Category: News Items

Child Poverty Jumps by 2.6 Million in Developed World Since 2008, While Number of Global Billionaires Doubles

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 2.04.27 PMTwo headlines came across my screen today, which taken together pretty much sum up the effects of policy decisions made by Central Bankers and politicians since the financial crisis. The financial oligarchs got bailed out, and the rich got richer due to decisions made by “leaders” around the globe. As such, the entire planet has now been transformed into a neo-feudal tinderbox. Myself and countless others warned all the way back to 2008 that this is what would happen, and here you have it.

Let’s first examine the results from Oxfam’s report on the billionaire growth spurt. I hope all 1,645 of you have sent thank you notes to the patron saint of oligarchy: Ben Bernanke. From NBC:

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90 Pounds of Cocaine Found on Cargo Ship Owned by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Father-in-Law

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 12.00.10 PMThough Foremost has played a pivotal role in McConnell’s life, bestowing the senator with most of his personal wealth and generating thousands in donations to his campaign committees, the drug bust went unnoticed in Kentucky, where every bit of McConnell-related news has generated fodder for the campaign trail. That’s because, like many international shipping companies, Chao’s firm is shrouded from public view, concealing its identity and limiting its legal liability through an array of tax shelters and foreign registrations. Registered through a limited liability company in the Marshall Islands, the Ping May flies the Liberian flag.

From the Nation article: Mitch McConnell’s Freighted Ties to a Shadowy Shipping Company

Well this is interesting. Particularly with the Senate Majority Leader (and major Republican establishment crony) fighting for his life in the Kentucky Senate race.

From the Nation:

Before the Ping May, a rusty cargo vessel, could disembark from the port of Santa Marta en route to the Netherlands in late August, Colombian inspectors boarded the boat and made a discovery. Hidden in the ship’s chain locker, amidst its load of coal bound for Europe, were approximately 40 kilograms, or about 90 pounds, of cocaine. A Colombian Coast Guard official told The Nation that there is an ongoing investigation.

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Video of the Day – Watch as 8 Police Officers Fire 46 Shots and Kill a Homeless Man in Broad Daylight

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 5.40.51 PMOut of control police brutality (including outright murder), and the militarization of cops across America, while significant issues in their own right, take on an even more pressing degree of concern when viewed as a reflection of society as a whole. For years now, I have been trying to point out the connection between banker bailouts, corruption in Washington D.C., imperialistic foreign policy and police aggression. They are all different sides of the same coin. All of these things are merely symptoms of the core cancer, which is a sociopathic elite running the nation and not applying the rule of law to those who are in power; wherever that power happens to reside.

This article is a perfect followup to my piece from earlier in the week, To Protect and Perve – California Cops Share Nude Photos Stolen from Citizens’ Cellphones, in which I wrote:

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I Pledge Allegiance…

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 2.27.07 PMRemember those weird kids who didn’t say the Pledge of Allegiance in school? They either sat down or just stood up silently. I sure do. Most likely for religious reasons, but I remember thinking to myself as a kid that it was wrong not to say the pledge aloud with the rest of us. As I got older in my teenage years, I even felt that those kids were not being respectful.

Some adults may even give them the old, “well, if you don’t like it then you can leave” routine that is mentioned every time a minority opts out of the majority’s way of doing things.

Homeschooling my children will really make this a non-issue; however, my nieces were reciting the American Pledge of Allegiance the other day while playing with my children. In fact, here in Texas the kids recite both the American and Texas Pledge of Allegiance before class.

After hearing them recite it, and of course remembering the 2,500 or so times I said it in my lifetime, I started to think about the purpose and real meaning of this pledge that millions of school-aged children recite every morning Monday through Friday.

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20-Year CBS News Veteran, Sharyl Attkisson, Details Massive Censorship and Propaganda in Mainstream Media

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 11.00.00 AMJournalists should be dark, funny, mean people. It’s appropriate for their antagonistic, adversarial role.

– Matt Taibbi, in this New York Magazine article

Reporters on the ground aren’t necessarily ideological, Attkisson says, but the major network news decisions get made by a handful of New York execs who read the same papers and think the same thoughts.

Often they dream up stories beforehand and turn the reporters into “casting agents,” told “we need to find someone who will say . . .” that a given policy is good or bad. “We’re asked to create a reality that fits their New York image of what they believe,” she writes.

– From the excellent New York Post article: Ex-CBS reporter’s book reveals how liberal media protects Obama

Earlier this week, I published a piece titled, Former CBS Reporter Accuses Government of Secretly Planting Classified Docs on Her Computer, which I thought was incredible in its own right, yet the information in that post seems almost trite compared to the flood of information Attkisson has revealed to the New York Post’s Kyle Smith.

The following excerpts from the piece will confirm all of your worst suspicions about mainstream media:

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Video of the Day – Black Activists in Chicago Attack Black Leaders and the Democratic Party

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 4.26.27 PMThe following video is extremely powerful. These brave and insightful Chicago activists pummel the traditional belief that simply electing black leaders, or Democrats in general, will do any good. Their angst is directed in many appropriate directions, from the banker bailouts to corrupt local politicians. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear any mention of a third party, because we all know the Republicans are a complete disaster as well.

