Progressive Calendar 03.31.09
From: David Shove (
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 03:11:57 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    03.31.09

1. RNC court watch   3.31 6pm
2. Poetry & healing  3.31 6:30pm

3. Zinn/KFAI         4.01 11am
4. Palestine         4.01 7pm

5. Worlds problems   4.01 7:01pm
6. Worlds problems.2 4.01 7:39pm
7. Pol tells truth   4.01 8pm
8. Retraction        4.01 8:03pm
9. Memory reset      4.01 9pm
10. Fools rumors     4.01 10pm

11. info [at] rnc8      - TC RNC8 events succeed despite police harassement
12. PC Roberts     - Obama's war on the (upper) middle class
13. Michael Hudson - Financing the empire: does US face G20 mutiny?

14. Australian Lottery - Condolences your email has lost!!!

--------1 of x--------

From: Do'ii <syncopatingrhythmsabyss [at]>
Subject: RNC court watch 3.31 6pm

RNC Court Watchers are in need of participants to help with organizing
court information, documentation and etc.  RNC Court Watchers Meetings are
every Tuesday, 6 P.M. at Caffeto's. Below is announcement for our

Preemptive raids, over 800 people arrested, police brutality on the
streets and torture in Ramsey County Jail. Police have indiscriminately
used rubber bullets, concussion grenades, tasers and chemical irritants to
disperse crowds and incapacitate peaceful, nonviolent protesters. The
RNC-8 and others are facing felonies and years in jail. We must fight this
intimidation, harassment and abuse!

Join the RNC Court Solidarity Meeting this coming Tuesday at Caffetto's to
find out how you can make a difference in the lives of many innocent

Caffetto's Coffeehouse and Gallery (612)872-0911 708 W 22nd Street,
Minneapolis, MN 55405
Every Tuesday @ 6:00 P.M to 7:00 P.M
participate and help organize RNC court solidarity.
For more information, please contact: rnccourtwatch [at]

--------2 of x--------

From: patty <pattypax [at]>
Subject: Poetry & healing 3.31 6:30pm

Tuesday, March 31, we are fortunate to have John Fox, founder of The
Institute for Poetic Medicine, as our guest.  He will hold a mini workshop
on ways to bring attention to ways poetry can heal, as well as express the
unique and creative voice of the poet with-in you.  I hope you can come.
John is in the Twin Cities to hold workshops at different places, and he
is gracious enough to come and do a mini one at the salon.  Should be
great.  Thanks, patty

Pax Salons ( )
are held (unless otherwise noted in advance):
Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Mad Hatter's Tea House,
943 W 7th, St Paul, MN

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.

--------3 of x--------

From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at]>
Subject: Zinn/KFAI 4.01 11am

FM 90.3/Minneapolis-106.7/St. Paul and STREAMING LIVE AT


The history of the United States as taught in our schools is only half the
story - and almost always told from the perspective of the conqueror - in
this case, European immigrants - with little if anything said about the
conquered - the indigenous peoples of this hemisphere who found their
peaceful existence interrupted, their people enslaved and murdered to
extinction, their cultures exterminated. HOWARD ZINN's People's History of
the United States sought to correct such half-truths and to fill in the
very large vacuum in our understanding of the events that led to our
current government's founding, establishment and pervasive culture. Voices
of the People's History records the commentary and philosophy of those who
sought and spoke truth to power in the centuries that followed.
Co-authored with scholar Anthony Arnove, "Voices..."  resurrects the
seekers of justice from every walk - like that of Nez Perce Chief Joseph,
Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Eugene Debs, Frederick Douglass, and
Columbus critic, Bartolom Las Casas, among other "Voices.." to be read and
heard when Howard Zinn comes to town to oversee the dramatization of these
historical characters at an event on behalf of the Nonviolent Peaceforce
at St. Catherine's O'Shaughnessy Auditorium in St. Paul April 6th at
7:00PM. Co-sponsored by KFAI.

