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Forum Post: ''The ‘Cult of Capitalism’ - America Is Being Led Astray By Narcissists'', by Paul B. Farrell.

Posted 1 year ago on May 29, 2013, 11:22 p.m. EST by shadz66 (19980)
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''The ‘Cult of Capitalism’ - America Is Being Led Astray By Narcissists''

''Capitalism is now a cult, and Jamie Dimon is the self-appointed leader of the “cult of capitalism.”

by Paul B. Farrell

That message above, is gleaned from a recent Huffington Post column by Mark Gongloff ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/21/jamie-dimon-jpmorgan_n_3314320.html ) whose headline stated that not only is the J.P. Morgan CEO and chairman a cult leader but a “very dangerous” one. Why? Because apparently shareholders have signed “a billion-year contract” to join the cult, notwithstanding portrayals of Dimon as a greedy egomaniac and poster boy for everything wrong with capitalism.

His is a monster of a cult: Warren Buffett is a member. So is CNBC’s Jim Cramer. Says Gongloff, who labels Cramer a “shouty man”: “Cramer joined Warren Buffett and many more VIPs in singing Dimon’s praises and warning of the woe that would befall shareholders” if they split his roles. Still, “the media played along, helping … Dimon keep both of his jobs” as J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s chief executive and chairman.

Dimon, meanwhile, was doing what any self-respecting egomaniac under such a threat would do: acting like a petulant teenager and threatening to quit.

Today, reconfirmed as leader of the cult of capitalism, Dimon could serve as the perfect example of what psychologist Ernest Becker wrote about in his Pulitzer Prize–winning classic, “The Denial of Death,” a favorite from my years at Morgan Stanley. Dimon fits the cult-leader profile: charismatic narcissist, uncompromising, manipulating and threatening to his co-conspirators in the “cult of capitalism” and to the masses marching to the drumbeat of his destiny, off another economic cliff, bigger than 2008’s.

The destiny of this cult of capitalism is also driven by historical trends that Dimon cannot see, trends beyond his control, beyond his leadership talents. Why? He is blinded, incapable of seeing the mega-billion-dollar danger Gongloff claims to have spotted dead ahead.

Is the new capitalism destroying America’s morals ?

Earlier, Dimon revealed himself as a doomsdayer with a self-destructive streak. I first wrote of this back in 2011. After Dimon spoke at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce the headlines shouted: “Jamie Dimon Worries Financial Regulation Will Doom Banks Forever.” Reports followed: Dimon attacked Dodd-Frank as “the nail in the coffin of big American banks.” Doom? Coffin? No, over the top.

In analyzing this behavior, it does fit the diagnosis in Becker’s “The Denial of Death,” a classic analysis of why America is led by narcissists wired to self-destruct.

We now see what John Bogle call a “mutant” capitalism that no longer resembles Adam Smith’s inspiring economic principles enshrined in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. This type of capitalism has turned into an out-of-control virus destroying America’s moral values from within.

Missing is an sense of honor and love of democracy that made me proud as a U.S. Marine sergeant. Missing is a balance of conservative free-market principles with liberal compassion. All that has vanished in the blind ideologies of today’s Ayn Rand clones demanding a return to a world that mimics the Wild West.

Wall Street narcissists and their blinding ‘denial of death’.

When I was first at Morgan Stanley, I read a wide assortment of books, from Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations” and “The Theory of Moral Sentiments” to “Supermoney” and “Powers of Mind.” Becker’s “Denial of Death” still haunts me. It took many readings over the years — plus a Ph.D. in psychology and later work as an interventionist with hundreds of executives, physicians, actors, rock stars, athletes, politicians, royalty and other celebrities — to fully comprehend its power.

Today Becker’s message seems obvious: Wall Street insiders really are their own worst enemies. Once again, as in 2000 and 2008, a million blind insiders are self-destructing.

Instead of Adam Smith’s “invisible hand,” we now have many hands of narcissistic egomaniacs driving this new cult of capitalism. The philosopher Sam Keen, author of “Hymns to an Unknown God,” wrote a great summary of Becker’s worldview in “Denial of Death.” Here are seven steps in the rise and demise of the cult of capitalism:

  • 1. The world is terrifying, hostile and unsafe.

Wall Street insiders, playing with billions, all face the same, deep angst in their souls. An inner war rages every day from birth. This world is “not Disneyland,” says Keen: “Mother Nature is a brutal bitch, red in tooth and claw, who destroys what she creates,” brutishly “tearing others apart with teeth of all types — biting, grinding flesh.” This is our reality from birth until death. Both Hollywood and Wall Street remind us of it every day.

  • 2. Fear of death haunts all humans, creating intense anxieties.

The world “out there” is filled with mortal enemies. Our basic human motivation is a “biological need to control our basic anxiety, to deny the terror of death.”

We adapt, enduring the pain of existence in a cruel world, anxious, “helpless, abandoned in a world where we are fated to die.” We live, relates Keen, in “terror: to have emerged from nothing, to have a name, consciousness of self, deep inner feelings, an excruciating inner yearning for life and self-expression — and with all this yet to die.” Yes, it sounds like an endless summer of Hollywood blockbusters, repeating on an endless loop in our brains.

  • 3. So we invent clever ways to quiet our anxiety, deny our fears.

Every day, we try to deny this reality, block the fears from our minds: to survive, raise a family, be productive.

Denial is the “first line of defense that protects us from the painful awareness of our helplessness.” So, writes Keen, “we hide in our phony defense mechanisms” to “feel safe … able to pretend that the world is manageable.” As do all capitalists. “But the price we pay is high,” Keen continues. “We repress our bodies to purchase a soul that time cannot destroy; we sacrifice pleasure to buy immortality,” but “life escapes us while we huddle within our defended fortress.”

  • 4. Our goal: Escape death, be an immortal hero saving the world.

Here’s where the human brain is at its most brilliant, most evident with cult leaders: “Society provides the second line of defense against our natural impotence,” says Keen. For all cultures create “a hero system that allows us to believe we transcend death by participating in something of lasting worth. We achieve ersatz immortality by sacrificing ourselves to conquer an empire, to build a temple, to write a book, to establish a family, to accumulate a fortune, to further progress and prosperity, to create an information-society and global free market.”

And not just individuals but “corporations and nations may be driven by unconscious motives that have little to do with their stated goals.” Each driven by leaders whose unconscious motives have more to do with overcoming their anxieties about death as a hero. In fact, the motivations of leaders “making a killing in business or on the battlefield frequently have less to do with economic need or political reality than with the need for assuring ourselves that we have achieved something of lasting worth,” while, deep inside, they remain our cult leaders, selfish, self-seeking, little narcissistic egomaniacs.

  • 5. Our heroic ventures create enemies, backfire, counterattack.

This is the final act for capitalists and for capitalism. As Keen puts it, “our heroic projects aimed at destroying evil have the paradoxical effect of bringing more evil into the world.” America vs. China, Republicans vs Democrats, etc. But the real war is always within us. Each of us projects our inner demons onto the real world. To distract us from our fear of death. And in our denials we convince ourselves we are immortal. In our minds we become as gods. And yet deep inside every hero quest to save the world are buried childhood fears, ancient terrors. And eventually this shadow world turns real, the game backfires, and old fears resurface, fighting back.

  • 6. Our denial-of-death quest creates a blind hero.

In Becker’s psychological reality we soon discover that “one of the key concepts for understanding man’s urge to heroism is the idea of narcissism.” Freud “discovered that each of us repeats the tragedy of the mythical Greek Narcissus.” We are “hopelessly absorbed with ourselves.” And 2,500 years of history has “not changed man’s basic narcissism.” In fact, “most of the time … practically everyone is expendable except ourselves.” We are indispensible. Forever. Immortal. We know best, for greed is always good in the cult of capitalism.

  • 7. Escape into enlightenment? Sorry, but it gets worse.

You ask: Is there hope for becoming a hero? Happy endings? Solutions? New strategies to get rich in recessions and bear markets? No.

As with Sartre’s existentialism, Becker sees no escape, “no exit” from the human condition — our denial of death, our destiny, our self-inflicted hell.

You’re trapped in a no-win drama: Even if you do get enlightened, your new enlightened state you will suffer a new awareness — that the cult of capitalism continues unenlightened, blind, driven to self-destruct by forces unseen and uncomprehended until it’s too late.

And unfortunately that leaves 300 million Americans trapped in the cult’s drama, where Wall Street’s greedy narcissists are unwittingly sabotaging the economy, lost in their silent conspiracy, controlling the invisible hand, in a costly war that will again lead, as in 2000 and 2008, to the fulfillment of the death wish of the cult of capitalism.

~

veritas vos liberabit ...

~

{Paul B. Farrell is a MarketWatch columnist based in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Follow him on Twitter @MKTWFarrell.}

[Article copied verbatim under ''Fair Use'' from : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article35118.htm & use this url or : http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-cult-of-capitalism-and-us-moral-decline-2013-05-29?pagenumber=2 ]

203 Comments

203 Comments


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[-] 2 points by Ache4Change (3280) 1 year ago

An interesting but complicated read. It took me two goes lol. In compliment, please see - 'Washington DC Is Starting To See The Obvious', http://www.nationofchange.org/washington-dc-starting-see-obvious-1371132039 - Never Give Up On The 99%! Occupy Democracy! Solidarity :)

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

''At the Public Banking Institute Conference last week, Landon Carter, gave an excellent explanation of why money is scarce [ http://itsoureconomy.us/2013/06/why-is-there-a-scarcity-of-money/ ]. He also explained that because we have given bankers the monopoly on money creation and they do so by the loaning of money, that puts everyone in debt. It creates an “impossible contract” - that requires us all to keep taking money out of circulation ... thereby creating money competition and money scarcity. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We could manage money through public institutions such as public banks and a Public Federal Reserve.

''In addition to privatized debt-based finance, the tax laws create unfairness and inequality. A report by the Congressional Budget Office finds that Washington spends more on tax breaks then on Medicare, the military or Social Security. And, the group that benefits most from tax breaks is the wealthiest.''

Excerpted from your excellent linked article, which I recommend to all readers. Darn that I completely forgot about the 'Public Banking Institute Conference' (June 2nd & 3rd, '13) & I had hoped OWS would LiveStream some of it but here are the links anyway :

I recommend readers explore the sites and I look forward to any reports and articles that emanate from the above and so many thanx 'A4C' for the excellent and very important article by the inestimable Kevin Zeese, JD & Margaret Flowers, MD. The quality of the main speakers speaks volumes and bodes well.

fiat lux ...

[-] 5 points by Ache4Change (3280) 1 year ago

Great links on 'Public Banking'. Thanks and for some added reasons why we need them and in return, see - http://www.nationofchange.org/bank-america-lied-homeowners-and-rewarded-foreclosures-former-employees-say-1371309312 . Never Give Up Exposing Banking Crimes! Occupy The Issues! Solidarity.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

''Bank of America employees regularly lied to homeowners seeking loan modifications, denied their applications for made-up reasons and were then rewarded for sending the home-owners to foreclosure, according to sworn statements by former bank employees.'' Mthrfkrs !!! 'Skank of America' more like !! Thanx for the link A4C even IF it did make me seethe and the Criminal Extraction and Parasitism of Banksters will NOT go unpunished in the next life IF not this ! A link for a link ? Ergo, please see :

''It's now high time to end the era of Big Finance capitalism and an economy based on the extraction of resources, especially for energy. This statement is not an ideological proposal, but a practical one. We simply cannot continue on the present path, and as systems fail and resources become scarce, we will be forced to change what we do.

''Capitalism is once again at a crossroads. We can determine the path. We can create a system that is neither corporate capitalism nor state socialism but that is defined by the limits of resources and by the desires of the people. This new system will have some features of both capitalism and socialism, but will be rooted in participatory democracy, fair sharing of economic wealth and ownership, and values such as cooperation and sustainability. --- The future is in our hands. A lot is already happening. Let's dig in, work together and create not just a new world, but a better place for all of us.'' And also see :

per aspera ad astra ...

[-] 3 points by Ache4Change (3280) 1 year ago

'One of the major conflicts of the era that is not often highlighted for public debate is whether we want an economy that privatizes government services and public resources and continues to concentrate wealth; or whether we want to develop an economic democracy that invests in the public interest and creates shared prosperity.'

'The bamboozling of the American public from corporate-funded politicians speaking through the corporate mass media is hard to believe. At its root, privatization is about profit for a few at the expense of the many – the workers and people who need the services.'

'We do know that we are in a time of transition, an era that will define the next economy. The effects of the neo-liberal economic agenda of privatization simultaneous with de-funding of public assets and services are becoming more obvious. People are fighting back in a number of ways. And greater awareness of economic democracy and modern monetary theory is growing. One thing is clear: it is going to take action from below to create an economy that puts people and the planet before profits.'

From an article by the same authors as your important link above - http://www.nationofchange.org/time-decide-concentrated-privatized-wealth-or-shared-prosperity-and-economic-democracy-1374758622 .

We are living in a very pivotal era. Thanks for the final link to - http://www.popularresistance.org/ and please also try to see http://www.nationofchange.org/edward-snowden-and-financial-speculation-taxes-1374586874 for important info. 'By hard work to stars' or by no work to the hell of more of the same!

Never Give Up! Occupy The Future!

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Thanx for - ''Time To Decide - Concentrated Privatized Wealth Or Shared Prosperity And Economic Democracy'' :

By Kevin Zeese & Dr. Margaret Flowers & it is a simply fantastic link which I'm strongly recommending to all readers. Thanx for these excellent links, in compliment of which, I shall append and recommend ..

especially as it ties both your linked articles together rather well. Never Give Up Occupying The Future !!

respice, adspice, prospice ...

[-] 2 points by Ache4Change (3280) 1 year ago

Yes - ''Time To Decide - Concentrated Privatized Wealth Or Shared Prosperity And Economic Democracy'' is a great article which everyone should read. Your 'Guardian' link is really very good too and I excerpt the following -

'So the history of Democratic leaders such as Nancy Pelosi isn't one of opposition to mass NSA spying when Bush was in office, only to change positions now that Obama is. The history is of pretend opposition - of deceiving their supporters by feigning opposition - while actually supporting it.'

