Saturday, May 31, 2008
Stop paying Taxes to the War Criminals!
During the Vietnam war, over 10,000 Americans went on tax strike in protest over their government's actions.
Today with the conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is a group of people arguing that to pay tax is illegal as it is assisting the commissioning of war crimes.
In this video, a woman who works for William Hill book keepers explains the steps that she took to stop her taxes being paid to the government.
For more information on how to write to your employer regarding tax deductions, please visit:
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
What's More Important -- Your Cell Phone Or Your Brain?
By Enrico Grani (with Paul Doyon)
“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” -- Arthur Schopenhauer
In 2007, about one week before my birthday, I was diagnosed with a 3 cm by 4 cm brain tumor. I had a stroke (my first one) the previous year in late November 2006. An MRI examination revealed a brain tumor in the area of my brain next to my ear where I always used my cell phone -- in the exact position where the cell phone’s antenna was located.
My goal here is to try to make you and your loved ones aware of the extreme dangers posed by these microwave-emitting devices. Please read about my experience carefully and thoroughly, and please do not make the same mistakes that I have made.
Rationalizations Won’t Save You
My father told me constantly that cell phones were very dangerous and that I would get a brain tumor. We actually had many big arguments because of my cell phone use. I would say “Yeah, Yeah, Papa, what do you know about cell phones anyway?” It went in one ear and out the other.
I rationalized that I needed this cell phone for my business. What I didn’t understand was the terrible price I would pay. I thought that if I exercised and ate healthy food, that I would be able to reverse the negative effects -- if there were any at all! After all, we were ALL told that cell phones posed no risk to our health. Remember?
I was very wrong. Cell phones are much more dangerous than anyone can possibly imagine. By just owning one of these devices, you are paying the cell-phone industry -- you are giving them the power to destroy your life -- and to make an increasing number of people sick. To think that I have paid the cell-phone industry thousands of dollars over the years to get a brain tumor (which has completely destroyed my life) sickens me.
I would gladly trade in all my money (which isn’t much now) and every single material possession I have for the chance to have my brain function restored. I was foolish!
Please don’t make the same mistake. Your brain is much more precious than the device called a cell phone. If you don’t believe this after reading this completely then there is no hope for you, and you will find out the hard way just like I have.
There’s No Customer Service When You’re Dying
Remember one thing, when you get a brain tumor from cell-phone use and you nearly die as a result, ring up the cell-phone shop and you will see how quickly they hang up on you.
All the smiles you remember in the shop -- going through all the models with the sales people -- are gone, and now you are totally alone in a world of pain, torment, and humiliation.
“Brain Tumor Day”
After I had my first stroke, my left arm became paralyzed and I now have severe cognitive difficulties, and problems with fine-motor movement in my hand. The brain tumor was situated in the right parietal lobe -- exactly in the position where I used the cell phone.
I was diagnosed one week before my 40th birthday with a meningioma brain tumor. I was so shocked my legs went weak. This was a birthday present that I will never forget -- ever! My birthday will always be remembered as "Brain Tumor Day." I can no longer work as I am disabled, but this does not mean that I cannot make you aware, so that you or your loved ones never endure my fate.
All I can do now with my life is to try and increase awareness of this serious problem.
Nothing Left to Do But Spread the Word
Thanks to the help of some good friends, scientists, epidemiologists, and a few doctors, I have been able to learn so much about the severe dangers posed by cell phones, cell-phone base stations, and the increasing levels of ambient electromagnetic radiation (EMR) permeating our living environments.
If we don’t do something about this now, I believe firmly, as do many renowned scientists, that this is posing a severe threat to all life on this planet.
There is growing evidence that the drastic disappearance of frogs, insects, and birds -- and now food production -- is connected to the growing microwave radiation permeating our environment. What I am trying to say here is that we are seriously looking at extinction as a species if something isn’t done soon -- if people continue to remain complacent and in denial about this problem because of another related problem -- the selfishness, greed, and stupidity infecting our way of life.
If we remain ignorant and uneducated about the seriousness of this situation, then many people, children, animals, and all life forms will gradually become sick and die. It has already started to happen!
Who Do You Trust?
I now sincerely wish that I had seriously listened to my father -- but I was really stupid. Now that I know what I know, I know that I have made a big mistake in trusting the cell-phone industry and my government to protect me against this danger.
After all, everyone was using them and they seemed OK. If I had had a better understanding of two things -- (1) the effects of electromagnetic radiation, and (2) the blatant irresponsibility of a government bought and paid for by an industry blinded by senseless greed -- I would never have encountered this sad fate.
Being disabled is very hard for me to deal with, as it complicates every aspect of what is left of my life. However, knowing now that my disability could have been prevented, knowing now that numerous scientific studies years ago had already shown cell-phone radiation causes DNA damage and brain tumor development, knowing now that these scientific studies were completely ignored because of industry greed many years ago prior to my tumor, and knowing now that it could have been prevented, is even harder for me to deal with emotionally.
Now I want to tell you all that I firmly believe that cell-phone use was the cause of my brain tumor. And I pray you don't think that you are the lucky, untouchable one!
I pray that you don't think you are immune to this either! Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) does not discriminate. If you use a cell phone, the chances of you also getting a brain tumor, not to mention all kinds of other serious health problems, are extremely high.
My goal here is not to scare you, but rather to give you the cold hard facts -- facts that you may not know about and facts that you need to be aware of.
