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Demeter

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Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Sep 25, 2003, 01:04 PM
Number of posts: 85,373

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Assange Labeled an ‘Enemy’ of the US in Secret Pentagon Documents By Dave Lindorff

http://www.nationofchange.org/assange-labeled-enemy-us-secret-pentagon-documents-1349530607

An investigative arm of the Pentagon has termed Wikileaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange, currently holed up and claiming asylum in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London for fear he will be deported to Sweden and thence to the US, and his organization, both “enemies” of the United States.

The Age newspaper in Melbourne Australia is reporting that documents obtained through the US Freedom of Information Act from the Pentagon disclose that an investigation by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, a counter-intelligence unit, of a military cyber systems analyst based in Britain who had reportedly expressed support for Wikileaks and had attended a demonstration in support of Assange, refers to the analyst as having been “communicating with the enemy, D-104.” The D-104 classification refers to an article of the US Uniform Military Code of Military Justice which prohibits military personnel from “communicating, corresponding or holding intercourse with the enemy.” This is pretty dangerous language, referring to an Australian citizen who many consider to be no more than a working journalist who has been receiving information leaked by whistleblowers and disseminating that information to the public. As David Cole, a civil liberties attorney in the US associated with the Center for Constitutional Rights, notes, “The US military is not at war with Wikileaks or with Julian Assange.”

Certainly if a member of the US military were to go to a news organization like the New York Times -- or the Melbourne Age for that matter -- and leak some kind of damaging secret information exposing US military war crimes, it is hard to believe that the military would call that “communicating with the enemy” (though reportedly the Bush/Cheney administration considered, but then dropped the idea of bringing espionage charges against Times reporter James Risen for publishing in his book secret information about the government’s bungled effort to pass faulty A-bomb fuse technology to the Iranians). In any case, a military leaker could easily be charged under the military code with offenses like revealing national security secrets or some other serious charge, which would not involve charging any media organization that received the information. The decision by the Pentagon to instead use the D-104 code to classify Assange as an “enemy” in this context is dangerous because since 9-11-2001, the US government, with the general consent of the courts, has been treating “enemies” of the state in some very frightening extra-judicial ways. Enemies of the US these days can be summarily arrested and carted away to black-site prisons or to a place like Guantanamo without even a requirement that any notice be given to friends or relatives. They can be locked up indefinitely and denied access to a lawyer. They can even be subjected to what is euphemistically called “enhanced interrogation,” which most people, and which international law, call torture, as was done to Private Bradley Manning, charged with providing hundreds of thousands of pages of secret documents to Wikileaks.

SEE LINK FOR the page from the Pentagon file that labels Assange and Wikileaks as "enemies" of the US...News that Assange was labeled an “enemy” by the US (important information that has not been reported in any of the corporate US media), casts in a darker light rumors in the US and Australia that the US has already obtained a secret sealed indictment of Assange, and that it is trying to engineer his deportation from Britain to Sweden, where he is wanted by prosecutors for questioning concerning two controversial complaints of sexual assault, so that he can be then more easily extradited to the US...Many observers believe that the long captivity, including torture, and the delayed military prosecution of Pvt. Manning, all widely condemned including by the United Nations reporteur on human rights, is aimed at trying to coerce him into trying to cut a deal for a reduced sentence by fingering Assange as having lured or bribed him into revealing secret military documents -- something Assange denies, and which Manning has refused to do. Word that the US government, or at least the Pentagon, is considering Assange and his organization to be “enemies” of the US would appear to make his fear of extradition to Sweden, as well as the British authorities’ zeal to arrest him and hand him over to Swedish authorities, all the more justified...MORE

QE Infinity: What Is It Really About?

http://truth-out.org/news/item/11897-qe-infinity-what-is-it-really-about

The banks will get off the hook again and bite the taxpayer hand that feeds them. Congress should nationalize the Fed, the banks, or both, if they don't start sharing the wealth.

