Senator Karen Johnson Brings 9/11 Truth to Arizona 06.10.08

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reprehensor

June 10, 2008

BETTER VERSION HERE: http://911blogger.com/node/16064 – DISCUSSION HERE: http://www.911blogger.com/node/16055 June 10, 2008 — State Senator Karen Johnson brings Blair Gadsby and 9/11 Truth to the Arizona State Senate.

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h/t: www.globalresearch.ca

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9/11 Chronicles Part One: Truth Rising

The JFK Assassination and 9/11: the Designated Suspects in Both Cases

9/11 False Flag (must-see video link)

9/11

Louis T. McFadden (1876-1936): An American Hero by Richard C. Cook

by Richard C. Cook
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
richardccook.com
July 21, 2008

Dr. Ron Paul, the Republican candidate for the 2008 presidential nomination, is not the first U.S. politician to point to the abuses of the Federal Reserve System and call for its abolishment. Similar pleas to get rid of the Fed were made by Reps. Wright Patman (1893-1976) and Henry Gonzales (1916-2000), both Democratic congressmen from Texas and chairmen of the House Banking Committee.

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Gitmo ‘Justice’ for US Citizens? By Robert Parry

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By Robert Parry
http://www.consortiumnews.com
July 21, 2008

A conservative-dominated U.S. Appeals Court has opened the door for President George W. Bush or a successor to throw American citizens – as well as non-citizens – into a legal black hole by designating them “enemy combatants,” even if they have engaged in no violent act and are living on U.S. soil.

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Fun With War Crimes: The Bush Bubble – Ep #4

Dandelion Salad

funwithwarcrimes

Didn’t you always know Karl Rove had a crush on Bush? Clueless to the impact of Katrina, ready to take more money from your babies, the Bush bubble gets bigger and bigger…

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funwithwarcrimes

Cynthia McKinney speaks on ‘free trade’ in Mexico

Dandelion Salad

by Cynthia McKinney
http://www.workers.org
Jul 20, 2008

The following excerpts are from a recent talk made by Cynthia McKinney, Green Party presidential candidate in the United States. The statement was sent out on June 27th by the International Liaison Committee of Workers & Peoples (ILC) based in San Francisco. Go to www.organicconsumers.org to read the statement in its entirety.

In early April 2008, I participated in the Second Continental Workers’ Conference in Mexico City. I was honored to have been a keynote speaker at the conference’s opening night rally at the hall of the Mexican Electrical Workers Union (SME).

I learned that a powerful united front now exists in Mexico against the NAFTA-inspired privatizations that will result in the theft of Mexico’s patrimony in natural resources.

The Mexican Congress was shut down by the real opposition that they have in Mexico. The PEMEX Privatization bill was supposed to have passed by now. Mexico’s Congress adjourned without passing it. Score one for the people.

One of the leading papers in Mexico City had a photo of the Chamber of Deputies of the Mexican Congress with an unfurled banner covering the Speaker’s Rostrum, proclaiming the Chamber “Closed.” The banner was hung by elected members of the Mexican Congress who constitute the Frente Amplio Progresista that has dared to draw a line in the sand against U.S.-inspired legislation introduced to allow foreign corporate ownership of PEMEX, Mexico’s state-owned oil company.

I wrote my Master’s thesis on the “Idea of Nation.” And to see the women, in their T-shirts and kerchiefs, so committed to their country, their nation, their identity. To them, that’s Mexico’s oil, natural gas, electricity, land and water, and it ought to be used by the Mexican people first and foremost for their own national development. But, sadly, it’s the public policy emanating from Washington, D.C., that threatens that.

According to Greg Palast, the U.S. corporation involved in the Mexican move was none other than that now infamous Georgia-based company: Choicepoint. We know that in Florida, Choicepoint, then doing business as DataBase Technologies, constructed an illegal convicted felons list of 94,000 names, many of whom were neither convicted nor felons. But if your name appeared on that list, you were stopped from voting. Greg Palast tells us that for most of the names on that list, their only crime was “Voting While Black.”

Under a special “counter-terrorism” contract, the U.S. FBI obtained Mexican and Venezuelan voter files through Choicepoint of all the countries that have progressive presidents. Many Mexicans went to the polls to vote for their President, only to find that their names had been scrubbed from the voter list, and they were not allowed to vote. So now, not only in the United States, but in Mexico, too, one can show up to vote and not be sure that that vote was counted, or worse, one can show up duly registered to vote and not even be allowed to vote.

I guess this is the way we allow our country to now export democracy.

Unlike in the United States in 2000, Mexico City was shut down for five months in 2006 when Lopez Obrador, Mexico’s Al Gore, refused to concede and, instead, formed a shadow government.

The issue in the 2006 Mexican election was privatization of Mexico’s oil. Teachers on strike at the same time as the presidential elections in Oaxaca, one of the poorest states in Mexico, began their political movement as a call for increased teacher salaries and against privatization of schools. Tens of thousands of citizens joined them and took over the central city of that state. Today, after Mexico has added teachers and those who support teachers to its growing ranks of “political prisoners,” teachers are still protesting their conditions and the reprisals taken against them for striking, and now the teachers’ union is a committed part of the national mobilization against privatization of PEMEX.

