Monday, February 27, 2012

Dow pays "strategic intelligence" firm to spy on Yes Men and grassroots activists

Feb. 27, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MASSIVE LEAK REVEALS CRIMINALITY, PARANOIA AMONG CORPORATE TITANS
Dow pays "strategic intelligence" firm to spy on Yes Men and grassroots activists. Takeaway: movement is on the right track!

WikiLeaks begins to publish today over five million e-mails obtained by Anonymous from "global intelligence" company Stratfor. The emails, which reveal everything from sinister spy tactics to an insider trading scheme with Goldman Sachs (see below), also include several discussions of the Yes Men and Bhopal activists. (Bhopal activists seek redress for the 1984 Dow Chemical/Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, India, that led to thousands of deaths, injuries in more than half a million people, and lasting environmental damage.)

Many of the Bhopal-related emails, addressed from Stratfor to Dow and Union Carbide public relations directors, reveal concern that, in the lead-up to the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster, the Bhopal issue might be expanded into an effective systemic critique of corporate rule, and speculate at length about why this hasn't yet happened—providing a fascinating window onto what at least some corporate types fear most from activists.

"[Bhopal activists] have made a slight nod toward expanded activity, but never followed through on it—the idea of 'other Bhopals' that were the fault of Dow or others," mused Joseph de Feo, who is listed in one online source as a "Briefer" for Stratfor.

"Maybe the Yes Men were the pinnacle. They made an argument in their way on their terms—that this is a corporate problem and a part of the a [sic] larger whole," wrote Kathleen Morson, Stratfor's Director of Policy Analysis.

"With less than a month to go [until the 25th anniversary], you'd think that the major players—especially Amnesty—would have branched out from Bhopal to make a broader set of issues. I don't see any evidence of it," wrote Bart Mongoven, Stratfor's Vice President, in November 2004. "If they can't manage to use the 25th anniversary to broaden the issue, they probably won't be able to."

Mongoven even speculates on coordination between various activist campaigns that had nothing to do with each other. "The Chevron campaign [in Ecuador] is remarkably similar [to the Dow campaign] in its unrealistic demand. Is it a follow up or an admission that the first thrust failed? Am I missing a node of activity or a major campaign that is to come? Has the Dow campaign been more successful than I think?" It's almost as if Mongoven assumes the two campaigns were directed from the same central activist headquarters.

Just as Wall Street has at times let slip their fear of the Occupy Wall Street movement, these leaks seem to show that corporate power is most afraid of whatever reveals "the larger whole" and "broader issues," i.e. whatever brings systemic criminal behavior to light. "Systemic critique could lead to policy changes that would challenge corporate power and profits in a really major way," noted Joseph Huff-Hannon, recently-promoted Director of Policy Analysis for the Yes Lab.

Among the millions of other leaked Stratfor emails are some that reveal dubious financial practices, including an apparent insider trading scheme with Goldman Sachs Managing Director Shea Morenz, who joined Stratfor's board of directors and invested "substantially" more than $4 million in the scheme, called StratCap. "What StratCap will do is use our Stratfor's intelligence and analysis to trade in a range of geopolitical instruments," wrote Stratfor CEO George Friedman in September 2011. StratCap was designed through a complex offshore share structure to appear legally independent, but Friedman assured Stratfor staff otherwise: "Do not think of StratCap as an outside organisation. It will be integral... It will be useful to you... We are already working on mock portfolios and trades." (StratCap has been due to launch in 2012, though that could now change.)

Other emails show Stratfor techniques of a truly creepy Spy vs. Spy sort: "[Y]ou have to take control of him. Control means financial, sexual or psychological control," wrote CEO Friedman recently to an employee, Reva Bhalla, on how to exploit an Israeli intelligence informant providing information on Chavez's cancer. (Stratfor's "confidential intelligence services" clients include, besides Dow and Union Carbide, the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines, the US Defense Intelligence Agency, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon.)