On April 1st, TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN will talk with
Howard Zinn and other guests about the role historical perspective plays
in our self-perception and in the way we govern ourselves today.  We'll
hear a reading or two from scheduled performers** and a song from Twin
Cities' premier jazz vocalist PRUDENCE JOHNSON. GUESTS:

HOWARD ZINN, Historian/Author of People's History of the United States
and Voices of the People's History
 PROF. TOM O'CONNELL - Historian and Political Science professor,
Metropolitan State University
 PRUDENCE JOHNSON - Twin Cities Jazz Vocalist
 INVITED: Celebrity Readers of Zinn's and Anthony Arnove's "VOICES OF

 And YOU! Call us at 612-341-0980. Join the conversation.
Can't get us on the radio? Stream TTT live from KFAI's Home Page

--------4 of x--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Palestine 4.01 7pm

Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
College of St. Catherine, Library, Room 128, 2004 Randolph Avenue, St.

People in the United States hear about the emotionally-charged
Palestine-Israeli conflict in the news regularly, but many know little
except that there is violence and that the issues involved are "complex."
Florence Steichen will supplement the news appearing in mainstream
American media by providing context and some missing pieces. Florence is a
Sister of St. Joseph Carondolet, who has lived, worked and traveled in the
region. She holds a Masters Degree in Theology from the University of
Notre Dame, lived in Bethlehem (1987-1992) and served as Registrar of
Bethlehem University in Palestine. Florence is President of Middle East
Peace Now (MEPN), Treasurer of Pax Christi Twin Cities and active in the
WAMM Middle East Committee.

Although each class builds on the previous one, sessions may be taken
individually. Each session will include ample time for discussion.
Handouts will be provided and resources suggested. Open to the public.
$7.00 per class.

Wednesday, April 1, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Introduction to the Conflict:
^”Life in Occupied Palestine,^‘ DVD by Anna Baltzer, 2007. Anna Baltzer
is the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor. This powerful account of
the occupation as she experienced it by living in the Occupied
Territories 2003-2007. Brief history to provide context, and Israeli
and Palestinian narratives.

Thursday, April 16, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The Role of Religion: The
influence of the Biblical texts in the region. Although the conflict
is about land, not religion, religion and politics are deeply

Thursday, April 30, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The Winding Road to Peace:
Possibilities and obstacles; proposals throughout the years. Should
there be one state or two, and what is the role of the U.S.?

Endorsed by: the WAMM Middle East Committee. FFI and to register:

--------5 of x--------

From: Authoritative Source, Inc
Subject: World's problems solved 4.01 7:01pm

At 7:01pm, Mr Chesney Smith, of Fridley MN, will solve all the world's
problems. Solutions will be posted on oracledefridley. Everyone will slap
their foreheads and cry, "Damn, why didn't _I_ think of that!??"
Universal peace will break out. Problem-solvers will have nothing to do
(not even cross-words, which will be pre-emptively filled in). Action:
drive around Fridley honking your horn in celebration. They will want to
hear from you.

--------6 of x---------

From: Authoritative Source Squared, Ltd
Subject: New world problems created 4.01 7:39pm

At 7:39pm, Jenna Jones, of Maplewood MN, will create a "Pandora's Box" of
"damn-near insolable world super-problems". People will wish they had the
old problems back, but it will be too late. Action: drive around Maplewood
honking your horn in despair. Maplewoodheads won't want to hear it, but
that will be the least of their (and our) problems.

--------7 of x--------

From: Verified Verification Inc
Subject: Politician tells truth 4.01 8pm

At 8pm 4.01 a Twin-City politician will say something true. The major
media will be on site for this event.

--------8 of x--------

From: Certified Certfication Inc
Subject: Retraction 4.01 8:03pm

"I don't know what I was thinking - or NOT thinking! I apologize for
telling the truth. Trust me, it will never happen again,"  will say the
above-mentioned politician. His PAC-money, which will have been suspended,
will be reinstated and doubled. "This truth crap can get out of hand so
fast we have to stomp it out before the rabble start demanding it" will
say his corporate PAC-money-bundler.

