Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart
* LIONS AND TIGERS AND TERRORISTS, OH MY!
By Brandon Smith, Alt-Market
The debate over what actions actually constitute “terrorism,” I believe, will become one of the defining ideological battles of our era. Terrorism is not a word often used by common people to describe aberrant behaviors or dastardly deeds; however, it is used by governments around the world to label and marginalize political enemies. That is to say, it is the government that normally decides who is a “terrorist” and who is a mere “criminal,” the assertion being that one is clearly far worse than the other.
The terrorist label elicits emotional firestorms and fearful brain-quakes in the minds of the masses. It causes the ignorant and unaware to abandon principles they would normally apply to any other malicious enterprise. They begin to reason that a criminal should be afforded justice, while a terrorist should be afforded only vengeance, even though the act of branding a person a “terrorist” is often completely arbitrary. This vengeance is usually pursued by any means. Thus, the terrorist moniker becomes a rationalization for every vicious and inhuman policy of the establishment, as well as for the citizenry.
Dishonorable and foolish people claim the existence of terrorism essentially gives license for the rest of us to become criminal, willfully trampling on individuals’ rights to privacy, property, free speech, due process, civic participation, etc. Mass criminality against the individual in the name of social safety is the glue that holds together all tyrannical systems, triggering a catastrophic cycle of moral relativism that eventually bleeds a culture dry.
Historically, the expanded use of the terrorist label by governments tends to coincide with the rising tides of despotism. A government that quietly seeks to dominate the people will inevitably begin to treat the people as if they are the enemy. Those citizens who present the greatest philosophical or physical threat to the centralization of power are usually the first to suffer. I do not think it is unfair to say that any system of authority that suddenly claims to see terrorists under every rock and behind every tree is probably about to rain full-on fascism down upon the population. […]
* WHY COPS AND PROSECUTORS GET AWAY WITH THROWING INNOCENTS IN PRISON
By Margaret Kimberly, AlterNet
It is indisputable that America strives to put as many black people behind bars as possible.
The ironically named criminal justice system in this country is good at prosecuting and creating many criminals but not very good at producing any justice. The United States would not have the largest prison population of any other country on earth if it did not also have the harshest prosecution and sentencing system of any other country. America’s addiction to racism and violence creates outright criminality among police and prosecutors. Their misconduct is tolerated and even encouraged and the result is an untold number of innocent people in jail.
In 1989, five New York City teenagers, four black and one Latino, were convicted of raping and assaulting a then anonymous woman known as the Central Park jogger. In the now infamous case the teens were coerced into giving false video taped confessions. None of the established procedures for interviewing minors were in place and police and prosecutors broke the law in order to convict them. Unable to pay for good legal representation and convicted in the court of public opinion, the five spent between six and thirteen years behind bars.
In 2002 a sole perpetrator confessed to the attack, DNA tests proved his guilt and the convictions were vacated. Thanks to the new documentary, The Central Park Five, the prosecutors who orchestrated the travesty have come under scrutiny but none of them have suffered as a result of their actions. Until very recently prosecutor Elizabeth Lederer bragged about her involvement in the case and included it in her biography. She is still a law professor at Columbia University. It isn’t clear why anyone would want her to teach anything about the law, but there she sits in the lap of establishment legal profession luxury. When an outraged citizen circulated a petition pressuring Columbia to fire Lederer, the wagons circled around her and the media excoriated those who only wanted accountability and justice.
“The prosecutors who orchestrated the travesty have come under scrutiny but none of them have suffered as a result of their actions.” […]
* CHRISTIANITY AND THE INQUISITION IN THE US ARMY
Source: The Real News
* EVERYTHING IS RIGGED, CONTINUED: EUROPEAN RAIDS OIL COMPANIES IN PRICE-FIXING PROBE
By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone
We’re going to get into this more at a later date, but there was some interesting late-breaking news yesterday.
