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Octafish

Octafish's Journal
Octafish's Journal
June 7, 2016

Like rich people working toward the same goal together?

Conspiracy or Coincidence?

Often the term “conspiracy” is applied dismissively whenever one suggests that people who occupy positions of political and economic power are consciously dedicated to advancing their elite interests. Even when they openly profess their designs, there are those who deny that intent is involved. In 1994, the officers of the Federal Reserve announced they would pursue monetary policies designed to maintain a high level of unemployment in order to safeguard against “overheating” the economy. Like any creditor class, they preferred a deflationary course. When an acquaintance of mine mentioned this to friends, he was greeted skeptically, “Do you think the Fed bankers are deliberately trying to keep people unemployed?” In fact, not only did he think it, it was announced on the financial pages of the press. Still, his friends assumed he was imagining a conspiracy because he ascribed self-interested collusion to powerful people.

At a World Affairs Council meeting in San Francisco, I remarked to a participant that U.S. leaders were pushing hard for the reinstatement of capitalism in the former communist countries. He said, “Do you really think they carry it to that level of conscious intent?” I pointed out it was not a conjecture on my part. They have repeatedly announced their commitment to seeing that “free-market reforms” are introduced in Eastern Europe. Their economic aid is channeled almost exclusively into the private sector. The same policy holds for the monies intended for other countries. Thus, as of the end of 1995, “more than $4.5 million U.S. aid to Haiti has been put on hold because the Aristide government has failed to make progress on a program to privatize state-owned companies” (New York Times 11/25/95).

Those who suffer from conspiracy phobia are fond of saying: “Do you actually think there’s a group of people sitting around in a room plotting things?” For some reason that image is assumed to be so patently absurd as to invite only disclaimers. But where else would people of power get together – on park benches or carousels? Indeed, they meet in rooms: corporate boardrooms, Pentagon command rooms, at the Bohemian Grove, in the choice dining rooms at the best restaurants, resorts, hotels, and estates, in the many conference rooms at the White House, the NSA, the CIA, or wherever. And, yes, they consciously plot – though they call it “planning” and “strategizing” – and they do so in great secrecy, often resisting all efforts at public disclosure. No one confabulates and plans more than political and corporate elites and their hired specialists. To make the world safe for those who own it, politically active elements of the owning class have created a national security state that expends billions of dollars and enlists the efforts of vast numbers of people.

Yet there are individuals who ask with patronising, incredulous smiles, do you really think that the people at the top have secret agendas, are aware of their larger interests, and talk to each other about them? To which I respond, why would they not? This is not to say that every corporate and political elite is actively dedicated to working for the higher circles of power and property. Nor are they infallible or always correct in their assessments and tactics or always immediately aware of how their interests are being affected by new situations. But they are more attuned and more capable of advancing their vast interests than most other social groups.

The alternative is to believe that the powerful and the privileged are somnambulists, who move about oblivious to questions of power and privilege; that they always tell us the truth and have nothing to hide even when they hide so much; that although most of us ordinary people might consciously try to pursue our own interests, wealthy elites do not; that when those at the top employ force and violence around the world it is only for the laudable reasons they profess; that when they arm, train, and finance covert actions in numerous countries, and then fail to acknowledge their role in such deeds, it is because of oversight or forgetfulness or perhaps modesty; and that it is merely a coincidence how the policies of the national security state so consistently serve the interests of the transnational corporations and the capital-accumulation system throughout the world.

-- Michael Parenti, Dirty Truths (1996, City Lights Books)
June 7, 2016

It's the money.

"To get along, go along."

Money trumps peace for wars without end amen.

June 6, 2016

You write like a policeman. Instead of censoring, take an opportunity to learn...



Henry Kissinger, Hillary Clinton’s Tutor in War and Peace

Last night, Clinton once again praised a man with a lot of blood on his hands.


By Greg GrandinTwitterFEBRUARY 5, 2016

EXCERPT...

Let’s consider some of Kissinger’s achievements during his tenure as Richard Nixon’s top foreign policy–maker. He (1) prolonged the Vietnam War for five pointless years; (2) illegally bombed Cambodia and Laos; (3) goaded Nixon to wiretap staffers and journalists; (4) bore responsibility for three genocides in Cambodia, East Timor, and Bangladesh; (5) urged Nixon to go after Daniel Ellsberg for having released the Pentagon Papers, which set off a chain of events that brought down the Nixon White House; (6) pumped up Pakistan’s ISI, and encouraged it to use political Islam to destabilize Afghanistan; (7) began the US’s arms-for-petrodollars dependency with Saudi Arabia and pre-revolutionary Iran; (8) accelerated needless civil wars in southern Africa that, in the name of supporting white supremacy, left millions dead; (9) supported coups and death squads throughout Latin America; and (10) ingratiated himself with the first-generation neocons, such as Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz, who would take American militarism to its next calamitous level. Read all about it in Kissinger’s Shadow!