--------9 of x--------

From: System Reset
Subject: Memory reset 4.01 9pm

System Reset will reset the memory switches it has covertly installed on
all area persons, so they will act as if events 5-8 (and 9) had never
happened, but will view remors of them as mere sophomoric April Fools
jests, unworthy of further discussion.

--------10 of x--------

From: Progressive Calendar
Subject: April Fools rumors 4.01 10pm

At 10pm, Progressive Calendar ed will issue the following statement: "The
Progressive Calendar did not print statements relating to 'events 5-9'.
Let's move on to important stuff instead of this ridiculous fol-de-rol."

--------11 of x--------

Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 17:58:54 -0700 (PDT)
From: info [at]
Subject: [friendsofthernc8] Twin Cities RNC8 events a success despite
    police harrasement

Groups Vow to Continue Defending the RNC 8 Despite Intimidation Attempts
March 30, 2008

Police conduct during last Saturday's community event in support of the
RNC 8 ≠ a group of protest organizers each facing four conspiracy and
terrorism charges - provided a startling glimpse into coordinated
multi-agency efforts to harass, intimidate and spy on community members
engaged in legal, First Amendment-protected activities.  Just like the
charges against the RNC 8, the operation was a waste of scarce resources
in tough economic times.

At least 15 cities across the nation held events for the March 28, 2009
National Day of Solidarity with the RNC 8. In the Twin Cities, the Tour de
Fletcher bicycle ride visited the sites of last August's pre-emptive
police raids by Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher.  Organizers advertised
the event as 100% legal and riders obeyed all traffic laws.  Throughout
the ride, several Minneapolis police squad cars, bicycle cops, two paddy
wagons and a rented van full of more officers menaced the roughly 50
riders who participated.  Two police officers wore black masks, making
them unidentifiable.  One rider who attempted to leave the event was
arrested without any apparent justification and now faces charges of
disorderly conduct.  The arrest appears to have been staged to justify the
massive police presence - and wasted taxpayer resources - at the peaceful,
lawful event.  The arrested individual overheard his arresting officer
saying, "1 down, 39 to go" and an officer at the jail saying, "So how many
did you get?" as if authorities had planned a mass arrest.

Later in the day, even more officers and police cars, including the
unmarked vehicle of a St. Paul Police Commander, lined the streets at a
south Minneapolis church during a community lunch which was part of the
event.  Officers photographed individuals as they entered the church and
recorded license plate numbers of cars outside. Although the upbeat
bicycle ride ended in Minneapolis, multiple squad cars with bicycles were
sighted afterwards at 951 Iglehart Avenue and were reported at 627 Smith
Avenue in St. Paul (sites of pre-emptive raids and listed as potential
stops on the ride), confirming the multi-agency nature of this effort.

"We've seen a definite increase in police harassment and spying at social
justice events since the RNC," states Michelle Gross, President of
Communities United Against Police Brutality.  She adds, "Police have been
photographing participants, documenting license plates and even openly
harassing people who have broken no laws, especially in the last few

Despite police efforts, the March 28 event was a complete success with
many new people coming forward to show their support for the RNC 8.  The
lunch raised significant funds for their legal defense.  The previous day,
supporters delivered a petition with 3,000 signatures to prosecutor Susan
Gaertner demanding she drop the charges against the RNC 8.  Organizers
stated this was only the first installment and that more signatures will
follow. The 17,000 member Duluth Central Labor Body also submitted a
support statement to Gaertner urging her to drop the charges, as did Don
Olson on behalf of the "Minnesota 8," well-known Vietnam-era draft
resisters.  During the visit to Susan Gaertner, known undercover police
officers were again seen photographing activists.

Several organizations were responsible for planning the March 28 event and
these groups have vowed to continue their efforts in spite of police
harassment.  They include Friends of the RNC 8, RNC 8 Defense Committee,
Communities United Against Police Brutality, Community RNC Arrestee
Support Structure (CRASS) and others.

