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Military Industrial Complex - The Hunger Games Economy

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The Hunger Games Economy
Jeff Faux: Dreams of Wall St. and Military Industrial Complex are not compatible with dreams of American middle class
io
Jeff Faux is the Founder and now Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, DC. He is an activist, economist and writer, He has written extensively on issues from globalization to neighborhood development. His latest book is “The Servant Economy; Where America¹s Elite is Sending the Middle Class.”
Transcript
PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore.
There's been some debate amongst the American governing elite about America's place in the world and its declining power. Barack Obama went to Australia not long ago and declared that America will continue to be an Asia-Pacific power. And the issue of the Brzezinskian grand chessboard is still very much on their mind. But what does this maintaining America's position in the world mean for ordinary Americans? Who's going to pay for all this? When it comes to competitiveness, it really means wages, although that word doesn't get talked about very much, not in the mainstream press or in the halls of Congress.
Well, it does get talked about in a piece written by Jeff Faux, and he's now joining us. Jeff is a founder and distinguished fellow of the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. He's an activist, economist, and writer. He's written extensively on issues from globalization to neighborhood development, and his latest book is The Servant Economy: Where America's Elite is Sending the Middle Class. Thanks very much for joining us, Jeff.
JEFF FAUX, AUTHOR: Oh, it's great to be here, Paul. Thank you.
JAY: So, I mean, clearly we are dealing with a different world. And it's not just that it's militarily different, in the sense that China's now somewhat of a power, so is Russia and—back somewhat of a power—I mean, nothing on the scale of the United States, but the geopolitics and chessboard has changed somewhat. But where it's changed a lot more is with this massive industrial capacity in areas of the world where 20, 30 years ago there was nothing like it—advanced technology, high-quality production, very low wages. And America wants to maintain its competitiveness in all of this. So talk a bit about that and what that might mean for ordinary Americans, and maybe what the word competitiveness means.
FAUX: Well, I think—start from what I think is the basic assumption, and that is the United States can no longer satisfy the three great dreams that have driven American politics over the last decades. The first dream is the dream of Wall Street and business for unregulated access to speculative profits. The second dream is the dream of the military and foreign-policy elite and the military-industrial complex for global hegemony. The third dream is the dream of ordinary Americans for a rising living standard.
Now, we can have one out of three, certainly. Two out of three, maybe. Three out of three? No way. So in effect the decision is being made right now—or has been made—by this country's elite.
There's a lot of talk in Washington, as you know, about the grand bargain between Republicans and Democrats over budgets and taxes. But the real deal has already been cut. The average American income in real wages is going to decline over the next 10 years, 15 years, as far into the future as we can see. Now, this has been coming for a long time. It's not just about the recession and it's not temporary. As you probably know, for the last 30 years we've had stagnant wages in America. After wages rise steadily since World War II, they flattened out after 1979 and essentially have been flat.
So the question is: if wages were flat, how come everything looked so good? That is, people went to shopping centers and bought cars and houses during those 30 years that ended in 2008. And the reason is two. One, family incomes kept up because we sent more members of the family to work, usually the wife. Now there are more women than men in the labor force so that that strategy for most people is exhausted. The second is debt. People weren't getting raises, but they were getting access to cheaper and accessible credit. That has evaporated with the collapse of the financial sector.
JAY: Jeff, before you continue, let me ask: so if this process more or less began in the '70s, why? What happened? Why? If you could—you know, to some extent one could say that third dream of ordinary Americans, you know, to own a house, send the kids to college, not to be terrified of losing their job, to some extent that's—dream was still possible, at least in the early '60s.
FAUX: Oh, yeah. And the reason—.
JAY: So what happens?
FAUX: Yeah. There are three things that happened since the end of the '70s. The data starts from 1979; the kink in the curve starts from 1979. One was globalization, and by that I mean, essentially, exposing American workers to a very brutal and competitive global labor market before they were prepared.
Second, the weakening of the bargaining position of the average American worker. A lot of that had to do with the decline of unions. But it affected union members and nonunion members. The second thing that happened was the weakening of the bargaining position of the average American worker. This was not just about weaker unions, but weaker unions played a key role, not just for union members, but for people who aren't union members. Because unions were strong—or certainly stronger than they are now—the threat of unionization kept the bosses and kept the employers from cutting wages too much, cutting pensions too much, even though they would have liked to. So weaker unions, weaker bargaining positions [crosstalk]
JAY: And is weaker unions and bargaining positions linked to number one, which is globalization and the threat of moving offshore?
FAUX: That's right, certainly linked to number one. And number three, later, was the shredding of the safety net, the real value of the minimum wage, and the kinds of New Deal protections for labor that have been frayed away over the last 10 or 15 years.
But on the first, on globalization, there's something very important here to remember, and that is it not only affected working people, but it changed the culture of the American elite. You know, if you go back to the early part of the 20th century, labor and capital were in fierce struggles. But both labor and capital knew that they needed each other and were stuck in the same country. So, you know, when Henry Ford raised the wages of his Ford employees to $5 a day, the Wall Street guys said, Henry, what are you doing here? I mean, you can't pay—you're spoiling these people, you're paying them too much. And Henry Ford, who was a SOB union buster, said, look, I've got to pay them enough to come in to make the cars, but I also need to pay them enough to buy the cars. So it was an economy in which, while there were labor and capital disputes, we were all in it together.
What happened—what's happened since the 1980s is that globalization, the deregulation of trade and investment, has allowed the American commercial and economic elite to roam the world in search of lower wages, in search of government subsidies by Third World countries, etc.
JAY: Yeah, so you now have a situation where they saved GM and Chrysler, but workers'—starting worker wages go from, what, $26 to $14 an hour, and you probably couldn't buy a new car at $14 an hour.
FAUX: Exactly. And unlike Henry Ford, the people who run the Ford Motor Company today, you know, have other people they can use to sell their cars to. And so high wages, which we sort of learned after the 1930s were good for the economy because it created consumer demand and consumers bought the goods that were being produced, high wages in America are no longer what they were. They're now a threat to multinational corporations who still produce and sell things. And that's been a critical change.
JAY: They also seem to no longer think they need an educated workforce. I used to—in the '50s and '60s, all this talk about, you know, America will compete because it's going to be the most educated working class and this and that, they don't seem to care anymore. The public school system can go to hell and they don't seem to care.
FAUX: They don't care. But that's sort of the last excuse of the political governing class. I mean, whether it's, you know, Barack Obama, George Bush, Bill Clinton, they're all the so-called education presidents, and their answer to this decline in living standards and wages is not to worry, just go get an education. Barack Obama was in Florida about a year ago touring the country, saying the way we're going to compete in the world is to out-educate everyone.
Well, first what's obvious: that we're shrinking the schools, we're laying off teachers, kids can't go to college because it costs too much. But second, which is really important, we are not creating jobs for educated young people. You go into Apple, in the Apple Store, there is the future. And it's not the technology. It's in all those smart college-educated kids working as retail clerks for $10, $12 an hour. The Bureau of Labour Statistics—government agency—projects that between 2010-2020, the largest, fastest-growing occupations in this country, of the ten largest and fastest-growing, only one requires a college education.
JAY: Well, Jeff, we're going to pick this up in part two, and what I'll be asking in part two is it seems to me while this may make sense for Apple and it may make sense for a lot of individual companies to drive wages down and have more and more service jobs, as an economy somebody's got to be making money to buy all this stuff, and that seems to be where the rub is. So join us for part two of our series of interviews with Jeff Faux on The Real News Network.

