Masters Of War

Come you masters of war You that build all the guns You that build the death planes You that build all the bombs You that hide behind walls You that hide behind desks I just want you to know I can see through your masks. You that never done nothin' But build to destroy You play with my world Like it's your little toy You put a gun in my hand And you hide from my eyes And you turn and run farther When the fast bullets fly. Like Judas of old You lie and deceive A world war can be won You want me to believe But I see through your eyes And I see through your brain Like I see through the water That runs down my drain. You fasten all the triggers For the others to fire Then you set back and watch When the death count gets higher You hide in your mansion' As young people's blood Flows out of their bodies And is buried in the mud. You've thrown the worst fear That can ever be hurled Fear to bring children Into the world For threatening my baby Unborn and unnamed You ain't worth the blood That runs in your veins. How much do I know To talk out of turn You might say that I'm young You might say I'm unlearned But there's one thing I know Though I'm younger than you That even Jesus would never Forgive what you do. Let me ask you one question Is your money that good Will it buy you forgiveness Do you think that it could I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul. And I hope that you die And your death'll come soon I will follow your casket In the pale afternoon And I'll watch while you're lowered Down to your deathbed And I'll stand over your grave 'Til I'm sure that you're dead.------- Bob Dylan 1963

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

Reading From 'On The Road' - Kerouac

Going to see the movie over here this weekend. Can't see it living up to the book in any way somehow. Will report back. LINK

Aurora Australis From Space

NASA Picture. Usual stunning standard.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Obama Lists His Five Criteria for Death by Drone

Obama Lists His Five Criteria for Death by Drone:

The Trench: Pin The CIA Base On the Map

The Trench: Pin The CIA Base On the Map: "What's unnerving to foreign populations are the requirements of UASs and their collateral damage. A drone's range is grimly impressive for its machinery - up go 1,000 miles - but it needs a network to support its operations. Drones fly out of multiple points in Afghanistan, having been evicted from Pakistan, while a grid of drone bases has been constructed over the Horn of Africa to target al-Qaeda and its affiliated militants. Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia and the Seychelles all host their own bases, controlled by either the CIA or JSOC, and Yemen just received its own during a popular revolution. Many of these cases illustrate the hegemonic threat that drones bring to their area of operations. In Yemen, the CIA had already began construction under Ali Abdullah Saleh's secret approval when the revolution struck, and the White House accelerated its building schedule from two years to eight months in response."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Death Of Colonel Gaddafi - One Year On

October 20th will mark the anniversary of the killing of Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi. Video clip HERE.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Going To South Korea

I will be in South Korea for the next three weeks.

Since I will be returning to the States the day AFTER the election [charade]. I sent my absentee ballot [opiate for the masses] in yesterday.

Being a far, far, lefty, I voted for Jill Stein and the Green Party. 
So do not blame me for the next four years, no matter who wins.

I am sure we will have the best government that money can buy.
 Multinational corporations will guarantee it.
The Corporate States of America must be fed, while the Main Streets of the world  suffer.


The Week the World Stood Still The Cuban Missile Crisis and Ownership of the World By Noam Chomsky

The world stood still 50 years ago during the last week of October, from the moment when it learned that the Soviet Union had placed nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba until the crisis was officially ended -- though unknown to the public, only officially.
The image of the world standing still is the turn of phrase of Sheldon Stern, former historian at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, who published the authoritative version of the tapes of the ExComm meetings where Kennedy and a close circle of advisers debated how to respond to the crisis.  Those meetings were secretly recorded by the president, which might bear on the fact that his stand throughout the recorded sessions is relatively temperate compared to other participants, who were unaware that they were speaking to history. 
Stern has just published an accessible and accurate review of this critically important documentary record, finally declassified in the late 1990s.  I will keep to that here. “Never before or since,” he concludes, “has the survival of human civilization been at stake in a few short weeks of dangerous deliberations,” culminating in “the week the world stood still.”
There was good reason for the global concern.  A nuclear war was all too imminent, a war that might “destroy the Northern Hemisphere,” President Dwight Eisenhower had warned.  Kennedy’s own judgment was that the probability of war might have been as high as 50%. Estimates became higher as the confrontation reached its peak and the “secret doomsday plan to ensure the survival of the government was put into effect” in Washington, as described by journalist Michael Dobbs in his well-researched bestseller on the crisis (though he doesn’t explain why there would be much point in doing so, given the likely nature of nuclear war). 
Dobbs quotes Dino Brugioni, “a key member of the CIA team monitoring the Soviet missile buildup,” who saw no way out except “war and complete destruction” as the clock moved to “one minute to midnight,” the title of his book.  Kennedy’s close associate, historian Arthur Schlesinger, described the events as “the most dangerous moment in human history.” Defense Secretary Robert McNamara wondered aloud whether he “would live to see another Saturday night,” and later recognized that “we lucked out” -- barely.
“The Most Dangerous Moment” READ MORE

My Way HD English Subtitles

1902 Japanese Documents Say Dokdo Is Korean

An official Japanese document from 1902 records Dokdo as Korean territory. /Courtesy of Yuji Hosaka
An official Japanese document from 1902 records Dokdo as Korean territory. /Courtesy of Yuji Hosaka
An official Japanese document from 1902 recognizes Korea's sovereignty over Dokdo, three years before Japan's Shimane Prefecture forcefully incorporated the islets. 