Brain Tumors are On the Rise
In the past few years there has been a drastic increase in the number of people getting brain tumors (not to mention other cancers and disease states like Autism, ADHD, CFIDS and so on). Brain tumors are now the number-one cause of death in children in Australia and the United States (and I imagine many other countries also).
It is now being predicted by epidemiologists that within the next ten years we will see at least a 1,000 percent increase in this disease state. A major brain-tumor epidemic is just around the corner. It saddens my heart to watch all the children with their cell phones glued to their ears; they have no idea what they are in for in years to come. This should not be happening, but it is and it is a serious crime against humanity being committed by humanity itself. I seriously believe this now!
My life has been completely destroyed. I have seizures nearly all the time now and it is extremely painful to experience these; it feels as if I am being electrocuted over and over again, with the flesh peeling off my bones. It took me over two months to learn how to walk again. However, I am a fighter and I always will be!
Systemic Genocide Against Humanity
I have always tried to take good care of my health and I was always very conscious of the importance of my body and mental strength, as I am quite a fitness buff. I just wasn’t aware how seriously dangerous cell phones actually were. I really just wanted to quickly recover after having the tumor removed from my brain and I was exercising, lifting weights, and leg pressing twice my body weight, as soon as I could walk again. I just wanted my health back, and to be able to work again and regain the lifestyle I once had!
However, having said that, I am still suffering drastically because of this. What the phone companies did to me with their lies and their greed is a crime that should never have been allowed to happen.
What will happen to an increasing number of people can only be considered as "Systematic Genocide Against Humanity.”
I know it and many other people know it too. Unfortunately, not enough people want to believe it -- until of course something like this happens to them. It is as if they are drug-addict zombies in a trance -- addicted to their cell phones. The only difference here being is that the cell phone is the new "Electromagnetic Drug." This is what the cell-phone industry wants and has seemingly planned and now totally achieved.
The First Hit is Free
Why would a cell-phone company make you sign a contract and then give you "free” minutes? Sounds to me like what a "drug pusher" would do.
As the saying goes "nothing is for nothing." Free minutes “equals” more time on the cell phone, “equals” addiction, “equals” a brain tumor, cancer, disability, allergies, feeling unwell, plus once you are addicted your "free minutes" are quickly all used up and then you will pay even more to your cell-phone company.
The cell-phone companies are killing us and no one seems to have a clue about what is really going on -- or they are so addicted to their cell phones that most don’t seem to care.
No one can deny that cell phones caused my brain tumor, except perhaps the unethical liars bought and paid for by the cell-phone industry. No matter how much proof you submit, they will deny it to no end, backed by their highly paid unethical lawyers, who have no soul! It’s totally disgusting. These people have sold their souls for money and gold, at the expense of the health of people worldwide!
It is time for me to go public with this and I suggest that if you (or someone that you know) are in the same or a similar situation that you go public as well. I am not scared of the cell-phone industry because I have a soul filled with love for humanity. They have no soul at all, or they would not be doing this to us!
Placing cell-phone towers next to people’s homes and nearby children's schools, and selling cell phones to young children when it is a known fact that a child's skull is thinner than an adult's, and a child's brain is not fully developed and is damaged greatly by cell phone use, is completely unethical and irresponsible.
The cell-phone industry, while completely aware of these facts, still -- blinded by greed, it seems -- engage in this ironically legal "Crime Against Humanity." I really don’t care if they try to kill me, harass me, or whatever else they may try to do to me. Sure, they have so much money, and I have none. So what? At least I am a human being with dignity and a conscience -- and that is much more than I can say about them.
I was in a coma for three days, I had three strokes, and I had a good portion of by brain cut out of my head. What more needs to be said? How could I possibly be scared of them?
My life is garbage and I know many other people that have been seriously affected from all walks of life. Once a person has cheated death as many times as I have, then one no longer holds any fear of anyone or anything. I just want to get this story out to the public and hopefully from reading about my experience some people’s lives can be spared from fates similar to mine. My only goal in life right now is to save life through educating people about my experience.
Mass Media Avoids the Truth Like the Plague
I have approached many TV stations here in Australia and none of them have wanted to touch my story. It seems to me that they are also bought and paid for by the cell-phone industry. This is not hard to believe either.
How many people must die before this situation with the electromagnetic radiation (EMR) is taken seriously in my country and given the worldwide coverage that it deserves? I suppose many people are fearful of losing their jobs by speaking out. All I can say to these people is that when they are in a wheel chair and can no longer work it’s "You had the chance to speak out but chose to remain silent."
Should it be Considered Premeditated Murder?
It really makes me extremely angry because it is the children, with their lives still ahead of them, who are going to suffer the most because of this. The children's brains and immune systems are still in a process of development. The cell-phone industry, fully ignoring this fact, manipulates children into purchasing a cell phone by using Mickey Mouse designs on the phones to get the child's attention.
All I can say is that this is "premeditated murder." What else can it be called when they are fully aware from all the data, facts, and studies (except the ones they have manipulated) by an army of ethical scientists and researchers out there saying that these things are dangerous!
You May be Affected But Attribute it to Other Things
This microwave radiation is destroying people’s lives and most people do not even realize this because it seems that they are attributing their symptoms to other things.
It is difficult for people to realize that something they can't sense with their senses -- see, touch, taste, smell, or hear -- is harmful, and most don’t even imagine that this is indeed the cause of their symptoms.
Not even the doctors are aware of the problem it seems, and if they are, most are keeping their mouths shut (for fear of losing their jobs). The cell phone companies are making staggering amounts of money, the pharmaceutical companies are making money, and doctors and hospitals are making money. And as long as they are all making money, it seems as if everyone is happy -- until of course they also get sick!
