Progressive Calendar 10.17.09
From: David Shove (
Date: Sat, 17 Oct 2009 05:23:48 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   10.17.09

1. Peace walk       10.17 9am Cambridge MN
2. Anti-war protest 10.17 1pm
3. Northtown vigil  10.17 2pm

4. Sami/Iraq today  10.18 9/11am
5. Peace/justice    10.18 12:30pm
6. Stillwater vigil 10.18 1pm
7. Amnesty Intl     10.18 3pm
8. Edgertonite      10.18 6pm

9. PC Roberts       - The rich have stolen the economy
10. Andrew Cockburn - How the bankers bought Washington - cheap!
11. Donna Smith    - Baucus-Braly-BlueCross bailout toilets to final flush
12. Gilad Atzmon    - Israeli deception, spin, and lies
13. James Petras    - Understanding the world economy
14. ed              - Tiny Tim receives Nobel peace prize

--------1 of 14--------

From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at]>
Subject: Peace walk 10.17 9am Cambridge MN

every Saturday 9AM to 9:35AM
Peace walk in Cambridge - start at Hwy 95 and Fern Street

--------2 of 14--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Anti-war protest 10.17 1pm

Saturday, October 17, 2009
Minneapolis anti-war protest
1:00 pm Gather at
Hennepin & Lagoon Ave. in Minneapolis
1:30 pm March to closing rally at Loring Park

As U.S. Administration discusses Afghanistan escalation:
Saturday Minneapolis anti-war protest to be part of national day of
peace actions

Minnesotans will join together this Saturday to voice their opposition to
the continued U.S. wars against Iraq and Afghanistan. The demonstration
starts at 1:00 pm at Hennepin & Lagoon Avenues in the Uptown neighborhood
of Minneapolis. A march begins at 1:30 pm, ending in a rally at Loring
Park in downtown Minneapolis.

In addition, anti-war protests will be held in more than 40 communities
across the U.S. on Saturday, October 17, 2009.

The protests call for an end to the war in Afghanistan and an end to the
occupation of Iraq at a time when the Obama Administration is considering
a plan to escalate the war in Afghanistan by sending up to 40,000
additional U.S. troops.

"The U.S. anti-war movement will be back in the streets this October to
make a clear statement against any escalation of the war in Afghanistan,
to demand an end to that war, and an end to the occupation of Iraq," said
Meredith Aby, a member of the coalition that is planning the Saturday

A statement issued by organizers says in part, "President Obama is
reported to be listening to the generals about the next steps in
Afghanistan, he should be listening to the people, who want an end to the

The statement goes on to say, "There is growing sentiment among people in
the U.S. against the war in Afghanistan. They want an end to the
eight-year long war, not an escalation.

"During the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the U.S.
government is spending billions for wars and occupations, while millions
lose their jobs and housing and go without health insurance."

Cities with plans for anti-war events on October 17 include Boston,
Cleveland, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Albany, New York, Austin, Texas and
Orlando, Florida. For information on other cities holding October 17
events see

Twin Cities-area organizations that are participating in the local
Saturday protest include Anti-War Committee; Iraq Veterans Against the
War; Military Families Speak Out; Women Against Military madness; Twin
Cities Peace Campaign; St. Paul Regional Labor Federation and many others.
For more information, call 612 827-5364 or 612 522-1861.

--------3 of 14--------

From: Vanka485 [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 10.17 2pm

Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday

--------4 of 14-------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Sami/Iraq today 10.18 9/11am

A Talk by Sami Rasouli: "Iraq Today"
Sunday, October 18, 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537
Third Avenue South, Minneapolis.

Sami Rasouli, an Iraqi-American with
dual citizenship, who left Iraq in the late 1970s, lived in the Twin
Cities area for more than 17 years. In November 2004, nearly 30 years
after leaving Iraq and following the 2003 invasion and occupation of
his country of origin, Sami returned to Iraq to help rebuild his
country. During this time, he founded and supported the development of
the Muslim Peacemaker Teams, groups dedicated to the principles of
nonviolence. He recently brought a delegation of thirteen Iraqis from
the city of Najaf to the city of Minneapolis as a part of the Sister
City Project. Sami will speak about the situation on the ground in
Iraq today; the U.S. pull-out from the cities; the return of the giant
oil companies; political divisions; the upcoming elections in January,
2010; and the prospects for U.S. withdrawal and a substantive change
in U.S policy toward Iraq. He will also speak about the Muslim
Peacemaker Teams in Iraq and the building of peaceful relationships
between the people of Iraq and the people of the United States through
the Iraqi Art Project, the Sister City Project, Water for Peace, and
Letters for Peace ( Endorsed by: WAMM.

--------5 of 14--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Peace/justice 10.18 12:30pm

Peace with Justice Forum: a Talk by Wes Davies of IVAW
Sunday, October 18, 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. Central Lutheran Church, 333
South 12th Street, Minneapolis.