The document, which was submitted to the Japanese government by the Japanese Consulate in Busan in May 1902, refers to Dokdo as "Liancourt Rocks" and Ulleung Island as the "main island" of Dokdo. It was found in the diplomatic archives of the Japanese Foreign Ministry by Park Byung-sup, a Korean-Japanese expert in history. 

Yuji Hosaka, a Dokdo expert at Sejong University and a naturalized Korean citizen, received the document from Park and showed it to the Chosun Ilbo on Sunday. 

A section entitled "Fisheries Status" in the document states that there are "three small islands around 5 nautical miles directly east of" Ulleung. It says they are the so-called Liancourt Rocks, but "mainlanders (Japanese) refer to them as Pine Island."

It adds that Japanese fishermen venture to Dokdo to catch abalone but cannot stay long due to a lack of potable water there. 

Japan has so far claimed that Shimane Prefecture incorporated Dokdo, which was no man's land, in 1905. But Shin Yong-ha at University of Ulsan said, "In 1900, the Korean Empire officially proclaimed Ulleng Island, the main island, and Jukdo and Seokdo (Dokdo), small islets near it, as part of Korean territory." Shin added the 1902 Japanese document also refers to Ulleung Island as main island and Dokdo as attached to it, demonstrating that Japan indirectly recognized them as part of Korea. / Oct. 15, 2012 10:50 KST

Buddhists from both Koreas hold ceremony on Mt. Kumgang

South and North Korean Buddhist monks at a ceremony to mark the fifth anniversary of Kumgang Mountain’s Shingye Temple, Oct. 13. (provided by Jogye Orderl)

Monks hope their cooperation will ease tension on the peninsula and help work toward reunification

By Cho Yeon-hyun, religion correspondent
The Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism’s (South) Korean Community Advancement Organization and the Central Committee of the (North) Korean Buddhist Federation met at Kumgang Mountain’s Shingye Temple Oct. 13 for Buddhist services to mark the fifth year since the temple’s restoration. These joint ceremonies were the first to be carried out by a South Korean Buddhist delegation visiting the North this year.
At the services held that day, Lee Gyu-ryong, chief secretary of the North Korean Buddhist Federation said, “If Buddhists from both Koreas put enough effort into it, there will come a day when this very spot, Shingye Temple, can be reborn as a genuine venue for the reunification of our nation.”
Head the Jogye Order’s delegation, Ven. Ji-hong, said in his opening remarks, “I am dismayed by seeing a shroud of silence brought to the prayers for reunification of Buddhists from both Koreas at Shingye Temple following the suspension of tourism to Mt. Kumgang”.
He went on to say, “With the opportunity provided by joint Buddhist services, Buddhists from both Koreas can combine their energy and insights to preserve Mt. Kumgang, which is both a holy site for the people of Korea, and a symbol of reunification.”
The two sides also upheld the ideals of the June 15th South-North Joint Declaration (from the 2000 South-North summit) and the October 4th South-North Joint Declaration (from the 2007 North-South summit) in their official joint declaration for removing the threat of war from the peninsula.
Their joint statement reads, “We, the Buddhists of both Koreas, will follow the road set forth in the North-South joint declarations through cooperation with a Buddhist heart, to rid our nations of antagonism and suspicion, tension and combativeness and will continue our alliance to eliminate the threat of war and guarantee a permanent peace.”
Ahead of the joint Buddhist services, there was also an official presentation of a final draft of a report on the excavation of the Shingye Temple.
The Shingye Temple, one of four major temples on Mt. Kumgang, was first built during the sixth year of the rule of Shilla king, Beop-heung (519 AD), but was destroyed during the Korean War. It was later restored on Oct. 13, 2007, through the cooperation of the (South’s) Jogye Order and the (North) Korean Buddhist Federation. The joint Buddhist services this time was agreed to during a set of talks between Buddhists of both Koreas held at Kaesong on Oct. 5.
Including the Ven. Ji-hong, the South’s delegation was comprised of 19 people, while 22 people attended from the North, including Chief Secretary Lee Gyu-ryong, Vice-Secretary Cha Geum-cheol, and the Ven. Jin-gak of Shingye Temple.

Scotland moves a step closer to independence

The Data Doesn't Lie: The Housing Market’s “Phantom Inventory"

The Housing Market’s “Phantom Inventory” » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

The Big Difference in the Two-Headed Candidate: Obomney vs. Romobama

Obomney vs. Romobama » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names
Do not blame me for the next 4 years, and beyond.
I voted early for Jill Stein and other Green Party candidates. 