QE3, the Federal Reserve's third round of quantitative easing, is so open-ended that it is being called QE Infinity. Doubts about its effectiveness are surfacing even on Wall Street, as The Financial Times reports: "Among the trading rooms and floors of Connecticut and Mayfair [in London], supposedly sophisticated money managers are raising big questions about QE3 - and whether, this time around, the Fed is not risking more than it can deliver."

Which raises the question, what is it intended to deliver? As suggested in an earlier article, QE3 is not likely to reduce unemployment, put money in the pockets of consumers, reflate the money supply or significantly lower interest rates for homeowners, as alleged. It will not achieve those things because it consists of no more than an asset swap on bank balance sheets. It will not get dollars to businesses or consumers on Main Street.

So, what is the real purpose of this exercise? Catherine Austin Fitts recently posted a revealing article on that enigma. She says the true goal of QE Infinity is to unwind the toxic mortgage debacle, in a way that won't bankrupt pensioners or start another war:

AND IF THAT'S THE GOAL, IT WILL BE A CATASTROPHIC FAILURE.

MORE AT LINK

7 Reasons America's Mental Health Industry Is a Threat to Our Sanity

http://www.alternet.org/story/153634/7_reasons_america%27s_mental_health_industry_is_a_threat_to_our_sanity/?page=entire

...The majority of psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals “go along to get along” and maintain a status quo that includes drug company corruption, pseudoscientific research and a “standard of care” that is routinely damaging and occasionally kills young children. If that sounds hyperbolic, then you probably have not heard of Rebecca Riley, and how the highest levels of psychiatry described her treatment as “appropriate and within responsible professional standards.”

When Rebecca Riley was 28 months old, based primarily on the complaints of her mother that she was “hyper” and had difficulty sleeping, psychiatrist Kayoko Kifuji, at the Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, diagnosed Rebecca with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Kifuji prescribed clonidine, a hypertensive drug with significant sedating properties, a drug Kifuji also prescribed to Rebecca’s older sister and brother. The goal of the Riley parents—obvious to many in their community and later to juries—was to attain psychiatric diagnoses for their children that would qualify them for disability payments and to sedate their children making them easy to manage.

By the time Rebecca was three years old, again based mainly on parental complaints, Kifuji had given Rebecca an additional diagnosis of bipolar disorder and prescribed two additional heavily sedating drugs, the antipsychotic Seroquel and the anticonvulsant Depakote.

At the age of four, Rebecca was dead....

Why Are Americans So Easy to Manipulate? By Bruce E Levine

http://truth-out.org/news/item/12102-why-are-americans-so-easy-to-manipulate

What a fascinating thing! Total control of a living organism! — psychologist B.F. Skinner


The corporatization of society requires a population that accepts control by authorities, and so when psychologists and psychiatrists began providing techniques that could control people, the corporatocracy embraced mental health professionals...In psychologist B.F. Skinner’s best-selling book Beyond Freedom and Dignity (1971), he argued that freedom and dignity are illusions that hinder the science of behavior modification, which he claimed could create a better-organized and happier society. During the height of Skinner’s fame in the 1970s, it was obvious to anti-authoritarians such as Noam Chomsky (“The Case Against B.F. Skinner”) and Lewis Mumord that Skinner’s worldview—a society ruled by benevolent control freaks—was antithetical to democracy. In Skinner’s novel Walden Two (1948), his behaviorist hero states, “We do not take history seriously,” to which Lewis Mumford retorted, “And no wonder: if man knew no history, the Skinners would govern the world, as Skinner himself has modestly proposed in his behaviorist utopia.”