Perhaps most entertainingly of all, the email trove reveals that Stratfor's "Confederation Partners"—an unethical alliance between Stratfor and a number of mainstream journalists—are referred to informally within Stratfor as its "Confed Fuck House." (Another discovery: Coca Cola was spying on PETA. More such gems are sure to surface as operatives sift through the 5.5 million emails.)

A number of the remaining Yes Men-related emails take the form of reports on public appearances by the Yes Men, such as one that describes one audience comprised of "art students on class assignments and free entertainment." Another notes that "The Yes Men tweeted about the US Chamber of Commerce 'plotting forged emails, documents to trick (AND smear) opponents,'" a reference to an apparent plot to discredit Chamber opponents using forged documents, as revealed when thousands of emails were recently leaked by Anonymous from cyber-security firm HB Gary. Yet another discusses Alessio Rastani, the Wall Street trader widely mistaken for Yes Man Andy Bichlbaum, who proclaimed, live on the BBC, that "governments don't rule the world, Goldman Sachs rules the world."

"Rastani was right," said the real Andy Bichlbaum five months later. "But it's now very clear that it doesn't have to be that way anymore."

The Yes Men and representatives from the Bhopal Medical Appeal will join Julian Assange of Wikileaks at a press conference at noon today, Feb. 27, at the Frontline Club in London.

See also: The Global Inelligence Files - List of Releases

Friday, February 24, 2012

Trillion Dollar Terror Exposed - Intel Exclusive From Veterans Today

Gordon Duff writes:

Below is one of the strangest stories in financial history, one involving the US government lying about hundreds of thousands of tons of imaginary gold, illegal wire transfers and loans totalling $15 trillion. The video, from the House of Lords, is amazing in itself.

What it doesn’t express is where the money came from though Lord James of Blackheath proves conclusively that an effort was made to say it came from a gold reserve in Brunei that, in fact, never existed.

At surface, it appears we have stumbled upon the largest terrorist organization in the world and have found original documents tracing its funding to the Secretary of the Treasury and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, two of the top financial officers in the US. A cursory review of terrorism statues in the US indicate that all transactions we will learn about are, in fact, to be assumed “terrorist money laundering” and that the only thing preventing the immediate arrest of hundreds of top financial officials is their political connections alone.

[ ... ]

There is no record of the Federal Reserve being authorized to “create” $15 trillion, equal to the entire national debt of the United States. There is, however, proof that funds that totalled, at one time, $27 trillion had been earned surreptitiously, disposed of as part of an intelligence operation against the Soviet Union and then later stolen with accusations made against George H. W. Bush as being the perpetrator.

I have spoken with two individuals, one President Reagan’s intelligence coordinator and the other Chief Legal Cousel for the Central Intelligence Agency regarding these funds. Both have indicated that former President Bush had asked that these funds, totalling $27 trillion, be transferred to his control, that threats were made by Bush and that many involved in this operation suffered, issues including murder, illegal arrest, torture and detention among them.

The individuals I am speaking of repeatedly met with President Bush over these funds, disputed his claim to them, and indicate that the majority of the funds are the property of the people of the United States.

These funds are the mysterious “Wanta” funds, monies earned through years of currency trading aimed at collapsing the Soviet Union, a plan originated by President Ronald Reagan, then White House Intelligence Coordinator Lee Wanta and CIA Director William Casey. I have been told that, while this operation went forward under President Reagan, he had ordered that his successor, George H. W. Bush not be “briefed” out of “mistrust” for Bush.

More...

See also:

Britain at the centre of US$ 15 trillion Ponzi scheme

Monday, February 13, 2012

Greek Lawmakers Pass Austerity Bill As Athens Burns

Greece’s parliament approved a deeply unpopular austerity bill Monday to secure a second EU/IMF bailout and avoid national bankruptcy, as buildings burned across central Athens and violence spread around the country.

More...















See also:
The Battle of 12th February,Greece,Videos

Riots as Greece approves austerity

Athens burns: has Greece entered its Argentina moment?