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Iran

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داعش و دام اسلامی کردن خاورمیانه

 داعش و دام اسلامی کردن خاورمیانه
ژرفشی پیرامون ژاژخایی بارک الحسین آل اوباما در مبارزه علیه ددمنشان داعش.
نویسنده وگوینده: نیک پاکپور
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بنیاد بریکس و بیم غرب
گوینده: نیک پاکپور
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دیو داعش و نقش غرب

گوینده: نیک پاکپور

گوینده آنچه را که مربوط به ریشه سعودی،سلفی،سیاه ایی، زهش یا زایش، پیدایش یا پالایش تاول یا تکاثر،ترسناک،تروریسم تکفیری میشود را در یک ویدئویی،بتاریخ 24 فوریه 2014 میلادی،با نوضیح و نفسیر، و بر پایه پویش پروسه تیک پژوهشی،تکوینی،تاریخی،در جهت آژیرنده و آگاه کننده، مورد ارزیابی و آنالیز منطقی قرار داده ام

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United state

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Almost Impossible to Indict a Cop Image

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Almost Impossible to Indict a Cop

Chase Madar tells Paul Jay that it's not just an institutional problem, the law itself protects police abuse

Bio
Chase Madar is an attorney and author in New York. He writes for The Nation, Le Monde diplomatique, the London Review of Books, The American Conservative, Al Jazeera and Jacobin. He is the author of The Passion of Chelsea Manning: The Story of the Wikileaks Whistleblower, published by Verso.
Transcript
Almost Impossible to Indict a CopPAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore.
As we've been saying on The Real News Network in relation to Ferguson and in general, the role of police is rather obvious: police are there to enforce the law. Well, what are those laws? Well, essentially those laws protect people that own stuff, and the more you own, the more protection to get. And if you don't happen to own any stuff and you're poor and you're desperate, you're likely to have to try to get stuff to live, and sometimes that means breaking those laws. So we ask police to enforce that, and that often means we want the police to be a hammer, because if you're living in desperate conditions and you're poor, you often act out desperately.
And as a society, we've told cops, you can wear a gun. In fact, we've said the state, through the police, have a monopoly on violence--legal violence, that is. And there's supposed to be some check on that. And the check is: cops have to be reasonable in the use of force. And if they're unreasonable and they use excessive force, they should be charged, we say, criminally. It's not enough just to have some internal disciplinary process.
But how often do cops get charged criminally for police brutality, and even more importantly, when police kill people? Well, how often across the country does that actually happen? How easy is it, or how difficult, to indict a cop?
Now joining us from New York is Chase Mader. Chase is an attorney, an author in New York. He writes for The Nation, Le Monde diplomatique, The London Review of Books, The American Conservative, Al Jazeera. Most recently he wrote the article in The Nation "Why It's Impossible to Indict a Cop".
Thanks very much for joining us, Jason.
CHASE MADAR, ATTORNEY AND AUTHOR: Happy to be here.
JAY: So give us some of the numbers. First of all, how many police killings are there? Let's put the Ferguson thing in context. How many times a year, normally, do cops kill somebody?
MADAR: Well, last year, according to FBI statistics, there were 461 justifiable homicides committed by police around the country. That's probably a lowball figure and undercount, because our federal government does not think this is significant enough a problem, an issue, that they should keep a real detailed tally of this. And so this was the highest tally of police shootings, fatal shootings of people for very long, for about 10, 20 years. And this is also coming at a time when the murder rate in general, the homicide rate, has been steadily sinking since the early '90s.
JAY: So how many of these 400-some-odd cops that killed people justifiably? That means none of them were charged. How many cops were charged?
MADAR: Well, we don't even have a good statistic on that. I mean, probably none. Police get charged very, very infrequently criminally for any kind of infraction. And the more serious the infraction, like homicide, the even less likely they are to get charged, even to get indicted first, and certainly to be convicted later.
JAY: So why is it so difficult to indict police? It's hard to imagine that there isn't some evidence in some of these cases, at least, that at least should go to a trial if not a conviction.
MADAR: Yeah, absolutely. Well, the reason is quite simply both the institutions and even the laws themselves heavily favor the police whenever a police commits an act of violence against any citizen, any civilian. Start with the simple fact that it is prosecutors who of course do the prosecuting, and prosecutors depend on a close relationship with the police. They see themselves as part of the same team as the police. And they are reluctant to rock that boat, to poison their relationships with the police, which is what will surely happen if they come down hard on an individual police officer.
JAY: Yeah. Chase, I had a friend who was a prosecutor in Chicago, and they used to--whenever they won a case, convicted someone, they would actually cut the person's tie and pin it on the wall behind the desk, and they would compare how many ties they had up. It was all a conviction numbers game, which implies you have to collaborate with the cops to get your conviction. It's not that you're necessarily after the truth of the situation.
MADAR: That's right. And we have a huge exception in that numbers game. You want as few cops convicted, or even prosecuted or charged, when you're prosecutor.
And you see this--I mean, it's almost obscenely personified in the St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch, whose father was a police officer, who in the past has really acted more like a defense attorney for police officers rather than a prosecutor. And what he did by forcing a grand jury to study all of the evidence and hear witness statement after witness statement, including very long testimony from the police officer, a potential defendant, Darren Wilson, is virtually unprecedented. And all of this to a large degree was so that the DA could insulate himself from the politics of this case, so he wouldn't have to be the unpopular guy in the DA's office in St. Louis County who came down as a cop. This allowed him to just say, okay, well, it was the grand jury that did it, not me.
JAY: And even The New York Times--and to some extent The Washington Post--have commented on the extent to which the process was manipulated. We haven't had time to read the whole transcripts, but they've got lots of money. They can get people to do it. And they've written that the interrogation of the cop in front of the grand jury was extremely sympathetic, without any challenge of significance, whereas anyone who was a witness that disagreed with the cop's narrative was grilled and discredited by the state's attorney, by the prosecutor. And it should actually be the other way around. He's supposed to be trying to get a conviction. That's why he calls these. If he didn't think there was grounds to convict at all, he shouldn't even have called the grand jury.
MADAR: Yeah, absolutely. And, sadly, this is pretty much what one would predict if you know about how prosecutors work, if you know how our criminal justice system works.
And even the rare event had this gone to trial, had there been criminal charges filed against Darren Wilson, I think sad truth is he probably would have gotten off, even though his story, his own testimony is very hard to believe--I'm not saying 100 percent that it's wrong, but it's really hard to believe his version that Mike Brown came at him, quote, like a demon, like some kind of pro-wrestler. It just--a real prosecutor should have had a chance to pick at that, to challenge it, to question it.
JAY: Yeah. Even the incident at the car, this was a big piece of it, because I think it's because they say that Brown attacked the cop in the car that laid the grounds for him thinking that he would be attacked again on the street, but that you could argue the evidence a completely opposite way, that Brown could have been leaning in the window, and he could of been grabbed and pulled into the car. Of course, we don't know because there's no trial and there's no chance to impeach any of these witnesses.