I spent approximately $4,000 AUS dollars on my cell-phone bills in 1996. I still can’t believe that I gave those Criminals all that money and I don’t expect that they will ever pay me back any of it either.
In the initial stages of having a cell phone I started to notice a burning sensation above the ear (where the tumor was diagnosed), but at the time I didn’t give it much thought, like many of you out there I presume.
However, come to think of it, there were a few times when I had to end the phone call because the pain was unbearable and I would have to call the person back later after the pain had subsided. I would also get these chronic headaches and pain in my eyes, but then again, I just attributed this to the pressures of the work. I even started to lose my memory and get lost while driving, which is strange since before that I always had a decent sense of direction.
All these symptoms started with the business and the cell phone usage. I finally left that business after 17 months on the job.
I went to see about five doctors over a period of years because of the headaches. Not one of them told me to stop using my cell phone. They all just diagnosed me with having tension headaches and prescribed Panadol or Aspirin or some other drug, which I usually did not take since I never trusted pharmaceuticals. Had just one of these doctors ordered a MRI brain scan, or a CT brain scan, I probably would not be so disabled today. If my brain tumor had been diagnosed earlier, I most likely would be working now and enjoying life.
Conventional Medicine is Still Clueless About the Dangers of EMR
The brain rehabilitation team was utterly astounded with my progress after my brain tumor was removed. However, they seemed to be completely clueless about the dangers of EMR and often would take their cell phone calls directly in the immediate vicinity of my head. They really should be aware that one should not put one of these microwave-emitting devices next to one’s head and especially not close to the head of someone who has just had a brain tumor removed.
However, like most people out there they are completely and utterly clueless regarding the dangers posed by this EMR weapon. It’s a complete irony and utter contradiction, but the people in the medical profession -- the people who are supposed to be helping us -- do not have any clue about the harmful effects of EMR on living organisms.
Hopefully, in the future -- if we have one -- this will change! At this point, people really have to do the research on EMR themselves. I have personally had to do my own research regarding EMR and my condition. Doctors are just too happy to prescribe drugs without really thinking too deeply about the underlying causes.
Now, my only mission in life is to make people aware of the dangers posed by this wireless technology. What else can I do? I just hope people are smart enough to listen. My only desire is for people to have life -- not death!
To my father: I am sorry Papa that I failed you by not listening to you. Papa you were right just as usual, and I paid the price for not listening to your words of wisdom as usual. The only thing is, this time I cannot correct my mistake. I am disabled for life. Sorry Papa, please forgive me for my stupidity.
To read more about my experience, please visit the website below, where my experience since being diagnosed with a brain tumor has been documented.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Es un video creado por Nathalie Cardone, famosa artista francesa que apoya la lucha por autodeterminacion de nuestros pueblos Latino-Americanos. Farabundo Marti Vive, La Lucha Sigue!
A video made by the famous French artiste, Nathalie Cardone, supporting the struggle for self-determination of our Latin American peoples. Farabundo Marti lives, the Struggle Continues!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Rumsfeld On Tape: Terror Attack Could Restore Neo-Con Agenda
Former Defense Secretary's conversation with military analysts on political problems - "The Correction For That...Is An Attack"
Shocking excerpts of confidential recordings recently released under the Freedom of Information Act feature former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld talking with top military analysts about how a flagging Neo-Con political agenda could be successfully restored with the aid of another terrorist attack on America.
The tape also includes a conversation where Rumsfeld and the military analysts agree on the possible necessity of installing a brutal dictator in Iraq to oversee U.S. interests.
The tapes were released as part of the investigation into the Pentagon's "message force multipliers" program in which top military analysts were hired to propagandize for the Iraq war in the corporate media.
In attendance at the valedictory luncheon Rumsfeld hosted on December 12, 2006 were David L. Grange, Donald W. Sheppard, James Marks, Rick Francona, Wayne Downing, and Robert H. Scales, Jr. among others.
The most extraordinary exchange takes place when Lt. Gen. Michael DeLong bemoans shrinking political support for Neo-Con war plans on Capitol Hill and suggests that sympathy for the Bush administration's agenda will only be achieved after a new terror attack.
Rumsfeld agrees that the psychological impact of 9/11 is wearing off and the "behavior pattern" of citizens in both the U.S. and Europe suggests that they are unconcerned about the threat of terror.
DELONG: Politically, what are the challenges because you're not going to have a lot of sympathetic ears up there until it [a terror attack] happens.
RUMSFELD: That's what I was just going to say. This President's pretty much a victim of success. We haven't had an attack in five years. The perception of the threat is so low in this society that it's not surprising that the behavior pattern reflects a low threat assessment. The same thing's in Europe, there's a low threat perception. The correction for that, I suppose, is an attack. And when that happens, then everyone gets energized for another [inaudible] and it's a shame we don't have the maturity to recognize the seriousness of the threats...the lethality, the carnage, that can be imposed on our society is so real and so present and so serious that you'd think we'd be able to understand it, but as a society, the longer you get away from 9/11, the less...the less...
Click here for the audio clip, http://prisonplanet.com/audio/160508clip1.mp3
In another exchange, after assuring that comments are "off the record," Rumsfeld and one of the military analysts agree that Iraq could use a "Syngman Rhee" to take control of Iraq. Syngman Rhee was the ruthless authoritarian dictator of South Korea from after World War II through the Korean War to 1960. If the invasion of Iraq was about liberating the Iraqis from a tyrant in the form of Saddam Hussein why is Rumsfeld talking about installing an even more brutal dictator?
