privatization

Lula and the BRICS in a fight to the death

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Lula

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva © Paulo Whitaker / Reuters

Originally published in RT on March 8, 2016


“BRICS” is the dirtiest of acronyms in the Beltway/Wall Street axis, and for a solid reason: the consolidation of the BRICS is the only organic, global-reach project with the potential to derail Exceptionalistan’s grip over the so-called “international community.”

So it’s no surprise the three key BRICS powers have been under simultaneous attack, on many fronts, for some time now. On Russia, it’s all about Ukraine and Syria, the oil price war, the odd hostile raid over the ruble and the one-size-fits-all “Russian aggression” demonization. On China, it’s all about “Chinese aggression” in the South China Sea and the (failed) raid over the Shanghai/Shenzhen stock exchanges.

Brazil is the weakest link among these three key emerging powers. Already by the end of 2014 it was  clear the usual suspects would go no holds barred to destabilize the seventh largest global economy, aiming at good old regime change via a nasty cocktail of political gridlock (“ungovernability”) dragging the economy to the mud.

Myriad reasons for the attack include the consolidation of the BRICS development bank; the BRICS’s concerted push for trading in their own currencies, bypassing the US dollar and aiming for a new global reserve currency to replace it; the construction of a major underwater fiber-optic telecom cable between Brazil and Europe, as well as the BRICS cable uniting South America to East Asia – both bypassing US control.

And most of all, as usual, the holy of the holies – connected with Exceptionalistan’s burning desire to privatize Brazil’s immense natural wealth. Once again, it’s the oil.

Get Lula or else

WikiLeaks had already exposed how way back in 2009 Big Oil was active in Brazil, trying to modify – by all extortion means necessary – a law proposed by former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, known as Lula, establishing profitable state-run Petrobras as the chief operator of all offshore blocks in the largest oil discovery of the young 21st century; the pre-salt deposits.

Lula not only kept Big Oil – especially ExxonMobil and Chevron – out of the picture but he also opened Brazilian oil exploration to China’s Sinopec, as part of the Brazil-China (BRICS within BRICS) strategic partnership.

Hell hath no fury like Exceptionalistan scorned. Like the Mob, it never forgives; Lula one day would have to pay, like Putin must pay for getting rid of US-friendly oligarchs.

The ball started rolling with Edward Snowden revealing how the NSA was spying on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and top Petrobras officials. It continued with the fact that the Brazilian Federal Police cooperate, receive training and/or are fed, closely, by both the FBI and CIA (mostly in the anti-terrorism sphere). And it went on via the two-year-old “Car Wash” investigation, which uncovered a vast corruption network involving players inside Petrobras, top Brazilian construction companies and politicians from the ruling Workers’ Party.

Read more

The National Security Agency(NSA) at Fort Meade, Maryland. (AFP Photo)

NSA spied on Brazil, Mexico presidents – Greenwald

The corruption network is real – with “proof,” usually oral, rarely backed up by documents, obtained mostly from artful dodgers-cum-serial liars who rat on someone as part of a plea bargain.

But for the “Car Wash” prosecutors, the real deal was, from the beginning, how to ensnare Lula.

Enter the tropical Elliott Ness

That brings us to the Hollywood spectacular enacted last Friday in Sao Paulo that sent shockwaves around the world. Lula “detained,” interrogated, humiliated in public. This is how I analyzed it in detail.

Plan A for the Hollywood-style blitz on Lula was an ambitious double down; not only to pave the way for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff under a “guilty by association” stretch, but to “neutralize” Lula for good, preventing him from running for office again in 2018. There was no Plan B.

Predictably – as in many an FBI sting – the whole op backfired. Lula, in a political master class of a speech beamed live across the country, not only convincingly clad himself as the martyr of a conspiracy, but also re-energized his troops; even respectable conservatives vocally condemned the Hollywood show, from a minister in the Supreme Court to a former justice minister, as well as top economist Bresser Pereira, one of the founders of the PSDB – the former social democrats turned Exceptionalistan-allied neoliberal enforcers and leaders of the right-wing opposition.

Bresser actually stated the Brazilian Supreme Court should intervene on Car Wash to prevent abuses. Lula, for instance, had asked for the Supreme Court to detail which jurisprudence was relevant to investigate the accusations against him. Moreover, a lawyer on center stage during the Hollywood blitz said Lula answered all questions during the almost four-hour interrogation without blinking – questions he had already answered before.

Lawyer Celso Bandeira de Mello, for his part, went straight to the point: the Brazilian upper middle classes – which include a largely appalling lot wallowing in arrogance, ignorance and prejudice, whose dream is a condo in Miami – are fearful and terrified to death that Lula may run, and win again, in 2018.

And that brings us to the judge and executioner of the whole drama: Sergio Moro, Car Wash’s leading actor.

Moro’s academic career is hardly exciting. He’s not exactly a theorist heavyweight. He graduated as a lawyer in 1995 in a mediocre university in the middle of nowhere in one of Brazil’s southern states and made a few trips to the US, one of them financed by the State Department to learn about money laundering.

As I noted before, his chef-d’oeuvre is an article published way back in 2004 in an obscure magazine (in Portuguese only, titled Considerations about Mani Pulite, CEJ magazine, issue number 26, July/September 2004), where he clearly extols “authoritarian subversion of juridical order to reach specific targets” and using the media to intoxicate the political atmosphere.

In a nutshell, judge Moro literally transposed the notorious 1990s Mani Pulite (“Clean Hands”) investigation from Italy to Brazil – instrumentalizing to the hilt mainstream media and the judiciary to achieve a sort of “total delegitimization” of the political system. But not the whole political system; just the Workers’ Party, as if the comprador elites permeating Brazil’s rightwing spectrum were cherubic angels.

So it comes as no surprise that Moro’s prime sidekick as Car Wash unrolled is the Marinho family’s oligopoly, the Globo media empire – a nest of reactionary, and not very clever, vipers who entertained very cozy relations with the Brazilian military dictatorship from the 1960s to the 1980s. Not by accident, Globo was informed about Lula’s Hollywood-style “arrest” way before the fact, allowing it to invest in CNN-style blanket coverage.

Moro is viewed by legions in Brazil as an indigenous Elliot Ness. Other lawyers who have closely followed his work though hint he harbors the warped fantasy of a Workers’ Party as a mob leeching and plundering the state apparatus with the aim of delivering it, in pieces, to trade unions.

