Dahr Jamail: Iraq and U.S. Military Expansion

Dandelion Salad


Talk by independent journalist Dahr Jamail author of “Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq” given June 7, 2008 in Seattle.



Israel Lobby


GI Resistance

It’s March 19 and Blogswarm Day! Posts on Iraq War by Lo (list of Winter Soldier posts)

Don’t Give Your Consent to Slavery – Fight Fascism!

Dandelion Salad

By Peter Chamberlin
06/27/08 “ICH’

Normal folks do not want to believe that the human race is dominated by dark forces. But, there is a small group of people who know that it is true, the human race is considered to be livestock, cattle for the real owners of this world, the elite.

Since the day of our creation, mankind has been dominated and shaped by inhuman entities, to behave more like cattle.  The shapers themselves know this to be true.  They also know that if we are not kept ignorant many of us will one day learn to ask the proper questions, until we finally locate the evidence that proves it is all true.  Through diligent research, various people have discovered proof of the machinery that controls America’s economy, its political system, its military, its educational system, its medical system, every facet of life.  This knowledge is a direct threat to the elite.

The elite power game is designed to wear the people down, as they move the nation slowly toward a predicted outcome, where the majority becomes exhausted from fighting a losing struggle and completely submits to total elite domination of all resources.  When the American masses freely surrender their free will to the dark overlords, in the name of security, the fate of the world will be sealed by this lawless tyranny.  Destruction and suffering, such as has never been witnessed by the eyes of man, will be unleashed upon the helpless victim populations of the earth.

Very few people can see this future (no one wants to see it) outside of the elite, who gladly accept it as the price of saving whatever is left of the world for themselves.  The masters of humanity count on our blindness and willful ignorance, in order to carry-out their conspiratorial plans.  They join in secret organizations, where they are free to openly discuss their schemes amongst their own kind.

The documentation of their plotting is kept locked away from the public in corporate vaults and private libraries.  Occasionally, someone on the inside discovers their conscience and leaks word of the devilish plans to the outside world, or maybe they simply slip-up and lose track or control of sequestered documents.  In order to deceive us and to stall the day of our realization of the multitude of their crimes against humanity, intensive disinformation is introduced into the webstream, discrediting the truth by impersonating it.  We have to be diligent in our research to ascertain the veracity of any documents that we might come across.  If their revelations cannot be confirmed my multiple sources, then they must be suspect.  The “Pentagon Papers” and “Operation Northwoods” come quickly to mind.  Both of these major leaks were later partially corroborated by reports of past deceptive military PSYOPS and CIA covert wars.

Then there are the out of the blue revelations offered by researchers who claim to have obtained inside information, or in the case of former MI6 agent John Coleman, a training manual from the Tavistock Institute (British mind control research). – Conspirators’ Hierarchy: The Story of the Committee of 300 Coleman’s research is automatically suspect because of his previous government involvement.  But this research on social scientists and psychologists at Tavistock, founded in studies by British “Operational Research” at the end of World War II (on the psycho/social impact of bombing upon civilian populations), provided valuable insight to me on the mechanisms for studying and manipulating human cattle.


Another very insightful document of questionable origin, which seems to corroborate Coleman’s work, entitled, “Silent Weapons for a Quiet War,” (an Operations Research Technical Manual) is alleged to be a document from the highly-secretive elitist Bilderburg Group.”  http://www.theforbiddenknowledge.com/hardtruth/silentweaponsforquietwars.htm This document may be legitimate, or it may also be a carefully constructed piece of disinformation.  Whatever it is, it opens even more insights into the potential opinions of the elite towards the American sheeple, or anyone not living up to their lofty cruel standards and ideas for forging a global dictatorship:

“The general public refuses to improve its own mentality and its faith in its fellow man. It has become a herd of proliferating barbarians, and, so’ to speak, a blight upon the fate of the earth. They do not care enough about economic science to learn why they have not been able to avoid war despite religious morality, and their religious or self-gratifying refusal to deal with earthly problems renders the solution of the earthly problem unreachable by them. It is left to those few who are truly willing to think and survive as the fittest to survive, to solve the problem for themselves as the few who really care.”

“This public demand is incredible, so the human god, the political, meets incredibility with incredibility by promising the world and delivering nothing.  This public behavior is surrender born of fear, laziness and expediency. It is the basis of the welfare state as a strategic weapon, useful against a disgusting public.  They hire politicians to face reality for them.”

Silent Weapons builds upon the British work begun at Operations Research and by its offshoot studies, in studying the effects of planned shocks upon the “cattle,” in particular the economic effects of specific psychological shocks.  From this research they constructed what they called an “economic amplifier,” for stimulating the economy in various ways, by shocking the populace and using the information obtained to control the people, thereby manipulating their free will.

“The low class elements of the society must be brought under total control, i.e., must be house-broken, trained, and assigned a yoke and long term social duties from a very early age, before they have an opportunity to question the propriety of the matter…In order to achieve such conformity, the lower class family unit must be disintegrated by a process of increasing preoccupation of the parents and occupationally orphaned children…The quality of education given to the lower class must be of the poorest sort, so that the … ignorance isolating the inferior class from the superior class is and remains incomprehensible to the inferior class. With such an initial handicap, even bright lower class individuals have little if any hope of extricating themselves from their assigned lot in life. This form of slavery is essential to maintaining some measure of social order, peace, and tranquility for the ruling upper class.”

“Economic engineers…study the behavior of the economy and the consumer public by carefully selecting a staple commodity such as beef, coffee, gasoline, or sugar and then causing a sudden change or shock in its price or availability, thus kicking everybody’s budget and buying habits out of shape…They then observe the shock waves which result by monitoring the changes in advertising, prices, and sales of that and other commodities…The objective of such studies is to acquire know-how to set the public economy into a predictable state of motion or change, even a controlled self-destructive state of motion which will convince the public that certain “expert” people should take control of the money system and reestablish security (rather than liberty and justice) for all. When the subject citizens are rendered unable to control their financial affairs, they of course, become totally enslaved, a source of cheap labor.”

“Labor strikes deliver excellent test shocks to an economy, especially in the critical service areas of trucking (transportation), communication, public utilities (energy, water, garbage collection), etc…By shock testing, it is found that there is a direct relationship between the availability of money flowing in an economy and the psychological outlook and response of masses of people dependent upon that availability…For example, there is a measurable, quantitative relationship between the price of gasoline, and the probability that a person would experience a headache, feel a need to watch a violent movie, smoke a cigarette, or go to a tavern for a mug of beer.”

“It is most interesting that, by observing and measuring the economic modes by which the public tries to run from their problems and escape from reality, and by applying the mathematical theory of Operations Research, it is possible to program computers to predict the most probable combination of created events (shocks) which will bring about a complete control and subjugation of the public through a subversion of the public economy (by shaking the plum tree).”

“Keep the public undisciplined and ignorant of basic systems principles on the one hand, while keeping them confused, disorganized, and distracted with matters of no real importance on the other hand.

Disengaging their minds, sabotaging their mental activities, by providing a low quality program of public education in mathematics, logic, systems design, and economics, and by discouraging technical creativity.

Unrelenting emotional affrontations and attacks (mental and emotional rape) by way of a constant barrage of sex, violence, and wars in the media – especially the T.V. and the newspapers.

Shift their thinking from personal needs to highly fabricated outside priorities.

Preclude their interest in and discovery of the silent weapons of social automation technology.

The best approach is to create problems and then offer the solutions.

Keep the public busy, busy, busy, with no time to think; back on the farm with the other animals.”

The elitists’ control over information, made possible by the creation of a global computer network, allowed them to absorb all available data from both voluntary and involuntary sources and incorporate the latest facts into their studies for manipulating the unsuspecting masses.  The computer-modeling they developed allowed them to accurately predict the real world effect of certain shocks through computer simulations.

“A silent weapon system operates upon data obtained from a docile public by legal (but not always lawful) force…The number of such forms submitted to the I.R.S. is a useful indicator of public consent, an important factor in strategic decision making…When the government is able to collect tax and seize private property without just compensation, it is an indication that the public is ripe for surrender and is consenting to enslavement and legal encroachment. A good and easily quantified indicator of harvest time is the number of public citizens who pay income tax.”

The move to expand their acquisition of personal information led them to take the risky step of sharing their global computer/communications network, the Internet, with the people, even with the sheeple.  But, the document reveals that the controllers were well aware of the risks and accepted it as the necessary price of aggregating all that juicy input.

“It was only a matter of time, only a few decades, before the general public would be able to grasp and upset the cradle of power, for the very elements of the new silent weapon technology were as accessible for a public utopia as they were for providing a private utopia.

As time goes on and communication and education improve, the lower class elements of the social labor structure become knowledgeable and envious of the good things that the upper class members have. They also begin to attain a knowledge of energy systems and the ability to enforce their rise through the class structure.

This threatens the sovereignty of the elite.

If this rise of the lower classes can be postponed long enough, the elite can achieve energy dominance.  Until such energy dominance is absolutely established, the consent of people to labor and let others handle their affairs must be taken into consideration, since failure to do so could cause the people to interfere in the final transfer of energy sources to the control of the elite.

It is essential to recognize that at this time, public consent is still an essential key to the release of energy in the process of economic amplification.”