Click here for the audio clip, http://prisonplanet.com/audio/160508clip2.mp3
Newsvine has the recording in full.
Rumsfeld's admission that the correction for dwindling support of the Neo-Con imperial crusade is another terror attack is perhaps the most startling and blatant indication that 9/11 was an inside job.
How much more evidence do we need to confirm that the Neo-Con hierarchy in control of the U.S. government are instigating and exploiting terror in the pursuit of their own domestic and geopolitical agenda?
As Jerry Mazza writes today, "In the seven years since the day, exhaustive and still growing evidence proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the US government, spearheaded by the Bush administration, planned, orchestrated and executed the 9/11 false flag operation. As openly advocated by wide swaths of elites, from the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), of which Rumsfeld has been a member, to the likes of Zbigniew Brzezinski (in his The Grand Chessboard), only an attack “on the order of Pearl Harbor” would, in Brzezinski’s words, cause the American people to support an “imperial mobilization,” and a world war."
Placing the new evidence against previously revealed 9/11-related acts on the part of Rumsfeld, his guilt is overt and obvious. Recall that it was Rumsfeld who enthusiastically penned the "Go Massive" memo, gleefully declaring the Bush administration finally had the green light to kill: “Not only UBL (Usama bin Laden). Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not.”
The longing for a new terror attack to corral the masses back behind the Neo-Con agenda is a shared fetish amongst Neo-Cons, policy wonks and academics alike.
In August last year Philadelphia Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky openly called for "another 9/11" that "would help America" restore a "community of outrage and national resolve".
Lt.-Col. Doug Delaney, chair of the war studies program at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, told the Toronto Star last July that "The key to bolstering Western resolve is another terrorist attack like 9/11 or the London transit bombings of two years ago."
The same sentiment was also explicitly expressed in a 2005 GOP memo, which yearned for new attacks that would "validate" the President's war on terror and "restore his image as a leader of the American people."
Also in July 2007, former Republican Senator Rick Santorum suggested that a series of "unfortunate events," namely terrorist attacks, will occur within the next year and change American citizen's perception of the war.
And the month before that, the new chairman of the Arkansas Republican Party Dennis Milligan said that there needed to be more attacks on American soil for President Bush to regain popular approval.
Comments posted on the left-wing Huffington Post website in response to the Rumsfeld tape indicate that even some of the most hardcore conspiracy debunkers have had their beliefs shaken to the core by the former Defense Secretary's admission.
"I have been a very staunch opponent of conspiracy theories," writes one, "but to hear the man most responsible for stopping foreign threats to American lives musing that a successful attack on the USA is somehow a "cure" for us... it almost makes me want to make a tinfoil hat with the nuts I made fun of."
Discuss this on the Forum here
Monday, May 19, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
While an increasing number of people, particularly in the USA, now question the official conspiracy story fed us by the war criminal regimes on both sides of the Atlantic the much greater conspiracy amongst western capitalist nations to create a New World Order dictatorship across the Planet proceeds apace.
And while the old imperialist union of what is jokingly called the United Kingdom creaks at the seams and continues to crumble it behoves us in little Scotland to consider how the 'maximum leader' of our current nationalist government, Alex Salmond, not only reflects the interests of the New World Order but is actively participating in helping to exacerbate the conditions of anarchy brought about by the NWO through imperialist wars where both international and national laws against war crimes are ignored and undermined.
Alex Salmond is not only Scotland's First Minister but he also happens to be my Member of Parliament at Westminster, drawing a double salary as both a Member of the Scottish Parliament and a Westminster MP. When Salmond was elected into Scotland's Holyrood Parliament I assumed, as probably did others, that he would resign his Westminster seat and that a by-election would be called. That was clearly a naive assumption on my part. Nothing of the sort happened.
Yet nobody in Scotland is complaining. Nobody seems to care. And there lies the problem. Not only has the Scottish National Party obtained its position of power by default --through a wholesale disaffection of the electorate with Brown's Nu Labor-- it increasingly looks like Scottish nationalism has given way to a crude form of personality cult clumsily described as Salmondism. In a Parliament of numpties it appears that Our Eck --as Ian Bell of the Glasgow Herald refers to him-- can do no wrong while he goes busily about grinding all political opposition into dust. Well, it was never much of an opposition anyway, but Our Eck must be given the kudos for guile and outfoxing. He really has run circles around the Parcel of Thieves who today still insist that Scotland should remain in a corrupt and decadent union-turned-banana republic now run jointly by Brussels and Washington, DC.
Only this. While it is one thing --and even to be admired-- to see him outmanoeuvre the unionists it is quite another to see how he continually pulls the wool over the eyes of his fellow Scots. And that he most certainly does. Here is just one example of how Our Eck, while saying one thing actually does the very opposite: both he and the SNP leadership are very noisy in their condemnation of the Blair Government for having taken Britain into an illegal war in Iraq. They however, it should be noted, are quite happy to accept the cosmetic pretence of a similar war in Afghanistan, claiming that this was legally sanctioned by the United Nations.
Which leads me to conclude that he and the SNP must be ignorant about international law. Neither the United Nations or its Security Council have any authority to declare war against another nation. Economic sanctions yes, war no.
So we begin to see how the SNP policy about Iraq and Afghanistan is nothing more than ill-constructed posturing. While they court the popular vote which disapproves of the former they really have no interest in what is little more than a secret war in central Asia about which the average Scot has little to say. But dig a little deeper into the politics of Salmondism and it gets far murkier. For here is a man who appears to have little time for either international or national law, who appears happy to overturn the very laws that he and his cronies in Westminster have made.