I was invited to participate in the Second Continental Workers Conference. The first meeting was held in La Paz, Bolivia. And so people from all over Mexico and eight different countries told of their struggles, their hopes, their ideals, their values, their patriotism, their desire for peace/no more war.

Representatives from Chiapas, another one of Mexico’s poorest states, told us of the indigenous struggle for land and self-determination, the low-intensity warfare waged against them, and how now they, too, count themselves a part of the national mobilization against PEMEX privatization.

While I was there, mine workers had taken over the mines, and so could only send a handful of inspiring representatives. They are pressing for the right to unionize, denied to them by the government. And the mine workers are part of the solid front forming in Mexico to protect this powerful idea of nation.

Today’s front page of La Jornada says that the women, who marched 10,000 strong on the day that I was there, have renewed their protests and civil disobedience. The threat of violence and bloodshed is very real.

Now, why should this massive social, political and economic upheaval in Mexico, aside from its human rights implications, be important to us up here in the United States?

Because the sad truth of the matter is that, in many respects, it is our military and economic policies that are causing it. Of course, I recognize that all the way back to the practice of Manifest Destiny and the declaration of the Monroe Doctrine, U.S. policy decisions have at times sent shock waves to places outside our borders. You could say that the modern version of that is NAFTA.

In 1993, the Democratic majority in the United States Congress supported then-President Bill Clinton’s push for passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The stated purpose of the legislation was to remove barriers to trade and investment that existed in North America. The objective was to lift all boats in Canada, the United States, and Mexico through trade and investment. But the result has been the stripping away and transfer of Mexico’s patrimony in terms of its natural and human resources. And the Mexican people are taking a stand against it. They are taking the same stand that the little people in Haiti, Venezuela, Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Argentina have taken.

I happened to vote against NAFTA, and I’m glad for that. Imagine if we in the United States were as certain of the possibility of peaceful change through the vote as were the people of Haiti, Mexico—despite having their election stolen from them—Venezuela and the rest. Then we would vote members of Congress out of office who support Plan Colombia. We would vote members of Congress out of office who support Plan Mexico—which, like its Colombian counterpart, is the military answer to the cry of the people for dignity, self-determination and that idea of patria.

Cynthia McKinney is a former six-term member of the U.S. Congress from the state of Georgia.


Articles copyright 1995-2008 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY, NY 10011
Email: ww@workers.org
Subscribe wwnews-subscribe@workersworld.net
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The Great Mexican Oil Takeover

Plan Mexico: Plan Colombia Heads for Mexico by Stephen Lendman

COINTELPRO Comes to My Town: My First-Hand Experience With Government Spies by Dave Zirin

Dandelion Salad

by Dave Zirin
http://www.opednews.com
July 21, 2008

Finally, at long last, I have something in common with Muhammad Ali.

No, I’m not the heavyweight champion of the world, and haven’t been named spokesperson for Raid bug spray. Like “the Greatest” – not to mention far too many others — I have been a target of state police surveillance for activities — in my case against the death penalty — that were legal, non-violent, and, so we assumed, constitutionally protected. In classified reports compiled by the Maryland State Police and the Department of Homeland Security, I am “Dave Z.” This nickname was given by an undercover agent known to us as “Lucy.” She sat in our meetings of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, smiling and engaged, taking copious notes about actions deemed threatening by the Governor of Maryland, Robert Ehrlich. Our seditious crimes, as Lucy reported, involved such acts as planning to set up a table at the local farmer’s market and writing up a petition. Adding a dash of farce to this outrage, she was monitoring us in the liberal enclave of Takoma Park, Maryland, a place known more for vegans than violence, more for tie-dying than terrorism.

…continued

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.

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Kucinich to Investigate Police Surveillance of Peace Groups

Saving bankers while home owners fail by Mumia Abu-Jamal

Dandelion Salad

by Mumia Abu-Jamal on death row
http://www.workers.org
Jul 20, 2008

Audio link

Excerpts from a June 29 audio column. Go to prisonradio.org to hear Mumia’s commentaries and millions4mumia.org to get updates on his legal case and activities demanding a new trial.

Throughout the presidential primaries, while politicians amass millions from both corporate and private sources, how many times did you hear the subprime lending disaster discussed?

Over a million homeowners, most of them Black or Brown, faced foreclosure and the loss of their most valuable financial asset, and most politicians passed over it in relative silence, while they begged or lied for votes.

How can this be unless they, like most pols, were the paid-for property of corporations?

When the sub-prime mess hit, in a matter of hours, the Federal Reserve Board’s head, Ben Bernanke, slipped $200 billion bucks in government guarantees to keep the mortgage loan industry afloat. Thus, the U.S. government used its power to back the banks’ hustling of what were essentially junk bonds.

A fifth of a trillion dollars to back those who ripped off a million people with loans designed to fail; and for those who got ripped off, nothing.