'The sooner the myth of "intractable partisan warfare" is dispelled, the better. The establishment leadership of the two parties collaborate on far more than they fight. That is a basic truth that needs to be understood. As John Boehner joined with Nancy Peolsi, as Eric Cantor whipped support for the Obama White House, as Michele Bachmann and Peter King stood with Steny Hoyer to attack NSA critics as Terrorist-Lovers, yesterday was a significant step toward accomplishing that.' Also see -

http://www.nationofchange.org/moral-verdict-bradley-manning-conviction-love-action-1375276458 and

http://www.nationofchange.org/holder-tells-russia-snowden-won-t-face-torture-or-death-does-us-record-undermine-its-pledge-13751108

Never Give Up Exposing The Sham Of US Party Politics! Occupy Democracy! Solidarity.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

''A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

''The NSA boasts in training materials that the program, called XKeyscore, is its "widest-reaching" system for developing intelligence from the internet.'' from :

Thanx for those very good links A4C and yes : ''Never Give Up Exposing The Sham Of US Party Politics! Occupy Democracy! Solidarity.'' & also in that spirit do NOT fear or be anxious about anything that you may read in my links above - just persevere in hope, love and compassion.

pax, amor et lux ...

[-] 3 points by Ache4Change (3280) 12 months ago

You are very right to say as you do and I just replied to you and this excellent Greenwald article on another thread with this - http://www.nationofchange.org/nsa-confirms-dragnet-phone-records-collection-admits-it-was-key-stopping-just-1-terror-plot-13753709 . Never Ever Give Up On Love And Compassion! Occupy Hope And Persevere! Solidarity.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19980) 12 months ago

An excellent and revealing video link as James Bamford and Spencer Ackerman lay open and explain just what the NSA is up to and for how long as well as the possible results and consequences. Thanx for that & here's a satirical and somewhat sinister li'l item :

cave - bellum se ipsum alet ...

[-] 2 points by Ache4Change (3280) 11 months ago

The Security State is out of control and sees it's own justification at every turn. Representative Elected Democracy is now clearly a total sham. Private Corporations, Bankers and a wholly captured Military-Security-Prison-Industrial Complex, enabled by the SCOTUS is now calling all the shots. So - by what standard of any definition is this not Fascism? Thanks for those important links and two more in return -

http://www.nationofchange.org/obama-says-ex-nsa-contractor-not-patriot-1376148383

http://www.nationofchange.org/chilling-arguments-bradley-manning-sentencing-hearing-1376226707

'Manning's goal, with which millions of Americans agree, was to shed light on the fruitless, brutal, senseless nature of the wars we are waging, wars built on lies, wars we've been fighting three times as long as our participation in World War II.'

Never Give Up Fighting For The 99%! Occupy Democracy! Or else ... ?

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19980) 10 months ago

'The Crisis of Civilization' is a remix documentary feature film investigating how global crises like ecological disaster, financial meltdown, our dwindling oil reserves, terrorism and food shortages are converging symptoms of a single, failed global system and I emphatically assure all you and any readers that it will be time very well spent indeed and that you won't forget viewing it.

Thanx for your very interesting links. The whys and wherefores of the matter of ''The Security State'' is very clearly alluded to in one of the final sections the extraordinary doc-film. You will get it and see the connections as the author & narrator goes through his extremely cogent thesis. I can't praise it enough.

fiat lux ...

[-] 3 points by Ache4Change (3280) 10 months ago

I watched that film soon after you posted it and you're right about it. It was excellent viewing and worth the time spent watching it. Thanks for the links and further to my previous reply re. 'The Security State', see - http://www.nationofchange.org/revealed-gen-david-petraeus-course-syllabus-features-frackademia-readings-1374327287 - Curious but predictable really and excellent that CUNY staff and students are resisting this - http://occupywallst.org/forum/counter-class-and-protest-nyc/ .

Never Give Up Exposing The War Machine! Occupy The Issues! Solidarity.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19980) 10 months ago

Re. ''The Crisis Of Civilisation'', I am glad you watched it. It left an impression on me too. D. Petraeus - mercenary warlord to college don ? I'd lol if it weren't so sad not to mention dangerous. From your link :

''The government-industry revolving door commonly refers to governmental officials leaving taxpayer-funded government gigs for jobs as corporate lobbyists, public relations spin-doctors and other related iterations. The evolution and corporatization of research universities - in many ways research factories on behalf of multinational corporations - has seen the revolving door extend into higher education.

''Petraeus is one example and Moniz is another, but so too is former CIA-head Robert Gates. After leaving the CIA, Gates became the Chancellor of University of Texas A&M and then became Secretary of Defense.'' In short ... SH!T Is Fukt Up - but still there are reasons for optimism. Eg. please consider :

per aspera ad astra ...

[-] 2 points by Ache4Change (3280) 10 months ago

'So much has been accomplished by Occupy and other social justice movements in the past two years that it is incredible the corporate media and their pundits do not report on what is happening around them. Despite the lack of corporate media coverage, the movement is deepening, creating democratic institutions, stopping some of the worst policies from being pushed by the corporate duopoly and building a broad-based diverse movement.'

'Too many commentators focus on the lack of encampments and think Occupy is dead. Camping out in public parks was a tactic - it was not the movement or the only tactic of the movement. Too many fail to look at what members of the Occupy community are doing along with other social justice, environmental and peace activists.'

'We need to consistently highlight our successes because there is no question the government and corporate media will not acknowledge them. It is much easier to build a movement on victories because it shows people that we can have an impact and we can make a difference by being part of a broad-based popular resistance.'

I abridged the above from your excellent link and recommend it to everyone. Flowers and Zeese are prolific in their efforts for the 99%. and in compliment, see - http://www.nationofchange.org/five-ways-capitalism-ripping-american-people-1380551003 .

Never Give Up The Struggle! Occupy The Future! Solidarity.

[-] 2 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

I like myself too much to care about anyone but other people. But only the ones I like.........

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

We may be advised to ''care about'' those we don't like too, so perhaps also consider the following :

verb. sat. sap. ...

[-] 2 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

You respect another person's dignity without actually having to like them. Just because I don't care about most people doesn't mean they shouldn't be able care about themselves.

be yourself!

[-] 4 points by elf3 (2240) 1 year ago

beautifully said - thanks for that - "you can respect another person's dignity without actually liking them" ...an idea that has been lost in our world lately (still siding with the underdog... also something that seems to be lost lately) I feel we've become a culture that glorifies Kardashian rich girls who show no shame in flaunting and bragging about their wealth and privileges. Does anyone actually like these people (I'm guessing not) they probably know it - they are empty inside and need to fill it with things and shopping - they've never had to work hard unless it's to dodge the paparazzi and they get no real satisfaction out of their lives. The bragging is just a cover really (same goes for WS) I do pity them in ways. Every time I see a Mercedes or ridiculously priced vehicle I realize the person it it is empty.

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Ok. ''Respect'' trumps ''like'' - I can dig that and 'respect' is de facto 'care' I'd suggest and thus I append for your continued consideration, the following :

fiat lux ...

[-] 0 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

Noam cares too much about his and others wealth instead of actually caring about the people themselves.

Socialism treats people as if they were machines whose only purpose to produce things and to labor in the cause of wealth.

Money is irrelevant.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Interesting comment & I think that your view holds some water because Marx called his solution to The Constant Crisis of Crapitalism - 'Dialectical Materialism' and real socialism is liberating and empowering in my view but to try to expand your comment - the metaphysical 'dialectic' to 'materialism' is 'spirit-ism' (for want of a better term as 'spiritualism' means something else altogether). In effect, I'm reaching here for a kind of ethereal, empathic metaphysics which can inform our worldly, material and socio-economic shared reality. Further fyi, I'll also here append the following :

Re. ''Money is irrelevant'' - I likey and I also recall some dialogue from ''Star Trek : First Contact (1996)'' :

Captain Jean-Luc Picard : ''The economics of the future are somewhat different. You see, money doesn't exist in the 24th century.''

Lily Sloane : ''No money? You mean, you don't get paid?''

Captain Jean-Luc Picard : ''The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force of our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity.''

radix omnium malorum est cupiditas ...

[-] 0 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

Lots of people like socialism, but lots also misunderstand it or morph it to fit their own vision. One of my main disagreements with both Gandhi and MLK is their views on economics and socialism. My displeasure with socialism isn't the "let's help those who need it part", but the part that says: "were gonna help you whether you like it or not and if you don't accept the 'help', then were gonna ostracise you".

Star Trek is a brilliant example of a post-economic system. Innovation and as the captain puts it: "we work to better ourSelves and the rest of humanity". Going forward human society will either get over it's fetish of money or it will destroy itself slowly and painfully.

This is why I say that both socialism and capitalism are equally bad.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

I can't possibly agree with you 'HC' in equating Socialism and Crapitalism especially as someone who if pushed to, would describe myself as a 'Libertarian Socialist', I'm really NOT recognizing your : ''the part that says : "we're gonna help you whether you like it or not and if you don't accept the 'help', then we're gonna ostracise you". I would also refer you and readers to any one of struggleforfreedom80's posts [eg. http://occupywallst.org/forum/right-libertarianism-is-bullshit/ ] and I'll append fyi, this very current article which goes further into the practical issues going towards a ...

''Capitalism has stopped "delivering the goods" for quite a while now, especially in its older bases (Europe, North America and Japan). Real wage stagnation, deepening wealth and income inequalities, unsustainable debt levels and export of jobs have been prevailing trends in those areas. The global crisis since 2007 only accelerated those trends. In response, more has happened than Keynesianism returning to challenge neoliberalism and critiques returning to challenge uncritical celebrations of capitalism.''

I suspect really that over a couple of pints, we would agree on much more than we'd disagree upon if as it seems, we both like Capt. Picard's words :-)

per ardua ad astra ...

[-] 0 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

Struggleforfreedom80 and I'm guessing you by extension believe that not only is employment an entitlement and inherent right, but that it is everyone duty to everyone else to work and to produce. I believe that I and anyone and everyone else have the right to be poor and Not to work.

You are talking about redistribution, me and Picard are talking abolition.

I don't care how much money anyone else has.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Not quite, tho' of course 'rights' come with 'responsibilities'. I concur with a natural born individual's right to opt out of any societal norms but NOT a legally defined person's (ie Any Corporation's) right to do so.

I fully accept and concur with anyones' right to live as they choose so long as it does not impinge on the rights of others. So, poverty and the right ''Not to work'' is a right - so long as one can afford it !

I don't really care about how much money 99% of the people have but I'm interested in how much approximately 1% have & am VERY concerned with how much The Parasitic 0.01% have because I realise that 'Trickle Down' was a theory to ply the masses with 'the opium of hope, envy and possibility' whereas the reality of The Neoliberal, IMF, World Bank, 'Washington Consensus' has been a 'Hoover Up Crapitalism' and the creation of a Parasitic Plutocrat Class !!

I actually have No Problem Whatsoever (while we're all still stuck in the Mysterious Mythical Magical Money Matrix) with Redistributing from this class - who have been engaging in their own class war (as Warren Buffet said) for so long !!!

Also please see :

ad iudicium ...

[-] -2 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 1 year ago

I suspect Captain Kirk retired to a waterfront estate on the coast of Africa, with the other-worldly female of his dreams.

[-] 0 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

Captain Kirk retired to the Nexus after he disappeared from the Enterprise B. Picard then rescued him from the Nexus and Kirk died on Veridian 3.

DUH?!?!

[-] -2 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 1 year ago

Kirk died? No federal retirement? You're kidding, right?

[-] -1 points by HCabret (-327) 1 year ago

Have you lived in a whole your whole life or just most?

I also know the middle names of all the members of the Swedish royal family.

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Psychopathy as social policy, you mean ? Very interesting and frighteningly probable ! Perhaps such a thing could lead to this ...

e tenebris, lux ...

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

And fukin B : "How Elite Economic Hucksters Drive America’s Biggest Fraud Epidemics'', by Prof. Wm. K. Black : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article35179.htm , from which I excerpt ;

''The work of Alan Greenspan and other unethical economists has cost us trillions of dollars, millions of jobs and endless suffering ... Alan Greenspan had no excuse for assuming fraud out of existence, and his exceptionally immoral position on fraud and regulation proved catastrophic to America and much of the world. We cannot afford the price, measured in many trillions of dollars, over 10 million jobs, and endless suffering, of unethical economists.'' Also please see : http://www.popularresistance.org/ ~*~

caveat banksterii ...

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Re. your comment in reply and because of the shadow ban here : http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-must-get-ride-of-thrasymaque/#comment-977467 ... I'm copying you here below in order to reply :

''I dunno . . . agonistic pluralism sounds just like agony to me. Maybe you can afford it where you are, but then again, I would bring this to your attention one more time:

''We are at a state here in the U.S. where I do not believe we can tolerate a whole lot more of repelican bullshit - but no doubt we will. And it will cost this nation - I have no doubt. The repelican party leadership are some of the most unethical, corrupt, and lying scum on the face of this earth - witness their contortions over Global Warming - and they still have a majority in the House.

''I do believe this site was sabotaged from the outset, and in my opinion Trashy had a direct hand in some of it - but then again, the whole movement was sabotaged from the outset.

''Anarchy will not feed the people''

~ In Reply ~

Anarcho-crapitalism will devour the planet and ''feed'' ON ''the people'' & without being overly pedantic about semantics, perhaps a kind of 'anarcho-syndicalism' has fed us 'human beans' for millennia but look what Anarcho-Crapitalism is up to in our eco-system :

Trashy, ''The Repelican Party'' or otherwise - We Must Struggle On Regardless !!! Onwards & upwards, even when often sideways !! And I know 'sideways' can make you ''tense'' and frankly - same here too !

e tenebris, lux ...

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Anarcho-Crapitalism + Corporations + The State + The MIC = Fascism ?! In support of this meme, see :

''Describing the United States as an "advanced Third World country," longtime consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader calls for a new mass movement to challenge the power corporations have in Washington. "It is not too extreme to call our system of government now 'American fascism.'