As a psychology student during that era, I remember being embarrassed by the silence of most psychologists about the political ramifications of Skinner and behavior modification...In the mid-1970s, as an intern on a locked ward in a state psychiatric hospital, I first experienced one of behavior modification’s staple techniques, the “token economy.” And that’s where I also discovered that anti-authoritarians try their best to resist behavior modification. George was a severely depressed anti-authoritarian who refused to talk to staff, but for some reason, chose me to shoot pool with. My boss, a clinical psychologist, spotted my interaction with George, and told me that I should give him a token—a cigarette—to reward his “prosocial behavior.” I fought it, trying to explain that I was 20 and George was 50, and this would be humiliating. But my boss subtly threatened to kick me off the ward. So, I asked George what I should do.George, fighting the zombifying effects of his heavy medication, grinned and said, “We'll win. Let me have the cigarette.” In full view of staff, George took the cigarette and then placed it into the shirt pocket of another patient, and then looked at the staff shaking his head in contempt.

Unlike Skinner, George was not “beyond freedom and dignity.” Anti-authoritarians such as George—who don’t take seriously the rewards and punishments of control-freak authorities—deprive authoritarian ideologies such as behavior modification from total domination....How, in a democratic society, do children become ethical and caring adults? They need a history of being cared about, taken seriously, and respected, which they can model and reciprocate.

Today, the mental health profession has gone beyond behavioral technologies of control. It now diagnoses noncompliant toddlers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and pediatric bipolar disorder and attempts to control them with heavily sedating drugs. While Big Pharma directly profits from drug prescribing, the entire corporatocracy benefits from the mental health profession’s legitimization of conditioning and controlling.


MORE AT LINK

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Bruce E. Levine is a clinical psychologist and author of "Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite" (Chelsea Green, April 2011). His web site is www.brucelevine.net.

Weekend Economists Walk the Sunny Side of Sesame St., October 12-14, 2012



Here's a rare glimpse of two endangered species: Big Bird and our Kids.

Big Bird's been taking a public beating in the election process on TV and radio: the GOP candidates want to ax him for a deficit feast. Fortunately, Bird's got lots of friends, besides the kids he's seen with and by....like their parents, who were raised on Sesame Street, and their grandparents, who aren't too old to not have seen it, too. I myself remember coming home from high school to listen to Kermit sing:

&feature=related

and of course, there are the spinoffs: a TV variety show and films galore:

&feature=related



In fact, you'd have to be raised in a cult or a gated community to be totally unaware of the influence the Muppets and their Big Bird have had on three or more generations of children around the world....

Which would explain a lot, wouldn't it?

Post what you have...on birds, bees, fleas, and goldbugs....

The Weekend Economists Star in J.B. (job, Job, get it?) October 5-7, 2012



So, the big story (or rather, the Big Spin) is the hot-off-the-Internet jobs report.

Is it real or is it Memorex? Or cooked like a Christmas pudding?

(We all know it's cooked. We just cannot admit it to the Other Side, who would be doing the cooking if their continued grasp on the levers of power depended on it. We may not know how or where, but it's cooked. You can bank on it. It's so damn unsubtle, too. Rather like what W would do, every time he spoke with that patented sincerity which signaled that he was lying through his teeth. If you are going to fake the statistics, do it sooner than one month before the election! Give the People some credit for smarts. Even better, get off the pot and DO SOMETHING THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE!--Demeter)

JB, a play in free verse by Archibald MacLeish, tells the story of a twentieth-century American banker-millionaire whom God commands be stripped of his family and his wealth but who refuses to turn his back on God. MacLeish wondered how modern people could retain hope and keep on living with all the suffering in the world and offered this play as an answer. J. B. learns that there is no justice in the world, that happiness and suffering are not deserved, and that people can still choose to love each other and live.

MacLeish had been earning his living as a poet for fifty years before this, his third verse play, was published. Shortly after the publication of the book, the play was produced on Broadway and underwent substantial revisions. There are, therefore, two versions of the play available for readers: the original book published by Houghton Mifflin and the acting script available from Samuel French. Both were published in 1958, and neither has ever gone out of print. J.B. won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1959 (MacLeish's third Pulitzer), as well as the Tony Award for best play. More important, the play sparked a national conversation about the nature of God, the nature of hope, and the role of the artist in society.

