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Surly Newz / Doomstead Diner Daily October 20
« Last post by Surly1 on Today at 02:51:17 AM »

Doomstead Diner Daily October 20


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  • Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018

  • South Carolina Is Lobbying to Allow Discrimination Against Jewish Parents

    theintercept.com - The Trump administration is considering whether to grant a South Carolina request that would effectively allow faith-based foster care agencies in the state the ability to deny Jewish parents from fo…


    The Killing of Khashoggi: Why the Consulate Was Chosen as the Scene of the Crime?

    ahtribune.com - The apparent murder of Jamal Khashoggi inside Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul raises many questions. One so far ignored is diplomatic immunity. Under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations …


    Evidence suggests crown prince ordered Khashoggi killing, says ex-MI6 chief

    [url=http://www.theguardian.com]www.theguardian.com[/url] - A former head of MI6 has said all the evidence suggests Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was behind the death of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and that the theory that rogue elements…


    Dismayed journalists condemn Trump for praising assault on Guardian reporter

    [url=http://www.theguardian.com]www.theguardian.com[/url] - Journalists expressed disgust with Donald Trump’s remarks at a rally Thursday night in Montana, where he praised and joked about the unprovoked assault on a Guardian US journalist by the state’s cong…


    Opinion | A shouting match inside the White House unmasks one of Trump’s biggest lies

    [url=http://www.washingtonpost.com]www.washingtonpost.com[/url] - (Carolyn Kaster/AP) By Greg Sargent Greg Sargent Opinion writer covering national politics Email Bio Follow Opinion writer October 19 at 9:12 AM A shouting match has erupted inside the White House be…


    Fans Celebrate Marijuana Legalization in Canada. Critics Say it Could All Go to Pot.

    undark.org - All eyes were on Canada this Wednesday as the country became one of just a handful of countries to legalize the recreational use of marijuana — and only the second, after Uruguay, to sanction a fully…


    Texas newspaper that endorsed Ted Cruz in 2012 is now throwing its support behind Democrat Beto O'Rourke for the midterm election

    [url=http://www.businessinsider.com]www.businessinsider.com[/url] - The Houston Chronicle has endorsed Democrat Beto O'Rourke for US Senate in Texas over the Republican incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz. The newspaper endorsed Cruz in 2012, but this time around, if had some ha…


    DOJ Says Russian Trolls Are Interfering Online With the Midterms

    [url=http://www.theatlantic.com]www.theatlantic.com[/url] - The complaint says that the Russian conspirators directed their army of trolls to “[s]tate that during past elections, namely, this mainstream media, which supported Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, diss…


    ‘Close the whole thing!’: Border tensions boil over as Trump’s frustrations grow

    [url=http://www.washingtonpost.com]www.washingtonpost.com[/url] - By David Nakamura , David Nakamura Reporter covering the White House Email Bio Follow Josh Dawsey and Josh Dawsey Reporter covering the White House Email Bio Follow Nick Miroff Nick Miroff Reporter c…


    "Big-Ass Fight On The Horizon": Nearly Half Of All U.S. Troops Think Major War Is Coming

    [url=http://www.zerohedge.com]www.zerohedge.com[/url] - A new poll conducted by Military Times and Syracuse University has found that nearly half of all active duty American troops believe the next major war is just around the corner. The poll results sho…


    Beautiful, Toxic, and Maybe Healing: The Search for Cures From Jellyfish

    undark.org - Like me, you might have been distracted by your smartphone when a tumble of translucent jellyfish billowed across your television screen and caught your eye. Something about their primordial beauty p…


    “You Are The Product”: Big Data & Social Media Safety

    unicornriot.ninja - Las Vegas, NV – Millions of people throughout the world use social media on a daily basis searching for information, shopping, and even dating (to name just a few). Companies such as Facebook and Goo…


    When 'Concierge Medicine' Came to Town, I Had Some Questions. I Still Do.

    undark.org - Earlier this year, the health system at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor became the latest to roll out a “concierge medicine” program, joining the ranks of other prominent academic health cent…


    Miami GOP Chairman just caught leading Proud Boys in attack on Democratic campaign office

    thesternfacts.com - The Proud Boys are a national street gang with numerous Republican connections one of whose members planned the Charlottesville riot which group members attended last summer. But they court a multi-r…


    Hurricane Michael Reminded America Why Climate Change Is a National Security Risk - Pacific Standard

    Image result for WHY CLIMATE CHANGE IS A NATIONAL SECURITY RISK

    psmag.com - Wreckage at the Tyndall Air Force Base following Hurricane Michael. (Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) At least 35 people were killed when Hurricane Michael barreled into the Fl…


    Wall Street Loves These Risky Loans. The Rest of Us Should Be Wary.