Beyond The Main Stream Lies: Why Chavez Won

Why Chavez Won » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Asia Times Online :: China's economic power mightier than the sword

Asia Times Online :: China's economic power mightier than the sword

Counting the bodies in the Pakistani drone campaign: TBIJ

Counting the bodies in the Pakistani drone campaign: TBIJ

Koch Brothers Rounding Up Employees' Votes | Common Dreams

Koch Brothers Rounding Up Employees' Votes | Common Dreams

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Radical America, 1967-1999 |

Radical America, 1967-1999 |

Radical America, 1967-1999
A history of the magazine Radical America, which emerged out of, and eventually outlasted, Students For A Democratic Society.
Radical America was a product of the campus-based New Left of the late 1960s, specifically the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), but the magazine long outlived its seedbed. Its trajectory shows something about the effort to place an intellectual stamp on the radical impulses of the late twentieth century.
The SDS-connected Radical Education Project, formed in 1966, encouraged SDS members to start long-distance study groups that would explore topics relevant to the new radicalism. Paul Buhle, then a US history graduate student at the University of Connecticut, started one that he called American Radical History & Political Thought, exchanging letters with a handful of interested SDS members across the country. After a few months he got their cooperation in a mimeographed "journal" called Radical America, which seemingly exists now (2006) only in memory.READ MORE

Asia Knows How to Get Along With a Bigger China

Asia Knows
Illustration by Matthew Hollister

Preparing for a recent trip to Indonesia last week, I came across an article by Meidyatama Suryodiningrat, the editor of the feisty Indonesian daily Jakarta Post, protesting that the Obama administration’s “pivot” to Asia seemed too much like an attempt to start a cold war against China, with the help of its neighbors.
America’s “economic intentions and wherewithal” in Asia should be doubted as much as its attempts to contain China, the Jakarta Post argued. The U.S. was insincerely using the rhetoric of democratic values to advance its business interests in such new Asian economies as Mongolia.
In any case, Suryodiningrat said, “Southeast Asia has dealt with the powerful Middle Kingdom since the pre-Majapahit era, and it has always found a way to persevere without submission.”
Such sentiments are not untypical in much Asian commentary on the U.S. reassertion of its role in the Pacific. They sound romantic, even chauvinistic, in their evocation of a pre-modern Asia unsullied by Western realpolitik.

Trojan Horses

Still, similarly narrow-minded is the Western view in which China, bullying its neighbors and forcing them to seek U.S. assistance, is far from becoming a “responsible stakeholder” in the international system.
In some extreme versions of Western Sinophobia, China is always plotting, while talking up its “peaceful rise,” to take over the world -- a conspiracy insidiously advanced, if we are to believe the U.S. Congress, by such global Chinese companies- cum-Trojan-horses as Huawei.
Such scenarios omit the fact that, unlike Britain, France, the Soviet Union and the U.S., among other erstwhile “rising” powers, China has virtually no record of military interventions in far-off countries.
Indeed, the history of China’s relationship with its neighboring states during its long centuries as the supreme power in East Asia furnishes some remarkable facts: the relative lack, for instance, of violent conflict between major states such as China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam.
China fought plenty of wars with the nomadic communities on its western and northern borders. But while the map of Europe was continuously and often brutally altered during the last millennium, the boundaries of China’s neighbors -- Korea, Japan and Vietnam -- remained largely stable for nearly seven centuries. China’s successful intervention on Korea’s side against a Japanese invasion in the late 16th century, for example, did not lead to a Chinese military presence abroad.
Its uncharacteristic invasion of Vietnam in the early 15th century ended in defeat; but the victor, Vietnam’s legendary rebel-turned-emperor Le Loi, opted, like his predecessors, to become a tributary of the Middle Kingdom.
For China was not only the Greece of Asia, imparting its Confucian cultures: Its empires were also at the center of a trade and diplomatic web extending from Nepal to Java, and the Amur region to Burma. China’s economy was central to the region; overseas Chinese merchants and traders were later to become crucial in the economic development of Southeast Asia.
China’s neighbors benefited both materially and politically from acknowledging its hegemony; they didn’t seek to “balance” its power in the European way by forming alliances.
The emperors in Beijing, in turn, seemed content with recognition of their legitimacy and authority as the dominant power (no one back then bothered with the nominal “equality” of our nation-state system that gives Vanuatu as many voting rights at the United Nations as India, but allots the greatest power and influence to the U.S.). Though militarily capable of enforcing territorial claims on neighboring states, China refrained from making them.

New Order

European imperialists radically disrupted this integrated economic and diplomatic order in the 19th century, beginning with Britain’s imposition of the opium trade upon China in 1841, which inaugurated China’s “century of humiliation.” Within a few decades, Japan broke free of East Asia’s old tribute system and began its calamitous effort to find a place in the new global order of competitive empires and nation-states ordained by the West.
Now, after many self-inflicted disasters, China has “peacefully” risen, its ascendance coinciding with a major transformation of its neighborhood. Asia has reverted to being what it was before the European intrusion -- a dynamic region of interconnected trade with China at the center. READ MORE

Why Not Chevron?

The multinational oil Corps. are weapons of mass destruction and should be treated as such. 

Mitt Romney Foreign Policy Team: 17 of 24 Advisors Are Bush Neocons

Mitt Romney Foreign Policy Team: 17 of 24 Advisors Are Bush Neocons

...............................Any foreign policy advisory board that seeks the counsel of Cofer Black, Michael Hayden, Dan Senor or John Lehman, to name just a select few, is a real cause for concern. Of that crowd, Black is the most worrying. Cofer “the gloves come off” Black was one of the most brutal figures in CIA history, heading the agency’s Counterterrorism Center at the time of the 9/11 attacks. Think Obama’s counterterrorism program is perverse? Black is about as “dark side” as you get, an American exceptionalist in the worst sense of the word, and perhaps the most vocal advocate for extraordinary renditions and so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
The public may have trouble with Obama’s use of armed drones, but with Black whispering in his ear, Romney’s counterterrorism policy would be a frightening true return to those heady, Bush-era days of CIA black sites and waterboarding sessions.
Michael Hayden you will remember was at the helm of the National Security Agency during the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping and Dan Senor, one of the most right-wing pundits on Romney’s list, is a regular contributor to Fox News. From 2003 to 2004 he was the spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority and managed to paint one of the rosiest pictures of a post-Saddam Iraq that in reality was rapidly descending into chaos (thanks, in large part, to the incompetence of the CPA itself).
Former Secretary of the Navy, under Reagan, John Lehman fits in well with the above crowd, though he may be the principal neoconservative behind Mitt Romney’s belief that the greatest strategic threat to the United States at the present time is… Russia. .................FROM HERE

71 Into The Fire [2010] [Subtitled]

Can We Make the International Monetary Fund More Democratic?