''It's the control of government by big business, which Franklin Delano Roosevelt defined in 1938 as fascism," Nader says. "We have the lowest minimum wage in the Western world. We have the greatest amount of consumer debt. We have the highest child poverty, the highest adult poverty, huge underemployment, a crumbling public works — but huge multi-billionaires and hugely profitable corporations.

''I say to the American people: What's your breaking point? When are you going to stop making excuses for yourself? When are you going to stop exaggerating these powers when you know you have the power in this country if you organize it?", from :

Re. the Bankster Scum who enable this via their 'Tyranny of Double Entry Book-keeping', see below.

ad iudicium ...

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

In order for a person to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) they must meet five or more of the following symptoms:

Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

Requires excessive admiration

Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

As with all personality disorders, the person must be at least 18 years old before they can be diagnosed with it.

Narcissistic personality disorder is more prevalent in males than females, and is thought to occur in less than 1 percent in the general population.

http://psychcentral.com/disorders/narcissistic-personality-disorder-symptoms/

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Your 'Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder' comment and link above, got better on the re-read & I highly recommend it to all readers here - especially the forum-troll, lol. Thanx again 'B' and I append :

''Psychopaths often appear normal, even charming. Underneath, they lack conscience and empathy, making them manipulative, volatile and often (but by no means always) criminal. The psychologist Kevin Dutton in his book, The Wisdom of Psychopaths, notes society, and especially Wall Street, admires and rewards many of the qualities of psychopaths - fearlessness, emotional sterility, supreme confidence, ruthlessness, lack of remorse, refusal to take responsibility, narcissism and delusions of grandeur. Who could argue that those characteristics virtually defined the Wall Street crowd responsible for blowing up the world's economy in 2008 ?

''In fact, a recent study [ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2032912/One-25-bosses-psychopath-hides-charm-business-speak.html ] showed psychopaths were four times more common among business leaders than among the general population.''

fallaces sunt rerum species ...

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

It's certainly a societal problem that we need to face down very soon, Shadz. These people are creating the world that we all have to live in.

Something has to give, and real soon.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Here's hoping that the resident forum-troll avails himself of your excellent NPD link in the hope that some elementary self-diagnosis can result & hence I re-post your excellent link below :

Indeed ''something has to give'' 'B' & if only people would 'rise like lions after our slumber - in unfathomable number & shake of our chains to earth like dew ... we are many, they are few'. Furthermore, I append a really excellent cris de coeur from someone who 'knows his onions' :

dum spiro, spero ...

[-] 1 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 1 year ago

These days, because of the breakdown of the cultural system which maintains normal mental health in society, the vast majority of the people tend to display narcissistic symptoms.

I believe this is a strategy of the elite to prevent us from developing solidarity with each other.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

There would appear to be many strategies to actively divide us on a lot of issues.

A cohesive and co-operative public scares the bejeezus out of the 0.01%.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19980) 11 months ago

''A cohesive and co-operative public scares the bejeezus out of the 0.01%.'' - Damn Straight !!! 'B' - you (& everyone reading this !!) needs to watch the following excellent documentary and share this asap - while you still can because the copyright enforcement goons are getting tight as a duck's ass on this :

The “Four Horsemen” of The Apocalype : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWKx0PS3wDw are ...

  1. A rapacious financial system ;

  2. Escalating organized violence ;

  3. Abject poverty for many billions &

  4. Exhaustion of our Earth’s resources.

The filmmakers interviewed 23 more or less well-known thinkers - not only experts like Noam Chomsky, Philip Blond and Richard Wilkinson, but people who used to work within “the system” and talk about their first-hand experiences. The interviews in ''Four Horsemen'' are frank and insightful throughout, lacking the bumble and jargon we often get to hear in documentaries on such matters. I am recommending this very strongly and sincerely.

e tenebris, lux ...

[-] -1 points by justiceforzim (-17) 1 year ago

Geez, Builder...If you haven't just described our current POTUS, I don't know what does a better job!

[-] 0 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Seems to be a badge of honour, or measure of success, to be a sufferer of narcissistic personality disorder.

Read up on narcissistic supply, for an indepth descriptor of just how twisted these people get, when you take their sugar away from them.

[-] -2 points by gameon (-51) 1 year ago

That describes obama perfectly

[-] 1 points by forourfutures (393) 1 year ago

Narcisisim is the wrong word. I certainly understand why it is used as it is. What is happenning is the result of sociopathic behavior.

The possibility of a segment of the population unconsciously adopting attitudes that justify the behavior fitting the definition of sociopathy could provide a comprehensive explanation.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

''Sociopathy'' is perhaps a more apt word but 'narcissism' was the author's thesis tho' I'll take your point. In any case, consider that in ''a recent study [ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2032912/One-25-bosses-psychopath-hides-charm-business-speak.html ] showed psychopaths were four times more common among business leaders than among the general population.'' from :

radix omnium malorum est cupiditas ...

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6449) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

It's too early to read this much, but I know you would want to see this if you haven't, you can get to the 7 part series from here too.

Chris Hedges: "America is a Tinderbox"

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

What Hedges says is so very sobering. So yep, thanx for that. Powerful stuff. I connected to it recently but did not clock that it was part of 7 parts. Also fyi re. the financiers of the duopoly :

Btw, are you aware of ''The Lewis Powell Memo'' ? A Fascistic perversion of ''The Cult of Capitalism'' !

fiat lux ...

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (6449) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

you should read some of my early work,

http://occupywallst.org/forum/higher-labor-cost-now/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/it-is-not-governments-place-to-regulate-our-freedo/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/if-we-give-them-a-lower-tax-rate-dont-we-have-a-ri/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-america-revolution-was-the-largest-act-of-weal/

each of these are very short reads and are designed to begin the break down of the current mind set, funny thing, most Americans are not collage professors.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

I read the four links above and they have value but re. below, I don't see your point re. what Hedges says and that ''he assigns a motive where there is none'' - especially in the dark light of the Corporate Right's oligarichical, plutocratic, parasitic and larcenous nature, tendencies and actions. In evidence, I again draw your attention to The Powell Memo & here append and recommend gnomunny's link & 2 others :

ad iudicium ...

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6449) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

Look I'm familiar with the Powell memo from a few years back, no reason you shouldn't keep it out there it's good enough read as I recall.

If you really want to understand what I'm saying about the communication or lack there of, listen to the YouTube at 1:25 to 1:35 during that time Chris says they boost themselves in order to hurt others when the truth is they just don't care what happens to the others, it is a small thing but there is understanding in the communication problems there if one cares to see it and learn from it, I have no power to convince you on this point.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6287) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

Another good link to the Powell Memo, with commentary:

http://www.thwink.org/sustain/articles/017_PowellMemo/index.htm

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

The Powell Memorandum is critical for understanding what has been going on in The US for the last 40 years and without insight into it, then circumstances and situations will seem disparate and confusing. With it, a dark rationale can be better ascertained with a view to resisting it. Thanx for your excellent link 'g' and in compliment :

The Powell Memo describes the ambitions of The Parasitic 0.01% and their Corporations, whereas my link alludes to Banksters making out like bandits, while all along we, The 99% are increasingly stuck betwixt and between the two [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twRAJ0IHwT0 ].

ne quid nimis ...

[-] 2 points by gnomunny (6287) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

The Powell Memo. Yet another highly enlightening piece I learned of on this website. It was, if not the genesis of, certainly the codification of the corporate takeover of America, in my opinion.

Good clip from the Young Turks as well. I saw a link recently talking about Goldman's manipulation of aluminum thru those warehouses, but didn't go into detail about copper and oil. Great clip but, arrgh, the collusion! It's infuriating! There isn't one aspect of life those 'vampire squids' aren't sucking the lifeblood out of. And because abused power never relinquishes voluntarily, what I think is needed is a 21st century version of "the night of the long knives." Now, I'm a peaceful guy, but we all have our limits, heheh.

Classic 'one-hit' by the way, from yet another band that never quite took off like it should've. Those temperamental musicians. Can't they all just get along? ;-)

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

''Can't they just get along'' ?! LOL !! Nope, not when they give in to darkness and never let the light in !!!

Re. ''The Powell Memo'', it is indeed a critical insight into the dark machinations of TPTB & also fyi 'g' :

radix omnium malorum est cupiditas ...

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6449) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

I've taken on a new project, which in it's way is a huge "Fuck You!" to the feds, but it has taken me away from the site for a bit. I was doing some design work and costs estimates which for me can be a very focused endeavor, and now I can't talk about that anymore, didn't want you to think my absence was a lost of interest.

At a minute 28 into the YouTube above Chris says the right's policy is at the expense of the middle class assigning a motive where there is none, it more truthful way to say it is they just don't care if economic development comes at the expense of the middle class, not caring if it happens and deliberating causing it, well that difference is what lets the right sleep at night, sick as that is. It is in that statement though you will find why Chris has such a hard time talking to folks on the right, the subtle lies we tell ourselves must be respected if we are to communicate. Chris assigns a motive where there is none and shuts down conversation, I sometimes do the same we base our statements on the affect and assume a motive that is consistent with that effect. In his case corporate control in mine the election of Republicans, in both cases we shut down the discussion.

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6287) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

A little late to the party, ain't ya?

http://occupywallst.org/forum/chris-hedges-america-is-a-tinderbox/

Try to keep up from now on, okay buddy?

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6449) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

ahh now you hurt my feelings....

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6287) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

Just having a little fun with you, facts. We may disagree on politics but like I told shadz a few days ago, I feel we're still on the same team. But don't go getting soft on me now, you help keep me on my toes. ;-)

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6449) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

take ten minutes and read through my posts I replied to shadz with, you guys have been somewhat right about me in that I am playing the long game....

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6287) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

That's a coincidence because I'm reading the American Revolution one right now. Just got done with the first one, but I didn't read all the comments yet.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6449) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

yeah it's the posts themselves that create the mind set, there are a few others in the "series" much of this I "rolled out" over the first few months...

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6287) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

Ah, I gotta read the comments too. They're pretty entertaining. Just got done reading the property tax thread.

[-] 1 points by Illuminated (5) 1 year ago

Everyone knows the capitalist elite be the ones keeping us from reforming social security and taking it off the backs of the middle class by Ryan Planning away benefits to the wealthy. They stopped it dead in the tracks and we'll continue to line their filthy rich pockets.

People really don't understand money and what fungible means. When you tax 150,000,000 hard working Americans 15.3%, give it to people not working, where do you think the money ends up? They spend it into the pockets of the wealthy business owners! 15.3% of every dollar you and I earn is taxed and given to the rich! And we're too stupid to realize this simple fact.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

A faux and specious argument re. 'fungible' and the MPC (Marginal Propensity to Consume) of the poor is far higher than other sections of society and 'the poor' are a huge section of society these days. Hard up people helping even harder up people through taxation is certainly NOT the problem - 'Socialism For Corporations and Banksters' - IS !!!

You have some problem with both taxation and welfare it seems at first glance but I'll guess you'll have little more than lip service to pay to Corporate Tax Avoidance and The Bailout of Corporate Banksters and the nature of the current 'Hoover-Up Crapitalism' model. So dare you read :

Most of us here are here because we identify to some degree or other with The 99% and can clearly see 'Libertopian Idealism' as the corporate funded Ayn Randian Psychopathy that it is. Socialism & Welfare for The 0.01% Parasite Class and laissez-faire Crapitalism for The 99% is the order of the day BUT not sustainable !! So - which side are you on ?!

nosce te ipsum ...

[-] 1 points by Illuminated (5) 1 year ago

You need to be a little more careful in your reading of the demographic big picture. You're missing several key points, and doing so you are not able to understand.

First off, I never claimed supporting poor people is a bad thing. However, it is well accepted that paying people to not work is an ill-incentive, and ultimately transfers wealth from those paying it to those who don't. The rich don't pay it, but they receive the income streams all the same.

Second, the 60+ demographic is where you'll find the vast majority of the nation's wealth. To claim they're all poor is missing the boat by a long shot. Giving them money you took from hard working, poor mid-20's couples trying to make ends meat working at Walmart is immoral.

Charge it to the rich, and don't give welfare to the rich.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

''Time To Decide - Concentrated Privatized Wealth Or Shared Prosperity And Economic Democracy'', by Kevin Zeese, JD & Margaret Flowers, MD :

Now there may be a vague possibility that we may actually be able to agree here despite perhaps not 100% agreeing on the facts. You do give a shit about The 99% otherwise why would you be here ? Now what say you ?

fiat lux ...

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

When I learned last winter that I would have a seat on the Senate Banking Committee, I was very happy because I knew it would give me the opportunity to ask tough questions and push for some accountability from Wall Street and its regulators. In the last six months, that’s exactly what I’ve tried to do.

Again and again, I’ve been making a simple point to anyone who will listen: we need to learn from the financial crisis of 2008 and, moving forward, to prevent the kinds of high-risk activities that made a few people rich but nearly destroyed our economy.

Now it's time to launch the next push. I joined forces with Senators John McCain, Maria Cantwell, and Angus King to introduce the 21st Century Glass Steagall Act of 2013 to reinstate and modernize core banking protections.

Banking needs to return to the basics. Sign up now to show your support for the 21st Century Glass Steagall Act.

Banking should be boring. Savings accounts, checking accounts -- the things that you and I rely on every day -- should be safe from the sort of high-risk activities that broke our economy.

The way our system works, the FDIC insures our traditional banks to keep your money safe. That way when you want to withdraw money from your checking account, you know the money will be there. That’s what keeps our banking system safe and dependable.

But the government should NOT be insuring hedge funds, swaps dealing, and other risky investment banking services. When the same institutions that take huge risks are also the ones that control your savings account, the entire banking system is riskier.

Coming out of the Great Depression, Congress passed the Glass Steagall Act to separate risky investment banking from ordinary commercial banking. And for half a century, the banking system was stable and our middle class grew stronger. As our economy grew, the memory of the regular financial crises we experienced before Glass Steagall faded away.

But in the 1980s, the federal regulators started reinterpreting the laws to break down the divide between regular banking and Wall Street risk-taking, and in 1999, Congress repealed Glass Steagall altogether. Wall Street had spent 66 years and millions of dollars lobbying for repeal, and, eventually, the big banks won.

Our new 21st Century Glass Steagall Act once again separates traditional banks from riskier financial services. And since banking has become much more complicated since the first bill was written in 1933, we’ve updated the law to include new activities and leave no room for regulatory interpretations that water down the rules.