    [url=http://www.nytimes.com]www.nytimes.com[/url] - Right now, leveraged loans are some of the easiest products for financial firms to sell. Unlike most bond investments, which have fixed interest rates, leveraged loans typically have floating interes…


    The Global Dollar Shortage is Here - And It's Becoming A Big Problem

    palisade-research.com - Another week and another signal flashing red to deal with. . . The credit market – in my opinion – is indicating an inevitable ‘crunch’ coming up. And even worse – we’re seeing the global dollar shor…

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    Editor's note

    The Doomstead Diner is a hub for discussion and information pertaining to the ongoing Economic Collapse of the Industrial Economy. The Diner is the result of many years of discussion and debate on many other forums. At Doomstead Diner, our goal is to collate much of the information we can to assist in planning for the world to come.
    2
    Geopolitics / 🌍 Economic and Judicial War Tools to Subvert Democracy
    « Last post by RE on Today at 12:53:38 AM »
    https://www.globalresearch.ca/economic-and-judicial-war-tools-to-subvert-democracy/5657263

    Economic and Judicial War Tools to Subvert Democracy
    By Nino Pagliccia
    Global Research, October 18, 2018
    Region: Latin America & Caribbean, USA
    Theme: Law and Justice

    This is the edited version of a panel presentation by the same title that took place in Toronto, Canada on October 13, 2018 The Event was sponsored by a number of progressive organizations

    ***

    I think this is a very important and timely topic to cover in order to have a broad context and hopefully contribute some useful thinking to the topic.

    We live in times of dramatic changes, as I see it.

    I am sure many are noticing that we are moving from a unipolar to a multipolar geopolitical world where important new players have something to offer.

    If we are noticing this, I am sure that the United States is also paying attention.  The U.S. knows that it is losing its hegemony to other powers like China and Russia. Many other countries are taking notice. Venezuela is certainly one of them.

    The U.S. is showing a reaction to that inevitable occurrence and what we are seeing are the struggling gasps of a dying empire that is imminent when measured in historical time.

    This will not be a peaceful death, unfortunately. The dying empire will not die in peace.

    I think this image might help us understand what is happening today.

    Warfare tools

    There was a time – say, last century – when we used to call conflictive relationships among nations by their direct descriptive name.

    We had wars that countries declared to each other and sent soldiers to kill each other. They would even “announce” their wars. They had, and still do, what is called “rules of engagement”… but this was no engagement to be married… It was truly an “engagement to be destroyed”.

    Then we had invasions where one nation would attack another nation to kill their people – a kind of war that was not announced.

    We even had the so-called Cold War that was nothing else than a permanent threat of war.

    Today we have quite a wide range of “conflictive relationships” among countries. But it’s interesting to see the corresponding proliferation of terminology that we have come to use in describing those conflicts.

    We have:

        Undeclared wars. And here we have to be careful how we use the term “war”. For example, there is no war in Syria. There is a war on Syria. Semantic is important here.
        New Cold War. I don’t know what’s new about it. It’s still a permanent threat of war.
        Infowar. The production of false news with media participation in order to undermine the legitimacy and credibility of a government.
        Economic war. This is the one that is caused through sanctions, and I’ll come back to that.
        Incitation to commit political crimes. For example, the life attempt against president Nicolas Maduro and other high officials last August 4.
        Incitation to mutiny. Repeated calls to the military to overthrow a government.
        Coups. We still have those…with a soft touch now.
        We have Soft Coups. These are the ones that have been at play in Latin America in the last few years. They oppress and kill people all the same.
        Terrorism. The ultimate destructive tool to be used against another nation. And it is being used by the U.S. widely, not only in the Middle East but also in Latin America and other regions.
        Finally, we have the most contradictory of all aggressions: Lawfare.

