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Lodestar

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Member since: Sat Nov 16, 2013, 02:56 PM
Number of posts: 249

Journal Archives

The economic anarchy of capitalist society... is the real source of evil


The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil.... Private capital tends to be concentrated in few hands... (resulting in) an oligarchy of private capital, the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists....

The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interest of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover... private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult and indeed in most cases quite impossible for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.

The crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as preparation for his future career.
--- Albert Einstein 1949



"The profit motive, in conjunction with competition among capitalists…leads to a huge waste of labor, and to that crippling of the social consciousness of individuals which I mentioned before.
This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career.
I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals.…The education of the individual, in addition to promoting his own innate abilities, would attempt to develop in him a sense of responsibility for his fellow-men in place of the glorification of power and success in our present society.”
–Albert Einstein, “Why Socialism?” The Monthly Review, May 1949



http://monthlyreview.org/2009/05/01/why-socialism


.................................................And other quotes on capitalism: ..................................................



“A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. ... A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, "This is not just." It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, "This is not just." The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.



One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”
― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark


“The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.”
― Thomas Jefferson


“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”
― Edward Abbey, The Journey Home: Some Words in Defense of the American West



http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/capitalism


Bigfoot In Mouth




The vast bulk of the commentary issuing from American commentators about the Russian military action in Ukraine involves condemning exactly that which they routinely advocate and which the U.S. itself routinely does. So suffocating is the resulting stench that those who played leading roles in selling the public the attack on Iraq and who are still unrepentant about it, such as David “Axis of Evil/The Right Man” Frum, have actually become the leading media voices condemning Russia on the ground that it is wrong to invade sovereign countries; Frum thus has no trouble saying things like this with an apparently straight face: “If Russia acts the outlaw nation, can it be expected to be treated as anything but an outlaw?”

Enthusiastic supporters of a wide range of other U.S. interventions in sovereign states, both past and present and in and out of government, are equally righteous in their newfound contempt for invasions – when done by Russia. Secretary of State John Kerry – who stood on the Senate floor in 2002 and voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq because “Saddam Hussein sitting in Baghdad with an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction” and there is “little doubt that Saddam Hussein wants to retain his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction” – told Face the Nation on Sunday: “You just don’t in the 21st Century behave in 19th Century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped-up pretext.” The supremely sycophantic Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer – as he demanded to know how Russia would be punished – never once bothered Kerry (or his other Iraq-war-advocating guests, including Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Washington Post columnist David Ignatius) by asking about any of that unpleasantness (is it hard at all for you to sermonize against invasions of sovereign countries given, you know, how often you yourself support them?)

American invasions and occupations of nations halfway around the world are perfectly noble, but Russian interference in a part of a country right on its border is the supreme act of lawless, imperial aggression. Few things are worse than watching America’s militarists, invasion-and-occupying-justifiers, regime-change enthusiasts, drone-lovers, and supporters of its various “kinetic military actions” self-righteously wrap themselves in the banner of non-intervention, international law and respect for sovereignty. Does anyone take those denunciations seriously outside of the class of western elites who disseminate them?

MORE - https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/03/04/rt-host-abby-martin-condemns-russian-incursion-crimea-rt/

The White House Has Been Covering Up the Presidency’s Role in Torture for Years

Excerpts:

The Obama White House has covered up the Bush presidency’s role in the torture program for years. Specifically, from 2009 to 2012, the administration went to extraordinary lengths to keep a single short phrase, describing President Bush’s authorization of the torture program, secret.

//

The White House’s fight to keep the short phrase describing Bush’s authorization of the torture program hidden speaks to its apparent ambivalence over the torture program. Even after President Obama released the DOJ memos authorizing torture – along with a damning CIA Inspector General Report and a wide range of documents revealing bureaucratic discussions within the CIA about torture – the White House still fought the release of the phrase that would have made it clear that the CIA conducted this torture at the order of the president. And it did so with a classified declaration from Jones that would have remained secret had Judge Hellerstein not insisted it be made public.

MORE _ https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/03/13/president-obama-covering-presidencys-role-torture-4-years/

Bigfoot riding a unicorn....hehehe

U.S. Risks National Blackout From Small-Scale Attack

Federal Analysis Says Sabotage of Nine Key Substations Is Sufficient for Broad Outage

By REBECCA SMITH CONNECT
March 12, 2014 7:03 p.m. ET
The U.S. could suffer a coast-to-coast blackout if saboteurs knocked out just nine of the country's 55,000 electric-transmission substations on a scorching summer day, according to a previously unreported federal analysis.

The study by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concluded that coordinated attacks in each of the nation's three separate electric systems could cause the entire power network to collapse, people familiar...

