The great defense of the French revolution and its supposed excesses is surely that of Mark Twain in “A Connecticut Yankee”:
“There were two ‘Reigns of Terror’ if we would remember it and consider it; the one wrought murder in hot passion, the other in heartless cold blood; the one lasted mere months, the other had lasted a thousand years; the one inflicted death upon ten thousand persons, the other upon a hundred millions; but our shudders are all for the ‘horrors’ of the minor Terror, the momentary Terror, so to speak; whereas, what is the horror of swift death by the ax, compared with lifelong death from hunger, cold, insult, cruelty and heart-break?
What is swift death by lightning compared with death by slow fire at the stake? A city cemetery could contain the coffins filled by that brief Terror which we have all been so diligently taught to shiver at and mourn over; but all France could hardly contain the coffins filled by that older and real Terror; that unspeakably bitter and awful
Terror which none of us have been taught to see in its vastness or pity as it deserves.”
Oh, yeah, you can’t speak of tribunals, courts of reconciliation, camps for capitalist conversion. Life in prison. There are even those who — as a purely intellectual speculative game — rightfully explore the idea of — in this country — getting rid of how many power-brokers of evil, corruption and horror unleashed on the masses?
Sort of what we do to Drone Targets and Osama — rid the earth of what Obama, et al think are objects against USA-man-kind. Well, there are a few prophets who have posited the possible outcome of the same sort of ex-judicial trial and verdict and punishment and executions for the vanguard in this country. Along with their collateral off-spring and siblings and spouses.
Who says x or y should go bye-bye thanks to US Murder Incorporated and Other Interests (banking) while the majority of us, The 80 Percent might also have a similar solution (in the back of our minds, that is) for the prophets of profit-doom? You know, a Fantasy Island for those 71 Top People in the World. Let them eat cake and have it too. ON AN ISLAND near the Maldives! With their other Ivy-League bros and dudettes, all their sick kids invited!
How many today, now, see our society nearly on its way to class death and mind subjugation, created by the imbalance of power: the leading figures in this society – politicians, billionaires, militarists, and the like, plus their offspring? Who basically have our lives and destinies , that is, the majority of us and our future offspring, in their stinking, rotten hands! Maybe it’s only mental comeuppance, but at least it’s in the mind still . . . in some of us.
Rot at the Top — Necrosis Down
That bastion of bastardy capitalism and empire, Forbes, has its top 147 corporations that control EVERYTHING. What a sick and sad day we have with that reality blasted in the corporate media. Revolution, quick and with the fury of justice, you think a few of us haven’t thought of that? How many, as Twain said, have died by the millions, worldwide, because of and through that cold blooded Murder Incorporated, LLC?
It’s easy to figure out the externalities of doing business in America — we pay for the tax havens, the tax dodging, the tax evasion, the tax abatements, all the pollution, broken labor laws, all the mayhem corporations unleash on us. We know that millions worldwide have suffered because of the off-shore container ship supply chain, indentured slavery of US-backed despots who have gold, oil, wood, jewels, labor, strategic metals, water, sun, soil and intellectual property to feed the zealots of capital.
Three systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich have taken a database listing 37 million companies and investors worldwide and analyzed all 43,060 transnational corporations and share ownerships linking them. They built a model of who owns what and what their revenues are and mapped the whole edifice of economic power.
They discovered that global corporate control has a distinct bow-tie shape, with a dominant core of 147 firms radiating out from the middle. Each of these 147 own interlocking stakes of one another and together they control 40% of the wealth in the network. A total of 737 control 80% of it all. The top 20 are at the bottom of the post. This is, say the paper’s authors, the first map of the structure of global corporate control.
That’s where we are now, these interconnected terror mills, slave traps, constant bullying and desecration of soul, societies, sanity. The central control facilitated by capital, finance, governments, paid-off two-bit you name its, and, well, military and prisons, both of the physical spheres and the mind!
Then see how Forbes spins it – those companies, the economic hit men and Murder Incorporated, well, they are us, the 80 percent in the USA who have a whooping 7 percent of wealth, compared to the One Percent at 40 percent of all wealth, and their (19 Percent of US population) sycophants and little Eichmanns at 53 percent of all wealth. These media mushers are maniacs, madmen and madwomen!
But the web of corporate control is not de facto a conspiracy of world domination. There are many reasons for tightly bundled nodes and connections: anti-takeover strategies, reduction of transaction costs, risk sharing, increasing trust and groups of interest.