SNIP...

Hillary Clinton’s progress as a public figure and politician can, in fact, be indexed perfectly by her relationship to Henry Kissinger. In 1970 as a law student at Yale before she met Bill, Hillary Rodham, in April and May was at the center of what she called “the Yale-Cambodia madness,” a series of protests that started around the “New Haven Nine” Black Panther trial but escalated when Nixon, on April 30, announced the invasion of Cambodia—an invasion Kissinger was instrumental in planning and executing. On May 1, the day after Nixon’s speech, “Vietcong flags filled the air; gas masks were distributed. Streaming banners and impromptu chants abounded: ‘Seize the Time!’ ‘End U.S. imperialism around the world!’”

SNIP...

As first lady, Hillary Clinton spent the early months of her husband’s administration drafting healthcare-reform legislation, only to see it put on the back burner by the North American Free Trade Agreement. Kissinger, in his role as a global consultant, had played a critical role in bringing the various parties who would write that trade treaty together during the previous George H.W. Bush administration. Kissinger continued his NAFTA advocacy with Bill Clinton. As Jeff Faux writes in his excellent The Global Class War, Kissinger was “the perfect tutor” for Clinton, who was “trying to convince Republicans and their business allies that they could count on him to champion Reagan’s vision.”

SNIP...

Clintonism is largely an extension of Kissingerism, so Clinton’s cozy relationship to Kissinger shouldn’t come as a surprise. Both Clintons have excelled at exactly the kind of fudging of their public-private roles that Kissinger perfected. Kissinger, the private consultant, profited from the catastrophes he created as a public figure. Beyond his role in brokering NAFTA, in Latin America his consulting firm, Kissinger and Associates, was a key player in the orgy of privatization that took place during Clinton’s presidency, enriching itself on the massive sell-off of public utilities and industries, a sell-off that, in many countries, was initiated by Kissinger-supported dictators and military regimes. The Clintons, too, both as private philanthropists and private investors, are neck deep in corruption in Latin America (especially in Colombia and Haiti)–corruption made worse, à la Kissinger, by the policies they put into place as public figures, including the free trade treaties and policies that Hillary helped push through, first as senator and then as secretary of state.

SNIP...

Then there’s Libya. Kissinger has long had the secular radical Muammar Qaddafi in his crosshairs (Kissinger, a close ally of Saudi Arabia, prefers to work with Wahhabi theocrats). On April 14, 1986, when the Reagan administration launched an airstrike on Libya in clear violation of international law, Kissinger did the rounds on news shows to justify the bombing. The day after the bombing, Kissinger appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America to voice his “total support.” Attacking Libya, he said, was “correct” and “necessary.” Asked if he was worried about a backlash—increased radicalization, reprisals, or a boost to Muammar Muhammad Qaddafi’s stature—he answered, “The question is whose endurance is greater. I believe ours is.” The bombing, which reportedly killed one of Qaddafi’s daughters, would, Kissinger said, “reduce the incidents of terrorism.”

CONTINUED...

http://www.thenation.com/article/henry-kissinger-hillary-clintons-tutor-in-war-and-peace/


The truth can be hurtful, but not as hurtful as ignorance. That's why your criciticsms, siddithers of DU, really aren't worth doodley squat.
June 5, 2016

Darkest of History Ahead

14 Points of Fascism

I know you know, but for those new to the subject:

"They have pillaged the world. When the land has nothing left for men who ravage everything, they scour the sea. If an enemy is rich, they are greedy; if he is poor, they crave glory. Neither East nor West can sate their appetite. They are the only people on earth to covet wealth and poverty with equal craving. They plunder, they butcher, they ravish, and call it by the lying name of 'empire'. They make a desert and call it 'peace'." -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus - a historian of the Roman Empire


I know you know, but for children:

"There is a transnational ruling class, a "Superclass", that agrees on establishing a world government. The middle class is targeted for elimination, because most of the world has no middle class, and to fully integrate and internationalize a middle class, would require industrialization and development in Africa, and certain places in Asia and Latin America. The goal of the Superclass is not to lose their wealth and power to a transnational middle class, but rather to extinguish the notion of a middle class, and transnationalize a lower, uneducated, labor oriented class, through which they will secure ultimate wealth and power.