Europe is just as guilty as Greece

People rise up against the new memorandum and the latest round of austerity measures; 48 hour General Strike; full Occupied London coverage

Mystery of China's missing crusading former police chief

So, where is Wang Lijun? This is the question many in China are asking after the crusading official, who oversaw a crackdown on triads in southwestern city of Chongqing, disappeared after trying to defect at the US consulate in the Sichuan capital, Chengdu.

Mr Wang was removed from his post as gang-busting police chief earlier this month. The Chongqing government said he was suffering from “immense mental stress and serious physical discomfort” and was receiving “vacation-style therapy”.

He was instead put in charge of the section dealing with sanitation and libraries, which was read as a sign that he had been ousted.

More...

Interview with lauren Ornelas

Interview with lauren Ornelas from Because We Must on Vimeo.


In October (2011) we were lucky enough to be able to interview lauren Ornelas of Food Empowerment Project. During this interview lauren discusses environmental racism, the mistreatment of produce farmers, heart wrenching chocolate slavery in Africa and more! If you have the time, we would love for you to check it out. After watching, we hope you read up on these subjects and share with your friends and family. Food is power, knowledge is power.

British bankers arrested in tax probe

Several British bankers have been arrested as part of an investigation into alleged tax-related criminal offences, the country's customs and revenue service said on Sunday, including some from Royal Bank of Scotland .

"As a result of an ongoing HMRC investigation into tax-related criminal offences, HMRC has arrested a number of people, some of whom work for UK banks," Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) department said in a statement.

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Dan La Botz, Open University of the Left, 1-28-2012, Chicago IL

Occupy LA: Scenes from the New Revolution // Part 3: The Movement of Many Leaders


Scenes from the New Revolution is a five-part documentary series written and directed by journalist Sam Slovick, whose research into Occupy Wall Street led to his living in a tent at City Hall in Los Angeles alongside the 99% movement for the better part of two months.

Slovick accessed Occupy Los Angeles at ground level, illuminating stories and faces that were either overlooked or misrepresented by the mainstream media. Told from the center of the year's biggest story, Slovick articulates the global movement through interviews with its activists, footage from the inner sanctum, and stories from its foot soldiers, bringing the sometimes-chaotic picture of Occupy LA into focus.

Scenes from the New Revolution was produced with the help of Slake, a highly acclaimed literary journal based in Los Angeles. A companion piece to the series will appear in the journal's fourth issue.

REMARKABLE: Greek Police Wanted to Arrest EU/IMF Officials Days Before Athens Burned, Not Protesters

Officers saw what was about to happen. And they wanted to stop it. Not by targeting the protesters, but instead by targeting those officials responsible for pressuring Greece to rip the economic heart out of its lower and middle classes in order to keep the country afloat.

Specifically, Greece's largest police union wanted to issue arrest warrants for the IMF's leading Greek official, Poul Thomsen, the European Central Bank's mission chief in Greece, Klaus Masuch, and several other top officials in the IMF and EU.

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Occupying Corporations: How to Cut Corporate Power by Bill Quigley / Common Dreams

“Corporations are people, my friend.” Mitt Romney at Iowa State Fair

Corporations are obviously not people. But Romney is accurate in the sense that corporations have hijacked most of the rights of people while evading the responsibilities. An important part of the social justice agenda is democratizing corporations. This means we must radically change the laws so people can be in charge of corporations. We must strip them of corporate personhood and cut them down to size so democracy can work. People are taking action so democracy can regulate the size, scope and actions of corporations.

[ ... ]

Justice demands we make sure corporations do not harm people. Democracy must require that they operate for the common good.

In order to cut corporations down to size, the people must strip corporations of the special artificial legal protections they have created for themselves.

The story of how corporations took the full rights of legal persons in one of the great perverse tragedies in legal history. Corporations have worked the courts mercilessly since 1819 to take a wide variety of constitutional rights that were designed to cover only people. For example, the Fourteenth Amendment was passed in 1868 to make sure all citizens, particularly freed slaves and people of color, had full rights. There was no mention of protecting corporations. But corporations jumped on this opportunity resulting in a questionable Supreme Court decision that granted them legal personhood. At roughly the same time, the Supreme Court approved “separate but equal” racial segregation. Thus in thirty years, African Americans lost their legal personhood, while corporations acquired theirs.