Whether this document is a fraud or not, its characterizations of elitist contempt for the sheeple resonates as truth. This means that they are vulnerable, if we are diligent in our investigations, but only for a limited time.  Our window of opportunity is very limited, as we watch it slowly close before us.  If the American people capitulate before we can educate them to the dangerous future awaiting us all, then all hope is lost (outside of divine intervention).  The people are irrelevant until we learn to organize and to fight back. Until we learn how to disrupt their plan by generating our own reverse shock waves, generated by explosive revelatory truths, we will remain irrelevant.  Until we can blow-away the foundations of lies that empower the cover-ups, the truths that could set us all free will remain useless data, lost in the webstream, hidden in executive vaults and private libraries.

As long as the people remain compliant to elitist molding, there remains little hope.  It is time to strike a blow for hope.  We must launch our own counter-offensive, in order to capture the people’s minds, in time to repel the final wave of conformation.  We must begin to see the elitists who dominate us as the vile scum that they truly are, alien to all decent human beings.  It is our last call for making the American people relevant to those who have been elected to represent us in our fake democracy.

In my quest to understand what is needed to avert the catastrophic future that awaits us, and to formulate a workable alternative vision to it, I turned to one of the most-often quoted figures in America, Noam Chomsky.  In a recent interview he did with Al-Jazeera Network, “Chomsky: US public irrelevant,”  Chomsky described our plight and compared it to recent third world revolutions, carried-out by simple folks in similar predicaments:

see: Inside USA: Noam Chomsky (videos)

“For the majority of the population real wages have stagnated or declined for the past 30 years, there’s been growth but it’s going to the wealthy and into very few pockets, benefits which were never really great have declined, work hours have greatly increased and there isn’t really much to show for it other than staying afloat.”

“The elite strategy for managing the electorate is to ignore the will of the people as…interpret[ed] through polling data?… We have models right in front of us. Like pick, say, Bolivia, the poorest county in South America. They had a democratic election a couple of years ago that you can’t even dream about in the US. It’s kind of interesting it’s not discussed [in our press]…A large majority of the population became organised and active for the first time in history and elected someone from their own ranks on crucial issues that everyone knew about – control of resource, cultural rights, issues of justice, you know, really serious issues…

A couple of years before this they managed to drive Bechtel and the World Bank out of the country when they were trying to privatise the war. It was a pretty harsh struggle… Well, they reached a point where they finally could manifest this through the electoral system – they didn’t have to change the electoral laws, they had to change the way the public acts… Actually if we look at the poorest country in the hemisphere – Haiti – the same thing happened in 1990. You know, if peasants in Bolivia and Haiti can do this, it’s ridiculous to say we can’t.”

The only thing that will save us and the world from the great plundering that is planned for us is another revolution, a revolution of free will.  Everyone must stop surrendering their will to the dishonest men and women who claim to represent us.  We must reclaim our fading and lost heritage.

“To oppose the policies of a government does not mean you are against the country or the people that the government supposedly represents. Such opposition should be called what it really is: democracy, or democratic dissent, or having a critical perspective about what your leaders are doing. Either we have the right to democratic dissent and criticism of these policies or we all lie down and let the leader, the Fuhrer, do what is best, while we follow uncritically, and obey whatever he commands. That’s just what the Germans did with Hitler, and look where it got them.”

Michael Parenti, author, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20186.htm

Americans can stop the overlords from carrying-out the final step for ending human freedom, expanding their global war into Iran, escalating it beyond the nuclear threshold.  Advancement of their geopolitical plan through the use of terrorism by our own government and through their proxies in foreign intelligence services remains the immoral center of their unholy schemes.  We stop this hypocrisy by making this common knowledge.

Revelations of “silent weapons” being used in a secret war against them and their families will go a long way towards opening many eyes and convincing people to resist.  What is needed is massive resistance, on a scale not seen in this country for a very long time.  People have to be convinced to resist cooperating with government and private efforts to collect personal data and conform with illegal mandates.  Organize to stop the war, to end the illegal progressive tax system, the submission to intrusive government measures.  In the end, we must bring down the corrupt Federal Reserve System.

Soldiers must refuse to lay down their freedom and their lives for the war machine.  Everyone must stop playing along with our farcical electoral system.  Don’t vote on November 6, send them a static-filled signal of our own.

DON’T VOTE, DON’T WORK!  General Strike.

DON’T VOTE, DON’T WORK!  General Strike.

DON’T VOTE, DON’T WORK!  General Strike.

Contact Author:  peter.chamberlin@yahoo.com

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Countdown: Norquist’s Trash Mouth + McStrategy Of the Week

Dandelion Salad

June 27, 2008


Grover Norquist’s Trash Mouth

Keith reports on Grover Norquist’s statement that Barack Obama was John Kerry with a tan. Ryan Lizza weighs in on the fine line the GOP is walking this election cycle with playing the race card.

McStrategy Of the Week

Keith reports on the latest talking points to come out of the McCain campaign which of course are being mindlessly repeated by his surrogates like Karl Rove and Sam Brownback. Chris Hayes of The Nation weighs in.

Unity or Bust

Keith reports on the campaign event with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in Unity, New Hampshire.

Worst Person

And the winner is…Sean Hannity. Runners up Bill Delahunt and David Addington, and Richard Johnson.


Tonight’s: Black List-Gate, Breaking the Military-Gate and Blackwater-Gate.


Top Cheney aide downplays his role in interrogation policies + videos

John Yoo-4th Amendment-Torture

Keith Olbermann: Then and now + Olbermann’s reply & Obama’s Secret Plan to Protect the Rule of Law

Scahill: Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army

The Audacity of Arrogance by Joel S. Hirschhorn

Ralph Nader says no to wire tapping

The Political Economy of Media (Part II) by Stephen Lendman

Dandelion Salad

by Stephen Lendman
Global Research
June 27, 2008

Review of Robert McChesney’s book

McChesney’s book is a compilation of his best political economy of media work in the past two decades. It contains 23 separate offerings under three topic headings. In them he covers “enduring issues” and “emerging dilemmas.” Part I of this review discussed some of them. More follow below. The entire book is must reading and contains new material never before published.

The Battle for the US Airwaves, 1928 – 1935

McChesney recounts the beginning. It explains much of the current dilemma and necessity to confront it.

The notion that the dominant media system is “natural” and was adopted enthusiastically is pure myth. Opposition to what emerged was considerable. It insisted that network, for-profit, commercial broadcasting was inimical to the public interest, and that there should be a substantial nonprofit sector.

In the mid-1920s, things looked much different than later on. Several hundred nonprofit broadcasters began operating in the decade’s early years, mostly affiliated with colleges and universities. Commercial ones, in contrast, weren’t even professionals. They were owned and run by newspapers, department stores, power companies and others in the private sector.

NBC was established in 1926, CBS the following year, and neither had an impact until the 1927 Radio Act’s passage. Commercial advertising, the pillar of today’s system, hardly existed until 1928. It was very controversial and very unpopular throughout the 1920s. Before 1927, it was generally agreed that nonprofit broadcasting should have a significant, even a dominant position, in the US system.

Then came the Radio Act that year. It established the Federal Radio Commission (FRC). It was to make the airwaves orderly, reduce the number of stations, allocate broadcast licenses, and favor those applicants that would best serve the “public interest, convenience or necessity.” The FRC was renewed in 1928 and then indefinitely in 1929. It used these years to solidify the emerging industry’s dominance and make no effort to change it.

FRC held meetings with commercial broadcasters. Nonprofits and nonbroadcasters were left out, so it’s not surprising how things developed. FRC’s reallocation plan came out under General Order 40. Of the 90 available, it set aside forty 50,000 watt clear channels for one occupant nationally. The remaining 600 broadcasters got the other 50 to operate simultaneously on at much lower power levels. Those in the same region would share a frequency at different times of day. The squeeze was on, and by autumn 1929, 100 fewer stations were on-air.

Not surprisingly, the networks won big. They got a flying start, and by the early 1930s, controlled 30% of the stations, including all but three of the clear channel ones. In addition, commercial advertising began growing substantially. Equally dramatic was the decline in nonprofit, noncommercial broadcasting. The FRC reduced their hours and power and made it harder for them to generate funds to keep operating. As a result, by 1930, their numbers dropped to less than one-third their 1927 total of around 200. By 1934, nonprofit broadcasting accounted for about 2% of total broadcast time. Business was king. The potential of the medium was beginning to be understood. The FRC was on board to support it, and said it was in “general public service” to do it.

Nonetheless, nonprofit opposition emerged. A National Committee on Education by Radio (NCER) was formed to get Congress to set aside 15% of channels for its use. Other nonprofit broadcasters joined the battle, and so did newspaper owners (at first) and civic groups. The former ended up partnering with for-profit broadcasters, while remaining opposition elements continued the struggle. They were against the status quo and wanted reform. Three themes underlined their position:

— the airwaves should be a public resource and broadcasting a public utility;

— most important, an advertising-supported for-profit network would use its programming to defend the status quo and would shut out unpopular or radical ideas; and

— reformers criticized broadcast advertising and the limitations of for-profit broadcasting; it would work against cultural, educational, and public affairs efforts that are less suited to commercial operations.

Opposition groups proposed a number of plans with three getting the most attention in the early 1930s:

— setting aside a fixed percentage (15 – 25%) of broadcast channels for exclusive nonprofit use;

— have Congress authorize an extensive and independent broadcasting study to devise a whole new system; and

— have the government establish a number of local, regional, and national nonprofit stations; they’d be subsidized by taxes and operated by a congressionally approved citizen board of directors; these stations would supplement, not replace, commercial operations.