Can We Make the International Monetary Fund More Democratic?

CIA Base in Benghazi, Libya

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) was the first to unmask the spooks. “Point of order! Point of order!” he called out as a State Department security official, seated in front of an aerial photo of the U.S. facilities in Benghazi, described the chaotic night of the attack. “We’re getting into classified issues that deal with sources and methods that would be totally inappropriate in an open forum such as this.”
A State Department official assured him that the material was “entirely unclassified” and that the photo was from a commercial satellite. “I totally object to the use of that photo,” Chaffetz continued. He went on to say that “I was told specifically while I was in Libya I could not and should not ever talk about what you’re showing here today.”
Now that Chaffetz had alerted potential bad guys that something valuable was in the photo, the chairman, Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), attempted to lock the barn door through which the horse had just bolted. “I would direct that that chart be taken down,” he said, although it already had been on C-SPAN. “In this hearing room, we’re not going to point out details of what may still in fact be a facility of the United States government or more facilities.”

CIA Base in Benghazi, Libya

Below, New York Times, September 20, 2012, did not identify the Second Compound as a CIA base.[Image]
Following four images, August 22, 2011, Google Earth/DigitalGlobe[Image]
Coordinates: 32° 3'25.57"N, 20° 5'15.98"E[Image]

Kent State: Was It about Civil Rights or Murdering Student Protesters?

The American media showed the guy standing in front of the tank at Tiananmen Square time after time.
How often did they show the picture above? When four people were shot dead in Ohio.  
by Laurel Krause with Mickey Huff
New evidence in the 1970 Kent State University massacre “is compelling, clearly showing how US covert intelligence took the lead in creating this massacre and in putting together the ensuing cover-up.” Contrary to the official version, a direct order to fire is heard on tape, an FBI agent provocateur fired his weapon just before the fusillade, and law enforcement completed the burning of an ROTC building.
Kent State: Was It about Civil Rights or Murdering Student Protesters?
by Laurel Krause with Mickey Huff
This article is from the forthcoming book Censored 2013: Dispatches from the Media Revolution and intends to expose the lies of American leadership in order to uncensor the “unhistory” of the Kent State massacre, while also aiming toward justice and healing, as censoring the past impacts American Occupy protesters today.
Lawful protest was pushed into the realm of massacre as the US federal government, the state of Ohio, and the Ohio National Guard (ONG) executed their plans to silence antiwar protest in America.”
Ohio National Guardsmen fired sixty-seven gun shots in thirteen seconds at Kent State University (KSU) on May 4, 1970, they murdered four unarmed, protesting college students and wounded nine others. For forty-two years, the United States government has held the position that Kent State was a tragic and unfortunate incident occurring at a noontime antiwar rally on an American college campus. In 2010, compelling forensic evidence emerged showing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) were the lead agencies in managing Kent State government operations, including the cover-up. At Kent State, lawful protest was pushed into the realm of massacre as the US federal government, the state of Ohio, and the Ohio National Guard (ONG) executed their plans to silence antiwar protest in America.
The new evidence threatens much more than the accuracy of accounts of the Kent State massacre in history books. As a result of this successful, ongoing Kent State government cover-up, American protesters today are at much greater risk than they realize, with no real guarantees or protections offered by the US First Amendment rights to protest and assemble. This chapter intends to expose the lies of the state in order to uncensor the “unhistory” of the Kent State massacre, while also aiming toward justice and healing, as censoring the past impacts our perspectives in the present.
The killing of protesters at Kent State changed the minds of many Americans about the role of the US in the Vietnam War. Following this massacre, there was an unparalleled national response: hundreds of universities, colleges, and high schools closed across America in a student strike of more than four million. Young people across the nation had strong suspicions the Kent State massacre was planned to subvert any further protests arising from the announcement that the already controversial war in Vietnam had expanded into Cambodia.
Instead of investigating Kent State, the American leadership obstructed justice, obscured accountability, tampered with evidence, and buried the truth.”
Yet instead of attempting to learn the truth at Kent State, the US government took complete control of the narrative in the press and ensuing lawsuits. Over the next ten years, authorities claimed there had not been a command-to-fire at Kent State, that the ONG had been under attack, and that their gunfire had been prompted by the “sound of sniper fire.” Instead of investigating Kent State, the American leadership obstructed justice, obscured accountability, tampered with evidence, and buried the truth. The result of these efforts has been a very complicated government cover-up that has remained intact for more than forty years.1
The hidden truth finally began to emerge at the fortieth anniversary of the Kent State massacre in May 2010, through the investigative journalism of John Mangels, science writer at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, whose findings supported the long-held suspicion that the four dead in Ohio were intentionally murdered at Kent State University by the US government.