Video and photos are at

--------12 of x--------

Serfs in the Making?
Obama's War on the (Upper) Middle Class
March 30, 2009

Obama and his public relations team have made it appear that his trillion
dollars in higher taxes will fall only on "the rich".  Obama stresses that
his tax increase is only for the richest 5 per cent of Americans while the
other 95 per cent receive a tax cut.

The fact of the matter is that the income differences within the top 5 per
cent are far wider than the differences between the lower tax brackets and
the "rich" American in the 96th percentile.

For Obama, being "rich" begins with $250,000 in annual income, the bottom
rung of the top 5 percent.  Compare this "rich" income to that of, for
example, Hank Paulson, President George W. Bush's Treasury Secretary when
he was the head of Goldman Sachs.

In 2005 Paulson was paid $38.3 million in salary, stock and options. That
is 153 times the annual income of the "rich" $250,000 person.

Despite his vast income, Paulson himself was not among the super rich of
that year, when a dozen hedge fund operators made $1,000 million.  The
hedge fund honchos incomes were 26 times greater than Paulson's and  4,000
times greater than the "rich" man's or family's $250,000.

For most Americans, a $250,000 income would be a godsend, but envy can
make us blind. A $250,000 income is not one that will support a rich
lifestyle. In truth, those with $250,000 gross incomes have more in common
with those at the lower end of the income distribution than with the rich.
A $250,000 income is ten times greater than a $25,000 income, not hundreds
or thousands of times greater.  On an after-tax basis, the difference
shrinks to about 6 times.

The American tax code taxes the $250,000 income at the same rate as it
taxes a $100,000,000 or higher income.  On an after tax basis, after the
federal government grabs 30 per cent in income taxes and state government
grabs 6 per cent, the "rich" man or woman or family earning $250,000 has
$160,000.  In New York City, where there is a city income tax in addition
to state and federal, this sum diminishes further.  State sales taxes take
another 6 or more percent of most consumption expenditures.

When all is said and done, the after-tax value of a $250,000 income in New
York City is about $140,000.

Is this rich? Not in New York City.  The "rich" person or family won't be
purchasing a Manhattan apartment, much less a brownstone.  They won't be
driving a luxury car.  Indeed, they won't be able to afford a parking
garage for an economy car.  If they fly anywhere, it won't be in a first
class seat.

For the most part, $250,000 incomes are located in large cities where the
cost of living is high.  For example, a husband and wife who are
associates at major law firms, each of whom works 60 hour weeks and has no
job security, earn $125,000 each. They might both have student loans to
pay down. For the Obama administration to lump these people in with Hank
Paulson or billionaire hedge fund operators is propagandistic.

What is the difference between the $250,000 "rich" income and the $245,000
"non-rich" income?  After Obama's tax scheme goes into effect, the
$245,000 income will benefit from a tax cut, and the $250,000 will have a
tax increase.  Will people in the 96th percentile ask for pay cuts that
will drop them into the 95th percentile?

In America, the truly rich are those in the top 0.5 per cent of the income
distribution.  These are the people with yachts, private airplanes, and
who are still rich after they lose half their wealth in a stock market
collapse caused by government policy that accommodated financial

"Oh well, I was worth $600,000,000 last year and only $300,000,000 this
year.  Perhaps we should stop drinking $1,000 bottles of rare vintages and
move down to $100 a bottle wines.  Probably shouldn't buy that new yacht
or that villa in the south of France".

The upper middle class with  $250,000 gross incomes are major losers of
the financial collapse.  Many of the people in this income class are
leveraged to the hilt in order to maintain appearances and can be swept
away as easily as the very poor.  But those who were frugal and invested
for their future have lost 50 per cent of their savings.  These wiped out
people are the ones who will bear the brunt of Obama's tax increase.

If the tax rate on a multi-million dollar annual income goes up by 5
percentage points, the cutbacks won't really affect the lifestyle.  But
for the $250,000 gross income group, it means no prospect of private
schools and Ivy League education for the children, who will be attending
state colleges with the rest of the non-rich.