According to one of these lawyers who talked to Brazilian independent media, a former president of the Lawyers’ Association in Rio, Moro is surrounded by a bunch of young fanatical prosecutors, with little juridical knowledge, and posing as the Brazilian Antonio di Pietro (but without the solidity of the “Clean Hands” Milanese prosecutor). Worse, Moro is oblivious that the implosion of the Italian political system led to the rise of Berlusconi. In Brazil, it would certainly lead to the rise of a clown/village idiot supported by the Globo empire, whose oligopolistic practices are quite Berlusconian.

The digital Pinochets

A case can be made that the Hollywood blitz on Lula holds a direct parallel to the first attempt at a coup d’etat in Chile in 1973, which tested the waters in terms of popular response before the real deal. In the Brazilian remix, assorted Globo media maggots pose as digital Pinochets. At least many a street in Sao Paulo now bears graffiti to the effect of “Military coup – Never again.

Yes, because this is all about a white coup – in the form of a Rousseff impeachment and sending Lula to the gallows. But old (military) habits die hard; Globo media maggots are now extolling the Army to take to the streets to “neutralize” popular militias. And this is just the beginning. Right-wingers are getting ready for a national mobilization on Sunday calling for – what else – Rousseff’s impeachment.

Car Wash’s merit is to investigate corruption, collusion and traffic of influence in abysmally corrupt Brazil. But everyone, every political faction, should be investigated – including those representing Brazilian comprador elites. That’s not the case. Because the political project allied with Car Wash couldn’t care less about “justice”; the only thing that matters is to perpetuate a vicious political crisis as a means to drag the seventh largest economy in the world into the mud and reach the Holy Grail: a white coup, or good ol’ regime change. But 2016 is not 1973, and the whole world by now knows who’s a sucker for regime change.


PepePepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

Privatising Air

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Published on FEASTA on February 26, 2016

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We seem to have entered an era of ‘reductio ad absurdum’ capitalism. Many of life’s fundamentals such as land, water and energy have been or are being enclosed and privatised. As capitalism runs out of convenient colonies to parasitise, it has begun to work on societies within its traditional hosts in the developed world through austerity. In parallel the realm of  privatisation extends into areas previously considered as public goods available as of right. Is there any ‘natural’ limit to this process? Could air be privatised?

We should perhaps envy Marx for his somewhat detached historical perspective on the development of capitalism. All things must pass. The problem, perhaps felt more acutely if you have children and grandchildren, in that by the time capitalism has eaten itself there will be nothing left for our descendants to sustain themselves with.

If you had asked a member of one of the 170 native American nations before 1880 who owned the land they would not have understood the question [1]. Fast forward 140 years and the idea that land is just a special type of property, and that its resources and use-value can be reserved to the owner is embedded in law and in the general unchallenged narrative about ‘how things work’. Very little land is now held in common, and the only current activist initiative pissing into the prevailing wind is that of Land Value Taxation – a proposition which, while welcome, does appear to accept that land has been irreversibly enclosed, and restricts itself to demanding a land rental back to the exchequer in the form of a tax.

In Ireland a series of #right2water marches have attracted tens of thousands protesting at the Irish government’s plans to privatise water via the creation of a new semi-state (a public-private hybrid) Irish Water and the imposition of water charges. Elsewhere, in Flint, Michigan, following a series of commercial disputes over water supply, a state of emergency was declared as the extent of lead pollution became clear. In neither of these cases are we in an area of water shortage or stress. The common factor seems to be the introduction of public/ private partnerships to move the costs of water supply off of the national (or state) accounts.

In parallel the development of the bottled water market has burgeoned, seemingly unaffected by the inconvenient ‘market externality’ of trillions of plastic bottles going to landfill, and by Coca Cola (via their Dasani brand) and others bottling treated tap water [2] – based on an idea by DelBoy [3].

The creativity of the market, which at its best is a joy to behold and a source of life-enhancing innovation is a curate’s egg. And the parts that are bad are fouling the world. Markets have no inbuilt ethics. And we have yet to demonstrate any governance capability that can detoxify them.

As a thought experiment, (and since we are in reductio ad absurdum territory) consider the potential privatisation of the air that we breathe. That air is a basic necessity of life is of itself no protection. There is no apparent ethical barrier – other necessities such as land, shelter, energy and water have been enclosed by elites and rented back to citizens. So there is no ‘in principle’ difficulty.

The difficulties are practical.

For example there is rather too much clean air to make for the globalised opportunity which would be ideal. However this does not need to be a major barrier provided we sculpt the narrative properly. In the U.S. 92% of tap water is of the highest potable quality [2] but this has not interfered with the growth of bottled water sales. Creative (occasionally mendacious) advertising plus mainstream media focussing on any convenient tap water scare stories have done the trick.

The prime difficulty is in the physical enclosure of a separated-air-space and supply. A controlled-quality-air environment can be envisioned at the personal, dwelling, community, municipality or planet level. So there are product development opportunities for personal breathing devices, masks and filters, passive house variations with recirculated air and domes. As pollution increases, helpful stories about diesel particulates or Beijing air quality will progressively sensitise consumers to the need for interventions. Our inability to leave fossil fuels in the ground will help this narrative get established – an interesting variation on the theme that every market failure provides an opportunity for a new market. At the community level we should see a natural extension of the gated community service proposition to include guaranteed air quality inside large scale geodesic domes. Some municipalities – particularly scenic locations – may banish sources of pollution, buoyed by extra-high local rates acceptable to wealthy residents. Depending on local micro-climates such Canute-propositions may persist for a few years until higher pollution levels waft in from neighbouring areas. At a planetary level geoengineering solutions will develop to pump pollution back into less prosperous sink areas.

So it’s just a matter of being creative. Technology plus entrepreneurship can enable the enclosure of any public good. Absent effective sustainability-minded governance that is.