Wes Davey, co-founder of the Minnesota chapter of Iraq Veterans Against
the War (IVAW), will be the featured speaker at a peace with justice
forum. Followed by discussion. Lunch available at 12:30 p.m. for $7.00.
Sponsored by: the Joint Peace with Justice Committee of the Minneapolis
and St. Paul Areas Synods. Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI: Contact Mary Amdahl,
651-698-6441 or mamdahl6441 [at] .

--------6 of 14--------

From: scot b <earthmannow [at]>
Subject: Stillwater vigil 10.18 1pm

A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2
p.m.  Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song
and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be
positive.  Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers.

If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it.
Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to

For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560

--------7 of 14--------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at]>
Subject: Amnesty Intl 10.18 3pm

Join us for our regular meeting on Sunday, October 18th, from 3:00 to 5:00

We will share other actions on human rights cases around the world and get
updates on the work of our sub-groups. All are welcome, and refreshments
will be provided.

Location: Center for Victims of Torture, 717 E. River Rd. SE, Minneapolis
(corner of E. River Rd. and Oak St.). Park on street or in the small lot
behind the Center (the Center is a house set back on a large lawn).

A map and directions are available on-line:

--------8 of 14--------

From: jwilson [at]
Subject: Edgertonite 10.18 6pm

The next Edgertonite National Party meeting is at Bryant/Lake Dunn Bros.
at 6:00 PM Sunday, 18 Oct. 2009. NO RSVP is required. Just show up! The
RSVP requirement has been abolished. This is the last meeting before
Election Day! [Endorsed by J Edgertonite Hoover]

John Charles Wilson National Chairman, ENP

--------9 of 14--------

>From Offshoring Jobs to Bailing Out Bankers
The Rich Have Stolen the Economy
October 16-19, 2009

Bloomberg reports that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's closest aides
earned millions of dollars a year working for Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and
other Wall Street firms.  Bloomberg adds that none of these aides faced
Senate confirmation.  Yet, they are overseeing the handout of hundreds of
billions of dollars of taxpayer funds to their former employers.

The gifts of billions of dollars of taxpayers' money provided the banks
with an abundance of low cost capital that has boosted the banks' profits,
while the taxpayers who provided the capital are increasingly unemployed
and homeless.

JPMorgan Chase announced that it has earned $3.6 billion in the third
quarter of this year.

Goldman Sachs has made so much money during this year of economic crisis
that enormous bonuses are in the works.  The London Evening Standard
reports that Goldman Sachs' "5,500 London staff can look forward to record
average payouts of around 500,000 pounds ($800,000) each.  Senior
executives will get bonuses of several million pounds each with the
highest paid as much as 10 million pounds ($16 million)".

In the event the banksters can't figure out how to enjoy the riches, the
Financial Times is offering a new magazine - "How To Spend It".  New York
City's retailers are praying for some of it, suffering a 15.3 per cent
vacancy rate on Fifth Avenue. Statistician John Williams (
reports that retail sales adjusted for inflation have declined to the
level of 10 years ago: "Virtually 10 years worth of real retail sales
growth has been destroyed in the still unfolding depression".

Meanwhile, occupants of New York City's homeless shelters have reached the
all time high of 39,000, 16,000 of whom are children.

New York City government is so overwhelmed that it is paying $90 per night
per apartment to rent unsold new apartments for the homeless.  Desperate,
the city government is offering one-way free airline tickets to the
homeless if they will leave the city. It is charging rent to shelter
residents who have jobs. A single mother earning $800 per month is paying
$336 in shelter rent.

Long-term unemployment has become a serious problem across the country,
doubling the unemployment rate from the reported 10 per cent to 20 per
cent.  Now hundreds of thousands more Americans are beginning to run out
of extended unemployment benefits.  High unemployment has made 2009 a
banner year for military recruitment.

A record number of Americans, more than one in nine, are on food stamps.
Mortgage delinquencies are rising as home prices fall.  According to Jay
Brinkmann of the Mortgage Bankers Association, job losses have spread the
problem from subprime loans to prime fixed-rate loans. At the Wise,
Virginia, fairgrounds, 2,000 people waited in lines for free dental and
health care.

While the US speeds plans for the ultimate bunker buster bomb and
President Obama prepares to send another 45,000 troops into Afghanistan,
44,789 Americans die every year from lack of medical treatment. National
Guardsmen say they would rather face the Taliban than the US economy.

Little wonder.  In the midst of the worst unemployment since the Great
Depression, US corporations continue to offshore jobs and to replace their
remaining US employees with lower paid foreigners on work visas.

The offshoring of jobs, the bailout of rich banksters, and war deficits
are destroying the value of the US dollar.  Since last spring the US
dollar has been rapidly losing value. The currency of the hegemonic
superpower has declined 14 per cent against the Botswana pula, 22 per cent
against Brazil's real, and 11 per cent against the Russian ruble.  Once
the dollar loses its reserve currency status, the US will be unable to pay
for its imports or to finance its government budget deficits.

