Progressive Calendar 08.07.10
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Sat, 7 Aug 2010 15:43:15 -0700 (PDT)
              P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   08.07.10

1. WAMM ruckus       8.07 4pm
2. US journalism/CTV 8.07 9pm

3. Stillwater vigil  8.08 1pm
4. Peace picnic      8.08 4pm
5. Hiroshima vigil   8.08 7pm

6. Laura Flanders - Recovery for the rich
7. Linh Dinh      - Investing in war/ House slave syndrome
8. Cindy Sheehan  - Endless wars for endless profits
9. Missy Beattie  - The politics of exploitation
10. Carl Ginsburg - Buffett et al & the conscience of the very, very rich
11. Margaret Kimberley - "We want our country back" = white citizenship

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From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: WAMM ruckus 8.07 4pm

DecadEvent!
Saturday, August 7, 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Back Yard, 2528 29th Avenue South,
Minneapolis. Carol Masters is 70, wants to raise a little ruckus and a
little $$$ for WAMM. Please come to a Seventieth Summer Fiesta. Potluck,
Grill, NO GIFTS, but donations to WAMM welcome. FFI and RSVP:
cmasters [at] bitstream.net.


--------2 of 11--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: US journalism/CTV 8.07 9pm

On tv and streaming soon @ http://ourworldindepth.org ...
"The Death and Life of American Journalism"

Before a live audience, Robert McChesney and John Nichols outline the
argument of their most recent book, "The Death and Life of American
Journalism".  The two longtime media experts argue that journalism, and by
extension democracy, is in severe crisis; however, there are potential
federal reforms which can address the crisis.  Q and A follows.  (3/10)

Dear MTN 17 viewers:
"Our World In Depth" cablecasts on Minneapolis Television Network (MTN)
Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and Tuesdays at 8am, after DemocracyNow!
Households with basic cable may watch.

Sat, 8/7, 9pm and Tues, 8/10, 8am
"The Death and Life of American Journalism"


--------3 of 11--------

From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net>
Subject: Stillwater vigil 8.08 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
<http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/>http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/

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


--------4 of 11--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Peace picnic 8.08 4pm

Minnesota Neighbors for Peace Metro-Wide Potluck Picnic

Sunday, August 8, 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Newell Park, 900 North Fairview Avenue
(corner of Fairview and Pierce Butler Route), St. Paul. All friends and
neighbors interested in supporting efforts for peace and justice are
welcome! Please join others for this fun annual picnic - a time to feast
and socialize with friends old and new while enjoying a beautiful summer
evening. Please bring a dish to share, as well as your own beverages.
Grills are available at the park and charcoal will be provided. Plates,
utensils, napkins, and cups will also be provided. Notes: No alcohol is
allowed in the park, and dogs must be on a leash at all times. Politicians
and public office-holders are welcome to attend and socialize, but no
stump speeches, please. Sponsored by: Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace.
Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI: Contact Krista Menzel or Anne Benson,
info [at] mppeace.org, 651-641-7592, or 651-647-0580.


--------5 of 11--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Hiroshima vigil 8.08 7pm

The 2010 Hiroshima/Nagasaki Commemoration Events

Join others in the community to encourage reflection on the past and
hope for the future through action in the present. All are welcome.

Sunday, August 8, 7:00 p.m. Como Park, Global Harmony Labyrinth (off
Nason Place near the south end of the pedestrian bridge), St. Paul.
Nagasaki Commemoration with Junshin singers from Nagasaki and KAIROS
dance.

Sponsored by: the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Commemoration Committee. Endorsed
by: WAMM. FFI: Visit www.wilpfmn.org or email msphncc [at] gmail.com.


--------6 of 11--------

Geithner's World
Recovery for the Rich
By LAURA FLANDERS
CounterPunch
August 6 - 8, 2010

Welcome to the recovery!

That's what Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wrote in the New York
Times this week. And such good news! We've all been waiting to be told
that the economy was improving, after all.

Consider: Conan O'Brien, surely one of the nation's most famous unemployed
folks, just made $25 million, one of the highest prices paid for a
Manhattan apartment this year. Someone's buying -- even if they got a bit
of a break. The apartment was originally listed for $29.5 million!

Geithner noted, "We all understand and appreciate that these signs of
strength in parts of the economy are cold comfort to those Americans still
looking for work."