The bill will give a five year transition period for financial institutions to split their business practices into distinct entities -- shrinking their size, taking an important step toward ending “Too Big to Fail” once and for all, and minimizing the risk of future bailouts.

This is an important bill that will learn from the 2008 crisis and make sure we hold Wall accountable. Show your support for the new 21st Century Glass Steagall Act now.

When people like you and me work together, we can stand up to even the most powerful interests. That’s how we got the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2010. That’s how we won our election in 2012. And that’s how we’ll pass the 21st Century Glass Steagall Act.

Thank you for being a part of this,

Elizabeth

Donate Now

Facebook

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All content © 2013 Elizabeth for MA, All Rights Reserved PO Box 290568 Boston, MA 02129

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Reintroducing Glass Steagall is a bare minimum and is not any kind of panacea but we all have to wish Elizabeth Warren well in her lonely efforts for The 99%. In today's world Corporations and Banksters are out of control and increasingly, when anything does go wrong, it's always someone else's fault :

and we need to reassert and reclaim democracy wherever we are. Thanx for your post and links btw.

fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Yep - Elizabeth Bernie and a few others are really doing - trying to do - good - but they get very little help - the missing ingredient is public pressure. Yeah accountability and responsibility - hell an alien concept to so many - and lacking it - so deadly.

[-] -2 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

This is a good video moment:

If you like great TV debate clashes and you like Elizabeth Warren, you'll love her square-off with a ridiculous CNBC host yesterday.

Watch Warren fight for her new Glass-Steagall Wall Street reform bill -- and join over 100,000 others in fighting by her side for it!

Warren's email to Progressive Change Campaign Committee members is below.

-- Adam Green, PCCC co-founder

Warren vs. CNBC

ELIZABETH WARREN'S EMAIL THIS WEEK:

About a year ago, on the campaign trail, I asked PCCC members to join with me in pushing for a new Glass-Steagall bill.

This law stopped investment banks from gambling away people's life savings for decades -- until Wall Street successfully lobbied the regulators to chip away at the rules in the 1980s and Congress to repeal it entirely in 1999.

Over 100,000 people joined the fight. And now, I am proud to introduce the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act -- along with Republican John McCain, Independent Angus King, and Democrat Maria Cantwell -- as my first big banking bill in the U.S. Senate.

Will you join over 100,000 of us in calling for more Wall Street reform, starting with a new Glass-Steagall Act? Sign here!

We learned during the 2008 financial crisis that Wall Street is not just taking risks with their own money -- they are taking risks with the whole economy.

A new Glass-Steagall would separate high-risk investment banks from more traditional banking. It would allow Wall Street to take risks, but not by dipping into the life savings and retirement accounts of regular people.

And by making banks smaller, a new Glass-Steagall could also help put an end to banks that are "too big to fail" -- further avoiding costly taxpayer bailouts.

Please help us pass a new Glass-Steagall Act. Join the fight here.

I've already talked about this petition on MSNBC, and I'll keep my Senate colleagues informed of the growing public support for this reform.

By mobilizing people across the nation, we can get this done.

Thank you, Senator Elizabeth Warren

Want to support our work? Ed Schultz called us "The top progressive group in the country"! And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in $3 here. Paid for by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee PAC (www.BoldProgressives.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. Contributions to the PCCC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.


BTW - re-tweeted

[-] -1 points by r23jobs (-1) 1 year ago

Too long. Didn't bother reading.

[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Thanks for sharing - NOT

[-] 1 points by trashyharry (1077) from Waterville, NY 1 year ago

Information Clearinghouse is one of the most critical resources on The Internets.The person who has made this resource available to us for lo,these many years is named Tom Feeley.He has endured years of abuse by shadowy agents of The Oligarchy and has made incredible sacrifices to continue offering the website.I am an unknown artist who exists in dire poverty,but I always send a contribution to ICH every month.If you agree that ICH is a critical resource,please match my donation of usd30 per month---ICH POB #365-Imperial Beach,CA---91933

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Tom Feeley and ICH do a job that is above and beyond the call of duty and he has been doing so for at least 10 years now at some personal cost and risk. Thank you very much for your comment and support 'tharry' & I'd encourage everone to consider the same as a dollar a day keeps the B-S/MSM at bay ~{:-)

e tenebris, lux ...

[-] 2 points by trashyharry (1077) from Waterville, NY 1 year ago

All the best to you,shadz.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Thanx mate and one for the significance of the day (4th of July) :

Important Edit :

''Important Note RE: Tom

''Hi,

''We just wanted to let you know why you haven't received the newsletter, and why the website hasn't been updated since Sunday, June 30, 2013 Unfortunately Tom had a medical incident on Sunday and has been in the hospital since. He's undergone one procedure and is feeling well. He'll have another procedure on Friday and should be back to work on Monday.

''He has been very concerned these past couple days that the site hasn't been able to bring you the news and updates from around the world, and asked if we would pass along this information to you. He'll be back at the information desk before you know it.

''Thank you for keeping him in your thoughts,

''His Family''

Ergo, ohmmmmm for Tom Feeley & family ~*~

pax, amor et lux ...

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

Woman works as KFC manager, earning .50 cents above minimum wage, a whopping $7.75 per hour in NYC. Here's her story. She's speaking out:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/02/nyregion/making-7-75-an-hour-and-figuring-theres-little-to-lose-by-speaking-out.html?ref=todayspaper

We're not all narcissists, right? We can concern ourselves with the plight of others and fight for what is right. We can turn this thing around if we focus on the issues at hand. One major issue in this country is low wages. Wages that have been declining for 40 years while corporate profits are at an all time high. The social contract may be eroded but it is still there, it is always there.

[-] 3 points by Middleaged (5140) 1 year ago

Here is a Narcissist, George W. Wants a Third Term, I guess. LOL

http://rt.com/usa/george-bush-snowden-security-487/ The security of the United States has been compromised due to the recent disclosure of documents pertaining to secretive government-run surveillance programs, former president George W. Bush told CNN in an interview set to air Monday.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

G.W. Bush did more damage to ''the security of the United States'' and the fabric of US society than any living person. He was a disaster as a President for US citizens and for the people of the world at large and his bleak legacy is still playing out but I'll bet that you won't find any allusions to that in his new 'Lie-Bury' [ http://www.georgewbushlibrary.smu.edu/ ] !! Finally, re. Ed Snowden, I append fyi :

e tenebris, lux ...

[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 1 year ago

Lie-bury!! That is Classic Bush. Classic Politics is what we here from Germany & France about how they didn't know the US was Spying on NATO Countries. Since the end of the Cold War France has been involved in Industrial Spying as Well As Israel. And I believe both France & Germany help us spy and gather data for us.

Anyway, if a politician opens his mouth, his lips are moving, and he is not chocking on a bone... you can be sure he is lying to your face.

From Darkness.... New Possibilities Arise, New Actions take Place, and Solutions are Found.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Hypocrisy Unveiled : "Unequal Responses to Leaked Secret Information'' (Video):

''Chris Hayes points to the unequal and uneven response to leaked information that advances the Pentagon's agenda and leaked information that doesn't.'' Consider also that 'Polytricks' in The U$A is a wholly corporate controlled 'infotainment' charade but good people still abound trying to do good things.

iViva Los Indignados y Viva OWS!

per ardua ad astra ...

[-] 3 points by Middleaged (5140) 1 year ago

Here is an Idea. MSNBC should hire me to help them Bridge across the party lines. I think I could be qualitfied and I hear the Ratings are not good on MSNBC. I was happy a few years ago that I got cable in the USA and could hear progressive news and opinion from MSNBC. But what I found was disappointment.

I saw Rachel Maddow shoot a Semi-automatic weapon overseas in a war zone one time. But about the same year my Cable Bill lost it's discounts. So I lost cable TV. But I never grew up with Cable, so it didnt' seem a big deal. I'm older now. I never had cable as a teenager or a kid.

But look the Military hate the Progessive or Left Media. I would Suggest that they bring some conservatives on their team at the corporate office. Actually this is what the US Military Offices look like. True I expect all decisions and military actions to be Right Wing and Conservative. But, the process of forming and having a team of mixed people teaches about conservative, progressive, or right wing ideas. And what I mean is that MSNBC probably needs a conservative consultant to get the Ratings up.

I Think where we all agree on Equality and Liberty for all race creeds, colors, and sexual orientations.... MSNBC is partisan and comes off as partisan on progressive issues.

So, okay. Big Time MSNBC if you have a professional Job for me... let me know Via OWS. I have a lot of background with conservatives while coming form a scientific and democratic family.

LATE ADDITITION: Just watched the Chris Hayes Vid. Good piece. While my feeling above was that I could be a kind of bridge to the audience on the Right... and know I will never be approved of on the Right... Chris Hayes highlights the difficulty of the 2 party system. I would hope to be able to coach or groom words to get the "Right" to listen more to what the Left says is the progressive Solution.

This is the way of the world. We all have to shout out what we believe... and the American way is to listen, forgive, and collude on a solution. Well at least in my way of thinking. The Military is Hard, Hard Headed, Hard Opinionated, and Hard to Convince. The US Right Wing is just as hard to convince. Believe me when I say the first step is getting them to the Table. You can't bring the US Military along in any fantasy without bringing them to the Table. So naturally reporters, First, Try to be Fair, Open, and Willing to listen. But in my experience you can't get the Right Wing to come to the Table or if they do they have issues that give them the excuse to not be honest or forth-coming.

But MSNBC and all reporters know this already.

Look you need opposing forces, interests, or groups on your News Team. You have to speak out, speak up, and fight it out as Storming Norman Schwarzkopf stated in the Invasion of Kuwait.

Look it is after 1:30 AM here for me. I'm probably confusing the whole ting. My point was MSNBC is Positional. MSNBC will ignore possible US History since it is a Conspiracy Theory. But we surely know about the Rich US History in Military or Para-Military Operations.

We know Bankers will not stimulate the Economy. That only leave a Government Declaring war somewhere... or a Government Program for Full Employment, A Civilian Corps, A work Group to Repair Roads or Park Trails... or fixing infrastructure.

Those that Support King George were called Conservatives... and that never worked out very well. The US Revolution was called Liberalism. What we have now is called Social Liberalism. Conservatives in your community may actually be supporting the Ideals of Monarchy without the King ( call it a conservative, Neoclassical Economy). I think people that say they are conservative are probably confused. After the Age of enlightenment... the US revolution meant Liberalism. Look it up in Wikipeadia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberalism

Progressives should employ people with opinions that are against their own. This is a teaching process. MSNBC should not be marketing in such a heavy way that... they lose customers and listeners. The customer is always right.

MSNBC should hire some people with government or military experience of a kind that leads to higher polling numbers. The business model rules here don't mind "Flaming" on other journalist or what?

But the Audience notices all the Flaming on Set.

Thanx. I still have ot check the links and caught up with the knowledge. Thanx.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Interesting & apparently, "scientific research into the way we think explains the reasons decent people wind up supporting horrific policies.", from :

Only constant education and agitation from the bottom up can flip the banksters as their wholly owned corporate MSM shills will only ever seek to 'mind manage' and hoodwink The 99%.

sapere aude ...

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

“I’m beyond not satisfied,” she says. “This isn’t the life I want for my children. This isn’t the life I want for myself.”

''Forget the gilded dreams of 90th-floor penthouse-dwelling hedge fund masters for just a second. We’ll mourn the ridiculously high price tag for brownstones in another column. The economic comebacks of New York, of New Jersey and of so many states ride piggyback on the growth of low-wage jobs, on the hiring of those who dip French fries in boiling oil and pull flesh off the bones of factory chickens.

''Fast-food businesses have added 25,000 jobs in New York in the past decade. Last week I sat in a low-ceiling City Council hearing room and listened and squirmed as fast-food workers — the Wendy’s hamburger slinger, the Papa John’s bike delivery man, the woman who mops floors in KFC — recounted the prosaic facts of their lives for a fact-finding panel.

''There was a Mexican man with gray hair and a bushy mustache who trained as an architect. His two daughters live in Mexico and depend on him, and he sleeps in a basement and makes $5 an hour delivering Papa John’s pizza.

“I delivered during Hurricane Sandy,” he said in Spanish. “They told us to ride bent over, so that the pizzas didn’t get wet.”

''Naquasia Legrand, a 22-year-old from Canarsie, Brooklyn, works at two KFCs. She washes dishes at one for $7.75 and mops floors at the other for $8. She says she must work four or five hours each week off the clock.

''She needed to buy a MetroCard last week so she skipped lunch. She shakes her head. “I think I deserve to eat lunch.”

''The apostles of our new economy advise us that the middle and working classes need to “retool,” to learn new skills, to become more productive. Yes, well, O.K. When, where and with what time and whose money?

''There is good news to be heard here. Workers who earn minimum wage realize their employers have no real hold on their tongues.

“I’m making the minimum wage plus 50 cents,” notes Ms. Simon. “I definitely can find another job.”

''A great ferment brews. The car washers of the Bronx and Brooklyn have voted to form unions, as have security guards at Kennedy Airport. Twice in the past nine months, fast-food workers — with the aid of Fast Food Forward, a community organizing and labor coalition — have rallied and demanded higher wages and an end to wage theft.

''How this ends is uncertain. American labor law is a beaten cur. Strikes are risky, and fast-food corporations are well-heeled adversaries. The current campaigns hope to embarrass these corporations.

''As often, though, this sector carries an immunity to shame.

''Papa John’s chief executive, John Schnatter, makes $2 million per year and lives on a faux medieval estate outside Louisville, Ky. He spoke recently of trying to subvert Obamacare’s provisions by cutting the hours of all of his workers to less than 30 hours. YUM! Brands, which owns KFC and Taco Bell and whose chief executive makes $11.3 million per year, helped lead the battle against paid sick days.

''Mention long odds to these workers and they lead you back to the mathematics. They bob along the poverty line in an impossibly expensive city. What’s to lose?

''Ms. Simon, still dressed in the black KFC shirt with “The Original Original” logo, shakes her head when asked if she’s worried about annoying her employer. “I have no lies to tell,” she says. “This is just my life.”