    This is quite a repertoire of warfare tools that can be used in any combination with the single goal of imposing a regime change.

    I recognize some of these tools were also used in the last century, but maybe not to the extent they are used today. Certainly, today they have become part of the new narrative about conflicts. They have achieved a level of recognition and acceptance that makes those actions extremely dangerous.

    That is why it is important to be aware of them.

    All of these actions are a form of warfare, and all have embedded an element of illegality. They are not used as legitimate self-defense. They are used to subvert democracy.

    They extend the notion of weapons to situations where everything can be “weaponized” (notice the new terminology) with total disregard to legality, morality, humanity and ethical considerations.

    As someone who is anti-war, I reject all implications of warfare especially when a war is carried out by a bully entity against smaller and weaker contenders.

    Let’s take a closer look at lawfare and sanctions.

    Lawfare

    Wikipedia gives the following definition of the term:

        “Lawfare is a form of war consisting of the use of the legal system against an enemy, such as by damaging or delegitimizing them.” [1]

    It is believed that a U.S. General by the name of Charles Dunlap used the term for the first time in 2001. He defined “lawfare” as the “use of law as a weapon of war,” which he described as “the newest feature of 21st century combat.” [2]

    Another similar definition of lawfare says that it is “the abuse of Western laws and judicial systems to achieve strategic military or political ends”.

    A law expert said,

        “lawfare is about more than just delegitimizing a state’s right to defend itself; it is about the abuse of the law and our judicial systems to undermine the very principles they stands for: the rule of law, the sanctity of innocent human life, and the right to free speech.”

    All these definitions seem to have a consensus on the blatant contradiction: lawfare is not for the pursuit of justice; it is not the application of the law. It is just the opposite. It is the breaking down of the legal and constitutional order of another state for political gain.

    Reportedly, the majority of U.S. laws that have come out after 9/11 constitute today the new tools used to repress any resistance in the name of national security, not only in the U.S., but also in other countries.

    The United States’ Disregard for International Law Is a Menace to Venezuela and Latin America

    But we know that other countries are also misusing their own laws in a cruel copycat fashion to repress any internal resistance. We all think of the cases against Cristina Kirchner, Dilma Rousseff, Luiz Inácio Lula, Rafael Correa, and others.

    Sanctions as economic war

    Something we need to know about sanctions is that the United Nations can also impose and apply sanctions on countries. And it does.

    At last count, 12 countries are sanctioned by the UN. More than half are African countries. Sanctions include asset freezes; travel bans, and arms embargoes.

    No Latin American country is currently being sanctioned by the UN; certainly not Venezuela.

    Imposing sanctions seems to be the assumed privilege of the U.S. based on its doctrine of exceptionalism. And the UN allows this to happen in spite of its own stated principles such as:

        The principle that States shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations. [Remember, the purpose is to pursue peace]
        The principle that States shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered. [Remember, Venezuela has persistently asked to dialogue, even to meet with Donald Trump]
        The principle concerning the duty not to intervene in matters within the domestic jurisdiction of any State.

    I believe that the UN is a dysfunctional institution. We have seen many times the ineffective work of the UN. Despite the purpose of the United Nations to maintain international peace and security, we see a proliferation of wars, conflicts, and interventions every day.

    Despite the intention, the United Nations is not a democratic institution by design from inception.

    The UN is definitely not a democratic institution when we have a body like the Security Council – with such an important responsibility as to apply sanctions according to Article 41 of the Charter – which is ruled by a handful of self-appointed permanent members that have a veto power. Security Council permanent members are: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

    In addition, Article 25 says: The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council…

    The misuse of the veto, the lack of accountability and the unfair representation at the UNSC – for example, not a single African or Latin American country is a permanent member – have all emasculated an organization that is meant, at least on paper, to uphold international law and achieve peace and global security.