Offshoring has made Americans heavily dependent on imports, and the
dollar's loss of purchasing power will further erode American incomes.
As the Federal Reserve is forced to monetize Treasury debt issues,
domestic inflation will break out.  Except for the banksters and the
offshoring CEOs, there is no source of consumer demand to drive the US

The political system is unresponsive to the American people.  It is
monopolized by a few powerful interest groups that control campaign
contributions.  Interest groups have exercised their power to monopolize
the economy for the benefit of themselves, the American people be damned.

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]

--------10 of 14--------

How the Bankers Bought Washington
Our Cheap Politicians

October 15, 2009

Smart investors have certainly had plenty of opportunity to make money
lately. Gold is up twenty percent. Oil has doubled. The Dow roars through
10,000. But one investment has far, far, outperformed all others in epic
returns: politics.

Wall Street balance sheets make this very clear. Last year, according to
the Center for Responsive Politics, major banks and other financial
institutions in receipt of $295 billion in TARP money pumped $114 million
into Washington in lobbying and campaign contributions. As a stand-alone
figure, $114 million sounds like a lot. Set against the torrent of cash
flowing in the opposite direction, it is minimal. At 258,449 percent it
has been called "the single best investment in history". Our elected
representatives are giving it away.

No one should be surprised at the bankers' dominance of Washington. They
even boast about it. Hailing a further emasculation of the powers of the
proposed Consumer Finance Protection Agency, the American Bankers'
Association recently issued a press release commending lawmakers for
removing "the unworkable requirement that communications with consumers be

Keeping banker-consumer communications unreasonable has been only part of
the labors of the House Committee on Financial Services, chaired by Barney
Frank. Yet the sums ladled into members' campaign coffers are by no means
proportionate to their actions. Pushing for a change in the so called
"mark to market" accounting rule earlier this year, a coalition of
financial industry PACS, according to the Wall Street Journal, contributed
a total of $286,000 to committee members. Various members then
communicated their mounting dissatisfaction with the rule to the
accounting standards board which, coincidentally or not, decreed the rule
be changed.

The decision did wonders for Wall Street balance sheets. Wells Fargo's
capital officially soared by $4.4 billion, while Citigroup boosted its
reported earnings by $413 million in the first quarter of '09. Yet Melissa
Bean, D-Ill, who got the most money from the coalition of any committee
member, garnered a mere $20,000 toward her next campaign. Chairman Frank
was apparently satisfied with $8,500.

To be sure, it's not just the financial industry that knows how to get the
most out of a dollar on Capitol Hill. According to Taxpayers for Common
Sense, corporations angling for earmarks in this years Pentagon budget
spread $1.25 million among the 18 members of the Senate Defense
Appropriations Subcommittee. That's only $69,000 per member - and these
are Senators! - who nonetheless approved $762.3 million worth of
earmarks sought by these same corporations.

Officials in other countries have a greater sense of self worth, as U.S.
corporations doing business internationally surely know. Just this year,
the Haliburton Corporation admitted to paying $180 million to Nigerian
officials in connection with the Bonny River liquefied natural gas
terminal project. Greece has been recently convulsed by revelations of the
hundred million euros in bribes allegedly lavished on their elected
politicians by the German Siemens corporation.

Just a generation ago, our own legislators displayed a more robust
attitude to those seeking favor. In his instructive memoir "Wheeling and
Dealing - Confessions of a Capitol Hill Operator," former Senate aide
Bobby Baker recounts his efforts in collecting the half million dollars in
cash demanded by Senator Robert Kerr of Oklahoma from the Savings and Loan
industry in return for a favorable legislative adjustment. And that was in
the 1950s, when a dollar was still worth something. The S&L
representatives, records Baker, complained bitterly, paid most of the sum
demanded, and duly got their reward.

Pending concrete revelations about contemporary Kerrs in House or Senate,
we have to assume that nowadays campaign contributions are as reported and
cited here. Therefore, given the evident selflessness or timidity of
today's lawmakers, we might venture a modest proposal: political
contributions should be taxed - at source.

Given the current state of the exchequer, a rate of one thousand percent
would not be out of order. Thus the $1000 contributed by the Mortgage
Bankers Association to Congresswoman Bean in pursuit of that bountiful
accounting rule change could yield a cool million for the taxpayer. Though
leaving several trillion to go, it would be a start. If possible, this
tariff should be retroactive, so we could collect on the donations
inevitably flowing to the lawmakers charged with deliberating this
necessary measure.

It's time the rest of us got in on the act.

Andrew Cockburn is the co-producer of the 2009 documentary American
Casino. He can be reached at: amcockburn [at]

--------11 of 14--------

No Surprises: Baucus-Braly-Blue Cross Bailout Advances to Final Act
by Donna Smith
Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Whew. Saddle up, America. And say it three times, really fast:
Baucus-Braly-Blue Cross Bailout, Baucus-Braly-Blue Cross Bailout,
Baucus-Braly-Blue Cross Bailout.