MADAR: Yeah, absolutely, and that's exactly why there should have been a trial in this casee, even though I think the laws themselves that we have in our country are very much designed to protect police, to shield them from liability. We all like to think that the law is fair, that the law might even be on our side. But when it comes to a police officer versus civilians, the law bends over backwards to grant police an incredible amount of leeway, flexibility, and discretion as to when they use force, even deadly force.
So I just want people to know that this isn't just a matter of institutions and institutional relationships, though it is that. It is also baked into the laws themselves, and not just in Missouri, but really nationwide. Supreme Court jurisprudence on this issue is really lousy from the point of view of people who aren't cops, from the point of view of citizens, civilians.
JAY: Well, it goes back, I think, [to] what I was saying in the beginning, that the real fact of this is or the essence of this is is people that own stuff, the elites in the country, they far more want the cops to be feeling free to wield force than they're concerned about the abuse of that force, so that they need to protect the cops unless it's completely egregious. There's just such obvious number of witnesses that it's impossible. Okay, then maybe even the Department of Justice will step in and say, okay, you, this police force, you're risking another Rodney King across the country, and you're going to have to get reform, because we don't want you triggering some mass rebellion. So, yeah, we'll pull you back from your worst excesses. But in day-to-day policing, Congress, the president, the state in general, they want the police to be a--feel free and not hesitate.
MADAR: Yeah. It's disturbing how--well, how uncontroversial this decision is and this whole problem is in a lot of parts of the United States.
I mean, let's talk about the federal government, too, a little bit. There was a lot of hope that the Department of Justice in Washington might swoop in and file civil rights violation charges against Darren Wilson. But they've backed off from that just because, again, the laws are heavily in favor of the police officer, and the DOJ really only likes to take cases that they think they're going to win. They didn't think they were going to win this one, a criminal conviction, so they've backed off.
What I'm a little more optimistic about is when the Department of Justice sweeps in and goes into an entire Police Department--say, Albuquerque, which has had a rash of fatal police shootings, often of unarmed civilians, over the past few years, and tries to do root-and-branch reform, restructure it, force new training policies, new regulations about when officers should be touching their weapons, much less taking the safety off and using them. These don't involve any punishment for individual officers, even ones who have behaved really badly.
JAY: Even in this case, why didn't this guy have a taser? He says it was big and complicated or too difficult, so he didn't carry one. I mean, how can that not be in itself actually a violation of law, not just some code of practice? I mean, he could have tasered Brown in the street. He didn't have to shoot him, even assuming Brown even was threatening, 'cause that's clearly in dispute.
MADAR: Yeah, even assuming that. I mean, it's no excuse to say that it's big and complicated. If a taser is too complicated for you, then obviously you should not be a patrol officer. I mean, it's really that simple.
JAY: There's simply no consequence. We have the same thing in Baltimore. We just had a town hall here a few days ago at The Real News about should the community control the police. And the idea of a community police review board, that it only makes sense, first of all, if you have the right to hire and fire the police chief and hire and fire policemen, so at least there's some real-world consequences even if the state's attorney almost never lays a charge--they occasionally do, but it's very, very rare. But even that doesn't work unless you have an aroused population that demands that the review committee or the police services board actually does his job.
MADAR: Yeah. I mean, these civilian review boards, they sound like a great idea, and I would like to see one that actually works someday, that does keep close control, real control, and real authority over the police. But as you said, that's only going to work if there is a certain degree of mobilization and people taking responsibility and taking charge over their Police Departments.
And I'm encouraged by the demonstrations that we've seen all over the United States in the past couple of days. I hope that continues. But it should not really be a radical idea that police exist to serve the community rather than the other way around. I mean, these are public servants. Their job is to work for us. They should be under firm civilian control, without a doubt.
JAY: Well, the thing is: you have to define us. They do work for the community. They work for the community of people that own stuff.
MADAR: Yeah. I mean, I want to question that a little bit. To a degree, that's certainly right. I don't see how the capitalist rate, the corporate rate of profit is really well served by riots in Ferguson, by police shootings that are going up even as violent crime goes down. And in this sense I'm a little more optimistic, because even if our whole economic system is with us to stay for the time being, for the seeable future, I do think that real changes in policing and in police departments can at least bring down the level of gratuitous police violence and police brutality.
JAY: Yeah, I agree with you. I think some of the worst excesses could be mitigated under today's conditions. But I'm not suggesting that riots are good for the rate of corporate profit. What's good for the rate of corporate profit is high unemployment, which keeps wages down, and people willing to work for minimum wage and sometimes below minimum wage if they're undocumented. Having big subsections of impoverished people willing to work for almost anything, that is good for certain kinds of corporate profits. I mean, frankly, in the long run, if people are really rational, that's not even good for corporate profits. Everyone--there's actually--the whole economy would do better if people were paid better. But still that is the mentality. So, yeah, it's keeping the lid on the poor is their role in these types of areas. I mean, you don't see Baltimore police beating the hell out of people in--. And, like, we have an area in Baltimore called Roland Park, which is fairly wealthy, white, and it wasn't that long ago black cops weren't allowed to arrest people in Roland Park. They actually had to call a white cop to come and do the arrest.
MADAR: Well, but let me tell you a little bit what I think might work in the short- to medium-term to get the police back under control. (When I say back, that assumes they were under control earlier, which is really debatable.)
JAY: Yeah, that's a stretch.
MADAR: One thing that's come to light is the kind of petty constant over-policing for fines, minor infractions, traffic violations, and other things that get punished with a constant stream of fines. And this is a huge way that the city of Ferguson and many other municipalities in St. Louis County get revenue. It's often the second-largest revenue stream.
JAY: And wasn't there something like 20 percent of the municipal revenue in Ferguson?
MADAR: Twenty percent in Ferguson, and even higher in some of the neighboring towns that are similar, that we need to look at this and think, is this really the best way? Because it does seem to a lot of people in Ferguson and elsewhere that the police are treating them as exploitable cash cows that are just there to be milked for their money. And so it's a constant feeling that many people have in Ferguson and many other places in the United States of just being preyed on.
JAY: Add to that the incarceration industry.
MADAR: Yeah, sure. And the whole incarceration business of mass incarceration, this is a factor of the over-policing that I just talked about. We do have higher violent crime than in many comparable countries, but our sentences for people who are convicted are much, much, much higher. A lot of this--but really just about 20 to 25 percent of this is nonviolent drug offenses from our war on drugs that is been a clear failure. But it's also how we come down so hard on even young people, charging them as adults. And when we charge adults, it's--the sentence is often much, much higher than in other nations.
JAY: Alright. Thanks very much for joining us, Jason.
MADAR: Thank you.
JAY: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.
End