A few caveats with the data set: It excludes GSEs and privately-held companies and is dominated by banks, institutional investors and mutual funds that don’t always have much in the way of control over assets. Reader danogden left an especially good comment below: “…pension plans, corporate 401(k) plans and individual funds..manage trillions in assets ultimately belonging to individuals who are predominantly not in the “1%”. …There are a number of “custodian banks” in the list — companies who hold the assets of asset managers to ensure timely processing of things like foreign dividend and bond interest, name changes (due to mergers, etc.), foreign currency conversion and the like…Again, they do not own the assets, or even really control the assets — they merely house the assets. A better list would be the actual asset OWNERS, rather than the vendors who manage, house and clear said assets.”
Of course it’s beyond hope or past the tipping point, or way outside the zone of safety when you look at the world theater of politics, empire, corporate domination, war, austerity, and the .1 percent dominating the narrative.
Where to start? It’s clear we are Consumpithecus Anthropocene. No doubt about it. Moving into Retailopithecus Anthropocene – some reverse evolutionary pathway toward complete toxifying of body, mind, culture and community. All of us are envirogees – absolutely the invasive and pervasive species of the realm.
It’s this endless conveyor belt of mindless capitalism, market fascism, endless extraction of resources, endless slash and burn of every sort of community of place and community of positive purpose.
I remember being at a truck stop on Interstate 10 15 years ago. Two huge juice tankers parked in a Flying J. I was on a Honda 750cc. Butt was sore from Tucson to El Paso slip-streaming through aggressive drivers and then the endless stream of 18-wheelers – guys and gals high on crystal meth and coke. Pre-Red Bull days.
The highways then and now are night and day. Now, endless streams of 18-wheelers, sometimes three in tandem as we’ve gutted any reality around rails being the best and cleanest and safest option for moving our junk, needed or not!
I spoke with the two drivers as they talked in the parking lot. One from Florida heading for California, and, the other from California, heading for Florida. Madness.
California orange concentrate heading for processing plants in Florida, and, Florida orange concentrate heading for California processing plants. To them, this was the height of capitalism, good old American ingenuity and business.
Spinning, Message, Marketing toward Oblivion
Nothing’s changed, really, just that it is all more and more rotten marketing. Read that creep David Brooks in his insipid column about how the USA needs more counter-culture activists to help with US Corp. Inc.’s marketing ploys. Absurd. What I say above – Consumopithecus evolved into Retailopithecus Anthropocene.
Look at this piece of s*** thinker, and how he has that NY Times gig for life, NPR bizarro take on the world. David Brooks. These people are hermetically sealed intellectually and ethically. Pickled in the formaldehyde fantasies of their East Coast elitism. Just more of the Consumopithecus evolving into Retailopithecus, a very powerful, fat-seeking sugar addict, who is preserved in our own plastic hydrocarbon fats with a dash of salt sprinkled on all of that.
In this way, successful branding can be radically unexpected. The most anti-establishment renegades can be the best anticipators of market trends. The people who do this tend to embrace commerce even while they have a moral problem with it — former hippies in the Bay Area, luxury artistes in Italy and France or communitarian semi-socialists in Scandinavia. These people sell things while imbuing them with more attractive spiritual associations.
The biggest threat to the creativity of American retail may be that we may have run out of countercultures to co-opt. We may have run out of anti-capitalist ethoses to give products a patina of cool. We may be raising a generation with few qualms about commerce, and this could make them less commercially creative.
But China has bigger problems. It is very hard for a culture that doesn’t celebrate dissent to thrive in this game. It’s very hard for a culture that encourages a natural deference to authority to do so. It’s very hard for a country where the powerful don’t instinctively seek a dialogue with the less powerful to keep up. It seems likely that the Chinese will require a few more cultural revolutions before it can brand effectively and compete at the top of the economic food chain.
At some point, if you are going to be the world’s leading economy, you have to establish relationships with consumers. You have to put aside the things that undermine trust, like intellectual property theft and cyberterrorism, and create the sorts of brands that inspire affection and fantasy. Until it can do this, China may statistically possess the world’s largest economy, but it will not be a particularly consequential one.
So, now we have the great migration, the rich in China looking to leave big cities, to dump the mega-polluted zones of industry and exploitation where many made their cool millions . . . thank you very much Upton Sinclair. Sure, with prosperity comes millions of deaths due to POLLUTION. Some of that One Percent collateral damage. All in a day’s worth of business.
Eat, Drink, Be Merry — Modest Proposals
Our constant 24/7/365 container ship addiction puts more and more pressure on China to produce the junk we end up tossing into this or that proverbial dump — both the dump of our temples and our minds.
The Jungle is more than a narrative of a society of corporate enslavers pushing us into a state of constant polluting rain.
Upton Sinclair, a poor young socialist determined to do his part to make a better world, wrote his incredible book titled “The Jungle” in the tarpaper shack in Princeton that was his home. Page after page in the book is filled with the nauseating details of how the meatpacking industry was preparing America’s food.