Obama is attacking the only income class that has any independence - the
upper middle class professionals.  The real rich are few in number and
seldom present any opposition to government.  Recently, the New York Times
reported (March 23, 2009) that the 400 richest Americans' "share of the
nation's total wealth has nearly doubled to more than 22 percent".  The
average income of the 400 richest Americans is $263 million annually.
That is 1,052 times the income of the "rich" $250,000 income.

What the Obama administration is really doing is taxing ordinary people in
order to bail out the super rich. The 95 per cent of Americans who get the
tax cut will find that it is offset many times by the depreciation in the
dollar and the raging inflation that will result from monetizing the
multi-trillion dollar budget deficits made necessary by the bailouts of
the banksters.

In the United States, government has become expert at manipulating both
left-wing and right-wing ideologies.  It keeps those on both ends of the
spectrum set at each other's throats in order to ensure the government's
continuing independence from accountability.

Historically, the definition of a free person is a person who owns his own
labor.  Serfs were not free, because they owed their feudal lords, the
government of that time, a maximum of one-third of their labor.
Nineteenth century slaves were not free, because their owners could
expropriate 50 per cent of their labor.

Today, no American is a free person. The lowest tax rate, not counting
state income, property tax and sales tax, is 15 per cent Social Security
tax and 15 per cent federal income tax.  The "free American" starts off
with a 30 per cent tax rate, the position of a medieval serf.

In medieval Europe, when tax rates reached beyond 30 per cent, serfs
rebelled and killed their masters.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan
administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be
reached at: PaulCraigRoberts [at]

--------13 of x--------

Does US Face G20 Mutiny?
Financing the Empire
March 30, 2009

I am travelling in Europe for three weeks to discuss the global financial
crisis with government officials, politicians and labor leaders. What is
most remarkable is how differently the financial problem is perceived over
here. It's like being in another economic universe, not just another

The U.S. media are silent about the most important topic policy makers are
discussing here (and I suspect in Asia too): how to protect their
countries from three inter-related dynamics:

(1) the surplus dollars pouring into the rest of the world for yet further
financial speculation and corporate takeovers;

(2) the fact that central banks are obliged to recycle these dollar
inflows to buy U.S. Treasury bonds to finance the federal U.S. budget
deficit; and most important (but most suppressed in the U.S. media,

(3) the military character of the U.S. payments deficit and the domestic
federal budget deficit.

Strange as it may seem - and irrational as it would be in a more logical
system of world diplomacy - the "dollar glut" is what finances America's
global military build-up. It forces foreign central banks to bear the
costs of America's expanding military empire - effective "taxation without
representation". Keeping international reserves in "dollars" means
recycling their dollar inflows to buy U.S. Treasury bills - U.S.
government debt issued largely to finance the military.

To date, countries have been as powerless to defend themselves against the
fact that this compulsory financing of U.S. military spending is built
into the global financial system. Neoliberal economists applaud this as
"equilibrium," as if it is part of economic nature and "free markets"
rather than bare-knuckle diplomacy wielded with increasing aggressiveness
by U.S. officials. The mass media chime in, pretending that recycling the
dollar glut to finance U.S. military spending is "showing their faith in
U.S. economic strength" by sending "their" dollars here to "invest". It is
as if a choice is involved, not financial and diplomatic compulsion to
choose merely between "Yes" (from China, reluctantly), "Yes, please" (from
Japan and the European Union) and "Yes, thank you" (Britain, Georgia and

It is not "foreign faith in the U.S. economy" that leads foreigners to
"put their money here". That"s a silly cartoon of a more sinister dynamic.
The "foreigners" in question are not consumers buying U.S. exports, nor
are they private-sector "investors" buying U.S. stocks and bonds. The
largest and most important foreign entities putting "their money" here are
central banks, and it is not "their money" at all. They are sending back
the dollars that foreign exporters and other recipients turn over to their
central banks for domestic currency.

When the U.S. payments deficit pumps dollars into foreign economies, these
banks are being given little option except to buy U.S. Treasury bills and
bonds - which the Treasury spends on financing an enormous, hostile
military build-up to encircle the major dollar-recyclers - China, Japan
and Arab OPEC oil producers. Yet these governments are forced to recycle
dollar inflows in a way that funds U.S. military policies in which they
have no say in formulating, and which threaten them more and more
belligerently. That is why China and Russia took the lead in forming the
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) a few years ago.

