Note: PumaLiberty is in the process of exploring the basis of political (and related economic) woes currently facing our nation. While we will periodically share information created by other organizations, we do not necessarily endorse the content of any material that’s not generated by the PumaLiberty group. The following material is for informational purposes only.

Posted on Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 at 11:50 am

By David DeGraw, AmpedStatus Report

The evidence is now overwhelming. The United States government has facilitated the theft of trillions of dollars of national wealth and 99% of the US population no longer has political representation.

——-I: The Ongoing Theft of Trillions
——-II: Off-the-Books, Off-the-Record
——-III: Osama bin Bank of America
——-IV: New Mafia World Order
——-V: The Goldman Sachs Obama Illusion
——-VI: American Heroes Speak Out on the Financial Reform Ruse
——-VII: Economic Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMDs)
——-VIII: Hank “Pentagon Sachs” Paulson
——-IX: $5.4 Trillion a Year Bullion Market Ponzi Scheme
——-X: Ponzi Nation: Welcome to America, Sucker
——-XI: Economic Shock and Awe
——-XII: Time for a Second American Revolution – The 99% Movement
——-XIII: How You Can Get Involved

Now that I have your attention, I want to make it clear to you that I am being rational and serious when I ask this question: Is it time for law abiding American citizens to stop paying their taxes and start a new government?

Before you roll your eyes and dismiss me as some “extremist,” let me explain the situation to those who are unfamiliar with my past reports. In my report on the Economic Elite Vs. The People of the United States, I lay out the case proving that our economy and tax system has become an organized criminal operation. I defy anyone who spends time researching and analyzing the facts and overwhelming evidence to support this claim to prove otherwise. I invite anyone who thinks I’m wrong to a debate on national television. I’m talking to you, Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke, Larry Summers, Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon and President Obama!

I torturously spend 60 plus hours a week researching this and the torrent of devastating news and evidence is mounting by the minute. The staggering level of theft continues unabated. As I am watching this unfold, I am horrified thinking about the severe consequences that have only just begun to reap their toll. Our nation is being raped and pillaged. Our future is going up in flames and our government isn’t even making the slightest effort to put out the fire. In fact, they are purposely pouring gasoline all over it.

“There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it that… the machine will be prevented from working at all.”
– Mario Savio

So let me take a deep breath and back up for a minute… and explain the urgent gravity of our current crisis.

I: The Ongoing Theft of Trillions

The first thing people need to understand is that the economic crash wasn’t a crash for the people who caused it. In fact, these financial terrorists are now doing better than ever. In a recent report, titled “Social Inequality in America: Widening Income Disparities,” more evidence of the unprecedented transfer of wealth was revealed:

“As of late 2009, the number of billionaires soared from 793 to 1,011, and their total fortunes from $2.4 trillion to $3.6 trillion…. Despite the crisis, the list of billionaires has grown by 218 people and their aggregate capital has expanded by 50%. This may seem paradoxical, but only at first glance. This result was predictable, if we recall how governments all over the world have dealt with the economic crisis.”

The inequality of wealth in the United States between the economic top 0.5% and the remaining 99.5% of the population is now at an all-time high. The economic top 1% of the population now controls a record 70% of all financial assets. The point here is that while the economic crisis has been devastating for 99% of America, the Wall Street elite are awash in record breaking profits. The most profitable firm in Wall Street history, Goldman Sachs, just had their most profitable quarter in their 140-year history and Wall Street firms issued an all-time record breaking amount in bonuses.

All of this is occurring after giving these firms $14 TRILLION in taxpayer support – that works out to be $46,662 of your hard-earned money. That’s $46,662 for every man, woman and child in this country. If you have a family of four, sorry, your future just got robbed and you and your children just lost $186,648!

So what are all these firms doing with these record-breaking profits? Are they returning them into the tax system in which they came from, the tax system that was looted just to keep their scam running?

No!

Let’s start with Wells Fargo. After being bailed out with our money in 2008, their top five executives DOUBLED their compensation and each one of them made over $11 million in 2009. Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf made off with a cool $21.3 million last year.

And now comes news that Bank of America and Wells Fargo will pay zero, yes ZERO in federal taxes for 2009. Bank of America will net a $3.6 BILLION benefit from the federal government in 2009. Wells Fargo, after $8 BILLION in earnings for 2009, will net $4 BILLION from the federal government.