Endnotes

1]: “My reason teaches me that land cannot be sold. The Great Spirit gave it to his children to live upon. So long as they occupy and cultivate it, they have a right to the soil. Nothing can be sold but such things as can be carried away” –Black Hawk quoted in Lewis and Clark: The Unheard Voices http://archive.adl.org/education/curriculum_connections/in_this_issue_fall_2004.html

2]: Bottled Water is a Scam: March 2015 http://www.salon.com/2015/03/14/bottled_water_is_a_scam_pepsico_coca_cola_and_the_beverage_industrys_greatest_con_partner/

3]: The renowned Peckham Spring brand featured in Only Fools & Horses episode Mother Nature’s Son http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0666564/

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This Week In Doom: The Just Desserts edition

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Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on September 7, 2014

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“Good intentions, like mother’s milk, are a perishable commodity. As wealth accumulates, men decay, and sooner or later an aristocracy that once might have aspired to an ideal of wisdom and virtue goes rancid in the sun, becomes an oligarchy distinguished by a character that Aristotle likened to that of the ‘prosperous fool’  – its members so besotted by their faith in money that ‘they therefore imagine there is nothing that it cannot buy.”                                                              

― Lewis Lapham, Lapham’s Quarterly, Fall 2012 

 

“Bartender, a double schadenfreude for me, and see what the others here at the Diner will have,” as Charlie Pierce, il miglior fabbro, might have said.

The Old Dominion’s summer spectacle, an antidote for the dog days of August, has drawn to a close. The public corruption trial of former Gov. Bob McDonnell (always and forever known in this space as Gov. Transvaginal Ultrasound as as result of his tireless campaign against women’s reproductive health in Virginia) and his wife, Maureen, on Federal corruption charges, has concluded. For the first time in the state’s history, an ex-governor, a man who warmed the seat formerly occupied by Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson, is a convicted felon – found guilty of selling the power and influence of his office for $177,000 in loans, gifts, luxury vacations, and a swell Rolex.

Here in the Old Dominion, the view of the imminent conviction was by no means as assured as it may have appeared in those regions of the country where people traffic in, say, common sense.  The drumbeat listing of gifts, trinkets, loans would cause ordinary people to shake their heads, exchange knowing glances, and think to themselves, “caught dead to rights.” But this is Virginia, or should I say,”Vuh-jun-yuh,”  where the fix is always in,  where things are done somewhat differently, and you need to be wired just to be able to open a small business (the stories of restauranteurs and other small businesses going belly up because they couldn’t execute their business plans for “permitting issues” and other forms of institutional delay, thus strangling their cash flow, are legion here.)

I readily, even enthusiastically confess my own cynicism in this matter.  Yet I was not alone. My former accountant has become a well known and effective political pundit in my little corner of the world, and publishes a blog that pays particular attention to Virginia politics. She also predicted that the Ultrasounds would walk, and also got it wrong.  It is important to remember that all of these charges and convictions were brought under Federal law, as nothing that the Ultrasounds did was, or is, illegal according to Virginia law. And that is why the most frequently used modifier to the phrase, “Virginia ethics law” is “lax.” Much is made in these precincts about “the Virginia Way,” and the Virginia governorship as a sacred trust dating back to Henry, Jefferson, et al. All now exposed as just the latest chapter in the continuing saga that reads, “This is America where everything is for sale.” 

 

Some years ago I canceled my newspaper, as I became tired of paying for stale news. Yet one of the last areas of newspapers can still excel is local news, if you can stomach it.  I must say that I resubscribed to the paper simply so Contrary and I could get the dispatches from the front, as it were, for this summer soap opera.   My inner hunchback was delighted to see Transvaginal Ultrasound go to trial, largely because I was so unalterably opposed to the hallmark “achievements” of his administration:  the continued and attempted privatization of public infrastructure, including selling tunnel development projects  to private overseas concerns, and an attempt to sell off the port of Virginia;  a war waged on the women of Virginia, generaled by his personal Iago, Atty. Gen. Ken Cuccinelli,  who lawyered up some torturous regulations that all but assured reproductive health clinics would have to close; and the attempt to create a regulatory regime to legalize uranium mining in Virginia, an existential threat to the health and safety of not only Virginians but millions of others in affected watersheds, a plan so baroque, bizarre and ill-considered that it boggled the imagination.  So Contrary and I, having been involved in various acts of civic activism to oppose these private sorties upon the public purse, followed this trial as avidly as the average NFL fans follow their team.

As noted in the article posted above,  the Ultrasounds’ legal defense  involved dragging Maureen through the mud and making her out to be, as one witness described her, a “nutcase.”  This defense seemed remarkable while following the play-by-play each day reports, including the legal theatre staged for the jury’s consumption; after the verdict, and with the distance afforded by hindsight, it seems not only tawdry but inept… For superb Monday Morning quarterbacking of this astonishing legal defense, read the Gawker article, “I Slut-Shamed My Wife and All I Got Was 11 Lousy Federal Convictions.”

And in the department of “ironies abound,” never forget that this defense was mounted by the “family values” campaigner, all shiny and happy with Jaysus, whose campaign ads always featured his beautiful wife and their equally beautiful daughters, perfectly backlit, and showing off their perfect dental work in a tableau whose subtext was, “the perfect Christian family for the perfect candidate blessed by God.” 

Also never forget that the disgraced, indicted and convicted former Virginia Gov. Transvaginal Ultrasound was Pat Robertson’s personal hand picked mentee. Robertson’s featured McDonnell in long and rambling interviews (does Pat do any other kind?) on the 700 Club.  McDonnell was a graduate of Robertson’s Regent “University,”  which in itself started as a specious entity called “CBN University,”  such schools seemingly a grift specific to televangelists.  (Liberty “University”  is a similar creation in Lynchburg started by the late, unlamented Jerry Falwell.) The purposes of these so-called schools is the indoctrination with hyper-conservative Christopathic policy and equipage with the tools to dismantle the existing American social contract. One will not soon forget the spectacle of the Justice Department under Bush the Lesser larded with graduates of the Regent “University” law school to execute John Yoo’s “torture memo” and the other singular legal interpretations of that vicarage of Satan.

And for his part, Robertson, whose TV appearances have crossed the line from self-satire to advanced mental infirmity, told America that then entire legal proceedings were a “political prosecution,” ordered up by Obama, Holder, and perhaps the Alien Grays.