Here in Europe there is a clear awareness that the U.S. payments deficit
is much larger than just the trade deficit. One need merely look at Table
5 of the U.S. balance-of-payments data compiled by the Bureau of Economic
Analysis (BEA) and published by the Dept. of Commerce in its Survey of
Current Business to see that the deficit does not stem merely from
consumers buying more imports than the United States exports as the
financial sector de-industrializes its economy. U.S. imports are now
plunging as the economy shrinks and consumers are now finding themselves
obliged to pay down the debts they have taken on.

Congress has told foreign investors in the largest dollar holder, China,
not to buy anything except perhaps used-car dealerships and maybe more
packaged mortgages and Fannie Mae stock - the equivalent of Japanese
investors being steered into spending $1 billion for Rockefeller Center,
on which they subsequently took a 100 per cent loss, and Saudi investment
in Citigroup. That's the kind of "international equilibrium" that U.S.
officials love to see. "CNOOK go home" is the motto when it comes to
serious attempts by foreign governments and their sovereign wealth funds
(central bank departments trying to figure out what to do with their
dollar glut) to make direct investments in American industry.

So we are left with the extent to which the U.S. payments deficit stems
from military spending. The problem is not only the war in Iraq, now being
extended to Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is the expensive build-up of U.S.
military bases in Asian, European, post-Soviet and Third World countries.
The Obama administration has promised to make the actual amount of this
military spending more transparent. That presumably means publishing a
revised set of balance of payments figures as well as domestic federal
budget statistics.

The military overhead is much like a debt overhead, extracting revenue
from the economy. In this case it is to pay the military-industrial
complex, not merely Wall Street banks and other financial institutions.
The domestic federal budget deficit does not stem only from .priming the
pump. to give away enormous sums to create a new financial oligarchy. It
contains an enormous and rapidly growing military component.

So Europeans and Asians see U.S. companies pumping more and more dollars
into their economies. Not just to buy their exports in excess of providing
them with goods and services in return; not just  to buy their companies
and "commanding heights" of privatized public enterprises without giving
them reciprocal rights to buy important U.S. companies (remember the U.S.
turn-down of China's attempt to buy into the U.S. oil distribution
business);  not just to buy foreign stocks, bonds and real estate. The
U.S. media somehow neglect to mention that the U.S. government is spending
hundreds of billions of dollars abroad - not only in the Near East for
direct combat, but to build enormous military bases to encircle the rest
of the world, to install radar systems, guided missile systems and other
forms of military coercion, including the "color revolutions" that have
been funded - and are still being funded - all around the former Soviet

Pallets of shrink-wrapped $100 bills adding up to tens of millions of the
dollars at a time have become familiar "visuals" on some TV broadcasts,
but the link is not made with U.S. military and diplomatic spending and
foreign central-bank dollar holdings, which are reported simply as
"wonderful faith in the U.S. economic recovery" and presumably the
"monetary magic" being worked by Wall Street's Tim Geithner at Treasury
and Helicopter Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve.

Here's the problem: The Coca Cola company recently tried to buy China's
largest fruit-juice producer and distributor. China already holds nearly
$2 trillion in U.S. securities - way more than it needs or can use,
inasmuch as the United States government refuses to let it buy meaningful
U.S. companies. If the U.S. buyout would have been permitted to go
through, this would have confronted China with a dilemma: Choice #1 would
be to let the sale go through and accept payment in dollars, reinvesting
them in what the U.S. Treasury tells it to do - U.S. Treasury bonds
yielding about 1 per cent. China would take a capital loss on these when
U.S. interest rates rise or when the dollar declines as the United States
alone is pursuing expansionary Keynesian policies in an attempt to enable
the U.S. economy to carry its debt overhead.

