Posted by: quiscus | October 1, 2010

October 1, 2010

1.  “Better Safe Than Sorry?

By way of comparison, consider these 2006 fatality statistics from the the Centers for Disease Control:

  • Unintentional fall deaths: 20,853
  • Motor vehicle traffic deaths: 43,646
  • Unintentional poisoning deaths: 27,531
  • Homicides: 18,573
  • Firearms homicides: 12,791

Put another way, far more people die in a single year from other causes than have died as result of terrorism over a span of more than 35 years. Yet we have a Chicken Little attitude that the sky is falling when it comes to the potential threat of terrorism.”

2.  “Ecuador: A third US sponsored coup d’etat against a member state of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas

3.  “The Neoliberal Experiment and Europe’s anti-Austerity Strikes: Governments must Lower Wages or Suffer Financial Blackmail

The problem is Europe-wide and indeed centered in the European Union capital in Brussels. This is why the major protests were staged there. On the same day that the strikers demonstrated, the neoliberal European Commission (EC) outlined a full-fledged war against labor. Fifty to a hundred thousand workers gathered to protest the proposed transformation of social rules by the most anti-labor campaign since the 1930s – even more extreme than the Third World austerity plans imposed by the IMF and World Bank in times past.

The neoliberals are fully in control of the bureaucracy, and they are reviving Margaret Thatcher’s slogan, TINA: There Is No Alternative. But there is, of course. In the small Baltic economies, pro-labor parties have made it clear that the alternative to government shrinkage is to simply repeal the debts, withdraw from the Euro and break the banks. It is either the banks or labor – and Europe has just realized that this is truly a fight to the economic death. And the first test will come this Saturday, when Latvia holds its national parliamentary elections.

The EC is using the mortgage banking crisis – and the needless prohibition against central banks monetizing the government budget deficit – as an opportunity to fine governments and even drive them bankrupt if they do not agree roll back public-sector salaries. Governments are told to borrow at interest from the banks, rather than raising revenue by taxing them as they have done for half-a century following the end of World War II. And if governments are unable to raise the money to pay the interest, they must close down their social programs. And if this close-down shrinks the economy – and hence, government tax revenues – even more, then the government must shut down even more social spending.

From Brussels to Latvia, neoliberal planners have expressed the hope is that lower public salaries will spread to the private sector as well. The aim is to shrink their economies to roll back wage levels by 30 percent or more – depression-style levels – in the belief that this will “leave more surplus” available to pay in debt service. Governments are to tax labor – not finance, insurance or real estate (FIRE), but to impose new employment and sales taxes while cutting back public pensions and public spending. Europe is to be turned into a banana republic.

This requires dictatorship, and the European Central Bank (ECB) has assumed this power from elected government. It is “independent” of political control – celebrated as the “hallmark of democracy” by today’s new financial oligarchy. But as Plato’s dialogues explained it, what is oligarchy but the political stage following democracy. We can now await the new power elite making itself hereditary – by abolishing estate taxes, for starters – and turning itself into an outright aristocracy. “Join the fight against labor, or we will destroy you,” the EC is telling governments.”

4.  “”Underground” Group of Cadets Say Air Force Academy Controlled by Evangelicals”


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