Friday, October 28, 2011

Anonymous? The common man

'Anonymous' has a silly premiss: Shakespeare 'fronted' for the talented, 17th earl of Oxford Edward de Vere. The film asks the question how could a commoner be so talented as to leave the world a treasure trove of plays and poety of the highest literary value?
De Vere's name pops up during the 1920s as the man who wrote Shakespeare. Long caught as a red herring, this piece of invention has been brought to the screen, and alas will scratch the eye's with a trace of falsity: for now say 'Shakespeare', think Edward De Vere. Consequently the genius of the Bard of Avon is tarnished by falsehood and historical fanciness.
Yes, how could a man of the people have the imagination to be a Shakespeare? is a good question to raise in our age of gross and growing disparity in wealth and privilege in an age of financial capitalist domination, mayhem, and disaster for the working classes and the poor.
The rich believe, they, and only they, are to the manor born [even though they will spend millions to falsify family origins], with rights and privileges that only come down from the gods; the poor, well, though the bible may say 'they are the salt of the earth' are only there to serve the plutocrats, coupon clippers, and the riff raff that hang on to their coat tails; they are destined to 'serve in silence', accept their lot, slave away for only one purpose: to serve the gods' ordained rich who are, they are told, their betters.
There is nothing fanciful in saying this. Government report after government report firmly establishes that the divide between the top one--some say 0,001--percent has grown wider and deeper in its share of a nation's wealth. In the US, for example, the self satisfied rich own as much wealth as 140 million households! And the difference in earnings of, say, a CEO and a worker on the line is as much as 425 percent.
How then did these blood suckers gain wealth? You haven't to go far for an answer: on the backs of the working classes and the poor, who are the true creators of a country's wealth. You don't need to read Marx to get it, the answer is blowing in the wind!
Today with the world teetering on the brink of an greater economic recession than the one the big bracket American banks created and induced in 2008, it is on the backs of the working classes and the poor that the rich will be bailed out, and sustain a class of parasite and leeches in the style of living they claim is natural to them! Eyewash!
It is the old sorry: the economic royalists rob and plunder the wealth the workers create. And in doing this, they have planted the seeds of their own destruction, believe it or not.
Already in the spread of 'Occupy Wall Street', the stirrings of the people, or as they say the 99 percent, are causing heartache and heartburn in the boardrooms of the plutocrats, ill ease among the politicians they buy for a pittance, etc.
Remember the old union saying, an open hand has little clout, but close it into a fist, and ... well that is the message that is being heard. How long will the working classes, the white collar drones, and poor have to submit to such peonage and serfdom to a worthless, tiny sliver of a ruling class? That is the question? And oddly enough 'Anonymous' says it well?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Occupy Oakland becomes America's 'West Bank'

Just before dawn on Tuesday, 26 October 2011, the Oakland police along with 16 other police enforcement agencies [unnamed and underreported] swept down on 'Occupy Oakland". Discharging tear gas and rubber bullets, they came in swinging batons and fists to rout the 'Occupy Oakland' protesters in a park opposite City Hall.
Thanks to cellphones and independent media on the spot, images of this 'war zone' are available on YouTube and other social networking channels.
The Oakland police, infamous for its brutal, no questions tactics, had taken a page out of the Israeli occupiers of the West Bank by the use of rubber bullets and tear gas and charging peaceful protestors. Not only that the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have come to 'Occupy Oakland' big time.
By miracle, Scott Olson, a single casualty: a two tour Iraqi veteran who returned home without a scratch got hit in the head with either a rubber bullet or more like a tear gas canister. Suffering severe trauma to his head, he lies in a coma in an Oakland hospital. His doctors hope that he will not have brain damage when he regains consciousness, but they cannot say for sure.
This incident recalls the same scenario that happened on the occupied West Bank a few years ago. Then, the Israel defence forces aimed gas canister at the head of a free lance US journalist. He spent long months in a hospital with severe head injuries before returning home in poor health.
The police act on the orders of the powers that be. Oakland police's use of force has a historical trail going back to the days of the Black Panthers and the great strike of 1946.
Their attack on 'Occupy Oakland' met by passive resistance on the part of the protesters has won the 'occupiers' new friends and aroused some revulsion in the larger population.
The assault is symptomatic of how sacred the plutocrats who pay the politicians and run America are!
And two days later, the occupiers have returned to reclaim their camp in Oakland. The spectacular stupidity of the police, servants of the ruling classes, has given the 'Occupy...' movement new energy to press further with demands to transform and change unruly free market, casino, capitalism!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Want to laugh? The US and South Korea say that they don't link humanitarian aid to political issues!