    If this was a country we lived in, we would have a Junta of five people – never elected; they or their successors are there in perpetuity – ruling our country, and we would have to agree to let that happen and would have to obey their decisions against the will of the majority.

    This is the model of democracy that the United Nations gives to other nations.

    Right now, in this kind of UN chaos, nothing prevents any country to impose sanctions unilaterally on another country if they so decide.

    I have proposed an idea that all sanctioned States should start an international movement similar to the Non Aligned Movement founded in 1961. This could be called the Block of Sanctioned States Movement – the BoSS movement. I hope it catches on.

    Are sanctions illegal?

    Simply put, yes they are. They are against international law. Of course some disagree.

    In spite of what I said about the United Nations, many States accept that only the UN has the legal right to impose sanctions. Mind you, it would have to be a drastically reformed UN.

    At least there would be more eyes supervising the legal application of sanctions. And hopefully – emphasis on hopefully – there would be stronger accountability to provide evidence of any accusation against a legitimate government.

    Currently there is no evidence that there is a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela!

    The UN knows that, by the way, and does nothing. In the meantime, the U.S. is using infowar to create false evidence. Sanctions imposed by the U.S. are unilateral and are only based on domestic U.S. laws. The U.S. can legislate all they want within their jurisdiction but that does not make sanctions on another country legal when they break international law.

    Sanctions are a form of intervention to pursue national goals.

    Let me quote a paragraph from the Venezuela Report of last July:

        “The policy of imposing unilateral coercive measures, known as “sanctions” … violates the Charter of the United Nations, and conceals an aggressive model of intervention…  Beyond the rhetoric that justifies it in the name of “democracy”, sanctions are an instrument of war, designed to make people suffer in order to bend sovereign States.” [3]

    Notice that Venezuela is calling sanctions by its full name: “Unilateral coercive measures”. That’s what they are.

    It is important to know that Venezuela has responded with the most advanced economic strategy to this economic war by sanctions and the parallel foreign-induced inflation.

    Venezuela has targeted the essence of the damaging effect of sanctions: the U.S. financial system itself that imposes the U.S. dollar as the world reference currency. The latest Venezuelan monetary reconversion has set an economic recovery path by which the Venezuelan economic system is not measured in terms the U.S. dollar but by the value of its own oil resources linked to a crypto currency, the Petro.

    I called this a monetary revolution within the Bolivarian Revolution. It minimizes the impact of the U.S. sanctions, but most importantly it has already set an example to other nations. [4] [5]

    Legal Trojan horses

    It is often the case in international agreements; legislation or charters that “exceptions” are introduced, which invalidate the main thrust of the agreement or charter. I have already referred to the UN that establishes a Security Council with powers over the whole assembly of nations as such an exception.

    This is what I call a legal Trojan horse that facilitates the lawfare.

    I want to give an example of a legal Trojan horse in international legislation that is closer to home in Latin America, in relation to the OAS.

    Image result for lima group

    Lima Group

    Last February the illegitimate Lima Group, with no OAS authority, used Article 19 in Chapter 4 of the 2001 Inter-American Democratic Charter to prevent Venezuela from participating at the OAS Summit in Lima, Peru. They quoted the following bit from the article:

        “…any unconstitutional alteration or interruption of the democratic order in a state of the Hemisphere constitutes an insurmountable obstacle to the participation of that state’s government in the Summit of the Americas process.”

    But they conveniently omitted in that quote of Article 19 the very relevant beginning of the article that says,

        “Based on the principles of the Charter of the OAS and subject to its norms…”

    Therefore the 2001 Inter-American Democratic Charter does not supersede, does not invalidate or cancel out the 1948 OAS Charter. It recognizes it explicitly.

    If we read the principles of the 1948 OAS Charter, the relevant article – Article 19 of Chapter 4 (not to be confused by the coincidence of the same article numbers in the two different pieces of documents) – says:

        “No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. The foregoing principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference or attempted threat against the personality of the State or against its political, economic, and cultural elements.”

    In my view the 2001 Inter-American Democratic Charter is the Trojan horse introduced to weaken the OAS Charter of 1948.

    I do not believe that the team of international lawyers in 2001 would have made such a gross error to have missed the most relevant article of the OAS Charter that prevents precisely what’s at the essence of all U.S. actions: Intervention!