So you and I are working our asses off just to make ends meet, paying 30% of our limited income in taxes, and gizillionaire John Stumpf’s company is paying ZERO in taxes so that he can personally swipe another $21.3 million of tax payer funds.

Al Capone is a dime store thief compared to this guy!

Well, to be fair, Mr. Stumpf is just a small-timer himself in this all-time greatest heist.

JP Morgan Chase made $12 BILLION in profit in 2009, as a direct result of our tax money – yes, I need to keep repeating this fact. These are profits that would not exist if it weren’t for our tax dollars.

It’s also important to point out that this is just the level of theft that has already occurred. However, as I also can’t stress enough, the theft still continues without any let-up.

Now comes news that JP Morgan is on the verge of getting a $1.4 BILLION tax refund! Yes, you heard me right, a $1.4 BILLION TAX REFUND. But JP is not alone in this latest theft. In total, the financial terrorists are due to receive $33 BILLION IN TAX REFUNDS!

Do you comprehend how depraved it is to give these people another $33 billion in tax refunds? I assume that they’re thinking that after stealing $14 TRILLION, another $33 billion really isn’t all that much. After all, last year, Goldman Sachs, the most profitable firm Wall Street history, only paid 1% in taxes, so what’s another $33 billion kickback among friends?

Let’s be clear about this latest $33 billion of which the US tax system is being robbed. What could we do with $33 billion?

For one, we could put over one million unemployed people back to work and pay them the average national median wage for the next year. Add the record-breaking $150 billion in bonuses (our tax money) that Wall Street handed out this past year to the $33 billion and guess what? We can now put over six million people back to work making the average annual wage! Do you think that would stimulate the economy? Green shots galore.

But why do that? Jamie Dimon needs another new 40,000 square foot mansion and Goldman Sachs needs to upgrade their fleet of luxury jets filled with the finest wine, champagne, cigars and hot tubs.

Maybe we could use that $33 billion to save some of the hundreds of schools that are being forced to close this year due to devastating State budget deficits. Or maybe pay the thousands of teachers who just found out that their jobs have been cut. How about using that money to feed the 50% of US children who need to use food stamps during their childhood to eat? How about using it to give a raise to the 15 million US workers who work 40 hours or more a week and still fall below the poverty line.

Wait, I know, how about helping the millions of Americans who have been foreclosed upon due to JP Morgan’s predatory lending schemes and illegal subprime “liar’s loans.”

And don’t even get me started again on how we can better use the $14 TRILLION that Wall Street made off with…

People of the United States to Obama: Hello! This is happening on your watch!

Change We Can Believe In!

Oh, but wait… it gets even better. This just in from the Roosevelt Institute:

De facto bailout for Freddie and Frannie

Did the Fed and the Treasury orchestrate a de facto bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — at public expense and sans Congressional approval? John Hussman thinks so. He provides a detailed account of just how 1.5 trillion dollars got diverted to Freddie and Fannie — money that we can all kiss goodbye. American taxpayers, it seems, have gotten the middle finger once again.

And then in comes this little known, highly underreported news item: U.S. Taxpayers on Hook for $5 Trillion of Fannie, Freddie Debt

“After years of winks and nods, there’s no doubt that Fannie and Freddie now enjoy an explicit guarantee, according to most observers. The U.S. government placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in conservatorship in September 2008: ‘This means that the U.S. Taxpayer now stands behind $5 trillion of GSE debt,’ according to the Congressional Research Service.”

Hank “Pentagon-Sachs” Paulson’s right-hand man Tim Geithner, now Obama’s hand-picked Treasury Secretary and point man for the continued looting, recently assured his friends on the Financial Services Committee: “We will do everything necessary to ensure these institutions have the capital they need to meet their commitments.” Geithner then acknowledged that US taxpayers will take “very substantial” losses on this bailout.

Yep, Obama’s Chief-of-Theft, Rahm “Freddie Mac Daddy” Emanuel’s former company now has unlimited ability to rob taxpayer money and is making off with $5 TRILLION. And I thought Cheney’s Halliburton was as bad as it could get.

Yes We Can… Get Robbed Even More!