Indeed, the only politician who was attacking this practice was New York’s former Attorney General (and later Governor), Eliot Spitzer. But once he was caught in the hooker scandal, this threat melted slowly away.

These sub-prime loans, saddled with balloon-like expanded repayment rates, were designed to fail, and these legalized hustles were steered at an astonishing rate—to 73 percent of high-income African-American and Hispanic families. Among white high-income homeowners, only 17 percent were recipients of subprimes.

This greed riot has sent shivers throughout the economy, not just in America, but overseas as well, because foreign companies and governments invested in these junk mortgage bonds.

The foreclosure crisis has slowed housing construction; loans are almost impossible to get; and the International Monetary Fund estimates banks and investors will lose some $1 trillion.

But for nearly a million families their losses will be infinitely greater. They lose their dreams, their homes, and perhaps their families. How many divorces have they birthed by these foreclosures? How many families have been split asunder? How many suicides?

These non-economic losses can be traced to pure, unmitigated greed of bankers, investment houses, and the willing blindness of a government.


Articles copyright 1995-2008 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY, NY 10011
Email: ww@workers.org
Subscribe wwnews-subscribe@workersworld.net
Support independent news http://www.workers.org/orders/donate.php

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Inflation and the Specter of World Revolution By James Petras

Deep in the capitalist doo-doo by William Bowles

Economic Collapse by Norman Livergood

Bill Moyers Journal: Mortgage Mess + Wall Street + Justice & the American Dream

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

2008.07.21 Daily Posts on Dandelion Salad

Dandelion Salad

Ignoring Our Burden & Adopting White Man’s Burden

Posted: 21 Jul 2008 04:22 AM CDT

Dandelion Salad ManilaRyceTLM Strictly for my Naders Fear and demoralization allow us to accept the status of slaves. Express your solidarity with the workers of the world in a comment or video response and declare your independence. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” – Marianne Williamson […]

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Inflation and the Specter of World Revolution By James Petras

Posted: 21 Jul 2008 04:18 AM CDT

Dandelion Salad By James Petras 07/20/08 “ICH” “Inflation is here big time”, Charles Holliday CEO, Du Pont. June 24, 2008 “The sustained rise in the price of oil and commodities has hammered industries…and deepened fears of global inflationary spiral – which has already provoked riots across Asia – as producers pass on higher costs to manufacturers and consumers.”  The […]

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Death of Free Internet is Imminent – Canada Will Become Test Case

Posted: 21 Jul 2008 02:20 AM CDT

Dandelion Salad by Kevin Parkinson Global Research, July 20, 2008 http://realitycheck.typepad.com In the last 15 years or so, as a society we have had access to more information than ever before in modern history because of the Internet. There are approximately 1 billion Internet users in the world B and any one of these users can theoretically communicate in […]

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The Pentagonization of US life + Obama and the national security system + Cold War mentality

Posted: 20 Jul 2008 10:47 PM CDT

Dandelion Salad TheRealNews More at http://therealnews.com/c.ph… Nick Turse and Tom Engelhardt of Tomdispatch.com on the system of militarization… “The Pentagonization of US life“, posted with vodpod *** Obama and the Cold War mentality More at http://therealnews.com/c.ph… Gareth Porter: Will Obama be truly post-Cold War? Historian and author Gareth Porter discusses with Pepe Escobar the positioning of Senator Barack Obama relative to the […]

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Friendly fire killed soldier: Khadr defence – Testimony points to U.S. grenade

Posted: 20 Jul 2008 07:15 PM CDT

Dandelion Salad by Steven Edwards Canwest News Service http://www.canada.com Saturday, July 19, 2008 Omar Khadr’s defence team says it has expert testimony indicating the soldier he is accused of killing died as a result of injuries inflicted by an American grenade. The lawyers say the evidence will be added to the results of the defence’s wider investigation of the July 2002 […]

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Free Energy and the Open Source Energy Movement (Part 3)

Posted: 20 Jul 2008 06:57 PM CDT

By Steve Windisch (jibbguy) featured writer Dandelion Salad 7-20-2008 Part one of the series: Free Energy and the Open Source Energy Movement (Part 1) Part Two of the series: Free Energy and the Open Source Energy Movement (Part 2) This article, the two previous ones in this series, and those yet to come are dedicated to discussing the over one hundred year-old […]

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Reality Check – The Democrats Are The Real Problem By Mike Whitney

Posted: 20 Jul 2008 06:01 PM CDT

Dandelion Salad Hmm, Mike is just figuring this out now?  There are other candidates to support such as Nader and McKinney.  ~ Lo By Mike Whitney 07/20/08 “ICH” Obama’s candidacy is over; kaput. He’s already stated that he has no intention of stopping the war, so he has disqualified himself. That’s his prerogative; no one put a gun to […]

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The Real News Network: Would Iran give nuclear technology to Hezbollah?

