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ABC of Modern Empire

[Economic]
ABC of Modern Empire
by Naresh Jotwani
Posted June 28, 2021

economic hitmen To raiders and marauders, there is no fundamental difference between a company and a country; they are just two types of prey.

So what do these examples tell us about the make-up of financial power?

We learn that its main elements are: Easy access to finance, sharp eye for juicy and vulnerable prey, contempt for the prey, single-minded focus, skill in financial number-crunching, tight networking, secrecy, shamelessness, and mastery over the legal system.

Sadly, these qualities define the new standard of human excellence and achievement. Self-proclaimed ‘top business schools’ churn out wannabe raiders and marauders by the thousand.

The thrust of ‘the empire’ today comes from such financial raiders and marauders – not the brave and valiant armies we read about in history. Evidently there is no unified command structure among these raiders and marauders; and of course no higher vision either guides them or binds them together. More…

The Need to Regulate Big Tech; Moral Hazards in Space?

[Community] [Social]
The Need to Regulate Big Tech; Moral Hazards in Space?
by Bill Blain
Posted June 27, 2021

space junkIt is right to let a small number of very wealthy entrepreneurs fill Earth’s already crowded orbital space to establish non-terrestrial internet monopolies? What are the risks, and are the costs justified? Should orbital space be a public good?

There are already millions of pieces of space junk orbiting the planet – ranging from broken satellites to discarded space gloves, some spanners and lots of flecks of paint that’s broken off spaceships. These orbit at stupendous speed. If they hit anything, they have the potential to cause enormous damage. If they destroy anything, then a single piece of debris can create a whole cloud of debris, each piece of which can cause similar damage, raising the potential of critical out of control chain reaction and a cloud of debris making space travel very dangerous.

Elon Musk also disagrees about the risks. His team say LEO is safer. Musk is very keen because he has identified that a vast constellation of LEO satellites covering the entire planet is his second road to riches. If he can charge $80 a month for access, he gets rich (see previous Morning Porridge: He will also take a considerable subsidy from the US government ($20 bln over ten years) to provide rural internet services. More…

Escaping Serfdom

[Economic]
Escaping Serfdom
by Jeff Thomas
Posted June 27, 2021

serfdomThe concept of government is that the people grant to a small group of individuals the ability to establish and maintain controls over them. The inherent flaw in such a concept is that any government will invariably and continually expand upon its controls, resulting in the ever-diminishing freedom of those who granted them the power.

Today, the average person may expect to pay property tax (even if he is a renter), sales tax, capital gains tax, value added tax, inheritance tax, and so on. The laundry list of taxes is so long and complex that it is no longer possible to compute what the total tax level actually is for anyone.

And to this, we add the hidden tax of inflation. In the US, for example, the Federal Reserve has, over the last hundred years, devalued the dollar by 98%, a hefty tax indeed. And the US is not alone in this.

Only 50 years ago, the average man might work a 40-hour week to support a wife who remained at home raising the children. He often had a mortgage on his home but might have it paid off in ten years. He paid cash for nearly everything else that he and his family owned or consumed. More…

Pharmaceutical Industry Dispatches Army of Lobbyists to Block Generic Covid-19 Vaccines

[Political] [Social]
Pharmaceutical Industry Dispatches Army of Lobbyists to Block Generic Covid-19 Vaccines
by Lee Fang
Posted June 26, 2021

big pharma lobbyingThe pharmaceutical industry is pouring resources into the growing political fight over generic coronavirus vaccines.

Newly filed disclosure forms from the first quarter of 2021 show that over 100 lobbyists have been mobilized to contact lawmakers and members of the Biden administration, urging them to oppose a proposed temporary waiver on intellectual property rights by the World Trade Organization that would allow generic vaccines to be produced globally.

Pharmaceutical lobbyists working against the proposal include Mike McKay, a key fundraiser for House Democrats, now working on retainer for Pfizer, as well as several former staff members to the U.S. Office of Trade Representative, which oversees negotiations with the WTO.

Several trade groups funded by pharmaceutical firms have also focused closely on defeating the generic proposal, new disclosures show. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, and the International Intellectual Property Alliance, which all receive drug company money, have dispatched dozens of lobbyists to oppose the initiative.

The push has been followed by a number of influential voices taking the side of the drug lobby. Last week, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., released a letter demanding that the administration “oppose any and all efforts aimed at waiving intellectual property rights.” Howard Dean, the former Democratic National Committee chair, has similarly criticized the proposal, echoing many of the arguments of the drug industry. More…

One Nation Under Greed: The Profit Incentives Driving the American Police State

[Justice] [Politics] Social]
One Nation Under Greed: The Profit Incentives Driving the American Police State
By John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead
Posted June 25, 2021

policing for profits is not freedomNot satisfied with merely padding their budgets by issuing speeding tickets, police departments have turned to asset forfeiture and red light camera schemes as a means of growing their profits. Despite revelations of corruption, collusion and fraud, these money-making scams have been being inflicted on unsuspecting drivers by revenue-hungry municipalities. Now legislators are hoping to get in on the profit sharing by imposing a vehicle miles-traveled tax, which would charge drivers for each mile behind the wheel.