But don’t worry, if you thought the past two years were bad, the history books will recall them as a walk in the park compared to what is coming our way. You don’t have trillions looted from the economy and continue to just keep going about your life business as usual. I wish I was wrong, and I wish this was just my opinion, but facts are facts and every societal and economic indicator says things are going to get worse, MUCH WORSE.

Posted by: pumaliberty | March 29, 2010

Good-Bye: Truth Has Fallen and Taken Liberty With It

Note: PumaLiberty is in the process of exploring the basis of political (and related economic) woes currently facing our nation. While we will periodically share information created by other organizations, we do not necessarily endorse the content of any material that’s not generated by the PumaLiberty group. The following material is for informational purposes only.

By Paul Craig Roberts
Global Research, March 26, 2010
Counterpunch – 2010-03-25

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18339

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.– Martin Luther King Jr.

There was a time when the pen was mightier than the sword. That was a time when people believed in truth and regarded truth as an independent power and not as an auxiliary for government, class, race, ideological, personal, or financial interest.

Today Americans are ruled by propaganda. Americans have little regard for truth, little access to it, and little ability to recognize it.

Truth is an unwelcome entity. It is disturbing. It is off limits. Those who speak it run the risk of being branded “anti-American,” “anti-semite” or “conspiracy theorist.”

Truth is an inconvenience for government and for the interest groups whose campaign contributions control government.

Truth is an inconvenience for prosecutors who want convictions, not the discovery of innocence or guilt.

Truth is inconvenient for ideologues.

Today many whose goal once was the discovery of truth are now paid handsomely to hide it. “Free market economists” are paid to sell offshoring to the American people. High-productivity, high value-added American jobs are denigrated as dirty, old industrial jobs. Relicts from long ago, we are best shed of them. Their place has been taken by “the New Economy,” a mythical economy that allegedly consists of high-tech white collar jobs in which Americans innovate and finance activities that occur offshore. All Americans need in order to participate in this “new economy” are finance degrees from Ivy League universities, and then they will work on Wall Street at million dollar jobs.

Read More…

Note: PumaLiberty is in the process of exploring the basis of political (and related economic) woes currently facing our nation. While we will periodically share information created by other organizations, we do not necessarily endorse the content of any material that’s not generated by the PumaLiberty group. The following material is for informational purposes only.

By John Silveira Friday
March 26, 2010
10:58 PM

http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/silveira122.html

“No one can predict the future,” I heard a voice say as I walked into the offices of Backwoods Home Magazine. The speaker went on to add, “But there are a lot of reasons to believe we are in danger of entering a period of hyperinflation of the dollar.”

I hesitated because I knew the voice and I followed it to Dave Duffy’s office. Dave’s the guy who publishes this magazine. But the speaker I was hearing was none other than our poker-playing friend from Southern California, O.E. MacDougal.

I walked into Dave’s office and there was the pair of them, Dave and Mac, drinking wine and talking. After greeting me, their conversation seemed to drift to the subject of the steelhead that were making their way up the Rogue River just north of town. But I wanted them to get back to what I’d heard them discussing when I first came in. So I cut in.

“Hey, I heard you saying something about hyperinflation. I know I’ve seen references to it on the Net, but what exactly is it?”

Before Mac could answer, Dave interjected, “Inflation is when prices go up, hyperinflation is when they go up beyond all reason.”

“But how do you know when you’ve gone from inflation to hyperinflation?” I asked.

“There’s no hard and fast rule,” Mac said, “and no exact number for determining when we’ve gone from one to the other—or bad to worse. But it’s been said that inflation is reported annually while hyperinflation is reported more often, like monthly, weekly, or, in extreme cases, daily. It’s not a bad rule of thumb. But let me make a quick comment about what Dave just said.

Read More…

Posted by: pumaliberty | March 24, 2010

Independence Caucus

Note: PumaLiberty is in the process of exploring the basis of political (and related economic) woes currently facing our nation. While we will periodically share information created by other organizations, we do not necessarily endorse the content of any material that’s not generated by the PumaLiberty group. The following material is for informational purposes only.

I would like to share this powerpoint presentation by Independence Caucus.

http://www.vimeo.com/channels/icaucus

Posted by: pumaliberty | March 24, 2010

Does Triumph Redeem the ‘Health Care’ President?