Get ready for the next act in the intricate drama that has been unfolding
under the guise of healthcare reform since last fall. Recalling those
glorious chilled fall evenings of 2008 and the promise of a Presidential
candidate who confidently and clearly proclaimed healthcare as a basic
human right, observers of the quest to grant that right within the
American system might wonder how such a welcome proclamation dissolved
into a nation standing on the brink of making that right to healthcare
more distant, less protected and far less secure for millions of its

Senator Max Baucus could explain. He receives the highest political
contributions of any Democrat in Congress from the healthcare industry.
Angela Braly of WellPoint could explain. As one of the most powerful women
on earth (see Forbes' listing for the past few years of the top 100 and
look among the top 10), she writes the provisions of the legislation Sen.
Baucus offers to the nation. She protects the interests of Blue Cross and
all other for-profit, private insurers very well indeed. And together with
a few of their closest friends both in government and industry - folks
well place inside and out - they'll be enriched many times over by the
passage of reform legislation that leaves millions and millions of people
with healthcare access problems and open to financial ruin.

It's all there: Take carefully scripted and timed objections by the
insurance and healthcare industry giants, woefully long legislative pauses
of dismay over costs or the terribly unacceptable option of inaction and
lack of bipartisanship, and then punctuate it with Presidential moments of
stoic determination. That's the stuff of political theatrics.

If only it were the stuff of the basic human right to healthcare, it might
be a play we'd all have enjoyed watching.

What would make any American citizen watch the unfolding events and think
many of these leaders - oft cited as brilliant minds and superior
intellects - would allow any outcome in policy and law not in their own
best interests to prevail? The plot is what they wrote it to be - all the
way down to the last minute objections to make it appear as though the
health insurance industry doesn't really want to raise premiums and make
even higher profits. The American people owe them all a very good living,
don't we?

"The lady doth protest too much." Shakespeare wrote it a few centuries
ago. Many have borrowed it. Braly and her pals have perfected it to an art
form. And watch Congress act as though with its huge Democratic majority
capable of passing real reform that they've been scared by the "teabaggers
of August" or influenced by labor leaders on the left slamming their shoes
on the table and objecting to weak reforms and taxation of benefits - and
now have muscled through all of that to give us insurance purchase
mandates as reform.

So, watch and wonder no more America. The next few scenes will include all
sorts of conflicts surrounding the details. Public option, robust or not.
No matter. Amendments to add some teeth to the legislation. Sure enough.
Taxation of benefits. No problem. House of Representatives stomps its
feet. Of course. President steps in now and then to put his bigger than
Congress' foot down. You betcha. And then on to the Rose Garden just
before Christmas with all the players wrapped in holiday glow giving a
gift to the American people. Maybe we can time the ceremony with the
lighting of the White House Christmas tree and the placement of the
Menorah. Bet we could all write the invitation list right now. And we're
not on it.

Buy insurance (as an employee). Buy insurance (as an employer). Buy
insurance in the private market. Buy insurance (as a taxpayer funding the
subsidies). It's sort of like Jingle Bells, only a lot less fun. But
that's the simple bottom line to this reform. Everyone buys the defective
product or else. Sold to protect health and wealth, it does neither by

In the end, millions of us pay more for less coverage. Hundreds of
thousands bury family members, children, neighbors, friends as they want
for protection from preventable death. Millions are fined for failing to
buy insurance. Financial services firms grow fatter and bolder collecting
for medical providers. Millions more go bankrupt. America the beautiful
continues to finish last and boldly so in measures of real health. Round
and round we go.

Ten or so years down the road, the unsustainable and well-scripted
healthcare reform plan crafted by team Baucus-Braly and all its supporting
cast of characters will have to be redone. A gruesome sequel of sorts. I
wonder if we'll have someone writing the new script that hears the cries
of the people and actually acts on that suffering. Because the current
cast will be long gone having claimed their victory and safely off
counting their riches.

[Proof positive that the rich are unworthy. They are the ones doing this
to us, and laughing. They have got both parties and a servile "president"
and media licking their boots. We the people are sliced diced and riced so
the cash and labor fall out, and the rest dumpered. And the rich laugh,
How can they be so everlastingly dumb? And they plan more cops and weapons
against citizens in the streets, to make us ransom our lives with money
and labor. They laugh ha ha ha in country clubs.  The rich hate and fear
democracy and they hate and fear us. When are we going to act? -ed]

Donna Smith is a community organizer for the California Nurses Association
and National Co-Chair for the Progressive Democrats of America Healthcare
Not Warfare campaign.

--------12 of 14--------

Deception, Spin, and Lies
by Gilad Atzmon
October 16th, 2009
Dissident Voice

By way of deception thou shalt do war.
- the Mossad motto

Less than a week after Ankara cancelled an air exercise with Israel,
Turkey's state-sponsored channel TRT1 broadcast "Ayrilik" ("Farewell"), a
new prime-time TV show that depicts the true image of Israel's genocidal
military operation in Gaza last January.