Posted: 20 Jul 2008 10:39 AM CDT

Dandelion Salad The Real News Network Prof. Sahimi: Iran provides aid, but it’s against their interest to provide advanced weapons (5 of 6) “The Real News Network: Would Iran giv…“, posted with vodpod see Is Iran a “threat to peace and security”? War on Iran: Keep watch on the hawks Chossudovsky: Iran: All Out War or Economic Conquest HR 362 and the […]

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The Real News Network: The geo-politics of oil

Posted: 20 Jul 2008 10:23 AM CDT

Dandelion Salad The Real News Network Aijaz Ahmad: What would a rational American foreign policy look like? Pt 6 “The Real News Network: The geo-politi…“, posted with vodpod see How should the US fight international terrorism?

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Afghan resistance grows in response to U.S. war crimes

Posted: 20 Jul 2008 09:40 AM CDT

Dandelion Salad By Deirdre Griswold http://www.workers.org Jul 18, 2008 Having rendered much of the country of Iraq virtually uninhabitable, the destructive forces of U.S. imperialism are now being focused more intensely on Afghanistan and Iran. The pressure against Iran is still in the threat stage, but Afghanistan has been suffering terrible devastation delivered by high-tech weaponry against small villages. The […]

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Army court-martials resister for blowing whistle on ‘bait-and-kill’

Posted: 20 Jul 2008 09:34 AM CDT

Dandelion Salad By Dee Knight http://www.workers.org Jul 19, 2008 Private First Class James Burmeister faces a Special Court Martial at Fort Knox on July 16. The charges are AWOL and desertion. He returned to Fort Knox voluntarily in March, after living 10 months in Canada with his spouse and infant child. He refused redeployment to Iraq while on leave […]

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Adam Kokesh’s speech (Revolution March)

Posted: 20 Jul 2008 08:50 AM CDT

Dandelion Salad thaicinema July 14, 2008 Another one of the epic moments from a historic day. “Adam Kokesh’s speech (Revolution March)“, posted with vodpod h/t: Chris see Adam Kokesh Assaulted by Undercover FBI Agent & MPD Officers Adam Kokesh Demands Impeachment in Washington, DC (video)

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The Adventures of the Parasite Army – Why Afghanistan is Not the Good War

Posted: 20 Jul 2008 08:40 AM CDT

Dandelion Salad By Ron Jacobs ICH 07/19/08 “Counterpunch“ It’s the perennial thorn in the colonialist’s side. It’s the war that won’t go away. It’s a wasp sting that swells, slowly choking the life out of the sting’s recipient. It is the nearly seven-year old occupation of Afghanistan by the United States and various NATO allies. Nearly forgotten by most […]

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Squabbling Over the Pigeon Bill: PA Legislature Won’t Be Able to Soar Like Eagles Until It Shoots Down Animal Cruelty

Posted: 20 Jul 2008 08:04 AM CDT

by Walter Brasch featured writer Dandelion Salad http://www.walterbrasch.com Walter’s blog post July 20, 2008 Dave Comroe stepped to the firing line, raised his 12-gauge Browning over and under shotgun, aimed and fired. Before him, a pigeon fell, moments after being released from a box less than 20 yards away. About 25 times that day Comroe fired, hitting about three-fourths of the […]

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2008.07.20 Daily Posts on Dandelion Salad

Posted: 20 Jul 2008 07:43 AM CDT

Dandelion Salad Sign up for the daily email newsletter. War on Iran: Keep watch on the hawks Posted: 20 Jul 2008 05:08 AM CDT Dandelion Salad by Abbas Edalat Global Research, July 18, 2008 US policy on Iran seems to be softening, but the world must stay vigilant to avert the threat of war President […]

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The War Party – Zionism in NeoCon Foreign Policy (2003)

Posted: 20 Jul 2008 07:05 AM CDT

Dandelion Salad erkd1 “The War Party — Zionism in NeoCon Fo…“, posted with vodpod Connecting Israeli Zionist influence on America’s Foreign Policy the BBC investigative journalism show Panorama aired The War Party on May 18th, 2003 right after the start of the Iraq War. Key members of the Bush administration and the powerful American Enterprise Institute […]

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Ignoring Our Burden & Adopting White Man’s Burden

Dandelion Salad

ManilaRyceTLM

Strictly for my Naders

Fear and demoralization allow us to accept the status of slaves. Express your solidarity with the workers of the world in a comment or video response and declare your independence.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
– Marianne Williamson

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Reality Check – The Democrats Are The Real Problem By Mike Whitney

Nader on Obama: It is Quite Clear He is a Corporate Candidate from A to Z (vids)

The Audacity of Revolution VS The Hope of Chumps by Manila Ryce (video)

Commentary by Mumia Abu Jamal on Ralph Nader

Words, Words, Mere Words by Ralph Nader

What is Socialism? (archive of posts)

Obama-Barack

Nader for President 2008

www.votenader.org/

The Termi-Nader

Ralph Nader Posts & Videos

Inflation and the Specter of World Revolution By James Petras

Dandelion Salad

By James Petras
07/20/08 “ICH”

“Inflation is here big time”, Charles Holliday CEO, Du Pont. June 24, 2008

“The sustained rise in the price of oil and commodities has hammered industries…and deepened fears of global inflationary spiral – which has already provoked riots across Asia – as producers pass on higher costs to manufacturers and consumers.”  The Financial Times  June 25, 2008. page 1