Note: PumaLiberty is in the process of exploring the basis of political (and related economic) woes currently facing our nation. While we will periodically share information created by other organizations, we do not necessarily endorse the content of any material that’s not generated by the PumaLiberty group. The following material is for informational purposes only.

By Robert S. Becker

Posted on March 22, 2010 by dandelionsalad

http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/does-triumph-redeem-the-health-care-president-by-robert-s-becker/

Instead of cheering or jeering the House passage of the Health – I mean, the lobbyist-corporate – Insurance Reform bill, let’s assess winners and losers. Others have depicted the relative, rather delayed strengths (wider coverage, no life-time limits, added users) and weaknesses (no cost control, no public option, thus no competition, four long years for insurance lawyers to get around onerous aspects, no incentives to expand medical worker/doctor services).

Big Winners:

1) Obama and his right-leaning, centrist White House. Specific provisions aside, the bill shows the party in power can execute – political symbolism always precedes real-world changes, with surer electoral impact. Honor is due: this is the first big political win for the first pro-government, big-city, northern president since Jack Kennedy, that is, in living memory. Note, I didn’t say “liberal” or “progressive” president, for that’s now less likely. Whatever Rahm Emanuel lost in reputation by pushing a fragmented approach (enemy to the public option) gets offset by corralling House Blue Dogs, reinforcing his Congressional clout and cementing his job. The status quo is unshaken; Rahm rules still.

2) Democratic leadership in the House and Senate delivered, kept wobbly coalitions together, and piloted through storms for an incredibly (unnecessarily) extended period. Leadership won a victory on a tough issue, despite being swamped by anti-reform millions and assassination politics.

3) Millions of eventually-insured new patients will join up thanks to tax subsidies. Join up under duress but whatever.

4) Hospitals, especially money-losers, will benefit from stability, consistent customers, and greater efficiencies.

5) Large insurers, big pharma, and health service companies: many stock prices rose the morning after this fat pill because a) they weren’t savaged, quite the contrary; b) the immediate future is now predictable, and c) massive lobbyist-peddling worked, enhancing this covert corporate takeover of any regulatory government “takeover.”

6) Centrist, Liberal Democratic House members with something, finally, worth bragging about, with six months to election. Generally, big bills gets more popular after passage, especially when absurd partisan claims turn out completely wrong. Also, after surviving any fake scare, people embrace what majority rule produces as inevitable and comfortable, the “law of the land.” Modifications are typical but only that rare bird, like Prohibition, gets repealed.

7) Rightwing fringe fundraising gains if able to leverage rage over this high-handed, unAmerican “takeover of the country” everyone knows belongs to the Tea Party. Forcing people to buy insurance for just being Americans offends the right, with or without subsidies. And yet, the more the fringe appears racist, toxic, and fascist, the less electoral positives they have, taking less radical GOPers down with them. “Kill the bill” frenzy hurts Republicans when morphing into “kill the bill makers” (alongside totally irrelevant anti-black and anti-gay smears).

Read More…

Posted by: pumaliberty | March 24, 2010

The Health Care Hindenburg Has Landed

Note: PumaLiberty is in the process of exploring the basis of political (and related economic) woes currently facing our nation. While we will periodically share information created by other organizations, we do not necessarily endorse the content of any material that’s not generated by the PumaLiberty group. The following material is for informational purposes only.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_health_care_hindenburg_has_landed_20100322/

Posted on Mar 22, 2010
By Chris Hedges

Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s decision to vote “yes” in Sunday’s House action on the health care bill, although he had sworn to oppose the legislation unless there was a public option, is a perfect example of why I would never be a politician. I respect Kucinich. As politicians go, he is about as good as they get, but he is still a politician. He has to run for office. He has to raise money. He has to placate the Democratic machine or risk retaliation and defeat. And so he signed on to a bill that will do nothing to ameliorate the suffering of many Americans, will force tens of millions of people to fork over a lot of money for a defective product and, in the end, will add to the ranks of our uninsured.

The claims made by the proponents of the bill are the usual deceptive corporate advertising. The bill will not expand coverage to 30 million uninsured, especially since government subsidies will not take effect until 2014. Families who cannot pay the high premiums, deductibles and co-payments, estimated to be between 15 and 18 percent of most family incomes, will have to default, increasing the number of uninsured. Insurance companies can unilaterally raise prices without ceilings or caps and monopolize local markets to shut out competitors. The $1.055 trillion spent over the next decade will add new layers of bureaucratic red tape to what is an unmanageable and ultimately unsustainable system.

