Monday, October 3, 2011

Did You Like Catch 22? Liberals? They Should Be Arrested! (!) No Wonder those Fabulous Koch Bros. Are Billionaires - They Steal US Blind! Revolution Soon?

"Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of the day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers (adminstrators) too plainly proves a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing us to slavery."

Thomas Jefferson

Those darned Liberals! Always making trouble for the Poor Little Rich People!

Tom Engelhardt tells us all about it at the Tom Dispatch:

The book series I co-founded and co-edit, the American Empire Project, is rolling out its latest volume today, and it’s a news-maker.  Peter Van Buren, a Foreign Service Officer, spent a year at two forward operating bases in Iraq helping to “reconstruct” that country.  With its ironic title, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, his work, a remarkable deconstruction of that effort and more generally of the debacle of American-style armed “nation-building,” will be a classic in the annals of anti-interventionism.  He’s also a natural as a writer.  Think of him as the State Department’s Michael Herr, though in its first rave reviews his book is being compared to Joseph Heller’s classic World War II novel Catch-22.  As it happens (again see below), Van Buren is now paying for the devastating portrait he’s painted of America in action in Iraq quite personally.
Please read it all at Tom's.

Koch-Glitsch is part of a global empire run by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, who have taken a small oil company they inherited from their father, Fred, after his death in 1967, and built it into a chemical, textile, trading and refining conglomerate spanning more than 50 countries.

Koch Industries is obsessed with secrecy, to the point that it discloses only an approximation of its annual revenue -- $100 billion a year -- and says nothing about its profits.

The most visible part of Koch Industries is its consumer brands, including Lycra fiber and Stainmaster carpet. Georgia- Pacific LLC, which Koch owns, makes Dixie cups, Brawny paper towels and Quilted Northern bath tissue.

Charles, 75, and David, 71, each worth about $20 billion, are prominent financial backers of groups that believe that excessive regulation is sapping the competitiveness of American business. They inherited their anti-government leanings from their father.

Abolishing Social Security

Fred was an early adviser to the founder of the anti-Communist John Birch Society, which fought against the civil rights movement and the United Nations. Charles and David have supported the Tea Party, a loosely organized group that aims to shrink the size of government and cut federal spending.

These are long-standing tenets for the Kochs. In 1980, David Koch ran for vice president on the Libertarian ticket, pledging to abolish Social Security, the Federal Reserve System, welfare, minimum wage laws and federal agencies - including the Department of Energy, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency.
And the latest on those greatest of benefactors to all our rulers?

It's hard to believe after the last few ecological and financial scandals that any worse could be easily revealed.

And yet, it always is.

They never quit stealing us blind. Wonder why they think they can get away with it?

It's probably too easy a question.

Koch Brothers Caught Trading with Iran and Bribing Officials
Brian Walker
A new investigative report by Bloomberg canvasses decades of criminality and bad business ethos from Koch Industries. The report reveals that the Koch brothers schemed to sell petrochemical products to Iran’s nationalized oil program, and that the company has bribed foreign officials in Africa, India, and the Middle East in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, among other legally and morally questionable acts.
The report also shows how the Koch brothers have a history of pressuring whistleblowers into quitting by removing them from their normal work environment and stripping them of their normal responsibilities. Koch Industries bribed foreign officials to secure business relationships, and have continually ignored regulations even despite a history of fatal accidents.
Koch Industries paid $35 million to settle lawsuits covering more than 300 oil spills across six states in 2000.
Claims that corruption within Koch Industries extend all the way to the top of the chain have been supported by eyewitness testimony from prominent employees who alleged under oath that they were trained in a scheme to cheat oil producers out of money.

According to data compiled by the Senate, Koch records show that from 1986 to 1988 alone, Koch took at least 1.95 million barrels of oil that it never paid for. These reports show the Koch rise to power has been riddled with discrep(a)ncy, corruption, and questionable dealings.

And the occupation of Wall Street is going well? We'll see as it spreads throughout the country (or doesn't):

On the Occupy Wall Street ‘Media Blackout’

By Nathan Schneider
Among those part of and concerned with the Occupy Wall Street movement, it’s very common to hear complaints about the lack of mainstream media coverage. There’s even a sign at the occupation’s media center that says, “Welcome to the media blackout.” To a large extent, the blackout is real. The New York Times and other local papers didn’t give the movement headlines until almost a week in, with the exception of a cover story in Metro that first Wednesday. And, while several local TV stations were at Liberty Plaza during the first week, their reports weren’t being picked up by national affiliates. Only recently has this begun to change.
Online, there have been accusations of outright censorship. Yahoo has admitted to “not intentional” blocking of emails with links to, blaming their spam filter. (This excuse is not widely believed, but plausible—I’ve seen the site trigger non-Yahoo spam filters as well.) Twitter has similarly blocked #occupywallstreet from being listed as a trending topic. (This may be because it keeps being throttled by Anonymous bots — or, more conspiratorially, because a considerable stake in the company is owned by JPMorgan Chase, which also just donated $4.5 million to the NYPD.)
Really, though, what do you expect? Resistance movements should not count on coverage by establishment news outlets, much less favorable coverage. Mainstream media are usually a part of a movement’s opponent, and they certainly are in this case. The movement’s job, then, is to make its actions so irresistible that the media have to cover it, despite themselves. In an instructive essay about her experience doing media relations during the fight for civil rights in the 1960s, Mary King writes:

[A]ttentive news coverage can never be taken for granted or assumed. It must be won. Gaining the attention of the news industry is one of the central functions that must be planned by a nonviolent movement that hopes to succeed.
In this respect, Occupy Wall Street is already succeeding.

