noleadersplease:

Distorted economy

noleadersplease:

Distorted economy

US Libya Intervention Is Aggression

Mounting evidence of CIA ties to Libyan rebels

By Patrick Martin
4 April 2011

Numerous press reports over the weekend add to the evidence that the Libyan rebels fighting the regime of Muammar Gaddafi are under the direction of American intelligence agencies. Despite the repeated claims by Obama administration officials that the rebels are a largely unknown quantity, it is becoming increasingly clear that key military leaders of the anti-Gaddafi campaign are well known to the US government and have longstanding relations with the CIA.

For better than two weeks there had been a virtual ban in the US media on reporting the name of Khalifa Haftar, the long-time CIA collaborator who was appointed chief rebel commander March 17, on the eve of the US-NATO bombing campaign against Libya. Only the regional McClatchy Newspapers chain reported Haftar’s appointment, and ABC News ran a brief interview with him on March 27. Otherwise, silence prevailed.

This de facto censorship abruptly ended April 1, when a right-wing US think tank, the Jamestown Foundation, published a lengthy study of Haftar’s background and record, which was cited extensively by Reuters news service, and then more widely in the US and British media.

The Jamestown Foundation report declared: “Today as Colonel Haftar finally returns to the battlefields of North Africa with the objective of toppling Gaddafi, his former co-conspirator from Libya’s 1969 coup, he may stand as the best liaison for the United States and allied NATO forces in dealing with Libya’s unruly rebels.”

The Jamestown study noted Haftar’s role in organizing the Libyan National Army (LNA), which he founded “on June 21, 1988 with strong backing from the Central Intelligence Agency,” and cites a 1991 interview with him “conducted in an LNA camp in rural Virginia.” Not only did the CIA sponsor and fund the LNA, it engineered the entry of LNA officers and men into the United States where they established a training camp.

Reuters added, using a variant spelling of the name, that it has “repeatedly asked for an interview with Hefta but he could not immediately be contacted.” The news service added, “The CIA declined to comment” on its relationship to the former Libyan military leader.

Read More

The U.S. continued to bomb Japan even after Hiroshima and Nagasaki


In an effort to silence employees who have blown the whistle on  serious food safety hazards at Jimmy John’s, the company fired six  workers yesterday for putting up posters demanding the right to call in  sick and paid sick days in order to avoid exposing customers to  infection. Under current policy, Jimmy John’s workers are disciplined  for calling in sick if they cannot find a replacement, forcing many  workers to make sandwiches while ill.
"It just isn’t safe — customers are getting their sandwiches made by  people with the flu, and they have no idea," said Micah Buckley-Farlee,  one of the fired workers, "and now we’re getting fired for blowing the  whistle on this disgusting practice. Rather than safeguard public health  and do the right thing for their employees and their customers, Jimmy  John’s owners Mike and Rob Mulligan are trying to silence us. These  illegal and offensive firings will not stand."
In addition to the threat of discipline for calling in sick, many  workers are unable to afford to take a day off if they are ill because  wages at the sandwich chain hover around the federal minimum of $7.25  and the company offers no benefits. The result of these pressures is  that sandwich-makers often have to work while sick, creating an enormous  public health risk. The issue of working while sick in restaurants has  assumed increased concern from the public in recent years. A recent  study performed by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy  shows a marked increase in workers unable to take sick leave noting  that of the 793 employees surveyed 72% said they worked while they had  severe flu symptoms.

The risky anti-union firings at Jimmy John’s could easily backfire on  the company. Firing workers in retaliation for organizing activity is  expressly forbidden by the National Labor Relations Act. The IWW Jimmy  John’s Workers Union will file charges with the National Labor Relations  Board today seeking reinstatement of all fired workers. The workers are  hopeful that the NLRB will consider an injunction to reinstate the  fired workers while litigation progresses. Regardless of the outcome of  legal action, the union workers have announced that direct actions  against the franchise, such as picketing, will continue to escalate  until they have won the demand for paid sick days and all illegally  fired workers are reinstated.
“All we want is for the owner Rob Mulligan to do the right thing,”
says Alyssa Rodewald, a Jimmy John’s worker who was fired for calling  in sick last week. “Spend your money giving us paid sick days and  protecting customers, not spending legal fees in a hopeless attempt to  justify your immoral actions”.
The Jimmy Johns Workers Union, open to employees at the company  nationwide, is affiliated with the Industrial Workers of the World labor  union. Gaining prominence in recent years for organizing Starbucks  workers, the IWW is a global union founded over a century ago for all  working people.

Source: IWW

Here’s Jimmy John’s facebook page, tell them how you feel about having your food prepared by sick workers.
http://www.facebook.com/jimmyjohns

In an effort to silence employees who have blown the whistle on serious food safety hazards at Jimmy John’s, the company fired six workers yesterday for putting up posters demanding the right to call in sick and paid sick days in order to avoid exposing customers to infection. Under current policy, Jimmy John’s workers are disciplined for calling in sick if they cannot find a replacement, forcing many workers to make sandwiches while ill.