    I am inclined to believe that this was an intentional planting of confusion and attack. A true Trojan horse.

    What to do?

    I know what not to do. I don’t think we should all become international lawyers or experts to fight back lawfare and illegal sanctions. But we must be sufficiently aware to have a working knowledge of the implications of those interventions in Latin America.

    Today we cannot lose Venezuela. We need to maintain the Bolivarian Revolution alive. I don’t say this because I am a Venezuelan and a Chavista. I say this for the sake of democracy and the rule of law in Latin America.

    We have worked hard to keep the Cuban Revolution alive. We can do it. Tomorrow it might be Bolivia’s turn needing our solidarity.

    Once we understand that interventions in internal affairs of another country are illegal – by tribunal decision or by people’s majority decision – we may use those arguments in our solidarity work wherever and whenever necessary.

    I think that the “Canada-U.S. campaign to end sanctions against Venezuela” underway now is a great action that can bring us all together. [6] Venezuela and Latin America need us.

    We only have a decaying U.S. empire to take on. We can do it if we stick together.

    *

    Note to readers: please click the share buttons above. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

    This is the edited version of a panel presentation by the same title that took place in Toronto, Canada on October 13, 2018 The Event was sponsored by:

        The Louis Riel Bolivarian Circle
        Venezuela Solidarity Committee Toronto
        Colombian Action Solidarity Alliance (CASA)
        Socialist Action
        NDP Socialist Caucus
        Casa Salvador Allende
        Toronto Association for Peace and Solidarity (TAPS)
        Victor Jara Cultural Group
        Communist Party of Canada (Ontario)
        Hugo Chavez Peoples Defense Front (HCPDF)
        Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association Toronto
        Canadian Latin American and Caribbean Policy Centre (CAL&C) Common Frontiers
        Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network (LACSN)

    ***

    Nino Pagliccia is an activist and writer based in Vancouver, Canada. He is a Venezuelan-Canadian who writes about international relations with a focus on the Americas. He is editor of the book “Cuba Solidarity in Canada – Five Decades of People-to-People Foreign Relations” http://www.cubasolidarityincanada.ca. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

    Notes

    [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawfare

    [2] https://www.lawfareblog.com/about-lawfare-brief-history-term-and-site

    [3]  http://mppre.gob.ve/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Reporte_VZLA_2018-07-05_Inglés.pdf

    [4] https://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Foreign-Visible-Hand-of-Market-Exposed-Barred-in-Venezuela-20180926-0027.html

    [5] https://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Venezuelas-Monetary-Revolution-Vis-a-Vis-Economic-Sanctions-20180808-0023.html

    [6] https://afgj.org/focus-areas/venezuela-solidarity-campaign/campaign-to-end-us-and-canada-sanctions-against-venezuela
    The original source of this article is Global Research
    Copyright © Nino Pagliccia, Global Research, 2018
    3
    Geopolitics / 🐀 The Rats Revolt
    « Last post by RE on Today at 12:34:47 AM »
    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-rats-revolt/

    The Rats Revolt
    October 18, 2018


    The cover art of Ralph Nader's new book is by Truthdig contributor Mr. Fish.

    There is no American who has fought with more tenacity, courage and integrity to expose the crimes of corporate power and to thwart the corporate coup d’état that has destroyed our democracy than Ralph Nader. Not one. There is little he has not tried in that effort. He has written investigative exposés on the unsafe practices of the auto industry; published best-sellers such as “Who Runs Congress?”; founded citizen action and consumer groups; testified before countless congressional committees; written a raft of environmental and worker safety bills that were passed in Congress under the now defunct liberal wing of the Democratic Party; and, when he was locked out of the legislative process by corporate Democrats, been a candidate for president. He even helped organize the first Earth Day.

    His latest assault is a fable called “How the Rats Re-Formed the Congress.” (And though at times the prose can be a bit stilted and the scatological jokes on par with the humor of the average 10-year-old—the rats crawl up out of the toilet bowls as congressional leaders are taking a dump—Nader is deadly serious about the revolt the rats engender.)