In the face of the mounting evidence, the US and South Korea deny that they do not link food aid and other humanitarian to North Korea to political issues.
Whom do these two smug governments think they are kidding? Washington and Seoul are grand practitioners in the use of eyewash.
With effrontery, each country contends that North Korea is not suffering 'a nationwide food crisis of the kind that killed many thousands in the mid 1990s', wrote Nick Cummings Bruce and Choe Sang hun in today's 'New York Times'.
Yet, hunger and starvation there is in North Korea today, owing to a spate of bad weather that ruined crops and rice output through heavy rains and floods, very cold weather, etc.
US based NGO, Mercy Corps has reported a team of theirs, on recent trips to the DPRK, that there are pockets of starving North Koreans, and that 'people there have starved to death'.
It is useful to again alert GuamDiary readers, Mercy Corps used to distribute US donated food in North Korea from port of entry to point of distribution to the needy without hinderance by the DPRK authorities.
In 2008, when Obama and South Korean president Lee Myung bak assumed the presidency in their respective countries, aid was summarily cut off.
Although in 2010, Washington and Seoul agreed to furnish aid in kind, neither delivered on its promises, thereby making a dire situation worse by tying food to accepting US and ROK demands that amounted to capitulation of North Korean sovereignty.
The US' gesture was not true food aid but aid in the form of blankets, cots, tents, and the like. It rationalised this kind of 'aid' by saying had they given food, it would go to the army. Mercy Corps on American television challenged this idea; they knew better since they had long standing experience with North Korea and channeling food to the needy and not the army!
Lee withdraw his offer of food because North Korea would not repent for the sinking of its corvette 'Chainan' and the shelling of Yeognpyeong island. In each instance, the origin of these incidents belonged ot South Korea, not the DPRK.
Therefore to say with a bold face, neither the US nor South Korea wed food aid to political demands is an example of the Goebbels' 'Big Lie'.

Can "they" stop Julian Assange?

Julian Assage, fitted out with an ankle bracelet without being criminally charged, announced 'Wikileaks' may wind down for lack of contribution.
In a peak of hot rage, the US government has put pressure on the likes of Via, Mastercard, Amex, Pay Pal, Amazon, and the like to not accept contributions to 'Wikileaks' for outing the US by making public US diplomatic cables. The opinions expressed in these cables have make live uncomfortable for the hegemonic US by revealing what American diplomats reported on the spot from world capitols, without the polite veneer of diplomatic 'langue de bois'. The revelations did bruise the American government's ego and caused much anguish and some soul searching among its allies.
Since some of the cables were 'classified' on the lowest level, inside the US, the Obama administration quickly airbrushed internet links to 'Wikileaks', threatened government employees with stiff sanctions if they were caught reading the cables on line, and pulled down the curtain on information which the world press, but not necessarily the US mainstream media, commented on the cables' info.
So the ordinary man on the street was kept in ignorance, reading only what media cleared with government censors what they could publish. Outside the US, the curious American would have to look at, say, the British 'Guardian' for a complete list of some quarter million documents.
If the Obama administration couldn't abduct Assange and bring him to trial in the US, it used other means: economic blockade on contributions, trumped up charges of Assage's sexual misconduct in Sweden, even though the evidence was found wanting, and pressuring the British to extradite the man to Sweden, the lack of criminal charges notwithstanding.
And the economic blockade has borne fruit: 'Wikileaks', impoverished, might shut down if it cannot raise cash to continue operations. Suppose 'Wikileaks' does close, it has already proved it was a 'giant killer' against the world's only superpower.
Obama & co. may pat one another on the back for a job well done, but do they really believe they could silence Julian Assange.
Let's suppose 'Wikileaks' does shut down, you can bet your last pence, it will come to life in another form, for multiple are the ways of circumventing the censor! And in the end, Assage will have the last laugh.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

No absolution for Rupert Murdoch

"I'm sorry", no longer cuts for Rupert Murdoch. No one thought at News Corp's annual meeting Murdoch and his two sons would have been rejected for another term on the board of directors. The family owns 40 percent of the voting shares.
What is new: the growing unrest and rebelliousness among News Corp's institutional investors. After a well earned grilling from the floor, old Rupert apologised for the phone hacking scandal and the damage to the company's reputation. He tried to assure the restive assembly of investors that he is conducting an in depth, thorough investigation of the matter and is intent in rooting out the circumstances and keen practices that threatens Murdoch us$63 billion empire. No independent enquiry, thank you very much!
Should one trust Murdoch's promise and word? Hardly. The phone hacking cancer is spreading throughout the empire. Now, rumour mongering staff, it now turns out, had access to MI-5 files of the royal family. Ain't that a kick in the head? Sure enough!
The News Corp has breached secrecy laws, and when younger son James Murdoch again appears before a parliamentary committee will have a lot to answer for. Will he be more truthful?
Poor Rupert, he may crawl, he may weep buckets of tears, he may beat his breast murmurring 'mea, mea, mea maxima culpa', but it is a stretch to think he is sincere or telling the whole truth.
Sorry, old cock, no absolution for you.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Obama doctrine