The global economic crisis serves these ends, as whatever remaining wealth the middle class holds is in the process of being eliminated, and as the crisis progresses, the middle classes of the world will suffer, while a great percentage of lower classes of the world, poverty-stricken even prior to the crisis, will suffer the greatest, most probably leading to a massive reduction in population levels, particularly in the "underdeveloped" or "Third World" states." -- Andrew Gavin Marshall


SOURCE (WARNING: Graphic Images): http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/

June 5, 2016

Switch HONDURAS 1954 with GUATEMALA 2009

One picture is worth a thousand journalists.



Secretary of State John Foster Dulles was reported to be fond of Diego Rivera's mural, Glorious Victory, which tells the story of the CIA-led 1954 coup d'etat in Guatemala, using it for a Christmas card one year.

Today, we can substitute the name of a modern day Secretary of State for John Foster Dulles and plop in Honduras 2009 in place of Guatemala into the painting. History repeats, sickeningly.

One Diego Rivera mural is worth a thousand newspaper articles. Study Guide in PDF.

June 4, 2016

Shhhhh. It'll help in the fall.

And it'll help the "Right" people.

DU pegged them way back when:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=203x31265

June 4, 2016

Television Tracker -- See Who Gets Mentioned How Often on TV

Television Mentions by Candidate:

http://television.gdeltproject.org/cgi-bin/iatv_campaign2016/iatv_campaign2016



For details, please visit the website. Don't forget to use your mouse for details.
June 3, 2016

Hillary Comes Out as the Candidate of the War Party



"And one more thing. A President has a sacred responsibility to send our troops into battle only if we absolutely must, and only with a clear and well-thought-out strategy. Our troops give their all. They deserve a commander-in-chief who knows that." -- Hillary Clinton, June 2, 2016



Hillary Comes Out as the War Party Candidate

by DIANA JOHNSTONE
CounterPunch, JUNE 3, 2016

EXCERPT...

Whenever Hillary speaks, one must look for the lies. The biggest lies in this speech were lies of omission. No mention of her support for the invasion of Iraq, no mention of the disaster she wrought in Libya, no mention of her contribution to pursuing endless death and destruction in the Middle East.

SNIP...

The Washington Post noted that the state of California’s “defense industry and military bases lend a backdrop for her speech.” Indeed! Hillary Clinton is quite simply catering to the military-industrial complex, as she has been doing throughout her career. She is catering to the arms industry, which needs to keep the American people scared of various “threats” in order to continue draining the nation’s wealth into their profitable enterprises. She needs the support of military men and women who believe in all those threats invented by intellectuals in think tanks and editorial offices.

This is the core of the “national-security-minded” electorate that Hillary is targeting. She warned that Trump would jeopardize the wonderful bipartisan foreign policy that has been keeping us great and safe for decades.

In reality, such “national-security-minded” leaders as Dick Cheney and Clinton herself have led the United States into wars that create chaos, inspire enemies and endanger everybody’s national security. Despite the geographically safe position of the United States, it is that bipartisan War Party that has created genuine threats to U.S. national security by prodding the hornets’ nest of religious fanaticism in the Middle East and provoking nuclear-armed Russia by aggressive military exercises right up to its borders.

The basis of Hillary Clinton’s world view is that notorious “American exceptionalism” which Obama has also celebrated. If we don’t rule the world, she suggested, “others will rush in to fill the vacuum”. She clearly cannot conceive of dealing respectfully with other nations. The United States, she proclaimed, is “exceptional – the last best hope on earth.”

CONTINUED...

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/03/hillary-and-the-military-industrial-complex/



Seeing how it's been "money trumps peace" for most of the past 53 years, I believe it's long past time to turn our swords into plowshares.
June 3, 2016

See for yourself.



Dan Rather makes me sad because he was willing to say what the authorities wanted him to say after Nov. 22, 1963.



Here's what a fellow Texan had to say:



Dan Rather Blinked

by Penn Jones, Jr
Continuing Inquiry

The greatest criminal in this nation, we think, is a dishonest newsman. Newsmen have been given the highest gift a nation can give a group: a right. Newsmen have been given this right of freedom of the press and freedom of speech in the expectation they would report the truth as honestly as humanly possible. Ordinary criminals kill individuals, but dishonest newsmen are involved in killing a nation--in this case, this democracy. Which brings us to native Texan Dan Rather, a longtime Houstonian, and his new book, The Camera Never Blinks.

SNIP...

But the biggest distortion is what he said he saw when he was one of the few persons in the world privileged to see the Abraham Zapruder film that Saturday morning, November 23. In his narration of the film as part of CBS nationwide television coverage, Rather said the President's head "went forward with considerable violence." This narration confirmed the so-called "Oswald position" for the nation, but he said nothing about the violent backward motion of the President's head which would have strongly suggested a second gunman at that early date. Rather does take care to tell us again that he took no notes.