    The key in Nader’s story to the citizens retaking control of Congress and the government is sustained mass nationwide demonstrations and rallies. These demonstrations, like all protests that are effective, are organized by full-time staff and steadily build in numbers and momentum. The demonstrations are funded by three enlightened billionaires. I don’t share Nader’s faith—also expressed in his other foray into fiction, “Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us”—in a renegade wing of the oligarchy funding the overthrow of the corporate state, but he is right that successful movements need to be sustained, grow in size and power, have dedicated organizers and amass significant cash and resources so they do not disintegrate.

    Nader writes in his new book:

        Protests rise and fall in the ether for the most part. They generally don’t ripple out from the core group of concerned people who originate them. Experts on crowds attribute this to little planning, minuscule budgets, poor leadership, and the lack of focus which induces protest fatigue among the core before they make an impact. The core never convincingly answers the questions, “Just How Far Do the Majority of Our Fellow Citizens Want To Go and How Do They Expect to Get There?”

        Another explanation for the lackluster showing of protest movements in this country is that American politicians, over the past twenty-five years, have learned to quietly dismiss big rallies, demonstrations, and even temporary “occupations,” because they have gone nowhere. The lawmakers never consider them when making decisions. Remember, too, that in Washington, giant rallies, such as those against the Iraq War, for the environment or for a jobs program were traditionally held on weekends when neither the members of Congress nor the journalists were around. These crowds are lucky to get a picture in the Sunday newspapers. The lack of publicity curtails any impact they might have had. The smaller gatherings, even those by Veterans for Peace, get zeroed out completely, rating at best a paragraph squib deep in the paper.

    The demonstrations for the restoration of our democracy take place in cities around the country. They also see enraged citizens pour into Washington, D.C., to surround and occupy the Capitol and the headquarters of other government agencies and institutions to demand a return to democratic rule. The ruling elites become afraid.

    Indeed, it is only when the elites become afraid of us that there will be any hope of destroying corporate power. Politics, as Nader understands, is a game of fear.

    As Nader points out, elected officials have surrendered their constitutional power to do the bidding of corporations in return for corporate money. It is a system of legalized bribery. The consent of the governed has become a joke. Politicians in the two ruling parties are the agents of corporate exploitation and oppression, the enemies of democracy. They no longer hold public hearings at the committee level. They govern largely in secret. They pass bills, most written by corporate lobbyists, and appoint judges to protect corporations from lawsuits by those these corporations have wronged, injured or defrauded. They deny our standing in the courts. They divert money from the country’s crumbling infrastructure and social services to sustain a war machine that consumes half of all discretionary spending. They run up massive deficits to give tax cuts to the ruling oligarchs and orchestrate the largest transference of wealth upward in American history. They suppress the minimum wage, break unions and legalize the debt peonage that corporations use to exact punishing tribute from the citizenry, including from young men and women forced to take on $1.5 trillion in debt to get a college education. They revoke laws, controls and regulations that curb the worst abuses of Wall Street. They abolish our most cherished civil liberties, including the right to privacy and due process. Their public proceedings, as was evidenced in the one held for new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, are shameless political theater that mocks the democratic process.

    “Congress itself is a clear and present danger to our country,” Nader writes. “It feasts on raw global corporate power and is oblivious to various fateful degradations of life on the planet.” He calls Congress “a concentrated tyranny of self-privilege, secrecy, exclusionary rules and practices.”

    Nader warns that any uprising has to be swift to prevent the ruling elites from organizing to crush it. It has to capture the public imagination. And it has to have a sense of humor. He writes of the fictitious uprising in “How the Rats Re-Formed the Congress”:

        A contingent from New York and New England, led by nurses and students, delivered a truck load of “Wall Street Rats” with the sign explaining that they would obviously be welcomed by the Congress that had refused to pass a Wall Street speculation tax, such a sales tax would have provided $300 billion a year that might have been utilized to provide healthcare and reduce the student loan burdens. Millions of postcards were being sent showing one giant black rat on the Capitol Dome with a sign saying, “You Didn’t Listen to Them—The People—But Now You’re Going To Listen To Us.” This was only a sliver of the corrosively critical anthropomorphism attributed to the rats and their imagined political agenda. They had become the voice of the public! Little statuettes of [House Speaker] Blamer, [Minority Leader] Melosay, and [Senate Majority Leader] Clearwater, wearing crowns upon which lolled a pompous rat, were selling like hotcakes. Poster art rose to new heights of imaginative, symbolic, and real-life portrayals of what was increasingly being called the perfidious “Withering Heights” of Washington, DC.