The Russian Noah (RT Documentary)

Arctic ice melt, psychopathic capitalism, and the corporate media

Arctic ice melt, psychopathic capitalism, and the corporate media

Mitt Romney: A Vulture Capitalist for a Vulture Culture

Delusional Romney belief systems ­– whether more trickle-down folly, indefensible tax cuts, or “God’s on our side” exceptionalism – serve as cover for an ever nastier, reactionary vulture culture. Under-regulated vulture capitalism preys on government regulation and legislation, environmental wellbeing (decimating forests, ocean life, coastal waters, and strip mining sites), low-wage workers here or overseas -- plus badgering phantom “socialists” who challenge spoiled-brat banksters, Koch Bros., or the Rove brigade. That overfed horde sustains the extremist GOP vulture culture, at war with women, fair taxation, democratic elections that count minorities, gay rights, basic science, and healthy food – in a word, rationality.
In these terms, Romney’s braggadocio about his Bain pillaging speaks to the prevalent bullying that informs the Bush-Obama era. The “unseen drone” is more than a missile but a metaphor for widespread predation, decimating innocent civilians along with shadowy combatants. Big business too often now betrays its high-sounding claim as “agent of progress” – when innovative, new products improve collective lives – for its role as pawn of regression routinely exploiting people, places and resources.
By calculation – with obfuscation and influence peddling – the most powerful corporate chiefs are by default our national “resource planners.”  Today’s Citizens United leverage assures reactionary vetoes against even deliberation of systemic advances. All politicians sell change, but neither Obama, nor Romney offer serious plans for job growth, energy, transportation, education, and certainly not climate change. Gridlock and cultural-symbolic clashes serve the status quo, along with both national tickets.
And yet contradictions surface: a majority may endorse fuzzy Yankee exceptionalism yet realize that chronic ineptitude (or worse) marks top leaders as rather unexceptional failures. 77% surveyed by the Harvard Center for Public Leadership (CPL) agree “the country now has a crisis in leadership,” with confidence at the lowest recorded levels. Nevertheless, that same number fantasizes our biggest problems only need “effective leadership,” oblivious that entrenched systems rule the roost.
And so let’s ask: does Romney, riding debate chicanery, now represent “effective leadership” for befuddled undecideds? Is this gelatinous gasbag, stamped by his own party a “vulture capitalist,” an adult answer to this leadership crisis? And does this breakdown not extend beyond business to other realms, namely pedophile-shielding church hierarchies, weak-kneed religious figures, sports executives, or media frauds, among others? 
Exquisitely Anti-majority
So, with disregard for campaign logic, let alone majority interests, Romney-Ryan pitch lower taxes for corporation and billionaires, less regulation (on top of shredded rules), far less reliable health care coverage, less funding for infrastructure, education and unwanted pregnancies, plus more surges of Bush-Cheney military belligerence? What gives and how can this jaw-dropping agenda, were it fully exposed, capture that undecided sliver? 
What’s astonishes me is how dramatically Romney’s pro-business creed is blind to our decade-long parade of corporate meltdowns, from BP and mining disasters to the ongoing Japanese nuclear disaster. How many view big energy, big pharma, or big ag and big mining interests, let alone nefarious Wall Street bankers, as “effective,” fair-minded or law-abiding partners managing to a better tomorrow?  Bad CEOs have made power a dirty word, and the CPL survey above identifies the least trusted group in America, below even abysmal Congress: that conglomerate called “Wall Street.” And this week the beat goes on, “Wells Fargo sued by feds for reckless lending practices.” 
The CEO as Menace
Look at the body blows delivered since 2000 to the prestige of the overpaid CEO establishment. Set aside jailed schemers, like Madoff or Abramoff, even doltish has-beens like GE’s Jack Walsh with this week’s craziest conspiracy. Count the unindicted CEOs, like Tony Hayward of BP, or the mining bosses getting only wrist slaps, despite negligence that killed dozens. Or the mind-boggling Rupert Murdoch News Corp. saga, where stupidity, unrestrained gall, and lawbreaking spanned years and countries. 
Yet the most conspicuous blows are the media mug shots of craven Wall Street banksters who facilitated the Great Recession and destroyed middle-class assets by the trillions. The full publicity awarded this CEO gang explain their depleted standing and make their names commonplace: Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimond, John Thain and Vikram Pandit, plus enablers like Tim Geithner.  Do you believe Blankfein once defended his “virtuous cycle” of investment cronyism as “God’s work”?
Not only are many scurrilous CEOs still in power, outrage continues over astronomic executive salaries: what once averaged 50 times the typical worker can now exceed 500 times that base. Though American labor gets outsourced as “too expensive,” limitless funds protect fantastic compensation packages, especially when top dogs mimic Mitt’s vulture talents shredding jobs, pensions, and companies. Banksters survived by bawling, “we’re too big to fail,” but there was public illusion about gross negligence, if not criminality, thus inciting both Occupy and Tea Party alike. What undermines this vulture culture are huge Wall Street bonuses given free market hypocrites who socialized losses while privatizing profits.
Moguls Worse as Politicians
The other, final truth that shadows Romney’s wobbly bid is that autocratic bosses make lousy elected officials, out of sync with the messy work of governing, public policy, stakeholders, and what House zealots malign as “compromise.” There are self-evident reasons no top executive since Herbert Hoover has gained the presidency (W.’s baseball dilettantism aside). Tycoons either lose at the polls (George Romney, Steve Forbes or Ross Perot) or dive bomb after election (item: Florida’s mortified governor, once a disgraced health care CEO).
Of course, Romney was never a genuine CEO, neither creating, nor managing long-term, value-added products that benefited workers, community and customers. Imagine the potential damage were this bullying technocrat, estranged from common folk who depend on government, to boss a roughshod White House. As one awful CEO can destroy an established, highly regarded concern years in the making, consider how Romney, after Bush, would cripple the power and efficacy of federalism for decades.
More Reactionary Than W.
Further, President Romney is already more beholden to reactionary billionaires than Bush in office. Plus, why wouldn’t an “unzipped” Romney practice what he knows best, vulture capitalism, to show off his ruthless “ruling prowess”? Expect anti-Robin Hood ideologues set to prey on the 47%, already depicted as the enemy, and refuse millions desperate for job training, education, and basic life support assistance.
Congenitally-compromised right wingers refuse to understand that the hungry, ill-educated from families shattered by stress can’t pull themselves (or the country) up by their bootstraps. That takes genuine opportunity – with aspiration, education, and a few bucks, whether small-business or family loans – and that mandates a community willing to help neighbors through hard times. Alas, that New Deal mindset, were Romney elected, would remain the archenemy of his entrenched vulture culture.

