Category Archives: Neoliberalism

Conversation: Radical Democracy & Climate Change Activists; Paul Street & Kevin Hester

This is as usual one good conversation for that weekend morning boost of conciousness we so like at Oceania Saker!

Click below to have a listen.

CPRadio

This week Eric welcomes author and columnist Paul Street, and radical envrionmentalist and political activist Kevin Hester to CounterPunch Radio. First, Eric chats with America’s leading ultra-sectarian ideological criminal Paul Street about why he’s having second thoughts about Bernie Sanders, and why the ruling elites might be as well. Eric and Paul discuss the Sanders campaign, what it means for grassroots activism, and whether or not it’s a dead end for those seeking radical change. They also touch on The Donald, the trumpen proletariat, and the danger of a fascist state in a post-President Trump scenario.

In the second part of the show Eric connects with Kevin Hester out on his isolated island in New Zealand to discuss the looming climate catastrophe and the unravelling of the biosphere. Eric and Kevin discuss the bleak, dystopian future of abrupt climate change, the latest report from James Hansen, and why everyone should be conscious of what is to come. Also, they examine the connection between climate change, the environment, and imperialism. Not exactly the rosiest picture, but an important reality.

Musical Interludes:

I See Hawks in LA – Raised by Hippies
Gospel Beach – California Steamer
Freedom: Sove Peyi Mwen
Beachwood Sparks – Talk About Lonesome

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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Conversation: Corbett Report: Patrick Henningsen on NGOs and Human Rights Industrial Complex

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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Seymour Hersh Says Hillary Approved Sending Libya’s Sarin to Syrian Rebels, by Eric Zuesse

ource: Strategic Culture

WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 19:  Author Seymour Hersh talks to a reader after a book discussion September 19, 2004 in Washington, DC. Hersh talked about his new book "Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib."  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON – SEPTEMBER 19: Author Seymour Hersh talks to a reader after a book discussion September 19, 2004 in Washington, DC. Hersh talked about his new book “Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib.” (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The great investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, in two previous articles in the London Review of Books («Whose Sarin?» and «The Red Line and the Rat Line») has reported that the Obama Administration falsely blamed the government of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad for the sarin gas attack that Obama was trying to use as an excuse to invade Syria; and Hersh pointed to a report from British intelligence saying that the sarin that was used didn’t come from Assad’s stockpiles. Hersh also said that a secret agreement in 2012 was reached between the Obama Administration and the leaders of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, to set up a sarin gas attack and blame it on Assad so that the US could invade and overthrow Assad. «By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria». Hersh didn’t say whether these «arms» included the precursor chemicals for making sarin which were stockpiled in Libya, but there have been multiple independent reports that Libya’s Gaddafi possessed such stockpiles, and also that the US Consulate in Benghazi Libya was operating a «rat line» for Gaddafi’s captured weapons into Syria through Turkey. So, Hersh isn’t the only reporter who has been covering this. Indeed, the investigative journalist Christoph Lehmann headlined on 7 October 2013, «Top US and Saudi Officials responsible for Chemical Weapons in Syria» and reported, on the basis of very different sources than Hersh used, that «Evidence leads directly to the White House, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, CIA Director John Brennan, Saudi Intelligence Chief Prince Bandar, and Saudi Arabia´s Interior Ministry». And, as if that weren’t enough, even the definitive analysis of the evidence that was performed by two leading US analysts, the Lloyd-Postal report, concluded that, «The US Government’s Interpretation of the Technical Intelligence It Gathered Prior to and After the August 21 Attack CANNOT POSSIBLY BE CORRECT». Obama has clearly been lying.

Continue reading Seymour Hersh Says Hillary Approved Sending Libya’s Sarin to Syrian Rebels, by Eric Zuesse

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“Poor” G7 Just Cannot Disarm Yet!, by Andre Vltchek

Source: counterpunch

They met in Hiroshima, Japan, in the first city on Earth that had been subjected to nuclear genocide. They were representing some of the mightiest nations on Earth: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States – the so-called Group of Seven (G7). And at the end of their encounter, they called for “a world without nuclear weapons”.