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Factory building collapses in Pakistan’s Lahore, killing at least 13

At least thirteen people were killed on early Monday morning when a factory building collapsed in eastern Pakistan, rescue officials said. Dozens more are feared to be trapped under the rubble.

The accident happened at around 8:15 a.m. local time when a suspected gas cylinder exploded at a three-story factory building in Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab. The powerful explosion devastated the building as more than 60 people were working inside.

As of early Tuesday morning, rescue officials said thirteen bodies had been recovered, including three children. At least 13 others were pulled out alive from underneath the rubble, but it is feared that as many as 30 people could still be trapped. Rescue operations were ongoing overnight.

More...

Keiser Report: The Vaporized & The Deleted (E245)


In this episode, Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, discuss the vaporized and the deleted - the new American soap opera in which the assets, wealth, jobs and economy of the 99% have been stolen. In the second half of the show, Max talks to Daniel Collins of TheChinaMoneyReport.com about China's imports of gold and their recent purchases of Germany's legendary mittelstands.


In this episode, Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, discuss the supercommittee that runs America, the perils of Draghi's "blitz" and the IMF turnaround on austerity for Greece. In the second half of the show, Max talks to Gonzalo Lira about austerity, printing and running.

DON'T SAVE THE WORLD - FKN Newz 020912


http://www.fknnewz.com

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Firefighters vs Cops: Striking fire officers soak PM office in Brussels


Several hundred firefighters have broken through police lines and hosed down the prime minister's office in Brussels to protest the government's tougher retirement plans. Firefighters demand to keep their early retirement age at 58, arguing their arduous job does not allow them to work into their sixties.

Nick Cohen: Bound & Gagged

From the Literary Review

To maintain the illusion that they are part of some kind of radical underground, intellectuals must practise a deceit. They can never admit to their audience that fear of violent reprisals, ostracism or crippling financial penalties keeps them away from subjects that ought to concern them - and their fellow citizens.

[ ... ]

In Britain's case, any writer who had tried to research a book on the rapacious and authoritarian managers at the Royal Bank of Scotland or HBOS, for instance, or on the insanely reckless derivative swap and insurance markets in the London-based subsidiaries of Wall Street banks, would have run into the libel law. It is some barrier to overcome. The cost of a libel action in England and Wales is 140 times the European average. Contrary to common law and natural justice, the burden of proof is on the defendant. Even the few remaining wealthy newspapers, which have business models that have not yet been destroyed by the Internet, find it hard to afford a court case. For the publisher of a serious book, which would do well if it sold 50,000 copies, the idea of risking £1 million or more in a legal fight to defend it is close to unthinkable.

More...

CIA website hacked, taken offline by ‘Anonymous’

Hackers from the notorious group “Anonymous Operations” claim to have taken down the United States Central Intelligence Agency’s website shortly after 3:00 p.m. EST on Friday. “CIA TANGO DOWN: cia.gov,” a member of Anonymous posted to one of the group’s Twitter accounts.

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Everyone Is an Immigrant

Eliza Griswold writes in Poetry magazine:

The island of Lampedusa is overrun with law enforcement types and immigration agents. Along with relief workers and journalists, leery policemen fill the tourist hotels, restaurants, and beaches. The town is a town of well-muscled men, impeccably tanned. They aren’t my type, frankly. Clad in their tiny white spandex banana hangers, some even brought their girlfriends along on this phony business trip. Their job is supposed to be to police the thirty-seven thousand African refugees who’ve arrived on this island of five thousand. Later, that number will spike to fifty thousand. This massive diaspora is just one side effect of the Arab Spring; it’s also a business. To keep this refugee crisis under control—and to monitor who heads north—Italy collects money from the rest of the European Union. It’s a spectacular show when the open, wooden boats come in, people huddled against the gunwales. In this human drama, the police are the supporting actors. So are the journalists like me, struggling against the cordon to talk to arrivals. So are the paramedics. We are all waiting for refugees.