Indeed, Geithner doesn't want his declaration of Mission Accomplished over
the economy to go the way of that other one.

It's a confusing clutch of contrasting news coming to us courtesy of the
NYT. Geithner on the Op-Ed page, Conan in the real estate section - and on
the front page Michael Luo reporting on the "99ers," those unemployed
people who have "exhausted the maximum 99 weeks of unemployment insurance
benefits."

There are about 1.4 million of them, including Alexandra Jarrin, who's
profiled in the piece. She's living in a motel off borrowed money,
applying for jobs to pay off her student loans and unfinished M.B.A.

She's had her first job interview in over a year this past week.

But hey, someone tell her that the economy's recovering! Conan sold his
condo! Surely it won't be long now...

Laura Flanders is the host of GRITv.


--------7 of 11--------

Investing in War
House Slave Syndrome
By LINH DINH
CounterPunch
August 6 - 8, 2010

A recent article declares, "Tired of war, thousands of Iraqis want to go
to U.S.". What it fails to mention is who triggered all the bloodshed. Who
made conditions in Iraq so intolerable that these people must flee?

You know who. Over and over again, the U.S. has instigated mayhem or
carnage overseas, generating thousands if not millions of refugees, many
of whom longing to escape, paradoxically, it seems, to the source of their
suffering. You beat and humiliate me, so can I move in?

But there is no paradox here, really. Let's call this phenomenon the House
Slave Syndrome. With its vast military, petrodollar racket and control of
the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, the U.S. dominates every
single life on earth. It is a truly a full spectrum master. There is not a
Panamanian, Nigerian, Georgian or Japanese, etc, whose life goes
unmolested by American military or, more importantly, financial decisions.
Each U.S. sneeze distorts the entire world. When its attention to your
land includes a coup or a preemptive strike, then the plot just gets
bloodier (and often oilier). No use hiding. Unless you're Bin Laden, Uncle
Sam can always reach you!

The fact that many Iraqis want to come here means that our way of life is
superior to theirs, many Americans will conclude, and what we're doing
over there is entirely justified, if a bit costly on our end, but we're
such good people, we give so much. Ignored is the fact that we've sold
their oil and gas and kept 98% of the gross receipt. Our occupation is
also not called We Will Bomb You, Strip You Naked and Smear Shit On Your
Face, but Operation Iraqi Freedom. We're teaching them about civilization,
even if they did start it five thousand years ago. A refresher course
can't hurt. Between waterboarding lessons, we'll teach them about Angelina
Jolie, and, for the more serious and advanced students, Megan Fox and
Whoopie Goldberg. We'll throw in easy to understand parables about Jesus.
Turn the other cheek, you Satanist Terrorists!

There is nothing new here. We've been messing with Iraq for half a
century. In 1963, we orchestrated a coup there. We supported Saddam
Hussein even before he became president. Before we turned against him,
Saddam was our boy, just like Ngo Dinh Diem, Ferdinand Marco, Mohammad
Pahlavi, Manuel Noriega and so many others. It's good that Uncle Sam is
not a baseball executive, because his picks are always terrible, but just
ask yourself, What sort of character, for cash or career advancement,
collaborates with the C.I.A.?

Washington ditches foreign dictators when they no longer serve its needs,
but even the most loyal servants of our ruling class are just disposable
tools, if not collateral damages. It has come out that General John D.
Lavelle, who died in disgrace 30 years ago, was unjustly blamed for a
military decision authorized by Richard Nixon. As his career was
destroyed, both White House and Pentagon said nothing. Consider also what
happened to Old Blood and Guts. Sixty-three years after the death of
General Patton, evidences emerged that he was killed by the O.S.S.,
precursors to the C.I.A., in a staged car crash.

So even the highest ranked house slaves are not safe. Still, it's better
to be inside than out. In fact, it's best to be as close to the man as
possible. Here's a basic rule of survival: When shots ring out, run to the
gang with the biggest guns, the one with the most tanks, planes and ships,
and you'll less likely to become kabob. If they're smart bombing your
neighborhood, you can save your own ass by moving into theirs, for even
their least desirable real estate, even Detroit, for example, is safer
than Baghdad, if not by much. In short, the closer you are to the baddest
mofo, the less likely you are to be zapped by one of his drones or
military contractors. If you sit next to the pilot, he'll have a harder
time bombing your ass. Sniffing the man's deodorant, you will also have
better access to his table scraps, preowned clothing and maybe even a bit
of hand me down culture.