We Dehumanize Those We Exploit - Eddie Conway on Reality Asserts Itself (9/10) Image

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We Dehumanize Those We Exploit - Eddie Conway on Reality Asserts Itself (9/10)

Mr. Conway says police are asked by society to control the poor as if they are fighting a war, so anything goeswatch full episode 

Bio
Marshall "Eddie" Conway was a Leader of the Baltimore chapter of the Black Panther Party. Conway was released from prison on March 4, 2014 after having served 43 years and 11 months. He is currently a producer at the Real News Network.
Transcript
We Dehumanize Those We Want to Exploit - Eddie Conway on Reality Asserts Itself (9/10)PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay. And welcome to Reality Asserts Itself.
It's just a day after the Ferguson grand jury declined to indict the officer that shot Michael Brown. The jury process itself, as many people have commented on, was extremely secretive--it was a choice of the prosecutor to do this. But the decision-making of the grand jury is not really known. We don't know the process they went through.
We do know from the press conference that every possible stereotype of a black man was portrayed in the delivery of the prosecutor. We're told Michael Brown moved towards the officer. We're not given any detail--in that press conference, at least--what that movement towards the officer was. It just evokes a black man moving towards you is threatening. If there'd been a trial, even a legitimate preliminary hearing, where this information could have come out, people at least could have had some transparency. Right now it just plays on rather evocative and essentially racist imagery.
This has nothing to do with the actual innocence or guilt of this officer. I don't know. I haven't seen all the evidence. I don't know all the process and what happened that day. And isn't that the point? We don't really know. And an extraordinary use of the grand jury covered all of this up.
So why? Well, we're not going to get into the detail of all this. What we really going to do is pick up on our Reality Asserts Itself series with Eddie Conway and try to talk about some of the underlying issues here.
So joining us now in the studio is Eddie Conway. He is a former Black Panther. He is the author of Marshall Law: The Life & Times of a Baltimore Black Panther. He's now a producer at The Real News Network.
Thanks for joining us.
EDDIE CONWAY, FMR. BLACK PANTHER PARTY MEMBER, BALTIMORE CHAPTER: Okay. Thanks for having me.
JAY: I mean, one of the main themes in your book was your decision early on to defend your humanity, that the prison system, part of what it does is try to grind down your humanity, kind of turn you into an animal that will then be herded by guards. But that's true outside of prison, too, is it not, this link of racist ideology and dehumanization, and we as a society or those who benefit from it, we dehumanize those who we want to super exploit.
CONWAY: Yes. And just to step back a minute, to look at the prison experience, what we found was that in order for the guards to have authority, they have to continue to make efforts to dehumanize every person they see in the population. And toward that end, in the prison system they took away all of our personal clothes and they put us in uniform. They took away the ability for us to put on [oils (?)] to smell nice, to be able to walk around with an individual identity. And in the mess hall in particular is one of the places where they constantly reinforce the authority of the correctional officers.
Say a guy's 18 years old. He just finished high school. He gets hired by the state. It's a good job. It's job security. And he comes into the prison system, and the prison system has thousands of guys in there, some 70, some 60, some 50, but a lot of seasoned kind of people, and then he's got to have the authority to say, go over there, do this, do that. And the way they do it is they reinforce that authority by having him challenge your humanity.
And so that same process takes place out in the community and is--it's just strange. Last night, I rode past several young men setting on the side of the street with their handcuffs, with their hands cuffed behind her back, and a police standing over them and another police talking. And it is stuff like that that constantly reinforce the authority. And it also dehumanizes the population, because at some point you become so dehumanized, you find ways in which to make the authorities happy, like hands up, say, or I'm slowly reaching for my wallet, and other kind of indications that makes you assert yourself to help them abuse you.
JAY: This goes right back to slavery, the elimination of individual identity. If I understand it correctly, it was illegal to read, to learn how to read; it was illegal to teach a slave to read. The idea of having a conscious--being a fully conscious human, it seems to me the dehumanization is on two sides. One, you need society to dehumanize people that you want to super exploit, whether it's slavery or something akin to slavery--certainly mass incarceration is pretty close to straightforward slavery--and then low-wage, massive low-wage section of the population, mostly black and people of color, another form of super-exploitation.
But also, in terms of the exploiter, in terms of their own head [incompr.] somehow you can rationalize this, because these are really subhuman people. So I can do this and still feel good about who I am, and I'm still going to believe in God and go to Heaven. The underpinnings of it is the society still wants a super-exploited section of the population.
CONWAY: Yes. Obviously, the people that are benefiting from that kind of arrangement, whether you're talking about slavery or the multinational corporations today, their bottom line is profit and their secondary concern is security--they want to be secure in their particular domains, they want to have their stuff secured, so that the people that are at the bottom of the rim that's unemployed or underemployed or that's hungry, that live in dilapidated housing, those people always have a certain amount of frustration in them anyway. They grew up in an environment, and they grow up in an environment where they see people fighting over crumbs. And all too often, they look toward where there is money, where there's power, and they might strike out. And even when they don't strike out at the money or the power, they might strike out at other ethnic ethnic groups because of the association of that--the /dəˈsɪməlɪzm/ they recognize, right?
It's then one of the tasks of the guardians of society to find out who in that particular community might represent a threat, who might organize, who might be emboldened and stand up or speak out against somebody. So there's a constant level of across-the-board harassment to see who will respond. And then, once that person respond, that person has a resisting arrest or a failure to obey an order, that person goes into the prison system, that person is labeled. Then, from then on in, that person loses his right to vote. But also that person is identified the next time there's an encounter. But it's those encounters that are primarily for the community to see, okay, see what happens to the outspoken person? See what happens if you stand up? Now look at what happened to this person, and you shouldn't stand up.
JAY: It seems to me it's like what you're saying in the prison. Like, the guard needs to establish the authority. Well, the authority's based on fear. You need to fear. And part of that dehumanization is to abject fear of the authority figure. Well, it seems to me that's what the cops are doing on the beat. Like, they're harassing, they're pushing, they're prodding, it's stop-and-frisk, it's beatings, because you need to accept our authority even if we're not going to charge you, if we're not going to arrest you. You just have to be afraid of us, because society wants, through the police--and I say the elites who run it, but not only; there's a lot of people who kind of want this outside of just the elites--they want people to internalize this fear so they don't act out. And then, if you want your police force to be the hammer, you've got to back them up, which means you go to extraordinary means, like this grand jury, because you don't want the cops second-guessing the use of force. You want them to be the hammer and not to be afraid of being the hammer, and you go to extraordinary means to protect them when they are the hammer.
CONWAY: Yes. One of the things that you see that constantly happens in the community is that the level of harassment is on a very petty level. A lot of people think, because of the violence in the community, that most people are locked up associated with violence. I think nationally that's, like, only 10 percent of people that get arrested. The other 90 percent are actually locked up for either small amounts of marijuana or either resisting arrest or either loitering in the area. And that's--it is nonviolent offenses that make up maybe 90 percent of the prison populations in America. And that's directly related to harassment. And take into consideration that 13 percent of the population is black, maybe 25 percent of the population is people of color, but over to 75 percent of the people in the prison system are people of color. So it is this constant petty harassment.
But it's also something else. It dehumanizes or desensitizes the police that's reinforcing that, because they tend to look at the situation as if they're in enemy territory. And so anything goes in enemy territory. We've seen that in Vietnam. You see that in all similar war type situations. They look at the poor communities, both white and black, as a hostile war zone, and they act accordingly, and they're constantly trying to weed out who might be a potential problem later on, because their mandate is to protect the property and the wealth of the elite.
JAY: Yeah. I think the economic piece is the piece that never gets talked about in mainstream media. You can hear talk about racism and racist ideology and white supremacy, but it's--and at least in mainstream media--very rarely linked to this system wants a massive pool of unemployed people because they put pressure on wages. But within the pool of unemployed people, you have a segment that are super-exploited, either unemployed or willing to take jobs at the lowest end of the pay scale. And those are mostly people of color, whether they're African-American or Latino. It's an enormous--I hate to put it this way, but it's like a competitive advantage for the United States. And they use this. And this racism, the police oppression, you know, when people are living in poverty, they act out, as you said. So either you have to transform those conditions or you put the hammer to put the lid on it. And the racist ideology supports the strategy to put a lid on it.
CONWAY: Yes. And one of the things is the American population is only 5 percent of the world's population, but you have 25 percent of the people held in prisons and in captivity in the world here in America. And so it's always the arrangement that they have in terms of economics. Not only is the profit motive the bottom line, but the fact is that they need to keep as many unemployed people in a different environment.
One of the things that happened as they deindustrialized was they then--there was an expansion and a boom in the prison-industrial complex. Ten years before that happened, communities were like, not in my neighborhood, don't put a prison here, don't to this, don't do that. But then the factories left, and all of a sudden the communities were saying, well, we'll give you a tax incentive, we'll do this, we'll make sure that there's 80 percent of capacity in the prisons, etc.
And so all of that kind of, like, works together to continue the elites' profit-making, because now what they do is--or what they have done is they have used certain segments of the population to incarcerate, prison, and hold people in captivity, and they use other parts of the population to fill up those prisons and to fill up those cells at the same time they continue to make enormous profits.
But they've created something else: divide and conquer. You know, white people can't work with black people or the urban youth is in hostile territory when he's in Hagerstown. So then he ends up with a certain mindset. The guards in Hagerstown or Cumberland or other rural areas has a certain mindset because they're constantly in clashes with the population that's black. And so it distracts everybody from what's really going on. Both groups of people are being exploited and are being super-exploited. But we can't organize and we can't get together and look at the common cause of our problem, because we're right there in each other's face.
JAY: Which is why the defense of the police by the state apparatus, by the whole media complex, by the elites, they have to defend the police and not allow, for example, civilian review of the police that would have real authority to hire and fire the chief, hire and fire cops, simply make force used beyond reasonable force illegal and charge cops and send them to jail. If you start doing that, you start undermining this coercive authority you have that enforces these social conditions. And racism kind of underlies it all, oh, because the black man's a threat, so we're all going to turn the other way, when we know this mass incarceration and such is taking place.
CONWAY: Yeah. And another thing that should be pointed out is that sometimes you have black officers, sometimes you have Latino officers that are just as aggressive and just as committed to suppressing people in the poor communities as the white officers are. And it's a mindset that's created by what I would call white supremacy. And it's also a mindset that's--it's covered by institutional racism. Even black guards look into the community or black officers look into the community and see the community as a threat, because in most cases they have arrived, they have moved out in suburbia, and they see the community decay.
JAY: But even if there even is some truth to it in the sense that of course in impoverished areas there's higher crime than in areas where people are not impoverished--. But the cops are certainly not encouraged to ask why, and they take it as a given. And I guess it's--you know, cops need to start thinking about what the heck they're doing here and the why of why they're facing this kind of violence in the streets, 'cause for sure they are facing--you know, going to port areas of Baltimore, anywhere in the world, you're going to find higher levels of violence than in areas that aren't poor.
CONWAY: You know what the problem is? Socialization. I mean, until you can figure a way to control the education in the community--I mean, obviously the problem's economic, but early on, young people are socialized to see society in a certain light. In my generation, we were socialized to see the military as a very good thing and a possibility of advancing for us as black people and poor people, right? So we were constantly given little military toys, soldiers. The cartoons were, like, military--G.I. Joe, etc. That's reinforced. And then it's reinforced in the school by what you don't learn about yourself or what you don't learn about America. And so you get the impression that you're doing a good deed in the name of something that's really good. And so then you have that mentality there. And so it's impossible for you to look into the community and see 15 or 20 people hovering around the neighborhood and not think that they're [dehumans (?)] or they're diminished in some capacity or they're not using all of their God-given resources to change their conditions.
JAY: Essentially, it's their fault they're living in these conditions. And so--
CONWAY: Blaming the victim.
JAY: --so now that it's their fault, we can use the force to control them, because if they did better, they'd be out of it. It's got nothing to do [with] the way society's organized.
Join us for the next segment of our series of interviews on Reality Asserts Itself with Eddie Conway. As I mentioned early on, Eddie is now a producer at The Real News Network. And in the next segment of the series, I'm going to ask him why is he at The Real News Network. So please join us for that.
End