According to numerous reports, the European Commission regulators yesterday raided the offices of oil companies in London, the Netherlands and Norway as part of an investigation into possible price-rigging in the oil markets. The targeted companies include BP, Shell and the Norweigan company Statoil. The Guardian explains that officials believe that oil companies colluded to manipulate pricing data:
The commission said the alleged price collusion, which may have been going on since 2002, could have had a “huge impact” on the price of petrol at the pumps “potentially harming final consumers”.
Lord Oakeshott, former Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, said the alleged rigging of oil prices was “as serious as rigging Libor” – which led to banks being fined hundreds of millions of pounds.
The inquiry also involves Platts, the world’s largest oil price reporting agency. The concept here is very similar to both the LIBOR scandal, which involved banks manipulating the benchmark rates for interest rates, and to the possible rigging of interest rate swap prices through the manipulation of ISDAfix, the benchmark rate for those instruments, which is also the subject of a regulatory probe.
We wrote about both of those scandals in last month’s Rolling Stone article, “Everything is Rigged.” In that piece, finance professionals talked about the potential for manipulation in other markets that involve voluntary price reporting:
What other markets out there carry the same potential for manipulation? The answer to that question is far from reassuring, because the potential is almost everywhere. From gold to gas to swaps to interest rates, prices all over the world are dependent upon little private cabals of cigar-chomping insiders we’re forced to trust.
“In all the over-the-counter markets, you don’t really have pricing except by a bunch of guys getting together,” Masters notes glumly.
That includes the markets for gold (where prices are set by five banks in a Libor-ish teleconferencing process that, ironically, was created in part by N M Rothschild & Sons) and silver (whose price is set by just three banks), as well as benchmark rates in numerous other commodities – jet fuel, diesel, electric power, coal, you name it. […]
* TOO BIG TO FAIL HAS BECOME TOO BIG FOR TRIAL
In case you missed this powerful video making the rounds a few months ago Elizabeth Warren made regulators squirm when confronted on “too big to jail.” Now she has written a letter to Ben Bernanke, Eric Holder and Mary Jo White.
Elizabeth Warren is one of the few Senators out there pushing to understand why the federal government has created an untouchable class of criminals in America that can do whatever they want whenever they want and, not only get away with it, but also get bailed out when they make mistakes.
* THE ANTI-GLOBALIZATION MOVEMENT AND THE WORLD SOCIAL FORUM. IS “ANOTHER WORLD’ POSSIBLE
By Prof Michael Chossudovsky Global Research
The World Social Forum operating under the banner of “Another World is Possible” was founded in 2001 at its inaugural venue of Porto Alegre. Brazil.
From the outset in 2001, the WSF has been upheld as an international umbrella representing grassroots people’s organizations, committed to reversing the tide of globalization. Its stated intent is to challenge corporate capitalism and its dominant neoliberal economic agenda.
The World Social Forum at its inaugural meeting defined itself as a counter-offensive to the World Economic Forum (WEF) of business leaders and politicians which meets annually in Davos, Switzerland. The 2001 Porto Alegre WSF was held simultaneously with that of the WEF in Davos.
Yet upon careful review, the WSF –rather than effectively confronting the economic and financial elites– actually serves their interests.
From the outset in 2001, the World Social Forum was funded by governments and corporate foundations, including the Ford Foundation which has ties to US intelligence.
The anti-globalization movement is opposed to Wall Street and the Texas oil giants controlled by Rockefeller, et al. Yet the foundations and charities of Ford, Rockefeller et al will generously fund progressive anti-capitalist networks as well as environmentalists (opposed to Wall Street and Big Oil) with a view to ultimately overseeing and shaping their various activities.
The mechanisms of “manufacturing dissent” require a manipulative environment, a process of arm-twisting and subtle co-optation of a small number of key individuals within “progressive organizations”, including anti-war coalitions, environmentalists and the anti-globalization movement. Many leaders of these organizations have in a sense betrayed their grassroots. […]