J. B. Summary

Prologue

The first characters to appear on stage in J. B. are Mr. Zuss and Nickles, a balloon seller and a popcorn seller in a run-down circus. They approach and then mount a sideshow stage in the corner of a circus tent to play out the story of Job from the Bible, with the stage as Heaven, the ground as Earth, and the lights as the stars. Zuss (whose name sounds like "Zeus,'' the god of Greek mythology) will play God. From the beginning, he is as arrogant as one might expect a man who believes he is right for the role to be, and he is indignant at the idea that Job would dare to demand justice.

Nickles, on the other hand, understands Job's suffering and does not accept that God would cause that suffering just to prove his authority and power. Nickles sings a song that includes the play's central paradox: "If God is God He is not good, / If God is good, He is not God.’’ Nickles, whose name is a variation of "Old Nick,'' a slang term for the devil, will play Satan. As the two men point out, there is always someone to play Job...

http://www.enotes.com/j-b


So, the play's the thing wherein we'll catch the conscience of the King...

Post what you got.





Zeitgeist Failure By James Howard Kunstler

http://kunstler.com/blog/2012/09/zeitgeist-failure.html

In an age of gross zeitgeist dysfunction -- when untruth, delusion, and deception rule - politics is mere advertising, which is to say surface shimmer playing on the public's wish-fulfillment fantasies. The trouble at this moment in history is that the American public's wishful fantasies are inconsistent with the circumstances that reality offers to us and the choices for action that they present.

President Obama's historical role will be seen as a wish-fulfillment totem for late 20th century progressive liberalism - the first black president. The Democratic Party apotheosized the genial young lawyer with his appealing family in order to demonstrate the triumph of social justice, which was their great struggle of the era. Evidence of that is the striking divergence from the get-go between Mr. Obama's Hope and Change advertising and his sedulous defense of pervasive racketeering at the highest levels of polity once in office. Otherwise, you must decide whether he was a tool of the giant banks, or a dupe-made-hostage to them, or simply too clueless to understand what was required in 2009 - namely the break-up and reorganization of the banks plus hearty prosecution of their executives for massive swindling (along with reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act). I voted for him in 2008, by the way, since the wish-fulfillment motif moved me, and also because of the horrifying McCain-Palin opposition.

In office, then, Mr. Obama quickly proved to be a different breed of porpoise than the voters bargained for. He let the Wall Street privateers run amuck another four years, aided with colossal infusions of conjured-out-of-nothing "money" from the Federal Reserve. He let loose the demons of a high-tech totalitarian "security" state with every sort of electronic surveillance, citizen data-mining, and drone spying that innovation allowed. He stood silent like a Banana Republic store mannequin after the supreme court decided that corporations could buy elections (he could have pushed loudly for legislation or even a constitutional amendment to redefine corporate "personhood". And of course, he continued to prosecute the absurd war in Afghanistan where, after nine years, US forces are unable to accomplish the only aims of being there: to control the terrain and to moderate the behavior of the people who live there.

Hence, the appalling spectacle of the Democratic convention last week, with its odor of ideological bankruptcy, stale rhetoric, and empty promises. The party seeks only validation of its cherished fantasy: the social justice of reelecting the first black president. And all it really has to offer is cheerleading to that end - with some social justice table-scraps tossed to the lesser totems of social justice politics: women, assorted ethnic minorities, and gays...There's a fair chance that global finance (and trade) will blow up this season leading to the US elections. The nations of Europe are stuck in an intractable predicament. The European Union can't control the fiscal operations (taxing and spending) of its sovereign members, and it only pretends to be able to lend them the money to cover the interest payments on their previous loans. That shuck-and-jive is now headed for a climax. But the situation is not materially different in the USA and Japan. In one way or another, they are bankrupt, too, as are probably most of their commercial banks. China's banks are certainly a fiasco, since they are government-run, with no independent accounting oversight whatsoever. China does have a big cushion of US Treasury holdings, huge stockpiles of industrial metals and cement, and many new tons of recently-acquired gold. But they are also hostage to the bankrupt West's lost appetite for "consumer" goods, and tens of millions of laid-off Chinese factory workers could foment political upheaval in a delicate time of regime transition coming later this year....The antics of the ECB, the US Federal Reserve, and all the other central banks in conjuring ever more money-out-of-nothing draws us toward that event horizon where faith is lost in a faith-based money system. The only question really is whether wealth destruction (deleveraging, debt default) out-paces currency destruction (inflation). My own guess continues to be that wealth destruction wins that contest, with massive unpayable debt sucked into a black hole, and then all the advanced industrial nations waking up one oddly warm morning to find their standards of living destroyed. MORE