New Left Project | Articles | Depleted Uranium: An Unacceptable Toxic Legacy

New Left Project | Depleted Uranium: An Unacceptable Toxic Legacy

Iraq records huge rise in birth defects - Health News - Health & Families - The Independent

Iraq records huge rise in birth defects  - The Independent

Korean officials blast IMF over Asian issues

By Kim Jae-won
TOKYO - Korea’s finance minister and top central banker criticized the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for its supposed failure to support the interests of Asian economies and ineptitude in extinguishing the threat posed by the European financial crisis.
The strong words from the Korean policymakers indicate conflict between developing and developed nations as they scramble to find ways to navigate the world out of the global financial slump.
There is also a sense of urgency among Korean officials to be more assertive in international finance discussions, which for decades have been dominated by arguments from Western nations. Korea has been attempting to wield a larger influence in the discussions since hosting the Group of 20 Seoul Summit in 2010.
Strategy and Finance Minister Bahk Jae-wan questioned whether the IMF leadership is providing pace and purpose to the efforts to put the global economy back on track. He went as far as to say that the recent IMF-World Bank meetings in Tokyo were an exercise in futility.
’’There are no tangible results to take from these meetings,’’ he said on the sidelines of the talks between central bankers and finance ministers.
``The IMF has shown little commitment in narrowing the gap between the two groups of countries (developing and developed nations). There is also a gap in opinion between European and non-European countries of how the eurozone debt crisis should be approached and the talks didn’t narrow it in any way,’’ adding that the IMF is risking compromising its credibility with markets and world governments.
Bank of Korea (BOK) Governor Kim Choong-soo was just as thorny with his comments, accusing the IMF of lacking transparency and consistency in the managing of its funds. This is costing Asian economies dearly in these challenging times, he said.
``The IMF does not reflect Asia’s interests effectively in its decision-making process,” said Kim.
``Many Asian countries are afraid of borrowing money from the IMF due to the so-called stigma, which lingers even after the countries have paid back the funds. If there were no concerns over the stigma, more emerging countries in Asia may have used the funds more actively to overcome the global financial crisis,” he said.
Kim added that emerging countries must beef up their domestic consumption through free trade agreements and other means to ensure growth stability, which will also be crucial for the pace of the global economy.
"Following the global financial crisis, the rapid growth rate in Asian and Latin American countries has played an important role in the recovery of the global economy," Kim said at the Asia-Latin America High Level Economic Policy Forum in Tokyo.
The growth rate of such emerging economies, however, also tends to follow in the footsteps of advanced countries, which are now in the doldrums, he added.
Kim suggested that emerging economies should bolster their domestic demand with trade deals to help strengthen the world economy.
Free trade pacts allow countries to increase local demand by reducing prices and bring deregulation to their industries, which will improve trade balance, he said.
The central banker added stronger domestic consumption could reduce foreign exchange reserves or the current account surplus, calling for preventive measures to tackle the potential risks.
"Advanced countries holding key currencies must play their role to establish a global financial safety net to reduce vulnerability in domestic financial sectors.”

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hangeul Wins Gold Medal in World Alphabet Olympics


The First Year of Peace on the Korean Peninsula

7/27 rally for peace in Seoul. Kang Jeong-Koo is seated in the bottom row, third from the right.

