Radical media, politics and culture.

The State

The Circle of Greed: Who Wants to be a Congressman?

Mark Faulk, The Faulking Truth


Call it what you want. Naked short selling. StockGate. Fail to delivers. Stock counterfeiting. Financial terrorism. By any other name, it’s still the same thing. Fraud. Millions of Americans being robbed by hedge funds and multi-millionaires utilizing loopholes built into our stock market system.


This is no longer news. No one in Congress can claim plausible deniability, no one in the SEC can say that is doesn’t exist. The White House, and even President Bush himself, can on longer claim ignorance when it comes to the financial raping of our country that has driven thousands of young companies into bankruptcy and ruin, the same companies that our economy depends on to provide the jobs of the future, the same companies that we depend on to keep our workers and our money right here in America. Even the media, who, controlled by the brokerage firms, investment banking companies, and New York Stock Exchange representatives who sit on their Boards of Directors, until recently has either turned a blind eye to this massive scandal or actually seemed to side with the criminals, has begun to realize that this is an issue that, to borrow a line from Dylan Thomas, will “not go quietly into that good night”.


How long have our country’s elected officials known about stock counterfeiting, how long have they turned a blind eye while countless retirement accounts, college funds, and small businesses have been bled dry by an industry that seems to care only about its own, and by “its own” I don’t mean the millions of investors who they are pledged to protect and represent, I mean the chosen few who have a large enough net worth to buy influence and control, and the industry itself, who profits to the tune of billions of dollars a year from buying and selling shares of stock that don’t exist?

Anonymous Comrade writes:

"A Fistful of Contractors"
Security Companies Doing Business in Iraq
David Isenberg, Basic Research Report

The below list does not claim to be comprehensive; rather it is intended to be illustrative in order to show the wide range of shapes and sizes that PMCs come in and the scope of activities they perform.

Some have been around for decades; others are newly created subsidiaries of other firms. Some have contracts directly with the CPA or the Army, other U.S. governmental agencies, or as subcontractors working for contractors, working for a government agency. Others work as subcontractors to primarily civilian contractors such as Halliburton, Fluor, GE, Parsons et cetera. Still others work for the media or various nongovernmental organizations.

Some individuals and small teams have simply incorporated a company and offer their services through it. They are not necessarily looking for client contracts, although they might get lucky enough to get one, but are looking to be employed by the established firms, although the employment contract would be written with their company, not themselves as individuals.

Pure Law and Bare Life in CIA Prisons

Adam Roark

In November 2005, leaked top-secret information revealed the existence of a global network of secret CIA prisons wherein prisoners are held and processed “without judicial involvement” (Associated Press). Identified as ‘detainees’ or ‘enemy combatants,’ these prisoners are held without designation as citizens, who are subjects of constitutional rights and law, but rather as suspected terrorists who cannot be managed in a constitutional manner. While initially it appeared that the revelation of the CIA prison network would become the grounds for partisan fighting in the US, instead, the Washington Post reports “the CIA and the White House, citing national security concerns and the value of the program, have dissuaded Congress from demanding that the agency answer questions in open testimony about the conditions under which captives are held”. The aftermath of the media exposure of the prisons reveals that the creation, execution, and disappearance of the prison network demonstrate Agamben’s thesis of a ‘permanent state of exception’ and the emergence of pure law.

Adam Roark writes


Pure Law and Bare Life in CIA Prisons


In November 2005, leaked top-secret information revealed the existence of a global network of secret CIA prisons wherein prisoners are held and processed “without judicial involvement” (Associated Press). Identified as ‘detainees’ or ‘enemy combatants,’ these prisoners are held without designation as citizens, who are subjects of constitutional rights and law, but rather as suspected terrorists who cannot be managed in a constitutional manner. While initially it appeared that the revelation of the CIA prison network would become the grounds for partisan fighting in the US, instead, the Washington Post reports “the CIA and the White House, citing national security concerns and the value of the program, have dissuaded Congress from demanding that the agency answer questions in open testimony about the conditions under which captives are held”. The aftermath of the media exposure of the prisons reveals that the creation, execution, and disappearance of the prison network demonstrate Agamben’s thesis of a ‘permanent state of exception’ and the emergence of pure law.

       

Danilo D'Antonio writes:

"GNP Against GNP"

Danilo D'Antonio

Kind Madames and Sirs,

I present you my best and warmest regards.

I'm writing in order to humbly ask you to address your attention on the fact that today the economic systems of the developed Countries have a strongly military valence, of defense and attack, that predominates and misleads a correct economic function, directed to satisfy the legitimate necessities of a people in a perfect interaction with the rest of the world.

I humbly ask you to consider the fact that the growth of the Gross National Product (GNP) is today the only way officially granted to a Nation (after that the wars between greater States have become impossible because of the advent of the nuclear armaments) in order to maintain within balanced levels the pressure, equally economic, that every other Country turns against it.

