How Many Millions of People Have Been Killed in America’s Post-9/11 Wars? – Global Research

how-many-millions-of-people-have-been-killed-in-america’s-post-9/11-wars?-–-global-research

15-05-19 07:21:00,

This article was first crossposted in March 2018.

The numbers of casualties of U.S. wars since Sept. 11, 2001 have largely gone uncounted, but coming to terms with the true scale of the crimes committed remains an urgent moral, political and legal imperative, argues Nicolas J.S. Davies.

How many people have been killed in America’s post-9/11 wars? I have been researching and writing about that question since soon after the U.S. launched these wars, which it has tried to justify as a response to terrorist crimes that killed 2,996 people in the U.S. on September 11th 2001.

But no crime, however horrific, can justify wars on countries and people who were not responsible for the crime committed, as former Nuremberg prosecutor Ben Ferencz patiently explained to NPR at the time.

“The Iraq Death Toll 15 Years After the U.S. Invasion” which I co-wrote with Medea Benjamin, estimates the death toll in Iraq as accurately and as honestly as we can in March 2018.  Our estimate is that about 2.4 million people have probably been killed in Iraq as a result of the historic act of aggression committed by the U.S. and U.K. in 2003.  In this report, I will explain in greater detail how we arrived at that estimate and provide some historical context.  In Part 2 of this report, I will make a similar up-to-date estimate of how many people have been killed in America’s other post-9/11 wars.

Mortality Studies vs Passive Reporting

I explored these same questions in Chapter 7 of my book, Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq, and in previous articles, from “Burying the Lancet Report… and the Children” in 2005 to “Playing Games With War Deaths” in 2016.

In each of those accounts, I explained that estimates of war deaths regularly published by UN agencies, monitoring groups and the media are nearly all based on fragmentary “passive reporting,” not on comprehensive mortality studies.

Of the countries where the U.S. and its allies have been waging war since 2001, Iraq is the only country where epidemiologists have conducted mortality studies based on the best practices that they have developed and used in other war zones (like Angola,

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People Who Publicly Fret About Assange Rape Allegations Are Lying

people-who-publicly-fret-about-assange-rape-allegations-are-lying

08-05-19 08:49:00,

A few hours ago I stumbled across a tweet by Huffington Post UK editor Basia Cummings which made my blood boil. Actress and activist Pamela Anderson had just spoken to the press with WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson about their visit with Assange at Belmarsh prison, decrying the WikiLeaks founder’s cruel treatment and unjust prosecution. Basia Cummings took this opportunity to call her social media followers in to make fun of Anderson’s clothing.

“Pamela Anderson arrives at Belmarsh to visit Julian Assange wearing… a bespoke cape/blanket referencing ‘Cromwell’ and free speech’. It’s a look,” Cummings said.

But what really got me were the comments the tweet elicited.

“Is it possible to unwank over someone?” asked one user.

“Pamela Anderson arrives at Belmarsh to visit Julian Assange to supply him with some material for his cell wank bank,” said another.

“Cum blanket,” said another.

“She banged Kid Rock. Enough said,” said another.

This is just a small sampling from a quick skim. There are many, many others. I won’t quote them all.

Read the appallingly sexist comments on this tweet. All of the values mainstream liberals claim to stand for always go straight out the window the second they pose an obstacle to vicious partisan sniping. @pamfoundation is a much, much better person than any of them will ever be. https://t.co/bbRarHQGZp

— Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) May 7, 2019

I found this so deeply illustrative of the way mainstream liberals throw every value they claim to stand for right in the garbage as soon as it becomes an obstacle to their petty partisan attacks. They all warned that Trump was campaigning on a platform of xenophobia, homophobia and demagoguery, but as soon as he was elected they began launching phony Russiagate attacks which themselves were rife with xenophobia, homophobia and demagoguery. Liberal pundits who rightly criticized Bush for his unforgivable invasion of Iraq now attack Trump for being insufficiently hawkish toward Russia and its allies. These mindless automatons don’t actually stand for anything beyond blind partisan loyalty.