~

I excerpt the above from your excellent link which I recommend to all readers. Re. your clear point about 'narcissism' - sadly this is a trait that is actually actively encouraged and nurtured in The U$A populace by TPTB, as it makes atomisation, alienation and 'divide and rule' - that much easier and thus again fyi :

Your point re. 'wages' is fundamental to this forum and you are right to conclude that :"The social contract may be eroded but it is still there, it is always there'' - because 'the social contract' is a function of the basic decency of most people.

fiat lux ...

[-] 0 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

We need to focus more on wages. Without fair wages, economic shackles are all most Americans know. This keeps them quiet too, because as they struggle, they worry about their futures and are afraid to make waves by questioning what they have. They feel ashamed if they haven't achieved financial success, which is a joke and impossible in an economic system that is set up to exploit.

This woman is courageous to speak out. Kudos to her and the author of the article. And, thanks Shadz for posting so much of it. I wish every American would read it and think hard about that woman's life. If we can't step outside ourselves, we will fail at making this country a better place for all people. Thanks for the links too.

OWS should be fighting for a living wage. At one point there was going to be a march for a living wage, but it disappeared off the website. How about bringing that back? The social contract is eroded, but it's not dead, and the morality of the social contract supersedes any failed laws that are in place.

[-] -1 points by Clancy (42) 1 year ago

When it comes to a fair wage say in fast food do teenagers who are working for money to have fun with make as much as someone who is trying to support a family?

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Many Republicans argue that raising the minimum wage just hurts teenagers’ ability to gain work experience. But as a new report from the Economic Policy Institute shows, nearly 90% of minimum wage workers are 20 years old or older. Plus, “more than a third (35.8%) [of minimum wage workers] are married, and over a quarter (28.0%) are parents.'' :

multum in parvo ...

[-] -1 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

Wow. Those are startling statistics. Thanks for posting them.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

For a synopsis of the excellent film, ''Heist - Who Stole The American Dream ?'', please see :

multum in parvo ...

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

Looks like a great documentary. There are no free links to it online, though, unfortunately. I would like to watch the whole thing, :).

Here's the wiki link about it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heist:_Who_Stole_the_American_Dream%3F

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

'Heist', Who Stole The American Dream ? An Extended Trailer for the 99% & OWS :

An extended synopsis with a very different edit. I'm still working on getting the whole doc. !

fiat lux ...

[-] 0 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

Most teens who work are contributing to their families and are possibly even supporting themselves and paying tuition, which is way out of control. How can you take any labor and separate out workers based on their age? A job done is a job done.

We need to start valuing labor in a way that takes profits into account, so labor payments as a percent of profit, and living costs into account, so wages that actually cover living expenses. No one, not one single person in this country, this rich and vast country, should work at any full time job and not be able to support themselves. It's a disgrace that this is the case over and over again when there is so much money being hoarded at the top. Let's bring a little morality back to our economic system, make it an economic system that serves the people and not vice versa.

[-] 2 points by JPB950 (2254) 1 year ago

The age of the worker is a distraction, just as much as color, race, or religion would be. The focus should be on determining what a fair wage is and getting it mandated for all workers nothing more. Don't let yourself get pulled into hypotheticals about what could happen to any group of workers.

[-] -1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

''Without fair wages, economic shackles are all most Americans know. This keeps them quiet too, because as they struggle, they worry about their futures and are afraid to make waves by questioning what they have. They feel ashamed if they haven't achieved financial success, which is a joke and impossible in an economic system that is set up to exploit. ... The social contract is eroded, but it's not dead, and the morality of the social contract supersedes any failed laws that are in place.'' - Amen bw.

A report by the respected National Employment Law Project titled “Big Business, Corporate Profits & the Minimum Wage,” ( http://nelp.3cdn.net/e555b2e361f8f734f4_sim6btdzo.pdf ) said that “the majority (66 percent) of low-wage workers are not employed by small businesses but by large corporations.”

The 50 largest of their employers are mostly “in strong financial positions.” and note this finding by NELP : “The top executive compensation averaged $9.4 million last year at these firms.” This means that the bosses, before taking a lunch on January 2, made more money than a minimum wage worker makes in a year.

Talk about the corrosive effects of inequality which have been fed by the top one percent taking 93 percent of the total income growth in 2010, according to Holly Sklar of 'Business for a Fair Minimum Wage' { http://businessforafairminimumwage.org/ }.

The corporate oligarchy has no moral standing whatsoever. Many of the U$A's corporate giants pay NO income tax or very little, far less than a cab driver. Last year for example, Ford Motor Co. paid no federal or state income taxes despite registering nearly $9 billion in profits. It is very hard for companies making record profits & paying executives record pay to have much credibility on this subject & also consider :

This venal hypocrisy, injustice and economic oppression can NOT abide !!! Occupy Wall Street !! Or - ?!

fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

[-] -2 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

BTW - TWEET

DKAtoday ‏@DKAtoday

Making $7.75 an Hour, & Figuring There’s Little to Lose by Speaking Out http://nyti.ms/19PVdVV

UnF'nBelievable MGR?

Min wage s/b 16.00 DUT?

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

OMG = "Woman works as KFC manager, earning .50 cents above minimum wage, a whopping $7.75 per hour in NYC."

UnF'nbelievable.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

Isn't it? Unbelievable is the only word. How about the part where she burns her hands:

"Last year boiling oil spilled over and scalded her hands; she received $58 a week in workers’ compensation, she said. Nearly every day her manager called and demanded: When are you returning to work?"

What happened to OSHA? What happened to safety in the workplace? What happened to workers' rights? I want answers.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

What happened to OSHA? What happened to safety in the workplace? What happened to workers' rights? I want answers.

EXACTLY - what happened to all of the gains that labor has made since the founding of the country? It seems that especially in the last ten years - most of the gains have been flushed down the toilet.

[-] 1 points by 71353933 (85) 1 year ago

Denial of death ?

We should celebrate death. Its the great equalizer ......including the 1%'s.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

''Celebrate'' or otherwise, it'll come to us all soon enough but will what we do here, echo in eternity ?

Energy can not be created or destroyed it merely transforms, transfigures and transmutes & maybe none us can escape our karma in this vibrational frequency range and later on, in others - possibly !!

caveat actor ...

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

give me a job

[-] 1 points by xeric67 (1) 1 year ago

Americans would pick Tom Hanks character trying to preserve language as the first to call narcissistic.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

I don't really know quite what you mean but perhaps we can have an intelligent exchange about what Dennis Kucinich is possibly ''trying to preserve'' for Americans - Tom Hanks and everyone else too :

I'm trying to resist a 'Forest Gump' quote but am very open to one here, lol ;-)

pax ...

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

the club is the extension of the arm

the space station an extension of the foot

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Nice - even it does sound a bit like a weird fortune cookie out of context. lol. I really dig Dennis Kucinich ~{:-) + Roll on the G.I.A.B.O. (George Carlin, Max Keiser & Stacy Herbert) - for no other reason than I'm listening to it as I do some housework :

spero ...

[Removed]

[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Complimenting:

Here we go again.

It looks like President Obama may appoint Larry Summers to lead the Federal Reserve, the cornerstone of our nation’s banking system.

Are you kidding me?

Larry Summers has made a career of espousing deregulation and other pro-corporate economic theories. He is one of the people most responsible for the misguided policies that led to the financial meltdown of 2008 and our government’s woefully inadequate response since.

Surely Larry Summers has achieved a level of failure that disqualifies him for promotion.

Tell President Obama NOT to appoint Larry Summers as Federal Reserve chair.

And don’t be fooled by attempts to frame Summers as a “centrist.”

The issue with Summers is not right vs. left. It’s Wall Street vs. Main Street. And he’s irrefutably cast his lot with the former and against the latter.

It inspires an update of an old nursery rhyme:

Larry, Larry, quite contrary, How can our country grow? With bailout bills, and Wall Street shills, And profits made off all our woe.

Amazingly, his allegiance to Wall Street is not even the only reason to oppose Larry Summers.

Learn about the numerous ways Larry Summers is the wrong choice for the Federal Reserve and sign the petition opposing his appointment.

Visit forgetlarry.org right now.

Say what you will about the Federal Reserve — and there’s plenty to be said — the daily decisions of its head affect every person in the United States as well as billions of people around the world.

Join your fellow citizens in saying “Forget Larry!”

Add your name to our “Forget Larry” petition to President Obama.

We’ve kept Larry Summers out of important offices before.

In early 2012, President Obama was poised to put Summers in charge of the World Bank. That’s when we first launched the “Forget Larry” campaign, which helped encourage the president to find a candidate who was actually qualified for that job.

Like crabgrass, Summers has cropped up again. Let’s roll up our sleeves and do some more weeding.

thumbnail photograph of Public Citizen president Robert WeissmanOnward, Robert Weissman's signature Robert Weissman President, Public Citizen

© 2013 Public Citizen • 1600 20th Street, NW / Washington, D.C. 20009 •

[-] -1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Larry fkn Summers is a criminal and needs to be prosecuted for crimes against The 99%. As you say, ''The issue with Summers is not right vs. left. It’s Wall Street vs. Main Street. And he’s irrefutably cast his lot with the former and against the latter.'' - The sad fact that Obomber is even fraternising with this criminal let alone appointing him to The Fed is proof positive that Oblahblah does zip but pay lip service to the needs of the American 99%, whereas he is nought but a tool of the Parasitic Criminal Banksters.

Just how long are Americans going to put up with this shit ?

qui tacet consentire ...

[-] 1 points by summerbummer (-33) 1 year ago

And the Repubs are being labelled as "obstructionist" since they are objecting to the criminal, ,morally bankrupt people he is nominating for cabinet and other senate approval required positions....Jack Lew, Penny Pritzer, Tom Perez, and the list goes on and on.

[-] -1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

I don't talk about Repubs like I don't talk about stepping in dog shit !!! I just wipe, curse and try to move on !! I don't have the memory of a goldfish and I have not forgotten that utter bunch of mad criminals that constituted the George fkn W Bush administration ! Are you really sure that you are on the right forum ?

multum in parvo ...

[-] 1 points by summerbummer (-33) 1 year ago

Oh, I see...you have to be a radical leftwing nut to be able to criticize peaceprizeprez on this, the non-political, 99% forum? I didn't catch that in the forum rules.

Doesn't change a damn thing about the corrupt obama misadministration.

[-] -1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Good point and well made tho' I won't ask you to define your terms & I totally agree with your last line.

vale ...

[-] 1 points by summerbummer (-33) 1 year ago

We're cool. I just don't have any use for the Organizer-in-Chief. I didn't vote for Romney, either and see no point in defending the current misadmin by saying 'x did it too'. What matters is what's going on right now!

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Organized crime running/ruining the world. That's it folks - plain and simple.

Oh-bummer what a Trojan horse U R.

[Removed]

[-] -2 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

Abby Martin on Susan Rice on RT's "Breaking the Set." A must see for every American. It will blow your mind:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-IoCAxWzpk

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Susan Rice is a CFR War Hawk / Pimp / Profiteer sans pareil & for more insights here, also consider :

It was recently discovered that Rice "holds significant investments in more than a dozen Canadian oil companies and banks that would stand to benefit from expansion of the North American tar sands industry and construction of the proposed $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline," and that "about a third of Rice's personal net worth is tied up in oil producers, pipeline operators, and related energy industries north of the 49th parallel including companies with poor environmental and safety records on U.S. and Canadian soil." [ http://www.onearth.org/article/susan-rice-obama-secretary-state-tar-sands-finances ]

fiat lux ...

[-] -1 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

There is absolutely no limit to the moral degradation of our government.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

"They have gone too far. The fightback has started'' - was how the following piece was titled in my hard-copy Saturday Guardian today (8th June) Thanx for the great 'Susan Rice' video btw and I recommend :

So though ''there is absolutely no limit'' to the USG's nefarious behaviour, good people are and will resist at every turn. We must keep faith and hope in the essential goodness of most of us in this bw ! Also as a 'PRISM Primer' summary of this current example of ''the moral degradation of our government'', see :

Finally, may 'The Powers of The Universe' keep Edward Snowden safe and well & his bravery aid us all.

e tenebris lux ...

[-] -2 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

I say we should be really careful of a totalitarian government forming here. Despotic rule by a tyrannical ruler or group of rulers, in this case, corporations, could come to the fore. It's not something to look forward to, but we're on that path.

[-] 1 points by CommunitySeeker (-3) 1 year ago

We already are governed by an oligarchy formed of big businesses. For example, many people at the higher echelons of Monsanto also have positions in the government meaning they can apply pressure to pass laws that suit Monsanto. It's the same with many other companies. There's a huge conflict of interest. Also, money that pays for campaigns often comes from big business hoping for favors in return. Corporations have come to the fore awhile back. The government responds to them much more than it responds to the people. The average joe is absolutely disconnected from government activities and decision making.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Here you go Trashy-Troll - a link with your name all over it :

''CommunitySeeker'' my hairy arse !!! However, there is an echo of sad lonely sub-conscious voice there tho' !! You are on this thread under at least 4 different monikers, so come and play 'pedantic semantics' with me, you schizoid smart arse - IF it's attention that you're seeking ! More ''interesting''ly, consider :

temet nosce ...

[-] -3 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

Very well said. I agree entirely. I'm talking about the day when it is formally accepted that we are ruled by corporations. Today we are still known officially as a democratic republic, but how long can that description of our political system stand?

[-] -1 points by CommunitySeeker (-3) 1 year ago

I see no reason why it would change officially. It's certainly not in the advantage of the oligarchies. Why would they want to officialize a totalitarian regime when they already have it in practice? Americans would wake up and scream at the thought since they value the idea of freedom.

The whole thing that makes America so powerful is that they have mastered the art of subtlety in this regard. It's the same for slavery. It's crude to bring slaves from Africa. People freaked out and it didn't work. Much better to have slaves in India and South East Asia creating products for Americans. What people don't see, people don't complain about.

This must be the first time you agree with Thrasymaque.

[-] -2 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

Eventually totalitarian regimes are outed and things get pretty ugly. It's just too late by the time that happens. No totalitarian regime starts out in the open.