The Israelis are not happy. "Broadcasting this series is a serious case of
state-sponsored incitement..."., said Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor
Lieberman Thursday morning. "Such a series, which doesn't even have a weak
connection to reality presents the IDF's soldiers as murderers of innocent
children..." I wonder whether one should remind hardliner Lieberman, who
happens to be an enthusiastic ethnic cleanser and a proud Judeo
supremacist racist, that the reality on the ground last January was
"connected enough" to establish a genocidal war crime inquiry and a crime
against humanity. It left over 1400 fatal casualties. It also left
thousands more injured, most of them children, women and elders. However,
for once Lieberman happens to read the map. The Turkish TV-show indeed
depicts the IDF's soldiers as murderers of children women and elders for
this is what Israeli soldiers are and this is exactly what Israel stands
for politically, symbolically, ideologically and practically.

Though Lieberman tries to appease his Israeli crowd and may even be
successful in doing so, his chances to mount pressure on Turkish TV and
the government are rather limited. By now we all happen to know Israel is
all about the establishment of a "Jew-only state" in a stolen land named

As it happens we tend to spend a lot of time writing and analysing the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But the facts on the ground are actually
very simple. Zionism is an ideology inspired by the plunder of Palestine.
Israel has put the robbery of Palestine and the Palestinians into
practice. We are talking here about a national revival project that is
taking place at the expense of another people. It is a murderous project
inherently inspired by the bible and an unethical plundering project of
"home coming". It is a lethal combination of some deadly interpretations
of the Old Testament together with a non-ethical present. The only
question to be asked is how have they got away with it? How do they
continue to get away with plunder, murder, spreading white phosphorus and
piling up nuclear weapons?

             Spin, Deception, and Lies are the Answer

A few weeks ago, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu stood in front of the UN
waving the Wannsee Conference's protocols suggesting that he was holding
the "proof for the Nazi extermination of European Jewry". With typical
histrionics, he pleaded for the nations empathy. "Is this a lie?" he cried
out. Embarrassingly enough, though the document he presented to the
assembly was genuine, he was actually spinning the usual Zionist lines.
The Wannsee Protocol refers in a rather general manner, to the deportation
to the East of the entire Jewish population from Germany and German
occupied territories. Though the document refers to "Final Solution", the
very "solution" it prescribed is rather different from the common
interpretation offered by the Zionist Shoa narrative. The Wannsee Protocol
refers basically to a sinister plan to exhaust the deported Jews in the
hard labour of roadwork.

As much as Wannsee document is devastating, its relevance to the history
of the holocaust is rather limited for the "Wannsee plan" has never
materialised into an actual operative program. It has actually nothing to
do with the historicity of Jewish extermination known as the Shoa. It
doesn't set any plan for death camps or gas chambers whatsoever. As a
legal document, it proves nothing but general Nazi inclinations. As a
historic document it by no means "proves" the Shoa and the extermination
of the Jews, it just affirms that the Nazi regime was committed to the
idea of Judenrein (Free of Jews). However, this fact is well established
and widely accepted even by most if not all holocaust revisionists. As
much as Netanyahu insisted to boost the Holocaust with some fresh
credibility, he ended up waving a relatively insignificant paper in front
of the nations. Needless to say, he got away with it.

However, far more crucial is the fact that the Wannsee Protocol lines out
a program that is not that different from Lieberman's deadly plan for the
Palestinians. In reality it is the Jewish state that murders Palestinians
en masse and starves those who survive. Moreover, it is very interesting
also to elaborate on the following questions: how is it that the leader of
the Jewish state is standing in front of the nation and spins in broad
daylight in the name of Israel and the name of the Jewish people? What can
we learn from the fact that an Israeli leader tries to fool the entire UN
assembly? How is it that as Israeli PM manages to divert the attention so
easily from his own crimes against humanity that are taking place in the
present into a relatively insignificant historical document? In short, how
does he get away with it?

The answer may be pretty trivial. Like in the case of the Mossad motto,
they make their wars by deception. The entire Jewish revival project is
grounded on sets of lies. The entire tale of Jewish "home coming" is
nothing less than a daylight collective crime based on false argument and
lies again. Initially Zionists were deceiving their fellow Jews but as
time passed by they have been extending their tactics. For more than a
while they have been spinning us all. The Israelis and Zionists are born
into a lie, they live their life through a lie, they tend to believe that
they can get away with lies and deception and the sad truth must be said.
As far as world leaders are concerned, they actually do. As we know, not a
single world leader challenged Netanyahu's spin at the UN. More disturbing
is the fact that not a single historian or intellectual tried to point out
to the Israeli PM that, more than anything else, the Wannsee Protocol
actually describes his own policies at home.

Very few World Leaders have the guts to oppose the Zionist spin operation.
Recently we have witnessed the courageous Iranian Mahmud Ahmadinejad,
Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, and Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan. This is not a lot
considering the level of colossal atrocities committed by the Jewish
state. However, it is better than nothing.

