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Hang on to Your Wallets

Negative Interest, the War on Cash, and the $10 Trillion Bail-in

In uncertain times, “cash is king,” but central bankers are systematically moving to eliminate that option. Is it really about stimulating the economy? Or is there some deeper, darker threat afoot?

Remember those old ads showing a senior couple lounging on a warm beach, captioned “Let your money work for you”? Or the scene in Mary Poppins where young Michael is being advised to put his tuppence in the bank, so that it can compound into “all manner of private enterprise,” including “bonds, chattels, dividends, shares, shipyards, amalgamations …”?

That may still work if you’re a Wall Street banker, but if …

Stuck in the Middle

The IQ and the life expectancy of the average American recently passed each other in opposite directions.

— George Carlin,  Napalm & Silly Putty, April 2001

Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan are responsible for the title of this piece. No other words seem to adequately describe my daily visits to Dissident Voice and a few other websites where truth and intelligent analysis are valued and sought after commodities. And now that my articles are being published on several bastions of sanity in a world gone mad, I feel a closeness and comforting …

The One Question Reporters Never Ask Candidates

Candidates for public office, especially at the state and national levels, are never asked this central question of politics: “Since the people are sovereign under our Constitution, how do you specifically propose to restore power to the people in their various roles as voters, taxpayers, workers and consumers?

Imagine that inquiry starting the so-called presidential debates of both the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates. I’m not sure any of the candidates – so used to saying “I will do this” and “I propose that” would even know how to respond. Regardless of their affiliation with either of the two dominant parties, …

In the Darkness of Night I Hear the Screams and Relive the Horrors of “the West” Gone Mad

It sometimes happens in the middle of a dark night, when I don’t expect it, when I think that I am sound asleep but am not, or when perhaps I really am but not completely. I don’t know. All that I witnessed and overheard, all that I thought I forgot but couldn’t, all that I tried so desperately to forget comes back, first in spasms, then in full force.

I often think that the West went mad. Totally, irreversibly! It turned into a monster itself, and it keeps manufacturing new, smaller but equally toxic brutes all over the world. It rolls, …

The Mont Order’s Globalism

On the Second Point of the Mont Order

In October, the Mont Order society’s top bloggers talked about the central role of technology in political and social change. Mentioning that the Mont Order and other modern political gatherings depend on the internet to exist in their current state, the second point in the Mont Order society’s value system alluded to inevitable forms of globalization brought about by technology.

Although one type of globalization is negative, the type mentioned above is positive. It is negative globalization when one country tries to forcibly remake the world in its own image. When, on the other hand, there are winds of technological …

Water Resistance Trial Underway in Detroit

A jury trial is underway in Detroit for human rights activists arrested for blocking trucks which were going to cutoff water to low-income families.

On July 18, 2014, dozens of people successfully blocked the trucks of the Homrich Inc., a private wrecking company that the City of Detroit contracts with to carry out water shutoffs.  The trucks were leaving to cutoff water for Detroiters who were more than $150 past due on payments.  After an eight hour blockade nine people were arrested.

Those on trial said civil disobedience was their only option to address the grave public health crisis of …

The Republicans’ Rhetoric of Hate and Fear

Fear, laced with paranoia, is driving the American response against allowing Syrian refugees into the United States.

President Obama has said he would accept 10,000 refugees, all of them subjected to intense scrutiny before being admitted to the country. France, with a population about one-fifth that of the United States, despite the worst attack on its soil since World War II, will accept 30,000 refugees.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told the Senate, “We are not a nation that delivers children back into the hands of ISIS because some politician doesn’t like their religion.” Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), a Jew, said the nation …

America First? Not in New York and New Jersey

Deir Yassin Remembered, a not-for-profit organization of Jews and non-Jews working for the human rights of Palestinians, rented a billboard in Detroit. The message was simple: “America first, not Israel.”

The mega billboard company, Lamar, designed the message and produced the 14’ x 48’ vinyl for $700. It charged an additional $3,000 to display it for four weeks and agreed to ship the vinyl to the next location at the end of the rental period.

But when Deir Yassin Remembered tried to rent a billboard in Bergen County …

Wars: US Militarist Factions in Command

Over the past 15 years the US has been engaged in a series of wars, which has led many writers to refer to the ‘rise of militarism’ – the growth of an empire, built primarily by and for the projection of military power – and only secondarily to advance economic imperialism.

The rise of a military-based empire, however, does not preclude the emergence of competing, conflicting, and convergent power configurations within the imperial state. These factions of the Washington elite define the objectives and targets of imperialist warfare, …

Baked Alaska: Obama, Climate Change and the Arrogance of Power

Rolling Stone reporter Jeff Goodell tagged along on President Obama’s recent climate-change themed trip to Alaska. Goodell’s report included an interview with the President.  The interview provides a window into central features of Barack Obama’s politics and policies.

Style Over Substance

The thin stuff of the trip was evident from the outset. Sum total of new initiatives announced during the visit: we now get to call Mt. McKinley Denali again (what the indigenous locals always called it, and already the name of the national park over which it towers); construction of a new icebreaker for the Coast Guard (aimed at narrowing the …

The Paris Attacks and the White Lives Matter Movement

I received a message from one of my friends in Lebanon who asked with feigned curiosity why the U.S. media only gave a passing reference to the bombing in Beirut before turning to non-stop coverage of the attacks in Paris.  Of course, like many of us she already knew the answer – that in the consciousness of the White West there is a premium on the value of White life.