[-] -1 points by CommunitySeeker (-3) 1 year ago

Not true, most totalitarian regimes are implemented by force, and everyone knows about them from the beginning. It's pretty obvious when you don't get to vote. Singapore is a totalitarian regime. China also. Nobody votes in those places. There is only one party.

Singapore is actually quite interesting because the people don't complain. The economy is very strong, so people are somewhat happy and scared to make a change. But, it is very much a totalitarian system. One party. A lot of censorship. Many strict laws.

The idea that America is now an oligarchy has been outed for quite awhile. Those who don't know simply don't read.

To be precise, America is not a totalitarian regime, but an oligarchy. This is not the same. Furthermore, the oligarchy is complicated because the players change from time to time. Big companies running the show, but these companies come and go. A totalitarian regime would put the power in the hands of one party. I don't think that's going to happen, the tendency is towards oligarchy. Totalitarian regimes usually start by a coup-d'état.

[-] -3 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

I said it's forming here, not quite there yet, Thrasymaque. I'm thinking more of Germany and Italy.

[-] -1 points by CommunitySeeker (-3) 1 year ago

Germany and Italy in the sense of the Hitler and Mussolini?

[-] -3 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

In the sense of how it was forming for several decades, regardless of who became the leader in the end. The signs were there for many years.

[-] -2 points by martinspitz (-40) 1 year ago

Isn't your degree in music? A totalitarian regime can be headed by a group. Centralization does not mean one person rule only. And we don't have the government taking control of industry here. We have industry taking control of government.

It's not in the interest of oligarchies to take full control of the state in an autocratic way. It would only ruin their facade. It's better for them to let the people think they have control through voting and other means. Oligarchies don't need full control of laws. They only need to control certain laws. They can let politicians make all kinds of decisions that don't affect them. They already have all the control they need, I'm not sure why they would want to ruin that by trying to take over full political power. I only see disadvantages to that idea.

A Totalitarian regime is about political control, an oligarchy is about economic control. Oligarchies can control politics through bribe, but they only need to control certain laws that affect them. They don't care about full control.

Isn't your degree in music?

I'm not sure what my degree as to do with anything. Is that an appeal to authority? Just stick with the arguments I proposed. I'm fluent in many subjects. It's possible to learn things without getting a degree. The library is free. A degree is expensive.

[-] -2 points by kolipolitusa (-8) 1 year ago

Definition of totalitarianism:

1.  centralized control by an autocratic authority

2.  the political concept that the citizen should be totally subject to an absolute state authority

Yes, this is what I explained. Oligarchies are not a centralized autocratic authority. They are formed of many companies which come and go. And citizens are not totally subject to an absolute state authority as long as there are a few parties which they can vote for. America is an oligarchy, no where near a totalitarian regime. Again, big businesses are not going to give up their power to a state authority. They already control all parties.

Almost all totalitarian regimes, if not all, took control of the industries under the guise of socialism or communism. I don't see how a government could take control of America's industries. They are too big for that. They would not let it happen. And, why would politicians want to ruin that. They already get big money as corruption from big businesses. The show will remain an oligarchy, it's not heading towards a totalitarian state at all.

[-] -3 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

Isn't your degree in music? A totalitarian regime can be headed by a group. Centralization does not mean one person rule only. And we don't have the government taking control of industry here. We have industry taking control of government.

[-] -2 points by CommunitySeeker (-3) 1 year ago

I don't think America is heading in that direction at all. There's a reason most totalitarian regimes hide behind the facade of socialism or communism. Dictators want control of the industries so they can control the economy which is the most important thing to control in order to have political influence. Once industries are privatized, then the free market creates big businesses which become stronger than governments.

The control in America is held by big privatized businesses. It's not held by politicians. This is an oligarchy. A totalitarian regime is controlled by a politician.

Oligarchies don't want one government. They are quite happy to let the people vote since it creates an illusion that the people are in power. In truth, the rich businesses remain in power because they control all parties.

To change to a totalitarian regime, some kind of coup-d'état would have to be mounted by a political party, and they would have to take down the businesses which control the show. I think this is very far fetched.

Big companies won't let their control slip away to a dictator. It's not in their advantage.

Totalitarian regimes sprung up 100 years ago when businesses weren't international yet. Now, we live in the days of oligarchies when big companies like Coca Cola are international and more powerful than any dictator of a nation could hope to be.

[+] -4 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

Definition of totalitarianism:

  1. centralized control by an autocratic authority

  2. the political concept that the citizen should be totally subject to an absolute state authority

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

'The United Stasi of America' & the reality of a 'despotic, totalitarian, corporate government', is sadly already here not just in 'The Usurped States of Amnesiacs' but right across our bw and shared home :

Daniel Ellsberg - ''In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden's release of NSA material – and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago. Snowden's whistleblowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what has amounted to an "executive coup" against the US constitution.'' Further Glenn Greenwald in chat with Amy Goodman :

''Snowden did what he did because he recognised the NSA's surveillance programs for what they are : dangerous, unconstitutional activity. This wholesale invasion of Americans' and foreign citizens' privacy does not contribute to our security ; it puts in danger the very liberties we are trying to protect.'' (DE).

Increasingly right across the world, we need to reflect upon what 'freedom' means and how it is attained.

multum in parvo ...

[-] -2 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

We're in the fairly early stages, though. It's a brilliant coup. This NSA stuff comes out while Obama is in office, forcing all the Dems and their supporters to say "It's okay. Our government is protecting us." Brilliant, really, if you think about it, to get the folks who are usually more anti-war and pro civil rights to say the stuff they are saying today in support of programs like "Prism."

[-] 1 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 1 year ago

Is it that or is it that these people are truly as blind and uninformed as they appear?

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Very perceptive indeed. The 'de facto coup d'etat' that started in September 2001 (remember the 1000+ page 'USA PATRIOT Act', ready for 'express install' a few weeks aftr 9/!! ?!) continues almost unabated but good people will resist hard wherever and whenever possible. The Corporate, Totalitarian, Oligarchic, Plutocratic Government is not just restricted to The U$A though and in a feeble effort to drag my forum-post back to the original subject at hand AND in order to connect to the tangents here too, I append an article which I think will be of some interest to you :

''From the Conference of Berlin to today's G8, 'helping' Africans looks suspiciously like grabbing their resources''.

fiat lux ...

[-] -2 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

"One of the stated purposes of the G8 conference, hosted by David Cameron next week, is to save the people of Africa from starvation. To discharge this grave responsibility, the global powers have discovered, to their undoubted distress, that their corporations must extend their control and ownership of large parts of Africa. As a result, they will find themselves in astonished possession of Africa's land, seed and markets."

"corporations must extend their control and ownership of large parts of Africa." The extension of colonialism and imperialism.

Funny how Africans didn't starve prior to colonization.

"The World and a Very Small Place in Africa" by Donald Wright and "In the Wake of the Affluent Society" by Serge LaTouche are very good books that touch on this subject.

And, the point you make about the Patriot Act is one every American should consider in great depth. How planned was this corporate takeover, not just of our economy but of our political and military systems as well?

[-] 1 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 1 year ago

I myself have dreamed of African waterfront real estate. And I'm a white dude.

[-] 0 points by LeoYo (5854) 1 year ago

Africa's Worst Drought Tied to West's Pollution

By Becky Oskin, LiveScience Staff Writer | LiveScience.com

http://news.yahoo.com/africas-worst-drought-tied-wests-pollution-164423549.html

The biggest drought to hit the planet in the 20th century, the Sahel drought sucked Central Africa dry from the 1970s to the 1990s. The severe famines that resulted killed hundreds of thousands of people during this period and gained worldwide attention.

A new study blames the dry spell on pollution in the Northern Hemisphere, primarily from America and Europe. Tiny particles of sulfate, called aerosols, cooled the Northern Hemisphere, shifting tropical rainfall patterns southward, away from Central Africa, according to research published April 24 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

"Even changes from relatively far away spread into the tropics," said Dargan Frierson, a study co-author and climatologist at the University of Washington in Seattle.

At the time, the cooling effect went unnoticed, overshadowed by Earth's overall warming, Frierson said. Instead, the drought was blamed on overgrazing and poor land use practices. But in the past decade, researchers have realized that aerosol pollution plays an important role in Earth's climate, he said. In certain parts of the atmosphere, the tiny particles reflect the sun's light and build longer-lasting clouds, cooling the atmosphere. Not all aerosols reflect light, and the cooling from sulfate particles offsets global warming only a regional scale, because their effects are short-lived and concentrated in high-pollution areas.

"Air pollution affects climate as well, and different parts of the planet are connected in the climate system," Frierson told LiveScience.

To understand the global climate pattern, Frierson and his colleagues first tracked rainfall data worldwide from rain gauge records from the 1930s to the 1990s. They saw the heavy tropical rainfall band called the Intertropical Convergence Zone wander back and forth near the equator, a natural phenomenon, during the 1930s through the 1950s. Ocean currents can affect the position of the rainfall band, giving it year-to-year variability.

Starting in the 1960s, the rainfall band shifted southward, drying out Central Africa and parts of South America and South Asia, the study found. At the same time, northeast Brazil and Africa's Great Lakes started to see more rain, thanks to the southerly drift. [Dry and Drying: Images of Drought]

The team modeled the reasons for the changing tropical rainfall with all 26 of the climate models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Every model agreed that sulfate aerosol pollution in the Northern Hemisphere triggered the terrible Sahel drought. "Precipitation is tough to forecast, and you don't often see all the models agreeing on things like that," Frierson said. "I think it's pretty clear that in addition to greenhouse gases, air pollution really does affect climate, and not just in one place. These emissions over the U.S. and in Europe affected rainfall over Africa," he told LiveScience. Frierson said cooling in the Northern Hemisphere sent the tropical rainfall band southward until clean air legislation significantly lessened aerosol pollution emitted in North America and Europe. Since the 1990s, tropical rainfall has drifted back toward the north, he said.

The researchers are now studying the global effects of aerosol pollution emitted in Asia.

[-] -3 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

Very interesting. Thanks, Leo. Reaching far back in history, Africans have always been outstanding farmers and starvation is largely a twentieth century phenomenon there. This article explains well one of the reasons why.

[-] 0 points by LeoYo (5854) 1 year ago

One need only consider the fact that if they hadn't been such good farmers and herders, they never would have been enslaved in such vast numbers to farm rice and herd cows giving rise to 'Carolina Gold' and 'Cowboys'.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Consider that U2's Bono is actually helping in ''positioning of the west as the saviour of Africa while failing to discuss the harm the G8 nations are doing (&) has undermined campaigns for justice and accountability, while lending legitimacy to The Neoliberal Project.'' from :

multum in parvo ...

[-] -3 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

Absolutely true.

[-] -1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

The African countries that have joined the G8's Neoliberal 'New Alliance', will have to remove any market barriers that favour their own farmers. Where farmers comprise between 50% and 90% of the population and where their livelihoods are dependent on the non-cash economy, these policies - which make perfect sense in the air-conditioned lecture rooms of the Chicago Business School - can and will be lethal. Africa, it seems is still in the grip of a vampiric neo-colonialism. Further to your recommendation, I append :

Further, passed quietly and quickly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the 'USA PATRIOT Act' gave US federal law enforcement many police state powers : wiretap authorities without court order, secret court proceedings without traditional Constitutional protections and other such provisions which have outraged privacy advocates and Constitutional scholars. In distinctly Orwellian tones, the acronym stands for - ''Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.'' Furthermore, we can now reconsider some seemingly prescient words from before Edward Snowden courageously revealed his information eg., this short item :

Finally we should be seriously concerned about how private companies are in charge of so much of this process & the extent to which the secret information is being traded for monetary advantage. 'Industrial Espionage' for example is NOT just limited to 'nation on nation'. As for what constitutes 'liberty' in these circumstances, it remains a moot point - very far removed from what the authors of The US Constitution envisaged. Perhaps Americans should really meditate hard upon the important 'General Welfare Clause' and urgently consider agitating for new amendments as well as the impeachment of The SCOTUS which is continuously selling Americans down the river.

spero meliora ...

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/06/11/what-you-need-to-know-about-whistleblowing-and-the-privatization-of-national-security/

Certain factions around here hate me. Perhaps you will understand what this means.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

''Under 'Project Minaret', from the early 1960s until 1973, the NSA compiled watch lists of potentially subversive Americans, monitored their overseas calls and telegrams, sharing the results with other federal agencies.

''Watch-listed Americans "ranged from members of radical political groups, to celebrities, to ordinary citizens involved in protests." Under Project Shamrock, the NSA collected all telegraphic data entering or leaving the United States, "probably the largest government interception program affecting Americans ever undertaken."

''In 1976, Church warned that the NSA's technological prowess "at any time could be turned around on the American people ... such is the capability to monitor everything -- telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. There would be no place to hide."

''Given the state of technology at the time, Church's anxiety seems almost quaint: telegrams? In the surveillance state's infancy, domestic spying was a comparatively low-tech affair; today, with the federal government er, Hoovering up transactional data on millions of Americans, the possibilities are staggering, as is the potential for abuse.

''We shouldn't be too sure it "can't happen here" -- after all, it already did.'' from :

Thanx for your very interesting link from which I quote ''If someone in Snowden’s position could access that kind of information, what do the other 1.4 million people with top secret security clearances have access to ? How many people out of that 1.4 million might be unscrupulous enough to take advantage of the information they come across–whether at the highest levels or the lowest?'' All of which now so clearly points to - 'The Corporate Security State' which now clearly has all the hallmarks of the 'F' word :

''Fascism’s principles are wafting in the air today, surreptitiously masquerading as something else, challenging everything we stand for.'' & '' Inevitably, a national security apparatus was under direct control of the ruling elite. It was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting “national security,” and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.'' Finally, also fyi - from Daniel Ellsberg :

Booz Allen btw, is owned by the 'Carlyle Group' & that's no fiction so tell your contra-factions to swivel.

spero meliora ...