Inflation and all of its repercussions for wage and salaried workers, fixed income middle classes, as well as manufacturers and transport industries is splashed all over the financial pages of the major newspapers throughout the world.  Inflation is the great solvent that dissolves paternalistic ties between employers and workers, landowners and peasants, clientele-patronage regimes and the urban poor and sets in motion violent protests against private property and previously popularly elected regimes.  Historical religious, clan, party, ethnic, tribal, caste and other differences are temporarily suspended, as Hindus and Moslems in India, Communists and Christians in the Philippines, peasants and workers in China, industrial workers and public employees in Egypt, blacks and mulattos in Haiti…join together in sustained mass protests against inflation which profoundly and visibly erodes their living standards from week to week, in some cases from one day to another.

But the left, the Anglo-American left?  Where and what do our most prominent public intellectuals, including those with booking agents charging five-digit lecture fees, have to say about this world-wide revolt?  Nary a word is found in left, center-left magazines, web sites and blogs.  During their lucrative lectures, they thunder against the immoralities of war and climate change.  They hurl imprecations against rulers and exploiters and their immoralities, and the bellicose interests they represent (with special exemption of the ubiquitous Zionist Power configuration).  Yet there is hardly a mention of the purveyors of the global cancer which is literally eating away the bread of everyday life of billions of people.  They talk of a ‘peace movement’, (which has disappeared); of one or another dissident electoral candidate; and reminisce over youth revolts 50 years ago.  But like the intellectuals who sipped their wine while the revolting masses headed for the Bastille, they are at best irrelevant, unblinking spectators to the greatest turmoil of the new millennium.

The targeted capitalists and their regimes and the downwardly mobile middle classes and the masses facing destitution are much more aware of the centrality of inflation to their profits, living standards and everyday life and the threats of popular upheavals.  The Anglo-American left, in all of its variants, is destined once again to irrelevance in the face of world-historic challenges and opportunities.  This contrasts with the intense preoccupation of the capitalist class with inflation.  It is the central topic of weekly meeting of central bankers the world over.  Empty resolutions are approved at the monthly conferences convoked by international financial institutions.  Almost daily there are pronouncements by finance and economic ministers.  Yet the complacent indifference of our intellectuals is striking.

To awaken from intellectual stupor and political irrelevance in the face of the mass revolt against inflation, it is necessary for the Anglo-American left to come to grips with the scope, depth and significance of accelerating inflation in our times.  Inflation is pre-eminently a political phenomenon in every sense of the word:  it is a product of public policies which deeply affect markets, supply and demand, consumers, producers and speculators.  Inflation is the detonator of mass political action and offers historic opportunities for broad-based ‘regime transformation’ and even revolutions in a way similar to the way the destructive imperial wars have in the past.  Like wars, inflation devastates vast sectors of society, puts them all in common deteriorating positions and projects their worst nightmare – a regression into the abyss of mass destitution.

The Centrality of Inflation

The most threatening challenge to contemporary imperial regimes and their client nations is out of control inflation and a raging rise in food prices.  Writers on the Left who write of the end of empire and focus on the financial crises (in the US), or the energy crises (in Europe), or the grievance of mass peasant protests over corruption in China, have overlooked the one grievance which cuts across all regimes of the world (with greater or lesser intensity but everywhere growing more powerful) namely inflation, especially in vital necessities such as food and fuel costs.

For Marxists, their narrow focus is on the class struggle at the workplace and related issues of unemployment and deteriorating work conditions as the detonator of mass unrest and organized anti-capitalist action.  For environmentalists, the point of mobilization is climate change, peak oil, environment degradation and the resultant deterioration of human existence.  For anti-imperialists and related anti-war activists, it is the US, EU and Israeli wars in the Middle East which represent the great moral challenges of our times and the greatest danger to world peace.

While these progressive analyses and prognoses are righteous in intent and worthy causes to support, they overlook the fact that they are not the points of greatest conflict between imperial and client regime and the great majority of humanity today.  The greatest concern and the issue, which has consistently mobilized hundreds of millions over the past year, is inflation, rising food and fuel prices, declining living standards, hunger and the everyday experience (and reality) that conditions are deteriorating with no end in sight.  The point of greatest contention today is not the workplace (or point of production) but in the ‘market’, the place of consumption, where money earned from production purchases less and less of the necessities of life.

Inflation: Detonator of the First Sustained World Revolt

In Asia, particularly Pakistan, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Philippines, Nepal, Mongolia and China, hundreds of millions of workers, peasants, artisans and low-paid self employed workers, as well as house-wives and pensioners have engaged in sustained mass protests as they experience a decline in the quality and quantity of food purchases as prices skyrocket.  In Africa, hunger stalks the land and major food riots have occurred from Egypt through Sub-Saharan Africa to South Africa.  In the Caribbean, Central and South America, food riots have led to the overthrow of regimes, mass protests, road blockages from Argentina, Bolivia, through Colombia, Venezuela and Haiti.