None of the proposals were considered. For-profit operators worked against them. The opposition movement was divided in its tactics, and it faced three major barriers – the radio lobby, consisting of NBC, CBS and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). They went all out with a PR blitz to establish the “status quo.”

Against this, reformers got little coverage while the press was strongly on board with the broadcasters. So was the legal community. The ABA established a Standing Committee on Communications in the late 1920s and stacked it with commercial broadcasting attorneys, The handwriting was on the wall.

The campaign to restructure commercial broadcasting went through three distinct phases from 1930 to 1935:

— from 1930 to when Franklin Roosevelt took office in 1933; the period was “the high watermark for popular discontent with US broadcasting;” it won over House and Senate support for setting aside nonprofit channels; nothing passed because economy recovery legislation took precedence; more significantly, powerful leaders (like Clarence Dill, chairman of the Senate Commerce Commission) blocked anti-commercial reforms; so did Sam Rayburn in the House;

— from 1933 until the Communications Act of 1934; it established permanent broadcasting law; reformers hoped Roosevelt would support them; instead he ducked; he was in no mood to confront a “powerful and entrenched communications industry,” especially when passing New Deal legislation took precedence; broadcasters seized the moment; they got House and Senate leaders on board; got the Communications Act passed, the FCC established, and pretty much everything they wanted; Roosevelt signed the new law in June 1934; it was called a “New Deal in Radio Law;” indeed so for the broadcasters; and

— in January 1935, the FCC formerly reported to Congress that there was no need to alter the status quo; nonprofits lost out, and for the rest of the 1930s “the industry became economically and politically consolidated;” by decade’s end, the public no longer had a say over what kind of system was best; as far as government and industry are concerned, they still don’t, but surging reform movements blossomed post-2000 to change things; McChesney is one of its leaders; more on that below.

The Commercial Tidal Wave

Corporate giants today are so dominant that they compete less on price and more on what economists call “monopolistic competition.” Advertising is key. It needs “advertising-friendly policies and regulations to allow it to flourish,” and its the major source of media revenues.

Most notably on television, it’s “ubiquitous.” Yet the greater number of ads, the more alike they become, less believable, and less people pay attention to them. One solution – run more ads. The airwaves wreak with them, and the “commercial tidal wave” takes many forms. On radio and television, they consume nearly one-third of each hour compared to around half that volume before 1982.

Advertisers have also gotten very creative and more intrusive. A proliferation of TV “infomercials” for one thing, and entertainment programming “product placement” is everywhere. The idea is to seamlessly weave products into story lines so they’re hard to ignore. It’s not cheap with Coca Cola one of many examples. It paid Time Warner $25 million for the characters of one prime time show to “drink Cokes in each episode.” Time Warner also developed “virtual” advertising by getting products placed retroactively in popular shows.

Radio is used as well. Increasingly, broadcasters use airtime to hype products they’re paid to advertise. Hollywood is also cashing in. Disney’s Miramax Films cut a deal to make Coors the studio’s official beer and feature it exclusively in Miramax productions. Then consider James Bond films. They once shunned product placements. No longer in today’s “very competitive movie environment.” It’s now a necessity, and look at the payoff. The 2002 Bond film, Die Another Day, so wreaked with them that Variety called it an “ad-venture,” and the Financial Times said James Bond is now “licensed to sell” – with a $120 million payoff for the film studio.

Product placements show up everywhere, and children aren’t exempt. Far from it. The animated film, Foodfight, had “thousands of products and character icons from the familiar (items) in a grocery store.” Children’s books also feature branded items and characters, and millions of them have snack foods as lead characters.

ESPN is cashing in as well with help from digital ad firm Princeton Video Image. It places changing product billboards on walls behind home plate on Major League baseball telecasts. Only viewers see them, not fans at games because they’re not there.

Overall, the wall separating ads from editorial is disappearing because of media companies’ greed, advertisers’ enormous clout, and the concentrated power of eight dominant advertising/PR agencies that control 80% of all spending. They have great leverage – over product placement and program content. They’re also clever enough to produce ads that are indistinguishable from entertainment.

Sum it up and here’s the problem. Advertising is all-pervasive. We drowning in it and paying the price. It’s corrosive to society and intrusive in our lives. It fosters false values, wants and needs. It makes otherwise normal people shop excessively for what they never knew they wanted until Madison Avenue mind manipulators convinced them. Years ago, economist Paul Baran said makes us “want what we don’t need (nonessential consumer goods and services) and not….what we do (health care, education, clean air and water, safe food, good government, and so forth).”

Things are so extreme, McChesney puts it this way. We’re “rapidly moving to a whole new paradigm for media and commercialism, where traditional borders are disintegrating and conventional standards are being replaced with something significantly different.” It marries content with commercialism so pervasively they’re indistinguishable, and it shows up everywhere all the time – television, radio, movies, publications, music, popular culture, schools, universities, public vehicles, commercial ones, public broadcasting and radio, art, subways, restrooms, and any and all other ways advertisers can reach people whether or not we approve.

McChesney calls it “the greatest concerted attempt at psychological manipulation in all of human history.” It increasingly targets younger people. Acclimate them early because they become adult customers, and the children’s market besides accounts for tens of billions of dollars globally and growing.

Hyper-commercialism is troubling. It’s contrary to democratic practices, crowds out other forms of speech, and diverts attention away from more vital concerns. It also produces “profound cynicism and greed (that’s) cancerous to public life.” It reduces “our most treasured values….to commodities provided by the market.” McChesney believes resisting advertising is “essential” because of its corrosive effect on society. Who can disagree.

The Political Economy of International Communications: Foundations for the Emerging Global Debate About Media Ownership and Regulation

Across the world, media and telecommunication systems are a key profit making area in modern capitalist societies. But the idea that it established “naturally” is rubbish. In the US and elsewhere, state policy is crucial to what emerges. It’s true going back to 19th century America when the US Postal Service was the nation’s earliest “telecommunication infrastructure.” Publisher postal subsidies were instituted. They’re important to this day, but very much favor media giants.

Government then was and now is an active player. The question is in whose interests and what values are encouraged. Seen this way, powerful special ones have corrupted US communication policy historically. Today, more than ever, and they constitute a “legitimacy crisis for capitalist media in a democratic society.”

Earlier in the last century, “professional journalism” became the solution. It was to be nonpartisan, politically neutral and objective instead of representing the views of owners. It would also be produced by professionals trained to be neutral.

The result was tepid journalism reflecting elite opinions unthreatening to entrenched interests. By any standards, it’s weak democracy or barely any at all. It then got worse.

Post-WW II, the US dominated nearly all global negotiations, including communication ones. Prior to the 1960s, colonial states had to accept whatever systems were imposed on them. After becoming independent, however, a New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO) campaign was established. But it went nowhere after the US and UK withdrew from UNESCO.

Globalists had other ideas, and they’ve blossomed since the 1980s. Neoliberalism and corporate globalization emerged and unleashed national and international policies favoring business. Markets were the solution to everything while unions, regulations, taxes, tariffs, public investment, and so forth were considered restraints of trade.

These ideas exploded in the 1990s – capitalism’s golden age and a heyday for communication giants. After the Soviet Union collapsed and China embraced the market, it was open-season for vast business expansion. Globalization became the buzzword, and privatizing everything a universal solution for developing states. As a result, direct foreign investment rose dramatically along with a spectacular increase in international mergers and acquisitions. These amounted to under $100 billion in 1987. By 2000, they grew tenfold to $1.14 trillion. The world was being reconfigured into “a global market for goods and services (and) an international production system, complemented by an increasing global market for firms.”

Giant communications companies were at its forefront. Before the 1980s and 1990s, their operations were mainly domestic, and in many countries state ministries controlled telecommunication monopolies. It changed and fast.

Neoliberal orthodoxy took over, WTO rules were established in January 1995, trade barriers came down, communications giants took advantage, and the US government backed their global expansion efforts. Then and now, their goal was a global communications and entertainment oligopoly controlled by a handful of international companies, mainly US-based. One estimate puts the market potential in the trillions of dollars annually.

Two distinct features characterize the vision:

— dominant companies “moving across the planet at breakneck speed;” the US market is well-developed, so overseas represents the greatest potential and dominant media firms say they’re “supranational entities” regardless of where they’re home-based; and

— consolidating into every market segment is the strategy; the guiding logic is also to get big fast or get swallowed up by a larger competitor; in the end, a mere handful of companies will be “end-game winners.”

Today, nine giants dominate global media markets, and nearly all rank among the top 200 non-financial firms in the world. Five are US-based, and consider their power. Among them they own:

— the major US film studies;

— the US TV networks;

— 80 – 85% of the global music market;

— most satellite broadcasting worldwide;

— all or part of most cable broadcasting systems;

— a dominant portion of book and commercial magazine publishing;

— all or part of most commercial US and worldwide cable TV channels; and

— a big stake in European terrestrial TV; and more plus an endless appetite for the greatest possible scale; the idea is to spread costs across a large base, be able to outbid competitors, and maximize profits at the same time.

Structural changes in world advertising are also strongly linked to global media consolidation. Further, globalization depends on a commercial media system to market their wares worldwide. It, in turn, is partnered with a handful of “super-advertising agencies” dominating a $400 billion global industry and consolidating just as fast as media companies.