The Robertson connection remains worth exploring. When you believe that your life is touched by God, you tend to believe that you can do no wrong. (God has his hand on your shoulder, so, “What? Me worry? Your good fortune is your due, your “blessing,” as a result of having lived a good and godly life, never failing to tithe.) McDonnell sat on the Regent Board of Trustees; Pat donated to his campaigns. McDonnell was the shiniest trophy in Pat Robertson’s trophy case. He used his Regent law degree as a springboard into Virginia politics and rose quickly, featuring chiseled good looks and a made for TV family, and looking to many like the next Great White Hope for 2016.   When your career is touched by God, and you can do no wrong, you tend to ignore the warning signs that might make us lesser breeds without the benefits of God’s blessing of abundance worry about things like hubris. It was this arrogance that led McDonnell to reject a plea deal that would have spared him, his wife, and his family this public spectacle and disgrace.  It is worth reading about the deal that got away, which you could do here.

Excerpt:

A plea deal would have allowed the McDonnells to avoid the release of embarrassing details in an indictment as well as a bruising public trial that will probably put the internal dynamics of their marriage on full display.

Robert McDonnell has said publicly that he was not aware of all of the gifts his family accepted from Williams in 2011 and 2012.

People familiar with the investigation say that in private meetings, the couple’s attorneys have told prosecutors that Maureen McDonnell at times actively worked to hide Williams’s generosity from her husband.

In court, that idea will be tested against the reality of the couple’s relationship as jurors are asked to assess whether they believe the former governor could have been in the dark about Williams’s largesse and his wife’s activities to help Star Scientific. 

So the Governor had ample opportunity to exercise those vaunted Christian “family values”  and spare his family the indignity of a trial,  let alone multiple convictions.  He chose instead to rehabilitate his flagging national political ambitions by employing a scorched earth legal defense which traduced his wife and his marriage. And if it cost him a wife,  well they’re stamping out younger, shinier trophy editions every day.

The McDonnell legal team (the financing for which remains a matter of speculation- if they are so broke, who’s paying?) vows an appeal. Next step for the Governor and his wife is the sentencing phase, expected to take place in early January. At this point I would be remiss to not point out the extraordinary reporting provided by Virginian Pilot reporter Bill Sizemore and other members of the Pilot editorial team. Sizemore in particular has done an extraordinary job of framing the issues and making nuanced legal points comprehensible to those of us sitting in the cheap seats. An archive of the team’s case reporting can be found here. It rewards investigation.

Up to now, even the Palins, the Kallikak family of American politics, have not been convicted of corruption and fraud.

So when your local politician asks for your vote, and parades his beautiful wife and beautiful family on the end tag of his campaign commercial, check to make sure your wallet is still in place.

***

Surly1 is an administrator and contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He is the author of numerous rants, articles and spittle-flecked invective on this site, and has been active in the Occupy movement. He shares a home in Southeastern Virginia with Contrary and is grateful for every day on this side of the dirt.

Privatization: ACROPOLIS FOR SALE!

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Aired on the Doomstead Diner on June 24, 2014

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Snippet:

http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2014/06/Bring%20Back%20Humvees.jpg…Even though there is a lot of Hot Breaking Lunacy in the world of Collapse on the Geopolitical level going down now, I wanna take a break from looking at Iraq-no-Phobia Hashtag Diplomacy on Twitshit by Michelle Obama-sama and the latest Jawboning from the Minions of Vlad the Impaler threatening De-Dollarization to a more fundamental topic, the Privatization of Public Assets meme that is underway in more than a few locations now.

Not sure if the Greeks have sold the Parthenon or the Acropolis to Private Investors yet, but just about everything else the Greeks “own” through their Goobermint is on the Auction Block these days. Over in Frogland, I don’t think they sold the Louvre quite yet to some Chinese Art Aficionado Pigmen, but you can buy the Arc de Triomphe or the Eiffel Tower for the Low, Low Price of $10B on Craig’s List now…

For the rest, LISTEN TO THE RANT!!!

Also, don’t miss the recent Collapse Cafe with Gail Tverberg of Our Finite World and Ugo Bardi of Resource Limits.

RE

The Week in Doom June 8, 2014

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Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on June 8, 2014
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“The dearest ambition of a slave is not liberty but to have a slave of his own.”

― Sir Richard Francis Burton, 1821-90

‘Twas a week in which a US President made a deal to bring a hostage home and got nothing but criticism for his trouble. The world celebrated the 50th anniversary of D-Day. Obama and Putin spoke privately. Poroshenko, the Willy Wonka of Ukraine, was sworn in as president. Open Carry Tarrant County continued to “educate the public” by dropping in fully armed at restaurants; a Ukrainian jet killed eight in Luhansk; Verizon had a big sad because Netflix told the truth about its bandwidth-throttling; GM recalled another 106,000 vehicles; a Vermont gun store laid off 41 and blamed Obama, who may also be responsible for the resurgence of polio, decreased sunspot activity, an outbreak of genital herpes and a US plague lab in Kazakhstan. Kenyan police seized hundreds of elephant tusks, the Thai military swept the country for weapons, and Brazil’s “love hotels” were refurbished for the World Cup. But we won’t be talking about any of that. Because this is That Was The Week in Doom, where we look for themes, context, and any good excuse for a rant. We’ll look at capitalism’s assault on our food supply, on the very notion of national self-determination, and at the elite’s favored tool for control, “privatization.”

 

GMOs

Last month, Vermont became the first state to mandate that genetic modified organisms be labeled on food sold to consumers. which will go into effect in 2016 The state is already preparing to defend the new law from the legal challenges sure to follow. The Grocery Manufacturers Association has already announced plans to sue, and we’re sure that Monsanto and Syngenta will be close behind. The GMO lobby wants this kicked up to the federal level, where friendly legislators, already on their kness in front of their corporate donors, will quid their pro quo by enacting industry-friendly legislation while slurping up “campaign contributions.”  And with former Monsanto lawyer Michael Taylor named head of the FDA, who knows what lucky numbers we’ll pull in the upcoming genetic lottery?

After a stint as a Monsanto attorney, and later working as an FDA regulator, Taylor was in charge of a radical reinterpretation of something called the “Delaney clause,” a 1958 regulation which heretofore had prevented any chemical from being added to any processed food if the agent had been found to be carcinogenic:

As analytical instrumentation increased in power and more and more agents were found to be carcinogenic at very low levels, the agencies had developed a quantitative risk assessment approach to interpreting the Delaney Clause, which stated that if a carcinogen was present at levels less than 1 in 1,000,000 parts, the risk of that carcinogen was “de minimis” and it could be allowed on the market. In the article, Taylor presented arguments in favor of this approach. Advocates in favor of organic food have criticized Taylor for taking this stance and have attributed the stance not to a good faith effort to reasonably regulate, but to an alleged desire to benefit Monsanto financially.