RAW: Ferguson protesters turn over police car Image

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RAW: Ferguson protesters turn over police car

Protesters smashed and then set a Ferguson Police Department vehicle on fire Tuesday evening in Ferguson after demonstrators, upset about a grand jury's decision not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown, clashed with police in anti-riot armour and Missouri National Guard troops for a second night. LIVE UPDATES http://on.rt.com/80mggqCOURTESY: RT's RUPTLY video agency, NO RE-UPLOAD, NO REUSE - FOR LICENSING, PLEASE, CONTACT http://ruptly.tvRT LIVE http://rt.com/on-airSubscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaTodayLike us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnewsFollow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_comFollow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rtFollow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RTListen to us on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rttvRT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

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  • U.S. seeks to build lean Iraqi force to fight the Islamic State
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  • David Cameron to tell EU: cut all tax credits to migrants
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It is argued continental welfare systems, unlike the UK are still dependent on the contributory principle.
  • Hagel’s Resignation is Obama’s Defeat
    Hagel’s Resignation is Obama’s Defeat By Nikolai BOBKIN | 28.11.2014 | 00:00 "Strategic Culture Foundation" US President Obama and US Defense Secretary Hagel agreed that the time is right for another person to head the Defense Department. Chuck Hagel believed the moment was propitious for submitting the resignation. Some doubt whether the story is true. For instance, the New York Times cited aides saying Mr. Obama made the decision to remove his Defense Secretary after weeks of rising tension over a variety of foreign policy issues, especially the fight against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Some US politicians believe it’s a start of shake-up in the White House. Hagel is the second high ranking US official to resign recently. In September Attorney General Eric Holder stepped down. The both officials will remain in office until their successors are confirmed. Obama is not in a hurry to name the candidates. Hagel did not see himself as a «hawkish adviser» as his task was to end the wars and ease the burden on the military and he seemed to be doing his best to carry it out.A former Senator from Nebraska, the Secretary was the only Republican in the administration. As a Vietnam War veteran he was respected by the military. Chuck Hagel took his office in February overcoming serious opposition in Senate. Some said he was too soft on Iran. He has refused to sign a letter asking to include Hezbollah on the list of the terrorist organizations. Hagel called the war in Iraq one of the five biggest blunders in U.S. history. He was critical of George W. Bush's foreign policy, calling it «reckless».The Secretary supported the idea of Israel and HAMAS holding talks and made public remarks about the considerable influence of the Jewish lobby on Congress. «The Israeli people must be free to live in peace and security,» Hagel wrote in his 2008 book America; Our Next Chapter. He went on, «Similarly, the Palestinian people must also have the same right to live in peace in Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital and with the same hope for a prosperous future».The confirmation process dragged on for four months due to filibustering, many senators and leaders of influential Jewish groups opposed the nomination. Experts warned about the possibility of conflict between Obama, as he was elected for the second term and Israeli government and predicted that a clash between the US Defense Secretary and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was inevitable.Hagel was put through the grinder to survive a brutal hearing with Senators. Obama helped him ride through the confirmation process. Back then the President reminded his listeners: «Chuck knows that war is not an abstraction. He understands that sending young Americans to fight and bleed in the dirt and mud, that's something we only do when it's absolutely necessary». Just recently Obama was happy about the excellent relationship that his Defense Secretary had with the military. What has changed?Obama and Chuck Hagel had met a number of times before the resignation to discuss military planning for the following two years. According to Obama, that’s when the Secretary informed him of his plans. Former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said the resignation could have been better prepared. According to him, the unexpected news does not forebode well. The ongoing shake-ups signal the need to tackle new problems. Probably the foreign policy is going to get tougher.Speaker in the House of Representatives John Boehner said the selection of a replacement must be accompanied by a new look at US military policies. «This personnel change must be part of a larger re-thinking of our strategy to confront the threats we face abroad, especially the threat posed by the rise of ISIL», the Republican said in a statement.True, the Hagel’s views on Ukraine and Syria were different from the rest of the administration. He criticized the US reckless policy in Iraq and Afghanistan but resignation was not on the agenda. Now Obama decided to sacrifice his Defense Secretary so that he could please those who did not like Hagel. The resignation started to loom in spring as senators blamed Hagel for his failure to predict the Russia’s actions in Crimea.He neither supported the idea of supplying Ukraine with lethal weapons, nor did he approve the decision to deliver Humvee armored vehicles to this country. And he was right saying the action could trigger retaliation on the part of Russia. Hagel did not support the air strikes against the Islamic State as he expressed concern over the implications (meaning the tragedy of 9/11 in New York). The Defense Secretary believed that the expenditure equal to $2, 4 – 3, 8 billion yearly for fighting the Islamic State was too much. Gradually Hagel grew disillusioned with the foreign policy of the incumbent administration.The November intermediate election was a Republicans’ big win. For the first time since 2006 the GOP gained control of both chambers. Obama said there was no shellacking, «It doesn’t make me mopey. It energizes me, because it means that this democracy’s working», he said of his party’s defeat. Whatever he says cannot hide the fact that Americans are frustrated with their President. The presidential job approval rating has plummeted to less than 50%. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said American people were up in arms. It may be an exaggeration but the November 4 vote was viewed as a referendum that Obama lost. This is an undisputed fact. Chuck Hagel has joined the ranks of those who have lost faith in Obama. His resignation is another defeat of Obama in Congress. Today the President’s team faces serious opposition within the Democratic Party. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) blasted President Barack Obama in the wake of a devastating Democratic defeat in the midterm elections. «It doesn´t make sense that we have to fight so hard against our own government and our own administration and our President to try to find a balance», he said.The Democrats called the election results «a personal defeat of Obama». The Hillary Clinton’s aides told her to keep away from the incumbent President. It means other officials may follow Hagel and resign soon. The number of Obama supporters in the administration may dwindle to unusually low numbers.
  • US responsible for two-thirds of all military conflicts – Russia’s top brass
    US responsible for two-thirds of all military conflicts – Russia’s top brass By RT US interference in the internal affairs of countries around the world has brought neither peace, nor democracy, said Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister. America’s double standard experiments in supporting terrorists are provoking further destabilization.“Think of it, over the last decades the US initiated two-thirds of all military conflicts (worldwide). Call to memory, how it all turned out in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria,” Russia’s deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said, addressing colleagues from the Southern and Southeast Asian states in Colombo, Sri Lanka.“Using social and economic difficulties, various ethnical and religious conflicts and under the pretext of spreading democracy, Western political spin masters add populist slogans to the fire of public discontent, provoking mass disturbances,” he said. “As a result, a lawful government is taken down, chaos, abuse of power and lawlessness spread, people die, and in some cases a regime favorable to the West is brought into power. Of course, terrorists feel comfortable in such conditions.”Antonov called on the US authorities to “give up double standards in the implementation of counter-terrorist measures” and stop dividing terrorists into good and bad ones.“No matter what slogans terrorists use – they should remain outlaws,” Antonov said, speaking about the current disastrous situations in Syria and Iraq as a vivid example of consequences of such “ineffectual experiments.” An image grab taken from a propaganda video released on March 17, 2014 by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)'s al-Furqan Media allegedly shows ISIL fighters at an undisclosed location in the Anbar province.