In the same way that they will happily wipe their asses with any of their pretend values the second it becomes politically convenient to do so,

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Same People Behind Iraq War Lies Pushed Russian Collusion

same-people-behind-iraq-war-lies-pushed-russian-collusion

11-04-19 06:02:00,

Authored by Julie Kelly via American Greatness,

For more than two years they misled us.

Exploiting fear and confusion after a shocking event, they warned that our country was in imminent danger at the hands of a mad man. They insisted that legitimate intelligence, including a CIA report issued a month before a national election and a dossier produced by reliable sources in the United Kingdom, proved the threat was real. The subject monopolized discussions on Capitol Hill, in the White House, and in the press.

They argued that the situation was so dire that it was straining our relationship with strategic allies. Any evidence to the contrary was readily dismissed. And anyone who questioned their agenda was ridiculed as a coward, a dupe, or a conspiracy theorist. The news media dedicated endless air time and column inches to anyone who wanted to repeat the falsehood.

But an investigative report released two years after the propaganda campaign began found no evidence to support their central claim. The CIA report was highly flawed. The official dossier, some concluded, was deceptive and “sexed-up.”

No, I’m not referring here to the Trump-Russia collusion hoax, although the similarities are nearly identical. I’m talking about the period between 2002 and 2004 when many of the very same people who recently peddled collusion fiction also insisted that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction—including material to produce nuclear bombs. On the heels of the horrors of 9/11, the United States and our allies waged war against Iraq in 2003 based primarily on that assurance.

But in 2004, a special advisor to the CIA concluded Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. There were no stockpiles of biological or chemical agents; no plans to develop a nuclear bomb. The main argument for the war had been wholly discredited. But it was too late: The conflict officially raged on for another seven years, including a “surge” of 20,000 more U.S. troops in 2007 at the behest of the late Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.). We still have a troop presence in Iraq to this day.

In between the two scandals was more than a decade of recriminations against once-trusted experts on the Right who led our nation into battle.

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The Crimes against the People of Palestine: The British Government is “Shown to be Bankrupt in Law and Morality” – Global Research

the-crimes-against-the-people-of-palestine-the-british-government-is-8220shown-to-be-bankrupt-in-law-and-morality8221-8211-global-research

23-03-19 12:55:00,

Dear Mel,

I wish you to bring these facts in front of Mr Hunt on behalf of Susan and myself, the Palestinian people who have no voice, and to reverse the ‘vortex of ever increasing violence in our world’.  Canterbury, NZ where I worked, and homicide with knives etc are symbolic. 

HMGs of several colours have helped this descent towards hell.

***

It was last year that the centenary of the Balfour ‘Declaration’ was celebrated here, all 110 words – attached.  We will not discuss its legality nor morality, nor how Christ might have judged it.  Oppression of the native people was already well underway.  Ethnic cleansing reached a peak in Plan Dalet, in 1948, when about 100,000 Palestinians were slayed, and 800,000, two thirds of the population, were  driven by force of arms and terror (1 – an example Deir Yassin – no memorial there) from their homes and their land, and thus their living.  Most fled to Gaza, the resident population of which was 60,000.  Now 2 million – median age 17.

Statehood of the nascent ‘Israel’ depended on UN Resolution 194 (III)  (2) – …..“refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, …”.  Returning men were shot.  But the Jewish State as it is now called, was treated as a state, albeit a de facto one.  The latter fact is hardly ever mentioned.

What happened at Deir Yassin, and at least twenty other massacres then, has been repeated many times.  Those times include Qibya, Sabra and Shatila (several thousand killed by the ‘Christian’ Phalange whilst Sharon watched, and with the bellies of women slashed open), and the repeated killing, and the most cruel bombing and collective punishment of 2 million souls in Gaza.  I have been to Gaza 10 times. I know the people and I know their great suffering.  I have stood at the graves of over 3000, largely British soldiers, in the immaculately kept Commonwealth War grave in Gaza.  Many died in the ‘Second Battle of Gaza’ on the 2nd of November 1917. This was the day, ironically,

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FDA Asks Old People To Stop Infusing Children’s Blood To Prevent Aging

fda-asks-old-people-to-stop-infusing-children8217s-blood-to-prevent-aging

20-02-19 08:39:00,

The FDA has warned old people to stop infusing plasma from young people in order to slow down the aging process, saying it has “no proven clinical benefit” according to Bloomberg

In a Tuesday safety alert, the agency suggested that old people getting scammed with $8,000 per liter plasma to treat age-related issues including dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease. 