[-] -1 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

"Totalitarianism is not an inappropriate term, not simply because the financial realm holds such a great deal of wealth and power. The term was coined by the Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini to praise the system he created where the ruling ideology dominated every aspect of citizens' lives. Not only did the fascist state ruthlessly and autocratically dominate the economy and politics, it also sought to transform social life and the culture of the nation to become a total way of life. While there is no pompous fascist figurehead, we can see the tremendous power of the financial sector as a form of disorganized or ad-hoc totalitarianism where financial power and modes of thinking increasingly stain the social fabric. And like the totalitarianisms of old, the "financialization" of life is ultimately directed by and benefits a tiny minority, at the expense of everyone else." from Max Haiven.

I would have to agree with that. And, we have a merging of the economic with the military and with the social. All of these things merge together to create this totalitarian nightmare.

Here is Senator Wyden on the Patriot Act which seems to be viewed differently by the people from how it is viewed by the government: “I’m talking about instances where the government is relying on secret interpretations of what the law says without telling the public what those interpretations are,” Wyden says, “and the reliance on secret interpretations of the law is growing.”

Taking off the blinders of unconditional love for country is critical at this point if we are to preserve our freedoms.

"Africa, it seems is still in the grip of a vampiric neo-colonialism." Well said, and where are Americans? They are in the grip of vampiric consumerist capitalist hegemony. We better start realizing that there are some similarities there.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

"Bono can't help Africans by stealing their voice'', by George Monbiot :

''Because the U2 frontman and others like him are seen as representatives of the poor - the poor are not invited to speak'' and appending and recommending this excellent and very eye opening article due to its acute relevancy here. Many thanx bw for the important excerpts above, which dovetail well with my links here and with Monbiot's previous piece [ http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/10/african-hunger-help-g8-grab ] which you also excerpted above as well as with the documentary link ('SP') below.

fallaces sunt rerum species ...

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

''A Short History of Progress'' was a rather excellent little book and a 2004 Massey Lecture series by Ronald Wright about societal collapse, which I recommended to friends & also gave as a gift to some close friends & "Surviving Progress" is a 2011 Canadian documentary film loosely based on 'A Short History of Progress' :

''This film is structured as a series of interviews, interspersed with footage from all over the world. The film is said to be "inspired by" Wright's lectures. Unlike the book, which focused on ancient civilizations, the film focuses on the present-day impact of civilization, including the impact of concentrated wealth. The underlying message here is that current models and strategies of economic growth have no clear practical connections with the real world. That is to say, the lack of an ethical underpinning in modern global economic practices is directly responsible for the overconsumption and exploitation of natural resources to the extent that the increasingly more probable future population collapse would take modern society right along with it.'' from : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surviving_Progress .

I strongly recommend this film to you and all readers and advise viewing with any interested, intelligent and engaged young people who after all, will be ones who have to pick up the pieces we drop and would encourage early viewing as I do not know how long this video will be available on this link above. Thanx for your excellent excerpts and thought provoking comments above and here's hoping for a bw for us all.

dum spiro, spero ...

[-] -3 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

Can we survive progress? I sure hope Ronald Wright explains that in the documentary film, lol, because "A Short History of Progress" made me feel a little gloomy about things after I read it, though I loved the book. I think he is spot on in his thesis of what is happening to our world. If we can "survive" the modern global economic practices that are directly responsible for the overconsumption and exploitation of our natural resources I'll be thrilled!

I look forward to watching it and thanks for all you do here, shadz.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

WTF is the world coming to when your comment and link above gets stinkled to zero on this, The OWS forum ? I used my twinkle sometime after you made it so it was stinkled either by more than one person OR by one person utilising more than one moniker. I mention this in order to draw all readers' attention to this phenomenon which you in particular are subject to, as well as to draw attention to the following excellent link, which fits in this thread so well :

fiat lux ...

[-] 0 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

"Real democracy means that important decisions affecting people's lives are made genuinely and equally by the affected people. The capitalist organization of enterprises thus directly contradicts real democracy. Inside the corporations that dominate modern capitalism, a tiny minority -- major shareholders and the boards of directors they elect -- make key decisions affecting those below them in the corporate hierarchy, the employees. That tiny minority decides what products the corporation will produce, what technologies will be used, where production will occur, and how the corporation's net revenues will be distributed. The majority is affected, often profoundly, by all those decisions, but it does not participate in making them."

More than points we should worry about the fact that the forum is now the "Occupy Cabal." Not sure who really posted that, but it is sarcastic and negative and should be removed.

[-] -2 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

How did anyone get anything done before the internet ?! Gandhi. MLK & Anti-Apartheid for example.

They organized ! They gathered people together. They engaged community members, schools and churches. They wrote and spoke and marched and sang. Online organizing offers lots of snazzy new tools that are a great addition - but not a substitute for this kind of tried-and-true, movement-building organizing.

''Can shopping save the world ? 'The Story of Change' urges viewers to put down their credit cards and start exercising their citizen muscles to build a more sustainable, just and fulfilling world.'' :

Great that you know Ronald Wright's book ('ASHoP') & so bw, ''Can we survive progress ?!'' YES, We Can but Oblahblah ain't The Man !! And we have truly got to want to change the world to a bw for all !!!

ad iudiciim ...

[+] -4 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

To add to your excellent links, "The Revolution is Love."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRtc-k6dhgs

We can be much more than we are. We can strive for much more in our lives than money and stuff.

[-] -3 points by jollyholly (-15) 1 year ago

I disagree. It's important to make a difference between a totalitarian regime and an oligarchy. If you confuse the two, you confuse the problematic. US is an oligarchy, not a totalitarian regime. There are real fundamental differences.

It's sometimes good to make comparisons, but sometimes it just leads to confusion. In this case, comparing US to totalitarian regimes like Mussolini's and Hitler's just confuses matters. The circumstances in US are very different in many regards.

[-] -2 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

Did you read the article? He explains why he uses the term. I agree with him. I know you disagree, Thrasymaque.

[-] -1 points by jollyholly (-15) 1 year ago

I agree that the entire system needs to be changed. But ending corporate personhood and reinstating Glass Steagall would be two places where you could at least begin to break the corporate grip on America. I understand what you are saying, but sometimes strong language is necessary to effectuate change. Oligarchy, big deal, who cares about that. Totalitarianism, ad hoc or otherwise, might wake people up. I do agree that we are in a new age and many of the old systems and lingo are antiquated. I with you there. Our economists and political scientists have failed miserably in keeping up with the global information age.

I guess we mostly agree then.

I just have a problem with using terms which might not be the correct ones. I know the use of totalitarianism has the advantage of being stronger in a sense which might wake people up with its shock value. However, I find the price to pay for this too high. It just takes on sharp intellectual to bring about arguments to show why it's not a totalitarian regime and instead is an oligarchy. Then, all the followers you tried to wake up with the term totalitarianism will feel cheated and tricked.

It's the same with the idea of using another term than anarchy. I see that a lot here. I completely disagree with using terms that aren't correct. An anarchy is what it is. I know US citizen confuse the term with chaos and violence because of progaganda, but the solution is not to use a new term in the hopes of dissimulating anarchy. The solution is educating people to what anarchy really is. Trickeries will always hurt us in the long run, even though they might help in the short term. People don't like to feel tricked, and, eventually, they will found out.

What we should do is really educate the people about the distinct problematics faced in US. This means bringing out all the nuances using the correct terms, etc... Avoiding general labels that confuse. Once we truly understand the problematic and all its intricacies, then it becomes possible to find a custom solution and to fight for that solution to be applied in practice.

Occupy always targeted corruption in politics, in Wall Street, etc.. This is the correct solution to solve many of the problems in US. It never targeted Obama because Occupy understood the problem is not a totalitarian regime led by a President who is a dictator. It really is an oligarchy. But, it goes deeper than this. It's a specific type of oligarchy. Not a clear bunch of rich people in control, but companies which compete between each other and change as time goes on. Even attacking particular companies won't help, as new ones will just come around. That's why Occupy always attacked targets like corruption, the 1%, Wall Street. It never focused on particular individuals or companies.

[-] -3 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

The two words, oligarchy and totalitarian, are used differently in the English language. Can you say something is oligarchical? I suppose you can, but it sounds silly, in my opinion. My goodness, that is oligarchical! But, you can say something is totalitarian and everyone gets it. What is oligarchical, you could argue, IS totalitarian.

Definition of Oligarchy. This name is given to designate the power which a few citizens of a state have usurped, which ought by the constitution to reside in the people.

Definition of Totalitarian. adjective 1. of or pertaining to a centralized government that does not tolerate parties of differing opinion and that exercises dictatorial control over many aspects of life. 2. exercising control over the freedom, will, or thought of others; authoritarian; autocratic. noun 3. an adherent of totalitarianism.

[-] -1 points by jollyholly (-15) 1 year ago

I think it is very important to see nuances and to intuit outcomes.

Yes, that's why labels like totalitarian regime are dangerous. They invite simplistic comparisons to prior regimes which end up hiding the nuances.

It is not like we have multiple warlords running around. These corporations all work together.

I disagree. Corporations don't work together like conspiracy theorists and those who push the NWO theory would have you believe. They do work in tandem to a certain extent, but they also compete. And, there's companies from the very small to the very big. It's not black and white. Some businesses die out, even big ones. Microsoft almost killed Apple a few decades ago, now it's in trouble. Things change in the corporate landscape. The ones controlling the show today might not be the same as those in 10 or 20 years. It very much is a moving target, unlike a clearly identified dictator.

They may be operating like an oligarchy to a large extent but the outcomes are becoming totalitarian

The outcome may be similar, but this is not what should interest us. We need to know the reason why the outcome comes about. Even though the outcome of US might start resembling those of past totalitarian regimes, the reason for this is very different, hence we need a different solution to solve the underlying problem.

Case in point, to put down a dictatorship like Hitler's or Mussolini's you simply need to remove the dictator. You can't fix US like this. Removing Obama won't change a thing. You need to attack the whole system. Much much more complex. With a dictator, the problems are usually because of that person's idiosyncrasies, his ego, his will to control the whole nation. Take him away and that's gone. With US, with an oligarchy, the roots are much deeper and much more complex. There's not one person you can remove to change the show. It's not about any particular actors, it's about the theater itself, the system. Even if you removed all the players today, new ones would come up and become corrupted themselves. Without changing the system, you'll get nowhere.

[-] -3 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

I agree that the entire system needs to be changed. But ending corporate personhood and reinstating Glass Steagall would be two places where you could at least begin to break the corporate grip on America. I understand what you are saying, but sometimes strong language is necessary to effectuate change. Oligarchy, big deal, who cares about that. Totalitarianism, ad hoc or otherwise, might wake people up. I do agree that we are in a new age and many of the old systems and lingo are antiquated. I with you there. Our economists and political scientists have failed miserably in keeping up with the global information age.

[-] -2 points by interesting (-1) 1 year ago

You are so very interesting. LOL. You gave me such a good giggle just now. Thanks.

My pleasure. Laughter is healthy, we all need to laugh once in awhile. Have a good day. Take care.

[-] -2 points by interesting (-1) 1 year ago

The two words, oligarchy and totalitarian, are used differently in the English language. Can you say something is oligarchical? I suppose you can, but it sounds silly, in my opinion.

Yes, the adjectives oligarchical and oligarchic are both accepted. You can also use the adverb oligarchically. Like any word you don't know about, it might sound silly. The word dates from the 15th century, and comes from the Greek word oligarkhia. The way to counter a perceived silliness from ignorance is through education, not by refusing to use a word with a particular well defined meaning.

But, you can say something is totalitarian and everyone gets it.

Sure, but these words don't mean the same thing. You can't fix the problem of the ignorance of one word by replacing it with another which has a different meaning. That makes no sense. The only solution is to educate people who don't know what an oligarchy is.


You listed both definitions, so you should know the words don't mean the same thing.


I don't know who you hang out with, but most people I talk to know what oligarchy and totalitarianism mean.

Like you say above

The two words, oligarchy and totalitarian, are used differently in the English language.

Indeed, they are used differently because they have different meanings.

[-] -2 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

You are so very interesting. LOL. You gave me such a good giggle just now. Thanks.

[-] -2 points by jollyholly (-15) 1 year ago

I did read the article, but I disagree with his conclusion that a totalitarian regime is similar to an oligarchy. I think an oligarchy is more dangerous in a sense because it's much harder to pin down who has control. The rich people pulling the strings with corruption change around. The control structure is thus much more complex and hidden. In a totalitarian regime, it's very clear who the dictator is. It might be hard to stop him, but the target is obvious, unlike an oligarchy which is more refined in its way of hiding who's in control. Conflating the two, even though there might be similarities, tends to undermine this extremely important difference. We should call things for what they are. Totalitarian regimes were popular some decades ago. There are still some now, but the real dangerous regimes are those controlled by oligarchies. You don't solve the US problem of the oligarchy in the same way you would solve the totalitarian problem of a country like North Korea. It's a whole different ball game.

[-] -2 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

I think it is very important to see nuances and to intuit outcomes. They may be operating like an oligarchy to a large extent but the outcomes are becoming totalitarian, or as the author aptly puts it, ad hoc totalitarian. This particular corporate oligarchy can almost be seen as a single entity, anyway. It is not like we have multiple warlords running around. These corporations all work together.

[-] -2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

I'm not sure totalitarian government is even possible under mass communication systems

[-] -3 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

Well taking the chance of finding out is not a very good idea, if you ask me.

[-] -1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

what if everyone had access to the same information ?

[+] -4 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

Depends what that information is. Is it a pack of lies and propaganda? Then we're in trouble.

[-] -1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

people as a whole seek answers not deception

this is why wikapedia works

[+] -4 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

You can seek answers all you want, but if the info is tainted, it will do you no good.

Wikipedia works for basic information. If you want to dig deeper it's not a good place to do research.

[-] 0 points by martinspitz (-40) 1 year ago

It's easy to find all kinds of good information. Just go to your local university's library. We are very far from a world where information is controlled. There's never been a place or a time in history where information is so freely available as in America. You can find top-notch information on just about any subject. And, there's all kinds of dissent against those in power. Noam Chomsky is a good example. He goes against powerful politicians, but still works at university. You wouldn't have seen this in many other countries in history. This whole idea that good information is controlled and made unavailable is a conspiracy theory dud.

The problem in America is not access to information, it's the ability to understand and filter information. Information processing is extremely weak in America. Extremely weak. That's why you have so many conspiracy theorists that are paranoid and have lost all sense of reality. Conspiracy theorists will bring America to its knees long before any politician does. In 40 years you'll have a nation of delusional paranoids. Reality and fiction will have been blurred completely into an unmanageable mess.