 

Astonishing, yes? Taylor also has his fingerprints on a notice stating that milk from cows treated with BGH did not have to be so labeled.

(If you are unfamiliar with the issues pertaining to GMOs, find an effective summary at the GMO Free USA website. Suffice to say that GMOs, created and patented by chemical and biotech companies, are banned or restricted in over 60 countries.)

GMOs are created through splicing a gene from one species into the DNA of another that would not ordinarily occur in nature. Thus a cold water fish gene can be spliced into a tomato and make the tomato resistant to cold. What could possibly go wrong?

Yet one of the most troubling things that crossed my desk this week was this item:

 

Russian biologist Alexey V. Surov fed GMO soy to hamsters. He had four groups. One was fed real food. The second was fed real food that had been sprayed with the same pesticide associated with the GMO soy. The will third group was fed GMO soy. And the fourth was fed a diet high in GMO soy. The GMO soy diet after three generations produced offspring nearly incapable of reproducing themselves. In the fourth group’s third generation only one female was capable of giving birth and 25% of her offspring died prematurely, Hair started growing in the mouths of her pups, They were stunted and sterile. Their internal organs including the testes, spleen and uterus were smaller than those of the other hamsters. . . Scientists who appeared on TV were flooded with calls from ranchers who had sterile animals which they attributed to GMO feed. An English scientist who reproduced the GMO rat experiments using potatoes was fired within days of announcing his results.

But it gets worse for Americans just entering childbearing years.

In 2001 Mitch Hein was President of Epicyte, a San Diego bio-tech firm that made a protein that sterilized men and women who ate the corn his company had genetically engineered. Epicyte had gone to Mexico and found a rare protein in women that was known as causing immune infertility. The protein attacked sperm and prevented impregnation. When this Epicyte protein was spliced by them into corn and fed to men, it attacked their sperm and made them infertile. In women this protein attacks sperm making normal conception impossible. This protein has spread by normal plant pollination. It would now be a herculean task to remove from our food supply. 

For its part, Monsanto denies ever having worked with Epicyte or its successor, and denies splicing any sperm-killers. This from Ray Dobert, Ph.D., Monsanto’s Biotech Regulatory Policy Lead:

…No, none of our products have ever contained genes encoding for anti-sperm antibodies.  To answer your specific question about Epicyte: we did not have any agreements with Epicyte or Biolex Therapeutics (the company that acquired Epicyte in 2004) to conduct joint research or develop products.  Claims that Monsanto was involved in the research or development of food crops containing antibodies that kill or block sperm are incorrect. 

You be the judge. But if you’re bringing corn to the cookout, make it organic.

 

Implications of Em-pah

Recently in Information Clearinghouse,  Prof. James Petras published, “The Ascent of a New Power Bloc Capitalists, Technocrats and Fanatics.” In it Petras describes how a new power alliance of these three is emerging on a global scale, already flexing its muscles.

Emerging across the globe, far right populism is no longer at the margins of acceptable political discourse, but center stage, much like the American Tea Party. Their energy provides an opening for capitalists to extend their own agenda through the employment of techno-elites to manage, while the enthusiasms of the useful idiots of the right provide electoral access to power.

Here’s how it works:

Today capitalism depends on two seemingly disparate forces.  The irrational appeal of ethno-religious supremacists and narrowly trained elite technocrats to advance the rule of capital. 

Ethno-religious fanatics seek to promote bonds between the corporate-warlord elite and the masses, by appealing to their ‘common’ religious ethnic identities. The technocrats serve the elite by developing the information systems, formulating the images and messages deceiving and manipulating the masses and designing their economic programs.

The political leaders meet with the corporate elite and warlords to set the political-economic agenda, deciding when to rely on the technocrats and when to moderate or unleash the ethno-religious fanatics.

Imperialism operates via the marriage of science and  ethno-religious fanaticism- and both are harnessed to capitalist domination and exploitation. 

 

Petras cites the examples of the recent election of Modi in India, the rule of Erdogan in Turkey, and the Israeli apartheid state. Common elements include links to big capital, police state repression, and endless privatization of public spaces and resources. Sound familiar? Petras further explains how the Euro American Empire will eagerly employ any armed gaggle of fundamentalists  in order to achieve its short-term aims: neo-nazis in Ukraine, Al Qaeda in Libya, fundamentalist terrorists in Syria – bedfellows all. And then, once achieved, these “strategic allies” are expendable:

 

Their tactical alliances with the riff-raff endure until they secure control over the state and eliminate their adversaries.  Then the imperialist seek to demote, co-opt, marginalize or eliminate their ‘inconvenient’ allies.  The falling out comes about when the fundamentalists seek to restrict foreign capital and impose restrictions on imperial control over resources and territory. At first the empire builders seek ‘opportunists’ among the riff-raff, those willing to sacrifice their ‘ideals’ for money and office.  Those who refuse are relegated to secondary positions distant from strategic decision-making or to remote outposts.  Those who resist are assassinated or jailed. 

The disposal of the riff-raff serves the empire on two counts.  It provides the client regime with a fig leaf of respectability and disarms western critics targeting the extremist component of the junta.

Sometimes the rabble have their own ideas and decline to be used by the empire builders, preferring to run things themselves. As in Libya with the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, or the Right Sector riots against the Kiev junta, they refuse to give way and take matters into their own hands. The “Benghazi” story is actually much deeper than right wingers trying to damage Hillary Clinton, and deeply pernicious in what it says about Empire. Petras’ article is worth a read.

 

 The Privatization Scam

Privatization is a necessary tool of the corporate state. An article from Nation of Change exposes the damages done by five different privatization scams being imposed on taxpayers. And scams they are. And guess who’s behind them?

For years we’ve been told that privatization is The Answer.  That government is too inefficient, too expensive, too hidebound and resistant to change. If we would only “privatize,” “outsource,” or otherwise find ways to funnel our tax money into private hands, then magic efficiencies will occur, hungry children will miraculously be fed, and choirs of angels will chirp on every corner.