Gotta revolution (yet?).

Occupy Wall Street: “It Is a Revolution”

Since Sep. 17, hundreds of demonstrators in the Occupy Wall Street movement have transformed the quiet Zucotti Park in lower Manhattan from a place where Wall Street traders once relaxed during lunch breaks into a demonstration camp.

Participants from all over the United States have joined the movement that criticizes the injustices of the capitalist system and calls for greater democracy and individual freedom.
Their base is right in front of the aptly named Liberty Plaza, former headquarters of NASDAQ and current office of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.

"This is a democratic awakening," Cornel West, a prominent activist and Princeton professor, told journalists prior to speaking before nearly 2,000 protestors at Occupy Wall Street's General Assembly on Tuesday.

The protest was first called up in July 2011 by Adbusters and Anonymous, two groups of social activists, artists and hackers.

"We are trying to build the community and the culture we would like to see in the world," explained Isham Christie, film theory and philosophy student at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Centre and an organizer of the protest, calling it a "fight for a (fairer) world".
"People who feel alienated from the consumer society or don't have jobs or are homeless… can come here and be supported," Christie told IPS. "We are trying to build an alternative institution to what we see as the exploitative, oppressive capitalistic society that we live in."

"If only the war on poverty was a real war. Then we would actually be putting money in it," read the sign West held during Tuesday's demonstration.

"I'd really like the whole societal structure to change, the whole ideas of capitalism and the distribution of wealth. I'd really like to see that turn around to something where it honors more the actual people who are involved in the society," Turkish-born Gaye Ajoy told IPS.

Ajoy, who moved from Florida to New York City just a few days ago, added, "I oppose the one percent of people who own the whole country and don't (care) about anybody else."

Ajoy believes that the protestors' views are similar to the ideas of the counterculture movement in the 1960's and '70's and activists like Martin Luther King Jr. or Gloria Steinam.

West noted the diversity of demonstrators, saying, "It is sublime to see all the different colors, all the different genders, all the different sexual orientations and all the different cultures all together here at Liberty Plaza."

A popular movement

In comparison to the elitist structure of the banks and companies it opposes, the "Occupy Wall Street" movement does not have a hierarchy. Everyone can speak up or participate in discussions, and so everyone can take responsibility – or refuse it.

Brian Phillips, a 25-year-old Google consultant and field journalist from Washington state, arrived in New York only a few days ago and has already become the communications director for the protest. Like many others, he gave up his former civil life to participate in the movement.
"I was a community director in my home state, managing a four million dollar complex," Phillips told IPS. "I quit my job, I… hitchhiked all the way over here and I am here to stay and help these guys."

Communication, both internal and external, is one of the key elements of the protests. By using websites, webcasts, tweets and live streams, Occupy Wall Street stays in touch with other movements, both national and global.

"It's very, very, very important that we are connected to the internet," Phillips explained. "We need the world to see what we are doing and… to know what we are doing."

"Because we are broadcasting from Occupy Wall Street, which is (the) headquarters of the revolution, we have ten other cities around the United States starting to be occupied. We have Boston, Chicago, LA, Austin, Charlotte. We have a bunch of places starting up. It's going big – and it's increasing by size faster than we've expected."

Occupy Wall Street is also garnering more attention from both local and global media, thanks to the growing outrage and support from well-known figures including MIT professor Noam Chomsky and rapper Immortal Technique.

The fact that New York City police arrested about 80 people during an unapproved march to the United Nations on Saturday also helped attract media attention.

Still, Phillips refused to endorse their coverage. "The actual media companies – NBC, MSN, all those companies – they're not going to report on us and they're not going to tell the truth," the computer scientist told IPS. "They are not going to tell the world what is really going on."

Global connections

Someone who wanted to know what was really going on in Zucotti Park was Bettina Schröder from Cologne, Germany, who is currently visiting New York and read about the protest on the internet.

"We knew that there was something going on, but we kind of ran into it," Schröder said. "We thought it was smaller, but it is nice to see that there are quite some people. Hopefully it will be more and more. It is just the beginning."

Martin Peutsch, Schröder's boyfriend, was especially satisfied with the protest's location. "Wall Street is the right spot, I think. A lot of Americans have suffered a great deal because of the banking crisis," Peutsch said to IPS.

"I think it is time to mobilize resistance and to show the banks in America that they cannot do whatever they want and then go on as if nothing has happened."

Schröder also saw a global aspect to the protest. "There are so many other movements in so many different countries. People have to speak up their minds – and I think it's really, really good," she said.

West, who compared the "U.S. Autumn" to the so-called Arab Spring, believed in the longevity of Occupy Wall Street, as long as protesters stay strong.

"I think we gotta keep the momentum going, because it's impossible to translate the issue of the greed of Wall Street into one or two demands," West stated.

"In the end, we are really talking about what Martin King would call a revolution - a transfer of power from oligarchs to everyday people of all colors. And that is a step-by-step process, it's a democratic process, it's a non-violent process – but it is a revolution."
And the "war" in Libya? Right!

The War in Libya is a Fraud
Using Human Rights Organizations to Launch Wars

The U.S. has used NATO to continue the occupation of post-Second World War Europe. It will now use AFRICOM to occupy Africa and create an African NATO.


No comments: