Naomi Klein: The Real Crime Scene Was Inside the G20 Summit
As thousands protested in the streets of Toronto, inside the G20 summit world leaders agreed to a controversial goal of cutting government deficits in half by 2013. We speak with journalist Naomi Klein. “What actually happened at the summit is that the global elites just stuck the bill for their drunken binge with the world’s poor, with the people that are most vulnerable,” Klein says.
The massive police presence in Toronto over this week has been officially justified on the basis of protecting the leaders of the G8 and G20 countries meeting in Huntsville and Toronto. We were told that the creation of the fenced-in fortress, the massive mobilization of police (estimates ranging from 10-20,000) from across Canada, and even the passing of a secret law on policing (by the executive of the Ontario government without reference to the Legislative Assembly and the opposition parties) that made it a crime to appear within five metres of the security fence would protect our right to protest as well.
I believe it is human nature to want to be right (as in “correct” not “conservative”). I like to be right. I also like to research my facts because being wrong to me is embarrassing. The one time I would have loved to be in error, though, was in a conviction that began over two years ago. I was convinced that Barack Obama was not the progressive-peace-savior that many of my friends and colleagues were making him out to be.
For a few days last week, the harpies of the extreme right assaulted the president of the United States for first considering, and then firing Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of allied forces in Afghanistan.
In a 10-day interview with Michael Hastings of Rolling Stone, McChrystal and his senior aides poked fun or criticized almost every civilian in the highest levels of the chain of command, including the President, Vice-President, and National Security Advisor James L. Jones, former Marine Corps commandant who, an aide told the magazine, was a “clown.” Another aide told Hastings that Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) “turn up, have a meeting with [Afghan President Hamid] Karzai, criticize him at the airport press conference, then get back for the Sunday talk shows. Frankly, it’s not very helpful.”
Peak Moment 174: Jan Spencer didn’t stop with a permaculture makeover of his suburban home in Eugene, Oregon. Now he’s taking on the neighborhood! As a result, his neighborhood association is teaming up with city programs like Neighborhood Watch and Emergency Response to empower neighbors to work together. They’re transforming lawns and abandoned lots into edible gardens, and sharing knowledge about energy efficiency, permaculture, and preparedness. These grass roots endeavors help people feel more secure in their homes, because they’re connected with neighbors they can rely on.
Oh yes, the MSM is a psy-op. Read the European media, or media elsewhere, I’m fairly certain that there is a concerted effort to keep the American people in the dark. This may or may not be news to you, it probably shouldn’t be to anyone, but if Americans are preoccupied with bread and circuses — like American Idol and lost teenage schoolgirls — and can’t even point to the next locale, that they are going to bomb on an atlas or a map; then the powers that be have been successful.
For anyone who didn’t get the lost schoolgirl reference, I heard a comparison recently, that related the Natalie Holloway coverage to that of the current oil spill. The Holloway coverage, of course, dwarfed the coverage of the Louisiana environmental disaster, and it reminded me of what the ‘big’ story was before 9/11; which was, of course, Chandra Levy. Chandra Levy was not a teenage schoolgirl, but she was a young woman.
The Technological Revolution and the Future of Freedom, Part 1
There is a new and unique development in human history that is taking place around the world; it is unprecedented in reach and volume, and it is also the greatest threat to all global power structures: the ‘global political awakening.’ The term was coined by Zbigniew Brzezinski, and refers to the fact that, as Brzezinski wrote:
For the first time in history almost all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive. Global activism is generating a surge in the quest for cultural respect and economic opportunity in a world scarred by memories of colonial or imperial domination.
The skinny legged wide receiver with 4.7 speed (fast for a white guy in 1970), was running like “a thief from a grocery store” down the sidelines. It was a late Saturday morning in October. The pale blue cloudless sky suspended the sunny brilliance of this “Indian Summer” day. Such a contrast to the dirt brown city grass and the fire engine red of his uniform. His hands cradled the pigskin tucked close to his body. The only sound he could hear was the wind whistling through his sweaty helmet. The poorly arranged yard lines, white chalked like some giant checkerboard, passed below him rhythmically. In the distance, an empty end zone. His heart and mind raced along with his legs.
Europe is committing fiscal suicide – and will have little trouble finding allies at this weekend’s G-20 meetings in Toronto. Despite the deepening Great Recession threatening to bring on outright depression, European Central Bank (ECB) president Jean-Claude Trichet and prime ministers from Britain’s David Cameron to Greece’s George Papandreou (president of the Socialist International) and Canada’s host, Conservative Premier Stephen Harper, are calling for cutbacks in public spending.
The United States is playing an ambiguous role. The Obama Administration is all for slashing Social Security and pensions, euphemized as “balancing the budget.” Wall Street is demanding “realistic” write-downs of state and local pensions in keeping with the “ability to pay” (that is, to pay without taxing real estate, finance or the upper income brackets). These local pensions have been left unfunded so that communities can cut real estate taxes, enabling site-rental values to be pledged to the banks of interest. Continue reading →