As long as we engage in wars on foreign soils, refugees will try to come
here, but we simply can't stop because war is our primary industry, what
we export to the rest of the world. War is our way of life. We are a war
servicing nation. War nourishes our military industrial complex, cheers up
stock holders of Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and
General Electrics, etc. Without wars, our stock market would disappear.
College-aged children of the investment class may hold up cute signs
protesting this or that conflict, but daddies and mommies need systematic
and routine mass murders to maintain healthy stock portfolios.

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories and five of poems, with a
novel, Love Like Hate, scheduled for July. He's tracking our deteriorating
socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, State of the Union.


--------8 of 11--------

Endless Wars for Endless Profits
Reflections on the 5th Anniversary of Camp Casey in Crawford, TX
by Cindy Sheehan
August 7th, 2010
CounterPunch

Before my son, Casey, was killed in Iraq on April 04, 2004, I was a mother
of four, worried about all my children - but especially the one who was
going to be deployed to Iraq - sometimes working as many as three jobs to
survive, and only peripherally aware of the harsher realities of living in
an Empire.

When Shocking and Awful rained down on Iraq, the military "operation" was
then called: Operation Iraqi Liberation - but the geniuses in the War
Selling Department figured out that the acronym was too obvious, so it was
changed to Operation Iraqi Freedom, which is the name that was on all of
my son's paperwork and medals after he was killed.

Back then "enhanced interrogation methods" were also known as "torture"
while this nation was fighting a War on Terror.

Since a Nobel Laureate has risen to the top of the Imperial Dung Heap
(IDH), he has done good and well, as Nobel Laureates should: He has only
changed the names of things at the directive of the War Selling
Department. The Global War on Terror has been renamed to: Overseas
Contingency Operations - whatever the hell that means, but the vagueness
is intentional. The Empire is expert at ill-defining missions because if
the missions were defined with precision, there would naturally have to be
an end when the mission is really "accomplished".

Back sometime after the Nobel Laureate was installed on top of the IDH,
the mission that killed my son was renamed: "Operation New Dawn". So every
single one of our troops and Iraqis that have been killed since Obama's
reign have been killed in something that resembles dish-washing detergent
and most certainly the selling of it. "Operation New Dawn: New and
Improved with more Lemony Freshness - and, boy, does it cut through
grease!" Grease is the only thing that Operation New Dawn cuts through,
though - since many of my fellow USAians want to believe that Obama is the
"New and Improved" George Bush.

Now Obama has taken back a promise to have "Combat Troops" out of Iraq by
September 1st of this year and has pledged to have them out by the end of
2011 - but, of course, he has again redefined the mission and the troops
are now on a "support and train" mission instead of a combat mission, so
the Bots will believe that there is a new Mission Accomplished. There will
be some troops movement and more empty rhetoric about this as the next
presidential season is rapidly coming to assault us with more Madison
Avenue Trickery. And people on the so-called left and so-called antiwar
movement were upset with John McCain when he said that troops would be in
Iraq for "100 years?" Well, that is upsetting to me also, but troops will
be in Iraq for 100 years because WE only come out to fight when a
Republican is in office and it is apparent that The Empire can tenaciously
hang in there until the next cycle when a Democrat takes the "con" of The
Empire and neutralizes the "Left" for another four to eight years.

Since I camped in Crawford, Texas beginning August 6th, 2005 there has
been little to celebrate and virtually no progress in a progressive
direction regarding any policy.

Bush's troop "surge" in Iraq that was bought and paid for by Pelosi's
Democratic Congress only "worked" because just about everybody that could
be killed or displaced in or out of Iraq has been. In 2003, Iraq had a
population of roughly 25 million and about 5 million of those have been
killed or displaced - that's 1/5 of the population. Devastating figures -
that would be comparable to 60 million USAians being killed or displaced!
Significant and tragic figures that mean very little to most daily
consumers of what passes for news here in the U.S.

In the Summer of 2005, BushCo and its wars were still maintaining slight
popularity in polling (done by corporate sources), but there were millions
of people in this nation and probably billions on the planet, that were
against the wars and BushCo. Camp Casey captured the imagination and
excitement of 15,000 who traveled to Crawford that August to be with us
and tens of thousands throughout the world that held vigils in support of
us and started their own Camp Caseys in solidarity with Camp Casey in
Crawford.