Utter bullshit. Privatization is late stage capitalism’s scheme to return a profit in an era when legitimate profits can no longer be made due to limited growth. So there’s money to be made in selling off the common inheritance of the people, if only you can manage to get your grubby hands on the peoples’ boodle.

The authors have identified five privatization stories gone horribly wrong. Would you be terribly surprised to learn that the names of several Too Big To Fail (TBTF) banks, plus the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) are prominently mentioned? Thought not. The long–story–short of it is that nonprofits and government are organized to serve a mission, whereas private enterprise is organized to deliver a profit to the owners/shareholders. Guess who guarantees that profit?

In Virginia, urban transportation needs have languished unfunded for a number of years, held hostage by a Republican controlled legislature who prefer “holding the line on taxes” to spending tax dollars on Democrat-controlled cities. The solution? Privatization. In 2011, the regime of disgraced former Republican Governor Bob “Transvaginal Ultrasound” McDonnell succeeded in leasing the bridge tunnels linking Norfolk and Portsmouth to a foreign third-party for 58 years in return for $2.1 bn in construction. The agreement also conveys the ability to set tolls and rates to the private entity.  The contract even stipulates that if the private company suffers losses because Virginia builds another crossing, they will be made whole. Guaranteed profits, and built in risk mitigation. Beautiful if you’re a crony, but it sure sucks to live in Portsmouth.

Be assured that any local pol who proposes “privatization” of some government function is intent on selling off the public trust in return for compensation. This is what capitalism looks like when legitimate growth will not deliver expected returns; you’ve got to steal from somebody. “Starve the Beast,” indeed.

 

Short takes from the week:

And yes, the US is apparently running a bubonic plague lab in Kazakhstan.

This week, the CIA made its first tweet and attempted to reveal a sense of humor. Reviews were mixed: 


Screen Shot 2014-06-07 at 3.22.21 PM

Church Billboard Quotes Hitler On the Importance of Educating the Kids

Department of you can’t make this stuff up.

Photo credit: Julie Burns/Ledger-Enquire

Pity the youth ministry. It’s a real struggle recruiting kids to your cause. You know who else struggled to recruit the young people? Life Savers Ministries of Opelika, Alabama, sure does.

Via the Columbus, Ga., Ledger-Enquirer:    A billboard at the Village Mall in Auburn, Ala., features five smiling kids beneath a quote from Adolf Hitler: “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”   

According to Lamar Advertising’s Montgomery office, the billboard was rented out by Life Savers Ministries, based in Opelika, Ala.Worse still, the quote—with an attribution, in red, to der führer—sits just above the well-known Bible verse from Proverbs: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” The billboard went up Friday and will be taken down Tuesday, per LSM’s request.   

“We are pulling the billboard and certainly never intended to cause confusion. … Herbert Hoover would have been a far better one to quote when he said, ‘Children are our most valuable resource,'” founder James Anderegg told the Ledger-Enquirer.

Ya think?  Know who else had honorable intentions?

***

Ohio police seek man after kindergarten fight

CINCINNATI (AP) — One man hit another while newly graduated kindergarten students were celebrating with punch and cookies, triggering a melee that involved up to 20 people and resulted in the lockdown of an elementary school near Cincinnati, authorities said Tuesday.

Mount Healthy Schools Superintendent Lori Handler ordered the lockdown because parents were panicking and school officials wanted to make sure no one else wandered into the fight scene. She said some 150 children were with their families in the school cafeteria when the fight broke out over an apparent domestic dispute.

“People never cease to amaze me,” Handler said. “It was a beautiful ceremony, with grandparents, parents, the 5-year-olds … then out of the blue, the man hit another man in the face. I was absolutely shocked.”  Police were seeking Raymond Walker, 33, on charges of assault and inducing panic. No other arrests were made.

“We’re going to prosecute to the fullest extent possible,” Handler said. “We are sending a strong message that you cannot act that way around 5-year-old children.”

Right. Unless you want to act like a five-year-old and show up with your AR-15.

***

Surly1 is an administrator and contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He is the author of numerous rants, articles and spittle-flecked invective on this site, and has been active in the Occupy movement. He shares a home in Southeastern Virginia with Contrary and a shifting menagerie of women both young and young at heart.

 

TSA: The Scope-N-Grope Crowd Now Wants Weapons

Off the keyboard of Surly1

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 Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on date
Discuss this article here in the Diner Forum.

“Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself
And falls on t'other [the other side]."

~ William Shakespeare – Macbeth
 

As some Diners plan to exercising their right to travel and freely associate by gathering in Italy, Texas, for the first ever Diner convocation, they will encounter the Transportation Safety Authority, or TSA. Few things inspire me to raving, spittle-flecked lunacy more than the notion of this federalized bureaucracy of former fry cooks, janitors, busboys and pederasts sucking a taxpayer-supported living from the body politic, all in the name of enacting security theater for we proles. The "screenings" performed daily by these poor method actors consist of sniggering over the semi-nude pictures of your body generated by untested and unsafe back-scatter radiation machines, fondling your naughty bits during an intrusive pat down, sexually assaulting both Granny and Little Nell, and oh, let's not forget, rifling through your luggage for stuff to steal and fence on eBay.

The TSA is a layer of expense and bullshit laid over the already demanding and expensive process of travel in the FSoA. Now, not content to merely grope your genitals or cop a quick feel from your daughter, they wish to follow the trend of escalating weaponization. This in the wake of the shooting of TSA checkers at LAX last fall. Providing armed guards is too expensive, you see, and as we all know according to the gospel preached by The Worst People on the Planet, the only thing that deters A Bad Guy With A Gun is A Good Guy With A Gun. So now proposals are afoot to arm the equivalent of mall cops.

Madness.

