Tag Archives | Plunder

A World In Denial

Donald Rumsfeld

Donald Rumsfeld

Geoffrey Wheatcroft writes in the New York Times:

Could there be a single phrase that explains the woes of our time, this dismal age of political miscalculations and deceptions, of reckless and disastrous wars, of financial boom and bust and downright criminality? Maybe there is, and we owe it to Fintan O’Toole. That trenchant Irish commentator is a biographer and theater critic, and a critic also of his country’s crimes and follies, as in his gripping if horrifying book, Ship of Fools: How Stupidity and Corruption Sank the Celtic Tiger.

He reminds us of the famous if gnomic saying by Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the United States secretary of defense, that “There are known knowns… there are known unknowns … there are also unknown unknowns.” But the Irish problem, says Mr. O’Toole, was none of the above. It was “unknown knowns.”

What he means is something different from denial, or evasion, irrational exuberance or excess optimism.

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It’s Time To Occupy A New Year

"Plunder" Filmmaker Danny Schechter

"Plunder" Filmmaker Danny Schechter

Out with the old. I would say good riddance to 2011 even as I fear 2012 may be worse, given the financial trends, social chaos and political idiocy that we confront every day.

Every time I think it can’t get worse, it does.

It seems so clear that the political system is moribund and paralyzed and the economic system may be in worse shape.

A tiny sliver of the 1% may be in charge although not in control. Their own short-term greed makes it unlikely that they can stabilize the system or do any longer term planning. Their Titanic has hit its iceberg. Some new technologies may be keeping it afloat for now but for how long?

We lurch from crisis to crisis in an atmosphere of deep denial.

Obama clearly has no new ideas and the Republican candidates for the most part don’t know what an idea is, as they pander to a know-nothing base to prove that they can be as crass as they are.… Read the rest

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The Citigroup Plutonomy Memos: Bombshell Documents That Detail the Rule of the 1 Percent

Plutonomy MemosVia Politicalgates:

“Are they real?” That’s the question people usually ask when they hear for the first time of the “Citigroup Plutonomy Memos.” The sad truth is: Yes, they are real, and instead of being discussed on mainstream media outlets all over America and beyond, Citigroup was surprisingly successful so far in suppressing these memos, using their lawyers to issue takedown-notices whenever these memos were being made available for download on the internet.

So what are we talking about? In 2005 and 2006, several analysts at Citigroup took a very, very close look at the economic inequalities within the USA and other countries and wrote two memos which were addressed to their very wealthy customers. If there is one group of people who need to know the truth about what is really going on within the society and the economy, minus the propaganda, then it’s businesspeople who have a lot of money to invest, and who want to invest wisely.

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D17: Protests Mark The Third Anniversary of OccupyWallStreet Movement Puts On A “Why I Occupy” Show in Times Square

Saturday marked the third month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. It was also Bradley Manning’s Birthday. It was one of those days that confirmed the validity of the chant: “All Day, All Week, Occupy Wall Street”.

Ok, maybe, it wasn’t a whole week but Saturday felt like a week in one day. The plan for the day, as announced, was to gather at Duarte Park at 6th Avenue and Canal Street to attempt a RE-Occupation of vacant land owned by Trinity Church, more of a real estate company than a house of worship.

For a few weeks, the Occupy Movement had been demanding that the church allow the movement to take “sanctuary” on that land. There were earlier protests and even a hunger strike that made page one of the New York Times. Police in riot gear had ousted the occupiers the last time they tried to take over the space a few weeks back, and, since then, there has been a rancorous standoff between a Church that is supported by many fat cat one-percenters and OWS’s volunteer non-violent army of outrage.… Read the rest

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U.S. Ponzi Scheme Targeted Mormons

Book O fMormonReports the AP via Google News:
US financial regulators charged a father and son in Utah state with operating a $220 million property investment Ponzi scheme which targeted fellow members of the Mormon church. The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Wendell Jacobson and his son Allen Jacobson, of Fountain Green in central Utah, with selling shares in their purported real estate business and using the funds from some investors to pay returns promised to others. It said that since 2008 the two had solicited investments into their business of ostensibly buying, rehabilitating and then renting out properties. They appeared to use the memberships in the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints — the Mormon church — "to make connections and win over the trust of prospective investors," the SEC said. Securities in their businesses were sold to investors without registering with the SEC as required by law.
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Bull Moose or Bull Sh*t: Is Obama Changing His Stance Towards Wall Street?

