Tag: globalization

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Gaza, and Life in the Global Economy

see url ‘But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ Alice remarked. ‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the Cat. ‘We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.” (Alice in Wonderland)  

The past month or two I have been running from one demonstration and issue to another in support of various causes. I have attended several of the various demonstrations in support of Palestinian rights as Israel, with the backing of the United States, once again, exercises it’s barely hidden genocidal agenda. The past week and a half, Israel has been pounding Gaza with a massive bombing campaign and an aggressive ground war. The Palestinian people have already been devastated from a seven year siege. Many people aren’t aware that Israel, which puts forward the myth that Gaza is an independent entity, still controls most of the power, water and goods going in and out of Gaza – Gazans currently get about four hours of electricity a day and three hours of water once every three days. In the week and a half since the “war” began over 1,000 Gazans have been killed (a majority women and children),  millions of dollars of infrastructure have been destroyed. At last tally, 45 Israeli soldiers and three Islaeli civilians have died in the conflict and Israel gained controlled of approximately 1/3 of the remaining land in Gaza which they now call a “buffer zone.”

This is the third such incursion since 2008.  The other two bombing operations resulted in thousands of additional deaths and demolished neighborhoods and the ongoing blockade prevented Palestinians from rebuilding.  People often forget that the destruction of the infrastructure, once the bombing stops, is often more dangerous to the people’s health when they cannot have drinkable water (95% of Gazans don’t), adequate power and shelter.

For the first time, Palestinian voices are being heard, even by the mainstream —  if only because the devastation is so great they cannot be ignored. Demonstrations in Europe reached over 100,000 in England and France. There is clearly a movement that is stronger today than in the past.  Many of the demonstrations I attended were sizable – between one and two thousand people. In New York City, a stronghold of Zionism, that is no small number and shows the changing landscape in regard to the Palestinian issue – even here in the belly of the beast. And yet, today, as I write, there is no cease fire and the people of Palestine are still under attack.

I could go on about Gaza, but there are so many other issues. Like the 57,000 undocumented children coming across the Mexican border, fleeing from dictatorial states like Guatemala, El Salvador  and Honduras that the United States supported. Most recently the USA supported the coup in Honduras which ousted President Zelaya after he made two fatal mistakes – he doubled the minimum wage and he planned to join ALBA, a group of seven Latin American countries which have formed a coalition to fight the United States neoliberal agenda in the South. President Obama was the only leader in the western world who did not condemn the coup and gave immediate recognition to the new government. The United States government plans to send the majority of the fleeing children back to these states for their “safety” which is the reason that they fled and made the dangerous trek to the United States in the first place.

And then there are the other “domestic issues.” Thousands of poor, elderly and disabled people in Detroit are being denied water because they can’t pay their water bill, often after the state cut off their pension due to the Detroit bankruptcy. A young man brought my attention to another black man, Eric Garner, killed in Brooklyn  due to excessive police force. .(The young man who told me was unaware of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict).I also just learned, today, that there was yet another incident yesterday in which the NYPD stomped on another black man’s head – also captured in a video.  Oh, and there was newspaper headline about the “open carry (guns) advocates who stood on the grassy knoll (where Kennedy was killed) and criticized Obama. Guess what man – you’re still black.

Finally, there is the civil war in the Ukraine which recently resulted in the deaths of 298 civilians in an air crash (many of them AIDS researchers) when the Russian backed rebels shot the plane down by mistake. Many of the US backed forces, which recently took the Ukraine over in a coup are real old fashioned fascists (which feels a lot worse in Europe than it does here given the fact that Fascists have actually held power in Europe and we experienced the results).These new Ukrainian leaders are pressuring Europe to put more and more sanctions on Russia. I’m old enough to remember the cold war between the Soviet Union and the United States and this certainly feels like de javu.