Acknowledging this fact is neither new nor should it be particularly controversial. Its obviousness is apparent to anyone who is honest.  We saw it in the response to the Charlie Hebdo …

Rohingya and the Burmese Generals

How to Forge a Democracy and Get Away with It

Writing in the New York Times in an article entitled “Myanmar Generals Set the Stage for Their Own Exit”, Thomas Fuller expressed his and the media’s failure to recognize the total fraud that is Burmese democracy.

“The official results are still being tabulated,” he wrote, “but all signs, so far, point to that rarest of things: an authoritarian government peacefully giving up power after what outside election monitors have deemed a credible vote.”

Fuller, who said nothing about the persecuted Rohingya minority and little about the other millions of Burmese who were denied the chance to vote, only managed to contribute …

32,000 Children Die Every Day in the World

A few years ago I was walking with my dog on one of the many forest trails in this area, when we crossed paths with a man I knew only by sight.  He was a distant neighbor.  Since we were going in the same direction we fell into step and engaged in small talk about the weather and recent news events.  When it became obvious we had somewhat similar views about the world I said I was upset that reliable sources estimate 32,000 children die every day in the world, from hunger and hunger-related diseases when there is enough …

Finkelstein Weighs in on Salaita Settlement

It’s not what you think

I was happy to learn that Professor Steven Salaita reached a $600,000 settlement (plus $275,000 in attorney fees) yesterday in his lawsuit against the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).  As others, including Steven Salaita, himself, have said, universities may now think twice before violating freedom of speech rights of faculty in order to satisfy wealthy Jewish donors. Here is a statement about the settlement by Salaita recently published on The Nation website.

In the article titled, “I Will Always Condemn Injustice, No Matter What The State Of My Employment,” Salaita wrote:

We can claim meaningful victory against UIUC. The most decisive of those victories

U.S. Elections: Corruption on a Massive Scale

Did I hear you say that there must be a catch?
Will you walk away from a fool and his money?
If you want it, here it is, come and get it,
But you better hurry cause it’s going fast

– Paul McCartney, “Come and Get it” recorded by Badfinger for the movie The Magic Christian, 1969

Data from the last Democratic Party “debate,” suggests that the strategy of the Democratic National Committee to suppress viewership is working.  Democratic debates are only drawing about half the viewers as are the Republican debates.

This strategy is obviously to help Hillary Clinton, as her Democratic rivals …

What is the Price of the Planet?

On the 9th of November, 2015, New York State’s Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s office put out this media release: A.G. Schneiderman Secures Unprecedented Agreement with Peabody Energy to End Misleading Statements and Disclose Risks Arising From Climate Change.

Previously, Schneiderman was reported as having subpoenaed ExxonMobil “seeking financial records, statements and other climate-change-related material dating back to 1977.”  Several media outlets reported this, in addition to USA Today, such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and too many others to list here.

Prior to those reports about the subpoenas, rumors were all …

Ignorance and Indoctrination of Westerners Kills Millions

Our Planet Earth is heading straight towards the most dangerous collision in its history. It is not a collision with some foreign body, with an asteroid or a comet, but with the most brutal and selfish chunk of its own inhabitants: with people who proudly call themselves “members of the Western civilization.”

Who is killing whom, lately? Who is behind what?

Again and again it is clearly demonstrated that Western culture, which the paramount psychologist Carl Jung used to call “pathology”, couldn’t be trusted.

This “culture” had already mercilessly slaughtered several hundreds of millions of people in all corners of the world; it …

Daesh is a Global Insurgency, Not a Terrorist Group

Structural Changes Needed to Counter ISIS-ISIL

The system is broken.

Governments and state institutions are increasingly incapable of protecting their own civilians from militants who have become weary of seeing their homelands, friends, relatives, children, livelihoods, futures and institutions obliterated. They are sick of the oppression of their own Western backed governments to the point that death is no longer relevant to them. Until structural cracks in the foundation of the global capitalist system are addressed and repaired, the rewind button will stay locked and organizations like Daesh-ISIS-ISIL-AQ, and ultimately its offshoots, will continue to kill and maim citizens with impunity. They have seen the same done …

How the Elite Deal with Sparks of Revolt

I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.

Jay Gould

Metanoia Films has released a new documentary, Plutocracy: Divide et Impera (Divide and Rule). It’s the first entry of a multi-part series directed by filmmaker Scott Noble. The movie assembles a rich historical mosaic which examines the constitutional roots of democratic elitism in the United States, the subsequent emergence of the labor movement during industrialization, and the various schemes employed by private capital to sabotage popular mobilization. Plutocracy is available online and can be viewed free of charge. Your author, who helped to …

Corporate Sycophants and the TPP

The hypocrisy of “free market” advocates is astounding. While they trumpet increased competition and the elimination of state imposed barriers as a means of spurring economic advancement, they ignore how the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other “free trade” accords increase monopolistic intellectual property provisions.

In a recent CTV interview on the TPP Carleton business professor Ian Lee began by saying we’ve known for three centuries that “free trade” increases wealth while a Maclean’s editorial “celebrating” the accord noted “as with most things, the best sort of trade is free: free from tariffs, restrictions and other government-imposed barriers.”

But the …