TSA2

The TSA was enacted into law by Congress in 2001, within two months of the events of 9-11. The speed with which this piece of ready-to-wear legislation was approved shows that, like the grossly misnamed "PATRIOT" Act, it was already drafted and ready to be deployed against the American people as opportunity presented. TSA was transferred from Transportation to Homeland Security in 2003. From there, the agency morphed into the bloated, ineffective and corrupt bureaucracy we see today. Don't take it from me: Wikipedia lists the "other complaints about the TSA complete with citations:

TSA agents are also accused of having mistreated passengers, and having sexually harassed passengers,[158][159][160][161] having used invasive screening procedures, including touching the genitals, including those of children,[162] removing nipple rings with pliers,[163] having searched passengers or their belongings for items other than weapons or explosives,[164] and having stolen from passengers.[116][165][166][167][168][169][170][171] The TSA fired 28 agents and suspended 15 others after an investigation determined they failed to scan checked baggage for explosives.[172]

The TSA was also accused of having spent lavishly on events unrelated to airport security,[173] having wasted money in hiring,[174] and having had conflicts of interest.[175]

The TSA was accused of having performed poorly at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration viewing areas, which left thousands of ticket holders excluded from the event in overcrowded conditions, while those who had arrived before the checkpoints were in place avoided screening altogether.[176][177]

In 2013 dozens of TSA workers were fired or suspended for illegal gambling at Pittsburgh International Airport,[178]

A 2013 GAO report showed a 26% increase in misconduct among TSA employees between 2010 and 2012, from 2,691 cases to 3,408.[180] Another GAO report said that there is no evidence that the Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) behavioral detection program, with an annual budget of hundreds of millions of dollars, is effective.[181]

A 2013 report by the Homeland Security Department Inspector General's Office charged that TSA was using criminal investigators to do the job of lower paid employees, wasting millions of dollars a year.

In 2001-03, if you asked most people, they would say that a couple of bucks per flight was money well spent to insure that domestic air travel was more safe. A reasonable premise. Yet it seems that the TSA's role is not to provide safety for travelers so much as to provide security theater, the performance art segment of state propaganda.

Jason Harrington, a former TSA agent, explained in Politico the everyday ridiculousness of the job, a fact that all agents simply accepted as a fact of life. Yes, TSA agents are ogling or making fun of your naked physique in the full-body scans. Yes, they are racially and politically profiling certain people for extra screening. Yes, the body scans are ineffective and can be easily manipulated. (“They’re shit,” a scan instructor said.)

But Harrington recognizes the job's clearer purpose — to create the illusion of security. "It was a job that had me patting down the crotches of children, the elderly and even infants as part of the post-9/11 airport security show," he writes. Later, he points to his frustration with "the theatrical quality of nearly all airport security." Essentially, Harrington is referring to "Security Theater," an idea security expert Bruce Schneier explained in detail to CNN in 2009:

Security is both a feeling and a reality. The propensity for security theater comes from the interplay between the public and its leaders.

When people are scared, they need something done that will make them feel safe, even if it doesn't truly make them safer. Politicians naturally want to do something in response to crisis, even if that something doesn't make any sense.

So now we understand the TSA's purpose, which beyond collecting a federal paycheck and benefits, is simply to indoctrinate and degrade, and to reinforce blind acceptance and obedience to authority as the default response to increasingly bizarre searches and seizures. And as loath as I am to cite anything from Infowars, to their credit they have reposted a complaint from Jonathan Corbett, who has sued the TSA in a case challenging the constitutionality of the TSA’s nude body scanners and invasive pat-down program. The TSA has quietly admitted there is no actual “threat-addressing” basis for employing nude body scanners or invasive pat down procedures at airports in its own documents, a notion many travelers  weary of the agency’s borderline sexual molestation have long suspected but were hard-pressed to prove. The Court enjoined the blogger from publishing, but the Court failed to secure its own document, which Infowars republished.

Through Redactions, TSA Admits Terror Threats are Slim to Nonexistent

A section detailing how “The TSA Has Misled The Public As to the Likelihood of the Threat ‘Addressed’ By Nude Body Scanners and Pat Downs,” includes a blacked out portion concerning the TSA’s knowledge that “explosives on airplanes are extremely rare.”

“For example, the TSA analyzed hijackings in 2007 and found 7 hijacking incidents across the globe, but none of them involved actual explosive devices,” Corbett explains in the brief, adding that the last attempt to bring an explosive on-board an airplane through a U.S. airport occurred 35 years ago.

Read the rest here. Bad news for the scope-and-grope crowd.

null

Meanwhile, when not rifling through your luggage for valuables to resell, TSA staffers have their own blog. A moving account wherrein eager TSA-ers track notable confiscations, while their colleagues pocket others:

Convicted TSA Officer Reveals Secrets of Thefts at Airports

It became a regular racket.

A convicted TSA security officer says he was part of a "culture" of indifference that allowed corrupt employees to prey on passengers' luggage and personal belongings with impunity, thanks to lax oversight and tip-offs from TSA colleagues.

"It was very commonplace, very," said Pythias Brown, a former TSA officer at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey who admits he stole more than $800,000 worth of items from luggage and security checkpoints over a four-year period.

"It was very convenient to steal," he said.

Speaking publicly for the first time after being released from prison, Brown told ABC News his four-year-long crime spree came to an end only because he tried to sell a camera he stole from the luggage of a CNN producer on eBay but forgot to remove all of the news networks' identifying stickers.

"It became so easy, I got complacent," Brown said.

READ: ABC News Tracks Missing iPad to Florida Home of TSA Officer

Brown is one of almost 400 TSA officers who have been fired for stealing from passengers in the past decade. According to the TSA, 381 TSA officers have been fired for theft between 2003 and 2012, including 11 so far in this year.

USA-SECURITY/PATDOWNSAnd if simple theft was as bad as it got, that would be one thing. But it's not. Becky Akers wrote an inspired rant in the NY Post in 2011 exposing how the blue-glove crowd not only steals valuables but also runs drugs, and has not only failed to apprehend any terrorists, but that as many as 16 known terrorists had passed from point to point on TSA-inspected aircraft:

No doubt they were too busy groping Grandma instead.

If terrorists the TSA misses don’t bring down your next flight, the equipment it damages might. CNN reported in 2008 that one TSA inspector boosted himself into nine “commuter aircraft” by stepping on “sensitive” thermometers that help pilots “gauge the probability of icing” — the bane of these smaller planes.

“We caught it this time,” said a bemused spokesman for the airline’s pilots, “but who knows if this has happened other times … and with other planes that are out there?”

The TSA’s response? It threatened to fine American Airlines for leaving its property open to inspectors.

The agency’s also a public-health menace. Dr. Marybeth Crane, a foot-and-ankle surgeon in Grapevine, Texas, notes that airports’ filthy floors harbor the germs responsible for warts, herpes and staph — including the dreaded MRSA. Yet the TSA has forced billions of passengers over the last decade to shed their shoes and risk contagion.