That said, the key point is clear: The biggest perpetrator of black on black crime in America today is none other than Barack Obama.

Enjoy:

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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More “War on Terror” Abuses – Spying Powers Are Used for Terrorism Only 0.5% of the Time

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 2.12.13 PMThe Patriot Act continues to wreak its havoc on civil liberties. Section 213 was included in the Patriot Act over the protests of privacy advocates and granted law enforcement the power to conduct a search while delaying notice to the suspect of the search. Known as a “sneak and peek” warrant, law enforcement was adamant Section 213 was needed to protect against terrorism. But the latest government report detailing the numbers of “sneak and peek” warrants reveals that out of a total of over 11,000 sneak and peek requests, only 51 were used for terrorism. Yet again, terrorism concerns appear to be trampling our civil liberties.

– From the EFF’s excellent piece: Government Authority Intended for Terrorism is Used for Other Purposes

The last week or so has provided several examples of how Western governments aren’t using their increased spy powers for terrorism at all, but rather, are abusing them in almost every other manner imaginable. From tax collection and raiding manufacturers of female undergarments, to confiscating counterfeit goods.

While powerful, all of that is just anecdotal evidence. What we really need to see are some hard numbers to prove that the “war on terror” is a gigantic fraud simply used to strip citizens’ of their civil liberties. Well, thanks to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), we now have such numbers.

Read it and weep serfs:

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“Stop Thanking Me for My Service” – Former U.S. Army Ranger Blasts American Foreign Policy and The Corporate State

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 11.15.28 AMStarbucks Chairman Howard Schultz has said of the upcoming Concert for Valor:

“The post-9/11 years have brought us the longest period of sustained warfare in our nation’s history. The less than one percent of Americans who volunteered to serve during this time have afforded the rest of us remarkable freedoms — but that freedom comes with a responsibility to understand their sacrifice, to honor them, and to appreciate the skills and experience they offer when they return home.”

It was crafty of Schultz to redirect that famed 1% label from the ultra rich, represented by CEOs like him, onto our “heroes.” At the concert, I hope Schultz has a chance to get more specific about those “remarkable freedoms.” Will he mention that the U.S. has the highest per capita prison population on the planet?  Does he include among those remarkable freedoms the guarantee that dogs, Tasers, tear gas, and riot police will be sent after you if you stay out past dark protesting the killing of an unarmed Black teenager by a representative of this country’s increasingly militarized police? Will the freedom to be too big to fail and so to have the right to melt down the economy and walk away without going to prison — as Jamie Dimon, the CEO of Chase, did – be mentioned? Do these remarkable freedoms include having every American phone call and email recorded and stored away by the NSA?

– From the incredible letter by Former U.S. Army Ranger Rory Fanning: Stop Thanking Me for My Service

I have to admit, whenever I find myself in the midst of a large public gathering (which fortunately isn’t that often), and the token veteran or two is called out in front of the masses to “honor” I immediately begin to cringe as a result of a massive internal conflict. On the one hand, I recognize that the veteran(s) being honored is most likely a decent human being. Either poor or extraordinarily brainwashed, the man or woman paraded in front of the crowd is nothing more than a pawn. Even if their spouse hasn’t left them; even if whatever conflict they were involved in didn’t result in a permanent disability or post traumatic stress disorder, this person has been used and abused, and thirty seconds of cheering in between ravenous bites out of a footlong hotdog from a drunk and apathetic crowd isn’t going to change that. I don’t harbor negative sentiments toward the veteran.

On the other hand, the entire spectacle makes me sick. I refuse to participate in the superficial charade for many reasons, but the primary one is that I don’t want to play any part in the crowd’s insatiable imbecility. It’s the stupidity and ignorance of the masses that the corporate-state preys upon, and that’s precisely what’s on full display at these tired and phony imperialist celebrations.

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Saudi Arabia Sentences 3 Lawyers to Jail for Tweets

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 6.06.00 PMSaudi Arabia’s fear of the viral free-speech platform Twitter has been well documented as of late. I first highlighted it last year in the post, Saudi Religious Police Chief Goes on the Attack…Against Twitter, in which I noted:

You know something isn’t right in your country when you have a “religious police force.”  You know something is really, really not right in your country when the head of that religious police force starts condemning twitter and saying its users will go to hell as a consequence.  Talk about pathetic.  Just more strange and panicked behavior from the Saudi government.  From the BBC:

The head of Saudi Arabia’s religious police has warned citizens against using Twitter, which is rising in popularity among Saudis.

Sheikh Abdul Latif Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh said anyone using social media sites – and especially Twitter – “has lost this world and his afterlife”.

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FBI Raids Federal Contractor’s Home – Has the Government Identified the “Second Leaker”?

Anyone who has been following Edward Snowden’s heroic whistleblowing, and the reporting of Glenn Greenwald on the classified documents that prove egregious violations of the United States Constitution by the NSA, will also be aware of speculation that a “second leaker” had emerged earlier this year. It appears this person may have been identified by the FBI.

Yahoo News’ Michael Isikoff reports that:

The FBI has identified an employee of a federal contracting firm suspected of being the so-called “second leaker” who turned over sensitive documents about the U.S. government’s terrorist watch list to a journalist closely associated with ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden, according to law enforcement and intelligence sources who have been briefed on the case.

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