When the book came out Sept. 20, 1906 it became an instant best seller.
The nation was shocked as it learned about the conditions in the Chicago stockyards.
Sinclair told how dead rats were shoveled into sausage-grinding machines; how bribed inspectors on the payroll of the companies looked the other way when diseased cows were slaughtered for beef, and how filth and guts were swept off the floor and packaged as potted ham.
Within months a gagging, but aroused population demanded sweeping reforms in the meat industry.
President Theodore Roosevelt, who became physically ill after reading an advance copy, demanded that Congress establish the Food and Drug Administration and , for the first time, set up federal inspection standards for meat.
At the age of 28 Sinclair was viewed as the man who took on a mighty industry and won.
Sinclair spent months in the Chicago stockyards, mingling with the immigrant workers he described as “wage slaves.”
Over their kitchen tables in their tenement apartments he heard them tell about the backbreaking, mind-numbing work they did for totally inadequate wages. He said he worked on The Jungle for three months, “pouring into the pages all the pain” he had experienced.
No Rights of Nature
We’ve squeezed out every ecosystem in the world. We have lion fish infestations along the Atlantic – framed as if they are an oil spill. Talk about schizophrenia of ecology, thanks to Consumpithecus Anthropocene! Are things out of whack enough . . . yet . . . to believe the shaman seers — climate scientists — and the men and women on the ground — civil society — to believe we are cooked hydrogenated fat sealed in HFCS gels of mercury and PCB luster? Jellyfish seas, and no more krill or plankton pretty soon. Kill the sea lions because their salmon is ours. Happy container ship days ahead!
They were first spotted off Florida in 1985. But it wasn’t until the past decade that large numbers were spotted in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. The fish may have been transported by the aquarium trade.
A gluttonous predator is power-eating its way through reefs from New York to Venezuela. It’s the lionfish.
And although researchers are coming up with new ways to protect some reefs from the flamboyant maroon-striped fish, they have no hope of stopping its unparalleled invasion.
Lad Akins has scuba dived in the vibrant reefs of the Bahamas for many years. But when he returned a couple years ago, he saw almost no fish larger than his hand.
Ahh, Consumopithecus Anthropocene’s New Modern Post-Social Media Planned and Perceived Obsolescence Hierarchy of Needs – Massively Exploitive and Unnecessary Entertainment! Just like the python in Florida eating up animals. We want it, we have to have it, we get it. Ecosystems Be Damned!
Florida has a snake problem. The Everglades is infested with Burmese pythons. To keep them from spreading, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is making it illegal to import the pythons into the U.S., or transport the snakes across state lines. Now scientists have discovered that the pythons are doing more damage than they ever imagined.
So what do we do about this? Well, we report on it, vis-à-vis milquetoast Pro-Koch Brothers, Gates-Loving, Monsanto-sucking, Privatizing-schools believing National Propaganda Radio. Endless NPR blathering, endless false balance, endless lack-of-integrity. You almost never hear a clear conscience on NPR. Never a radical or revolutionary vision. NEVER. Just one talking head middle of the road university scientist and some reporter with Shifting Baseline Syndrome disease to the MAX covering the complexities of death by a thousand corporate cuts in 1.5 minutes, with a few sound effects and guffawing by some announcer whose chuckle is imbued with the One Percent Love.
Journalism 101 is Sound Bite-Bytes 2.0
We replay-restate-reinvent the same story every minute of the day. Zero context. Zero history. The end of journalism as we know it. Boy do I get emails and comments from folk telling me how as editors and master and old reporters they are seeing more and more broken communications majors and young folk coming in with no licks, no real ability to TELL the story.
They instantly, at birth, those youngin’s, fear rocking the boat, losing a job, getting criticized.
There’s a great history to be written of philosophers’ engagement with journalism, from Hegel’s citation of the daily newspaper ashis morning prayer, to Ortega y Gasset’s lessons from newspaper life, to Russell’s widespread freelancing and the later Wittgenstein’s instantiation of conceptual journalism as a philosophical method. Universities and foundations could do their part to mine this rich tradition. Before directing more Knight and other grants to further repetitive Twitter and Internet “experiments,” they should support a core intellectual curriculum in journalism studies that would make a far greater difference to future excellence in the field.
Carlin Romano, critic at large for The Chronicle Review, teaches philosophy and media theory at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mainstream and sort-of-progressive news, hell, even “radical” news, it’s all sort of just one big centrifuged joke now. What can we do but speak truth to power, and to call out the stupid ones, the exploiting ones, the perpetrators of harm. No change, just endless stories. No activism, no phalanx of truth/soothsayers. Just two-bit reporters — sort of!