        The calendar was filled with non-stop street action: rallies, soapbox speeches, marches, and sit-ins at zoos where the protesters said the rats should be given luxury cages as reward for their heroic takeover. The media couldn’t have enough of it. Ratings soared and increasing print, radio, and TV time was being devoted to what was making a very deep impression everywhere. Protests—across the country, red state, blue state, north, south, east, and west—were moving into mobilization stages with overdue specific demands for justice, fairness, and participation qua citizens replacing control qua wealth as the sine qua non of government functioning. And, the most ominous sign of all for incumbents: there were early indications of candidates, holding the same beliefs as the protesters, readying challenges to the lawmakers in the upcoming primaries.

        Petitions were circulating on the Internet demanding the members go back to their jobs regardless of the rat infestation. Millions of workers show up every day at jobs far more dangerous. They don’t cower in fear. If they did, they would have their pay cut or be fired by their bosses. The petition pointed out that Members of Congress were getting paid while they stayed home in bed. Outrageous! These petitions contained common left/right demands—the kind that really scare politicians.

    No revolution will succeed without a vision. Nader lays out the basics—a guaranteed living wage, full government-funded health insurance, free education including at the university level, the prosecution of corporate criminals, cutting the bloated military budget, an end to empire, criminal justice reform, transferring power from the elites to the citizenry by providing public spaces where consumers, workers and communities can meet and organize, breaking up the big banks and creating a public banking system, protecting and fostering labor unions, removing money from politics, taking the airwaves out of the hands of corporations and returning them to the public and ending subsidies to the fossil fuel industry while keeping fossil fuels in the ground to radically reconfigure our relationship to the ecosystem.

    He writes of the popular convergence on the centers of power:

        Meanwhile, by car, bus, rail, plane and even by bicycles and by foot, people of all ages, backgrounds, and places continued to pour into Washington. They filled the restaurants and the motels. They usually had to find a room in a city where there were few affordable apartments but many large, under-inhabited houses whose longtime owners wanted to make some money to pay for their property taxes and repairs. So they were renting to the new arrivals.

        The ways these visitors made their voices heard were quite imaginative. There was a cavalcade of horseback riders in a procession down Constitution Avenue resplendent with the signs, “Pass this …” or “Pass that …” always ending with the ominous “or Else.” One horseman was using his trumpet to raise the emotional level of the demonstration, which was fully covered in the press. Others joined the daily “resign … or else” rally going on at the backside of the Capitol while mini-demonstrations were becoming daily events in front of the White House and at other major government buildings containing departments and agencies. Even those agencies in the suburbs, such as the Pentagon, the CIA, the Patent Office, or the Food and Drug Administration, where the employees had thought they would be beyond reach, did not escape the rallying.

    It is a wonderful vision. I hope it comes to pass. But even if it does not, we should try. Appealing to the ruling elites and the two corporate political parties, as well as attempting to have our voices and concerns addressed by the corporate media, which has blacklisted Nader, is a waste of time. The corporate state will be overthrown by a citizens’ revolt or we will continue to barrel toward a political and ecological nightmare. Nader dares to dream. We should too.
    Chris Hedges
    Columnist
    Chris Hedges is a Truthdig columnist, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a New York Times best-selling author, a professor in the college degree program offered to New Jersey state prisoners by Rutgers…
    Chris Hedges
    In this article:
    “how the rats re-formed the congress" congress corporate control economy environment government government reform law politics protest ralph nader senate td originals wall street
    4
    Far Out Newz / Re: ********************** 41 *************************
    « Last post by azozeo on October 19, 2018, 06:37:00 PM »

    Was Gary Hart Set Up?