States now have quotas to meet for how many Americans go to jail. Increasing numbers of states have contracted to keep their prisons at 90% to 100% capacity. This profit-driven form of mass punishment has, in turn, given rise to a $70 billion private prison industry that relies on the complicity of state governments to keep the money flowing and their privately run prisons full, “regardless of whether crime was rising or falling.” As Mother Jones reports, “private prison companies have supported and helped write … laws that drive up prison populations. Their livelihoods depend on towns, cities, and states sending more people to prison and keeping them there.” Private prisons are also doling out harsher punishments for infractions by inmates in order to keep them locked up longer in order to “boost profits” at taxpayer expense. All the while, prisoners are being forced to provide cheap labor for private corporations. No wonder the United States has the largest prison population in the world.

Fueled by the profit-driven military industrial complex, the government’s endless wars are wreaking havoc on our communities, our budget and our police forces. Having been co-opted by greedy defense contractors, corrupt politicians and incompetent government officials, America’s expanding military empire is bleeding the country dry at a rate of more than $32 million per hour. Future wars and military exercises waged around the globe are expected to push the total bill upwards of $12 trillion by 2053. Talk about fiscally irresponsible: the U.S. government is spending money it doesn’t have on a military empire it can’t afford. War spending is bankrupting America. More…

U.S. Military Is “Leading the Charge” on 5G Despite Warnings and Opposition

[Media] [Social]
U.S. Military Is “Leading the Charge” on 5G Despite Warnings and Opposition
by BN Frank
Posted June 25, 2021

5G radiation dangersAmerican opposition to 5G deployment continues to increase due to concerns about reduced property value (see 1, 2, 3), public safety (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), health (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), cybersecurity and environmental risks.  5G base stations use 2-3X more energy than 4G (see 1, 2, 3, 4).  They are also at a greater risk overheating.

Some have referred to 5G deployment as a form of “environmental racism”. The National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) recently published a report recommending that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) give installation authority back to municipal governments.  Senators are also asking (again) that the FCC allow municipal input on installation.

Even if the FCC did decide to give authority back to municipal governments, the U.S. Military wants 5G despite all the warnings and opposition which coincidentally have been left out of an article published by NextGov: More…

Nuclear Power and the Lobbyists Behind It

[Social] [Political]
Nuclear Power and the Lobbyists Behind It
by Union of Concerned Scientists
Posted June 24, 2021

nuclear power lobbyists well fundedIs nuclear energy a smart choice for the future? The amount of money lobbyists are spending to convince Congress and the public that nuclear power should be part of the next climate and energy bill may trigger a cloud of skepticism as you answer that question.

A new investigation finds that the nuclear industry has spent millions of dollars over the past decade to sell the public and Congress on the virtues of new reactors.

Times reporter Judy Pasternak, now with the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University. (To learn more, read Nuclear Energy Lobby Working Hard to Win Support.) In the first three quarters of 2009 alone, the nuclear energy industry spent $84 million lobbying Congress.

“In many ways, the nuclear power industry’s efforts to win support are a textbook case of how the influence game is played in Washington,” Pasternak reports. “Besides the money spent on lobbying and campaign contributions, the industry, led by the NEI (Nuclear Energy Institute), has created a network of allies who give speeches, quote one another approvingly and showcase one another on their websites. The effect is an echo chamber of support for nuclear power.”

Two of the industry’s celebrity spokespeople, former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman and former Greenpeace activist Patrick Moore, have been stumping around the country, writing op-eds, and appearing on TV to extol the virtues of nuclear power as the co-directors of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition. They rarely, if ever, mention that the NEI created the coalition and is its sole funder. More…

It’s Now Official: The Financial House that Jamie Dimon Built Is the Riskiest Bank in the United States

[Economic] [Justice]
It’s Now Official: The Financial House that Jamie Dimon Built Is the Riskiest Bank in the United States
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Posted June 23, 2021

Jamie Dimon at World Economic ForumCorporate media outlets like Bloomberg News, the CBS news program 60 Minutes, and CNBC have been seduced into obsequious behavior when it comes to Jamie Dimon, the Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, despite the fact that Dimon has presided over the most unparalleled crime spree in the history of U.S. banking. Between 2014 and September of last year, JPMorgan Chase has been charged with five criminal felony counts by the U.S. Department of Justice. The bank admitted to all five counts. (See the bank’s detailed rap sheet here.)