Jill Lepore, Professor of American history, Harvard University:
“I talk to my students about the news every chance I get. They’re so smart; they’re so curious. I’m fascinated by how they get their news. What shocks me is that so many of them so rarely follow a story to its bottom. They can talk about anything, brilliantly, for five minutes. Guantánamo, those damned Yankees, health-care reform, Afghanistan. But they can’t talk about very much for a half-hour, unless it’s to bluster.
I realize that scanning the headlines, as a way of “reading” the newspaper, has a long history. I know I do it all the time. But, for lots of undergraduates, the headlines, the snippets of text they can read on their iPhones, are the news. They read headlines, and they read opinion; I don’t think they read reported stories. I have also got a pet theory, purely impressionistic and altogether cantankerous: Students who are dedicated opinion bloggers (rather than, say, students who write for the school newspaper or who write edited blogs that contain original reporting, and who work with editors) don’t take criticism well. They like to put their views out into the world, offhand, unedited, and unquestioned. They don’t like to be queried; they don’t like to get their papers back marked up; they don’t like to be asked to investigate further, or to revise. They want to stand on top of something, and say what they think about it, instead of digging down to its bottom, to find out what’s true. That, I worry, is what the death of the newspaper has cost them.
A lot of people seem to think or hope that when print newspapers and magazines are gone, the university will be long-form journalism’s new home. I guess the idea here has three parts: First, universities could support some of these dying publications out of their endowments; second, more academics could work like reporters, covering the deeper angles on news stories, as they relate to their own areas of expertise; and third, out-of-work reporters could find jobs teaching in universities, which would allow them to keep writing, if not for newspapers and magazines, at least writing, somehow, for the public. Each of those propositions strikes me as fanciful.
First, some universities, somewhere, might have flush endowments just now, but I don’t know of them and, more important, moving market-driven journalism into the academy is a dodgy proposition; it raises all sorts of issues relating to the freedom of the press and academic freedom, too. Second, the standards by which scholars achieve promotion are designed, quite frankly, to punish scholars who work or write like journalists; unless that changes, scholars who attempt it will be asked to pay a cost most are unwilling to bear. For junior faculty, that cost normally includes not getting tenure. Third, reporters holding teaching posts sounds good, but a professorship isn’t a day job, and, at least insofar as I’ve observed, it means that reporters who become teachers stop writing; it also leaves unanswered the question of what, in the age of new media, old-media reporters will be teaching, and who their students would be. The university, I fear, is not journalism’s Valhalla.”
Reality New Shows — Watch Journalists Dumpster Dive
The stories are whacked out now – endless images of tornadoes and Chinese kid stuck in hole-in-the-ground toilet. Endless marauding media scions popping out the stripped down metro sexual reporters, and these high-pitched voices of proto-feminism, all stuck in some wonderland of “Gee, we are the discoverers . . . everyone else is a fool. Short and Sweet. Why do we need more time to investigate, know, learn, see, hear, do, write? Words and ideas and perspectives are overrated.”
We are at this juncture where adjunct faculty on one list serve around precarious academic labor, i.e. Part-Time faculty, are all hot and bothered about TV, a reality show? Really, that’s what we have to waste our time on? Really, pick and choose which shitty show gets under our collars more? Here’s one woman adjunct faculty blathering on about getting others to protest a TV show:
It was only a mater of time. A country that could fault unionized workers for demanding fair wages, health care and pensions, instead of saying “Why can’t I have that? Why can’t all workers have that?” has spawned a reality tv show in which workers hold each other’s economic livelihoods in their hands. Read John Caraminca’s review in the New York Times.
Can you persuade yourself, your department chair, your institution to write a letter demanding that this show be pulled off the air?
Really, now, this show is so much worse than 99.999 percent of the other soap-Viagra-feminine hygiene-product=Mercedes-All-You-Can-Be Doritos and Red Bull Bud shows? Really? We are the distracted Retailopithecus Anthropocene. Part of the stuff left out of the vaunted and faulty DSM V.
In this way, “Does Someone Have to Go?” which has its premiere Thursday on Fox, is a boon. A reality show set at various small companies, it’s part docuseries, part gauche game show. At each office, the bosses cede authority to the workers, who decide whether to punish their colleagues with pay cuts, demotions or firings.
It bears repeating: This is a show in which people might lose their jobs.
For companies, this is a victory, reinforcing the idea that what’s wrong with the American workplace is the workers. The problems discussed aren’t about the structure of the company, or the state of its chosen industry and market, or the economy as a whole. Employees are the enemy here, bolstering the fanciful and generally wrong idea that one bad apple spoils the lot.
