Nov 17, 2008

Letter to Coral

Cleaning out the four figure items in my sent messages folder, I came across one from you “What is a media whore?” and it occurs to me a few examples might be useful.

America has the tightest press control I’ve ever seen anywhere, with the BBC in full cooperation. Even the Pakistanis are allowed to know when their leader is being impeached, but after two three hour sessions in the Senate drawing up a bill of impeachment of Bush, and previously of Cheney, no whisper of this has been allowed in the TV news, the print media, i.e., the newspapers, or by any of the candidates in the election, with the full cooperation of the BBC.

It’s the fact that only the paid hacks (i.e., whores) of the news media, TV, papers, Internet, are ever given any reporting time that allows this to happen.

Rafik Hariri was a typical and very real Lebanese patriot, using his great wealth to rebuild the country. Israel has him assassinated without much trouble, got Syria blamed for it with the help of the above whores, got a Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon forced by the western powers, which left Lebanon helpless against the Israeli invasion and the dropping of one million cluster bombs to make ordinary life and agriculture almost impossible. (You may remember Blair and Condy Rice saying No, no, no cease fire, let it go on for a few more days to clean out the rats nest.) The fact that Olmert made such a dog’s dinner of the Israeli invasion, being better at pocketing bribes than running wars, doesn’t change that.

A declared Israeli aim, supported by the Americans, is to establish an Israeli air base in the north of Lebanon, near Tripoli, which is why the really hard fighting has been going on there in the refugee camp where the base is supposed to go.

Names are always important, which is why Hamas, who won the Palestinian election in a landslide, are always referred to as “Palestinian militants,” never as the freely elected Palestinian government, which is what they are. Only the losers of that election are allowed to turn up at international gatherings and be called “Palestinian leaders.”

McCain did propaganda broadcasts for the Viet Cong to get himself released from the prison camp. No one is allowed to mention this. The Reverend Jeremiah Wright, an ex Navy Seal (special operations operative) and Vietnam veteran, on the other hand, who insists loud and clear it is America that is the bad actor throughout the world, is attacked so hard that Obama, who used to attend his church, is forced to disown him.

Here’s how it works. The comedian Bill Maher had a satirical weekly program, “Politically Incorrect,” on one of which he asked a guest how the US pilots, dropping satellite guided bombs on pre selected targets before turning to go home, could be regarded as more brave than the 911 team flying planes into buildings knowing their own death would result. Ridiculous!

The corporations insisted that Bill Maher be fired and the program terminated, threatening to withdraw their advertising. MSNBC had no realistic alternative to complying – without advertising the program had no income.

Bill Maher joined the ranks of non persons, still occasionally invited as a guest on various programs, since he remained more accurate and funnier than anyone else, but essentially unemployed and unemployable.

What he said was obvious, but nationalists have no interest in logic or the obvious. Only American soldiers are ‘brave’ whatever they do. Their opponents are always cowardly and deluded.

That Americans are forced to pay for the rubbish on their TV, but have no say in what goes on it, is as irrelevant as that nationalism is only the longer form of Nazi, "Die Nazionalistische Sozialistische Partei," or National Socialists. The principles of Dr. Goebbels, minister of propaganda to Mr. Schickelgrubr, that whether something is true or not, even whether it is obvious nonsense, does not matter, are in control. If it is repeated often enough everyone will believe it passionately.

Is Obama going to be any different? Not known yet, but probably not.

Obama’s African background is that he’s a Luo, the minority tribe in Kenya, where the Kikuyu are the ruling majority, and he also has lengthy experience of Indonesia. (Until Germany has a Turk as chancellor, or France has an Algerian president, that’s a much needed demonstration that things can happen in America that Europe is too hidebound and sclerotic to allow.)

If you think about how you would survive as a Luo, you get a clear picture of Obama’s strategy.

A picture of what NOT to do is Aung Sang Suu Ki in Burma (Myanmar), where several critics have pointed out that her dogged persistence has resulted in twenty years of nothing happening; the generals have got stronger, thousands are slaughtered, only an invasion of the country by the western powers can achieve any results, but the western powers are too concerned with keeping their snouts in the trough to do any such thing. Air strikes on wedding parties in Afghanistan, the poorest country in the world, to keep open the dream of western control of central Asia and its oil and gas pipelines is more in their line.