(AFP Photo/HO/Al-Furquan Media)Russian top brass stressed their concern over the creation of terrorist organizations for serving the specific needs of certain states. A classic example is the Taliban movement in Afghanistan, created to combat the Soviet Union, but which ended as the Al-Qaeda terrorist network that bit back hard at the US.Russia is always ready to cooperate in fighting terrorism and to coordinate activities to defeat the new challenge presented by the Islamic State, Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister said, pointing out that Moscow has never stopped supplying legitimate governments with weapons and military hardware to ease their fight against religious extremism. A Dostum mujahideen fighter runs as he fires his AK-47 machine gun against advancing Hezb-i-Islami rebels at the Bala Hishar palace in Kabul on April 26, 1992. (Reuters/Richard Ellis)Initially created to eliminate President Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, it became a terror threat for the whole Middle East region, Antonov said.Another global threat to world security and stability is the so-called global trend in “color revolutions” Antonov said, comparing the ongoing protests in Hong-Kong with the Maidan protests in Ukraine, which ended in chaos, mass murder, economic downturn, split of the country and eventually – a civil war.The deputy defense minister blamed the US for “pushing Ukraine to the abyss” in an internal conflict, which has already killed thousands through the support of an unconstitutional power takeover.” U.S. servicemen take part in military exercises outside the town of Yavoriv near Lviv, September 19, 2014. (Reuters/Roman Baluk)For those who doubt that “color revolutions” are not typical for the Southeast Asian states, Antonov highlighted the fact that “10 percent of Islamic State militants now fighting in Syria and Iraq come from the Southeast Asia.”“What will happen in the countries of the region when those highly trained militants with battlefield experience come back to their home countries?” Antonov questioned.It is a primary task of the national armed forces of Southern and Southeast Asian states to maintain regional security and neutralize the potential threat of color revolutions internally, Antonov stressed, proposing to develop closer ties between national defense forces.The US foreign is now bringing instability to the Asia-Pacific (A/P) region, developing its global missile defense network under the pretext of a North Korean nuclear threat.“In reality, American global missile defense is aimed at undermining regional and international security and poses a serious threat to the Asia-Pacific region,” Antonov said. U.S. troops and Afghan policemen inspect the site of a suicide attack on the outskirts of Jalalabad, November 13, 2014.(Reuters / Parwiz)The US is beefing up its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region with nuclear air carriers and strategic bombers “under a vain pretext” in order to master other countries policies, Antonov said, noting that the region’s governments suffered unprecedented pressure recently when Washington forced them to “join illegal anti-Russian (economic) sanctions.”The military potential being readied by Washington “considerably exceeds the level required to neutralize any existing or potential missile threat,” Antonov said.Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister recalled President Vladimir Putin saying some time ago that America’s attempts to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs usually end up in a catastrophe.Addressing a gathering on Lake Seliger in Russia’s Tver regionin in August, President Vladimir Putin said that he had an impression that “whatever Americans touch they always end up with Libya or Iraq.”
  • Extremists Terrorizing Civilians in Eastern Libya: Human Rights Watch
    Extremists Terrorizing Civilians in Eastern Libya: Human Rights Watch By Sputnik In the absence of any state authorities in the city of Derna, eastern Libya, extremist militias controlling the area have commited three apparent summary executions and at least 10 public floggings, Human Rights Watch reports. MOSCOW, November 27 (Sputnik) — Insurgents controlling the eastern Libyan city of Derna are terrorizing local residents with summary executions, public flogging and other abuses, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Thursday.“Extremist militias controlling Derna in the absence of any state authorities have unleashed a reign of terror against its inhabitants,” HRW’s Middle East and North Africa director Sarah Leah Whitson was quoted as saying by the organization.HRW said it had documented three apparent summary executions and at least 10 public floggings carried out by the Islamic Youth Shura Council extremist group, which has pledged allegiance to Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.According to Derna residents interviewed by the organization, the city is “fully under the control of fundamentalists.”The extremist group emerged in April and gradually took control over the city, creating its own public administration, the organization said.The militants have also reportedly established their own judicial institutions and are implementing a radical version of sharia law. Some of the judges at the new Islamic Court in the city are foreign nationals, HRW reported, citing local residents. “The sessions at the Islamic Court where people are interrogated and sentenced by a panel of three judges are not public. Usually, the court announces if it will carry out a death sentence beforehand,” a resident was quoted as saying by HRW.Another Derna local told the organization that he had witnessed three public floggings in the city on November 18. “Masked men from the Shura Council lined up eight young men at Al-Sahaba Square and punished each with 40 whips after they were caught drinking alcoholic beverages at a ‘bachelor party’ together with the groom,” he said.“If an individual is caught drinking alcohol, they [Shura Council] will implement the ‘whipping punishment’ on the spot,” the witness added.HRW lashed out at Libyan authorities, stating that they have “shown themselves powerless or unwilling” to investigate and prosecute extremists, while the UN Security Council “is still to deliver on this threat of sanctions.”Libya is currently facing its worst wave of violence since the 2011 overthrow of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi and the subsequent civil war that saw violent clashes involving numerous militias.
  • Oil slumps 4% as OPEC leaves output unchanged
    Oil slumps 4% as OPEC leaves output unchanged By RT A ‘unilateral decision’ was taken by OPEC not to cut production and to leave the daily output ceiling unchanged at 30 million barrels, despite a major oversupply that has caused oil prices to fall more than 30%.“We are not sending any signal to anyone, we are just trying to have a fair price,” OPEC Secretary General Abdalla Salem El-Badri told reporters in Vienna on Thursday.World oil demand is expected to increase in 2015, Salem El-Badri said."I've been in this business for a long time. When I was a minister, oil was $15 per barrel. So the current price can be called good," the Secretary said.Brent Crude plunged on the news, falling more than $3 to below $75 per barrel after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries decided not to cut production.Kuwaiti oil minister Ali Saleh al-Omair, said that he was “happy” with the decision not to restrict output.“I speak on behalf of the ministers, we have no target price, we have a fair price,”El-Badri said.Oil prices have fallen more than $40 per barrel since mid-June when oil peaked at $115 a barrel. Low prices have been triggered by oversupply created by increased US production and waning demand from China and Europe.il ministers from the 12 members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) met in Vienna Thursday. The next OPEC meeting will be held in June 2015.Who wins?The decision to cut production wasn't shared by all. The cut won't negatively affect Gulf producers - Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and the UAE- since they can sustain lower prices, as they have trillions saved up in buffer funds.READ MORE: Cut or no cut? No OPEC consensus as oil hits 4yr lowVenezuela, Nigeria, Iran, Iraq, and Ecuador were fighting to cut production to boost prices, as their economies lack the financial buffers of the Gulf States to weather low oil prices. Low oil prices help big importers like China and India because petroleum products become cheaper, but hurt exporting countries because billions in revenue are lost.READ MORE: Higher oil prices could drag OPEC’s ‘best customers’ into recession, expert warnsOil prices also affect currencies, such as the Russian ruble, which, in tandem with oil, has lost more than 30 percent since June.Consumers benefit from low oil prices, because it means cheaper petrol in their automobiles. Airlines make bigger margin profits as jet fuel is cheaper, and transport companies, such as a courier service or bus company, save money on petrol.Non-alignedTogether, OPEC accounts for 40 percent of world oil output. Saudi Arabia is the largest of the 12 exporters with 16 percent of global production. The US which is not a member of OPEC pumps nearly the same amount, and Russia, also not a member, produces 14 percent.A Russian oil tycoon waned that OPEC's decision was a strike against the American market, which becomes unprofitable at $70-80 per barrel.“In 2016, when OPEC completes this objective of cleaning up the American marginal market, the oil price will start growing again,” Leonid Fedun, a board member of Lukoil, Russia's largest private oil company, told Bloomberg News.The shale boom has increased US production by 60 percent since 2008, and is on par to soon overpass Saudi output.“The shale boom is on a par with the dot-com boom. The strong players will remain, the weak ones will vanish," Fedun said.Earlier this week non-OPEC members Russia and Mexico held meetings with members of the energy cartel, but no agreement to cut production was reached.“OPEC’s decision means the problem of excess oil on the market will not be solved quickly,” Russia’s Ministry of Finance said.Other major non-OPEC energy producers are China, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Norway.
  • Obama: A Placebo for Civil Liberties