I am talking about the foreign ministers of seven countries with the largest economies on Earth.

Read carefully the names of these countries, one by one! For decades and centuries, the world has been trembling imagining their armed forces and corporations. Lashes administered by their colonial rulers have scarred entire continents, tens of millions were enslaved, and hundreds of millions killed, billions robbed.

Even now, if we all listen carefully, we can clearly hear the victims screaming, in agony: the native people of Canada and United States, the colonized people of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. For centuries, the entire world has been in shackles, on its knees, humiliated, plundered and destroyed.

G7! How many billions of victims from all corners of the world, made those countries so ‘grand’?

To ensure that the pillage could continue uninterrupted, the West together with those “honorary whites” (a term that the South African apartheid regime invented exclusively for the Japanese people) created several aggressive and belligerent pacts, including NATO, calling them, of course, “defensive” alliances. It came as no surprise: remember that in the lexicon of the Empire of Lies, war is calledpeace, while aggression is always defined as defense. But this I have already described in detail, in my 820-page book “Exposing Lies of the Empire”.

Now foreign policy tsars of the “G7” were standing shoulder to shoulder again, in Hiroshima, of all places, and only a few days after the 71st anniversary of the nuclear blast. Making predictable declarations and self-glorifying speeches.

The weather was good, partly sunny, with excellent visibility. But was the world really able to see through the thick fog of Machiavellian cynicism and lies, dispersed all over the Planet by those grinning rulers of the world?

F15 overflying Kadena air base
F15 overflying Kadena air base

On April 11, 2016, the foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) issued a written declaration on nuclear disarmament:

“We reaffirm our commitment to seeking a safer world for all and to creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons in a way that promotes international stability”.

Seriously? No one around those ministers fell; nobody was seen to be rolling on the floor, shaking from uncontrollable laughter. Obviously, a joke repeated thousands of times loses its luster.

But that was not all. The text of the declaration continued:

“This task is made more complex by the deteriorating security environment in a number of regions, such as Syria and Ukraine, and, in particular by North Korea’s repeated provocations.”

Continue reading “Poor” G7 Just Cannot Disarm Yet!, by Andre Vltchek

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The “Gig Economy”; Another Vicious Attack on Ordinary Working Slobs, by Mike Whitney

Source: counterpunch

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“Contrary to the rising-tide hypothesis, the rising tide has only lifted the large yachts, while many of the smaller boats have been dashed on the rocks.” Joseph Stiglitz, economist

American plutocrats and their political lackeys in congress have implemented a plan that’s putting pressure on wages and further decimating the already-battered middle class. By sustaining high levels of unemployment over a long period of time, US elites have “restructured the labor force”, which is a pretentious-sounding expression that means they’ve created a permanent underclass that’s willing to slave-away at demeaning, part-time jobs for mere peanuts without uttering a peep of protest. This metamorphosis of the workforce has taken place mostly in the shadows, concealed behind a thick fog of state propaganda touting the fictitious “recovery”, a recovery in which long-term jobless workers have abandoned all hope of finding gainful full-time employment and resigned themselves to a lifetime of scrambling from one odious task to the next just keep a roof over their heads and the wolves away from the door.

After eight years of applying this coercive ‘starvation strategy’, the plutocrat’s ‘grand plan’ is finally coming into focus. According to economists Lawrence F. Katz and Alan B. Krueger’s new paper titled “The Rise and Nature of Alternative Work Arrangements in the United States, 1995-2015″:

“All of the net employment growth in the U.S. economy from 2005 to 2015 appears to have occurred in alternative work arrangements.”

“Alternative work arrangements”? You mean there’s been zero growth in ordinary 9 to 5, 40-hour-per-week jobs in the last 10 freaking years???