'No boots on the ground' proved effective in Libya. Now, Barack Obama has announced the full military withdrawal from Iraq, which lays to rest the horrible and costly war that a lying George Bush foisted on the American and Iraqi people nine years ago.
The sudden appearance of secretary of state Hillary Clinton in Kabul is another indication of tactical disengagement of what is now emerging as 'the Obama doctrine'.
Clinton encouraged Afghani president Karsai to continue talks with the Taliban, in spite of the assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani, the head of his government's peace council. Clearly, the US is looking to find a short cut from the 10 year war in Afghanistan that in a way recalls the Vietnam quagmire.
The tough talks Clinton is having with Pakistan is a hook to engage a foot dragging ally to fight its own Taliban as well to collaboration with Pashtun Taliban in Afghanistan. The goal is clear: relieve the pressure of US and NATO troops so that they can if not defeat the Afghani Taliban, at least push them to negotiating a peace with Karsai to end the long war in Afghanistan.
In another hot spot, North Korea, the Obama administration is switching horse in midstream by replacing the stern Stephen Bosworth with Glyn Davies, US ambassador to IAEC in Vienna and a nuclear expert. This move points a finger at a possible delinking of US ROK hard line policy towards the DPRK. The White House is moving towards a resumption of the three year stalled six party talks in Beijing. The lack of progress on decommissioning North Korea's nuclear programme has given Obama more wool than he needs to thread. ROK president Lee Myung bak is a lame duck, and the US bought him off with a FTA; not only that the Lee team is being hit with revelations of corruption, thereby rendering more a burden than an asset. And what's more, Lee's successor in the Blue House will be more flexible in reconnecting with Kim Jong il's government.
Iran remains the fly in the ointment; an opening to Tehran would challenge, in a way, coordinated policy with Israel.
So what then is the Obama doctrine? Militarily speaking, it is a joint venture with other states to defeat an enemy who has taken up arms in hot spots deemed essential to maintain US hegemony. Diplomatically, it is a return to 'soft power' to quiet matters that do not require military solutions. In other words, Obama recognises the value of traditional diplomacy as a step before pursuing its with arms to paraphrase Clausewitz.
Anyhow, it is a doctrine in progress: strategically, it allows the US to pursue its 'global' interests without resorting to knee jerk responses that inspired George W. Bush.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

US DPRK talks

The US and North Korea will enter into exploratory talks soon in Geneva. The object all sublime is how and when to restart stalled six party talks.
The DPRK's demands are simple and straightforward: no preconditions. The Americans have laid out a list of conditions, among which is call for proof of sincerity, whatever that means. The US has hitherto now rejected the DPRK's insistence on no preconditions.
The Obama administration has replaced its point man to North Korea Stephen Bosworth with Glyn Davies, a nuclear expert, and ambassador to IAEC in Vienna. This change in emissaries might lead somewhere beyond the usual script of recriminations and threats, it is hoped.
The US North Korean clerisy has already reacted to any flexibility in dealing with North Korea, to bring it back to the green carpet in the Beijing talks.
As GuamDiary commented, hard liner Victor Cha in a 'Financial Times' opinion piece entitled 'Kim Jong il must see the dark path that follows failing talks' waves a stern lecturing finger at the DPRK leader for his lack of commonsense in not conceding to demands that are, in substance, surrender. And now the American Enterprise Institute's Michael Mazza has come up with recommendations which in the short run promise nuclear confrontation, and in the longer run overthrowing the North Korean regime by any other means.
You've got to wonder if the lunatic asylum has opened its doors and let inmates out? As GuamDiary has long shown, the US North Korean clerisy--policy advisors in and out of government, talking heads, and the like--are a ragtag army of the mindless and in ideas bankrupt. Although highly educated technocrats, they lack the ability to think critically and prefer ideological blindness to commonsense and pragmatism.
Will the up coming talks in Geneva lead to a breakthrough? That is the question.

Prisoner swap

Gilad Shalit is free and has returned to his family which long sought his release. After five years of captivity, he returned to a hero's welcome. The world press celebrated his liberation.
And what about the freed Palestinians? The Arab press hailed their release; otherwise, the stigma of 'terrorist' stick to them. Weren't they worthy of a 'hero's welcome', as much as Shalit? Are they not 'soldiers' in a dirty war that Israel has been waging against Palestinians who want a homeland of their own, free of the Zionist state's black boot of occupation and illegal land grabbing and implantation of Jewish colonizers on their land in the West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem?
Israel has done much to airbrush the fact that terrorism in the Middle East began with the Irgun and Shtern gang in the war against the British mandate authorities 70 odd years ago. Itzhak Shamir, a wanted terrorist, even became an Israeli prime minister.
So GuamDiary wonders why then should Israel be hailed as a beacon for the west but not the Palestinians who like the Jewish terrorists in the Irgun and Shtern gang are fighting for a homeland of their own?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Stand-off at Zuccotti [Liberty] Park

You've got to give it to New York City's Michael Bloomberg. He acts in the best interests of his class: the plutocrats.
Yet since his fall from public grace during the massive snow storm whilst he gamboled in the heat of the Caribbean sun and New Yorkers suffered from a less than responsive City Hall, his political fortune has been sinking.
Like the brain dead elite of America's ruling class, he is at a loss as to how to deal with the 'Occupy Wall Street' protests. He has flipped and he has flopped on the matter. 'You cannot say', then 'you can occupy Zuccotti Park--a private park owned by Brookfield Office Properties, which received the taxpayers relief by offering a space to the public.
Bloomberg like the class he fronts for, doesn't get it: in less than four weeks OWS has changed the political discourse and climate by mobilising popular anger and discontent brought to them by the Wall Street bankers and corporate America, and sustained by the members of Congress--especially Republicans--who dance to their tune.
So, when the mayor turned up at Liberty Park on Wednesday night [12 October 2011] on behalf of the park's owners, protesters would have to temporarily evacuate the premises for a thorough cleaning after which they could return but under new conditions.
OWS occupiers and day demonstrators saw the mayor's gambit as a way to kill the growing protest that has had echos worldwide.
Was Bloomberg prepared for the OWS response: 'we will clean up the park with you. Send us dumpster, so on'. The protesters appeal fell on deaf ears? For on early Friday morning with a cordon of New York City's police, the park would be cleared like it or not.
You have to wonder how dumb Bloomberg and the plutocrats he serves, can be. Had they not had a good tasting of the OWS nimbleness and ability to adapt? GuamDiary does not think.
As the sun began to rise on Zuccotti Park, the crowd in the park swelled to thousands to protest the mayor's plans, and the police with batons ready, word came from City Hall the mayor's order was put off 'sine dia'.
Bloomberg and his cronies in finance did not count on the call of the unions and even elected city officials who put out a call to join the protesters in defending the right to assemble and exercise free speech.
More importantly, the police are aching to teach OWS a lesson that would cause more damage to Bloomberg, his reputation, and the ruling class.
For now, OWS has won. Saying this, the protesters will have to be fully vigilant to checkmate any move by City Hall to kill OWS!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Barack Myong bak show