For thousands of years, Lampedusa has served as a garrison for empires—including, for a time during the 1980s, America’s. On this island, the Romans made garum, a rancid fish sauce. Third-century Christians left a cemetery here. Thanks to other old bones, it’s possible to trace the island’s passage between Christian and Muslim hands until the 1840s, when Tomasi di Lampedusa—ancestor to Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, who wrote The Leopard—sold the island to the Kingdom of Naples.

The island is politically Europe, but geographically Africa. This is the problem.

More...

What Remains: Conversations With America's Funeral Directors By Max Rivlin-Nadler

From The Awl

The message attached to all these services seems to be: cremation is green, and if you choose something else, you're a polluter, even in death. Funeral homes employ a host of chemicals, chief among them formaldehyde, to embalm a body. Some funeral homes either don’t have a correct method of disposal, or, if they are in a rural area without a sewage system, dispose of the carcinogenic—formaldehyde being intended for use on things that are already dead—right down the drain. In 2007, an EPA report found dangerously high levels of formaldehyde and phenol in drinking water in locations near funeral homes throughout New York state. The burial of a corpse in a metal coffin, with the embalmed body inside, deposits other chemicals in groundwater. The coffin's metals leach into the ground, followed eventually by the chemicals used to preserve the corpses. Every graveyard may be lush and green, but when you look at its chemical makeup it starts to look like a mini-Brownfield. (Distressingly, higher rates of cancer have been found among embalmers who have to breathe in this stuff every day.)

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John Horgan on erasing war from the human condition

From the interview by David Green in Ha'aretz:

I don’t think it’s religious belief per se that leads to intolerance and violence. It think it is certitude and ideological rigidity. If you look at the 20th century, by far the most destructive ideas were fascism and communism. These were secular, not religious, ideologies. But what they share with fundamentalist religion is believers’ fierce conviction that this is the right way to view reality.

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DIY science: should you try this at home?

Jon Ronson writes for the Guardian:

I wanted to meet Richard because I keep seeing reports of home science experimenters clashing with the authorities. There's been a spate of them this past year or two.

I glance into Richard's kitchen and recognise his cooker from the news. It was horrendously, alarmingly blackened then, but it's clean now.

"So, you aren't currently doing any experiments?" I ask him.

"I'm banned," he says.

"By whom?" I ask.

"My landlord," he says. "And the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority."

Then we sit on the sofa and he tells me his story.

When Richard was a teenager, everything, he says, was fine. "I had friends. We'd go partying. I have Asperger's, so I was a bit of a nerd, a geek. My interests were chemical experiments. I'd make solutions that changed colour. When I was 13, I made some explosives in the garden, using gunpowder, stuff I got from a paint store and from my father's pharmacy. He had sulphuric acid, nitric acid. Visiting my father in his pharmacy was very exciting."

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'How the communion wafer arrived in the capitalist marketplace'

From Buying the Body of Christ by Rowan Moore Gerety

...Canon Miller, who oversees the liturgy at St. John the Divine, also voiced preferences that straddle the line between commerce and theology:

From a practical as well as a theological standpoint—since we do believe in the real presence of Christ in what we distribute and what we receive…I always marvel at churches where people use crumbly bread and leave the altar and there’s nothing but crumbs…I think it’s sloppy. I think wafers are cleaner and more respectful.

Here, then, is a theological rationale for Cavanagh’s patented sealed-edge wafers over the more homemade wafers of religious communities. And the evolution continues: another producer, Communion Source, has patented and trademarked their combination Communion wafer and wine (grape juice) product with the name “Chasid Cup.” The online promotions for the Chasid Cup show the hermetically sealed container with a shot of grape juice and an individually wrapped Communion wafer against a purple background with slick font and a tantalizing picture of grapes reminiscent of juice advertisements...

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One World March 6 -15 2012 Int'l Human Rights Documentary Film Festival

http://www.oneworld.cz/2012/

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