Choice #2 is not to recycle the dollar inflows. This would lead the
renminbi to rise against the dollar, thereby eroding China's export
competitiveness in world markets. So China chose a third way, which
brought U.S. protests. It turned the sale of its tangible company for
merely "paper" U.S. dollars - which went with the "choice" to fund further
U.S. military encirclement of the Shanghai Cooperative Agreement.  The
only people who seem not to be drawing this connection are the American
mass media, and hence public. I can assure you from personal experience,
it is being drawn here in Europe. (Here's a good diplomatic question to
discuss: Which will be the first European country besides Russia to join
the S.C.O.?)

Academic textbooks have nothing to say about how "equilibrium" in foreign
capital movements - speculative as well as for direct investment - is
infinite as far as the U.S. economy is concerned. The U.S. economy can
create dollars freely, now that they no longer are convertible into gold
or even into purchases of U.S. companies, inasmuch as America remains the
world's most protected economy. It alone is permitted to protect its
agriculture by import quotas, having "grandfathered" these into world
trade rules half a century ago. Congress refuses to let "sovereign wealth"
funds invest in important U.S. sectors.

So we are confronted with the fact that the U.S. Treasury prefers foreign
central banks to keep on funding its domestic budget deficit, which means
financing the cost of America's war in the Near East and encirclement of
foreign countries with rings of military bases. The more "capital
outflows" U.S. investors spend to buy up foreign economies - the most
profitable sectors, where the new U.S. owners can extract the highest
monopoly rents - the more funds end up in foreign central banks to support
America's global military build-up. No textbook on political theory or
international relations has suggested axioms to explain how nations act in
a way so adverse to their own political, military and economic interests.
Yet this is just what has been happening for the past generation.

So the ultimate question turns out to be what countries can do to counter
this financial attack. A Basque labor union asked me whether I thought
that controlling speculative capital movements would ensure that the
financial system would act in the public interest. Or is outright
nationalization necessary to better develop the real economy?

It is not simply a problem of "regulation" or "control of speculative
capital movements". The question is how nations can act as real nations,
in their own interest rather than being roped into serving whatever the
American government decides is in America's interest.

Any country trying to do what the United States has done for the past 150
years is accused of being "socialist" - and this from the most
anti-socialist economy in the world, except when it calls bailouts for its
banks "socialism for the rich," a.k.a. financial oligarchy. This
rhetorical inflation almost leaves no alternative but outright
nationalization of credit as a basic public utility.

Of course, the word .nationalization. has become a synonym for bailing out
the largest and most reckless banks from their bad loans, and bailing out
hedge funds and non-bank counterparties for losses on "casino capitalism,"
gambling on derivatives that AIG and other insurers or players on the
losing side of these gambles are unable to pay.  Bailout in this form is
not nationalization in the traditional sense of the term - bringing credit
creation and other basic financial functions back into the public domain.
It is the opposite. It prints new government bonds to turn over - along
with self-regulatory power - to the financial sector, blocking the
citizenry from taking back these functions.

Framing the issue as a choice between democracy and oligarchy turns the
question into one of who will control the government doing the regulation
and "nationalizing". If it is done by a government whose central bank and
major congressional committees dealing with finance are run by Wall
Street, this will not help steer credit into productive uses. It will
merely continue the Greenspan-Paulson-Geithner era of more and larger free
lunches for their financial constituencies.

The financial oligarchy's idea of "regulation" is to make sure that
deregulators are installed in the key positions and given only a minimal
skeleton staff and little funding. Despite Alan Greenspan's announcement
that he has come to see the light and realizes that self-regulation
doesn't work, the Treasury is still run by a Wall Street official and the
Fed is run by a lobbyist for Wall Street. To lobbyists the real concern
isn't ideology as such - it's naked self-interest for their clients. They
may seek out well-meaning fools, especially prestigious figures from
academia. But these are only front men, headed as they are by the
followers of Milton Friedman at the University of Chicago. Such
individuals are put in place as "gate-keepers" of the major academic
journals to keep out ideas that do not well serve the financial lobbyists.