South Korea's president Lee Myung bak is in the US to celebrate the passage of a US ROK Free Trade Agreement, which has finally passed in the US Congress in a rare display of 'bipartisanship'.
President Obama has pulled out the stops to welcome Lee. For his administration thinks the man in the Blue House in Seoul is a good team player, especially when it comes to dealing with North Korea.
It matters little that 'Bulldozer' Lee brought the two Koreas to the precipice of war in November 2010 when in joint US ROK military exercises along the Northern Limit Line, South Korea live ammo fell into North Korean territory. The North riposted immediately by targeting the military base on Yeongpyong island within spitting distance from the DPRK's territorial waters.
Pyongyang's answer to Lee's and Obama's taunting North Korea, spooked Washington which had to stray hard liner Lee from reopening the Korean war, long dormant for the last 48 years.
Obama is giving Lee the five star treatment since he is the right kind of guy to make trouble against a North Korea that is willing to negotiate its nuclear programme but not at the cost of crying Uncle! to America's demands.
US ROK policy towards North Korea is joined to the same hip, and once again, America's diplomatic palsied hand has little freedom of action to pursue policies which would lessen tensions in a tripwire divided Korean peninsula.
Such a policy make make sense ideologically but it fails the test of reality.

Iranian terror plot: can you believe the hoopla by the people who brought you Iran Contra scandal or Saddam Hussein's WMD?

The bungled plot by Iran to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington has almost as many holes as a colander. It gives one to pause. We know little or nothing but what the Obama administration tells us. The feckless American media, as is their wont, swallows the story hook, line, and sinker as it did over the Tonkin Bay incident or the yellow cake from Niger or Saddam Hussein's WMD. For sure, some voices are heard about the shakiness of the story line; the primitiveness of its logic, and what looks like the fudging of evidence.
Since the whole 'truth' may never be known--national security you know, GuamDiary remains skeptical. We have a right to be questioning the details as the US government has presented as well as the banging of pots and pans of secretary of state Hillary Clinton in the chancelleries of the world, to gain international support in condemning Iran. Iran, of course, denies any fingerprints on the plot to kill the Saudi ambassador.
What heightens our sense of doubt is the appearance of the usual list of suspects who have long been itching to take out Iran in a preemptive nuclear act or in an exercise in medium tech warfare: the US and Israel.
So we wonder about the grand hoopla that is fueling America's forward policy to bell the Iranian cat one way or the other, including war.
Can we trust the same US who brought up the Tonkin Gulf set up or Iran Contra or Saddam Hussein's WMD. American history is replete with clerics and jurists who will go to extreme lengths to forge documents to make sure its ends justify its means!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Palestine has the initiative in UNESCO

UNESCO is the first UN entity that is willing to confer full membership on the state of Palestine. The Palestinian Authority has seized the initiative in putting forth a resolution before this global cultural and scientific body of declaring the holy sites on the West Bank 'world heritage' sites which belong to the state of Palestine under 44 years of Israeli occupation.
By doing this, the PA has taken the initiative and has called into question Israel's illegal land grab on the West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem, which are legally recognised parts, along with Gaza, of a state called 'Palestine'.
Israel and the US have threatened withholding contributions, boycotts, and are throwing thunderbolts of much worse to come. UNESCO remains impervious to such blackmail, and once more, Israel and the US are out in the cold.
Equally more damaging to the US is the use of the veto at the UN Security Council when it deliberates on the PA's call for full UN membership comes up.
An American veto will torpedo any serious US policy to bolster its shrinking influence in the Arab and Muslim world. Of course, as GuamDiary keeps reminding its readers, Israel is a domestic US electoral issue. And saying that says much about Israel holds the US as a hostage and can paralyse any change in policy that doesn't benefit the Zionist state.
The change in the political landscape in the Middle East has allowed the PA to take the initiative and skillfully play on the inherent contradictions in the coordinated US Israeli gamesmanship.