“There is no proven clinical benefit of infusion of plasma from young donors to cure, mitigate, treat or prevent these conditions, and there are risks associated with the use of any plasma product,” reads a statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and Peter Marks, who leads the agency’s biologics center. 

The idea of infusing young blood to fight aging has attracted technology entrepreneurs like billionaire Peter Thiel and was lampooned in a 2017 episode of the HBO show “Silicon Valley.” Thiel’s reported interest was sparked by a company called Ambrosia, which has locations in five states across the U.S. and sells one liter of blood plasma from donors between the ages of 16 and 25 for $8,000, according to its website.

Gottlieb and Marks said none of the plasma treatments has gone through the rigorous testing required by the agency. Ambrosia says “experiments in mice called parabiosis provided the inspiration to deliver treatments with young plasma.” The FDA approval typically requires human trials before companies can make a specific health claim about a product.

“The reported uses of these products should not be assumed to be safe or effective,” said Gottlieb and Marks. “We strongly discourage consumers from pursuing this therapy outside of clinical trials under appropriate institutional review board and regulatory oversight.” 

Plasma infusions are an FDA approved treatment intrauma settings or for people whose blood doesn’t coagulate, however the agency notes there are risks, including circulatory overload, allergic reactions, lung injury and the transmission of infectious diseases. 

“We’re concerned that some patients are being preyed upon by unscrupulous actors touting treatments of plasma from young donors as cures and remedies,” say Gottlieb and Marks. “Such treatments have no proven clinical benefits for the uses for which these clinics are advertising them,

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The Real Enemy Of The People

the-real-enemy-of-the-people

28-01-19 09:04:00,

Authored by Kevin Smith via Off-Guardian.org,

We are all familiar with the terms ‘conspiracy theorist’ and ‘apologist’ used by the establishment and media to smear independent journalists, experts and other commentators. For some time this has been particularly evident in the debates we see over the Middle East wars and Russia. It’s common knowledge that people who use these terms can’t argue rationally so resort to smears.

Western government support for terrorism, staged events and spreading disinformation via groups such as Integrity Initiative has come under closer scrutiny recently. As more revelations of wrongdoing by our governments and misreporting by our media have been exposed, the censorship and smears against independent media has intensified.

“What’s it like being a traitor?” John Sweeney being just as subtle, unbiased and classy as you expect from the BBC Panorama team.

A DISTURBING NEW RHETORIC

I’m sure some of us have noticed that the language used has been ramped up yet again. I came across one example recently of someone promoting the anti-Russia narrative on Twitter making an analogy between one researcher’s legitimate investigation and criticism of Integrity Initiative and the actions of the World War II traitor, ‘Lord Haw-Haw’. And I think many readers will be familiar with this post from John Sweeney of the BBC and clip from his programme on Sputnik News.

Here’s our @bbcnewsnight film on Sputnik News in UK. With tensions between Russian and UK growing I was on my diplomatic best behaviour. 1st Q: “what’s it like being a traitor?” https://t.co/nml6KTxc9S
https://t.co/MVeaopZP0f

— John Sweeney (@johnsweeneyroar) January 17, 2019

To call someone a traitor is probably the most serious accusation you can make so let’s look at its meaning:

traitor – a person who is guilty of treason or treachery, in betraying friends, country, a cause or trust.

And lets consider these ‘betrayals’ and who by extension these accusations of disloyalty might be intended to apply to:

  • UK citizens who work for Russian media are traitors to their country. But I guess if you apply this warped viewpoint,

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‘How many people just disappear?’ Iranian journalist recalls arrest & questioning by FBI

how-many-people-just-disappear-iranian-journalist-recalls-arrest-amp-questioning-by-fbi

25-01-19 08:55:00,

The US-born Iranian journalist snatched up by the FBI and held for 10 days without charges gave an exclusive interview to RT about how fortunate she feels to make it out alive – and how things could have easily gone differently.