By pursuing the increase of the GNP, governments try not so much to satisfy real inner economic requirements, they try instead to avoid the real danger of an invasion, may be at first even only commercial, and of a successive total oppression of one's own Country by whichever other Country that was reached to successfully grow much more. It is a concrete danger, extremely present, that comes as well from the West as from the East, that perfectly explains why the governments stubbornly continue to pursue a growth of traditional kind, numerical and not qualitative, very beyond the limit that would be opportune.

Danilo D'Antonio writes:

"GNP Against GNP

Danilo D'Antonio

Kind Madames and Sirs,

I present you my best and warmest regards.

I'm writing in order to humbly ask you to address your attention on the fact that today the economic systems of the developed Countries have a strongly military valence, of defense and attack, that predominates and misleads a correct economic function, directed to satisfy the legitimate necessities of a people in a perfect interaction with the rest of the world.

I humbly ask you to consider the fact that the growth of the Gross National Product (GNP) is today the only way officially granted to a Nation (after that the wars between greater States have become impossible because of the advent of the nuclear armaments) in order to maintain within balanced levels the pressure, equally economic, that every other Country turns against it.

By pursuing the increase of the GNP, governments try not so much to satisfy real inner economic requirements, they try instead to avoid the real danger of an invasion, may be at first even only commercial, and of a successive total oppression of one's own Country by whichever other Country that was reached to successfully grow much more. It is a concrete danger, extremely present, that comes as well from the West as from the East, that perfectly explains why the governments stubbornly continue to pursue a growth of traditional kind, numerical and not qualitative, very beyond the limit that would be opportune.

Book Casts Doubt on Case for War

John Daniszewski, Los Angeles Times

LONDON — It was the end of January 2003. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell was five days away from giving a critical speech at the U.N. Security Council, laying out the case that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction and posed a danger to world peace.


But huddled with aides at the White House, President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair were not sure there was enough evidence to convince the Security Council. Without the council's explicit authorization, their plans for an invasion to depose Saddam Hussein could be difficult to defend under international law.

Bill Templer writes

"The Hamas Breakthrough"

Bill Templer

This time, for the first time in my life, I

do feel a change in the air.... the

rebellion spirit of the Palestinian

resistance is a spirit people can empathise

with. You know why? Because the Palestinians

are in the forefront of the war against

evil. (Gilad Atzmon) [1]

A new era in the Palestinian liberation struggle is upon us. Rather than just a electoral repudiation of Fatah’s long years of corruption, mismanagement and collaboration with the Israeli plutocracy, the extraordinary success of Hamas at the polls comes from the gut, the depths of despair of an entire population. It is a powerful protest against the Occupation, a loud NO to persistent efforts by the Israeli military and political class to force Palestinian surrender and crush their national rights.

Police Officers Sue Over Police Surveillance of Their Protests

By JIM DWYER

from the New York Times

The demonstrators arrived angry, departed furious. The police had herded them into pens. Stopped them from handing out fliers. Threatened them with arrest for standing on public sidewalks. Made notes on which politicians they cheered and who they razzed.

Meanwhile, officers from a special unit videotaped their faces, evoking for one demonstrator the unblinking eye of George Orwell's "1984."

"That's Big Brother watching you," the demonstrator, Walter Liddy, said in a deposition.

Mr. Liddy's complaint about police tactics, while hardly novel from a big-city protester, stands out because of his job: He is a New York City police officer. The rallies he attended were organized in the summer of 2004 by his union, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, to protest the pace of contract talks with the city.

Now the officers, through their union, are suing the city, charging that the police procedures at their demonstrations . many of them routinely used at war protests, antipoverty marches and mass bike rides . were so heavy-handed and intimidating that their First Amendment rights were violated.

A lawyer for the city said the police union members were treated no differently than hundreds of thousands of people at other gatherings, with public safety and free speech both protected. The department observes all constitutional requirements, the city maintains.

The lawsuit by the police union brings a distinctive voice to the charged debate over how the city has monitored political protest since Sept. 11. The off-duty officers faced a "constant threat of arrest," Mr. Liddy testified, all but echoing the complaint by activists for other causes that the city has effectively "criminalized dissent."

Anonymous Comrade writes:

"God Bless Canada!"

John Chuckman

I hadn't realized until recently that Stephen Harper was using "God Bless Canada!" as a tagline for his speeches. Some may think this a harmless, or even beneficent, expression for a politician to use, but for those with knowledge of history, nothing could be a more frightening.


I do believe we all know to whom Harper is tipping his hat with these words. George Bush, author of two wars which have killed more than a hundred thousand innocent people and the champion of an ugly set of repressive laws in the United States, says "God Bless America!" every chance he gets.


Some might say Bush uses the line because he has nothing else to say, and I don't doubt this is part of the truth. But slogans of this kind are always used to protect dangerous people from criticism. The words are used also as code, a kind of insidious political wink, to bloodthirsty supporters, the Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell types. They say things that cannot be uttered in public.

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