Ditto for its infamous blue gloves. Screeners probe armpits and groins, often reaching beneath clothing to bare skin — without changing their mitts between victims. Not only does this satisfy the legal definition of “sexual assault” in most states, it also transfers viruses and bacteria.

Just one passenger in the early stages of flu — or something worse — could start an epidemic. Should we tolerate an agency this reckless with our health? Or one that’s killed a passenger?

Rigoberto Alpizar, a short-term Christian missionary returning to his home in Florida, changed his mind shortly after boarding his connecting flight and tried to disembark past oncoming passengers. Tragically, two TSA air marshals were already aboard; they chased him onto the jetway and shot him five times.

Not surprisingly, some voices have been raised about the waste and excess of the TSA. Worthies such as John Mica and Rand Paul has been critical of the TSA and called for its . . . privatization. If you have not left the house since the McKinley administration, "privatization" is the process by which taxpayers pay to build or create something, then cronies in government sell it to private corporations for pennies on the dollar, which such private entity enters into a long-term lease to provide the same service at a higher price, with profits guaranteed by the taxpayers. (In Virginia, this became an art form under the administration of now-disgraced ex-Gov. Transvaginal Ultrasound.)

Even those striking heroic poses about TSA corruption such as John Mica aren't making noise because they want this useless overhead eliminated- they want it privatized. The better to line the pockets of cronies, campaign donors and to push a daughter's professional agenda. So Mica's outrage extends only to his inability to cut himself a piece of the grift. Steven Frishling documents his concerns here.

And no mention of the Homeland Security grift would be complete without giving Satan's personal emissary Michael Chertoff a nod. Chertoff, you will recall, followed himself out of the government into the arms of The Chertoff Group, who happened to represent Rapiscan, a manufacturer of back-scatter radiation machines. Headlines like, "Ex-Homeland Security chief head said to abuse public trust by touting body scanners"  made the rounds:

What he has made little mention of is that the Chertoff Group, his security consulting agency, includes a client that manufactures the machines. The relationship drew attention after Chertoff disclosed it on a CNN program Wednesday, in response to a question.

An airport passengers' rights group on Thursday criticized Chertoff, who left office less than a year ago, for using his former government credentials to advocate for a product that benefits his clients.

"Mr. Chertoff should not be allowed to abuse the trust the public has placed in him as a former public servant to privately gain from the sale of full-body scanners under the pretense that the scanners would have detected this particular type of explosive," said Kate Hanni, founder of FlyersRights.org, which opposes the use of the scanners.

Let's be clear: Chertoff scarcely missed a TV camera in 2010 lobbying for employment of these untested and unproven devices on behalf of Rapiscan. Now the scanners are ubiquitous, and the outrage all but forgotten.

U.S. Government Glossed Over Cancer Concerns As It Rolled Out Airport X-Ray Scanners

The scanning-technology debate illustrates just one of Chertoff's many financial interests in the security sector. In the recent deal to break up U.S. security firm L-1 Identity Solutions among two top European defense firms, Chertoff was well-positioned: His firm was a strategic adviser to French aerospace and security conglomerate Safran, which paid more than $1.1 billion to acquire L-1's biometrics identification units; and he sits on the board of BAE, the British defense giant which bought L-1's government consulting and intelligence services, as reported by HuffPost's Dan Froomkin earlier this year.

 

For the record, Chertoff and Rapiscan denied all wrongdoing, etc. etc. It always works.

As a reasonable person can conclude, that TSA has been a scam from inception: security theater for the masses, the best face of which is that “somebody's doing something about security,” with the worst being to inculcate the American people with the habit of being cowed, queued, and intimidated. Barely competent from inception, and now under the aegis of DHS  with  little track record  of accomplishment and less purpose, TSA has metastasized. The only discussions about reform go to privatization, the point of which is who gets cut in. On that lofty note,  we wish our Diner travelers well as they descend upon Eddie's place in West Texas, with best wishes for unshredded DNA, unfondled genitalia, and unstolen electronics.

And RE, if I were you, I'd be carrying my cameras and sound equipment onboard with me . . .

***

For those interested in additional punishment on this subject, here are some other stories that I couldn't work in. 2500 words is quite enough, yes?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/23/fear_pays_chertoff_n_787711.html
Rapiscan  is a subset of OSI Systems — See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2013/01/rapiscan-chertoff-scanners-pulled#sthash.7C0JUwpo.dpuf

http://scrapthescanners.wordpress.com

TSA ruins DisneyLand:  http://rt.com/usa/tsa-disneyland-officials-security/

https://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/11/22-7

View from the inside– http://takingsenseaway.wordpress.com

http://www.infowars.com/internal-tsa-documents-body-scanners-pat-downs-not-for-terrorists/

***

Surly1 is an administrator and contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He is the author of numerous rants, bleatings, disassociated posts and articles on this site, and has been active in the Occupy movement. He lives in Southeastern Virginia with a menagerie of women both young and young at heart.

 

 

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

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I'm not sure how the price of extracting Australian coal competes with Russia, indonesia, or Ch [...]

The conference was a remarkable success. Rousing speeches were made. Angry fingers were waved. And a [...]

Trump was born in 1946 so he's another stinkin' Boomer. Bernie and Biden were born during [...]

The millennial consensus is that Boomer is more a state of mind than an age. A lot of older millenni [...]

Bill Clinton was first boomer president, followed by Bush, Obama, and Trump. True, neither candidate [...]

Biden and Bernie are members of the Silent Generation. Neither one is a boomer. I think Trump is on [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

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Simplifying the Final Countdown

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Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

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Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

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Singularity of the Dollar

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Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

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SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

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Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money

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Merry Doomy Christmas

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Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

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Collapse Fiction

Useful Links

Technical Journals

Thermal environmental design in an outdoor space is discussed by focusing on the proper selection an [...]

The present work shows the experimental evidence carried out on a pilot scale and demonstrating the [...]

Climate change is expected to affect the occurrence of forest pests. This study depicts a method to [...]

The grapevine (Vitis vinifera, L.) has been long since recognized as an ozone-sensitive plant. Ozone [...]

Climate change imposes great challenges on the built heritage sector by increasing the risks of ener [...]