Obama has done what Aung Sang Su Ki might have done and didn’t, gone along with the generals, agreed with all the crap they presented, formed an alliance with them, elbowed her way to a seat at the table, and started slowly to support harmless looking but different initiatives, including strong links outside the country.

Obama’s main danger remains assassination, the American way, openly supported by many at McCain/Palin rallies, and the hinting at which finished Hillary’s campaign. Even the secret service can’t completely guard against that. The Luo way of survival is to recruit your main opponents into your government, giving them a place at the trough, so that they have more reason NOT to kill you, since they might not have as good a deal without you there.

That’s why the first appointment was with the most dangerous of opponents, the Israeli Mossad guy as head of staff, controlling who gets to see you and who doesn’t, and he’s now perhaps recruiting Hillary as head of the State Department, and maybe McCain for something else. If all your enemies have got places in your government, maybe that makes you as safe as you can be, and exerting as much control over them as possible.

As Lincoln said of a general he didn’t like but wanted on his side “It’s better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.”

Nov 12, 2008

The China connection

The China connection to Goldman Sachs figures prominently in the current crisis.

Fed Covers Up Financial Crisis By Cliff Kincaid Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The China connection to Goldman Sachs figures prominently in the current crisis. Because China owned $376 billion of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae paper, it played a big role in the financial crisis, and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, with his own personal and financial ties to China, admittedly tried to reassure the Chinese through this process that their investments would be protected. They are being “protected” in the sense that the American taxpayers are now on the hook for these government mortgage companies, which have been nationalized.

On top of this, Paulson, a former CEO of Goldman Sachs, made sure, as part of the bailout legislation, that he could bail out Chinese banks holding other troubled U.S. assets.

Schiff, who blows the whistle on these schemes, is not very popular in the media, which have been telling us consistently that things would get better after Wall Street was bailed out. But Schiff was on Bloomberg on October 28 talking about how the problems will get worse if we continue to follow the current tax, spend and bailout policies. His basic message is that the U.S. is broke and that the situation will get worse under an Obama Administration because of its commitment to more federal interference and involvement in the economy.

Nevertheless, during this discussion, a week before the election, Schiff predicted an Obama victory because “nobody is going to vote for four more years of this” and voters “are going to grasp at straws and vote for anybody who promises change.” But the change is phony, he warned. Obama “will put several nails in the coffin,” he said. “We’re going to get more of the same, only worse.”

Leaving aside the $1.8 trillion cost of the bailout and other socialist-style schemes that have been undertaken in the current crisis, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation reports that the total federal burden on U.S. taxpayers is now approaching $54 trillion―a cost of $175,000 per person.

The Peterson Foundation seeks to educate the public and the press about the U.S. financial situation. It’s fine to educate people. But what about prosecuting those federal officials who brought the U.S. to the brink of financial apocalypse?

During an October 13 Fox News discussion of the mismanaged companies now going bankrupt or seeking federal bailouts, the subject of prosecuting somebody actually came up. Host Jaime Colby asked, “Where are the criminal prosecutions because I think their pictures should be hanging up in the post office?”

Schiff, a guest on the show, went beyond the corporate executives and urged the prosecution of former Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan, the husband of NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell, who told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on October 23 that he had “made a mistake” in his stewardship of the economy. This is after he received an $8.5 million advance on his 2007 memoir, The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World.

This is quite an adventure.

In March, as the mortgage crisis was beginning to build, noted that Mitchell had done a story conveniently ignoring her husband’s role in the unfolding debacle. Greenspan and Mitchell are a Washington “power couple,” which means they have plenty of social contacts who help protect them from criticism or even scrutiny. This is how Washington works.

This crisis has conflict of interest written all over it, not only in regard to media coverage but the role of current and former Goldman Sachs executives, including the Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who sparked the panic and has since authorized $10 billion in bailout money to his old firm. Neel Kashkari, a former Goldman Sachs banker, now runs the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) authorized under the bailout plan.