SNIP...

His book says this about the incident: "At the risk of sounding too defensive, I challenge anyone to watch for the first time a twenty-two second film of devastating impact, run several blocks, then describe what they had seen in its entirety, without notes. Perhaps someone can do it better than I did that day. I only know that I did it as well and as honestly as I could under the conditions.

"But here is where the case gets tricky. Years later, a group of assassination buffs took an audio tape of my description of what I saw in the office of Zapruder's lawyer and laid it over the film as a narration. So the impression was given that Dan Rather was part of a conspiracy. Either that or he was a Communist dupe, or something, how else could he have seen the film, etc. etc."

CONTINUED...

SOURCE: http://www.acorn.net/jfkplace/09/fp.back_issues/05th_Issue/rather.html

ARCHIVE: http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/po-jones/id/1917



What happened on Nov. 22, 1963 is why the nation and planet are as messed up as they are today, where money trumps peace and the rich get richer.
June 2, 2016

Chile was a testbed for Global Austerity & Austerity USA

"The Chicago Boys in Chile: Economic Freedom's Awful Toll"

Orlando Letelier
August 28, 1976

EXCERPT...

The Economic Prescription and Chile's Reality

SNIP...

These are the basic principles of the economic model offered by Friedman and his followers and adopted by the Chilean junta: that the only possible framework for economic development is one within which the private sector can freely operate; that private enterprise is the most efficient form of economic organization and that, therefore, the private sector should be the predominant factor in the economy. Prices should fluctuate freely in accordance with the laws of competition. Inflation, the worst enemy of economic progress, is the direct result of monetary expansion and can be eliminated only by a drastic reduction of government spending.

Except in present-day Chile, no government in the world gives private enterprise an absolutely free hand. That is so because every economist (except Friedman and his followers) has known for decades that, in the real life of capitalism, there is no such thing as the perfect competition described by classical liberal economists. In March 1975, in Santiago, a newsman dared suggest to Friedman that even in more advanced capitalist countries, as for example the United States, the government applies various types of controls on the economy. Mr. Friedman answered: I have always been against it, I don't approve of them. I believe we should not apply them. I am against economic intervention by the government, in my own country, as well as in Chile or anywhere else (Que Pasa, Chilean weekly, April 3, 1975).

SNIP...

A Rationale tor Power

SNIP...

Until September 11, 1973, the date of the coup, Chilean society had been characterized by the increasing participation of the working class and its political parties in economic and social decision making. Since about 1900, employing the mechanisms of representative democracy, workers had steadily gained new economic, social and political power. The election of Salvador Allende as President of Chile was the culmination of this process. For the first time in history a society attempted to build socialism by peaceful means. During Allende's time in office, there was a marked improvement in the conditions of employment, health, housing, land tenure and education of the masses. And as this occurred, the privileged domestic groups and the dominant foreign interests perceived themselves to be seriously threatened.

Despite strong financial and political pressure from abroad and efforts to manipulate the attitudes of the middle class by propaganda, popular support for the Allende government increased significantly between 1970 and 1973. In March 1973, only five months before the military coup, there were Congressional elections in Chile. The political parties of the Popular Unity increased their share of the votes by more than 7 percentage points over their totals in the Presidential election of 1970. This was the first time in Chilean history that the political parties supporting the administration in power gained votes during a midterm election. The trend convinced the national bourgeoisie and its foreign supporters that they would be unable to recoup their privileges through the democratic process. That is why they resolved to destroy the democratic system and the institutions of the state, and, through an alliance with the military, to seize power by force.

In such a context, concentration of wealth is no accident, but a rule; it is not the marginal outcome of a difficult situation -- as they would like the world to believe -- but the base for a social project; it is not an economic liability but a temporary political success. Their real failure is not their apparent inability to redistribute wealth or to generate a more even path of development (these are not their priorities) but their inability to convince the majority of Chileans that their policies are reasonable and necessary. In short, they have failed to destroy the consciousness of the Chilean people. The economic plan has had to be enforced, and in the Chilean context that could be done only by the killing of thousands, the establishment of concentration camps all over the country, the jailing of more than 100,000 persons in three years, the closing of trade unions and neighbourhood organizations, and the prohibition of all political activities and all forms of free expression.

While the Chicago boys have provided an appearance of technical respectability to the laissez-faire dreams and political greed of the old landowning oligarchy and upper bourgeoisie of monopolists and financial speculators, the military has applied the brutal force required to achieve those goals. Repression for the majorities and economic freedom for small privileged groups are in Chile two sides of the same coin.

CONTINUED...

http://www.ditext.com/letelier/chicago.html

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