Right after Camp Casey, we had many people travel to New Orleans to help
with the hurricane relief and a Veterans for Peace bus took 5 tons of left
over supplies after we closed Camp in August of 2005. We held a march and
rally in DC on September 23rd that had over 500,000 participants. Still,
everywhere I do travel people tell me that after my example, they became
active in political, antiwar, or social justice movements.

So why are we still in too many wars?

Too often still, I receive emails from those on the so-called right that
email me and call me a "hypocrite," "Democratic shill," "Obama tool," or
other names indicating that they are under the false impression that I
have retired since Obama became president, but nothing could be farther
from the truth. I have NEVER stopped and I don't care who is the
Corporatist in Chief. I never will until the wars are over and this nation
has a saner foreign policy and a more humane domestic one.

The reason we still have wars is that, what I call the Robber Class,
perpetuate Myths that keep us tied to them in very sick and harmful ways
and the "antiwar" energy turned out to mostly be anti-Bush energy. Bush is
gone, but his crimes remain.

Not only is the 6th of August the fifth anniversary of the beginning of
Camp Casey, but it will also be the 65th anniversary of the first time the
USA used an atomic weapon. I didn't plan on marching on Crawford the first
time on Hiroshima Day, but I think it's fitting and a perfect example of
the insanity of Empire.

To me, everyday is exactly like a nightmare that I can't wake up from. The
powers that be lied to the world about Iraq having weapons of mass
destruction and lied about some kind of connection between Osama bin Laden
and Saddam Hussein and then admitted to lying - and the entire world
yawned and the killing continued and continues. The kicker in all this is
that I have to live each and every day for the rest of my life knowing
that my son died for these lies and that the people who have perpetrated
these mass crimes against humanity walk among us freely and, as a matter
of fact, are doing quite well for themselves. It's totally mind blowing to
me and I get accused of being "angry". The thing about Casey dying in a
war based on lies is because his recruiter lied to him. Our entire
Imperial structure is constructed on lies and functions off of heartache.

The feistiness in me remains, but now I know that the enemies of peace are
not just George Bush and the Republicans - the enemies of peace are
widespread, diverse, in all segments of our society, and include the first
female Speaker of the US House of Representatives and Nobel Laureates.

Camp Casey was a miracle to me and I will never forget that summer and the
high we were on thinking that we were going to finally make a difference,
but the Empire knows how to neutralize those movements and we were
distressed that the energy was inappropriately used to elect Democrats.

But five years later, I am older and wiser and the proud grandmother of
three grandbabies two years and under that have given me more love and joy
than I thought was still possible in my life. The babies have also given
me a renewed sense of urgency and commitment to making this planet a
better place for all the babies.

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan who was killed in Bush's
war of terror on 04/04/04. Sheehan is a congressional candidate running
against Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco. You can visit her campaign website
at CindyforCongress.org. She is the co-founder and president of Gold Star
Families for Peace and The Camp Casey Peace Institute.


--------9 of 11--------

Woe
The Politics of Exploitation
By MISSY BEATTIE
CounterPunch
August 6 - 8, 2010

The Washington Post online edition headline read: "Obama tells veterans
the end of the Iraq war is about to begin".

"The end of the Iraq war is about to begin".

I say this like a mantra and note that there is something absurdly absurd
about the language, here. More familiar is the ominous phrase "the
beginning of the end". As in "woe is me". And, yes, I know some would
correct this to "woe is I". But to say "the end of the Iraq war is about
to begin" carries an illusion of hope. Certainly, that's the intent.

I've read the text of Obama's message to Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
and didn't see this quote, anywhere, so I'm unsure if it is an Obamaism,
something Barry said, prior to, or after, the speech. It is clear, though,
that 50,000 troops will remain in Iraq in a support role, training and
advising Iraqis.

Unclear is the meaning of support role. What exactly does this job
description include? Combat? What kinds of weapons will be involved? More
information, please.

When the Nobel Peace Prize recipient spoke on August 2 at the National
Convention of DAV in Atlanta, Georgia, he repudiated his vow to withdraw
all troops from Iraq in 2010 and emphasized successes in the war-ravaged
country, blah, blah, blahhing about recent low levels of violence. Truth
is during July, 400 civilians were killed, 50 Iraqi soldiers died, and 89
police officers perished.this according to the Iraqi government, figures
challenged by the US military. Who you gonna believe? What do those Iraqis
know, anyway?

