ONGOING: The Greatest Heist in History

From Bloomberg Businessweek

The World’s Favorite New Tax Haven Is the United States

Moving money out of the usual offshore secrecy havens and into the U.S. is a brisk new business.

Last September, at a law firm overlooking San Francisco Bay, Andrew Penney, a managing director at Rothschild & Co., gave a talk on how the world’s wealthy elite can avoid paying taxes.

Read the report here. 


Don Quixote

 

–’tis I, Don Quixote, fighting corporate windmills–Image from Pinterest

 

And From Spiegel Online

Oligarchs and dictators’ daughters apparently have a penchant for bunkering their assets on the British Virgin Islands. Barons and composers, on the other hand, seem to prefer the Cook Islands. To cheat on taxes, they create bogus firms with imaginative names like Tantris, Moon Crystal or Sequoia.

. . . and conservatives in the U.S. blame the poor and the working poor for being poor.

Can there be a better argument for voting for Bernie Sanders for president and progressive candidates for Congress?

 The greatest sin of humankind is indifference to poverty and suffering. Think about it! GET THE MONEY OUT OF POLITICS! VOTE FOR PROGRESSIVES!

 


Max T. Furr is author of The Empathy Imperative, a philosophical novel featuring a trial of God. A bold story that takes a logical look at the god of the Abrahamic Religions.

Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?–from Plato’s dialogue, Euthyphro–a Socratic dialogue.

Is an act of God just and right because god does it, or does God do only that which is just and right?–Author’s paraphrase 

 

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Confessions – Yanis Varoufakis: How I became an erratic Marxist

Yanis Varoufakis, I fear, is yet another voice drowned out by the deafening cacophony of voices from the socially positioned, privileged, entitlement minded “free-market” capitalists (the neoliberals).

This article, from which I derived the quote below, is a must read for anyone remotely interested the root causes of economic disparity. Although he is writing to the economic crisis in Europe, his words ring out a warning to all capitalist nations, especially the U.S. and Britain. Liberals and progressives, in reading the article, need keep in mind his reason for not offering a radical change at this time. Remember the old adage; The only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

Both electricity and labour can be thought of as commodities. Indeed, both employers and workers struggle to commodify labour. Employers use all their ingenuity, and that of their HR management minions, to quantify, measure and homogenise labour. Meanwhile, prospective employees go through the wringer in an anxious attempt to commodify their labour power, to write and rewrite their CVs in order to portray themselves as purveyors of quantifiable labour units. And there’s the rub. If workers and employers ever succeed in commodifying labour fully, capitalism will perish. This is an insight without which capitalism’s tendency to generate crises can never be fully grasped and, also, an insight that no one has access to without some exposure to Marx’s thought.

Here is the ever widening gap of economic disparity in the United States:

income disparity in the USincome_inequality

Want’s the Matter with North Carolina?

The Culture War

The Culture War

How would I go about viewing politics through an empathetic lens? Politics is the second most pervasive subject to grip the human psyche–the first being religion. I am opposed to both, really, at least in the way they are practiced. There seems to be no honor in politics, and each organized religion has its conceptual boundaries, beyond which lies universal empathy–the Forbidden Zone.

I’ve written on both subjects, and at least with politics, I’ve tippy-toed around the ugliness. No more. In viewing politics through the lens of empathy, one must first find the truth, point out the truth and the deception, and then attempt to find an empathetic way to a solution that is best for society. In most cases, I suspect, the solution necessarily would be utilitarian in nature–the greatest good for the greatest number of people. This would include the “least of these” in society. And so I dive into the ugly, with empathy in mind.

In a State known for its class 1 colleges and its Research Triangle, one would think the good people of North Carolina would not be so easily swayed by misinformation and disinformation.

The neoconservatives, decades ago, having lost their beloved Soviet Union “evil empire,” declared a “Culture War” against liberalism. It had been going on since the founding of our republic, but this time it was different.

Right wing movements in a democratic republic must have an “enemy” in order to plant fear in the minds of the people, and then harvest their votes. The enemy must be painted as evil and destructive to society’s “values,” and the best way to do that is through coordinated, party-wide propaganda in the mass media.

The Strategy: in 1996, Newt Gingrich wrote a memo to GOPAC titled, <a href=”http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4443.htm”>”Language: A Key Mechanism of Control,”</a>, in which he codified the neoconservative plan of political attack that the neocons had been using since before Reagan, but this time it was for all conservatives. This memo provided virtually all conservative politicians and political hopefuls with their tactical marching orders. It had little to do with policy. Indeed, the voter would vote against their policies where they argued on their own merits. Therefore, the strategy was to destroy the public’s view of the enemy and their policies, but never detailing one’s own policies.

Keep in mind that the neocons considered the “Culture War” a real war, and the strategy was to infiltrate the minds of the public, control the message with disinformation (kick up sand and muddy the water), and stamp out liberalism once and for all. But this was not for the benefit of the public, it was for the benefit of themselves.

Arguably (or not) the most potent weapon in any war is “psychological operations” (psyops), i.e., propagation of propaganda as a means to control the minds of the citizens and turn them against one’s enemies. No organization/nation/party can survive long without the support of the people. Therefore, to achieve this end, the conservatives needed a seemingly legitimate propaganda network. Thus was born Fox News and a radio/television nation seeded with right wing, talking-head think-alikes.

Why did this work so well in America? First, it began in the days of pre-Internet, so it was more difficult to ferret out the real truth. Then the message was peppered with emotional words and phrases like “family values,” and “communist liberals,” and “Nazis,” and “patriot,” and “Second Amendment,” and “the liberals have expelled God from our schools and are coming for your guns and Bibles.”

Liberals, unfortunately, were very slow to pick up on this. The conservatives were talking to the nation, but effectively, liberals were not. Thus the conservatives controlled the message.

No conservative voter I have debated has ever noticed the difference in the messages coming from their political camp and that of the liberal, and they have denied it when pointed out. Where the liberals concentrate on policy, the conservatives concentrate on demonization of the left–mostly personal attacks against the person and the person’s family. It actually works.

Few people noticed when the main thrust of conservative politics became less about policy and more about party-wide, unified, personal attacks, misinformation, and concentrated, emotion generating rhetoric. Hate speech! Now, thanks to Newt, et al, it is now the very foundation of conservative politics. Rarely will you hear a conservative politician speak on a policy without a personal attack against the president, designed to spike emotions. It is their deceitful modus operandi–method of operation. One need not present an alternative policy; just a demonization of the enemy and his policies.

So, again, why do conservative psyops continue to work with all the information now available? It works because it is emotional and it works because far too many voters simply do not vet the information (it’s on Fox News, to it must be fact). And it works, too, because of the apparent legitimate “reports” coming out of conservative, corporate funded think-tanks that are accepted as authoritative by the corporate media.

The end-game: The United States is in a precipitous slid into oligarchy (note, in the graph below, the ever widening income gap between the wealthy and the working class).

Image

The United States already is a corporatocracy. Few things will get done in DC without Wall Street’s approval, and they continue to see record profits while the working class virtually flat-lines. With a corporate Supreme Court and multinational corporations (loyal to no flag) mainly funding the conservatives, I see no means of recovery at anytime in the near future.

 

 

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