Recognizing the revolutionary potential of ‘hunger politics’ induced by inflation, even right-wing, as well as center-left regimes have attempted to limit unrest through (1) food subsidies, (2) raising interest rates and cutting public expenditures to slow down the economy and lessen inflation (Brazil), (3) lowering food exports in order to supply local consumers (Vietnam, India, Indonesia), (4) enacting special laws against hoarders and speculators (Philippines) and (5) repressing mass protest (Haiti, Egypt).  None of these short-term, local ameliorative measures have worked: Controls of exports have not lessened imported inflation and wholesalers/retailers have not complied with price controls and engaged in hoarding and black market activity.  While agricultural production has increased, the growth of non-food products (ethanol for bio-gas) has grown even faster.  The ineffectiveness of these ‘reforms’ reflects the failure of agricultural policies over the past half-century, which have focused on financing large-scale specialty export agricultural crops and urban-service-industrial complexes, while neglecting basic food production by family farmers for local consumption.  Countries, as diverse as Cuba, Egypt, China and the Philippines, have divested from agriculture to service (tourism in Cuba), recreational facilities for the wealthy (golf courses), agro-exports (Brazil), real estate (China), technology centers and commercial shopping malls (Philippines and India).  In the process they have displaced food producing small farmers, depriving them of credits, price incentives and infrastructure – not to mention confiscating rich agricultural lands from indebted farmers for conversion to golf courses, exclusive subdivisions and shopping malls.

The result is the convergence of ongoing protests by dispossessed peasants and farmers, suffering from lack of access to land, irrigation and agricultural credits, and masses of poor urban consumers suffering from inflation of food prices.  What is at fault is not merely the prices but the social relations of production.  State priorities and the configuration of class power, which control the state and decree economic strategies, reorganized the economy at the expense of local low-cost and available food production.  None of the ameliorative measures taken by contemporary regimes have even approached the structural roots of the inflation crisis and the rising cost of food.

Inflation and Structural Vulnerability

Inflation has had such a devastating effect today – even more than in the past – because of several profound shifts in the occupational and social organization of the economy.  Worldwide class-based trade unions have declined in numbers and capacity to safeguard the interests of urban and rural wage labor.  With this decline has come the abolition of wage indexes, sliding scales of wages, which allow workers wages to keep up with the rise of prices.  Secondly the vast growth of informal and service sector workers are not organized to raise wages in response to increases in food prices.  The growth of pensioners with fixed income has increased their vulnerability to inflationary prices, leading to sharp declines in purchasing power.  The growth of contract labor, precarious labor contracts has undermined all possibilities of negotiating labor contracts which allow wage and salary workers to keep up with inflation.

Thirdly, the dominant ideology, promoted by all capitalist economists and accepted by many trade union officials, claims that wage increases, and wage indexing induces inflationary pressure.  This leads to collusion between ‘labor and capital’ in creating a ‘lag’ between rising prices and wage adjustments, resulting in declining living standards.  Fourthly this pernicious and erroneous doctrine deflects attention from the real causes of inflation  — declining capitalist investment in the productive economy, the vast increase of capital flowing in the paper economy, the huge increases in profits and the grotesque salaries, bonuses and payoffs to senior executives, totally unrelated to ‘performance’.  As a result there is a decrease in the production and circulation of goods of mass consumption.  The growth of a vast parasitical ‘service sector’ with money pursuing fewer actually available goods has led to higher prices.  Most of the affluent classes (the upper 20%) can afford the higher prices, in part because they can pass on the added costs to the mass of working class and urban and rural poor.  In other words, in the contemporary economy, inflation benefits the wealthy because they pay their workers in deflated currency, while they can take advantage of inflation to further jack up prices and then income.  In other words the upper classes have fortified their economic positions to take account of inflation through their power over prices, income and other compensations in a way that wage workers and people on fixed income and other vulnerable sectors cannot.  Bankers protect their loans via adjustable interest rates.  Monopoly resource owners jack up prices to retain profits.  Wholesalers mark up prices to compensate for higher commodity prices.  Large-scale retailers squeeze final consumers – the great majority at the bottom of the production and distribution chain.

Inflation:  The Targets of Revolt

The revolts of the mass of vulnerable consumers are directed at retailers, wholesalers and the government, which are held responsible for the higher prices.  Governments are charged with deregulating the economy, subsidizing the profiteers, promoting profiteering, complicity with monopolies, imposing wages and salary constraints without commensurate control over prices and basic necessities.  Where some subsidies or price controls are decreed they are not consistently implemented or enforced.  Worse still, widespread evasion, hoarding and black-marketeering is rife because of official complicity and corruption.  According to regime bureaucrats it is ‘easier’ to control wages than prices – hence the uneven and unjust enforcement.  Moreover capitalist producers frequently dis-invest or withhold products especially necessities from the market as an effective weapon against price controls, forcing scarcity and inducing popular discontent with the incumbent regime.  Reformist policies and regimes then are forced to choose between ‘lifting controls’ to increase profits and prices or maintaining controls and facing the wrath of masses confronting empty shelves.  Few if any contemporary regimes are willing to make credible threats to intervene in economic sectors or even enterprises, withholding goods or investments.  Even less likely are regimes willing to actually mobilize workers, farmers and consumers to take over strategic economic sectors vital to popular consumption.