Teddy Roosevelt / Barack ObamaIs Obama changing?

Many in the Occupy Wall Street Movement are patting their efforts on the back, and even claiming credit for what looks like a shift by President Obama towards a more engaged campaign discussing economic fairness.

The President’s speech in Kansas was modeled on remarks made by the Republican Bull Moose Teddy Roosevelt in 1910. There’s nothing like quoting a Republican for credible centrist positioning. (Note: he quotes TR, not FDR.)

Will he embrace GOP Pres Eisenhower’s warning about the Military Industrial Complex next?

Unlikely.

Richard Eskow was quick to salute the new Obama:

“Barack Obama channeled one of American history’s truly transformative figures by visiting the tiny Kansas town where Teddy Roosevelt gave his ‘New Nationalism’ speech over a century ago. It was refreshing to see the President invoke his predecessor, who was a powerful and fearless agent of change both inside and outside the White House.

“For the first time the President directly confronted the injustice of our growing economic divide, which were caused by the ongoing rapacity of the already-wealthy.… Read the rest

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Was Blagojevich Arrested On Corruption Charges After Going Up Against Bank of America?

Site' editor's note: Former Illinois Governor Rob Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years this week after being convicted of a wide range of corruption charges, including the allegation that he tried to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Obama. You won't see the talking head presttitutes discussing the fact that former Governor Rob Blagojevich was arrested exactly one day after he announced he was "...asking all Illinois government agencies to suspend business with Bank of America" ... Here's Rod Blagojevich uncensored on We Are Change Chicago:
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Who Is Winning The War on Wall Street? Making It Personal Is One Way To Seize The Initiative

Wall Street has become a battleground, defended by a battalion of New York Cops, and under surveillance around the clock. There’s a war under way after months of protests and assaults by the non-violent warriors of Occupy Wall Street.

So, who’s winning?

On the surface, despite major layoffs and economic setbacks, you would have to say that the epicenter of our financial markets is alive, if not well. The exchanges and banks remain open for business, even if their costs for security are up, and their long-term optimism is way down.

Attempts by occupiers and activists to “shut it down” have so far failed, but they have slowed it down and forced its defenders on the defensive. A sharp critique of out of control capitalism that was barely heard in the media before the movement began. It is now everywhere. The Movement has changed the national conversation.

The gluttons of greed are, at least temporarily, on the defensive.… Read the rest

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Third World Canada

The Canadian media's furor and spin on the following story is demonstrable proof that any and all attempts to de-legitimise Indigenous self-government and exploit Aboriginal territories for resources is not only allowed, it is welcomed. These policies are based on historical paternalistic colonialism, which is explicitly intended to systematically disenfranchise Native peoples. Note as per this story , Canada spends MORE than two times per capita on non-natives for social infrastructure (housing, education, healthcare) than it does on aboriginal people. The amount reported in the Al Jazeera story below, is the entire budget, and does not include any additional civil infrastructure (roads, transport links) funds, which is normally separate from social spending:
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Prosecuting Wall Street

With a story about prosecuting Wall Street featured on the most mainstream of TV news shows, CBS's Sixty Minutes, might there finally be enough momentum for some banking executives go to jail? In this segment, two high-ranking financial whistleblowers say they tried to warn their superiors about defective and even fraudulent mortgages. Reporter Steve Kroft questions why the companies and their executives haven't been prosecuted.
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