About 100 second tier players are also important. Among them – Gannett, Knight-Ridder and Thomson Reuters in the US and others around the world like Mexico’s Televisa, Venezuela’s Cisneros Group, London-based Pearson plc, and global publisher Reed Elsevier. These companies dominate their own national and regional markets and have extensive ties and joint ventures with the giants. Together, first and second tier operators control much of the world’s media – from TV and radio to publishing, films, music, and so forth, and the entire system is still undergoing change because of continued consolidation.

These companies are in it together, but the race will determine who wins, so it’s likely to end up with a small handful of very large finalists. As a result, the global media market is more a cartel than a competitive marketplace. The largest firms have similar dominant shareholders. They each own portions of the others. Their directorships interlock. The CEOs all know each other, are on a first name basis, and communicate regularly as they plot the future of their businesses.

First and second tier operators are also connected through their investment bankers – Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch among them. Financial houses, of course, are matchmakers and make multi-millions at their trade. For them, the more the better, and they had a heyday in the 1990s with deals worth hundreds of billions.

Media content also comes into play. At times it can be positive where media censorship is common. Overall, however, it subverts local culture when it interferes with profits. The “Hollywood juggernaut” concerns many countries as US film exports expand. Of the top 125 1999 grossing ones, nearly all were US produced, so it shows local audiences like them and more for sure are coming.

Music as well captured overseas markets with US recording artists getting 60% of their sales outside America in 1993, although it fell to 40% in 1998 as local music still has great appeal.

Overall, the combination of global media and neoliberalism is numbing. It reduces everything to entertainment and light fare and results in profound depoliticization. Case in point – 2008 America.

It’s also the driver behind communication industry consolidation. It made it vast, quick, and got it accomplished in two phases:

— from the mid-1980s to 2000 across industry segments; soaring equity valuations fueled it; as currency, it helped in selling debt instruments and getting generous loans; everyone in on the scheme got rich – lawyers, accountants, bankers, and especially CEOs whose compensation soared; and

— a second phase followed the first; by 2001, the technology bubble burst; equity prices deflated, and a “dog-eat-dog” shakeout began.

Companies were enormously indebted. Consolidation came at a high price. Companies were reeling from debt. Some committed fraud to hide it. Write-offs became unprecedented with AOL Time Warner the most noteworthy example. After its market valuation plunged from $290 billion to $135 billion, the company took a $54 billion “impairment charge for goodwill” so shareholders would get stuck with the cost along with laid-off employees by the many thousands.

Global access to voice telephony was just as dramatic. Wired phone access accelerated, and mobile phone usage expanded from a tiny 1990 base to one billion users by 2002. In addition, as business expanded overseas so did telecommunication providers to service it. The FTC backed it. So did the IMF, World Bank, and new trade rules that smoothed the way to opening markets everywhere. In 1997, the WTO Agreement on Basic Telecommunications was established. It harmonized national operating frameworks, bound its 70 signatories to firm commitments, enforced them by a multilateral dispute settlement process, and greased the way for easy market penetration.

From 1984 (before WTO) to 1999, about $244 billion in state-owned systems were privatized – 90 of the 189 International Telecommunication Union (ITU) membership. In addition, by 2000, 25 countries agreed to allow majority foreign-owned carriers use their own controlled networks to provide international voice service.

Between 1990 and 2000, mergers and acquisitions volume skyrocketed – an estimated $1.616 trillion, and cross-border takeovers accounted for a large share of it. Including investments and service revenues, telecommunications expenditures totaled trillions of dollars. Investments were heavily debt-financed. Banks lent an estimated $890 billion. An additional $415 billion came from debt instruments, and $500 billion more from private equity and stock issuance.

At its peak, lucrative markets information-carrying over-capacity was stunning (along with neglect in others) with most of it built from 1996 to 2000 – millions of fiber-optic cable circuitry, underseas cable laid, and huge Internet investments for this burgeoning new technology.

Government partnered in the enterprise. It deferred to business and investor needs while neglecting overall social responsibilities and the nation’s basic infrastructure – roads, airports, power plants, bridges, and so forth.

Until the bubble burst, investors were having a party and so were industry players. Rates favored business users. Workers lost collective bargaining rights. Downsizing following, and so did consumer quality of service. They were also victimized by scams and overbilling.

By the second half of 2000, the industry got its comeuppance. It was routed along with the dot-coms in a bloodletting they’re still recovering from. Giant firms began reporting huge losses, and most people know the WorldCom story that got its founder and CEO Bernie Ebbers convicted of fraud and conspiracy and given a 25 year prison sentence. Along with Enron, it became the largest ever accounting scandal in US history.

Everything came up roses in the 1990s. The power of global capitalism seemed unstoppable. So even its opponents were resigned and largely quiescent. Ignored was that none of this expansion was natural. It took plenty of government help fueling it. It led to growing monopoly, higher prices, and poorer service so powerful business interests could profit at the public’s expense. It’s a familiar story going back generations, but the stakes keep getting greater and the harm caused even worse.

Add to it massive fraud, a corrupted business-government alliance, a historic public rip-off, and chalk it up to defrocked market miracles. Those of us committed to democracy have our work cut out for us. And in view of the media’s importance, it’s crucial to democratize it.

Communication “comprises the indispensable institutional basis for social deliberations – discussion, debate and decision making – beyond elite forums.” Solutions aren’t simple, and McChesney cites “two overarching principles” central to reform:

— policy debates on these topics must be public; behind closed doors no longer cuts it; and

— the public interest must be “reaccredited, strengthened, and enlarged;” to a large degree, it should also be protected from direct state control but not to the point of neglect.

Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times

At a time of technological wonders, communication breakthroughs, and near limitless online ways to stay informed, our society is largely depoliticized. Political involvement is weak, and it’s evident when presidential and off-year elections are held. Routinely, half or less of the electorate turns out, and those most in need show up least often or not at all. It mocks the idea of democracy, but who can blame people when candidates are pre-selected, machines do our voting, candidates who lose are declared winners, and winners don’t complain.

What’s the cause? More than anything, the dominant media that’s “become a significant antidemocratic force….” They’re larger and more influential than ever. Combined they’re the main information source for most people, and it’s in their interest to marginalize the public to shut out any interference with their commercial aims. Profits uber alles are paramount. Concentrated power and hyper-commercialism are dominant, and when combined with the sorry state of today’s journalism it’s easy to understand the problem. Fixing it will be no easy task.

The “corporate media explosion” corresponded with the “implosion of public life,” and McChesney calls it “the rich media/poor democracy paradox.” He cites two components:

— a political crisis; our hyper-commercialized corporate media system bodes ill for our politics and society; a crisis this great is totally off-limits for discussion; how and by whom the media is controlled, and how it’s structured and subsidized should be at the heart of discussion; and

— media ideology; its defense is indefensible – that markets “give the people what they want;” commercialized media are innately democratic; so is nonpartisan, objective professional journalism; new technologies are inherently democratic; and most important, the First Amendment gives media giants and advertisers unfettered free speech rights without public or government interference; this reasoning is no more credible than the discredited American exceptionalism notion, except in its negative sense.

Media concentration was most notable in the 1990s, but it was powerfully that way earlier. A handful of Hollywood studios dominated film production since the 1930s. Until cable and satellite TV, three networks dominated national television. Too few companies publish the popular magazines most people read, and from the 1960s to the 1980s, newspapers “underwent a spectacular consolidation.”

Now it’s much worse in the wake of the outrageous 1996 Telecommunications (giveaway) Act. Mega-media deals followed, and unless stopped, more are coming. Along with them, journalism keeps getting worse – in commercial and so-called “public” spaces. The reasons again are covered above – hyper-commercialism; PBS and NPR as corrupted as the giants; the endless quest for dominance and profits; professional reliance on “official sources;” labor’s decline; the public shut out altogether; a lack of local journalism; and the dismal state of democracy overall.

Given the above, reporters need no direction – serve your owners or find new line of work. And when covering media political allies, it’s de rigueur to show favoritism and “swift boat” the opposition. It violates fundamental journalistic canon, but at times of campaign frenzy it shows how pervasive the practice is. And the more concentrated media become, the worse it’ll get.

The same holds for what’s aired, to what degree, and what isn’t. Mass antiwar and global justice protests barely get mentioned. But let celebrities like OJ Simpson or even Bill Clinton run afoul of the law (or be perceived that way) and it’s wall-to-wall, round-the-clock headline news for days or longer.

Other major topics are also shut out – wars of aggression, a militarized society, hugely repressive laws, erasing social services, silencing dissent, rigging elections, pervasive corruption, the unprecedented wealth gap, and far too many more to list that all should top media discussions in a democratic society where journalists are supposed to hold the powerful to account. McChesney sums it up saying “In the crescendo of news media praise for the genius of contemporary capitalism, it is almost unthinkable to criticize the economy as deeply flawed.” He quotes the Washington Post calling us a “perfect economy.” Indeed for the rich and them alone.

Next, he discusses the Internet and calls its “rapid commercialization and expansion….the most striking media and communication development since January 1999.” But alone, it’s not magic and not a solution to media concentration and dominance. In the digital age, they’ll continue to grow, partner and merge until we’re left with a handful of mega-global giants with potential veto power over world governments. They pretty much have it now as well as large swaths of the Internet.

Worse still is that governments hand it to them – secretly, behind closed doors with no public involvement or press coverage. It shows since the late 1990s in the “shadowy history of how the Internet went from being a public-sector creation to being the province of Wall Street.” Politicians from both parties were bought off to do it. Media influence remains dominant, but a battle royal looms to preserve Net Neutrality, and that topic is discussed below. But if media giants prevail, the Internet will be as commercialized as all other media components with the public left out in the cold.