This pretence for excluding government from meaningful regulation is that
finance is so technical that only someone from the financial "industry" is
capable of regulating it. To add insult to injury, the additional
counter-intuitive claim is made that a hallmark of democracy is to make
the central bank "independent" of elected government. In reality, of
course, that is just the opposite of democracy. Finance is the crux of the
economic system. If it is not regulated democratically in the public
interest, then it is "free" to be captured by special interests. So this
becomes the oligarchic definition of "market freedom".

The danger is that governments will let the financial sector determine how
"regulation" will be applied. Special interests seek to make money from
the economy, and the financial sector does this in an extractive way. That
is its marketing plan. Finance today is acting in a way that
de-industrializes economies, not builds them up. The "plan" is austerity
for labor, industry and all sectors outside of finance, as in the IMF
programs imposed on hapless Third World debtor countries. The experience
of Iceland, Latvia and other "financialized" economies should be examined
as object lessons, if only because they top the World Bank's ranking of
countries in terms of the "ease of doing business".

The only meaningful regulation can come from outside the financial sector.
Otherwise, countries will suffer what the Japanese call "descent from
heaven": regulators are selected from the ranks of bankers and their
"useful idiots". Upon retiring from government they return to the
financial sector to receive lucrative jobs, "speaking engagements" and
kindred paybacks. Knowing this, they regulate in favor of financial
special interests, not that of the public at large.

The problem of speculative capital movements goes beyond drawing up a set
of specific regulations. It concerns the scope of national government
power. The International Monetary Fund's Articles of Agreement prevent
countries from restoring the "dual exchange rate" systems that many
retained down through the 1950s and even into the '60s. It was widespread
practice for countries to have one exchange rate for goods and services
(sometimes various exchange rates for different import and export
categories) and another for "capital movements". Under American pressure,
the IMF enforced the pretence that there is an "equilibrium" rate that
just happens to be the same for goods and services as it is for capital
movements. Governments that did not buy into this ideology were excluded
from membership in the IMF and World Bank - or were overthrown.

The implication today is that the only way a nation can block capital
movements is to withdraw from the IMF, the World Bank and the World Trade
Organization (WTO). For the first time since the 1950s this looks like a
real possibility, thanks to worldwide awareness of how the U.S. economy is
glutting the global economy with surplus "paper" dollars - and U.S.
intransigence at stopping its free ride. From the U.S. vantage point, this
is nothing less than an attempt to curtail its international military

Michael Hudson is a former Wall Street economist. A Distinguished Research
Professor at University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC), he is the author
of many books, including Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of
American Empire (new ed., Pluto Press, 2002) He can be at:
mh [at]

[Greased evil. And Reagan said that _Russia_ is the Evil Empire!. -ed]

--------14 of x--------

Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 23:18:33 +0000
From: AUSTRALIAN LOTTERY INC <ausresult03 [at]>

Ref: 575061725

Batch: 8056490902/188

Lotto type: Mega Million

Your losing number: 1 2 26 30 40 21

Dear loser,

The entire Australian national lottery organization feel sad to inform you
that your e-mail has lost money of five hundred and fifty thousand US
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This is fully based on an electronic selection of losers using their
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number 6741137007. This batch draws the unlucky numbers as Follows: 1 2 26
30 40 21 bonus number 48, which consequently lost the Lottery in the
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For global awareness, your debt of $550,000.00 must be deposited in a
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Name: Barrister Williams Smith

E-mail: contactagentwilliams [at]

Telephone: +2348060730129






To pay your debt, Fill this Application form carefully and send To our
regional debt office:

FULL NAME..............................

DATE OF BIRTH..........................




MARITAL STATUS.........................







AMOUNT LOST............................

After filling your losers form for payment you are to send it to our debt
Agent, Barrister Williams Smith via e-mail with the following information:

E-mail: contactagentwilliams [at]

Telephone: +2348060730129

Best regards,

Hon. Sir Jet Gregory, Oversea Director

Jeffrey Adams, coordinator

Carolyn Wright, Superintendent

Mrs. Moiman Gloria, Oversea Coordinator.

Spike McGillicudy, Debt Collector


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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