Anti-Inflationary Revolts and Extra-Parliamentary Politics

Given the total dominance of unhindered and unregulated ‘free market’ ideology among all the leading political parties and within the executive, legislative and administrative branches of government, there are no institutional political vehicles through which the consumers can act to arrest their declining living standards, their decreasing capacity to meet basic needs and in many regions avoid growing malnutrition and hunger.  Because of the all-pervasive and powerful stranglehold of free market capitalism among all national and international decision makers, all the meetings convoked by international organizations to deal with the ‘food crisis’ (narrowly defined as ‘hunger’ induced by scarcity and exorbitant food prices) have repeatedly failed to come up with practical and workable solutions.  At best they simply pledge funds for temporary food aid, subsidies and proposals for technical or market assistance.  No meeting challenges the power of corporate agriculture to raise prices, allocate investments to more profitable fuel use rather than food; no crisis managers suggest massive shifts of credits from agro-exporters to family farmers; no effort is made to end price gouging by wholesalers or retailers.  In other words, the crisis managers are of the same class as the beneficiaries of high prices and scarce food producers – and therefore they operate within the same market rules, which perpetuate higher profits and declining living standards.

Given the failures of official policies and the lack of any institutional solutions of redress, the only outlet for downwardly mobile masses is extra-parliamentary opposition; the sacking of trains, stores and wholesale warehouses; the overthrow or voting out of office of incumbent regimes; the blocking of transport and seizure of government buildings; mass marches and demonstrations facing legislative and executive houses.  Incumbent regimes everywhere fear mass repudiation in upcoming elections, even as their ‘populist’ opponents provide no systematic alternative.  As yet the mass consumer protests, even as they draw heavily upon the families of workers, have yet to enlist the organized working class at its point of production.  Only on rare occasions have organized workers engaged in ‘general strikes’ against price increases of basic foodstuffs.  The process of linking producter and consumer sectors is however not far on the horizon as local joint actions are occurring and calling into question the reliance on unrestricted markets.  Bourgeois journalists, some financial editorial writers and a few government advisers are aware of the growing danger of inflation, rising food prices and the profit/wage gap to the capitalist system and are calling for anti-inflationary policies and public regulation.  Faced with the deepening financial crisis resulting from the speculative crash and the necessity of large-scale, long-term state intervention and bail-outs, sectors of the capitalist class are also calling for greater state supervision and tighter controls over covert (off the books) institutional swindles.

Popular perception of massive state bailouts of banks and proposals for new regulations to save the financial system has reinforced the idea that the state can equally (or with greater justice) interfere to regulate food and fuel prices and to prop up declining living standards.

Inflation and the Transition from Protest to Popular Uprisings

Inflation and high levels of engagement of the state in saving capitalism has raised mass discontent from a local protest against local price gougers and profiteers to a national political protest against a class biased state, which ignores deteriorating living standards and concerns itself only with the very rich.

Previously apolitical or even conservative workers, peasants and households who experienced incremental and cumulative gains in living standards through long hours and multiple household workers are now seeing their livelihood decline.  Their earnings are devalued.  Their capacity to satisfy basic needs deteriorating.  The sensation of ‘going backwards’ or losing control over their everyday lives and of downward mobility is fueling mass collective anger.  The treadmill of added work without rewards, respect or recognition is reinforced daily by the added costs to everyday goods.  Inflation destabilizes all calculations, not only for the future, but also of everyday life:  What to buy or not buy. What to pay or what to pay off.  Uncertainly about what is affordable today and unaffordable tomorrow.  Uncertainty spreads from the poorest to the ‘stable workers’, from the ‘fixed income’ pensioners to the ‘secure public employees’.  Inflation’s global spread undermines living standards in Europe and the Americas, Asia and Africa, and with it, discontent erodes party loyalties and confidence in electoral and/or regime legitimacy.  Historically nothing undermines public confidence in the currency, the banks, politicians and the existing market ideology as much as daily creeping inflation.  The greatest fear of all is the sense that a lifetime of effort will result in the ‘loss of everything’ – home, transport, health, and education – as prices rise faster than income.  At some point, rampant inflation leads to absolute regression and with that a rupture with all previous loyalties and commitments.

Conclusion

Inflation, as it accelerates, in the past and today, is the great solvent of incremental everyday habits and politics:  Today it undermines incumbent politicians; tomorrow it can call into question regimes and social orders.

In the past, inflationary disorders and desperation brought forth rightist demagogues who specialize in imposing order and stability.  It ill behooves the left to once again ignore the destructive effects of inflation, the demands for order and stability and mass consumer discontent.  Inflationary fears are as much entrenched as class and property issues.  Combating inflation, especially basic price increases is central to any prospect for a social transformation, which claims to benefit the wage and salaried workers, urban or rural dwellers, the poor, minorities, consumers and producers.

Professor Petras’ forthcoming book is: Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of US Power (Clarity Press.  Ste 469, 3277 Roswell Road, Atlanta, GA 30305).