There are more concerns as well – violating our privacy, pervasive spying, shutting out the poor, debasing democracy even more if the Internet is totally commercialized, charging whatever the market will bear, censoring content, and overall letting a potentially wondrous technology cost more than it benefits.

With this in mind, and the media giants insatiable quest for size and dominance, now’s the time to demand the unmentionable – reactivate antitrust laws. Break up the giants along with other industry conglomerates. A century ago, it dismantled the Oil Trust and in the 1980s AT & T. Today, however, the only time trustbusting comes up is when one industry sector challenges another, never when it’s in the public interest.

Nonetheless, as media enlarge, its public trust betrayal worsens, and the battle for Net Neutrality looms, anything is possible if a great enough groundswell gets behind it. Frances Fox Piven cites four historical times (in her book Challenging Authority) when people in America achieved the impossible. Conditions produced outrage enough over the status quo to erupt into a “disruptive protest movement.” It shook the political establishment and brought about transforming social change – if only for a short time.

Media reform pressures are now building at a crucial moment in our history. McChesney put it this way in his 2007 book, Communication Revolution. We have “an unprecedented (rare window of opportunity in the next decade or two) to create a communication system that will be a powerful impetus (for) a more egalitarian, humane, sustainable, and creative (democratic) society.” He calls it a “critical juncture” that won’t remain open for long. It’s a “historic moment” in a “fight we cannot afford to lose.” In the digital age, “the corporate stranglehold over our media is very much in jeopardy..” Citizen actions have successfully challenged them. Important victories have been won on ownership rules, public broadcasting, and exposing fake news.

It now remains to enlarge grassroots efforts, take the fight to the next level, partner with other progressive campaigns, and force politicians to respond or be replaced. Media giants won’t lay back and take it. They’ll do all they can to quash reform efforts. So far they’ve had everything their way, and “the smart money says that the big guys (always) win.” The “same smart money once said that communism” would last forever and apartheid couldn’t end peacefully. It may turn out that the “smart money” isn’t so smart. If enough people join the fight for media justice, “anything can happen.”

The US Media Reform Movement Going Forward

Here McChesney examines the relationship of the political economy of media to the media reform movement and how the former provides understanding of the media’s role in society. It’s whether it “encourages or discourages social justice, open governance, and effective participatory democracy.” Also vital is how “market structures, policies and subsidies, and organizational structures shape and determine the nature of the media system and media content.”

For decades US media scholars have been at odds with their counterparts around the world. They assume a for-profit, advertising-supported corporate media is a given. Major reform against capitalism is unthinkable, “unrealistic, even preposterous” for a media system considered inviolable.

Over time, however, it became apparent that viewing a corporate-run media system as “natural” was erroneous. That’s how it was at earlier key moments when the status quo was challenged – the 1900 – 1915 Progressive Era and again in the 1930s and 1940s.

In the last century’s second half, media became a non-issue. Policymaking was corrupt and commercial interests increasingly dominant. At the same time (and like today), press coverage was nil. So when television emerged it was “gift-wrapped and hand-delivered to Wall Street and Madison Avenue without a shred of public awareness and participation.” FM radio, cable and satellite TV got the same treatment.

Things hit rock bottom after 1980 at a time of Republican ascendence and neoliberal ideology’s emergence. It took its toll on political economy of media scholarship. The field began declining and headed for obscurity. At the same time, “something was happening.” Vital research was published and distinguished figures like Noam Chomsky, Edward Herman and Ben Bagdikian produced it. Their earlier media critiques are still cutting-edge and seminal.

They proved the crisis of media, how inhospitable it is to democracy and social justice, and how essential it is to change it. Progressive writers and publications also emerged as well as media reform movements. Groups like Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) were in the vanguard and are now seen as trailblazers for today’s burgeoning efforts.

Critics at the time weren’t just on the left. By the 1990s, things got so bad even some conservatives became alarmed. Ownership was increasingly concentrated, labor weak, journalistic standards dismal, and hyper-commercialism overpowering. Further, editorial staffs were downsized, bureaus closed, trivia got substituted for substance, and who could know what was coming.

McChesney cites the “tipping point” – early in the new millennium “when the connection was made between the nature of the media system and a variety of policies and subsidies that created it.” Global justice protests erupted, media activism grew, and the notion that the US free market media system was preordained began to crumble. Back room deals designed it, and benefits cut both ways for the dealers. Politicians were rewarded for their efforts, and media giants got an open field to get bigger. Public interest was off the table.

The key moment came in 2003, and the issue was over new media ownership rules. At the time, it looked like a slam-dunk for Big Media. George Bush was president, Republicans controlled Congress, and three of the five FCC members were Bush appointees. Media giants smelled victory and went for the kill. In spring 2003, what could stop them.

An aroused public could and did, and it seemed to materialize out of thin air. Within a year, two million or more outraged people swamped the Powell FCC and Congress with protests over the proposed relaxation of ownership rules. McChesney calls it the moment when the “contemporary US media reform movement was born,” and ever since mushroomed dramatically as millions in the country are fed up and won’t take it any more.

They won victories, and the Media Access Project (MAP) got one of them. In June 2004, it prevailed in Prometheus Radio Project v. FCC when the Third Circuit Court threw out FCC’s new rules. It ordered the agency to reconsider its ill-advised changes that if enacted would be an early Christmas for the giants. They included:

— ending the cross-ownership ban that prohibits a company from owning a newspaper and TV or radio station in the same city;

— eliminating the previous ban on radio/TV cross-ownership and replacing both types with a single set of cross-media limits;

— a concocted “diversity index” to determine cross-media limits; it was based on assigning weights to the various media to determine if markets retained enough diversity; it would only consider ownership limits if by its formula there wasn’t enough; it was pure deception because in major markets like New York the FCC gave equal or greater weighting to a community college radio station than The New York Times and local ABC affiliate;

— cross-ownership limits only in smaller markets; in ones with eight or more TV stations, proposed changes would have no cross-ownership newspaper, TV and radio station restrictions;

— a company would be able to own two TV and six radio stations in the same market if at least 20 “independently owned media voices” remained after a merger; if only 10 remained, ownership would be limited to two TV and four radio stations; and

— redefining National Market Share to mean the total number of households company TV stations reach and raising the allowable ownership ceiling from 35 to 45%; a 39% compromise was reached to accommodate News Corp. and Viacom; they already exceeded the allowable limit, so the deal let them keep their stations.

Down but not out, FCC tried again last year under new chairman Kevin Martin. It proposed similar kinds of loose ownership rules. Unleashed a wave of activist protests in response. Members of Congress from both parties joined in. Martin ignored them, and last December 18 pushed through a 3 to 2 party-line win.

Here’s where things now stand beyond the timeline of McChesney’s book. On April 24, the Senate Commerce Committee voted unanimously for a “resolution of disapproval” to block the FCC’s December 18 decision. To take effect, it must pass the full Senate and did in a historic May 15 vote – by a near-unanimous voice vote showing strong bipartisan support. Republicans and Democrats are united on this issue (so far), especially in an election year when mass constituency opposition is hard to ignore. Unsurprisingly, the Bush administration threatened a veto. Hopefully it won’t matter because too many in Congress feel otherwise.

The issue is gaining traction in the House as well with two Net Neutrality bills for consideration. On May 6, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2008 was introduced (HR 5353). It’s to “establish broadband policy and direct the (FCC) to conduct proceeding and public broadband summits to assess competition, consumer protection, and consumer choice issues relating to broadband internet access services, and for other purposes.” It also amends the Communications Act of 1934.

On May 8, the Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (HR 5994) was introduced. It requires that ISPs operate and interconnect with other network providers in a nondiscriminatory way. It applies to content, applications and services, and establishes antitrust measures for anticompetitive practices.

It now remains to be seen how House and Senate legislation turns out, what final forms they take, how the White House responds, and whether there’s enough support in Congress to override vetoes. Current efforts show promise, and activists hope sentiment is turning their way. In time, we’ll know.

Back in December 2002, McChesney co-founded the media reform group Free Press and serves as its president. In 2003, it started off with a few staffers and now has 35 and a membership approaching 400,000 and growing. In five years, Free Press became the largest media reform group in the country, but it’s joined by dozens of others. Freepress.net lists 165, and two dozen formed the Media & Democracy Coalition in 2005. In addition, local media reform initiatives are emerging throughout the country with distinguishing characteristics:

— media concentration is key and efforts to reverse it are crucial; so is the battle to preserve Network Neutrality, expose and end fake news, protect and reinvigorate public and community noncommercial broadcasting, and influence the course of the digital revolution democratically;

— making media policy a political issue; open it to public debate; make sure people know there’s nothing “natural” about the current system, and that they have a right to participate in policy deliberations;

— media reform groups are linked to independent media creation efforts; they’ve exploded online; media reform, activism and independent media “rise and fall together;”

— for decades, the US was a media activism laggard; now it’s a leader, but its future remains undetermined; much depends on the success of the political left; so far it’s “weak and largely inchoate;” the bottom line is whether people or corporations will control communication, and that leads to the larger question of who should direct society and what kind will emerge; according to McChesney, at some point ahead, we’re heading for “a direct confrontation with capital,” and the outcome will determine it.