This article is part of a weekly FPIF series on the Obama administration's "Pacific Pivot," which examines the implications of the U.S. military buildup in the Asia-Pacific—both for regional politics and for the so-called "host" communities. You can read Joseph Gerson's introduction to the series here.
Marking the 59th anniversary of the Armistice Agreement, a ceasefire signed by all major parties to the Korean War (except South Korea), the 7/27 candlelight rally in Seoul at the end of July brought the ongoing reality of the Korean War to light. 
The organizers behind this year’s 7/27 rally highlighted the militarized implications—in a word, the peacelessness—of the armistice regime, now 59 years old. Envisaged as an interim measure, the July 27, 1953 Armistice Agreement stipulated that within three months of its signing, “a political conference of a higher level of both sides” be convened “to settle through negotiation the questions of the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Korea, [and] the peaceful settlement of the Korean question.” But with no final settlement ever reached, the Armistice Agreement has yet to deliver on its promissory note, and the Korean peninsula remains technically at war. As the longest war in U.S. history—predating America’s ongoing quagmire in Afghanistan by over half a century—the Korean War points to permanent conflict as the discomfiting, long-run truth of U.S. interventionism.
The latest flashpoint in the ongoing war is Jeju, an island off the Korean peninsula’s southern coast where villagers are resisting the construction of an intrusive naval base in the village of Gangjeong. Centering their message on the undemocratic nature of the project, the rally participants proclaimed solidarity with the Gangjeong villagers. Reproducing a view of Gureombi, the smooth volcanic rock formation that stretches along the Gangjeong coastline, the banner behind the rally stage evoked an ocean panorama once seen daily by village residents but now obscured behind high construction fences. The lettering on the banner read: “Stay strong, Gangjeong! Let’s secure peace!”
Seated near the rally stage was a familiar face at such peace gatherings: Kang Jeong-Koo, a longtime activist-scholar and a steadfast champion of peace. This year may signal the 59th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice Agreement, yet according to South Korean peace activists like Kang, it signals the last year of war on the Korean peninsula. I spoke with Kang recently at the Solidarity for Peace and Reunification of Korea (SPARK) headquarters in Seoul. For “peace-loving and peace-making organizations,” he said, “the 60th anniversary of the Armistice Agreement” next year will mark “the inaugural year of peace”—much as the 60thbirthday, according to Korean custom, is “a milestone that signals the commencement of a new life.”
Addressing the U.S. military “pivot” to the region, the nearly 30,000 U.S. forces still stationed below the 38th parallel, and the struggle of Gangjeong villagers against the construction of the naval base, Kang outlined the prospects for Korean peace when war remains the volatile substrate of U.S.-North Korea and intra-Korea relations.
Could you say a few words about SPARK—its history, goals, and motivating vision?
SPARK was established in 1994. Many Koreans believed that it was high time for us to end the division of Korea, to realize a reunited state, and to get foreign troops out of the Korean peninsula. Never in our history have foreign troops been stationed in the Korean peninsula for as long as U.S. troops have been here—over 65 years. China, during the Tang dynasty, stayed only nine and a half years. During the colonial period, the Japanese military was here for almost forty years. In 1958, the Chinese army withdrew from North Korea. By contrast, that same year, the United States deployed up to 1,300 nuclear bombs here in South Korea, only removing its nuclear arsenal from South Korea in 1991. If we think the South Korean people panicked when North Korea had five or six nuclear bombs, how did the North Korean people feel from 1958 through 1991?
There are voices within the U.S. national security establishment who assert that at various historical moments the United States has wanted to withdraw its troops but that South Korea urged them to remain. What is your response to this claim?
Who are these experts? When they speak of the Korean people, they mean the ruling groups of South Korea. When South Koreans are surveyed, more than 65 percent want U.S. troops to withdraw from our country. But these ruling groups—political, economic, cultural—are positioned in a relation of virtual serfdom to the United States. 
In U.S. policy circles, Obama’s stance toward North Korea is often referred to as “strategic patience.” Many people understand this to mean that he has done very little. Can you elaborate on U.S. military strategy toward North Korea? 
It is not true that Obama has done very little toward North Korea. During the last stage of the Bush administration, President Bush announced a U.S. commitment to realizing a peace agreement between the U.S. and North Korea. The task for the Obama administration was to continue that policy by making progress toward a real peace agreement between the two countries, but Obama failed to move forward on negotiating a peace agreement.
In 2004, the Bush administration proposed Conceptual Plan [CONPLAN] 5029 to the Roh Moo-hyun regime. This provocative plan was aimed at “responding” to crises in North Korea, including internal regime change, an internal coup, export of WMD, South Koreans held hostage in North Korean territory, a massive exodus of refugees from North Korea, and even large natural disasters like floods and earthquakes. In the event of such crises, the United States envisioned sending U.S. and South Korean special forces to North Korea to quash the Korean People’s Army and to capture Pyongyang. In short, this was a plan for regime change. Under the Obama administration, the United States has put this plan into practice in war exercises like Ulchi Freedom Guardian. In light of this, who can say that the Obama administration has done little toward North Korea?
In March of 2010, the Cheonan incident occurred. The Lee Myung-bak regime followed with sanctions against North Korea and the United States intensified its coalition war exercises with South Korea. That year, the United States held more than 10 times the usual number of coalition war exercises with South Korea. Moreover, the United States used the incident to justify conducting joint war exercises with Japan, the Philippines, Australia, and India. In this transitional period in which the election of the Democratic Party in Japan challenged U.S. domination, the United States was able to reverse the trend in the wake of the Cheonan incident.
In the past year, we have heard announcements by Obama and key members of his administration, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta among them, of a U.S. “pivot” to the Asia-Pacific. What dangers does the concentration of U.S. military resources and forces in the Asia-Pacific pose to the people of the region?