But I digress.  There is a big demonstration planned in Washington for August 2nd for Palestinian rights. Kerry is negotiating right now for a short cease fire that does not actually change any of the conditions in the siege on Gaza.  Hamas (and it seems like most of the Gazan people including those who don’t back Hamas) say the cease fire must include the ending of the Siege on Gaza (what have they got to lose? They are already being slowly killed anyway with no drinkable water and half their land destroyed). Israel is unlikely to comply (Why should they ? They have our backing and the Seige meets their long term goals for a greater Israel just fine).

go to site IN THE MEANTIME THE DEMONSTRATION IN WASHINGTON, D.C. IS STILL 7 DAYS AWAY – HOW MANY MORE PEOPLE CAN THEY KILL AND HOW MUCH MORE INFRASTRUCTURE CAN THEY DESTROY IN 7 DAYS? Of course, this is just an infinitely small fraction of the devastation we have visited on the rest of the world in just the 20th and 21st century. (Pick a region)

Have you signed your 150th petition today? Have you written your congress person or Obama? Have you gone on a demonstration? Do you feel good about doing your civic duty? I was watching TV the other night and the ad with the dog with sad eyes and the sentimental music came on soliciting donations so that the dog and other dogs could live without abuse. There is a similar ad with a small clearly starving child in Africa.  As Bill Clinton would say “I feel your pain.” Synthetic, televised pain is not enough.



The definition of insanity someone said is to keep doing the same things over and over and expect different results. With the advent of the internet and globalization, the world is turning faster now, and the contradictions are heightening. “We do what we can” we say. We “keep the faith, “we keep hope alive.” But as Mao would say, just “tolling the bell” (doing the usual level of political work or doing the usual rant as I am doing now) is not enough. We need to give ourselves a wake-up call.

Citizens United, June 5th, and Money, Money, Money, Money! by Geminijen

“When the madness is directed towards the likes of you and me,

Then our blindness may be lifted and we might begin to see.

For when others are afflicted, with the scourge that has no end,

Then we practice our denial — and the purging, we defend.

So the powers and the peoples of the nations of this Earth

Could be fully in connivance — or denial of the hurt…

And even, in our hubris, in our information age,

We are blinded by our bias — and at petty issues rage.

So the workers were divided and they voted Nazis in,

And so many were the workers, who paid dearly for this sin!

And we see now in Wisconsin, there’s a Walker riding high,

And there’s cash enough from coffers to propagate the lie.”

(excerpted)

follow site Arjun Jalah

Sometimes you would give anything not to be right!  When I started writing this diary three weeks ago, I predicted that Scott Walker would win the recall election for governor in Wisconsin. Walker, with unlimited corporate money, was challenged by a massive people’s movement when he outlawed most collective bargaining rights in what was usually considered a progressive state.  I knew, with the certainty of a cynic that that much money would out-weigh people power.   It was the fight between John Henry and the steel driving machine all over again. Yet, there I was, Tuesday night, praying that the people power would, in the end, win.  Not.  Walker beat Tom Barrett, the Democratic candidate 53%-46%, winning by a whopping 6% points. As Ed of the Ed Show so colorfully pointed out, there was no way to put lipstick on that pig. Or as Chris Hedges had said a couple of weeks earlier: “We lost. They won.”

monopoly

Mondragon Miracle Part 3 of 3: Lessons Learned

“Nothing differentiates people as much as their respective attitudes to the circumstances in which they live. Those who opt to make history and change the course of events themselves have an advantage over those who decide to wait passively for the results of the change.”

SisyphusOver and over, I see commentary asserting we are stuck with our current cultural norms. The “rational” people of the world patiently explain to me how I am too idealistic. I am naïve and believe too deeply in the good nature of most people. Yet, the rational people only have their assertions to stand on. History is fraught with examples of people who fought for and won real change. People like the Basques in Mondragon. They created lasting change under deplorable conditions. Even a cursory review of history shows change occurs when and where people decide to change. You don’t live in a feudal monarchy rife with slaves and infanticide-all well ingrained institutions the Ancient Greeks considered necessary evils of civilization-because people decided to change.

In the first part of this series, I described how a Jesuit priest named Don Jose created a Basque cooperative–Mondragon. He could hardly have started from a more impossible position. Basque was severely oppressed, poor and under a harsh dictatorship. His Church considered him a pariah, and he was a poor speaker and sermon writer. Yet, he refused to dwell on his disadvantages, concentrating on finding Basque strengths, instead.