The good news is that Humanism and Humanity is not exactly in the
possession of politicians or so called "world leaders". It is actually our
property, the members of the human race, the people out there who happen
to witness the emerging evil. True Humanity and Humanism is delivered by
kindness and an aspiration for ethics and truthfulness. In most cases it
is actually artists and ordinary people who transform Humanism into a
vivid message. Our elected interventionists, for some reason insist on
dragging us all into more and more Zionist wars in the name of the
holocaust, democracy and liberation...

Tragically enough, our Western leaders are still silenced or at least
"captivated" by Zionist lies. But this shouldn't be a major concern
anymore. The betrayal of Western ideologies (left, right, and centre),
politicians and institutions are an established fact. Succumbing to
Zionist lies is apparently just one symptom amongst too many. Not only
that truth will win, it is actually winning already. The identification of
the Zionist spin is becoming common knowledge. As the foggy cloud of the
Zionist brutality expands we all develop a growing yearning for some beams
of truth and grace. We are beginning to grasp that they make their wars by
the means of deception. They may win a few more Pyrrhic battles, but they
are losing the war.

Gilad Atzmon was born in Israel and served in the Israeli military. He
lives in London, and is the author of two novels: A Guide to the Perplexed
and the recently released My One and Only Love. Atzmon is also one of the
most accomplished jazz saxophonists in Europe. He can be reached at:
atz [at]

--------13 of 14--------

"Global Imbalances" Versus Internal Inequalities
Understanding the World Economy
by James Petras
October 14th, 2009
Dissident Voice

The deep and ongoing crises of leading capitalist countries, especially
the United States, has provoked a debate over the causes, consequences and
appropriate policies to remedy it.

The debate has revealed a deep division over the causes and remedies, with
Anglo-Franco American (AFA) politicians, columnists and economists on one
side and their Asian-German (AG) counterparts on the other. In general
terms the AFA spokespeople put the blame for the crises on external
factors, or more specifically they point their finger at the positive
trade surpluses, dynamic export sectors and high investment rates in
productive sectors and low levels of consumption in the AG countries as
the cause of "unbalances" or "disequilibrium" in the world economy.1

In contrast, the AG countries reject this argument which speaks to
prejudicial external practices. They emphasize the internal "imbalances"
within the AFA countries, which has weakened their international,
commercial and financial position.

In this paper, I am going to argue that both internal economic policies
and external empire building strategies of the AFA countries have been the
driving force for global imbalances. The structural differences between
the two regions and the differences in class structure and economic
configurations in each bloc precludes any easy or immediate solution. On
the contrary, for the foreseeable future, the conflict between dynamic
emerging export powers and the declining western bloc is likely to
intensify, leading to greater trade conflicts and possible military

The AFA charges against China's commercial "imbalances" conflates trade
with the West with Beijing's relations with the rest of the world. China
has balanced trade or even trade deficits with Asian, African, Middle
Eastern and Latin American countries. Moreover, the AFA countries have
trade imbalances with other regions including the Middle East and Germany.
Even if the AFA countries curtailed imports from China, it is most likely
that other Asian countries would replace them, including Vietnam, South
Korea, Taiwan, Bangladesh and India. The resulting trade deficits of the
AFA would remain about the same.

The AFA countries blame China's "undervalued" currency, and claim that
Beijing authorities manipulate the exchange rate to under price exports
and beat out competitors (namely producers within the AFA). Yet China's
currency has been revalued steadily upward over 20% the past five years,
and yet the AFA still run a deficit, suggesting that their domestic
producers have still not been able to compete with Chinese manufacturers.2
More recently AFA writers have complained about low interest rates set by
the Chinese government as a "subsidy" to its exporters. Yet AFA interest
rates are at zero percent or even negative, to no avail. Moreover, the AFA
have provided over 1.5 trillion in bailout funds and over 1.3 billion in
stimulus spending - a subsidy five times greater than China's stimulus
package, without improving their trade balance. What is telling, given the
sectoral allocations, of each regime's bailout - subsidy - stimulus
packages, China has fully recovered and is growing at 8% by mid 2009,
while the AFA continue to wallow in negative territory and continue
running up trade deficits. This points to the centrality of internal
factors, namely, the economic sectors which receive the state subsidies
and how they invest it and as a result how their decisions affect trade

The AFA charge that China's low cost labor, its exploitation of workers
accounts for trade imbalances. Yet an increasing percentage of China's
exports are based on technological advances, not cheap labor. This is
because low labor cost competitors are emerging in Asia.

The AFA complain that China over emphasizes its "export" strategy at the
expense of producing for the domestic market. Yet nearly half of China's
exports to the US are made by US owned multi-nationals who have invested,
subcontracted and co-produced with Chinese counterparts. In other words,
US internal policy, the deregulation of capital flows, has facilitated the
movement of US manufactures abroad resulting in a decline of local
production, an increase in imports and greater trade deficits.