Here's some of what Obama said about the next chapter in the mission, this
"end" that's "about to begin":

These are dangerous tasks. There are still those with bombs and
bullets that will try to stop Iraq progress and the hard truth is that
we have not seen the end of America's sacrifice in Iraq. But make
no mistake: our commitment in Iraq is changing from a military
effort led by our troops to a civilian effort led by our diplomats.

"Diplomats"? Again, more information, please.

Will these "diplomats" pack heat? After all, we didn't spend a gazillion
dollars on the Green Zone, the largest embassy in the history of US
Empire, this 104-acre monstrosity the size of 80 football fields with
shops and restaurants, a cinema, and much more, to, later, say, "See ya".

Okay, we did cede control of the multiplex to Iraq in 2009, but, most
certainly, this control is under our control.

The president's words on Monday served up the customary dose of
exploitation.

Exploitation of 9/11.

Exploitation of fear.

Exploitation of patriotism.

Exploitation of sacrifice.

Even exploitation of exploitation because Obama wrapped with "destiny" and
"brighter days ahead" and "we will emerge from our tests even stronger
than before" and "the country we love" and, OF COURSE, "God bless you, and
God bless the United States of America".

Back to "diplomats". I'm scratching my head as I consider the
significance. I kinda sorta think in Military Industrial Complex-speak, it
translates to combat troops. Yes, that's it - "diplomat" is a euphemism
for uniformed soldier.

The continuing task of carnage, which debuted as Operation Iraqi Freedom
(how ironic is that?), will persist, augmented by mercenaries employed by
private security companies. These highly paid killers, along with the
50,000 support-role troops, will perpetuate bloodshed, imperialism, and an
occupation that will never end in a design where "the end of the Iraq war
is about to begin". Woes are us, or we, and woe is unto them.

[And meanwhile millions of Americans will line up in 2012 to vote for the
faithless SOB - BO - running the show. Collaborating with war and death
and destruction and evil. Imagining themelves o so mature as they venture
deeper into the pit of hell and drag us along with them. -ed]

Missy Beattie lives in Baltimore, Maryland. She will be in DC in July for
Peace of the Action. Contact her at missybeat [at] aol.com.


--------10 of 11--------

The Great Marginalization
Buffett, Gates, Rockefeller and the Conscience of the Very, Very Rich
By CARL GINSBURG
August 4, 2010
CounterPunch

Of all the farcical notions put forth during this time of high farce,
casting America as "broke" places way up there on the list, as trillions
of dollars are being stockpiled in the face of a national downsizing and
its attendant growth in misery.  Here we sit, a captive national audience
to the president's seemingly daily farce, "We are all in this together".

Instances of hoarding in U.S. history are many, but the current example
stands out for its enduring quality, as Congress reaches deep into
corporate pockets, with occasional forays into legislation of the extreme
incremental variety.   Profits are up 41 percent since Obama's election;
yet half of American workers have suffered a job loss or a cut in hours or
wages over the past 30 months - hardly the recipe for togetherness.

More farce: that irresponsibility is the root of poverty, a stalwart theme
in American political theater, with the latest reminder from Treasury
Secretary Geithner in a New York Times op-ed this month, saluting
Americans for "saving more" and "borrowing more responsibly".  These
instructions from the government's top economic point man were imparted in
the face of continued wage stagnation, high foreclosure rates and new
forms of financial foolery.

Now enter stage left: the "Great Givers", they come in the form of
American billionaires proposing to give away half their wealth.  Beware
strangers bearing gifts.

The billionaire pledge - a broadside of noblesse oblige - was formulated
by none other than two of the planet's leading mega-billionaires, Warren
Buffett and Bill Gates.  These two American moneybags are imploring fellow
prophets of profit to address global suffering by earmarking not less than
fifty per cent of personal wealth for charity. First discussed at a dinner
in May 2009, the specifics are just now surfacing thanks to Carol J.
Loomis in the June 16 issue of Fortune.