(Wall Street Journal subscription required)


-----------

The nation's entire power grid could be blacked out for months if as few as nine of the nation's 55,000 electric substations were put out of commission by saboteurs, The Wall Street Journal writes, citing a "previously unreported" study by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The Journal's report follows accounts of what happened last April at a power station near San Jose, Calif.

As we reported here and here, snipers apparently fired at the station's transformers. Seventeen of the transformers were knocked out by the shots. Officials avoided a local blackout by rerouting power around the site. No one has been arrested in connection with the incident.

That attack led former FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff to tell NPR and other news outlets that there's a dangerous lack of security around key parts of the nation's power grid. He called for "mitigation measures," including the placement of concrete barriers in front of transformers so that they can't be shot at from outside power stations.

Now, there's word from the Journal that the FERC study concludes "that coordinated attacks in each of the nation's three separate electric systems could cause the entire power network to collapse, people familiar with the research said." Such attacks would be especially damaging if they came on a day when the power grid is already under stress — such as a hot summer day when demand for air conditioning is especially high.

more- http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/03/13/289779344/report-small-scale-attacks-could-cause-national-blackout

China's top envoy to Germany has warned the West against punishing Russia with sanctions

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - China's top envoy to Germany has warned the West against punishing Russia with sanctions for its intervention in Ukraine, saying such measures could lead to a dangerous chain reaction that would be difficult to control.

In an interview with Reuters days before the European Union is threatening to impose its first sanctions on Russia since the Cold War, ambassador Shi Mingde issued the strongest warning against such measures by any top Chinese official to date.

"We don't see any point in sanctions," Shi said. "Sanctions could lead to retaliatory action, and that would trigger a spiral with unforeseeable consequences. We don't want this."

-- MORE


Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/13/us-ukraine-crisis-china-idUSBREA2C0PB20140313

China warns of dangerous Russia sanctions 'spiral'

(Reuters) - China's top envoy to Germany has warned the West against punishing Russia with sanctions for its intervention in Ukraine, saying such measures could lead to a dangerous chain reaction that would be difficult to control.

In an interview with Reuters days before the European Union is threatening to impose its first sanctions on Russia since the Cold War, ambassador Shi Mingde issued the strongest warning against such measures by any top Chinese official to date.

"We don't see any point in sanctions," Shi said. "Sanctions could lead to retaliatory action, and that would trigger a spiral with unforeseeable consequences. We don't want this."

--

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who will visit Berlin and other European capitals later this month, held separate phone calls on the Ukraine crisis with Merkel and U.S. President Barack Obama earlier this week.

--

Before coming to Berlin, Xi is due to attend a nuclear security summit in the Netherlands which Obama, Merkel and dozens of other world leaders will attend. He is also due to visit Paris and Brussels.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/13/us-ukraine-crisis-china-idUSBREA2C0PB20140313

Ex-Goldman Sachs Fraudster Fabrice Tourre to Teach Economics at University of Chicago

Source: International Business Times

The former Goldman Sachs vice-president Fabrice Tourre, who was convicted on six counts of securities fraud six months ago, has landed a new job as an economics teacher at a prestigious university in the US.

Tourre, also known as "Fabulous Fab," will teach a class called 'Elements of Economic Analysis' on Thursday afternoons, followed by a discussion on Monday.

His teaching stint will be part of his pursuit of a doctorate at the university.

Last month, Tourre failed to persuade US District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan to dismiss the case or go for a new trial, as part of his appeal against charges that he defrauded investors in a sub-prime mortgage investment deal five years ago.

He claimed that his conduct did not amount to fraud and there was not enough evidence to support defrauding charges. He also argued that Forrest had instructed jurors incorrectly on the law.

"None of these arguments has merit," the judge said.

Read more: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/ex-goldman-sachs-fraudster-fabrice-tourre-teach-economics-university-chicago-1438212



Teach your children well.

Rome on the Brink as Detroit-Style Bankruptcy Meltdown Looms

Source: International Business Times

Italy's historic capital is on the brink of bankruptcy as its mayor plans to plead for a bailout from the national government.

Mayor Ignazio Marino told the Wall Street Journal that he is in daily discussions with Italy's national government.

But he stressed the parties "just needed to identify the right amount of money the government should give to Rome".

Read more: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/rome-brink-detroit-style-bankruptcy-meltdown-looms-1438218



The Fall of Rome II

Drones Strikes: European Parliament Condemns Murder of Civilians

Source: International Business Times

The European Parliament condemned the US covert drone strikes that have killed thousands of civilians in countries such as Pakistan and Yemen, legal charity Reprieve reported.

534 out of 583 MEPs voted in favour of a resolution which demands that EU Member States "do not perpetrate unlawful targeted killings or facilitate such killings by other states", and calling on them to "oppose and ban practices of extra judicial targeted killings."

Read more: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/drones-strikes-european-parliament-condemns-murder-civilians-1438196
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