Recently, I wrote to Our Eck as one of his constituents asking for his approval of my intention, as a supporter of the Make Wars History campaign, to make a complaint to my local constabulary of the various acts of war criminality committed by Messrs Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and others as outlined by the International Criminal Court Act (Scotland) of 2001. What followed was a series of correspondence in which Salmond dodged and ducked and dived out of either addressing the legal issue or giving it the slightest commitment. No, he wasn't prepared to support what he called "a campaign against Tony Blair" which would result "in hours of wasted police time" and a single-issue campaign which a political party couldn't support.
All this is nonsense, of course. Make Wars History is not a campaign against any one politician. Rather it is a popular campaign to ensure that the existing laws against wars and war criminality are upheld by nations and societies that claim to respect the Rule of Law. It seems that an inveterate politico like Salmond is simply unable to understand that. Which bodes ill for a Scotland ruled by one who has no interest in the Rule of Law. Nor would such a campaign lead to a waste of police time since multiple complaints to a given constabulary would merely be collated together. And why shouldn't a political party that huffs and puffs so publicly about illegal wars then not be expected to support a campaign aimed precisely at prosecuting the warmongers?
"You can't seriously expect the man to support this," you might say. "It would be political suicide for him or indeed something even worse of the like of what happened to Robin Cooke." True enough, it could be a very dangerous thing for a politician in a US satellite colony to bite the hand that feeds him in Washington, DC or indeed at the Westminster club where there is an unwritten rule that whilst one can posture and expel hot air it really isn't the done thing to point to other rogues and accuse them of criminality. So, all in all, while politicians may talk about war crimes they can't be expected to support legal action against such.
Which is tough on us as it is on politicians. Because by not doing so they not only undermine the very legislation for which they were responsible, in this case the ICC Act of 2001, but they end up being renegades no different to a Hitler, Mussolini or George Bush against the Rule of Law. Worse actually. They become complicit in the war crimes they will not resist. And so do we all.
Pretty heavy stuff, eh? You can see why Our Eck would take every form of evasive action available. Never mind about complicity. After all, nobody is really going to notice what a lone, eccentric constituent or a minor blogger is going to say. But that's the sad thing about the world of political images, smoke and mirrors in which Our Eck lives. There was a way in which he could have fulfilled his role as an MP while still playing the game of political expediency. He could have done what certain other MSPs have done by just quietly making it known that he would be only too happy to support a constituent's complaint to the police by ensuring that it was taken seriously and followed through. But he didn't.
Now, you could put this down to either ineptitude or to expediency. But as we can see the latter could have been easily served without his having to dig himself into a hole. So that leaves us with the question, while leaving aside all expectations of integrity or morality which in any case one should never expect from a creature so low and of disrepute as a politician, is Scotland's maximum leader really quite so bright as we are led to think he is that it has taken this to show that our would-be Emperor is devoid of the slightest moral vestige of clothing?
Discuss this Article on the CHIMES OF FREEDOM Forum here
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Excerpt from Robin Ramsay's The Rise of New Labour:
“All of this is being done in pursuit of policies which now come under the rubric of ‘the Washington consensus,’ i.e. American-style neo-liberalism. But these policies were adopted by Labour under John Smith as Shadow Chancellor (with Brown as his deputy) when they were quite specifically the policies sought by the City of London. The city’s well-being is top of the economic agenda. At every negotiation with the EU the City’s interests are paramount. The notorious ‘five conditions’ for UK entry into the Single Currency which some bright spark at the Treasury persuaded Gordon Brown to adopt early in his term as Chancellor, refer in general terms to the effect of Single Currency membership on the rest of the economy; but specifically includes Single Currency membership’s effect on the City.
The City has had complete control of the UK’s economic policies since 1979. The last flicker of resistance by Labour to the City’s agenda occurred about a year before the election of 1997 when, for a few weeks, Will Hutton’s take on the City-versus-industry thesis, his idea of the Stakeholder Economy, was apparently being taken seriously by Tony Blair, until the idea was run past Labour’s contacts in the City.
‘One minute the then-editor of The Observer [Will Hutton] was sitting in Blair’s kitchen, watching Tony push down the plunger on the cafetiere, as he said, “Will, stakeholding is going to be our Bible.” (The notion had been at the core of The State We’re In, Hutton’s runaway best-seller which persuaded large numbers of people to join Blair’s rebranded New Labour.) Just six weeks later Hutton found his idea had been dropped, after Blair’s adoption of it had been greeted with suspicion in the business world…'
This account was confirmed by the Australian academic Shann Turnbull, who has proposed a slightly different version of the stakeholder concept. Turnbull wrote:
‘When I met Geoff Mulgan [one of New Labour’s policy advisors in No.10 Downing Street] back in Australia on his honeymoon in 1998 he advised me that stakeholder idea had frightened the big end of town and so it had been dropped. Company directors were concerned that they would be made accountable to people other than shareholders and institutional investors were frightened that it would destroy shareholder value.” (Emphasis added.)