JPMorgan Chase ranks number one in the instruments that assisted mightily in blowing up Wall Street in 2008 – OTC (Over-the-Counter) derivatives. These are private contracts between two parties and lack the transparency or protections of being traded on an exchange. This means if the counterparty defaults and the exposure is large enough, it could put a federally-insured bank at risk. This is not a hypothetical outcome. The giant insurer, AIG, blew itself up in 2008 because it was holding tens of billions of dollars in OTC derivative contracts for the biggest banks on Wall Street that it could not pay its obligations on. The U.S. government was forced to nationalize AIG and paid more than $90 billion to the banks for their AIG derivative contracts and securities lending obligations that AIG could not make good on.

Among the biggest banks on Wall Street, JPMorgan Chase has the largest exposure to OTC derivatives, with $43.5 trillion exposure, according to the National Information Center data. More…

In Our Hurry to Conquer Nature and Death, We have Made a New Religion of Science

[Social] [Spiritual]
In Our Hurry to Conquer Nature and Death, We have Made a New Religion of Science
by Jonathan Cook
Posted June 23, 2021

is science now a religion?Despite our science-venerating culture, we have arrived at a similar moment to our forebears, who gazed at the night sky in awe. We have been forced to acknowledge the boundaries of knowledge.

There is a difference, however. Our ancestors feared the unknowable, and therefore preferred to show caution and humility in the face of what could not be understood. They treated the ineffable with respect and reverence. Our culture encourages precisely the opposite approach. We show only conceit and arrogance. We seek to defeat, ignore or trivialise that which we cannot explain or understand.

Descartes’ legacy – a dualism that assumes separation between soul and body, mind and matter – has in many ways proved a poisonous one for western societies. An impoverished, mechanistic worldview treats both the planet and our bodies primarily as material objects: one a plaything for our greed, the other a canvas for our insecurities.

In fact, there were self-interested reasons why Descartes’s dualism was so appealing to the scientific and medical community four centuries ago. His mind-matter division carved out a space for science free from clerical interference. Doctors could now claim an authority over our bodies separate from that claimed by the Church over our souls. More…

China Launches New App Allowing Citizens to Report Others For Expressing “Mistaken Opinions”

[Social] [Political]
China Launches New App Allowing Citizens to Report Others For Expressing “Mistaken Opinions”
by Paul Joseph Watson
Posted June 22, 2021

big brotherChina’s Communist government has launched a new app that encourages citizens to report dissidents for expressing “mistaken opinions” on the Internet.

The new platform will target anyone who criticizes the dictatorship’s ruling CCP, disputes the official version of the country’s history or engages in “misinformation.”

The new website and app was proudly unveiled by China’s Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), with authorities calling on users to play an “active role” in helping to identify “malicious people distorting facts and confusing” others.

China already operates an onerous social credit score system that bans people from using transportation and engaging in other basic functions of society if they commit minor infractions like jaywalking or buying too much junk food.

Given that social media mobs in the west, routinely aided by journalists, already conduct witch hunts that lead to people being socially ostracized, deplatformed and left unemployed for expressing “mistaken opinions,” are we really that better off than Chinese dissidents? More…

The Facts:
China is targeting dissidents who dispute country’s history or criticize ruling Communists and much like the Russian Cheka and the East German Stasi, they are enlisting citizens to spy on their neighbors.

Reflect On:
Consider how people have been reporting Corona lockdown “violaters” in the US and other western nations.

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Quotable Sayings

nothing can stop a determined soulThere is no chance, no destiny, no fate that can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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billionaires don't EARN money, they MAKE money

You do not become a billionaire through labor. You become a billionaire through inheritance, corruption or economic rents – or, in most cases, some mixture of all three.

Grace Blakeley

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same puppet master pulling strings on both sides

Mainstream American liberals think they’re clear-eyed because they can see the propaganda strings being pulled by Fox and Donald Trump, and mainstream American conservatives think they’re clear-eyed because they can see the propaganda strings being pulled by MSNBC and the Democrats, but the propaganda strings on both trace back to the same puppet master. And seeing that is just the beginning.

Caitlin Johnstone

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discover your infinite worth

You alone are the judge of your worth and your goal is to discover infinite worth in yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks.

Deepak Chopra

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main stream media propaganda

It is obvious that the US government is destroying Assange to signal to journalists the consequences of publishing information. It is therefore also obvious that any journalist who fails to use whatever platform they have to speak out against Assange’s persecution has no intention of ever publishing anything that the US government doesn’t want published. Their silence on or support for what is being done to this man can and should be taken as an admission that they are nothing other than state propagandists.

Caitlin Johnstone

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Britian's Orwellian tactics against Julian Assange

It’s quite fitting that the – imperially pre-determined – judicial fate of Julian Assange is being played out in Britain, the home of George Orwell.

Pepe Escobar

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More Quotable Sayings

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How is it that we were taught to fear witches, rather than those burning them?

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The Shocking Truth about Our Money System and How We Can Break Free!

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Great story on why we need to remove ALL of our elected government representatives
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