  Internal Causes of Trade Deficits (and Unbalanced World Economy)

The most obvious and striking correlation with the growth of AFA trade
imbalances is the growth and dominance of the financial sector.3 The
financialization of the AFA economies and Wall Street's CEOs dominant role
in the strategic economic positions of the state is transparent to the
mass of the people and has even been acknowledged by most private
economists and academics. Trade deficits increased in direct proportion to
the growing political and economic power of the financial sector. In large
part, this was due to the transfer of capital from manufacturing to
financial services, leading to the decline of the manufacturing sector's
investments in innovations and competitive management strategies. The
financial sector's high salaries, bonuses and quick returns attracted
most of self-styled "best and the brightest". MBA graduates multiplied
while advanced engineering school graduates diminished. Advanced skilled
worker training programs disappeared while low skill retail sales
recruitment grew.

The problem was that financial services did not, could not replace the
overseas earnings which formerly accrued to the country through
manufacturing sales. Least of all in the highly regulated financial
markets of China, Japan, India and the rest of Asia, where banking was
subordinated to the expansion of manufacturing - namely financing
industries targeted by state officials. The dominance of finance capital
and the related sectors of real estate and insurance, led to a highly
polarized class structure: in which billionaire and millionaire investment
bankers presided at the top and an army of low paid service workers
(retail employees, cleaners and sweepers, etc.) immigrant and non-union
workers occupied the bottom. Presently income inequalities in the US
exceed those of any other "advanced" capitalist country. The inequalities
in Manhattan exceed those of Guatemala. The growing concentration of
wealth is accompanied by decline of median wages over the past three
decades. As a result the purchasing power of US workers is declining, thus
reducing the demand for locally produced quality goods. The purchase of
imported cheap textiles, shoes and other accessories results. The result
was a decline in local saving and domestic investment in manufacturing
leading to a decline in competitiveness. Moreover, the competition among
financial lenders furthered consumer spending and greater individual
indebtedness at a time when manufacturing exports were declining, starved
of investments.

Most manufacturing firms transformed themselves into financial
corporations, channeling investment funds in sectors not earning foreign
exchange. Worst of all in pursuit of higher profits, manufacturers turned
into commercial vendors, closing down plants and sub-contracting
production to China and other Asian countries and importing final products
into the US creating the trade imbalances. The large scale relocation of
US multi-nationals abroad further exacerbated the trade imbalances.

The key role of the state in creating domestic imbalances leading to
global disequilibrium is a result of the financial sector's takeover of
the state, and the deregulation of financial markets. The result was the
long term promotion of an economic policy, in which the central bank (the
Federal Reserve) and Treasury encouraged the growth of finance, real
estate and insurance sectors over manufacturing. The finance based
strategy was justified by a large army of academics and publicists who
spoke of a "post industrial", or "service" or "information" economy as a
"higher stage," rather than a perversely unbalanced, unsustainable and
unjust economy.

Financial supremacy coincided with the growing militarization of US
foreign policy. Throughout the last thirty years, US overseas economic
expansion was gradually eclipsed by the growing reliance on military
intervention, and the build-up of military bases in hundreds of sites. As
financialization weakened the productive capacity of US manufacturing
exporters' efforts to capture markets, US policymakers increased their
reliance on the supremacy of military power. The channeling of billions
into military spending drained resources from efforts to upgrade the
competitiveness of US civilian industry and was a major factor in its
declining share of export markets. The end result of militarization was a
loss of export earnings and the growth of trade deficits.

If we combine the three great internal imbalances in the AFA economics,
but especially in the US, the financialization of the economy, the
militarization of foreign policy and the concentration of wealth at the
top, we can best understand why the US has such a huge and growing trade

                 China Export Driven Strategy

China's emphasis on an export driven strategy and the resultant growing
class inequalities is largely a result of the class composition of the
state and its social structure. In other words internal factors are the
driving force of its pursuit of trade surpluses. What is ironic is that
some of the AFA critics, who rightly point to the internal "imbalances" in
China, overlook similar problems in the West. Namely, no mention is made
of the absence of a national health plan in the US, the growth of
inequalities and declining mass purchasing power - even as they point to
these deficiencies in China. What Western advocates of greater social
welfare in China do not discuss is the capitalist class power, privilege
and profits which hinder greater mass consumption. Least of all do they
discuss the motor force for lifting working class and peasant living
conditions, namely the class struggle. Instead they rely on technocratic
appeals to Chinese elites for greater social spending.

The Chinese state has evolved into a powerful machine for manufacturing
goods and billionaires. Today China has the highest growth, the highest
rate of exploitation and the greatest class inequalities in Asia.
Increasing wages to stimulate local consumption means reducing profits,
anathema to all capitalists including Chinese. Increasing public spending
on universal health coverage especially for the 700 million uninsured
peasants and rural workers means higher taxes on the rich, including the
families and colleagues of the governing elite. In contrast, producing for
export markets does not require increasing domestic consumer power, on the
contrary it requires lower wages.