The mendacity of the Democratic leadership in the face of this reality is staggering. Howard Dean, who is a doctor, said recently: “This is a vote about one thing: Are you for the insurance companies or are you for the American people?” Here is a man who once championed the public option and now has sold his soul. What is the point in supporting him or any of the other Democrats? How much more craven can they get?

Read More…

Posted by: pumaliberty | March 9, 2010

The Fall of Greece

Note: PumaLiberty is in the process of exploring the basis of political (and related economic) woes currently facing our nation. While we will periodically share information created by other organizations, we do not necessarily endorse the content of any material that’s not generated by the PumaLiberty group. The following material is for informational purposes only.

The Fall of Greece
Yes, It Really is a Capitalist Plot

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by Diana Johnstone
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17937

For Europe’s poorest countries, European Union membership has long held out the promise of tranquil prosperity. The current Greek financial crisis ought to dispel some of their illusions.

There are two strikingly significant levels to the current crisis. While primarily economic, the European Economic Community also claims to be a community, based on solidarity — the sisterhood of nations and brotherhood of peoples. However, the economic deficit is nothing compared to the human deficit it exposes.

To put it simply, the Greek crisis shows what happens when a weak member of this Union is in trouble. It is the same as what happens on the world scale, where there is no such morally pretentious union perpetually congratulating itself on its devotion to human rights. The economically strong protect their own interests at the expense of the economically weak.

The crisis broke last autumn after George Papandreou’s PASOK party won elections, took office and discovered that the cupboard was bare. The Greek government had cheated to get into the EU’s euro zone in 2001 by cooking the books to cover deficits that would have disqualified it from membership in the common currency. The European Treaties capped the acceptable budget deficit at 3 per cent and public debt at 60 per cent of GDP respectively. In fact, this limit is being widely transgressed, quite openly by France. But major scandal arrived with revelations that Greece’s budget deficit reached 12.7 per cent in 2009, with a gross debt forecast for 2010 amounting to 125 per cent of GDP.

Of course, European leaders got together to declare solidarity. But their speeches were designed not so much to reassure the increasingly angry and desperate Greek people as to soothe “the markets” – the real hidden almighty gods of the European Union. The markets, like the ancient gods, have a great old time tormenting mere mortals in trouble, so their response to the Greek problem was naturally to rush to profit from it. For instance, when Greece is obliged to issue new bonds this year, the markets can blithely demand that Greece double its interest rates, on grounds of increased “risk” that Greece won’t pay, thus making it that much harder for Greece to pay. Such is the logic of the free market.

What the EU leaders meant by “solidarity” in their appeal to the gods was not that they were going to pour public money into Greece, as they poured it into their troubled banks, but that they intended to squeeze the money owed the banks out of the Greek people.

The squeezing is to take the forms made familiar over the past disastrous decades by the International Monetary Fund: the Greek state is enjoined to cut public expenses, which means firing public employees, cutting their overall earnings, delaying retirement, economizing on health care, raising taxes, and incidentally probably raising the jobless rate from 9.6 per cent to around 16 per cent, all with the glorious aim of bringing the deficit down to 8.7 per cent this year and thus appeasing the invisible gods of the market.

This just might propitiate both the gods and German leaders, who above all want to maintain the value of the euro. The financial markets will no doubt grab their pound of flesh in the form of increased interest rates, while the Greeks are bled by IMF-style “shock treatment”.

And what about that great theater of human rights and universal brotherhood, the European Parliament? In that forum everyone gets to speak for a carefully clocked 1, 2, or 3 minutes, but when it comes to the most serious matter, the budget, the authoritative voices are all German.

Thus the chairman of the EP’s special committee on the economic and financial crisis, Wolf Klinz, has called for sending a “high representative” of the EU to Greece, an “economies commissar” to make sure the Greeks carry out the austerity measures properly. The Greek crisis can allow the EU to put into practice for the first time its “Treaty instruments” concerning “supervision of budgetary and economic policy”. Interest rates may go up because of “risk”, but there is to be no risk. The pound of flesh will be delivered.