Second, the show paints bosses as benevolent and open-eared, willing to let the wisdom of the masses guide their decision making. The truth is more sinister, though: bosses are merely activating lower-level staffers to do the dirty work for them.
As a tool of corporate propaganda, it’s more subtle than, say, “Undercover Boss” on CBS, which paints chief executives as forward-thinking emperors who willingly hide their true identities to see what life in their companies’ trenches is really like. That show is a public relations dream, an hourlong ad for corporate responsibility — great employees are rewarded, slackers are dealt with ethically and firmly, and the integrity of the company remains intact.
New Avenues for Diagnosing a Suicidal Culture
Well-well, which things in the Consumopithecus-Retailopithecus Anthropocene species line should we be more afraid of?
Controversy continues to swell around the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, better known as DSM-5. A new study suggests the 900-page bible of mental health, scheduled for publication in May 2013, is ripe with financial conflicts of interest.
The manual, published by the American Psychiatric Association, details the diagnostic criteria for each and every psychiatric disorder, many of which have pharmacological treatments. After the 1994 release of DSM-4, the APA instituted a policy requiring expert advisers to disclose drug industry ties. But the move toward transparency did little to cut down on conflicts, with nearly 70 percent of DSM-5 task force members reporting financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies — up from 57 percent for DSM-4.
Or, from the horse’s mouth?
This is the saddest moment in my 45 year career of studying, practicing, and teaching psychiatry. The Board of Trustees of the American Psychiatric Association has given its final approval to a deeply flawed DSM 5 containing many changes that seem clearly unsafe and scientifically unsound. My best advice to clinicians, to the press, and to the general public – be skeptical and don’t follow DSM 5 blindly down a road likely to lead to massive over-diagnosis and harmful over-medication. Just ignore the ten changes that make no sense.
New diagnoses in psychiatry are more dangerous than new drugs because they influence whether or not millions of people are placed on drugs- often by primary care doctors after brief visits. Before their introduction, new diagnoses deserve the same level of attention to safety that we devote to new drugs. APA is not competent to do this.
So, here is my list of DSM 5’s ten most potentially harmful changes. I would suggest that clinicians not follow these at all (or, at the very least, use them with extreme caution and attention to their risks); that potential patients be deeply skeptical, especially if the proposed diagnosis is being used as a rationale for prescribing medication for you or for your child; and that payers question whether some of these are suitable for reimbursement. My goal is to minimize the harm that may otherwise be done by unnecessary obedience to unwise and arbitrary DSM 5 decisions.
1) Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder: DSM 5 will turn temper tantrums into a mental disorder- a puzzling decision based on the work of only one research group.
2) Normal grief will become Major Depressive Disorder, thus medicalizing and trivializing our expectable and necessary emotional reactions to the loss of a loved one and substituting pills and superficial medical rituals for the deep consolations of family, friends, religion, and the resiliency that comes with time and the acceptance of the limitations of life.
3) The everyday forgetting characteristic of old age will now be misdiagnosed as Minor Neurocognitive Disorder, creating a huge false positive population of people who are not at special risk for dementia.
4) DSM 5 will likely trigger a fad of Adult Attention Deficit Disorder leading to widespread misuse of stimulant drugs for performance enhancement and recreation and contributing to the already large illegal secondary market in diverted prescription drugs.
5) Excessive eating 12 times in 3 months is no longer just a manifestation of gluttony and the easy availability of really great tasting food. DSM 5 has instead turned it into a psychiatric illness called Binge Eating Disorder.
6) The changes in the DSM 5 definition of Autism will result in lowered rates- 10% according to estimates by the DSM 5 work group, perhaps 50% according to outside research groups. This reduction can be seen as beneficial in the sense that the diagnosis of Autism will be more accurate and specific- but advocates understandably fear a disruption in needed school services.
7) First time substance abusers will be lumped in definitionally in with hard core addicts despite their very different treatment needs and prognosis and the stigma this will cause.
8) DSM 5 has created a slippery slope by introducing the concept of Behavioral Addictions that eventually can spread to make a mental disorder of everything we like to do a lot. Watch out for careless overdiagnosis of internet and sex addiction and the development of lucrative treatment programs to exploit these new markets.
9) DSM 5 obscures the already fuzzy boundary been Generalized Anxiety Disorder and the worries of everyday life. Small changes in definition can create millions of anxious new ‘patients’ and expand the already widespread practice of inappropriately prescribing addicting anti-anxiety medications.
10) DSM 5 has opened the gate even further to the already existing problem of misdiagnosis of PTSD in forensic settings.