US and South Korea in a rut

North Korea is willing to get on with talks on its nuclear programme without conditions. But the US and South Korea remain deaf to Pyongyang's call.
Instead they put forward 'conditions' that clearly show, the two allies do not want to go back to the negotiating table. Not only that, Washington and Seoul had pledged food aid to the DPRK, but withdrew their offer. Again, GuamDiary sees a lack of good faith on the Obama administration and the Lee Myung bak government.
As we keep repeating, the US and ROK have coordinated strategy on how to deal with North Korea. It is something out of a Cold War play book which never really worked. The object all sublime is to injure North Korea through economic sanctions, denial of food aid and fertilisers, as well as encircling it militarily. The unfinished navy base at Kangjung on Jeju may be the last segment in the joint US ROK military 'cordon sanitaire' around North Korea. Looking at the map, it is and will remain incomplete without the cooperation of China and Russia, which the two countries will not get.
The joint US ROK 'Drang nach Norden' policy in the propaganda war they engage in against the DPRK is an exercise in turning global terror into a commodity and a spear of the two allies foreign policy, with very mixed and questionable results.
If anything, Washington and Seoul are fighting a rearguard action putting off the day--which may be sooner than they think--when they're going to have to talk with Pyongyang without conditions.
Like true believers, armed with specious ideology thought up by their clerisy of North Korea watchers, they are blind to their own weaknesses and the failure of their ideas.

America's brain dead talking heads

The New America Foundation's commissioned report, 'The way forward: moving from the post-bubble, post-bust economy to renewed growth and competitiveness' is out, but not widely circulated beyond the Washington beltway.
Joe Nocera's the 'New York Times' business reporter with a twice weekly opinion editorial calls it 'a sobering analysis of our economy deserves some attention'.
The NAF is a conservative think tank that has pushed the kind of free market thinking which landed the world, in 2008, in a global recession. It hardly departs from the Republican congressional agenda that has given the US gridlock and has provided the cover for the big banks, corporate America, and the like which gave impetus to the widening 'Occupy Wall Street' protests across the continental US and territories.
Until now, it has complacently gone along with failed common wisdom about free markets. A wake up call came with the US and Europe losing traction and fears that the world as the pundits know it is heading for a recession once more. Suddenly the NAF report is awakened to the fact that the timid stimulus programme that began in the 'twilight of economic ruin' of the Bush administration had put the country on a similar course to Japan which hasn't been able to get out of economic doldrums for the last 20 odd years.
And that example doesn't sit well with the 'economic royalists' to say the least. But wait a minute, more far looking economists who do not sit at the fount of power and corporate money like Paul Krugman and Joe Stiglitz had warned from 2008 that to avoid a Japan future, more not less had to be done, meaning government had to spend to put the millions left without employment back to work. And now that fear of a future of lackluster growth and survival has shaken the pillars of the temple of economic orthodoxy.
Is the NAF willing to confront the Republicans and back Obama's jobs bill or put pressure on the Republicans to switch course?
That remains to be seen.
The report may be a little too late; it, however, is more damning since it clearly shows that they were not open to ideas that would rescue the class of plutocrats they serve. In all, they're brain dead to other ways of doing business.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

China's pressure on South Africa to deny Dalai Lama visa causes an global kerfulle

You think China would know better, wouldn't you? But it doesn't. It has to learn that less is better.
Yet when it comes to the Dalai Lama, the Communist party leadership go ballistic.
Had Beijing not twisted the weak arm of the Jacob Zuma government in Pretoria, so that the Tibetan spiritual leader would be denied a visa to his fellow Nobel Peace prize laureat, Archbishop Desmond Tutu's 80 birthday, the celebration might have turned out to simply blowing out candles, with a few songs, and a general joy of seeing the popular Tutu wished long life. The party would have not taken a political tinge, nor caused a scandal that it had become thanks to the CPP's heavy handedness.
Inside South Africa, Zuma's decision has received worldwide publicity, if not condemnation.
The Dalai Lama sent a message throw Skype[?] with hail thee good fellow greetings. More than that, the withholding of the RSA's visa, he took advantage of China's misstep by resoundingly denouncing the CCP.
The Tibetan spiritual leader's words brought the spotlight on scenes of self immolation of Tibetan monks and citizens protesting the harsh Chinese policy towards transforming Tibetans into model Han or ethnic Chinese servants.
Seemingly China doesn't give a tinker's damn, yet its strong armed means is not winning its friends. In fact, Chinese behaviour varies little from imperial policies of Europeans. China is not winning friends. In the longer run, it will make its investments in Africa more problemmatic.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

What is Mayor Michael Bloomberg smoking?

In an outburst against the 'Occupy Wall Street', New York's mayor Michael Bloomberg lashed out at the swelling ranks of protesters by accusing them of 'trying to destroy jobs of working people in the city'. Really!
By pointing the finger at Wall Street bankers and corporate America and the rich and superrich who are not paying their dues, the heat of protest is making Bloomberg the billionaire sweat. It is true, Wall Street is a milk cow for the City of New York, but the protesters in Liberty Park are not the ones 'destroying jobs'.
The mayor should look into the mirror: his administration is throwing people out of work. And so are the big bracket banks: Bank of America is eliminating 20.000, Goldman Sachs, 3000, and CitiBank 10.000. These slashes in personnel have nothing to do with the mainly 'unemployed' protesters and union supporters who have put the spotlight on the people who brought us the 2008 world economic recession.
These layoffs are finance and corporate casino capitalism's way of maximising profits and skimming off the top fat bonuses and priviledges of the rich and powerful who are gouging the standard of living of the 'middle classes', the working class, and the poor.
No mayor Bloomberg, you striking out at the wrong target, which is understandable. You daren't denounce yourself nor your plutocratic class and fellow coupon clippers.
You're smoking the marijuana of your fears as the protest is shaking the pillars of your wealth!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Jacob Zuma, shame on you!

