to rearrange the distribution of power, and they are doing so by injecting a creative, often playful vitality that has been missing in our decayed democracy. The protesters have slipped around the soul-deadening, high-gloss marketing of mass-communication culture. Instead, they insist that politics starts with citizens talking to one another and listening—agreeing and disagreeing with mutual respect. The open-door, non hierarchical membership commits people to engage in what historian Lawrence Goodwyn calls “democratic conversation.”
The Occupy protesters are acting like citizens, believing they have the power to change things. Their ambition reflects a core mystery of American democracy—the fact that humble people can acquire power when they convince themselves they can. Warmhearted and broad-minded, these citizens audaciously claim to speak for the 99 percent—and despite initial ridicule and dismissal of them by much of the press, polls show they have strong public support. The Occupiers have even managed to make uptight reporters write about corporate greed.
But will it last? Skeptics are entitled to their doubts, but for important reasons I am confident this movement will endure. First, because it is very unlikely the establishment will respond substantively to OWS’s grievances—and that will only make the protesters more determined. OWS has brilliantly focused its many complaints on the very sector—the megabankers and financiers—on whom the politicians are dependent. In different ways, Republicans and Democrats are aligned with the greedheads and are thus unwilling to punish their crimes or cut them down to size.
In any case, this movement is not about electoral politics—not yet, anyway. It is about saving the country, an objective bigger than politics and politicians. Its vision is nothing less than halting the degradation and fostering the rebirth of the nation’s original democratic promise. It is the nature of authentic movements to seek large and majestic goals that seem impossible to pedestrian politicians—and, at first, to most citizens. Standing up requires both uncommon courage and severe provocation.
[R]adical reform will originate only from ordinary citizens—not policy experts and their Wall Street supporters, who led the nation into ruin. The movement can inspire the people to become creative citizens again. Are we up to it? Let us find out. Let the democratic conversations begin.
i'm more than happy to bask in greider's optimism... i sincerely hope it's justified... Submit To Propeller
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The Euro Zone is on the edge [UPDATE]
A Continent Stares into the Abyss
Fear is spreading through the financial markets as investors pull their money out of the crisis-stricken euro-zone countries. With Chancellor Angela Merkel ophttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifposed to using the ECB's firepower to solve the crisis, the monetary union appears increasingly in danger of breaking apart. Some economists are even arguing for Germany to reintroduce the deutsche mark.
it looks like barack is worried about
from the guardian [emphasis added]...
Barack Obama is to press European Union officials to reach a definitive solution to their sovereign debt crisis, which is emerging as a major 2012 US election worry.
As Germany and France scramble to tighten budget controls across the eurozone, the European council president, Herman Van Rompuy, and the European commission president, José Manuel Barroso, will face tough questions from Obama at the White House on Monday on how much longer the crisis might go on.
No breakthroughs are expected from the meeting, which will not include the European heads of state who need to make crucial decisions about the future of the 17-nation currency union.
But Van Rompuy and Barroso wield influence as heads of key EU institutions at the heart of efforts to fight the crisis, which has thrown the future of the eurozone into doubt at a moment of weakness for the global economy.
what's at the root of barack's 2012 worry, i wonder...? is it merely the prospect of losing votes or that the super-rich elites who pump vast amounts of cash into obama's campaign coffers might either not have enough to throw his way or, if they do, might not be willing to fork it over...? Submit To Propeller
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The S.E.C.’s policy of settling cases by allowing a company to neither admit nor deny the agency’s allegations does not satisfy the law
Federal Judge Blocks Citigroup’s Mortgage Settlement With S.E.C.
A federal judge in New York on Monday threw out a settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Citigroup over a 2007 mortgage derivatives deal, saying that the S.E.C.’s policy of settling cases by allowing a company to neither admit nor deny the agency’s allegations did not satisfy the law.
The judge, Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the Federal District Court in Manhattan, ruled that the S.E.C.’s $28 million settlement, announced last month, is “neither fair, nor adequate, nor in the public interest” because it does not provide the court with evidence on which to judge the settlement.
The ruling could throw the S.E.C.’s enforcement efforts into chaos, because a majority of the fraud and other cases that the agency brings against Wall Street firms are settled out of court, most often with a condition that the defendant does not admit that it violated the law while also promising not to deny it.
this is a biggie, methinks... Submit To Propeller
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The permanent re-set and reorganization of everyday life amidst a desperate scramble for resources
Your New American Dream
The situation at hand is not a "depression," though it may resemble the experience of the 1930s in the early going. It's the permanent re-set and reorganization of everyday life amidst a desperate scramble for resources. It will go on and on until there are far fewer people competing for things while the ones who endure construct new systems for daily living based on fewer resources used differently.
In North America I believe this re-set will involve the re-establishment of an economy centered on agriculture, with a lot of other activities supporting it, all done on a fine-grained local and regional scale. It must be impossible for many of us to imagine such an outcome - hence the futility of our current politics, with its hollow promises, its laughable battles over sexual behavior, its pitiful religious boasting, its empty statistical blather, all in the service of wishing the disintegrating past back into existence.
This desperation may be why our recently-acquired traditions seem especially automatic this holiday season. Of course the "consumers" line up outside the big box stores the day after the automatic Thanksgiving exercise in gluttony. That is what they're supposed to do this time of year. That is what has been on the cable TV news shows in recent years: see the crowds cheerfully huddled in their sleeping bags outside the Wal Mart... see them trample each other in the moment the doors open!
This holiday season spend a little time musing on what the re-set economy will be like in your part of the country. Think of what you do in it as a "role," or a "vocation," or a "trade," or a "calling," or a "way of life," rather than a "job." Imagine that life will surely go on, even civilized life, though it will be organized differently. Add to this the notion that you are part of a larger group, a society, and that societies evolve emergently according to the circumstances that their time and place presents. Let that imagining be your new American Dream.
i'm wary and skeptical of any predictions, this one included... Submit To Propeller
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Occupying our democracy
Sunday, November 27, 2011
In twenty-first-century America, “rights” are increasingly meant for those who behave themselves and don’t exercise them
In the United States, increasingly, those in power no longer observe the law. Instead, they make it up to suit their needs. In the process, the streets where you demonstrate, as (New York’s mayor keeps telling us) is our “right,” are regularly transformed into yet more fenced-in, heavily surveilled Zuccotti Prisons.
This may not be a traditional police state (yet), but it is an increasingly militarized policed state in which the blue coats, armed to the teeth, act with remarkable impunity -- and all in the name of our safety from a bunch of doofuses or unhinged individuals that its “informants” often seem to fund, put through basic terror courses, and encourage in every way until they are arrested as “terrorists.” This is essentially a scam on the basis of which rights are regularly abridged or tossed out the window.In twenty-first-century America, “rights” are increasingly meant for those who behave themselves and don’t exercise them. And if you happen to be part of a government in which no criminal act of state -- torture, kidnapping, the assassination of U.S. citizens abroad, the launching of wars of aggression -- will ever bring a miscreant to court, only two crimes evidently exist: blowing a whistle or expressing your opinion.
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Egyptian army major: I’m supposed to die for these people, not them die for me
Speaking next to an open window that looks out on to Tahrir Square, Major Tamer Samir Badr says he now feels it is his duty to protect 'these people who are fighting for our rights'. The 37-year-old claims many officers have been attending the protests secretly in civilian clothes.
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