“What I realize is how easy it is for them to make someone disappear. If [my son] was not there, anything could have happened to me and no one would have known where I was. And I’m just wondering how many people that this happens to,” PressTV journalist Marzieh Hashemi told RT’s Afshin Rattansi in an exclusive interview.

At one point during her detention, she was even placed on suicide watch – a fact she only discovered afterwards, from another prisoner. “It concerned me, because I’m thinking maybe they have something up their sleeves here.” She was not allowed to contact anyone for the first 48 hours of her imprisonment.

Also on rt.com
Iranian Press TV journalist released without charge after 10 days in US custody

“It’s mind-boggling that you can be arrested, detained, shackled, not charged with a crime, and I definitely saw it firsthand,” she said, encouraging supporters to take action to “demand an end to this type of activity.” Hashemi’s ordeal sparked protests in the US and at UN offices in Tehran, and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused US authorities of racism in their mistreatment of the journalist.

Hashemi was arrested by FBI agents earlier this month at St. Louis’ Lambert International Airport and flown via private plane to Washington DC, where she was detained under an obscure, little-used law that allows authorities to arrest a material witness in grand jury proceedings. After testifying on Wednesday at Washington DC District Court with her son, she was released. Two of her other children have also been subpoenaed to testify in the unspecified case.

Also on rt.com
Iranian PressTV journalist held by FBI, denied halal food, hijab removed against her will – network

Born Melanie Franklin in New Orleans, Hashemi converted to Islam in 1979 after the Islamic Revolution in Iran and changed her name upon moving there permanently in 2008.

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“It’s A Reunion For People Who Broke The World”: Author Explains Why Davos Should Be Cancelled

8220it8217s-a-reunion-for-people-who-broke-the-world8221-author-explains-why-davos-should-be-cancelled

17-01-19 09:55:00,

Paris is burning, a large chunk of the US federal government is shut down and Britain is careening toward a delay of Article 50 – or possibly a second referendum – as the Brexit process descends into chaos, calls for the World Economic Forum to cancel its annual conference in Davos, a notorious rendezvous for the world’s financial and political elite, are growing louder. Particularly after Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron and now Theresa May have all decided to skip the conference this year to attend to their respective crises.

While these demands from a frustrated public might seem baffling to the global elites who see Davos as an opportunity for less-fortunate emerging economies to “pitch” themselves in an effort to attract more FDI, one former New York Times columnist and the author of a new book that explores the causes of the surge in populism sweeping the Western world offered a surprisingly articulate and trenchant explanation for why people across the west are “mad as hell”, and, furthermore, what role the average Davos attendee played in bringing our society to this point.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Anand Giridharadas placed the blame on plutocrats like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos for helping to “break the world” with ruthless corporate agendas that helped monopolize political power in the hands of the elite…leaving the rest of the population with deep-seated feelings of frustration as the usual avenues of social mobility have been closed, and people feel more powerless to change their future.

By building a product that has helped undermine the American Democratic process, Zuckerberg has helped steal the future from the average American, Giridharadas said.

“The story of our time is that the people who have monopolized progress and stolen the future from the people…are the change agents. Mark Zuckerberg, who is one of the great change agents of our time, has compromised American democracy…and has stolen the future…the financial industry…which caused the crisis…has rebranded itself with CSR…and little programs to empower some people here and empower some people here…Amazon another monopoly…”

His hosts interrupted him. Are you advocating anarchy, they asked?

“No”, he replied. “‘m advocating the restoration of Democracy in the US and elsewhere where you actually have leaders who reflect the aspirations of regular people.”

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To the People of Cuba: Is Washington Preparing a “Soft Coup”? The Co-optation of Cuban Intellectuals – Global Research

to-the-people-of-cuba-is-washington-preparing-a-8220soft-coup8221-the-co-optation-of-cuban-intellectuals-8211-global-research

09-01-19 08:26:00,

First published by GR on March 6, 2017. Also available in Spanish

To the People of Cuba,

The Cuban Revolution constitutes a fundamental landmark in the history of humanity, which challenges the legitimacy of global capitalism. In all major regions of the World, the Cuban revolution has been a source of inspiration in the relentless struggle against neo-colonial domination and US imperialism.