The government of South Africa's ruling party, the ANC, has denied the spiritual leader of the Tibetans, the Dalai Lama, a visa.
His Eminence had been invited to celebrate the 80 birthday of his fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
After months of delay, Jacob Zuma, ANC leader and RSA president, put the kibash on the Dalai Lama's coming to South Africa.
The prestige and admiration that South Africa enjoyed under the leadership of Nelson Mandala, has long evaporated. Under Zuma's reign, the country's affairs are guided by 'realpolitik'.
Buckling under the pressure of China, Zuma kept the Dalai Lama out of South Africa. By doing this, he gave a stunning slap in the face to Tutu. The former archbishop id not turn the other cheek, but issued a stern warning to Zuma that 'through love, if the ANC continues ceding to the blackmail of foreign countries, a popular movement would arise to bring it down in the same way the apartheid Afrikaans' government fell. Some dismissed Tutu's anger as a spontaneous display of pique; others did not.
Zuma's track record shows that he is partial to anyone who is willing to put money in South Africa's pocket. Shamelessly, he back Qaddhi for example, and as mediator, he basically threw his political eggs in the Libyan dictator's basket by backing the colonel's plan to derail the popular uprising of the Libyan people, in the name of the states of Africa. He failed.
For China, South Africa has the primary materials it needs to fuel its industrial revolutions, as well as a thirsty market for its products. Chinese investment has increased over time as it influence in Pretoria. So, not to ruffle Beijing's feathers, Zuma knuckled under China's threats. What could Beijing do had Zuma granted the visa to the Dalai Lama? Very little since for its own reasons, South Africa is important to China.
By barring the Dalai Lama, Zuma has taken a page out of the apartheid government's playbook. His decision simply adds another faggot to the fires of discontent with ANC rule and corruption and will increase ill ease of financial markets with the war the economy is spinning out of control.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Anwar Sadat dead yea these 30 years

The Egyptian 'rais' Anwar Sadat met his end in assassination 30 years ago.
Signing a peace treaty with Israel by which he regained the Sinai may have contributed to his death. More still, he began dismantling the 'revolution' that Abdel Gamal Nasser began; imperfect as it was, the little people benefitted by Nasser's inefficient 'Arab socialism'; and in the economic sphere, Sadat embraced market economics and tilted heavily away from neutralism to the arms of the US. Still more, where Nasser opted for a secular Egypt, Sadat began favouring conservative Islam.
Sadat died at the hands of elite soldier who found Sadwat wanting.
Many there are some memorial services for him in the new Egypt today? The peace treaty he signed with the Zionist state holds until today, but the Arab Spring of Egypt has found voices calling up the military council and certainly the new popularly and freely elected government in 2012 to revise that treaty.
Israel is already fretting over losing a strategic ally, but the Zionist state has only itself to blame. And the US' strong support of Mubarak until the last minute is not forgotten.
So the weight and chains of Sadat's abandonment of Nasserism still haunts today's Egypt.

Occupy Wall Street and labour rally

The gods cooperated with splendid, early autumn weather, as tens of thousands filled New York City's Foley Square before marching to Liberty [Zuccotti] Park where 'Occupy Wall Street' protesters are, as of this writing, in its 20 day.
Labour unions, mainly government and hospital workers, threw their full weight in support of the on going protest which has clear and simple aims of denouncing Wall Street and corporate greed, the heavy hand of the rich who represent one percent of America's wealth, and who shift the burden to the weakening and declining middle classes, the working class, and the poor, for their own 'conspicuous consumption', increase in wealth, and pullers of the strings on the marionettes they have bought in the US Congress.
GuamDiary recommends to its followers to go to 'Democracy Now' which has put together an excellent collage of images and commentary on the march and protest.
The dumb corporate media keeps harping on the unkempt, hippy like gathering, which it isn't, and asking 'what do they want'? They know but really cannot say since their paymasters are corporate America who are fighting any tax burden that they should bear but won't, whilst millions are un or underemployed long time, are downsized and jobs outsourced for the greater glory of corporate America; others are thrown out of homes they were fraudulently should at usurious conditions; still others are in debt for loans for education and outrageous credit card interest fees, so on.
'Occupy Wall Street', non structured as it is -- and hence the naif wonder of the corporate suits who lively in a sterile world of formulae and manners--has touched a raw nerve of America. The young people have gone to Wall Street to denounce not only the greed of finance capitalism but the fact that it was saved by them, the taxpayers, after the big bracket bankers engineered the 2008 global recession. And to pore more salt on the open sores and wounds of the suffering 99 percent who are seeing their quality of life diminishing day by day, the most wanted financial criminals have not been put on trial, convicted, and sent to the slammer for crimes against the American people. No, instead they sit in the courtyards of the temples of power which they buy and control.
It is important to point out 41 years again in the very same Wall Street student protesters went there to denounce the war in Vietnam. Then the construction workers beat them up. Today the workers have joined the 'Occupy Wall Street' protest. And if that isn't a powerful message to the dysfunctional major political parties and Congress and the corporate world that owns so much and refuses to pay its fair share, let them reap the whirl wind!