    Obama: A Placebo for Civil Liberties By Wayne MADSEN | 27.11.2014 | 00:00 "Strategic Culture Foundation" Barack Obama has served as nothing more than a placebo for steadily-eroding civil liberties in the United States. What was billed as the «most transparent» administration in the history of the United States has turned into its most opaque, with Obama prosecuting more government employees for violating the 1917 Espionage Act than any of his predecessors combined. The «crimes» of those being prosecuted were simply communicating to journalists the malfeasance and law-breaking of the federal government.Obama was also billed as the first African-American president of «post-racial» America. Instead, Obama’s term in office has seen a return to the dark days of Jim Crow America where young black men and teens run a fairly good chance of being shot, choked, or tasered to death by white racist police officers. Such an America was on full display as a grand jury in St. Louis County, Missouri decided not to prosecute Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for shooting 18-year old black youth Michael Brown. Wilson told the grand jury that the 6 foot 4 inch tall Brown «looked like a demon» when Wilson, who is of the same height, encountered Brown during what would not turn out to be a routine pedestrian stop.Wilson shot Brown multiple times, including a fatal shot to the head, because he felt «threatened» by the unarmed black teen. Wilson’s exact words were: «The only way I can describe it, it looked like a demon. That’s how angry he looked», referring to Brown. Hearkening back to the era of slavery, Wilson, like so many of his racist supporters, believe that black people are «things», thus their use of the word «it». We should not forget that in his 2008 presidential debate with then-candidate Obama, Senator John McCain pointed to Obama on the debate stage and referred to him as «that one».By shooting Brown, Wilson knew that the system would be stacked in his favor. Rarely are police officers indicted for murder or manslaughter. It is called the «blue wall», with cops, district attorneys, and prosecutors on one side and the citizenry on the other. Wilson has actually personally benefitted from his slaying of Brown. Wilson shopped his first post-grand jury decision interview around to a salivating media and hit the jackpot when ABC News reportedly paid him a well-into six figure prize for granting the interview to the Disney-owned network.Rather than question jurors who sat on the grand jury in St. Louis County, prosecutor Robert McCulloch, who hails from a family of police officers and whose on-duty father was killed by a black man and who has a history of lying, decided to just present evidence that clearly favored Wilson. Photographs of Wilson’s alleged «injuries» were shown to the grand jury, even though they appeared to be nothing more than a razor burn self-inflicted while Wilson was shaving. There was no attempt by McCulloch to cross-examine witnesses to the shooting. In fact, McCulloch’s statement to the media, which informed them that the grand jury had returned what is known as a «no true bill», that is, a no indictment decision, contained several references about witnesses changing their stories before the jury. McCulloch also appeared to blame the press more than Wilson for the aftermath of Brown’s shooting.Rather than deal with an American police state where prosecutors and senators are permitted to debase people of color, Obama has donned his rose-colored glasses to dance merrily down the lane to luxurious post-presidential retirement. Obama has done nothing to reverse course and restore the constitutional rights of Americans, freeing them from the omniscient surveillance carried out by the National Security Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Transportation Security Administration, and hundreds of law enforcement agencies around the country. Local police departments and even public school disciplinarians are now in possession of potentially lethal military equipment provided by the Department of Defense for civilian law enforcement use. This gear includes assault rifles, mortars, armored assault vehicles, and hand grenades.The corporate news media focused on the riots and arson in Ferguson that followed the grand jury’s decision. There were also suggestions that state and local law enforcement held back on taking any action against the violent rioting provocateurs in order to justify Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s decision to call out the Missouri National Guard to quell the unrest. Obama’s America, at least from reading the newspapers, looks more like America in 1970 with headlines like: «Nixon Deploys More National Guard Troops».The U.S. State Department issues an annual report on human rights around the world. The report covers everything from gay rights to anti-Semitism. However, one of the world’s guiltiest violators of human rights – the United States – is not found anywhere in the report. After the decision by the Missouri grand jury to absolve Wilson of murder or even manslaughter, a Cleveland cop shot and killed a 12-year old African-American boy who was carrying a toy gun. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, charged the United States with the systematic violation of the human rights of African-Americans and other minorities. He said that for many sectors among the American population there is a «deep and festering lack of confidence in the fairness of the justice and law enforcement systems».Russia’s human rights ombudsman Konstantin Dolgov stated in a Twitter message, «Racial and ethnic tensions continue to rise in U.S. society. It’s about time the U.S. authorities paid attention to this rather than focusing on lecturing the rest of the world on human rights». Egypt’s foreign ministry previously asked the United States to show restraint in how it handled demonstrators in Ferguson. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson urged the United States to improve its record on human rights. China has been a target of repeated American complaints over its human rights policy.The only constant factor in America’s human rights failures, as evidenced by police killings of civilians in the St. Louis area, Cleveland, New York, and other cities, is that it refuses to recognize it has a civil liberties problem worthy of world condemnation while, in turn, inanely maintaining that America is an example for the rest of the world to follow.While Ferguson burned and National Guard troops were deployed to St. Louis County, Obama decided to head into familiar turf in Chicago, where his political career was launched. The so-called «community organizer» and «social activist» was heckled by protesters in his home town as he attempted to pitch his new immigration policy. Obama has always had a «tin ear» when it comes to the grievances and complaints of the average American, whether it is a black teen in a racist environment like Ferguson, Missouri or Sanford, Florida, or a minimum wage worker who cannot afford to pay the insurance premiums required under «Obamacare».Obama engaged in «regime change» antics in Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, and other countries only to have frustrated African-Americans call for regime change in Ferguson, the state of Missouri, Cleveland, Detroit, Oakland, and cities across America.For America, «the Obama campaign slogan of «Hope and Change» has become a cruel joke with Obama laughing all the way to Wall Street and a cushy retirement while pocketing huge corporate donations to his Barack Obama Presidential Museum and Library.
  • CIA Coup d’Etat in Canada
    CIA Coup d’Etat in Canada November 24, 2014   AFP • Was ‘Harper Revolution’ driven by NWO/CIA front group and Big Oil?By Ronald L. Ray —Stephen Joseph Harper, the prime minister of Canada, has changed the face of Canadian politics, especially since the Conservative Party of Canada came to power in 2006 and consolidated gains in 2011. But recently published information suggests that the “Harper Revolution,” which swept Canada, was not organic and has been promoted not only by giant petroleum interests, but even by a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) front organization, in order to bind Canada ever more tightly to American political and business interests.Over the past 30 years, Canada’s traditional political divisions have been transformed. They previously harbored strong elements—even in the “conservative” spectrum—of populism, traditionalism, a sense of responsibility toward indigenous American Indian populations and the environment, but also promotion of a social welfare state.Now, however, “What is happening is that the Conservative party in Canada is becoming much more similar to the Republican party, and the Liberals are very similar to the Democrats. However, for both parties, like the U.S., it is all smoke and mirrors; at the end of the day big money calls the shots.,” Canadian financial commentator David Hague told this AMERICAN FREE PRESS reporter.Today, Canada’s political scene looks increasingly like a carefully-cultivated hybrid of the Bush II and Obama presidencies. While pandering ever so slightly to social conservatives, long enough to get their vote, Harper—the son of an Imperial Oil accountant—and his government, have gutted federal protection of the environment at the direct request of Big Oil.A letter from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, Canadian Gas Association and Canadian Petroleum Products Institute stated, “We believe that the basic approach embodied in existing legislation is out-dated. At the heart of most existing legislation is a philosophy of prohibiting harm.” They also demanded—and received—changes to law which unconstitutionally reduced Indian tribes’ longstanding rights and protections, so that the plutocratic privateers could plunder natural resources under reservation land.Donate to usHarper is gradually endangering the traditionally stable Canadian economy with an increasing number of “free trade” agreements while progressively eroding citizens’ constitutional rights—more so than ever with a domestic surveillance act following the October 2014 shooting of a Canadian soldier at a war memorial and armed attack in the House of Commons by a mentally-ill individual.Both events—allegedly Islamist terror attacks—show every hallmark of false flag operations, and in the former case, U.S. officials released what appears to have been advance knowledge of the events and perpetrator, even as reporters on the scene were held at gunpoint by Canadian police. A joint Canadian-U.S. “anti-terrorism exercise” also happened to be going on at the time, while a domestic surveillance act was before Parliament, which passed shortly thereafter.