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Death of Free Internet is Imminent – Canada Will Become Test Case

Dandelion Salad

by Kevin Parkinson
Global Research, July 20, 2008
http://realitycheck.typepad.com

In the last 15 years or so, as a society we have had access to more information than ever before in modern history because of the Internet. There are approximately 1 billion Internet users in the world B and any one of these users can theoretically communicate in real time with any other on the planet. The Internet has been the greatest technological achievement of the 20th century by far, and has been recognized as such by the global community.

The free transfer of information, uncensored, unlimited and untainted, still seems to be a dream when you think about it. Whatever field that is mentioned- education, commerce, government, news, entertainment, politics and countless other areas- have been radically affected by the introduction of the Internet. And mostly, it’s good news, except when poor judgements are made and people are taken advantage of. Scrutiny and oversight are needed, especially where children are involved.

However, when there are potential profits open to a corporation, the needs of society don’t count. Take the recent case in Canada with the behemoths, Telus and Rogers rolling out a charge for text messaging without any warning to the public. It was an arrogant and risky move for the telecommunications giants because it backfired. People actually used Internet technology to deliver a loud and clear message to these companies and that was to scrap the extra charge. The people used the power of the Internet against the big boys and the little guys won.

However, the issue of text messaging is just a tiny blip on the radar screens of Telus and another company, Bell Canada, the two largest Internet Service Providers (ISP’S) in Canada. Our country is being used as a test case to drastically change the delivery of Internet service forever. The change will be so radical that it has the potential to send us back to the horse and buggy days of information sharing and access.

In the upcoming weeks watch for a report in Time Magazine that will attempt to smooth over the rough edges of a diabolical plot by Bell Canada and Telus, to begin charging per site fees on most Internet sites. The plan is to convert the Internet into a cable-like system, where customers sign up for specific web sites, and then pay to visit sites beyond a cutoff point.

From my browsing (on the currently free Internet) I have discovered that the ‘demise’ of the free Internet is slated for 2010 in Canada, and two years later around the world. Canada is seen a good choice to implement such shameful and sinister changes, since Canadians are viewed as being laissez fair, politically uninformed and an easy target. The corporate marauders will iron out the wrinkles in Canada and then spring the new, castrated version of the Internet on the rest of the world, probably with little fanfare, except for some dire warnings about the ‘evil’ of the Internet (free) and the CEO’s spouting about ‘safety and security’. These buzzwords usually work pretty well.

What will the Internet look like in Canada in 2010? I suspect that the ISP’s will provide a “package” program as companies like Cogeco currently do. Customers will pay for a series of websites as they do now for their television stations. Television stations will be available on-line as part of these packages, which will make the networks happy since they have lost much of the younger market which are surfing and chatting on their computers in the evening. However, as is the case with cable television now, if you choose something that is not part of the package, you know what happens. You pay extra.

And this is where the Internet (free) as we know it will suffer almost immediate, economic strangulation. Thousands and thousands of Internet sites will not be part of the package so users will have to pay extra to visit those sites! In just an hour or two it is possible to easily visit 20-30 sites or more while looking for information. Just imagine how high these costs will be.

At present, the world condemns China because that country restricts certain websites. “They are undemocratic; they are removing people’s freedom; they don’t respect individual rights; they are censoring information,” are some of the comments we hear. But what Bell Canada and Telus have planned for Canadians is much worse than that. They are planning the death of the Internet (free) as we know it, and I expect they’ll be hardly a whimper from Canadians. It’s all part of the corporate plan for a New World Order and virtually a masterstroke that will lead to the creation of billions and billions of dollars of corporate profit at the expense of the working and middle classes.

There are so many other implications as a result of these changes, far too many to elaborate on here. Be aware that we will all lose our privacy because all websites will be tracked as part of the billing procedure, and we will be literally cut off from 90% of the information that we can access today. The little guys on the Net will fall likes flies; Bloggers and small website operators will die a quick death because people will not pay to go to their sites and read their pages.

Ironically, the only medium that can save us is the one we are trying to save- the Internet (free). This article will be posted on my Blog, http://realitycheck.typepad.com and I encourage people and groups to learn more about this issue. Canadians can keep the Internet free just as they kept text messaging free. Don’t wait for the federal politicians. They will do nothing to help us.

I would welcome a letter to the editor of the Standard Freeholder from a spokesperson from Bell Canada or Telus telling me that I am absolutely wrong in what I have written, and that no such changes to the Internet are being planned, and that access to Internet sites will remain FREE in the years to come. In the meantime, I encourage all of you to write to the media, ask questions, phone the radio station, phone a friend, or think of something else to prevent what appears to me to be inevitable.

Maintaining Internet (free) access is the only way we have a chance at combatting the global corporate takeover, the North American Union, and a long list of other deadly deeds that the elite in society have planned for us. Yesterday was too late in trying to protect our rights and freedoms. We must now redouble our efforts in order to give our children and grandchildren a fighting chance in the future.

author’s website: http://realitycheck.typepad.com

© Copyright Kevin Parkinson, Global Research, 2008

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9627

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