The World is at a critical crossroads. At this juncture of our history, most “real” progressive movements towards socialism have been destroyed and defeated through US-NATO led wars, military interventions, destabilization campaigns, regime change, coups d’etat, “soft coups”.

Progressive movements as well as “The Left” in Western Europe and the U.S. have largely been coopted, often financed by elite corporate foundations. 

The socialist project in Cuba nonetheless prevails despite the US economic blockade, CIA intelligence ops and dirty politics.

While the legacy of Fidel Castro lives, let us be under no illusions, Washington’s intent not only consists in destroying the Cuban Revolution, it also seeks to erase the history of socialism.

Washington’s Diabolical Design

There are indications that a “regime change” in Cuba is currently contemplated by Washington policy makers.  The Trump administration has been categorical in this regard. The repercussions will be felt throughout Latin America.

During the election campaign “he committed himself to reversing Obama’s Presidential Policy Directive titled “United States-Cuba Normalization,”(a 12-page directive—referred to officially as “PPD-43”). (The Nation, October 2017). No subsequent statement following Trump’s inauguration has as yet been forthcoming.

Of significance is Trump’s appointment of Dr. Judy Shelton to head the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a think tank and funding agency geared towards regime change. As a former Vice-President of the NED, Shelton was  “directly involved in lending legitimacy to US-backed subversion in Cuba as part of a decades-long attempt to overthrow the government in Havana and expand US hegemony over the Caribbean.”

Whatever US- Cuba “normalization” is contemplated by the Trump Administration, it would be geared towards the restoration of capitalism through acts of sedition, infiltration, etc. combined with the imposition of neoliberal economic reforms,

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Stop treating people like beggars or face hatred – Yellow Vests to Macron

stop-treating-people-like-beggars-or-face-hatred-yellow-vests-to-macron

05-01-19 11:58:00,

A group associated with Yellow Vests has written a fiery open letter to Emmanuel Macron, warning the French president against treating people like beggars, rejecting his nationwide debate, and demanding a major tax reduction.

The missive was posted in the Angry France group on Facebook, which unites almost 300,000 supporters of the Yellow Vest movement, and was also sent to the local media late on Thursday.

“Anger will turn into hatred if you continue, from your pedestal, you and your associates, to look at little people like beggars,” the protesters warned Macron.

The 3-page manifesto by Angry France also turned down Macron’s invitation to take part in the national debate, which the president ordered in response to the violent protests that gripped the country every week-end since November.

The debate was a “political trap” designed to drown the issue that “terrifies” the head of state so much, the letter read.

Also on rt.com
Arrest of Yellow Vest leader Drouet slammed as ‘abuse of power’ & ‘dictatorship’

The Yellow West activists also demanded a “significant reduction in all taxes on essential goods” for the French people paired with an equally significant reduction in pensions and salaries for the elected politicians and senior civil servants.

Protests in France appeared to be calming down recently, but Yellow Vest activists have been posting calls on social media for new rallies to take place on the first Saturday of 2019 in Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Strasbourg and other cities.

Also on rt.com
Yellow Vest agitators want insurrection to ‘overthrow the government’ – Macron spokesman

The Yellow West movement, which got its name after the high-visibility jackets worn by the demonstrators, kicked off in November over a proposed hike in fuel taxes.  As protests got increasingly violent and spanned more and more cities, the government dropped the planned increase.

Demonstrations continued due to the movement already morphing into wider discontent with Macron’s pro-business agenda, decline in living standards and growing inequality.

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More Young Fit People Experiencing Strokes. Cell Phone and WiFi Radiation Disrupt Blood-Brain Barrier | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

more-young-fit-people-experiencing-strokes.-cell-phone-and-wifi-radiation-disrupt-blood-brain-barrier-light-on-conspiracies-8211-revealing-the-agenda

24-12-18 11:46:00,

By B.N. Frank

Strokes are on the rise in young adults.  This includes fit people and teens.  Exposure to all sources of cell phone and wireless WiFi radiation can disrupt the blood-brain barrier which can cause it to leak.

Neurosurgeon and researcher Dr. Leif Salford has conducted many studies on radio frequency radiation and its effects on the brain. Dr. Salford called the potential implications of some of his research “terrifying.” Some of the most concerning conclusions result from the fact that the weakest exposure levels to wireless radiation caused the greatest effect in causing the blood brain barrier to leak.