Indeed, that’s exactly what it means. It also means that Obama’s relentless crowing about the phantom “recovery” is mostly bunkum. There is no recovery. It’s an invention built on the ruined lives of people who have been forced to take all-manner of servile, low-paying, part-time, service-sector jobs just to keep food on the table. That’s Obama’s glorious recovery in a nutshell. Here’s more from the World Socialist web Site:

“All US job growth for the last decade came in “alternative work arrangements”—people working as independent contractors, temps, through contract agencies or on-call—according to a study published Tuesday by Princeton University and the RAND Corporation…

The actual number of contingent full-time workers rose from 14.2 million in February 2005 to 23.6 million in November 2015, an increase of 9.4 million. Since total US employment rose by 9.1 million during this period, the number of workers in conventional, full-time positions actually dropped by nearly 400,000.” (Temps and contractors accounted for all US job growth since 2005, World Socialist Web Site)

Repeat: “The number of workers in conventional, full-time positions actually dropped by nearly 400,000.”

Great. So we’re actually going backwards, is that what they’re trying to say?

Continue reading The “Gig Economy”; Another Vicious Attack on Ordinary Working Slobs, by Mike Whitney

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THE REAL COALITION AGAINST DAESH IS THE “4+1”: RUSSIA, SYRIA, IRAN, IRAQ PLUS HEZBOLLAH, by Pepe Escobar

Source: Katehon

pepe

When Palestinians defend themselves by throwing stones, they’re called terrorists, while Israel threatens Palestinians’ life on a daily basis and is considered innocent. Moreover, U.S. politicians have said many times that Israel has the right to defend itself; do you think they want to imply that the people of Palestine do not have the right to defend themselves?

The whole narrative across the West is framed by the multiple ramifications of the Israel lobby – with fuel to the fire constantly added by Zionists and American, French and British Zio-cons. They control key media outlets and always employ the same crude tactics to discredit critics; ANY criticism of Israel – which is usually directed to the framework of an apartheid state, and the state’s internal and foreign policy – is blasted as “anti-Semitic”. Criticism of Zionism has never had and will never have anything to do with anti-Semitism. Arguably the best deconstruction of this myth is available in the book aptly titled “Deconstructing Zionism”, edited by Gianni Vattimo and Michael Marder (Bloomsbury, 2014). A subplot of the myth is the “Israel has the right to defend itself” meme – which turns reality around to justify any repressive or frankly fascist Israeli attack. On top of it, Palestinians are not considered equal citizens to Israelis (the notorious, perennial Golda Meir maxim “there are no Palestinians”) and the Israeli elite overwhelmingly regards Arabs as inferior beings.

Many argue that the Zionist regime has been planted in the region to sow discord and keep regional countries busy with internal conflicts? What is your take on that? What is your understanding of the establishment of the Zionist regime?

Israel is essentially a European – and later American – aircraft carrier parked in the most sensitive area of Southwest Asia – what the West calls “the Middle East – to divide and rule Arabs, sow perpetual chaos, and expand its (never defined) borders to the benefit of a myth, the notion of Eretz Israel (“Greater Israel”). Such an entity obviously can survive only if it faces “threats” and is perpetually surrounded by “enemies” (the narrative of “tiny” and “defenseless” Israel surrounded by brutes.) “Threats” and “enemies” essentially comprise the Palestinians; previously all Arabs, and then, narrowing down to Iraq (destroyed by the US invasion/occupation) and Syria (being destroyed by a NATO/GCC alliance as we speak); and finally Iran, because of the Islamic revolution; the fact that Iran’s foreign policy is independent; and that Iran is the de facto major power in the region. The fact that Israel and the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia have a shady alliance with plenty of convergence in their foreign policy is all we need to know about the Israeli power play in the region.

Continue reading THE REAL COALITION AGAINST DAESH IS THE “4+1”: RUSSIA, SYRIA, IRAN, IRAQ PLUS HEZBOLLAH, by Pepe Escobar

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Mass Media’s On Over Drive Trying To Confront The One Candidate That Can Stop The War Machine

Source: Last Week Tonight

The Military Industrial Complex is in panic mode. Their candidate Hillary is sure to secure the Democratic vote but it is looking increasingly unlikely that Americans can be fooled again.