A shift from an export-driven to a domestic market driven strategy,
requires not only a "change in policy" but a deep shift in class power,
from the current capitalist class and its state backers to the workers and
peasants. To realize large scale, long term commitments of public revenues
to social services for the rural poor and higher wages for exploited
workers requires sustained popular mobilizations, uprisings, strikes to
secure the independent trade unions and peasant associations necessary to
secure a shift in state allocations toward domestic consumption.

China's "imbalances" are largely internal, social and political. An
imbalance of social power between an all powerful capitalist state and a
repressed powerless mass of workers and peasants; an imbalance in income
between a super-rich banking, real estate, manufacturing export elite and
a low paid working class and subsistence peasantry; an imbalance between a
highly organized state linked by family, ideology and economic interests
to the capitalist class and a dispersed, fragmented and isolated mass of
working people.

China's ruling class, its outward billion dollar investments in western
capitalist enterprises via its sovereign wealth funds, its billion dollar
investments in overseas extractive enterprises, is driven by the mass of
capital accumulated that is extracted via intense levels of labor
exploitation and the elimination of state funded pensions, health plans
and education. China's role as an emerging imperial power is rooted in the
imbalance between global power and social welfare decay.

The fact that western capitalist writers, policymakers and their academic
camp followers point to the same social imbalances in China as its
domestic working class critics should not obscure a basic point. The Wall
Street critics are defending the AFA financial elite against China's
export industrialists' greater productivity; while the domestic working
class critics are criticizing the capitalists and the state for their high
rates of exploitation and concentration of wealth.

The key to reducing imbalances in world trade is reducing socio-economic
inequalities within each region. The US requires a profound shift from a
finance dominated economy to a manufacturing economy, where finance, high
tech and higher education is directed to creating a competitive,
productive economy based on skilled labor. The link at the top between
Wall Street and the Pentagon must be replaced by a link from below between
the industrial working class, low paid service workers and public sector
employees and professionals.

The structural transformation of the US economy is necessary but not
sufficient. If US efforts to pursue a military driven empire persist, this
will divert resources away from domestic and overseas economic priorities.
Military driven empires alienate trading partners, have high costs and low
returns, isolate economic investors and traders from productive
partnerships and are destructive of domestic and overseas civilian
productive facilities.

The way out of the massive imbalances is for the US to engage in a large
scale, long term domestic structural transformations - namely
de-financialization and de-militarization. But the political and economic
forces benefiting from the current configuration are deeply entrenched, in
control of both major parties and dominate the mass media and its message.
Yet, despite their profound institutional power they suffer several fatal
flaws. In the first instance they have created unsustainable global
imbalances, which will sooner or later lead to a collapse of the dollar
and renewed and more virulent and costly financial bubbles. Secondly, the
free market which is the main ideological prop of the deregulated
financial power elite is totally discredited as evidenced by the single
digit support and trust of Wall Street. Thirdly, military driven empire
building has run its course: after nine years of war in Afghanistan the
vast majority of the US public has sent a message to the political elite
of both parties, the White House and Congress, that its time to shift from
funding failed overseas adventures to solving the problem of 20% under and
unemployed Americans (30 million), the 100 million or 33% of Americans
with no or costly and inadequate health coverage. No amount of media and
political pundit scapegoating of China for our own self-induced
"imbalances" can divert American opinion from their direct experiences
with our own internal inequalities and policy failures.

1. Martin Wolf, .Why China must do more to rebalance its economy.
Financial Times, September 23, 2009, p 11. See also Financial Times,
October 3, 4, 2009. p 3 and Financial Times, September 21, 2009 p 9. [.]

2. Financial Times, October 9, 2009 p 1. [.]

3. Gerald Davis, Managed by the Markets: How Finance Re-Shaped America
(New York: Oxford University Press 2009). [.]

James Petras, a former Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University,
New York, owns a 50-year membership in the class struggle, is an adviser
to the landless and jobless in Brazil and Argentina, and is co-author of
Globalization Unmasked (Zed Books). Petras. most recent book is Zionism,
Militarism and the Decline of US Power (Clarity Press, 2008). He can be
reached at: jpetras [at]

--------14 of 14--------

Tiny Tim receives Nobel peace prize

Hjalmar, Norway - Today we the Nobel Commitee announce the co-recipient of
the Peace Prize: Tiny Tim. For years he tiptoed through the tulips, eyes
on a Peace Prize. He then correctly realized that prizes are not given to
tiptoeing pansies. So he ran, skipped, hopped, and rolled through the
tulips, with attendant manly collateral damage. Better. Tim's breakthrough
came when he wholeheartedly +mowed+ the tulips. Response was immediate and
positive. "Mowing Through the Tulips", the Video, shows, finally, Tiny Tim
to be a +practical+ man of peace, and it is for this that we grant him the
prize. Congratulations, Tim!


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