‘The big end of town’ being the City of London is an interesting image. But how big is it? How important is the City to the UK economy? What proportion of the Gross Domestic Product is the City? To have this much power it must be big. At least as big, say, as manufacturing, which has been persistently cut down in the City’s interests for the past 20 years. Wrong. According to the figures produced in 1999 by the City of London’s own propaganda outfit, British Invisibles (which may be presumed to exaggerate somewhat in the City’s favour) the City contributed 6.4% of the UK GDP. That is not a misprint: 6.4%. Manufacturing, by contrast is still, even after twenty years of assault, somewhere between 20% and 30%, depending on how you define manufacturing. And let it be noted, that 6.4% is now mostly owned by Americans. The reorganisation of the City, the so-called ‘big bang’ in 1986, was the beginning of the end for British ownership of the City. These days it is essentially a branch office of Wall Street.
Pursuing ‘the knowledge economy’ (Blair) and ‘an enterprise culture open to all’ (Brown), Blair and Brown may now believe they are on the wave of the future, driven by technology and changing world markets; but the truth is that at the end of the 1980s they simply swallowed whole the ideology of the City of London (the pioneers of globalisation, after all) and adopted its policies, which reflect its interests. The result has been, just as it was under Mrs Thatcher, who was pursuing the same policies, the continued destruction of the manufacturing base of the UK.”
pp 89-90, The Rise of New Labour, Robin Ramsay, Pocket Essentials, 2002.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Chimes of Freedom now has a Forum where readers of this blog can discuss various related and other topics. The forum is meant primarily for blog readers but is available to all others who may have experienced the heavy hand of censorship elsewhere.
Find the forum here
Sunday, May 04, 2008
by Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, May 2, 2008
Humanity is undergoing in the post-Cold War era an economic and social crisis of unprecedented scale leading to the rapid impoverishment of large sectors of the World population. National economies are collapsing, unemployment is rampant. Local level famines have erupted in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and parts of Latin America. This "globalization of poverty" --which has largely reversed the achievements of post-war decolonization-- was initiated in the Third World coinciding with the debt crisis of the early 1980s and the imposition of the IMF's deadly economic reforms.
The New World Order feeds on human poverty and the destruction of the natural environment. It generates social apartheid, encourages racism and ethnic strife, undermines the rights of women and often precipitates countries into destructive confrontations between nationalities. Since the 1990s, it has extended its grip to all major regions of the World including North America, Western Europe, the countries of the former Soviet block and the "Newly Industrialized Countries" (NICs) of South East Asia and the Far East.
This Worldwide crisis is more devastating than the Great Depression of the 1930s. It has far-reaching geo-political implications; economic dislocation has also been accompanied by the outbreak of regional wars, the fracturing of national societies and in some cases the destruction of entire countries. By far this is the most serious economic crisis in modern history. (Michel Chossudovsky, The Globalization of Poverty, First Edition, 1997)
Famine is the result of a process of "free market" restructuring of the global economy which has its roots in the debt crisis of the early 1980s. It is not a recent phenomenon as suggested by several Western media reports. The latter narrowly focus on short-term supply and demand for agricultural staples, while obfuscating the broader structural causes of global famine.
Poverty and chronic undernourishment is a pre-existing condition. The recent hikes in food prices have contributed to exacerbating and aggravating the food crisis. The price hikes are hitting an impoverished population, which has barely the means to survive.
Food riots have erupted almost simultaneously in all major regions of the World:
"Food prices in Haiti had risen on average by 40 percent in less than a year, with the cost of staples such as rice doubling.... In Bangladesh, [in late April 2008] some 20,000 textile workers took to the streets to denounce soaring food prices and demand higher wages. The price of rice in the country has doubled over the past year, threatening the workers, who earn a monthly salary of just $25, with hunger. In Egypt, protests by workers over food prices rocked the textile center of Mahalla al-Kobra, north of Cairo, for two days last week, with two people shot dead by security forces. Hundreds were arrested, and the government sent plainclothes police into the factories to force workers to work. Food prices in Egypt have risen by 40 percent in the past year... Earlier this month, in the Ivory Coast, thousands marched on the home of President Laurent Gbagbo, chanting “we are hungry” and “life is too expensive, you are going to kill us.
Similar demonstrations, strikes and clashes have taken place in Bolivia, Peru, Mexico, Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Yemen, Ethiopia, and throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa." (Bill Van Auken, Amid mounting food crisis, governments fear revolution of the hungry, Global Research, April 2008)
"Eliminating the Poor"
With large sectors of the World population already well below the poverty line, the short-term hike in the prices of food staples is devastating. Millions of people around the World are unable to purchase food for their survival
These hikes are contributing in a very real sense to "eliminating the poor" through "starvation deaths". In the words of Henry Kissinger: "Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people."
In this regard, Kissinger had intimated in the context of the 1974 National Security Study Memorandum 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests". that the recurrence of famines could constitute a de facto instrument of population control.
According to the FAO, the price of grain staples has increased by 88% since March 2007. The price of wheat has increased by 181% over a three year period. The price of rice has increased by 50% over the last three months (See Ian Angus, Food Crisis: "The greatest demonstration of the historical failure of the capitalist model", Global Research, April 2008):
"The most popular grade of Thailand rice sold for $198 a ton, five years ago and $323 a ton a year ago. In April 2008, the price hit $1,000. Increases are even greater on local markets — in Haiti, the market price of a 50 kilo bag of rice doubled in one week at the end of March 2008. These increases are catastrophic for the 2.6 billion people around the world who live on less than US$2 a day and spend 60% to 80% of their incomes on food. Hundreds of millions cannot afford to eat" (Ibid)
Two Interrelated Dimensions
There are two interrelated dimensions to the ongoing global food crisis, which has spearheaded millions of people around the World into starvation and chronic deprivation, a situation in which entire population groups no longer have the means to purchase food.