[+] -4 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

MSM is not good info. That is where most people get their info. There's no conspiracy theory there. Just truth.

[-] 0 points by martinspitz (-40) 1 year ago

Right. Thank you for making my point. I'm American but I have no problem in criticizing a culture that lionizes sports stars and singers. This culture, that lacks a basic intellectualism was created, however, by TPTB. It has been a long drawn out rise of corporatism and consumerism.

I don't have the link to the documentary "The Century of the Self" but maybe Shadz66 does. It provides a very good overview of how we got to become the greatest consumer society in world history.

Oh, I totally agree. What you are seeing is the result of capitalism. The important thing for a company is to make money, so they sell you all kinds of useless products, many for entertainment since this gives a short term sense of satisfaction and keeps workers calm at night. In proper socialism or communism, the goal would be to distribute products so that everyone has them. In such a society, the first and foremost important thing is to make sure everybody lives comfortably. The best way to keep a poor American docile is to feed him useless TV shows that melt his brain. It's a form of state sponsored lobotomy.

However, there comes a time when people have to claim responsibility for themselves. We aren't useless sheep without power, and we can't keep playing the role of the victim. We can empower ourselves. Everybody can choose to turn his TV off and head to the local library. You aren't in shackles. There hasn't been a TV in my house for 15 years. I refuse to own one. I know how addictive and time wasting TV can be. I go to libraries and bring books back home. I spend a few hours a night reading. I find this much more productive and enlightening than watching TV. And, it's actually quite entertaining. You simply have to learn to make more effort with your brain. At first it's hard, but, after awhile, it becomes a sort of necessity. Somewhat like exercise for the body.

Playing the victim and blaming everything on the government and big corporations leads to nowhere. We have to blame them for certain things, but there are other things we can change for ourselves. I don't wait for TV to become educative, I turn it off and read a book.

[+] -4 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

Decades of brainwashing to be consumers and fame seekers is a difficult thing to change overnight.

Here's a link to "The Century of the Self" which explains how American culture got to the point it is at.

http://documentaryheaven.com/the-century-of-the-self/

[-] -2 points by martinspitz (-40) 1 year ago

It's because people are not able to process information and realize it's bad. There are all kinds of other sources of information. If Americans were properly educated, they would be able to tell good information from bad information. You have all kinds of people complaining about MSM, and, what do they do, they turn to alternative news agencies like Alex Jones which is so much worse. There are good sources of news, reports, journalism. I never listen to MSM or Alex Jones.

There's all kinds of information in US. All kinds. The problem is not hidden information, it's an overflow of information. You need good processing skills when there's too much information out there. That's what Americans lack.

[-] -3 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

Right. Thank you for making my point. I'm American but I have no problem in criticizing a culture that lionizes sports stars and singers. This culture, that lacks a basic intellectualism was created, however, by TPTB. It has been a long drawn out rise of corporatism and consumerism.

I don't have the link to the documentary "The Century of the Self" but maybe Shadz66 does. It provides a very good overview of how we got to become the greatest consumer society in world history.

[-] -1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Fyi : ''The selection of Susan Rice as President Obama's new national security adviser is highly problematic for those of us who believe that United States foreign policy should be more attuned to international law and human rights and that alleged threats to US national security should be based on empirical evidence rather than unsubstantiated allegations by warmongers.'' from :

Thanx for raising this bw and I recommend your Abby Martin's ''BtS'' video link to all readers.

e tenebris ...

[-] -2 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

Here's the link again. Everyone should know who their new National Security Advisor is. What's the big secret? Oh, right, she has so many conflicts of interest...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-IoCAxWzpk

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Hmmm, ''Conflicts Of Interest'' is a concept we would all do to well to really consider very deeply when it comes to The 0.01% Parasite Class and their amoral functionaries. Three other such two word concepts to reflect upon are : 'Regulatory Capture' ; 'Perverse Incentives' & 'Moral Hazard' !!! I Strongly recommend your important video link to all readers here so thanx again and finally :

''Susan Rice’s biggest disqualification is the fact that she has shown little willingness to challenge the frequently wrongheaded conventional wisdom of 'Official Washington', including on the critical question of invading Iraq in 2003. At that pivotal moment, Rice essentially went with the flow, rather than standing up for the principles of international law or exposing the pro-war deceptions.'' from :

multum in parvo ...

[-] -1 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

"In playing for support from her fellow hawks, Rice remains the ambitious staffer more than the wise diplomat. And like an ambitious staffer, she senses that hawkishness is usually a safer career path than thoughtful diplomacy. This is not the kind of person anyone should want as Secretary of State." Pretty sad.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

Yep, ''pretty sad'' indeed & Rice is privy to much behind the horrors. Good excerpt, further to which :

''The rulers would have you believe that the world is becoming more complex and dangerous all the time, compelling the United States to abandon previous (and largely fictional) norms of domestic and international legality in order to preserve civilization. In truth, what they are desperately seeking to maintain is the global dominance of U.S. and European finance capital and the racist world order from which it sprang.

''The contradictions of centuries have ripened, overwhelming the capacity of the “West” to contain the new forces abroad in the world. Therefore, there must be endless, unconstrained war – endless, in the sense that it is a last ditch battle to fend off the end of imperialism, and unconstrained, in that the imperialists recognize no legal or moral boundaries to their use of military force, their only remaining advantage.''

Re your '0' @ time of making this reply : http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-cult-of-capitalism-america-is-being-led-astray/#comment-982874 ;-)

et cave - bellum se ipsum alet ...

[-] -1 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

"To mask these simple truths, the U.S. and its corporate propaganda services invent counter-realities, scenarios of impending doomsdays filled with super-villains and more armies of darkness than J.R.R. Tolkien could ever imagine. Indeed, nothing is left to the imagination, lest the people’s minds wander into the realm of truth or stumble upon a realization of their own self-interest, which is quite different than the destinies of Wall Street or the Project for a New American Century (updated, Obama “humanitarian” version). It is a war of caricatures."

I love that paragraph. And, don't worry about points, all that matters is the truth. Thanks for all the great links, always. :)

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

“The U.S. is not in the business of fair and mutually beneficial trade – it’s about the business of imperialism.” :

Solidarity to you and yours despite this sad read.

multum in parvo ...

[-] 0 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

"The face of America in Africa is war, not trade; extraction of minerals by military intimidation, not conventional commerce. Washington’s priority is to embed AFRICOM ever deeper into the militaries of African states – rather than configuring more favorable trade relationships on the continent."

"The United States is angry because Washington wanted the Kenyan people to elect a different president, one more acceptable to U.S. policymakers. The Americans expected the whole of Kenyan civil society to bend to Washington’s will, and reject the candidacy of Uhuru Kenyatta, simply to please the superpower. When that didn’t happen, it was decided that Kenya must be shunned, despite its past services to U.S. imperialism."

Sad sigh.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

I have to echo the sad sigh and in compliment to your telling excerpts, I append :

multum in parvo ...

[-] 0 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

"What is even more disheartening is that the more a person struggles with poverty, the more they are often marginalized from society and given little voice or representation in larger political debates and the law-making that affect their state of wealth. This can make the ‘American dream’ the impossible hog-wash for many and, as far as international poverty standards are concerned, extraordinarily difficult to rise above the mayhem on less than $2 a day.

In the US, the more poor there are, the easier it is for lawmakers to pass bills that promote corporate greed and million dollar bonuses, while ignoring gross negligence when it comes to fiscal responsibility. The same is true in other nations. If a CEO gets paid an average of $7000 an hour, or 350 times his or her workers, it could be said that those running our corporations are more like slave owners than fair, contributing members of society. For example, the CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt has a total annual compensation of just under $101 million, which breaks down to about $48,548 per hour, or about $809 per minute.

It isn’t laziness that has caused worldwide poverty, it is the disenfranchisement of millions through the perpetuation of corporate greed."

Need we say more? Thanks for the great articles, as always.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

"A Frog in the Pot'', by Gwynne Dyer :

''The foundation of every civilisation is an adequate food supply: human beings simply cannot live at the density of population that civilisation implies without a reliable agriculture. But the supply of good agricultural land is limited, and the number of human beings is not.

''You can postpone the problem for a while by increasing the yield of the available land: irrigate it, plant higher-yielding crops, fertilise the soil artificially, use pesticides and herbicides to protect the crops as they grow. But even these techniques have limits, and in many cases we have reached or exceeded them. So we are running into trouble. Why isn’t anybody taking action ?''

Thanx for the very pertinent excerpts and I append the above in reply & fyi as it fits so well here.

caveat ...

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

I've been thinking about the Detroit bankruptcy and the abject poverty there and wondering how that could happen in the U.S. Why didn't the rest of America step in and prevent all that suffering? Why do people only care for themselves?

I bring that up because I see similarities in the global food supply situation as well. If, in fact, India and China were to come up short, why on earth would countries with surplus not share with them? That is the real question. There is certainly enough food to go around the entire planet, it's just that it needs to be spread around fairly and not hoarded and wasted in certain places.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

"Who Killed Detroit City and Why ? - Detroit Becomes the Largest US City to Declare Bankruptcy'', by Dave Hodges :

NAFTA, CAFTA & GATT and the collusion of Craptalist out sourcing sure hasn't helped and as for the predatory practices of The Usurious Banksters, well, hmmm there's another story there too, mos def !

fiat lux ...

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

And still, not one banker has gone to jail.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

John Engler assured the destruction of Detroit during his 8 year tenure as governor.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19980) 1 year ago

"Detroit and the Bankruptcy of America’s Social Contract'',

by Robert Reich.

One way to view Detroit’s bankruptcy — the largest bankruptcy of any American city — is as a failure of political negotiations over how financial sacrifices should be divided among the city’s creditors, city workers, and municipal retirees — requiring a court to decide instead. It could also be seen as the inevitable culmination of decades of union agreements offering unaffordable pension and health benefits to city workers.

But there’s a more basic story here, and it’s being replicated across America: Americans are segregating by income more than ever before. Forty years ago, most cities (including Detroit) had a mixture of wealthy, middle-class, and poor residents. Now, each income group tends to lives separately, in its own city — with its own tax bases and philanthropies that support, at one extreme, excellent schools, resplendent parks, rapid-response security, efficient transportation, and other first-rate services; or, at the opposite extreme, terrible schools, dilapidated parks, high crime, and third-rate services.

The geo-political divide has become so palpable that being wealthy in America today means not having to come across anyone who isn’t.

Detroit is a devastatingly poor, mostly black, increasingly abandoned island in the midst of a sea of comparative affluence that’s mostly white. Its suburbs are among the richest in the nation. Oakland County, for example, is the fourth wealthiest county in the United States, of counties with a million or more residents. Greater Detroit — which includes the suburbs — is among the nation’s top five financial centers, the top four centers of high-technology employment, and the second-biggest source of engineering and architectural talent. Not everyone is wealthy, to be sure, but the median household in the region earns close to $50,000 a year, and unemployment is no higher than the nation’s average. The median household in Birmingham, Michigan, just across the border that delineates the city of Detroit, earned more than $94,000 last year; in nearby Bloomfield Hills — still within the Detroit metropolitan area — the median was more than $150,000.

The median household income within the city of Detroit is around $26,000, and unemployment is staggeringly high. One out of 3 residents is in poverty; more than half of all children in the city are impoverished. Between 2000 and 2010, Detroit lost a quarter of its population as the middle-class and whites fled to the suburbs. That left it with depressed property values, abandoned neighborhoods, empty buildings, lousy schools, high crime, and a dramatically-shrinking tax base. More than half of its parks have closed in the last five years. Forty percent of its streetlights don’t work.

In other words, much in modern America depends on where you draw boundaries, and who’s inside and who’s outside. Who is included in the social contract? If “Detroit" is defined as the larger metropolitan area that includes its suburbs, “Detroit" has enough money to provide all its residents with adequate if not good public services, without falling into bankruptcy. Politically, it would come down to a question of whether the more affluent areas of this “Detroit" were willing to subsidize the poor inner-city through their tax dollars, and help it rebound. That’s an awkward question that the more affluent areas would probably rather not have to face.

In drawing the relevant boundary to include just the poor inner city, and requiring those within that boundary to take care of their compounded problems by themselves, the whiter and more affluent suburbs are off the hook. “Their" city isn’t in trouble. It’s that other one — called “Detroit."

It’s roughly analogous to a Wall Street bank drawing a boundary around its bad assets, selling them off at a fire-sale price, and writing off the loss. Only here we’re dealing with human beings rather than financial capital. And the upcoming fire sale will likely result in even worse municipal services, lousier schools, and more crime for those left behind in the city of Detroit. In an era of widening inequality, this is how wealthier Americans are quietly writing off the poor.

~

fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

~

[Article copied verbatim under 'Fair Use' from : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article35609.htm ]

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

Robert Reich has become a real warrior for the poor and working class. He says "Americans are segregating by income more than ever before." I couldn't agree more, having myself lived in a major city, a suburb, and in a rural area I know this to be very true.

And, "Who is included in the social contract?" is THE question. What would Rousseau have to say about how things are in the U.S. today?

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

This isn't entirely wrong, however Birmingham is a couple of large cities north of Detroit.

Ferndale and Royal Oak being those cities.

Leaving out the affect that 8 years of GOP destruction under the John Engler administration is its biggest failure.

He destroyed the tax base, refused to honor contractual funding to Detroit and began in earnest to dismantle the public schools system in the State, and in Detroit in particular. Often pitting out State towns against the cities.

Here's the latest news.

http://www.eclectablog.com/2013/07/federal-judge-will-decide-fate-of-detroits-bankruptcy-filing-on-wednesday-more-emergency-manager-news.html

Note that Snyder lied through the entire process.

It's become his calling card.

[-] 1 points by TikiJ (-38) 1 year ago

Here's some very harsh realities of the situation we are in, well worth the read. Got it from another occupier:

http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-harsh-truths-that-will-make-you-better-person/

[-] 0 points by beautifulworld (19202) 1 year ago

I sum up those harsh realities as "Capitalism Sucks."

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