For the few that really need the nudge, please use Google and see what Bernie’s war record is both past & present. He is at the end of it a Military Industrial Complex candidate. Period.

unstumpable Trump

Donald Trump is the red pill that America needs.

Here is one of the (Democratic) Military Industrial Complex’s many mouthpieces. He really went all out this time, stage fireworks and a rap song to boot. Looks like the conservatives in America are back with a vengeance. There maybe a chance of peace.

Will thinking Millenials & Baby boomers – be they African American, Latino or Asian – wake up in time to vote Trump?

Augmented Ether

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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The End-State of Western Capitalism—People as Cash Cows, by Janet Phelan

Source: New Eastern Outlook (NEO Journal)

anti-capitalism1-300x200

America is proud of capitalism. Proud of the competition which has produced a dazzling array of inventions and consumer products. Any incursion resulting in government control of the “free market” is generally met with outcries of that old bugaboo: “Communist infiltration!”

The activities of the United States abroad have become  redolent of resource grabs. Under the banner of “Making the world safe for democracy,” her aggression has resulted in an amalgamation of other countries’ resources. Oil and minerals top the list.

Far from protecting her own citizens’ property and economic interests, however, the domestic activities of the US increasingly reveal  finely honed mechanisms resulting in asset seizure and transfer of wealth.In order to accomplish these aims, certain established checks and balances have been nullified or bought off.

Government regulatory agencies are thus high on capitalism’s “Enemies List.” Many of these regulatory agencies were rendered largely ineffective under former President George W. Bush. The EPA, the FTC and other agencies pledged to protect the public went under administrative chiefs who were unfriendly to regulation and believed that their best governance would be to subvert the regulatory agencies they they were appointed to oversee.

As detailed by Thomas Frank, in his 2008 book, The Wrecking Crew, “… Fantastic misgovernment of the kind we saw during the Bush era was not an accident….It was made possible by the triumph of a particular philosophy of government, of a movement that understands the liberal state as a perversion and considers the market the ideal nexus of human society.”

There is a quasi- religious aspect to the worship of the free market. The free market, we are told, will inherently provide for the crème de la crème to rise to its proper altitude. The invisible hand of the free market will enable only the best products to succeed. And the devotees will tell you that this is in everyone’s best interest.

However, consumerism has a dark side. Where everything is commodified, everything becomes gaged by its monetary value alone. Other considerations—truth, beauty and emotional attachment come to mind—may suffer under a bottom line valuation system.

And this brings us to a recent manifestation of trading people for money—selling Granny to the nursing home. Cash for Granny is exactly what Sunrise Senior Living  is offering. The verbiage is slightly spun in an effort to obscure its crassly predatory intent, but the facts are in evidence: Sunrise will pay you $2000 for a successful recommendation of a vulnerable and elderly individual to its nursing facility.

The commodification of human beings is sometimes termed “human trafficking.” Americans were shocked and dismayed back in 2008 when the judicial scandal known now as “Kids for Cash” unfolded in the news. Two Pennsylvania judges were charged and subsequently found guilty for accepting kickbacks when they ordered juvenile offenders into private detention facilities. As it turned out, the judges had struck a backroom deal with Robert Merckle, the builder of two Pennsylvania detention facilities and were being handsomely remunerated in remanding children, including first time offenders with such minimal violations as mocking a principal on Myspace or trespassing in a vacant building, into extended detention in Merckle’s facilities.

The scandal rocked the nation. After an investigation determined that the two judges received over $2.6 million from PA Child Care and its sister facility, Western PA Child Care, and after an initial plea agreement did not produce what a federal judge determined to be satisfactory conduct on the part of the two judges, a criminal trial ensued.

Continue reading The End-State of Western Capitalism—People as Cash Cows, by Janet Phelan

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