First, there is a long term historical process of macroeconomic policy reform and global economic restructuring which has contributed to depressing the standard living Worldwide in both the developing and developed countries.
Second, these preexisting historical conditions of mass poverty have been exacerbated and aggravated by the recent surge in grain prices, which have led in some cases to the doubling of the retail price of food staples. These price hikes are in large part the result of speculative trade in food staples.
Speculative Surge in Grain Prices
The media has casually misled public opinion on the causes of these price hikes, focusing almost exclusively on issues of costs of production, climate and other factors which result in reduced supply and which might contribute to boosting the price of food staples. While these factors may come into play, they are of limited relevance in explaining the impressive and dramatic surge in commodity prices.
Spiraling food prices are in large part the result of market manipulation. They are largely attributable to speculative trade on the commodity markets. Grain prices are boosted artificially by large scale speculative operations on the New York and Chicago mercantile exchanges. It is worth noting that in 2007, the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), merged with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), forming the largest Worldwide entity dealing in commodity trade including a wide range of speculative instruments (options, options on futures, index funds, etc).
Speculative trade in wheat, rice or corn, can occur without the occurrence of real commodity transactions. The institutions speculating in the grain market are not necessarily involved in the actual selling or delivery of grain.
The transactions may use commodity index funds which are bets on the general upward or downward movement of commodity prices. A "put option" is a bet that the price will go down, a "call option" is a bet that the price will go up. Through concerted manipulation, institutional traders and financial institutions make the price go up and then place their bets on an upward movement in the price of a particular commodity.
Speculation generates market volatility. In turn, the resulting instability encourages further speculative activity.
Profits are made when the price goes up. Conversely, if the speculator is short-selling the market, money will be made when the price collapses.
This recent speculative surge in food prices has been conducive to a Worldwide process of famine formation on an unprecedented scale.
The Absence of Regulatory Measures Triggers Famine
These speculative operations do not purposely trigger famine.
What triggers famine is the absence of regulatory procedures pertaining to speculative trade (options, options on futures, commodity index funds). In the present context, a freeze of speculative trade in food staples, taken as a political decision, would immediately contribute to lower food prices.
Nothing prevents these transactions from being neutralized and defused through a set of carefully devised regulatory measures.
Visibly, this is not what is being proposed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
The Role of the IMF and the World Bank
The World Bank and the IMF have come forth with an emergency plan, to boost agriculture in response to the "food crisis". The causes of this crisis, however, are not addressed.
The World Bank's president Robert B. Zoellick describes this initiative as a "new deal", an action plan "for a long-term boost to agricultural production.", which consists inter alia in a doubling of agricultural loans to African farmers.
"We have to put our money where our mouth is now so that we can put food into hungry mouths" (Robert Zoellick, World Bank head, quoted by BBC, 2 May 2008)
IMF/World Bank "economic medicine" is not the "solution" but in large part the "cause" of famine in developing countries. More IMF-World Bank lending "to boost agriculture" will serve to increase levels of indebtedness and exacerbate rather alleviate poverty.
World Bank "policy based loans" are granted on condition the countries abide by the neoliberal policy agenda which, since the early 1980s, has been conducive to the collapse of local level food agriculture.
"Macro-economic stabilization" and structural adjustment programs imposed by the IMF and the World Bank on developing countries (as a condition for the renegotiation of their external debt) have led to the impoverishment of hundreds of millions of people.
The harsh economic and social realities underlying IMF intervention are soaring food prices, local-level famines, massive lay-offs of urban workers and civil servants and the destruction of social programs. Internal purchasing power has collapsed, famines health clinics and schools have been closed down, hundreds of millions of children have been denied the right to primary education.
IMF Shock Treatment
Historically, spiraling food prices at the retail level have been triggered by currency devaluations, which have invariably resulted in a hyperinflationary situation. In Peru in August 1990, for instance, on the orders of the IMF, fuel prices increased overnight by 30 times. The price of bread increased twelve times overnight:
"Throughout the Third World, the situation is one of social desperation and hopelessness of a population impoverished by the interplay of market forces. Anti-SAP riots and popular uprisings are brutally repressed: Caracas, 1989. President Carlos Andres Perez after having rhetorically denounced the IMF of practicing "an economic totalitarianism which kills not with bullets but with famine", declares a state of emergency and sends regular units of the infantry and the marines into the slum areas (barrios de ranchos) on the hills overlooking the capital. The Caracas anti-IMF riots had been sparked off as a result of a 200 per cent increase in the price of bread. Men, women and children were fired upon indiscriminately: "The Caracas morgue was reported to have up to 200 bodies of people killed in the first three days ... and warned that it was running out of coffins". Unofficially more than a thousand people were killed. Tunis, January 1984: the bread riots instigated largely by unemployed youth protesting the rise of food prices; Nigeria, 1989: the anti-SAP student riots leading to the closing of six of the country’s universities by the Armed Forces Ruling Council; Morocco, 1990: a general strike and a popular uprising against the government’s IMF-sponsored reforms." (Michel Chossudovsky, op cit.)
The Deregulation of Grain Markets
Since the 1980s, grain markets have been deregulated under the supervision of the World Bank and US/EU grain surpluses are used systematically to destroy the peasantry and destabilize national food agriculture. In this regard, World Bank lending requires the lifting of trade barriers on imported agricultural staples, leading to the dumping of US/EU grain surpluses onto local market. These and other measures have spearheaded local agricultural producers into bankruptcy.