According to Loomis, Buffett and Gates, who share a commitment to charity
and to the Democratic Party, summoned a group of billionaires to dinner in
New York City. David Rockefeller - whose granddad cornered the market in
kerosene, then gasoline - played host and invited this billionaire boys
club to share their calling.   Two subsequent dinners were held, expanding
the group invited to take the plunge to about thirty.  Areas of charitable
concern shared by America's very richest, Loomis says, include "education,
culture, hospitals and health, the environment, public policy, the poor
generally".   Generally.

Details are scarce because participating billionaires were promised
privacy - privacy being a constitutional commitment to enormous wealth.
One detail that did get out was the name Buffett assigned his file on this
new initiative: "Great Givers".

It would appear that the ability to give greatly stops at the factory
door.  Buffett's billions, for example, include holdings in Wal-Mart, a
company fresh from victory in Chicago where, after years of resistance by
community forces, construction of its first mega-store was just given a
green light.  Times as they are, with "jobless recovery" taken to new
heights and millions looking for work, Wal-Mart offered a wage of $8.75
per hour to seal the deal.  The amount Wal-Mart agreed to pony up is 50
cents over the Illinois minimum; still, at under $20,000 per year gross,
no one would argue that it constitutes a living wage.  Such are the
elements of Great Giving.

Buffett's profits are not tied exclusively to low wages stateside; his
Wal-Mart earnings are a result of paying the lowest garment wages in the
world, according to labor rights advocates.  Wal-Mart has started moving
some of its garment factories out of China, where garment workers have
been making the princely sum of $147 per month, to Bangladesh, where
monthly earnings total $64, the lowest wage of its kind.  In this world of
farce these wages are linked to Bangladesh's low literacy rate - 55
percent. Had workers only acquired educations, the master thespians of
farce would say, wages would be higher.

It's not fair, however, to solely tie Buffett's billions to uneducated
Bangladeshis.

This Great Giver also bought a stake in Goldman Sachs and its Ivy-educated
money managers, doing his part to rescue the financial system by
transferring $5 billion to America's gilded investment bank (in exchange
for a 10 percent per annum return).  Yes, this is the same Goldman that
last month admitted "a mistake" in selling subprime mortgage bonds
destined to collapse; the same Goldman that set aside $9.3 billion the
first half of this year for salary and bonuses; and, yes, the same Goldman
that orchestrated speculation in the world wheat crop with disastrous
results, according to Frederick Kaufman's cover story in the July issue of
Harper's, "The Food Bubble".  Undoubtedly, Buffett's due diligence
uncovered the following when sizing up the Goldman investment:

"The history of food took an ominous turn in 1991, at a time when no one
was paying much attention.  That was the year Goldman Sachs decided our
daily bread might make an excellent investment.. [W]ith accustomed care
and precision, Goldman's analysts went about transforming food into a
concept.  They selected eighteen commodifiable ingredients and contrived a
financial elixir that included cattle, coffee, cocoa, corn, hogs, and a
variety or two of wheat.. They weighted the investment value of each
element. that could be expressed as single manifestation, to be known
thenceforward as the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index..

"Since Goldman's innovation, hundreds of billions of new dollars had
overwhelmed the actual supply of and actual demand for wheat..

"In 2008, for the first time since such statistics have been kept, the
proportion of the world's population without enough to eat ratcheted
upward.  The ranks of the hungry had increased in a single year, the most
abysmal increase in all of human history..
(pp. 27-28)

Clarifying what the Great Giver Buffett means by the poor generally.

Buffett's Goldman investment remains solid, as the SEC fined Goldman for
its "mistake" what amounted to little more than petty cash - $550
million.  It was, according to finance professor Charles Geisst, "like
passing around the church collection plate and collecting a few extra
bucks for sins".  Geisst summed it up this way: "This is unlikely to
change much at all. I think it will be business as usual right away".
More money for Buffett to give greatly.

Warren Buffett's fellow Giver of Great Gifts, Bill Gates, has diversified
his holdings as well.  But his tens of billions result chiefly from the
company he co-founded and led for decades, Microsoft, where profits remain
very strong.  "Microsoft Still Earnings Powerhouse," barked the headline
in USA Today, July 23, 2010.  In its fledgling years, profits on Gates'
software were reportedly 70 per cent annually.  Otherwise, after all, you
don't make upwards of $50 billion charging cost plus five percent.