As bad as it is, the situation could get far worse. At the House hearing, Rep. Jim Cooper, a more conservative Democrat from Tennessee, brandished a copy of the official Financial Report of the United States Government, which outlines the $54 trillion fiscal gap, primarily unfunded liabilities, that America faces if the government doesn’t change course. “Why is this document so hidden? Because it contains such bad news,” Cooper said. “On your watch,” he said to Greenspan and the other witnesses, “did you do anything to publicize this report, to make sure that everybody in America knew the real story about the real numbers for America?”

The answers were pathetic. Greenspan replied that he had tried to get the information inserted into the government’s “forecasting structure,” whatever that is. The “solutions,” of course, included much higher taxes, massive benefit cuts, the printing of more Federal Reserve paper money, or national bankruptcy.

Our “adversary” media have been extremely deferential toward those promoting the looting of the American taxpayers during the ongoing economic and financial crisis. However, Bloomberg News should be congratulated for filing suit against the Federal Reserve in an effort to disclose the securities the central bank is accepting on behalf of American taxpayers as collateral for $1.5 trillion of loans to banks such as Goldman Sachs.

“The American taxpayer is entitled to know the risks, costs and methodology associated with the unprecedented government bailout of the U.S. financial industry,” said Matthew Winkler, the editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News.

Another way that the media can begin to fix the blame for the financial meltdown is to cover the views of those who predicted the crisis and understand how it happened.

Consider watching this video ( of a debate that financial analyst Peter Schiff had with Arthur Laffer on CNBC back on August 29, 2006. Schiff predicted the deep recession that is now underway and made mention of China’s role in our unfolding economic troubles. Laffer’s talk about our economic policies “working beautifully” makes him look utterly ridiculous in today’s climate. “The United States economy has never been in better shape,” he declared.

Wahyusamputra writes: The bald headed one with the rimless glasses of the three stooges - “Curly” would be a good name - currently in charge of the US economy and carefully shielded from any possible interference, was previously the head of Goldman, Sachs, the investment or “merchant” bankers.

In this capacity, he personally invented and promoted the technique of encouraging poverty-stricken borrowers to fabricate income on their applications, be given mortgages they could never hope to pay, roll these “sub prime,” i.e., less than acceptable, mortgages into huge bundles of CDO’s (Collaterized Debt Obligations), and sell these world wide to investors who wanted to invest in the US property market.

Like his fellow stooge “Helicopter Ben” Bernanke, so called from his utterly brilliant suggestion that bundles of hundred dollar bills could be dropped from helicopters to the US population to take care of any monetary difficulties, Mr. Paulson, secretary of the Treasury, is one of the US leaders that Mr. Barak Obama, US president elect, a Luo from the Kikuyu majority country of Kenya, is being pressured to keep in his new administration to ensure continuity.
Experience of minority status encourages caution and careful conservation of energy and resources, and Mr. Obama has so far made no promises about which of the Bush administration heavies he is willing to keep. Mr. Robert Gates, the Defense secretary, is another that he is being maneuvered to keep on.
The state of world trade can be guessed from the fact that certain bulk cargo carrying vessels, costing $234,000 per day in June, now cost $4,200 per day. The shares of General Motors are predicted to become worthless in a short time, reasonable since no one has the cash or desire to purchase the acres of cars standing unsold. The wisdom of projected moves to put money into the company remains opaque. Credit card companies, like American Express, are being allowed to call themselves banks, in order to qualify them for government aid packages to banks.

Here is the picture painted by James Kunstler of the Daily Reckoning:

“Russia …exerts substantial financial leverage over the U.S. in all the dollars and securitized U.S. debt paper it holds. In effect, Russia can shake the U.S. banking system at will now by threatening to dump its dollar holdings.

"The American banking system may not need a shove from Russia to fall on its face. It’s effectively dead now, just lurching around zombie-like from one loan “window” to the next pretending to “borrow” capital – while handing over shreds of its moldy clothing as “collateral” to the Federal Reserve. The entire US, beyond the banks, is becoming a land of the walking dead. Business is dying, home-ownership has become a death dance, whole regions are turning into wastelands of “for sale” signs, empty parking lots, vacant buildings, and dashed hopes.”
The UN reports that an entire second planet Earth is required merely to keep our present living standards where they are now. We have only the one planet Earth. Letting the major dinosaurs go over the cliff is to cut our coat according to our cloth.