Millions know what’s at stake, and what’s vital for a free and open society. Today, we’re light years from it. That no longer can be tolerated, but it won’t happen without systemic media reform. McChesney, Free Press, FAIR, dozens of other media initiatives, and growing numbers around the country, are more engaged than ever for it. McChesney calls it “our moment in the sun, our golden opportunity,” and for media reformers, activists, progressives of all stripes, scholars, political economists of media, and all of the above like himself “we must seize it.” Indeed we must. There’s no turning back now.

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Mondays from 11AM to 1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests. Programs are also archived for easy listening.

© Copyright Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2008

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=LEN20080627&articleId=9460


The Political Economy of Media by Stephen Lendman (McChesney)

Big Dog, Little Tail: The American Elite Resolves on War With Iran

Dandelion Salad

by Chris Floyd
Empire Burlesque
Friday, 27 June 2008


Let’s be clear about one thing: Israel will not attack Iran without the full knowledge and approval of the United States government. The trigger of the “warning shot” of Israel’s long-range air-strike exercise last week was actually pulled in Washington. The Israelis will not force or deceive the U.S. government into an attack on Iran; that attack – which grows more certain by the hour – will take place because America’s bipartisan foreign policy establishment and military-industrial complex (to the extent that there is any real difference between the two) want it to happen, or are willing to let it happen.

It is of course an article of faith for some people that the Israeli tails wags the big American dog. This rather ludicrous assertion is nothing more than the pernicious doctrine of “American exceptionalism” tricked out in “dissident” drag. For its underlying assumption is that good ole true-blue American elites would never commit war crimes or seek empire and geopolitical dominion unless they had somehow been tricked into it by those wily Jews. This is exactly backwards. If Israel was of no use to the American elite’s domination agenda, then it would be discarded, or at least downgraded in terms of military, economic and diplomatic support.


h/t: Weldon

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The Audacity of Arrogance by Joel S. Hirschhorn

by Joel S. Hirschhorn
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
June 27, 2008

Anyone who doubts the downside of hubris should think of the losing campaign of Hillary Clinton. Like cholesterol in arteries, extreme arrogance can block seeing political realities.

And Barack Obama is exhibiting horrendous hubris by, for example, flip-flopping on his pledge to use federal campaign financing for the general election and for displaying an Obama seal in public events that closely resembles the official presidential seal. Welcome to the audacity of arrogance. Continue reading

Smell the Roses by Dale Allen Pfeiffer

Updated: note from Dale, see below

by Dale Allen Pfeiffer
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Dale’s blog post

Suicidal Tendencies

6/27/08 (www.mountainsentinel.com) Why does it seem that every time the price of gas goes up, motorists respond by driving faster? Is it some misguided belief that if they reach their destination quicker, they will use less gas? Or are rising prices and desperation invoking some lemming-like instinct to use up our energy resources as quickly as possible, accelerating global climate instability as we make a mad rush toward oblivion. Slouching toward Bethlehem could not be farther from the truth, we are racing toward it.

Back in the 1970s, when US oil production peaked and started to decline, sparking the oil shocks of that decade, the government responded through gas rationing, lowering the speed limit to 55, and a host of other measures designed to spur energy conservation. Then Reagan came along and denial and conspicuous consumption were elevated to patriotic duties.

Now, as oil prices aim for the stratosphere, there is no talk of rationing, or even slowing down. But wait, someone is trying to start a grassroots movement to spur motorists to drive more sensibly and save. And the person who is spearheading this effort is none other than Jay Hanson, the man who established the dieoff.com website that first woke up most people to the idea of peak oil in the late 1990s and shortly after the turn of the century.

Green Slow Moving Machine

Jay Hanson now maintains a blog urging people to make a difference simply by slowing down. Greenslowmovingvehicle.com makes a very good argument for the savings that accrue from simply driving a little slower. I urge everyone to visit this site and consider taking an active roll on the slow movement. The site draws a lot of its information from government studies that deserve to be loudly trumpeted.

from http://www.feuleconomy.gov

All vehicles achieve their optimum gas mileage at speeds between 50 and 60 miles per gallon. And as gasoline prices climb above $4/gallon, we are talking about a substantial saving here. The rule of thumb is that for each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph, you are paying an additional 30 cents per gallon. That is cumulative. In other words, if you are driving 75 mph, then you are paying an additional 90 cents per gallon.

Driving faster than 60 mph reduces fuel economy due to a number of factors. The energy necessary to overcome rolling resistance of the tires and other frictional effects within the mechanics of the car increases directly with velocity. The power required to drive the pumps in the vehicle increases with the square of velocity, and the energy required to overcome wind resistance increases as the cube of velocity. So as your speed increases, the amount of energy necessary to drive the vehicle increases many times over. A more detailed explanation can be found at the How Stuff Works website (What speed should I drive to get maximum fuel efficiency?)

Some folks seem to think that new vehicles are designed to drive faster. The EPA regularly calculates data on fuel economy. The following table is based upon their data. It shows that for all vehicles, maximum fuel economy is achieved at speeds around 55 mph. Data from real road driving tends to be lower than EPA data, so your fuel economy is likely to be less than that listed in the studies.


40 mph

50 mph

60 mph
























table from http://www.greenslowmovingvehicle.com/
data from the EPA: http://www.epa.gov/fueleconomy/data.htm

So it really does pay to slow down and drive between 55 and 60 mph. Just think of it as a fun way to mess with people’s heads and save money. While all those irate leadfoots are zooming past you, keep in mind the money they are throwing away with their need for speed (not to mention the extra pollution they are adding to the atmosphere, and their race towards energy impoverishment).

Other Money Saving Tips

AC vs Rolling Down Windows
There have been a lot of arguments over which is more energy efficient, using AC or rolling down the windows. Consumer Report’s auto-test department finds that AC use will reduce a car’s fuel efficiency by up to 10%, at speeds below 45 mph. However, at speeds over 45 mph, wind drag becomes a major factor, decreasing fuel economy by 10% and more. So in the city, roll down the windows, and on the expressway turn on the AC. (Source: http://www.bankra

Reduce Vehicle Weight
Every 100 pounds of load reduces your fuel economy by up to 2%. Lighten up.
(Source: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/driveHabits.shtml)

Avoid Idling
Idling reduces fuel economy to zero. The larger the engine, the more gas that is wasted. Modern vehicles do not require warming up. So when you are caught in a traffic jam or waiting for a long train to pass, stop your engine.
(Source: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/driveHabits.shtml & http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/auto/fuel-efficient/4.asp)

Avoid Rapid Acceleration and Excessive Braking
Try to drive as smoothly as possible. Resist the urge to stomp on the gas when the light turns green. Conversely, do not ride the brake. These bad habits can lower your fuel economy by up to 33% on the freeway, and 5% around town.
(Source: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/driveHabits.shtml)

Don’t Drive
Avoid making unnecessary trips. Walk and bicycle whenever possible.

There are other ways to improve your fuel economy. Generally speaking, drive sensibly, be a smooth driver, avoid rush hour and combine trips. Using cruise control on the freeway tends to save on gas. Also, when you use overdrive gear your car’s engine speed is reduced, at a savings.

If you were CEO of Exxon/Mobile

If you were the CEO of Exxon/Mobile and you knew that within the decade oil production was going to head into an irreversible decline while the price of production would inexorably climb, what would you do today? Well, you might drive up the price of oil now to maximize your profits before the decline. Then you could milk as much money out of the market as possible and be in an optimum position once the decline does begin.

Now I’m not saying oil prices are being manipulated for the reason stated above. However, given the coming peak and decline of oil production, the current situation fits the best scenario for maximizing company profits. You can bet oil executives and investors are not complaining about the current price of oil.

What we are seeing, whether intentional or not, is an economy being primed for collapse. The Fed is flooding the market with dollars. Most of the traditional ways to invest this excess money are currently unappealing. So investors are pouring all of this funny money into oil and other goods (such as grains). As a result, prices are skyrocketing and the wealth of the world is being quickly transferred from the majority to the elite minority.

Every time you purchase a gallon of gasoline or a loaf of bread, you hasten this transfer of wealth, giving your hard-earned money to those who are already glutted with their own fortunes. Likewise, every time income taxes are lowered or adjusted and sales taxes are raised, it aids this transfer of wealth.

Gas prices are currently $4/gallon and nearly $5/gallon for diesel. By the end of summer, gasoline is expected to cost $6/gallon — possible even $7. And if we go to war with Iran, we could very quickly see $10/gallon or higher.

We are approaching a currently unknown limit that will bring our country to a halt. When people can no longer afford to drive to work and truckers have to park their rigs and walk away from them, our civilization will be crushed overnight.

And those who are currently reaping the profits do not seem to care. When the smoke clears, they will have transferred the country’s wealth — if not the world’s — to their own personal accounts. And they will then be able to pick up what is left for pennies on the dollar.

Something has to be done about oil speculation. However, if new regulations simply act to roll back the price of oil, they will do us a disservice in the long run. The price of gasoline should probably be $4/gallon right now, but half of that should go toward developing a decent mass transit system, before declining oil production really does hit us. We need to prepare. We need mass transit. We need to redevelop our railways, and we need to restructure our communities so that work, school and food are only a walk away. We need to redesign our food distribution system so that most of the food we eat is produced within 100 miles of our home.

Instead, the money necessary to prepare for the future is being given to profiteers.

The Smell the Roses Revolt

To paraphrase the late Utah Phillips, in an oil-based civilization, walking and riding bicycles are revolutionary acts.