There was no such supervision of the financial fiddling which caused this mess. The EU statistics agency Eurostat recently discovered and revealed that in 2001, Goldman Sachs secretly (“but legally”, protest its executive officers) helped the right-wing Greek government meet EU membership criteria by using a complicated “currency swap” that masked the extent of public deficit and national debt. [See Andrew Cockburn and Marshall Auerback, on this site.] Who understands how that worked? I think it is fair to guess that not even Angela Merkel, who is trained as a scientist, understands clearly what went on, much less the incompetent Greek politicians who accepted the Goldman Sachs trickery. It allowed them to create an illusion of success – for a while. Success meant being a “member of the club” of the rich, and it can be argued that this notion of success has actually favored bad government at the national level. Belonging to the EU gave a false sense of security that contributed to the irresponsibility of incompetent political leaders.

Having euros to buy imported goods (notably from Germany) pleased rich consumers, while the euro priced Greek goods out of their previous markets. Now the debt trap is closing. The traditional way out for Greece would be to leave the euro and return to a devaluated drachma, in order to cut imports and favor exports. This way, the burden of necessary sacrifices would not be borne solely by the working class. But the embrace of EU “solidarity” is there to prevent this from happening. German authorities are preparing to lay down the law to the Greeks, after reducing the income of their own working class in order to benefit Germany’s export-oriented economy.

Austerity measures are the opposite of what is needed in a time of looming depression. Rather, what is needed are Keynesian measures to stimulate employment and strengthen the domestic market. But Germany is firmly attached to the export model, for itself and everyone else (“globalization”). For a country like Greece, which cannot compete successfully within the EU, exports outside the EU are crippled by its use of a strong currency, the euro. Bound to the euro, Greece can neither stimulate its domestic market nor export successfully. But it is not going to be allowed to extricate itself from the debt trap and return to its traditional currency, the drachma. Poverty appears to be the only solution.

There is discontent within the German working class at their country’s policies aimed at shrinking wages and social benefits for the sake of selling abroad. In an ideal “social Europe”, workers in Germany would come to the aid of workers in Greece by demanding a radical revision of economic policy, away from catering to the international financial markets toward building a solid social democracy. The reality is quite different.

The Greek financial crisis exposes the absence of any real community spirit in the EU. The “solidarity” declared by the country’s EU partners is a solidarity with their own investments. There is no popular solidarity between peoples. The EU has established a surrogate ideology of internationalism: rejection of the nation-state as source of all evil, a pompous pride in “Europe” as the center of human rights, giver of moral lessons to the world, which happens to fit in perfectly with its subservience to United States imperial foreign policy in the Middle East and beyond. The paradox is that European unification has coincided with decreasing curiosity in the larger EU states about what happens to their neighbors.

Despite a certain amount of specialized training needed to create a Eurocrat class, the general population of each EU member is only superficially acquainted with the others. They see them as teams in soccer matches. They go on holiday around the Mediterranean, but this mostly involves meeting fellow tourists, and study of foreign languages has declined, except for English (omnipresent, if mangled). Mass media news reports are turned inward, featuring missing children and pedophiles ahead of even major political events in other EU member states.

Northern European media portray Greece practically as a Third World country, peripheral and picturesque, where people speak an impossible language, dance in circles on islands, and live beyond their means in their carefree way. The crickets in the Aesop fable, scorned by the assiduous ants.

Media in Germany and the Netherlands imply that IMF-style shock treatment is almost too good for them. The widening polarization between rich and poor, between and within EU member states, is taken for granted.

The smaller indebted countries within the EU are amiably designated by the English-speaking financial priesthood as the PIGS – Portugal, Italy (perhaps Ireland), Greece, Spain – an appropriate designation for an animal farm where some are so much more equal than others.

Diana Johnstone is author of Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions (Monthly Review Press). She can be reached at diana.josto@yahoo.fr

Diana Johnstone is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Diana Johnstone

Posted by: pumaliberty | March 8, 2010

Obama’s Assault on Public Education

Note: PumaLiberty is in the process of exploring the basis of political (and related economic) woes currently facing our nation. While we will periodically share information created by other organizations, we do not necessarily endorse the content of any material that’s not generated by the PumaLiberty group. The following material is for informational purposes only.

By Jerry White

Global Research, March 4, 2010
World Socialist Web Site

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17928

President Obama’s public support for the mass firing of teachers at a Rhode Island high school is a declaration of war on all teachers and on the working class as a whole.