“The key in Canada,” Canadian financial commentator David Hague told this reporter, “is that the party who wins the majority in Parliament can rule basically like a dictator. There are no checks and balances.”Professor John McMurtry, who initially accepted an interview request and subsequently cancelled, wrote on October 28, 2014 that it is no coincidence that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canadian secret intelligence have been implicated in “dirty tricks” to keep Harper in power over the years. McMurtry cancelled the interview alleging this newspaper is “implicitly racist.”In foreign policy, Harper has made Canada little more than an extension office of the United States State Department. This is most evident in the Canadian prime minister’s overseas military adventurism supporting the American war against formerly stable Middle East nations, which will only inflame Islamic passions against the Canadian people. Harper is likewise a full-bore philo-Semite, receiving a number of “awards” for his toadying to the demands of Israel and the Zionist lobby.Most recently, the impolitic politician had the hubris at the G20 meeting to tell Russian President Putin, who had extended his hand, “I guess I’ll shake your hand, but I have only one thing to say to you: You need to get out of Ukraine.” Putin reportedly retorted, “That’s impossible, because we are not there,” reported the The Canadian Press.But where does this “Bush Lite” New World Order warmonger get his ideas, and how did he get into power?Dr. Anthony Hall, Professor of Globalization Studies at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, reported in 2013 on Harper’s longtime political mentor, Professor Thomas Eugene Flanagan. Radical libertarian Flanagan—who fell from public grace by repeatedly claiming use of child pornography is a “victimless crime”—has been a key proponent of exactly the sort of corporatist-capitalist political program Harper has enacted over the years. The professor even once took the youthful future PM and his university classmates to a Young Republicans conference in the U.S. for further neoconservative indoctrination. Flanagan was additionally at the center, with his protégé, of the political destruction of the Progressive Conservative Party and development of the Conservative Party, on the way to creating a new political duopoly in Canada.Flanagan, in turn, had been hired in 1968, straight from the U.S.-funded Free University in West Berlin and without formal application, for the University of Calgary by Dr. E. Burke Inlow, apparently to make the college safe for U.S. oil interests. Cololnel Inlow “was a Pentagon operative with expert knowledge on the covert oil politics of Iran,” wrote Hall.To close the circle, former Canadian diplomat Professor Peter Dale Scott recently publicized a 2005 diplomatic cable from WikiLeaks that reveals a sinister underside to Harper’s “meteoric rise” to political power. In the context of a report on National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute (IRI) efforts to destabilize Venezuela through “renovation/transformation” of the country’s political parties, paragraph 12 stated, “IRI will be bringing in consultants who specialize in party renovation to discuss case studies of political parties in Germany, Spain and Canada, which successfully carried out the process of party renovation.”That passing reference to our northern neighbor reveals what Canadian writer Mark Taliano calls a “soft coup” in his country. That is, the IRI—a branch of the CIA front organization National Endowment for Democracy—was behind the political “renovation” process that handed Harper the reins of power in Canada.Following revolutionary models these non-governmental organizations have employed in coups and overthrow efforts from Honduras to Egypt to Kazakhstan and Hong Kong, U.S. intelligence agencies seemingly were able to transform the Canadian government into a servile proxy for U.S. and Israeli hegemonic interests and the plutocratic exploitation of Canadian citizens and indigenous peoples.It is to be hoped that the Canadian people will wake up to the plot to subvert their way of life for the benefit of the New World Order, but as Mr. Hague told this newspaper, “Social consciousness in Canada, like the U.S., is declining and mostly limited to ‘liking’ something on Facebook. It really is not found in any of the [political] parties in any serious way.”AFP Newpaper BannerRonald L. Ray is a freelance author and an assistant editor of THE BARNES REVIEW. He is a descendant of several patriots of the American War for Independence.
  • UK Outraged Over EU Mismanagement of Almost 43 Bln Euro Budget
    UK Outraged Over EU Mismanagement of Almost 43 Bln Euro Budget By Sputnik The European Union has been accused of financial mismanagement by the United Kingdom after auditors discovered a huge black hole in Brussels’ budget. MOSCOW, November 26 (Sputnik) – The European Court of Auditors has identified a black hole in the European Union budget that could lead to extra demands for cash from the British taxpayer of up to £34 billion that is almost 43 billion euros [almost $54 billion] over the next six years.British Prime Minister David Cameron will be legally indebted to make up a share of the £259 billion shortfall by 2020 with liabilities for the Treasury estimated at £33.7bn, calculated at the usual rate of Britain’s EU contributions, reports The Telegraph.This represents a political disaster for Prime Minister David Cameron who has made repeated pledges to lower the amount Britain pays into Brussels’ budgets."The EU’s ability to just grab money from taxpayers whenever it wants is an outrage. It underlines what is structurally wrong with our relationship under the existing treaties," said Bernard Jenkin MP, the chairman of the House of Commons’ public administration select committee, reported The Telegraph."The UK parliament should decide how much we want to pay the EU not bureaucrats in Brussels." Eurosceptic Conservative MPs are extremely angry at the prospect of increased EU contributions and a failure to control Brussels' spending at a time when Britain is making cuts to balance the budget, reports The Telegraph.Matthew Elliott, head of the Business for Britain pressure group, described further demands from the EU as "unacceptable".On that note Jacob Rees Mogg, member of the Commons European scrutiny committee further said, "The commission is out of control and needs to be brought back under control. This is a problem with having no real democratic check to the EU. The commission writes cheques without any balances."The shortfall is known in Brussels jargon as "reste à liquider", or "outstanding amount" and, while Britain has a sanction ongoing above the maximum payment limit, national contributions are still expected to reach record highs. This would push British EU contributions to above £13billion a year over the next six years, higher than the previous £11.3bn paid into Brussels’ reserves last year, reports The Telegraph. Tacitly accepting that contributions could increase, British officials said that the climax would be ensuring that spending did not go above the payment maximum negotiated by Mr Cameron last year.European Union auditors are concerned that increased payments at a maximum of £718 billion between 2014 and 2020 will not be enough to pay existing bills, leading to extra contributions from taxpayers across Europe."We’re making sure that the EU sticks to the budget limit that the prime minister successfully negotiated last year, and which is crucial to controlling the cost of the EU to Britain," said a diplomat. "The figure from the European Court of Auditors does not affect the ceiling in the current long term EU budget." MEPs are pushing for an eight percent increase in Brussels’ spending next year, worth £5.4billion to cover unpaid spending commitments at an additional cost of £680 million for the British taxpayer.The extra demands for money come in addition to an ongoing debate over an extra EU surcharge of £1.7 billion last month as Britain’s contributions increase because of better economic performance by the British economy compared to the Eurozone.
  • Indian PM Modi Calls on South Asian Nations to Unite in Terrorism Fight
    Indian PM Modi Calls on South Asian Nations to Unite in Terrorism Fight By Sputnik Indian Prime Minister Modi called on the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation members to advance stability in the region in order to combat terrorism. NEW DELHI, November 26 (Sputnik) — Marking the sixth anniversary of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday urged the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations to work and combat terrorism together.“As we remember 26/11, must keep commitments on security for all South Asia. Today, as we remember the horror of the attack in Mumbai in 2008, we feel the endless pain of lost life. Let us work together to fulfill the pledge we have taken to combat terrorism and trans-national crimes," Modi said at the SAARC summit in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu.“If we are sensitive to each other’s security, and the lives of our people, we will deepen friendships, spur cooperation and advance stability in our region,” the prime minister added. A series of twelve coordinated shooting and bombing attacks that took place in Mumbai on November 26-29, 2008 killed some 160 people and wounded more than 300. The terror attacks were carried out by Pakistani members of Islamist group Lashkar-e-Taiba.On Tuesday, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also called for a "collective response" from the SAARC to deal with the threat of terrorism, one of the most pressing problems in the South Asian region.SAARC is an economic and political organization of eight countries: India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives and Bangladesh.The 18th SAARC summit is being held in Kathmandu, the Nepalese capital, on November 26–27.