US threatens withholding of funds for UNESCO

It won't be the first time the US will put a hold on its funding of UNESCO. Like a petulant, spoilt child, the US stamps its foot because UNESCO is willing to accept as a full member Palestine, if approved by the UN General Assembly, which it will.
UNESCO's decision muddies the waters of the Obama administration's threat to veto the Palestinian Authorities call in the name of the Palestinian people full membership in the UN before the Security Council. The US will once again come to the Israeli occupier of Palestinian lands for the last 44 years by casting its veto.
As GuamDiary keeps saying, Israel is an American domestic hot potato. For the past 63 years, the Zionist state is the devil's tail of American policy.
As conditions rapidly change in the Arab world, the American policy remains hostage to the Israeli lobby and its influence among American Jews and Gentiles. Since any American administration lacks the 'chutzpah' to challenge the influence and domination of a foreign state on its international policy, it will suffer one political defeat after another. Nonetheless, the US has means at its disposition for nastiness in the form of blackmail, corruption, and a rattling of the sabre.
Yet as events in the last two years have shown, the US is losing traction on its influence in the Arab world. It is time for redirection of US Israeli policy. It will come however too late!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

US gets a double whammy slap in UN Security Council

In an outrage of protest, US ambassadrix to the UN Susan Rice denounced the double veto by Russia and China on a resolution condemning Syria.
As it was expected, the crocodile tears of rage flooded her remarks. How could Russia and China ignore the brutality that has been going on in Syria more the last six months, so on?
Well old darling Rice how about the US' threat to veto the Palestinians' application for full membership at the UN? How could the US blithely ignore what Israel has been doing to the Palestinians on the West Bank, Arab East Jerusalem, and in Gaza for the last 44 years of the Zionist state's brutal occupation?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Main Street media 'disses' 'Occupy Wall Street'

‘Occupy Wall Street’ has its own newspaper, to counter the not so straight coverage of the main street media. It is appropriately named 'The Occupied Wall Street Journal'!
Consider Long Island based 'Newsday' is a good example of how corporate interests distort the 'Occupy Wall Street' protests. 'Rebels without a cause', the tabloid calls it. And yet they do have a cause: they are against the greed of Wall Street big bracket banks and corporate America whose wealth continues to grow at the expense of the 99 percent of the American people who see their livelihood, their lives, and the future of their children cheapened, demeaned, and devalued, all in the name of the one percent who possess great wealth and privilege. In more basic terms, this one percent of the wealthy and the powerful who buy and sell governments and escape the burden of taxes based on their true wealth and holdings, dominate 24 percent of the economy. In other words, their wealth is equal to the savings and the sweat and tears of the growing army of the poor or 140 million households in America. The US has a population of 300 million more or less.
Yes, the rebels do have a cause, and a jolly bloody good cause it is. But you would hardly know it talking to the main street media. Yet, we should not be shocked by the way the media, the ponces who earn fat salaries for talking nonsense. They are in the pay of the giant corporations who own the presses, the radio and television airways, and who buy and sell governments.
'The New York Times' has on its masthead: 'all the news fit to print' from its perspective. Marx, who is held in much disrepute, famously said: 'there is freedom of the press for those who own it!' And yet, the word gets out, the protests against corporate greed and finance capitalism spread across the country. And the media has to catch up with a situation and a process they don't understand [or understand all too well]; for 'Occupy Wall Street' and 'We are the 99 percent', which are more or less synonymous, are breaking the silence of the lambs of the press. And they've hit a nerve that ordinary America can and does understand.
You cannot dismiss the protesters as 'anti capitalist' since like good Americans, they basically believe in liberal economics. Saying this, they do understand that the way 'casino capitalism' as the banks and the corporations play, go against the decency of democracy and the values they were brought up to believe.
In a way, you can say the banks and the corporations are 'anti American' and the protesters, patriots. Try to sell that story to main street media! I dare you.

JPMorgan Chase pays New York police to protect it from 'Occupy Wall Street'

Jaime Dimon chief pooh bah of JPMorgan Chase is a frontline warrior in not only protecting his bank's interests and holdings but is a defender of the Wall Street mafia that brought US and world free market forces to their knees in 2008.
Feeding large from the public's trough of free cash payouts, he's is battling hard and strong against anyone or any government wishing to put regulatory restraints on 'casino capitalism' which buoyed up big bracket banks and profits and generous bonuses.
He has criticised the conservative government of Steven Harper in Canada for daring to regulate banks; he is contesting the right of Basle II to force banks to have at least eight percent of liquidity in trust in the case of another run on banks; he has mightily contributed to the banking lobby in Washington to buy Congressmen; and now, faced with a growing 'Occupy Wall Street' protest he has openly but hardly made known to the public, contributed millions to the New York City police to beef up its ability to electronically monitor the swelling ranks of the anti Wall Street and Corporate protests, in order to protect his interests instead of the good of the commonweal.
JPMorgan, let's point out, was among the first to configure and profit largely from subprime mortgages and fancy financial instruments that even bankers didn't understand. Jaime Dimon did, and the 'Financial Times' of London US bureau chief Gillian Tett documents his story in her 'Fool's Gold'. Still, Dimon has billions in rotten subprime loans on its books. Consider the us$400.000 billion smelly holdings in California real estate; they remain at full value on JPM's books, and Dimon has resisted devaluing them in order to restore a semblance of financial health, in order to avoid his stockholders', institutional and individual, wrath.
A few millions in crumbs to New York City's police is worth the expense: Dimon is a firm believer in law and order when he is the law and the order. And that is a sterling example of class warfare.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: What a difference a week makes