No US president has so openly supported the mass victimization of workers since Ronald Reagan fired the PATCO air traffic controllers in 1981. Obama’s intervention against the teachers at Central Falls High School is motivated by similarly reactionary aims.

Speaking before an audience of business executives at the US Chamber of Commerce on Monday, Obama hailed the decision to fire the entire teaching and support staff at Central Falls High after they rejected demands to work extra hours without pay.

He defended such measures as critical to implementing the national strategy of Education Secretary Arne Duncan to deal with 5,000 of the nation’s “lowest performing” schools, overwhelmingly located in the most impoverished areas of the country. In order to qualify for federal funding, school districts have the option of closing a school outright, handing it over to a charter school or school management company, imposing a longer school day and other attacks on teachers, or firing the staff and rehiring only half back.

Read More…

Posted by: pumaliberty | March 8, 2010

100 Years Ago: Women’s Day (1910-2010)

Note: PumaLiberty is in the process of exploring the basis of political (and related economic) woes currently facing our nation. While we will periodically share information created by other organizations, we do not necessarily endorse the content of any material that’s not generated by the PumaLiberty group. The following material is for informational purposes only.

100 Years Ago: Women’s Day (1910-2010)
Socialist Women Declare a Global Feminist Holiday

By Megan Cornish

Global Research, March 8, 2010
Freedom Socialist Party – 2010-02-01

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17687

Women are a revolutionary force. That fact shows in their holiday, International Women’s Day (IWD), both its past and present. Because the profit system depends on the second-class status of women, the day that honors them is bound to be connected to momentous happenings.

There were at least 984 events last year in 64 countries. The day is an official holiday in 29 countries — not accidentally, mostly those with an anti-capitalist history. They include China, Cuba, Vietnam, states in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and some in Africa.

The wealthier nations — North American and European countries, Australia — don’t recognize it. It’s notable that both IWD and May Day, the international workers’ holiday, were started to commemorate the struggles of workers in the U.S. — but neither is recognized officially in the heart of Capital.

Read More…

Posted by: pumaliberty | March 7, 2010

State Crimes Against Democracy

Note: PumaLiberty is in the process of exploring the basis of political (and related economic) woes currently facing our nation. While we will periodically share information created by other organizations, we do not necessarily endorse the content of any material that’s not generated by the PumaLiberty group. The following material is for informational purposes only.

By Prof. Peter Phillips and Prof. Mickey Huff

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Global Research, March 4, 2010
Project Censored – 2010-03-03

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17922

New research in the journal American Behavioral Scientist (Sage publications, February 2010) addresses the concept of State Crimes Against Democracy (SCAD). Professor Lance deHaven-Smith from Florida State University writes that SCADs involve highlevel government officials, often in combination with private interests, that engage in covert activities for political advantages and power. Proven SCADs since World War II include McCarthyism (fabrication of evidence of a communist infiltration), Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (President Johnson and Robert McNamara falsely claimed North Vietnam attacked a US ship), burglary of the office of Daniel Ellsberg s psychiatrist in effort to discredit Ellsberg, the Watergate break-in, Iran-Contra, Florida s 2000 Election (felon disenfranchisement program), and fixed intelligence on WMDs to justify the Iraq War.1

Other suspected SCADs include the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald, the shooting of George Wallace, the October Surprise near the end of the Carter presidency, military grade anthrax mailed to Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy, Martin Luther King s assassination, and the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 on September 11, 2001. The proven SCADs have a long trail of congressional hearings, public records, and academic research establishing the truth of the activities. The suspected SCADs listed above have substantial evidence of covert actions with countervailing deniability that tend to leave the facts in dispute.2

The term conspiracy theory is often used to denigrate and discredit inquiry into the veracity of suspected SCADs. Labeling SCAD research as conspiracy theory is an effective method of preventing ongoing investigations from being reported in the corporate media and keep them outside of broader public scrutiny. Psychologist Laurie Manwell, University of Guelph, addresses the psychological advantage that SCAD actors hold in the public sphere. Manwell, writing in American Behavioral Scientist (Sage 2010) states, research shows that people are far less willing to examine information that disputes, rather than confirms, their beliefs . . . pre-existing beliefs can interfere with SCADs inquiry, especially in regards to September 11, 2001. 3

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