Well, let’s all get crazy, then, and begin putting more actions and protests and figurative (literal) Molotov cocktails into the mix. The New Red is Green – it’s illegal and a felony and against Bush-Reno-Obama Homeland Security to take snapshots of your neighborhood Confined Animal Feeding Operation.
Master and Slaves — Shifting Baselines
Go to jail for shouting out. Putting all those boys of color in behavioral support plans with the help of courts and cops.
Let’s just sit back and take it, that constant drone bee in our heads, like the Industrial Tinnitus of our times. Imagine, Mainstream Press doing anything with advocacy in mind?
The most powerful people in your community. Can you name them? Identify them? Meet them? Again, flawed Zionists at NPR. Can you imagine how important this story is, and Scott Simon patty-cakes himself into that hermetically sealed East Coast blasé place of “everything’s alright in my head . . . house . . . hood.”
A young photographer, Michael Philip Manheim, joined the Documerica project in 1973. His assignment was to take a good look at the noise pollution in Boston from Logan International Airport.
Forty years later, he went back to East Boston to take photos for the EPA’s next generation of the project, State of the Environment. Manheim joins Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon to talk about the project then, and now.
On photographing East Boston in 1973
“The people who lived … in the vicinity … were having a very, very big problem. The airport grew and grew and grew, and needed more and more land, and … the people … were so hurt by the noise pollution because at that point, the airplanes would land and take off right over their street. … I documented cracks in walls in the homes, people with severe hearing problems. It just went on and on and on.”
On going back to East Boston in 2012
“There is one house left out of this huge neighborhood, and what you see there are, well, the trees, some of the street signs and warehouses that are connected with either the airport or other serviced industries … the neighborhood was decimated.”
On how photography has changed since Documerica
“We were shooting slides — chromes. So it’s easier to do these things [now], but you still need the eye, you need the reflexes, you really have to have a compositional sense. So, the expression, ‘Everyone is a photographer,’ well, it does take a professional. I have to admit.”
These Are Our Lords
Okay, okay, those really important masters of the universe, brought to us by Forbes.
Forbes comes out with the top 71 influencers in the world! Really. Powerful, most important, the most prescient, genius like, most creative?
Here are those wonderful 71!
Forbes Magazine has released its list of the world’s 100 most powerful women of 2013, 14 of whom are Jewish. The women range from corporate leaders and journalists, to philanthropists, fashion designers and Hollywood execs.
To compile the list, we considered hundreds of candidates from various walks of life all around the globe, and measured their power along four dimensions. First, we asked whether the candidate has power over lots of people. Pope Benedict XVI, ranked #5 on our list, is the spiritual leader of more than a billion Catholics, or about 1/6th of the world’s population. Michael Duke(#17), CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, employs two million people.
Next we assessed the financial resources controlled by each person. Are they relatively large compared to their peers? For heads of state we used GDP, while for CEOs, we looked at measures like their company’s assets and revenues. When candidates have a high personal net worth –like the world’s richest man, Carlos Slim Helu (#11)– we also took that into consideration. In certain instances, like Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud (#7), we considered other valuable resources at the candidate’s disposal –like 20% of the world’s known oil reserves.
Then we determined if the candidate is powerful in multiple spheres. There are only 71 slots on our list – one for every 100 million people on the planet – so being powerful in just one area is often not enough. Our picks project their influence in myriad ways: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (#16) has power because he’s a politician, because he’s a billionaire, because he’s a media magnate, and because he’s a major philanthropist.
Lastly, we made sure that the candidates actively used their power. Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin (#3) scored points because he so frequently shows his strength — like when he jails protesters.
To calculate the final rankings, ten senior Forbes editors ranked all of our candidates in each of these four dimensions of power, and those individual rankings were averaged into a composite score.
U.S. President Barack Obama emerged, unanimously, as the world’s most powerful person, for the second year running. Obama was the decisive winner of the 2012 U.S. presidential election, and now he gets four more years to push his agenda.The President faces major challenges, including an unresolved budget crisis, stubbornly high unemployment and renewed unrest in the Middle East. But Obama remains the unquestioned commander in chief of the world’s greatest military, and head of its sole economic and cultural superpower.
The second most powerful person in the world also happens to be the most powerful woman: Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, jumps up from #4 last year to take the runner-up spot on the list. Merkel is the backbone of the 27-member European Union and carries the fate of the Euro on her shoulders; she’s shown her power through a hard-line austerity solution for the European debt crisis.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (#25) is one of the youngest persons on the list, at age 29; he dropped significantly from last year’s top-ten ranking after Facebook’s much-anticipated IPO turned out to be a flop. Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff (#18) is one of the list’s biggest gainers: At the midpoint of her first term, Rousseff’s emphasis on entrepreneurship has prompted a slew of new startups and energized Brazilian youths.