There is no profit to be made from conservation. There is no profit to be had from slowing down and smelling the roses. That is why our leaders want us to go on consuming as much as possible. Hurry to work, hurry to the store, and use those credit cards to keep everything running smoothly. Be sure to buy the latest cellphoneipodblackberry and use it as much as possible. And when it becomes obsolete next year, dispose of it and buy the latest model.

Remember, consumption is your patriotic duty. Going into debt is your patriotic duty. Drive as fast as possible with your flag decals on the bumper. When reality starts to feel a little uncomfortable, grab a beer, turn on the TV and do a little home shopping.

But if you should desire a saner, healthier and more fulfilling world, then slow down. Or better yet, park the car and go for a walk. And please take the time to smell the roses.



It is with some embarrassment that I must state Fulton “Jay” Hanson of greenslowmovingvehicle.com and Jay Hanson of dieoff.com are two different people. There was some confusion about identities, and I was too busy to clear this up for myself, so I simply accepted the word of others.

In any case, the advice on driving slower is no less valid. I still urge everyone to take an interest in slowing down.

Dale Allen Pfeiffer


photos by me

Stolen Peony, Rose and Columbine in a Beer Can


Day Lilies


Legendary Folk Musician, Activist Utah Phillips, 1935-2008 + Direct Action (vid)

Free Energy and the Open Source Energy Movement Part One

Free Energy and the Open Source Energy Movement Part One

by Steve Windisch (jibbguy)
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
June 27, 2008

Free Energy?

In this series of articles, we will attempt to examine several “Free Energy” devices, and explain their workings in a very simplified way; while discussing the proposed theories behind them. Also, we will take a look at the new inventors and researchers working within the Open Source Energy movement; and how Internet collaboration has changed the face of invention… With selected interviews with some of the most important players in the movement today.

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Mosaic News – 06/26/08: World News From The Middle East

Dandelion Salad



This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.


For more: http://www.linktv.org/originalseries
“Gaza: A Tense Calm,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Suicide Bomber Kills 15 in Anbar Province,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Western Oil Companies Return to Iraq,” Syria TV, Syria
“Tehran Warns Europe Not to Tighten Sanctions,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Iran Fights Drug Smuggling from Afghanistan,” Press TV, Iran
“China’s Increased Influence in Sudan,” Sudan TV, Sudan
“Violence in Somalia Causes Malnutrition in Children,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Forty-Eight Countries Compete at the Tanja Film Festival,” 2M TV, Morocco
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

Keith Olbermann: Then and now + Olbermann’s reply & Obama’s Secret Plan to Protect the Rule of Law

Dandelion Salad

by Glenn Greenwald
Thursday June 26, 2008 07:22 EDT
(updated below – Update II)

On January 31 of this year, Keith Olbermann donned his most serious face and most indignant voice tone to rail against George Bush for supporting telecom immunity and revisions to FISA. In a 10-minute “Special Comment,” the MSNBC star condemned Bush for wanting to “retroactively immunize corporate criminals,” and said that telecom immnity is “an ex post facto law, which would clear the phone giants from responsibility for their systematic, aggressive and blatant collaboration with [Bush’s] illegal and unjustified spying on Americans under this flimsy guise of looking for any terrorists who are stupid enough to make a collect call or send a mass email.”

Olbermann added that telecom amnesty was a “shameless, breathless, literally textbook example of Fascism — the merged efforts of government and corporations that answer to no government.” Noting the numerous telecom lobbyists connected to the Bush administration, Olbermann said:

This is no longer just a farce in which protecting telecoms is dressed up as protecting us from terrorists conference cells. Now it begins to look like the bureaucrats of the Third Reich, trying to protect the Krupp family, the industrial giants, re-writing the laws of Germany for their benefit.



Keith Olbermann’s reply and Obama’s Secret Plan to Protect the Rule of Law

by Glenn Greenwald
Friday June 27, 2008 08:02 EDT

(updated below)

Keith Olbermann went to Daily Kos to respond to what I wrote yesterday regarding his and Jonathan Alter’s statements on Obama’s support for the FISA bill. Despite his having packed his response with substance-free invective, I’m going to keep the reply as dispassionate as possible because I’m not interested in engaging in some personality-driven spat of the type that he seems to enjoy. What’s more, in the scheme of things, I don’t consider Keith Olbermann to be The Enemy or, comparatively speaking, even a particularly bad influence to be targeted. I wrote about his comments yesterday because they reflect a broader trend that I do think matters.

In his Kos reply, Olbermann pronounces that my piece yesterday was “simplistic and childish” but then adds the standard dismissive Journalist defense: “I don’t know much about Mr. Greenwald and I didn’t read his full piece.” He says that he refrained from criticizing Obama’s support for the FISA bill in reliance on John Dean’s comments, and “John Dean is the smartest person I’ve ever met” and “John Dean is worth 25 Glenn Greenwalds” — so that settles that (for what it’s worth, I also have a high opinion of Dean’s legal acumen; hosted his appearance at FDL’s Book Salon; don’t disagree with him about this bill at all; have communicated with him about many issues; and he has said many complimentary things about my work in the past, so waving the flag of Dean’s Unassailable Authority establishes nothing).


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


Bushco’s Warrantless Wiretap Scam Rolls On

Countdown: Axis Of Appeasement + The Terror Card

Countdown: Wexler & The Terror Card + Energy Policy + Bushed

Elections, Capitalism, And Democracy By Charles Sullivan

Glenn Greenwald On Antiwar Radio

Confronting Foreign Intelligence and Information Gaps + Feingold on the 4th Amendment

HR 6304 – A Bill to Abolish the 4th Amendment

The Hedonists of Power By Chris Hedges


Evo Morales: A Call for Socialism?

Dandelion Salad

Thanks to

Socialist Standard

by Stephen Shenfield
From the June 2008 issue of the Socialist Standard

On 21 April, 2008, President Evo Morales of Bolivia delivered the opening address to the Seventh Session of the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York. His speech included the following passage:

“If we want to save the planet earth, to save life and humanity, we have a duty to put an end to the capitalist system. Unless we put an end to the capitalist system, it is impossible to imagine that there will be equality and justice on this planet earth. This is why I believe that it is important to put an end to the exploitation of human beings and to the pillage of natural resources, to put an end to destructive wars for markets and raw materials, to the plundering of energy, particularly fossil fuels, to the excessive consumption of goods and to the accumulation of waste. The capitalist system only allows us to heap up waste. I would like to propose that the trillions of money earmarked for war should be channelled to make good the damage to the environment, to make reparations to the earth.”

Despite the striking anti-capitalist content of most of this passage, the last sentence reveals that Morales does not have a clear conception of the socialist alternative. He still thinks in terms of the money system.

The accurate way of posing the problem focuses not on the waste of money but on the waste of real resources of all kinds – the waste of nature and its bounty, of human life and labour, of knowledge and its potential. True, money represents or symbolizes some – far from all — of these real resources, but in a very inadequate and distorted manner. To substitute the symbol for the reality is a mystification.

Nevertheless, I would like to argue that Morales is a good deal closer to a true understanding of socialism than most of the so-called “left” in Latin America or elsewhere. The very fact that he is addressing a world forum about the future of the species and the planet suggests that he is seeking an alternative at the global rather than national level. Although nationalization forms part of his domestic policy (the oil and gas industry in Bolivia was nationalized in 2006), he does not equate nationalization with socialism.

The model of the ayllu

In a number of interviews Morales has been asked what he and his movement – the Movement for Socialism (MAS) – understand by socialism. Thus, Heinz Dieterich of Monthly Review (July 2006) asks him what country the socioeconomic model of the MAS most closely resembles. Brazil? Cuba? Venezuela? Morales does not like the way the question is put. (“[Socialism] is something much deeper. … It is to live in community and equality.”) He talks instead about the traditional peasant commune or ayllu of the indigenous peoples of the Andes, based on communal landholding and “respect for Mother Earth.” He himself grew up in an ayllu of the Aymara people in Oruro Province; in some parts of Bolivia such communities still exist.

In another interview, to journalists from Spiegel, Morales says: “There was no private property in the past. Everything was communal property. In the Indian community where I was born, everything belonged to the community. This way of life is more equitable.” As the World Socialist Review, published by our companion party in the United States, comments: “This is more than just a variation on the leftist copout that socialism is a goal for the distant future; it is, on some level, an acceptance of it as a real alternative to capitalism” (See here. [pdf])

Rejecting vanguardism

Another indication that Morales is closer than most of the “left” to a genuine understanding of socialism is his opposition to the Bolshevik idea of the “vanguard party.” The MAS, he tells Dieterich, “was not created by political ideologues or by a group of intellectuals, but by peasant congresses to solve the problems of the people.” It has always rejected the pretensions to “leadership” of Leninist groups of different varieties — followers of Stalin, Trotsky, or Mariategui (a Peruvian Bolshevik who has had great influence on the left in Latin America).

Of course, Morales is not only a thinker with more or less clear ideas about capitalism and socialism. He is also head of the government of an underdeveloped country that has to operate within the parameters of a capitalist world. As such he is no position to realize his more far reaching aspirations. At most, he has been able – like Hugo Chavez in Venezuela – to divert some of the proceeds from the sale of oil and gas to making some improvement to the life of the impoverished indigenous communities.