Exposure can also kill brain cells.

According to many experts, in regard to sources of wireless radiation – “distance is your friend.”

Most brain tumors remain hidden and are only detected after metastasizing into seizures or strokes.

[…]

A cellphone is a two-way microwave radio with intermittent and destabilizing pulses, unlike microwave ovens that steadily operate at the same frequencies at much greater power.  The weak and erratic microwave radiation from cellphones and tablets cannot directly break the bonds that hold molecules together, but does disrupt DNA,  weakens the brain’s protective barrier, and releases highly reactive and damaging free radicals.  A five-year old’s brain, healthy or otherwise, is encased in a thinner skull and contains more fluid than an adults.  The bone marrow of a child’s head absorbs  10 times more  radiation than an adult, while those of infants and toddlers will absorb even more.

We are all now at even more risk for strokes and other health issues associated with additional exposure to wireless radiation due to federal legislation and campaigns which allow the forced installation of harmful and invasive technology throughout U.S. communities – the “Race for 5G,” “Smart Cities,” and “Internet of Things” (IoT), utility “Smart” Meters and more.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is supposed protecting the public.  Nope.

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Why Can The CIA Assassinate People?

why-can-the-cia-assassinate-people

06-12-18 08:53:00,

Authored by Jacob Hornberger via The Future Of Freedom Foundation,

Given that we have all been born and raised under a regime that has the CIA, hardly anyone questions the power of the CIA to assassinate people.

The CIA’s power of assassination has become a deeply established part of American life.

Yet, the Constitution, which called the federal government into existence and established its powers, does not authorize the federal government to assassinate people.

If the proponents of the Constitution had told the American people that the Constitution was bringing into existence a government that wielded the power to assassinate people, there is no way that Americans would have approved the deal, in which case they would have continued operating under the Articles of Confederation.

Under the Articles, the powers of the federal government were so weak, it didn’t even have the power to tax, much less the power to assassinate people. That’s because our American ancestors wanted it that way. The last thing they wanted was a federal government with vast powers.

In fact, the purpose of the Constitutional Convention was simply to amend the Articles of Confederation. During the 13 years of operating under the Articles, problems had arisen, such as trade wars between the states. The convention was intended to fix those problems with amendments to the Articles.

Instead, the delegates came out with an entirely different proposal, one that would call into existence a federal government that had more powers, including the power to tax.

Americans were leery. The last thing they wanted was a powerful central government. They had had enough of that type of government as British citizens under the British Empire. They believed that the biggest threat to people’s freedom and well-being lay with their own government. They believed that if they approved a federal government, it would become tyrannical and oppressive, like other governments had done throughout history.

They were especially concerned with the power of the government to murder people, including citizens. They knew that state-sponsored murder was the ultimate power in any tyrannical regime. When a government can kill anyone it wants with impunity, all other rights are effectively nullified.

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A Global People’s Bailout for the Coming Financial Crash – Global Research

A Global People’s Bailout for the Coming Financial Crash – Global Research

11-10-18 02:16:00,

When the global financial crisis resurfaces, we the people will have to fill the vacuum in political leadership. It will call for a monumental mobilisation of citizens from below, focused on a single and unifying demand for a people’s bailout across the world.

***

A full decade since the great crash of 2008, many progressive thinkers have recently reflected on the consequences of that fateful day when the investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed, foreshadowing the worst international financial crisis of the post-war period. What seems obvious to everyone is that lessons have not been learnt, the financial sector is now larger and more dominant than ever, and an even greater crisis is set to happen anytime soon. But the real question is when it strikes, what are the chances of achieving a bailout for ordinary people and the planet this time?

In the aftermath of the last global financial meltdown, there was a constant stream of analysis about its proximate causes. This centred on the bursting of the US housing bubble, fuelled in large part by reckless sub-prime lending and an under-regulated shadow banking system. Media commentaries fixated on the implosion of collateralised debt obligations, credit default swaps and other financial innovations—all evidence of the speculative greed and lax government oversight which led to the housing and credit booms.