In part two, we examined Don Jose’s unique genius in organizing his local society. He felt it was never necessary for someone to win while someone else lost. That scenario showed a lack of ingenuity. He examined problems until he saw a solution allowing the common good for everyone.

Some argue Mondragon arose from Basque because a specific set of non-reproducible circumstances existed. To me, that sounds like rationalization to let ourselves off the hook for not seeking to better our world. While I agree Mondragon originated in Basque due to a specific set of circumstances, clearly those factors are not needed to reproduce cooperative society.

What may be necessary is a certain environment in order to affect positive change. This post will look at some of the factors influencing people’s willingness to change during the creation of Mondragon and how to use those factors to enable change in our own culture.

Mondragon Miracle Part II of III: The Genius of Don Jose

It’s been a rather tough week for capitalists. With people waking up from the illusion of money and riots erupting in otherwise reserved England, I almost feel a little sorry for the advocates of Milton Friedman. Almost.

As you scrape together your last dollars to exchange for gold and throw another bucket of water on your burning London flat, have you considered abandoning this system? There is a choice, you know. We choose to have this system and all the pain that comes with it. Not offering opposition to a bad system is making a choice to continue with the dysfunction.

What’s that? You didn’t know you had choices? No one has explained to you the alternatives? Well, if you don’t feel obligated to ride this sinking ship to the bottom of the ocean, come along with us as we start talking solutions.

In Part I of this three part series, we discussed the history of a little known cooperative venture called Mondragon. This company went from a twelve-man paraffin stove manufacturing plant to a conglomerate that holds Wal-mart at bay in miniscule country of Basque, and employs 130,000 people. The cooperative has a remarkable 80% success rate in business ventures, far outstripping the typical success rate of 20% (less in this market). It has consistently helped the Basque people strengthen their communities with education, health care, housing and a robust social safety net.  It creates jobs where none existed before, stabilizing their economy while nearby Spain and Portugal flounder.

How could this one company achieve such miraculous results? Well, it may actually be a divine intervention–through a Jesuit priest named Don Jose. In this segment, I delve deeper into Don Jose’s unique genius in devising the Mondragon system.

Mondragon Miracle, Part 1 of 3: Building the Road We Travel

http://creativelittleparties.com/?search=order-cialis-pills 1941, Office of the Archbishop of Spain:

“They just released you?” Archbishop Balbino Oliver eyed the priest standing before his desk with suspicion. Something about the young man unsettled him.

“I believe it was in error. They did not realize I had written so much against Franco. When God spared my life, I enrolled in the seminary.”

He possessed humility. Good. Yet something about the eyes… “Even under the care of the church, Franco may not let you go so easily.”

“Yes, it is best if I left Spain. I could continue my writing in Belgium. I think I can…”

“God granted you a precious gift, my son.” The Bishop leaned back, considering. His left eye. That was it. “It would be unwise to waste the gift with further agitation of forces beyond your control.” Yes, his left eye stared back slightly wider, giving him a permanently quizzical expression. Father Bertolli had mentioned him losing his eye in an accident.

“But the work I’ve been doing…”

“Is against Church official policy.” The Archbishop leaned forward to study the documents the priest had presented him. “You are Basque, no?”

“Yes, but in Belgium…”

“Father Tillous requested an assistant in Mondragon, only 50 miles from where you grew up. Franco is unlikely to bother you, there.”

“Out there, he is unlikely to need to.” The young man bowed his head curtly, murmuring the obligatory goodbye.

The bishop’s gaze followed his receding figure. Even with his back turned, the young man disturbed him. Perhaps something other than his eye then…

Balbino had no way to know, he had just set Don Jose on course to change the world.

Timmy “Too Bigs” Geithner: “We’re going, like, existential.”