At the news of hour on the BBC a young American voice, the voice of David Levy, a participant in the 'Occupy Wall Street' protest, now in its third week.
The hyperactive New York City police has become the campaign against Wall Street greed's best advertiser. Last week, the arm of the law used pepper spray followed by 90 arrests. Yesterday, the blue shirts arrested 700 for a protest on the Brooklyn Bridge. Accounts vary, but the police, it seems, set a trap for the protesters by allowing many of them to walk on the roadway without warning that they could and would be arrested. And arrested they were in staggering numbers, in what looks as though they were victims of entrapments.
The high numbers arrested will bring more media coverage and will swell the ranks of the protesters who call themselves 'the 99 percenters'.
'Occupy Wall Street' has encouraged others across the countries to come out in the streets and denounce the Wall Street bankers whose unregulated behaviour gave birth to the 2008 global recession. For the 99 percenters the global economic downturn which favoured the bankers and disenfranchised the vast majority of Americans who are un or underemployed, thrown out of homes, lost medical coverage, and in general, whose loss in economic status pushed them closer to poverty and debt. Contrast this reality with the one percent who control 25 percent of the annual income in America [or hold wealth equal to 140 million Americans] and ever increasing in wealth and privilege.
Say 'Wall Street', anyone on Main Street [High Street] immediately knows what it means and how much does the centre of US finance capitalism has turned his every life a hell for survival.
Talk to anyone at Liberty [Zuccotti] Park where the protesters have set up their headquarters, he or she will tell you the high debt she holds for a university degree which holds no key to a job. And he knows that his prospects for employment that matches his qualifications are almost nil, and before him lies a future of menial, minimum wage job which would barely keep life and limb together. Talk to a young banker who fell from the height of a good salary to being thrown out of work and on the dole with at least us$100.000 debt he collected for his master's of business administration. Talk to the young man who had to drop out of school to work, say, in a McDonald's at minimum wage to bring money to a family with a father has been out of work for soon four years. Speak to the single mum who had to give her children to forster care. Talk to the older man whose 40l(k) portfolio shrank radically thanks to the games Wall Street banks played with his savings, to their profit and his loss of a comfortable old age. Multiple these individuals by millions and you get the idea as to why 'Occupy Wall Street' sprang up as if by spontaneous combustion.
And the bankers and the superrich who buy and influece government --municipal, state, or federal--for padding their own wealth and comfort, whilst dumping fiscal responsabilities on the vast majority of Americans least able.
So, yes, a week since pepper spraying protesters, 'Occupy Wall Street' has grabbed the attention of the world, but not the US government. The police, the guardians of the property classes, view the protesters through the lens of terrorism. Little wonder the methods law enforcement senior managers enforce are extrene without a blush that they might be transgressing the law itself and constitutional and civil rights of the protesters.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Victor Cha lectures North Korea

In policy circles Victor Cha is well known. And why shouldn't he be? Didn't he advise Bush junior on North Korea? Today, he teaches at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service and is a senior advisor at the Centre for Stratgic and International Studies.
So when Cha speaks on North Korea, he is heard. In Friday's 30 October edition of 'the Financial Times of London', his thinking on North Korea found its way in the opinion page: "Kim Jong-il must see the dark path that follows failed talks".
Advisor Victor Cha brings nothing new to the table. The Achilles heel in his opinion piece is that the Obama administration's policy towards North Korea is tightly yoked to South Korea's president Lee Myung bak's hard line standpoint towards Kim Jong il's regime. Consequently, the US has its hands tied in moves to restart the suspended Six Party talks in Beijing. And I suggest the Obama administration is comfortable with that arrangement.
This US-South Korea axis seen from Pyongyang sets off alarm bells as the US and ROK are strengthening South Korea abilities to go toe to toe with North Korea in a "balance of terror" scenario in the divided Korean peninsula. Consider the following: the placement of Israeli supplied missiles on the DMZ; the sale of hight-altitude drones known as "RQ-Global Hawks" which will allow South Korea to spy more closely on what is happening on the ground in the DPRK; the construction of the Gangjung naval facility on Jeju Island which will accomadate 20 warships (mainly American) and house US state of the art Aegis missiles. The South Korea armed force as of 2010 had the reported strength of 3,853,00 (653,000 active and 3,200,000 reserve forces). The US supplements South Korea military with 28,000 military stationed in South Korea, and in the Yellow and East (Japan) Seas, the "USS George Washington", an American nuclear powered super carrier, is not only moored in Busan but also patrols Korean waters, especially along the Northern Limit Line in close proximity to North Korea's offshore boundaries.
If as Cha posits that North Korea's nuclear and rocket programs raise great fears, the same criticisms can be applied to US-ROK's race to turn South Korea into military bulwark that raise the specter of war.
Since the test for Washington and Seoul is North Korea's expression of "sincerity" (whatever that means), the two allies are doing their worst to give the DPRK any reasonable opportunity for returning to the negotiating table in Beijing.