Then, the Israeli version of Forbes going all umruik on us because the top billionaires don’t add up quite to a trillion dollars of worth! When will the fawning and genuflecting stop for these degenerate million-billion-aires?
The 165 Jewish billionaires around the world have $812 billion in joint wealth, Forbes Israel reported.
The Hebrew magazine released its Jewish billionaires list on Thursday.
The richest Jew in the world is Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, with a net worth of $43 billion, according to Forbes, up $7 billion from last year. Ellison was fifth on the Forbes 2013 world billionaires list.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in second place with $27 billion, up $5 billion from 2012. He appeared 13th on the world list. Casino mogul and Republican Party political donor Sheldon Adelson is in third place with $26.5 billion and was 15th on the world list.
Eight of the top ten richest Jewish billionaires are from the United States; the remaining two are Russian.
The other Jewish billionaires in the top ten are Google’s Larry Page with $23 billion; Google’s Sergey Brin with $22.5 billion; Carl Ichan with $20 billion;George Soros with $19.2 billion; Alisher Usmanov with $17.6 billion; Mikhail Fridman with $16.5 billion; and Len Blavatnik with $16 billion.
Forbes magazine just released its Celebrity 100 list and it’s slim pickings for tribe members in the top ten, a fact that should debunk that myth about Jews controlling Hollywood and the media.
The highest-ranking Jewish celeb is Steven Spielberg who brought up the rear of the list at number 10. However, there are a host of famous Jewish actors, celebs, and entertainers, including Simon Cowell (#18), Howard Stern (#30), Jerry Bruckheimer (#39), Adam Sandler (#57), Jerry Seinfeld(#64), Ben Stiller (#72), and Sarah Jessica Parker (#86).
Jennifer Lopez tops the list at number one, followed by Oprah (#2), Justin Bieber (#3), Rihanna (#4), and Lady Gaga (who rounds out the top five after spending this last year in the top spot).
The Forbes celebrity-power list is based on the slightly unscientific parameters of fame and money. Forbes describes “fame” as “media visibility in print, television, radio and online, plus social media power, which we measure by looking at each celebrity’s presence on Facebook and Twitter.”
Spielberg was recently in the news for non-celebrity reasons when family patriarch Arnold Meyer Spielberg was honored with the Inspiration Award by the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation Institute.
Maybe if Steven stopped caring so much about improving the world, he’d climb up past number 10 on the List?
What’s next? Every class of the top 700 Club parsed by this or that filter, this or that screening model? I’ll move on – this sort of attention, this sort of kissing up and genuflecting is why we are hollowing out – middle class is almost Donner Party dead. Poverty is the new next largest human thing.
Goldman Sachs is Bitchin’ — Welcome to the Cattle Call
We live in a world where 17,000 young folk applied for Goldman Sachs internships. Can you believe it? Goldman Sachs, which should be in we the people’s receivership, controlled by us, now and forever, having that sort of draw?
Goldman Sachs has received more than 17,000 applications for its investment banking summer internship programme.
The New York-based banking powerhouse appears to have no trouble appealing to bright young students, following the 2008 financial crisis where it faced public outrage – and accusations last year that it mistreated clients, who were allegedly referred to as “muppets”.
“We are having no problem attracting people,” Gary Cohn, Goldman Sachs’ president and chief operating officer, told an investor conference in New York on Thursday. The bank hired 350 interns out of the 17,000 applicants, he said.
“The vast majority were highly qualified kids that wanted to come to work in Goldman Sachs for the summer,” he said, according to a transcript on the Seeking Alpha website. “The amount of résumés we get for full-time [positions] is in the 50,000, 60,000, 70,000 range.” Goldman’s lucrative investment banking division recently helped the firm to bumper first-quarter profits of $2.26bn (£1.49bn).
Sick stuff, and the typical response to the felonies of Sachs and Goldman, also on the top 71 people on earth. Rolling Stone on Goldman Sachs, via Matt Tabbi:
They weren’t murderers or anything; they had merely stolen more money than most people can rationally conceive of, from their own customers, in a few blinks of an eye. But then they went one step further. They came to Washington, took an oath before Congress, and lied about it.
Thanks to an extraordinary investigative effort by a Senate subcommittee that unilaterally decided to take up the burden the criminal justice system has repeatedly refused to shoulder, we now know exactly what Goldman Sachs executives like Lloyd Blankfein and Daniel Sparks lied about. We know exactly how they and other top Goldman executives, including David Viniar and Thomas Montag, defrauded their clients. America has been waiting for a case to bring against Wall Street. Here it is, and the evidence has been gift-wrapped and left at the doorstep of federal prosecutors, evidence that doesn’t leave much doubt: Goldman Sachs should stand trial.