A "free market" in grain --imposed by the IMF and the World Bank-- destroys the peasant economy and undermines "food security". Malawi and Zimbabwe were once prosperous grain surplus countries, Rwanda was virtually self-sufficient in food until 1990 when the IMF ordered the dumping of EU and US grain surpluses on the domestic market precipitating small farmers into bankruptcy. In 1991-92, famine had hit Kenya, East Africa's most successful bread-basket economy. The Nairobi government had been previously placed on a black list for not having obeyed IMF prescriptions. The deregulation of the grain market had been demanded as one of the conditions for the rescheduling of Nairobi's external debt with the Paris Club of official creditors. (Michel Chossudovsky, The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order, Second Edition, Montreal 2003)
Throughout Africa, as well as in Southeast Asia and Latin America, the pattern of "sectoral adjustment" in agriculture under the custody of the Bretton Woods institutions has been unequivocally towards the destruction of food security. Dependency vis-à-vis the world market has been reinforced leading to a boost in commercial grain imports as well as an increase in the influx of "food aid".
Agricultural producers were encouraged to abandon food farming and switch into "high value" export crops. often to the detriment of food self-sufficiency. The high value products as well as the cash crops for export were supported by World Bank loans.
Famines in the age of globalization are the result of policy. Famine is not the consequence of a scarcity of food but in fact quite the opposite: global food surpluses are used to destabilize agricultural production in developing countries.
Tightly regulated and controlled by international agro-business, this oversupply is ultimately conducive to the stagnation of both production and consumption of essential food staples and the impoverishment of farmers throughout the world. Moreover, in the era of globalization, the IMF-World Bank structural adjustment program bears a direct relationship to the process of famine formation because it systematically undermines all categories of economic activity, whether urban or rural, which do not directly serve the interests of the global market system.
The earnings of farmers in rich and poor countries alike are squeezed by a handful of global agro-industrial enterprises which simultaneously control the markets for grain, farm inputs, seeds and processed foods. One giant firm Cargill Inc. with more than 140 affiliates and subsidiaries around the World controls a large share of the international trade in grain. Since the 1950s, Cargill became the main contractor of US "food aid" funded under Public Law 480 (1954).
World agriculture has for the first time in history the capacity to satisfy the food requirements of the entire planet, yet the very nature of the global market system prevents this from occurring. The capacity to produce food is immense yet the levels of food consumption remain exceedingly low because a large share of the World's population lives in conditions of abject poverty and deprivation. Moreover, the process of "modernization" of agriculture has led to the dispossession of the peasantry, increased landlessness and environmental degradation. In other words, the very forces which encourage global food production to expand are also conducive antithetically to a contraction in the standard of living and a decline in the demand for food.
Genetically Modified Seeds
Coinciding with the establishment the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, another important historical change has occurred in the structure of global agriculture.
Under the articles of agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO)), the food giants will have unrestricted freedom to enter the seeds markets of developing countries. The acquisition of exclusive "intellectual property rights" over plant varieties by international agro-industrial interests, also favors the destruction of bio-diversity.
Acting on behalf of a handful of biotech conglomerates, GMO seeds have been imposed on farmers, often in the context of "food aid programs". In Ethiopia, for instance, kits of GMO seeds were handed out to impoverished farmers with a view to rehabilitating agricultural production in the wake of a major drought . The GMO seeds were planted, yielding a harvest. But then the farmer came to realize that the GMO seeds could not be replanted without paying royalties to Monsanto, Arch Daniel Midland et al. Then, the farmers discovered that the seeds would harvest only if they used the farm inputs including the fertilizer, insecticide and herbicide, produced and distributed by the biotech agribusiness companies. Entire peasant economies were locked into the grip of the agribusiness conglomerates.
Breaking The Agricultural Cycle
With the widespread adoption of GMO seeds, a major transition has occurred in the structure and history of settled agriculture since its inception 10,000 years ago.
The reproduction of seeds at the village level in local nurseries has been disrupted by the use of genetically modified seeds. The agricultural cycle, which enables farmers to store their organic seeds and plant them to reap the next harvest has been broken. This destructive pattern – invariably resulting in famine – is replicated in country after country leading to the Worldwide demise of the peasant economy.
The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order
by Michel Chossudovsky
In this new and expanded edition of Chossudovsky’s international best-seller, the author outlines the contours of a New World Order which feeds on human poverty and the destruction of the environment, generates social apartheid, encourages racism and ethnic strife and undermines the rights of women. The result as his detailed examples from all parts of the world show so convincingly, is a globalization of poverty.
This book is a skilful combination of lucid explanation and cogently argued critique of the fundamental directions in which our world is moving financially and economically.
In this new enlarged edition –which includes ten new chapters and a new introduction-- the author reviews the causes and consequences of famine in Sub-Saharan Africa, the dramatic meltdown of financial markets, the demise of State social programs and the devastation resulting from corporate downsizing and trade liberalisation.
Michel Chossudovsky is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), which hosts the critically acclaimed website www.globalresearch.ca . He is a contributor to the Encyclopedia Britannica. His writings have been translated into more than 20 languages.
Published in 12 languages. More than 150,000 copies sold Worldwide.
The Globalization of Poverty in its First and Second editions has been published in twelve languages. Twelve English language editions and co-editions in the US, UK, Canada (2 editions), Australia, Malaysia (2 editions), South Africa, India (2 editions), Philippines (2 editions)), French (2 editions), German, Spanish, Portuguese (two editions, Brazil and Portugal), Finnish, Turkish, Japanese, Korean, Italian (2 editions), Arabic, Croatian.