The fact remains that an internationally known figure has stood up at the United Nations and called upon the world community to bring the capitalist system to an end. Morales’ concept of socialism may be less clear than we would like, but it does at least bear some relation to the real thing. Viewed from the time when the UN and its specialized agencies are converted into the planning and coordinating centre of world socialism, this will, perhaps, be regarded as a milestone in its history.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Disaster Capitalism on a Grand Scale By Rowan Wolf

Dandelion Salad

By Rowan Wolf

As the cost of food and fuel spirals out of control, and the mortgage and credit crises all strike at a global level, one has to ask if this is a “perfect storm” or a manufactured opportunity – or both. In her book, Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, Naomi Klein documents the planned manipulation and creation of disasters as opportunities to advance a corporatized free market environment. While generally operating at a national level, the process has also been utilized at a regional level. For example, the deliberate attack during the Asian market collapse. As I have watched the unraveling of the global economy, I have wondered if the scheme has not moved to a global level.

There are an array of events and actions that seem to provide evidence that “disaster capitalism” is at play in current global events. These current disasters are running side by side and sweeping across the world. The global food crisis (particularly grains), the massive run-up in fuel prices, and the global mortgage crisis which has morphed into a global credit crisis, all evidence the hand of economic “liberalization.”

While called “liberalization,” this is a process aimed at undermining the sovereignty of nations by removing any “barriers” to trade, and any nation-based efforts to control their own economic and social policies. This “liberalization” is actually aimed at chaining the total resources of the planet to the total control of private capital.


I had suspected that these various crises were being manipulated (and in part constructed) for some time. However, recent events have shown the hand that is at play. The global food crisis is sending millions of people into poverty and even death. A complex of issues are involved in this crisis – petroleum costs, biofuels initiatives, global warming resulting in water and crop failures, and the implementation of global economic policies. As nations struggle with the crisis, and governments are shaking under the stomping feet of the hungry, one has to wonder at the solution being offered to address runaway costs. That solution is to further “liberalize” the global food markets.

This call for “liberalization” has sounded loudly twice – once from the UN world food summit, followed a week later by a statement from John Negroponte (U.S. Deputy Secretary of State) for removing trade barriers on food.

They (heads of state) agreed urgent economic assistance for affected countries, and to support agricultural production and trade through further liberalisation and reduced trade barriers. These measures, the conference statement says, would assure “better integration of small-scale producers with local, regional and international markets.” (IPS)

“These restrictions should be lifted. They have taken food off the global market, driven prices higher and isolated farmers from the one silver lining of the rise in food prices: higher incomes for agriculture producers,” he said. (Negroponte as quoted by Reuters)

There is apparently no discussion of how creating the import/export economies has undermined the food security of nations, nor how that has replaced small agriculture with plantation agriculture. Nor any discussion that while “biotechnology” may produce some yield gains, that it places the food chain directly in the hands of transnational agri-business.

It also seems a major oversight to call for dramatic increases in the amount of money for food aid at the same time that the push is on to further corporatize the food supply. Just whose pockets is food aid filling?


The “creative” financing that blew up the housing bubble and is resulting in foreclosures across the United States and Britain (and perhaps elsewhere), were part of “creative” investing in a “liberalized” global marketplace. Low interest and risky loans were bundled and sold up the financing/investing food chain. Then bundled with other investments and sold again and again across a global financial market. Then interest rates rose and with them the mortgage payments of millions of people. The collapse has sent cannon blasts through the global financial markets spurring bail-outs by reserve banks in an attempt (purportedly) to stop the hemorrhaging. Unfortunately, it has not. Further, and not surprisingly, the mortgage crisis “turned into” a credit crisis. This was totally predictable given the “bundling” schemes.

The lie underlying the mortgage / credit crisis is the huge losses. While certainly lots of folks got hurt (and continue to be hurt), those bundled investments made a profit at each sale and re-bundling. Those profits went in somebody’s pockets. Further, Both the U.S. and the British federal reserve banks have thrown billions of dollars (and pounds) into the gapping maw. Those finances coming ultimately from our pockets … and ending up in someone else’s. This is a massive expropriation of present and future wealth – not to mention the potential collapse of national economies.


Let me start by stating that what is driving oil prices is complex. I firmly believe that we are at (or beyond) peak oil. We are in a world where the demand for oil and natural gas continue to climb and the production is remaining steady or falling off. The increasing demand for a limited resource will drive up prices. This does not mean that there are not profit-taking opportunities. In fact, there are more opportunities than at any previous time. It is also true that manufacturing capacity has not been increased despite increasing demand. While the efficiency of refineries has increased, it appears to be maxed out. Therefore, regardless of increases in production, only so much petroleum can be refined – driving up prices by limiting supply. However, given peak oil it makes no sense to me to increase refinery capacity.

There is something significant happening beyond the realities of oil supply and capacity, and that is the commodities and futures market. It is estimated that 25% (or more) of the current cost run-up is “speculation.” It has been said that the market is “out of control.”

I suspect that a combination of profit-taking is happening, and this is totally predictable in a scarce resource market – even if that scarcity is being manipulated. Regardless, the crisis creates opportunities to push through more transfer of wealth and accomplish “other goals.” Those goals range from a renewed push to exploit every potential oil resource (off shore drilling, ANWR, the Arctic) as well as increased pressure and manipulation on producer states (OPEC, military bases in Africa, increased U.S. military placement in Latin America). Those “other goals” may also include increased military presence and control of civilian populations.


Are we seeing a world-wide “shock doctrine” move? I believe that we are. The crises we are seeing, while certainly based in certain physical realities, have been manufactured to collapse level. That manufacturing has been facilitated by global economic and social manipulation that has removed the supports for stability (and response) at the same time that other “uncertainties” have been introduced and fanned into a seemingly out of control conflagration.

The instituting of a global war on terrorism manufactured by the neo-cons and the Bush administration (with the help of Congress and corporate media) has been great for achieving multiple goals. In the United States and elsewhere, the implementation of “anti-terrorist” legislation and machinery has undermined the transparency of government while creating actual threat to those who would resist the power grab. The occupation of Iraq has generated tremendous regional instability while removing oil resources from the market – both of which have been a consistent feature in increasing oil costs. Further, it has normalized (if not institutionalized) massive levels of corporatization – particularly of the military. This in turn has led to an incredible increase in global military spending. In fact, according to Agence France Presse there has been a 45% increase in global military spending over the last ten years. This is certainly a wind fall for the “defense” industry.

Also facilitating the current catastrophe is the “liberalization” of the financial markets. One of the segments of the market that is linked to at least two of the three crises is the commodities and futures market. In the wake of the Enron scandal, there was noise made about closing the “Enron loophole.” As far as I can tell, that “loophole” remains in full usage.

Legislation was not moved forward until September of 2007 to address this “weakness” in the commodities sector. That legislation was H.R. 4066 / S. 2058 -To amend the Commodity Exchange Act to close the Enron loophole, prevent price manipulation and excessive speculation in the trading of energy commodities, and for other purposes which was referred to Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry on 9/17/07. That bill was added to the farm bill that Bush vetoed – which explains a lot about why he really vetoed the bill. The legislation to close the loop hole and provide greater oversight was included in the farm bill (Text of bill) which became Public Law 110-234 over Bush’s veto. However, 110-234 does not seem to exist in either text or pdf form in the GPO database, one can view the enrolled House version H.R. 2419 . I believe that this is (coincidentally) the bill which had some sort of error and was returned to the Senate (where apparently it has languished once again).

It seems to me that one way to control the “out of control” market speculation on both petroleum and grains, is to clamp down on this market – both here and globally. At the very least, there should be a commodities “holiday” to allow a cool down period, and to move to improve the transparency and controls on these markets.

As these crises continue to drag down economies, nations, and peoples, more and more “shock doctrine” mechanisms will be thrust forward. The current situation and crises create a perfect opportunity for a corporatist end game. Such a move, would be catastrophic for us all.

I could be incorrect in my reading of the current environment. However, I could also be right. I write this to raise people’s awareness of the possible “invisible hand” that is at play so that we (meaning the people of the world) are not totally disenfranchised in a Ponzi scheme pitched as “saving” us. The disasters themselves pose deadly challenges for much of the global population. I strongly believe that increased “liberalization” is not going to resolve any of these issues. However, it would dramatically advance an agenda that has already caused immeasurable harm to billions of people and the earth which is our home.

Rowan Wolf, a senior contributing editor to Cyrano’s Journal, is a sociologist, teacher, writer and activist. Her areas of interest include social justice, environment, and globalization/corporatization at the core. Since 5.6.07, she has also been the main host and director of Cyrano’s special blog, AVENGER.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


Naomi Klein “The Shock Doctrine” & “No Logo” interview (must-see video)


Scahill: Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army

Dandelion Salad

Jun 15, 2008

pdxjustice Media Productions – www.pdxjustice.org


Author and journalist, Jeremy Scahill, talks about the private contractor mercenary company, Blackwater, on the Portland stop of his book tour for the launch of the paperback edition of his book, BLACKWATER: THE RISE OF THE WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL MERCENARY ARMY.

pdxjustice Media Productions
Producer: William Seaman

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Noam Chomsky interviewed by Peter Coyote + Uncomfortable Comfort Zones

Dandelion Salad


Excerpt of the show “The Active Opposition” Hosted by Peter Coyote.

Aired on Link TV



Sorry this video is no longer available

Noam Chomsky – Uncomfortable Comfort Zones


March 11, 2008

Noam Chomsky – Uncomfortable Comfort Zones highlights the manipulation of sheeple corralled past broken Greek statues of democracy.

Covering US imperialism, globalization, media manipulation, human destiny, war and state sponsored terrorism.

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