To date, there has been only one successful prosecution of a financial big fish from the mortgage bubble, and that was Lee Farkas, a Florida lender who was just convicted on a smorgasbord of fraud charges and now faces life in prison. But Farkas, sadly, is just an exception proving the rule: Like Bernie Madoff, his comically excessive crime spree (which involved such lunacies as kiting checks to his own bank and selling loans that didn’t exist) was almost completely unconnected to the systematic corruption that led to the crisis. What’s more, many of the earlier criminals in the chain of corruption — from subprime lenders like Countrywide, who herded old ladies and ghetto families into bad loans, to rapacious banks like Washington Mutual, who pawned off fraudulent mortgages on investors — wound up going belly up, sunk by their own greed.
Americans are bred to protect, parrot and pursue that greed. No goddamned concern for ethics, for the American way, for global security. It’s every man and woman for his-her SELF, community, jobs, health, environment, the future for kids BE DAMNED.
And our response is a continual litany of hand-wringing articles or flaccid exposes, or this towering series like Matt Tabbi. In the end, we are witnesses to murder. Standing by. Watching as a hundred million people choke on crap the financial wizards listed in the Top 71 shove down our throats.
No lynch squads. No tar and feathering. Just this nice posturing, these nice Nation article investigative things. On and on and on. It’s the riderless horse ceremony galloping away into the night of every single community-city-town-rural post on earth. This is 2009. Nothing changes – well, just for the worse.
From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression — and they’re about to do it again.
Hunger Games, Hunger Strikes
Diane Wilson is on a death ride hunger strike against the Guantanamo Bay illegal jailing and torturing and garden hose force-feeding. Brian “Blood on the Tracks” Wilson is on a 300 calorie hunger strike at age 72.
Ahh, those 17,000 wannabes squirming and grabbing at the Faustian bargain for 350 sick as shit jobs with Goldman Sachs, again, financial thugs.
You have to wonder about all those people hooked into Fuck-Book. You can go blue in the face and tell them the devil is Zuckerberg, even as they go on their mini-rampage against Walmart while they go to Rightwing Libertarian-ville Whole Foods. This is the creep Zuckerberg, having how many Fuck-Book aficionados and groups (it’s mandatory to have a Fuck-You-Book Page in USA creative-social justice-environmental class ?? – That’s sick stuff!) hooked?
So true of Zuckerberg supporting Keystone Pipeline. A great jobs program every adjunct should apply for:
Mark Zuckerberg and other corporate tech millionaires are bankrolling the lobbying group FWD.us that, while pushing for high tech worker immigration reform, is buying TV ads in support of Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in an effort to buy votes from the congressmen featured in the ads. Two prominent Silicon Valley executives have already quit FWD.us after protests from climate and environmental groups.
Join us as we escalate our call on Zuckerberg and FWD.us to publicly commit to:
1) Refrain from bankrolling any more pro-fossil fuel industry Keystone XL and drilling ads.
2) Commit the same amount of $ already spent on funding these ads to support education about the real climate, economic and public health impacts–recognized by the EPA– of Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
Ahh,the student debt folk are putting their eggs in the ovary basket of Elizabeth Warren, Monsanto and GMO protector! She is leading the effort to keep debts at 3.5 percent, on a limited number of Stafford loans.
Genetically Engineered Wheaties, Breakfast of Champs!
Look at the pigs who fly in Gulf Streams voted against allowing states to label GMO foods. Oh, that Elizabeth Warren voted no, too. And a few democrats. It’s sick.
Oregon has GMO, GE, Franken-gene Wheat, now – illegal fields, planted by Monsanto. So much for the vaunted Oregon wheat crop. Japan and Korea have dropped orders for soft white wheat. FDA runs cover for Monsanto. The wheat growers will suck it up and pay out of pocket for inspectors to get as much of the crop back into the Asian market.
Amazing. If I dumped a twenty gallon can of oil in my local lake in Vancouver, I’d have hell to pay. Fined. Forced to be ostracized in the local media. Checked by all sorts of government agencies. Monsanto, with an illegal field here and there – 10 of them – with their transgenic crap-crop contaminating mother nature and farmer John’s fields, well, no sirree. No hell to pay.
The great savior Elizabeth Warren, For President, 2016, votes against “permitting States to require that any food, beverage, or other edible product offered for sale have a label on indicating that the food, beverage, or other edible product contains a genetically engineered ingredient.”
She’s a drone-loving gal. Wants to go at it with Iran. Not your friendly kind of academic-politician. The flavor of the day, like Obama was in 2007-08. She’s running in 2016! You betcha!