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Mr. Kunstler was born in New York City in 1948. He graduated from the State University of New York, Brockport campus, worked as a reporter and feature writer for a number of newspapers, and finally as a staff writer for Rolling Stone Magazine. He has lectured at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth, Cornell, MIT, RPI, the University of Virginia and many other colleges, and he has appeared before many professional organizations such as the AIA , the APA., and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He lives in Saratoga Springs in upstate New York.

Why Let the Rich Hoard All the Toys? By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

TOYS? TOYS!!!

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/04/opinion/kristof-why-let-the-rich-hoard-all-the-toys.html?_r=0

Imagine a kindergarten with 100 students, lavishly supplied with books, crayons and toys. Yet you gasp: one avaricious little boy is jealously guarding a mountain of toys for himself. A handful of other children are quietly playing with a few toys each, while 90 of the children are looking on forlornly — empty-handed. The one greedy boy has hoarded more toys than all those 90 children put together!

“What’s going on?” you ask. “Let’s learn to share! One child shouldn’t hog everything for himself!”

The greedy little boy looks at you, indignant. “Do you believe in redistribution?” he asks suspiciously, his lips curling in contempt. “I don’t want to share. This is America!”


And then he summons his private security firm and has you dragged off the premises. Well, maybe not, but you get the point. That kindergarten distribution is precisely what America looks like. Our wealth has become so skewed that the top 1 percent possesses a greater collective worth than the entire bottom 90 percent, according to the Economic Policy Institute in Washington. This inequality is a central challenge for the United States today and should be getting far more attention in this presidential campaign. A few snapshots:

• The six heirs of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, own as much wealth as the bottom 100 million Americans.

• In 2010, 93 percent of the gain in national income went to the top 1 percent.

• America’s Gini coefficient, the classic measure of inequality, set a modern record last month — the highest since the Great Depression.

This dismal ground is explored in an important and smart new book, “The Price of Inequality,” by Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel laureate who was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton. It’s a searing read.

“We are paying a high price for our inequality — an economic sys
tem that is less stable and less efficient, with less growth,” Stiglitz warns.



As I see it, the best way to create a more equitable society wouldn’t be Robin Hood-style redistribution, but a focus on inner-city and rural education — including early childhood programs — and job training. That approach would expand opportunity, even up the starting line, and chip away at cycles of poverty. If the cost means forcing tycoons to pay modestly higher taxes, so be it. The economy wouldn’t suffer. After all, the United States enjoyed strong growth in the 1950s when we were a more egalitarian country, even though the top income tax rate in that decade was always more than 90 percent. Indeed, it was only in 1987 that the top income tax rate dropped below 50 percent in the United States. So the 15 percent rate that some tycoons pay because of the carried interest loophole is a recent, er, entitlement...

TOYS?

WHAT ABOUT FOOD? AND WTF WILL EDUCATION DO FOR KIDS WITH NO JOBS AND NO FUNCTIONAL PARENTS AND NO INCOME FOR DAILY LIVING?

NO, NICK. IT'S TOO LATE TO GO BACK TO THE 50'S. WE ARE GOING TO GO BACK TO 1917. OR FURTHER.

AND BOY, HAVE I FOUND A TOPIC FOR THE WEEKEND!

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