The term ‘financialisation’ has become a buzzword to explain the factors which precipitated these events, referring to the vastly expanded role of financial markets in the operation of domestic and global economies. It is not only about the growth of big banks and hedge funds, but the radical transformation of our entire society that has taken place as a result of the increasing dominance of the financial sector with its short-termist, profitmaking logic.

The origins of the crisis are rooted in the early 1970s, when the US government decided to end the fixed convertibility of dollars into gold, formally ending the Bretton Woods monetary system. It marked the beginning of a new regime of floating exchange rates, free trade in goods and the free movement of capital across borders. The sweeping reforms brought in under the Thatcher and Reagan governments accelerated a wave of deregulation and privatisation, with minimum protective barriers against the ‘self-regulating market’.

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„All the lonely people“

„All the lonely people“

04-10-18 11:24:00,

Eleanor Rigby ist eine einsame Dame, die in der Kirche den Reis aufsammelt, der bei der Hochzeit anderer Leute heruntergefallen ist. Pater McKenzie schreibt an den Worten einer Predigt, die niemand hören will. Schließlich spricht er auf Eleanors Beerdigung, zu der niemand kommen will. Viele kennen dieses erschütternde Lied, das Paul McCartney für die Beatles komponiert hat: In knappen Worten skizziert er das hoffnungslose Leben zweier Einsamer, und zuletzt bleibt die bittere Erkenntnis „No one was saved“ – keiner wurde gerettet.

Jeder von uns kennt Figuren wie diese beiden, Menschen die man bedauert, die man vielleicht belächelt, Randfiguren, mit denen man lieber nicht zu lange in Kontakt ist, aus Angst, die Schwärze ihrer trostlosen Situation könne auf einen selbst abfärben.

Einsame finden wir besonders oft unter alten Menschen, speziell wenn sie verwitwet sind und ihnen buchstäblich der Boden unter den Füßen wegbricht. „Sie haben Angst, sich zu verlieren und sie verlieren sich trotzdem“, dichtete bitter der Chansonnier Jacques Brel über alte Ehepaare.

Einsamkeit findet sich auch in der Jugend, wenn sich Kinder in ihren Zimmern einschließen, in jener Zwischenwelt, nachdem sie die Ursprungsfamilie verlassen haben und noch keine neuen, festen Bindungen eingegangen sind. Eine Phase übrigens, in der viele unberührt und kaum geliebt sind, sich in einer Coolness-Attitüde einkapseln, die nur ein schwacher Ersatz ist für die verstohlen herbeigesehnte Wärme.

Einsam sind die Fremden in unserer Gesellschaft – es werden mehr, rechnet man jene hinzu, die sich auch als Deutsche fremd fühlen in einer Gesellschaft, die systematisch Solidaritätsabbau betreibt.

Einsam sind diejenigen, die eine schmerzhafte Scheidung zu spät erwischt hat, die keiner mehr haben will oder die in ihren Marotten zu sehr verfestigt sind, um noch an die Marotten eines Anderen andocken zu können.

Daneben gibt es die Einsamkeit derer, die in der Stille ihre Angehörigen pflegen und die ihr Opfer von einer leichtlebigen Mitwelt isoliert. Es gibt eine Einsamkeit der sich Verkriechenden und der Traumatisierten, die, obwohl sie dem Tod entronnen sind, nicht wirklich ins Leben zurückfinden. Es gibt eine Einsamkeit der Süchtigen – auch jener für die das Starren auf flimmernde Bildschirme Gemeinschaftsersatz geworden ist. Es gibt eine Einsamkeit mitten in tosenden Menschenmengen, eine Einsamkeit selbst in Ehen und Familien, die jeder von außen als „intakt“ bezeichnen würde.

„All the lonely people“.

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Empire Of Lies: Are “We, The People” Useful Idiots In The Digital Age?

Empire Of Lies: Are “We, The People” Useful Idiots In The Digital Age?