Nov 5, 2008

Irish slaves
The Slaves That Time Forgot - They Were White and They Were Slaves By John Martin

They came as slaves; vast human cargo transported on tall British ships bound for the Americas.

They were shipped by the hundreds of thousands and included men, women, and even the youngest of children.

Whenever they rebelled or even disobeyed an order, they were punished in the harshest ways. Slave owners would hang their human property by their hands and set their hands or feet on fire as one form of punishment. They were burned alive and had their heads placed on pikes in the marketplace as a warning to other captives.

We don’t really need to go through all of the gory details, do we? After all, we know all too well the atrocities of the African slave trade. But, are we talking about African slavery?

King James II and Charles I led a continued effort to enslave the Irish. Britain’s famed Oliver Cromwell furthered this practice of dehumanizing one’s next door neighbor.

The Irish slave trade began when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies. By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.

Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white.

From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade. Families were ripped apart as the British did not allow Irish dads to take their wives and children with them across the Atlantic. This led to a helpless population of homeless women and children. Britain’s solution was to auction them off as well.

During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In this decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656, Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers.

Many people today will avoid calling the Irish slaves what they truly were: Slaves. They’ll come up with terms like “Indentured Servants” to describe what occurred to the Irish. However, in most cases from the 17th and 18th centuries, Irish slaves were nothing more than human cattle.

As an example, the African slave trade was just beginning during this same period. It is well recorded that African slaves, not tainted with the stain of the hated Catholic theology and more expensive to purchase, were often treated far better than their Irish counterparts.

African slaves were very expensive during the late 1600s (50 Sterling). Irish slaves came cheap (no more than 5 Sterling). If a planter whipped or branded or beat an Irish slave to death, it was never a crime. A death was a monetary setback, but far cheaper than killing a more expensive African.

The English masters quickly began breeding the Irish women for both their own personal pleasure and for greater profit. Children of slaves were themselves slaves, which increased the size of the master’s free workforce. Even if an Irish woman somehow obtained her freedom, her kids would remain slaves of her master. Thus, Irish moms, even with this new found emancipation, would seldom abandon their kids and would remain in servitude.

In time, the English thought of a better way to use these women (in many cases, girls as young as 12) to increase their market share: The settlers began to breed Irish women and girls with African men to produce slaves with a distinct complexion. These new “mulatto” slaves brought a higher price than Irish livestock and, likewise, enabled the settlers to save money rather than purchase new African slaves.

This practice of interbreeding Irish females with African men went on for several decades and was so widespread that, in 1681, legislation was passed “forbidding the practice of mating Irish slave women to African slave men for the purpose of producing slaves for sale.” In short, it was stopped only because it interfered with the profits of a large slave transport company.

England continued to ship tens of thousands of Irish slaves for more than a century. Records state that, after the 1798 Irish Rebellion, thousands of Irish slaves were sold to both America and Australia.

There were horrible abuses of both African and Irish captives. One British ship even dumped 1,302 slaves into the Atlantic Ocean so that the crew would have plenty of food to eat.

There is little question that the Irish experienced the horrors of slavery as much (if not more in the 17th Century) as the Africans did. There is, also, very little question that those brown, tanned faces you witness in your travels to the West Indies are very likely a combination of African and Irish ancestry.

In 1839, Britain finally decided on its own to end its participation in Satan’s highway to hell and stopped transporting slaves. While their decision did not stop pirates from doing what they desired, the new law slowly concluded THIS chapter of nightmarish Irish misery.

But, if anyone, black or white, believes that slavery was only an African experience, then they’ve got it completely wrong.

Irish slavery is a subject worth remembering, not erasing from our memories. But, where are our public (and PRIVATE) schools???? Where are the history books? Why is it so seldom discussed?

Do the memories of hundreds of thousands of Irish victims merit more than a mention from an unknown writer? Or is their story to be one that their English pirates intended: To (unlike the African book) have the Irish story utterly and completely disappear as if it never happened.

None of the Irish victims ever made it back to their homeland to describe their ordeal. These are the lost slaves; the ones that time and biased history books conveniently forgot.