    What are we to make of the deathbed confession of the political operative Lee Atwater, newly revealed, that he staged the events that brought down the Democratic candidate in 1987?

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/11/was-gary-hart-set-up/570802/
    5
    Diner Newz & Multimedia / Re: Doomstead Diner Comic Strip
    « Last post by Surly1 on October 19, 2018, 05:47:40 PM »
    6
    Doomsteading / Re: C5 Walks into a Diner...
    « Last post by azozeo on October 19, 2018, 04:56:56 PM »
    Don't be jealous guys. Permies was backing my play long before I got here. (well, maybe only a quarter of their mods)I am all about connecting people. That is how we survive. I have to be very polite there.(they censured me once in that series and they are already used to me being the guy that breaks all the rules but puts up with it because I perform useful thoughts. I have to be mildly thoughtful there.  You are the folks I drink with.


    Not jealous. I am your biggest fan.//

    If anybody wants my help for just about anything, I'm willing to help if I can. If they want to come at me from a critical mindset, or try to TELL me shit they think I don't already know? Well...fuck 'em.

    This may well be the best post I've ever read here, and I've written a truckload of 'em.




    We gots the back door entrance at this haunt  :icon_mrgreen:
    7
    It didn’t make many national headlines, but the proposed budget for NASA’s “Planetary Defense Coordination Office” was just increased by 90 million dollars.  At a time when our national budget is already stretched to the max, this seems like an odd thing to be spending so much money on.  As you will see below, the “Planetary Defense Coordination Office” is only two years old, and it is in charge of tracking threats posed by near-Earth objects such as asteroids.  Needless to say, if a giant asteroid suddenly hit our planet it would be the greatest catastrophe in modern times and for those of us that survived our lives would be radically different from then on.  So the threat is real, but in recent years NASA has assured the public that there are no imminent threats.  Has that now changed?

    This is a subject that I am particularly interested in, and so a Politico article about “NASA’s asteroid defense program” definitely caught my eye…


    http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/is-an-asteroid-coming-the-proposed-budget-for-nasas-planetary-defense-coordination-office-is-suddenly-increased-to-150-million
    8
    Doomsteading / Re: C5 Walks into a Diner...
    « Last post by Surly1 on October 19, 2018, 04:50:23 PM »
    Don't be jealous guys. Permies was backing my play long before I got here. (well, maybe only a quarter of their mods)I am all about connecting people. That is how we survive. I have to be very polite there.(they censured me once in that series and they are already used to me being the guy that breaks all the rules but puts up with it because I perform useful thoughts. I have to be mildly thoughtful there.  You are the folks I drink with.


    Not jealous. I am your biggest fan.//

    If anybody wants my help for just about anything, I'm willing to help if I can. If they want to come at me from a critical mindset, or try to TELL me shit they think I don't already know? Well...fuck 'em.

    This may well be the best post I've ever read here, and I've written a truckload of 'em.

    9
    Far Out Newz / Re: ********************** 41 *************************
    « Last post by Surly1 on October 19, 2018, 04:37:05 PM »
    I don't read much into Reagan's placing those flowers. Just politically expedient.

    But Prescott Bush and and his father-in-law Bert Walker, were Nazi sympathizers. They were thick with a guy named Fritz Thyssen (as in Thyssen-Krupp). That name is on a lot of things to this day, fwiw.

    This. As true AF.
    Wondering if Prescott Bush didn't bankroll the "Business Plot" of 1933 and Smedley Butler fame.

    The "Business Plot" was a political conspiracy wherein Butler claimed that wealthy businessmen were plotting to create a fascist veterans' organization with Butler as its leader, to use in a coup d'état to overthrow President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Butler testified to the House of Representatives Special Committee on Un-American Activities (the "McCormack-Dickstein Committee") on these claims, but no one was prosecuted, because of course they weren't.

    Today they would be Trumpers.
    10
    Frostbite Falls Newz / Re: Frostbite Falls Daily Rant
    « Last post by Eddie on October 19, 2018, 02:09:46 PM »
    I just boil 'em in a vat of Drano. Poof. Nothing left.

    <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Je3wNbZ1NqI&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Je3wNbZ1NqI&fs=1</a>
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