Current returns for this scion of the responsible class were reported at
48 per cent, as Windows 7, the latest software batch out of Microsoft, led
the company's product pack.  "It certainly shows that Office and Windows
franchises are as strong as ever and delivering huge revenue," analyst
Brendan Barnicle told the Wall Street Journal recently.  Indeed, annual
sales have hit new records year after year, tripling to $62.5 billion in
fiscal 2010.  Net income for Gates' Microsoft grew from $9.4 billion per
year a decade ago to $24.1 billion this year.

Another way to gauge Gates's billions is by catching a glimpse of the
multitudes of students priced out of the computer market - thanks in part
to that Great Giver's expensive software - lined up daily at community
college libraries for some free access to computers, each machine an
expression of Gates' creative commitment to profit in the +40 percent
range - a gift Gates gave himself that keeps on giving.  As Gates told
Fortune: "The diversity of American giving is part of its beauty".

Carl Ginsburg is a journalist in New York City.  He can be reached at
carlginsburg [at] gmail.com.


--------11 of 11--------

What "We Want Our Country Back" Really Means
White Citizenship
By MARGARET KIMBERLEY
CounterPunch
August 6 - 8, 2010

The founding fathers made one thing perfectly clear when they ratified the
constitution in 1787. Full citizenship rights were meant only for white
men of property. Over a period of nearly 200 years, people's movements
guaranteed that those rights were extended to everyone regardless of race
or gender, but the fact that the struggle literally took centuries should
not be forgotten. It is tempting to snicker at the sight of today's Tea
Party members, grown men wearing knee breeches and three-cornered hats.
Yet their costumes tell an important tale. They evoke an era still seen as
the high water mark of American society, the days of the enslavement of
one race and the extermination of another. This movement has captured the
Republican Party outright and leaves even some Democratic politicians and
pundits in a state of fear and/or awe.

The pull of that early history is ever present for many white Americans.
No matter the degree of progress made, the adherence to the evils of
America's early days are never far from the surface. Simply put, there are
too many brown faces for the liking of a majority of white people. Even
the president has a brown face. His very presence has been a shock to the
country's system and to the mythology which says that only white people
are truly American.

For decades, the presence of undocumented foreign nationals has been an
accepted fact in the United States. Estimates of their presence run as
high as 11 million. In the very recent past that presence was considered
positive, a proof of America's attractiveness to the rest of the world and
a boon to industries dependent upon their labor.

Under the guise of concern for integrity of our borders, and stemming
illegal activities, that presence is now being called a threat and a
danger to the nation. Republicans like former presidential candidate John
McCain have bowed to pressure from the Tea Party wing and moved from
advocating a path to citizenship to producing nonsensical campaign videos
to "build the dang fence" and prevent Mexicans willing to pick fruit and
bus tables from entering the country.

The guarantor of citizenship since 1868 has been the 14th Amendment to the
Constitution which grants automatic citizenship to anyone born in the
United States. That amendment and its guarantees are now under direct
threat. On a daily basis pundits and politicians rear their ugly heads to
say that the children born of undocumented persons should no longer be
given American citizenship.

Arizona legislators, the go-to group for turning white supremacy into law,
have proposed denying birth certificates to anyone who can't prove legal
residence. Flush with the nationwide popularity of SB1070, which turns
Arizona into the "show me your papers" police state, they are now drunk
with the possibility of keeping the dark skinned people in check and away
from what they hope to make an oasis of whiteness.

All of these proposals are masks for a simple proposition. Citizenship
rights should only be extended to white people, just as in the barbaric
days of the golden age of whiteness. All but the most unrepentant racists
will deny this intent. Instead we hear lunatic tales of beheadings in the
Arizona desert, non-existent kidnappings and birth tourism terror plots to
make sleeper cell American citizen babies.

Black Americans should be the first to denounce these bizarre schemes to
undo constitutional protections. The 14th Amendment was a means of
protecting the rights of the newly freed population and of over turning
the infamous Dred Scott decision which nullified the very concept of black
citizenship.

"We want our country back" is not just an anti-Obama call to action. It is
a call to revive an idea which ought to have been firmly discredited by
now, that America should belong only to white people and that they alone
should have a voice in how it is run. It would be a terrible mistake to
see these citizenship proposals only as anti-Latino based bigotry. They
are surely that but they are also a means of keeping the non-white
population under control and depriving them of any rights which a white
person need respect.

Margaret Kimberley is a columnist for the Black Agenda Report. Ms.
Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at
Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgandaReport.Com.


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