27-09-18 08:57:00,

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“Back in the heyday of the old Soviet Union, a phrase evolved to describe gullible western intellectuals who came to visit Russia and failed to notice the human and other costs of building a communist utopia. The phrase was “useful idiots” and it applied to a good many people who should have known better. I now propose a new, analogous term more appropriate for the age in which we live: useful hypocrites. That’s you and me, folks, and it’s how the masters of the digital universe see us. And they have pretty good reasons for seeing us that way. They hear us whingeing about privacy, security, surveillance, etc., but notice that despite our complaints and suspicions, we appear to do nothing about it. In other words, we say one thing and do another, which is as good a working definition of hypocrisy as one could hope for.”—John Naughton, The Guardian

“Who needs direct repression,” asked philosopher Slavoj Zizek, “when one can convince the chicken to walk freely into the slaughterhouse?”

In an Orwellian age where war equals peace, surveillance equals safety, and tolerance equals intolerance of uncomfortable truths and politically incorrect ideas, “we the people” have gotten very good at walking freely into the slaughterhouse, all the while convincing ourselves that the prison walls enclosing us within the American police state are there for our protection.

Call it doublespeak, call it hypocrisy, call it delusion, call it whatever you like, but the fact remains that while we claim to value freedom, privacy, individuality, equality, diversity, accountability, and government transparency, our actions and those of our government rulers contradict these much-vaunted principles at every turn.

For instance, we claim to disdain the jaded mindset of the Washington elite, and yet we continue to re-elect politicians who lie, cheat and steal. 

We claim to disapprove of the endless wars that drain our resources and spread thin our military, and yet we repeatedly buy into the idea that patriotism equals supporting the military. 

We claim to chafe at taxpayer-funded pork barrel legislation for roads to nowhere,

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People Living in their Cars in California? | Armstrong Economics

People Living in their Cars in California? | Armstrong Economics

02-09-18 07:30:00,

A very interesting issue has emerged in California. The price of real estate rose so high that the median price for a home reached $600,000 and the price was just too high. Consequently, people began to take up residence sleeping in their cars. A recent article looked at the issue and found that 15,000 people live in cars, vans, and RVs in Los Angeles alone. They were citing the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. This was just LA alone. Real Estate is starting to crash in California because (1) it exceeded the cost of the average person, and (2) taxes are rising and that further reduces the net disposable income. It is not just the price of the house, as taxes rise they reduce the take-home pay and thus the price of a house after taxes rises even faster. These two trends are colliding and this is why California real estate has begun to decline.

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People Aren’t Having Intelligent Conversations Anymore, They’re Just Yelling at Each Other

People Aren’t Having Intelligent Conversations Anymore, They’re Just Yelling at Each Other

01-08-18 09:38:00,

More and more people are becoming aware of and concerned about the level of political dialogue going on right now. We’ve gotten to a point where I’m seeing almost no intelligent debate about any serious issue. Russiagate now consumes such a massive amount of our collective energy, it feels we’ve become nearly incapable of discussing anything else. Even worse, Russiagate has morphed into a creepy D.C. establishment religion where merely demanding evidence for the wild claims being made gets you labeled a traitor or Putin agent. Ironically, average Americans don’t care about the issue.

When Gallup recently asked Americans what the most important (non-economic) problem facing the country today is, the amount of people saying Russia was so low they couldn’t even attribute a number to it.

Think about that. We’re being divided into two camps of increasingly insane and angry people because of hysteria surrounding an issue nobody even cares about. As usual, we can thank mass media for turning this topic into its singular obsession as well as promoting an environment of cultural insanity and stupidity.

As a result, people aren’t having intelligent conversations with one another. They’re just yelling at each other. The dialogue feels more like a political hunger games where people see everything as a linguistic competition of kill or be killed. Language itself has become debased as individuals try to one up each other with name calling and hyperbole.

Demonizing and dehumanizing the other side appears to be the primary goal, which will only lead to a very bad place if we don’t take a collective deep breath.

One of the more discouraging and sad parts of the current environment is watching many of Trump’s opponents, who define themselves by being ethical, completely toss this aside in their furor at Trump. A recent tweet by liberal hero Shaun King perfectly proves the point.

“It’s absolutely treasonous.” No, it absolutely isn’t. But don’t take my word for it. Let’s examine some excerpts from a recent article published by Steve Vladeck, a professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law whose teaching and research focus on federal jurisdiction, constitutional law, and national security law.

From his NBC article, 

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