Geithner (via creditwritedowns):

“I take human life seriously.  I’m obsessed with it: death, existence, bankruptcy, God, mark-to-fantasy-values, interpersonal relationships (mostly with bankers and my self-reflective consciousness).  Unlike Woody Allen, I can’t play Dixieland, so I feel uniquely isolated in an indifferent, if not hostile universe; I was simply born into this financial chaos of logical, ontological, and moral non-structure; and while my existence is inexplicable, I face up to it; I take full responsibility for bailing out the profanely wealthy at the expense of the vast majority of humanity.  Life is hard, and inscrutable to rational or empirical scrutiny, so I create my own reality, in deeds.  God and I can’t both be free.  That’s my facticity.  That’s my authenticity.  That’s my freedom.  That is my will, bitchez.  I have no idea what I’m doing, but I decided.  I acted.  When I choose, I choose for the whole world.  It’s absurd, but I open Pandora’s box, in order to create myself.  We’re all terrified about that, but I owe you that much.  Every ethical act I perform is the point of no return.  If I cut Isaac’s throat on God’s command, that will be my decision.  I take human life seriously.”

That possible interpretation of Geithner’s existential epiphany is my roundabout way of asking, “What bong-farts in Hell did Geithner toke from Bernanke’s ass to utter such, “We’re going, like, existential” nonsense?  

Actually, I know what he really means:

An Interview with Adlai Stevenson III, Part Two: The Role of the Media

Midway through our interview, Senator Stevenson spoke about the ways in which the mainstream media shortchanges the American people.  While criticizing sound bite culture, as so many have before, his harshest words were for a mass media who, in his opinion, oversimplifies broader issues without taking the time to provide the full context to its audience.  In his opinion, this is tantamount to complete irresponsibility.  Then, perhaps qualifying his remarks somewhat, Stevenson conceded something very interesting.

A statement from a section of the French workers

What I have copied over the fold is a declaration issued recently by a self organized group of French workers, a statement of solidarity and strategy in the face of the global neoliberal push (putsch?) for “austerity”.  They call for global resistance based on the following principles:  

– We can take control of our own struggles and organise collectively.

– We can discuss together openly and fraternally, we can speak freely with each other.

– We can control of our own discussions and our own decisions.

Can the workers of the world unite?

Al Qaeda Hates Our Soil!

KAPOW!2

On September 11, 2001, Islamist suicide-commandos crashed an airliner into the green fields of Shanksville, Pennsylvania, follow because they hate our soil!

But two more airliners aimed at the soil of Central Park accidentally crashed into the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan…

KAPOW!

And yet another incompetent terror-pilot, aiming at the Potomac ( get link because they hate our water!) crashed into the Pentagon instead.

KAPOW!3

So al Qaeda’s real intentions were obscured by a flood of sensational images from the Pentagon and World Trade Center, and 9/11 was almost universally misinterpreted as an attack against get link militarism and globalization.

The Puppet



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Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai Presidential Address to the World:

Pure greed not motivated by altruism only.

My hypothesis is that some men have no stigma attached to failure due to pure solid stupidity.  

If true, it follows that if hot plasma stupidity could be contained, cooled and compressed through the states of matter to form a perfectly arranged crystalline structure at absolute zero, solid diamond stupid should look like this:

America is the greatest engine of innovation that has ever existed, and it can’t be duplicated anytime soon, because it is the product of a multitude of factors: extreme freedom of thought, an emphasis on independent thinking, a steady immigration of new minds, a risk-taking culture with no stigma attached to trying and failing, a noncorrupt bureaucracy, and financial markets and a venture capital system that are unrivaled at taking new ideas and turning them into global products.

 – Tom Friedman, The Secret From Our Sauce, March 7, 2004

How solid is that?

G20 Protests = Tear Gas, Sound guns, Rubber Bullets. Teaparties = Promotion. Class War

Crossposted at Daily Kos

2008 Should live on in infamy as the year the class war became OBVIOUS.

No permit was obtained for the grassroots protests of the G20 in Pittsburgh. You have to ask your government permission to protest it. This is what Democracy looks like?

http://docudharma.com/?search=women-levitra THIS IS WHAT A POLICE STATE LOOKS LIKE!

http://caseyanthony.com/?search=free-samples-levitra America, Class War; Battle of Pittsburgh.

~ September 2009

Fascism is coming? generic levitra without prescription houston texas IT’S ALREADY HERE!

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