To reverse its loss of power, the United States has targeted global weak points: the divided Korean peninsula and the Middle East. From the perspective of U.S. foreign policy, conflict in the divided Korean peninsula offers an opportunity for staging a power transition within the arena of global politics. From the perspective of U.S. strategic interests in the region, Korea can serve as a facilitator or a delayer, a weakener or a strengthener.
In the greater Asia-Pacific region, we’re seeing the United States attempt to preserve its hegemony by using the resources of allied countries. This reminds me of the Libyan war. In the initial stage of the Libyan crisis, the United States intervened but then withdrew. It did not wish to waste its money. Instead, it wanted France, England, and Italy to underwrite the costs of the intervention. The exact same policy applies to South Korea, Japan, India, and Australia. 
Say more. How is the policy the same?
Because of its own economic problems, the United States wants Korea, Japan, Australia, and India to encircle China with their money, not U.S. money.
How does the Gangjeong naval base down in Jeju fit within such a scheme?
The naval base at Gangjeong is not against North Korea. If the strategic purpose of the base were truly to check North Korea, the naval base should be located near North Korea. But Jeju is located in the southern part of South Korea. There is no other reason for this base other than to surround and encircle China.
And it doesn’t matter that the naval base is, in name, South Korean. The United States, according to its Status of Forces Agreement and its Mutual Defense Treaty with South Korea, can use at whim and at will any South Korean base.
The Korean people know that the naval base at Gangjeong is not for the South Korean Navy but for the U.S. Navy. Look at the Pyongtaek base. Pyongtaek is the nearest U.S. military installation to Beijing and Shanghai. It is only one or two hours away by civilian airplane. Firing a missile would take no time at all. So the U.S. military installations that are the closest to China are the Pyongtaek and Gangjeong bases, which the United States wishes to be built at Korean expense. The same is true of Japan, Australia, Singapore, and India.
Would you describe this as a neo-Cold War policy toward China?
Can you address the perils of peace advocacy in the current moment?
Statistics on the National Security Law indicate that red-baiting and anti-North Korea rhetoric sharply intensified under the Lee Myung-bak regime. In 2010, under Lee, more than 140 Koreans were investigated and prosecuted, whereas in 2006 and 2007 under the Roh Moo-hyun regime, only 35 and 39 Koreans respectively were prosecuted in alleged violation of the National Security Law. As a representative of SPARK, I was interrogated and investigated simply because SPARK sent a letter calling upon the United Nations Security Council to discuss the Cheonan incident with fairness and objectivity. Moreover, our office was raided this year and the Korean CIA, or the National Intelligence Service as it is now called, interrogated some leading members of our organization for allegedly praising and sympathizing with North Korea. 
There is no doubt that the authorities targeted SPARK, one of the organizations at the forefront of the resistance, to discourage and suppress strong protest against the construction of the naval base at Gangjeong in Jeju. All those who have been investigated and indicted are peace and reunification organizations, like SPARK, and the activists and advocates from these organizations. So far, approximately 300 residents of Gangjeong involved in the resistance to the construction of the naval base have been detained at least once; four of them have been given suspended sentences and four are still in jail. Fines of approximately $400,000 have been levied upon them. The situation has been far worse in the case of non-village peace activists and advocates. 
In the United States, the Korean War—often called the “Forgotten War”—is almost invisible as a political issue. People don’t know that the war isn’t over, and they’re consequently apathetic. Why should the Korean War be brought to an end?
It is high time for the United States to end the Korean War by reaching a peace agreement. Only such an agreement can bring peace and denuclearization to the Korean peninsula. 
The stationing of U.S. troops on our soil and South Korea’s military alliance with the United States have proved to be the most formidable obstacles to the struggle for peace. It’s for this reason that anti-Americanism—understood critically as a people’s struggle for the withdrawal of U.S. troops—increases as each day passes. Our country is a sovereign country. We do not want to remain in a subservient or sub-imperial relationship to U.S. military empire. It is both foreseeable and inevitable that in the near future, our people’s power will make it impossible for U.S. troops to remain on our soil.
Switching gears, I’d like to ask you to place the issue of North Korean human rights into historical and geopolitical perspective. As you know, the media depicts—and the world largely perceives—North Korea in pathological terms. They see it as a dangerous security threat, a weapons producer and an abuser of human rights.
The U.S. North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004 was not a law for human rights, but a call for regime change. This legislation, and U.S.-based North Korean human rights advocacy more generally, tellingly neglects the fundamental right to life and peace. In the case of North Korea, we should ask: who is the main violator of the North Korean people’s right to life and peace? By threatening war, the United States endangers the North Korean people’s right to live a life free from war.
Next year marks over six decades of unending war on the Korean peninsula. Many progressive South Korean organizations, however, refer to 2013 as “the first year of peace” on the Korean peninsula. What does this mean and how can it be realized? 
In Korea, the 60th birthday has traditionally been characterized as a milestone that signals the commencement of a new life—one that is qualitatively different from that of the previous 60 years. Life expectancy in the old days was often far shorter than 60 years. Likewise, peace-loving and peace-making organizations are determined to mark next year—the 60th anniversary of the Armistice Agreement—as the inaugural year of peace, and to realize a peace agreement that has been overdue these past six decades. We will arouse public opinion, call upon the main parties to the Armistice, conduct and perform campaigns, mass marches, demonstrations, candlelight rallies, and so forth. For almost six decades, peace has been deferred because of U.S. imperialism. Isn’t it now high time for us to conclude peace through our own efforts?