"It just isn’t safe — customers are getting their sandwiches made by people with the flu, and they have no idea," said Micah Buckley-Farlee, one of the fired workers, "and now we’re getting fired for blowing the whistle on this disgusting practice. Rather than safeguard public health and do the right thing for their employees and their customers, Jimmy John’s owners Mike and Rob Mulligan are trying to silence us. These illegal and offensive firings will not stand."

In addition to the threat of discipline for calling in sick, many workers are unable to afford to take a day off if they are ill because wages at the sandwich chain hover around the federal minimum of $7.25 and the company offers no benefits. The result of these pressures is that sandwich-makers often have to work while sick, creating an enormous public health risk. The issue of working while sick in restaurants has assumed increased concern from the public in recent years. A recent study performed by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy shows a marked increase in workers unable to take sick leave noting that of the 793 employees surveyed 72% said they worked while they had severe flu symptoms.

The risky anti-union firings at Jimmy John’s could easily backfire on the company. Firing workers in retaliation for organizing activity is expressly forbidden by the National Labor Relations Act. The IWW Jimmy John’s Workers Union will file charges with the National Labor Relations Board today seeking reinstatement of all fired workers. The workers are hopeful that the NLRB will consider an injunction to reinstate the fired workers while litigation progresses. Regardless of the outcome of legal action, the union workers have announced that direct actions against the franchise, such as picketing, will continue to escalate until they have won the demand for paid sick days and all illegally fired workers are reinstated.

“All we want is for the owner Rob Mulligan to do the right thing,”

says Alyssa Rodewald, a Jimmy John’s worker who was fired for calling in sick last week. “Spend your money giving us paid sick days and protecting customers, not spending legal fees in a hopeless attempt to justify your immoral actions”.

The Jimmy Johns Workers Union, open to employees at the company nationwide, is affiliated with the Industrial Workers of the World labor union. Gaining prominence in recent years for organizing Starbucks workers, the IWW is a global union founded over a century ago for all working people.

Source: IWW

Here’s Jimmy John’s facebook page, tell them how you feel about having your food prepared by sick workers.

http://www.facebook.com/jimmyjohns

The Ethics of Air War

"Mahmoud Jibril - foreign affairs"


Before the uprising, Mr Jibril was involved in a project called “Libyan Vision” with other intellectuals, which sought to establish a democratic state. He is also head of the rebel council’s crisis committee, which aims to streamline decision making.

Born in 1952, Mr Jibril has both a master’s degree in political science and a PhD in strategic planning and decision-making from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. 

After completing his doctorate in 1984, he taught strategic planning and decision-making at the university for several years. He also wrote several books and ran leadership training programmes in several Arab states. 

He later became the head of the Libyan National Planning Council. Then in 2009, he was appointed chairman of the National Economic Development Board (NEDB), reporting directly to the prime minister.

A leaked US diplomatic cable from November 2009 written by the US ambassador to Libya, Gene Cretz, described Mr Jibril as “a serious interlocutor who ‘gets’ the US perspective”.

"He is also not shy about sharing his views of US foreign policy, for example, opining that the US spoiled a golden opportunity to capitalise on its ‘soft power’ (McDonald’s, etc) after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989 by putting ‘boots on the ground’ in the Middle East,” Mr Cretz wrote.

An earlier US diplomatic cable described Mr Jibril as ‘reform-minded’…”

(emphasis mine)

Translation: Jibril is a US educated technocrat whom the Office of Economic Development would love to get into place in order enforce a strict neoliberal structural adjustment line, in Libya.

Well, he’s probably going to get his chance. Good looking out, pro-intervention lefties. Good looking out. You weren’t useful idiots or anything…

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A True heroine died, her name wasn’t Elizabeth Taylor.

R.I.P.

Irene Hull, a beloved fighter for trade union rights, world peace, equality, and socialism died on the first day of spring, March 20, in Seattle. She was 98.

A week to the day before her death, she attended her Communist Party club meeting in Seattle. Someone announced the Saint Patrick’s Day rally in Olympia to protest budget cuts and to demand that the legislature “tax the rich.” Hull spoke up: “I’ll go if someone picks me up.”

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The Con Job of Libertarian “Economics”

by: John Case

The rise of the so-called “tea party” movement has given a big boost to Libertarian economics, also known as “the Austrian School,” a branch of thought that, although it calls itself economics, is better termed a Utopian philosophy. Ever since Paul Samuelson (and even Milton Friedman), academic economics have tried to define a more scientific framework for economics. In general this has meant applying statistical modeling, and formal definitions to various actors in the economy, including both public and private institutions as well as individuals and groups, that can then be applied to surveys and other data. You cannot ever make economics non-political since class and other interests of course also economic interests. But Samuelson hoped to move the economic debate from the realm of mostly ideology, to the realm of mostly evidence driven analysis.

"The Austrian School" is the opposite of a data or evidence driven framework. Texas Congressman Ron Paul is undoubtedly the most influential American advocate. Instead of paying any attention to data, it accepts as given from God (or nature) the transcendental "organizing" power of the market price mechanism. Its name derives from the identity of its founders and early supporters, Ludwig von Mises, and Nobel laureate Friedrich Hayek, both Austrians. the Ludwig von Mises Institute and Virginia based George Mason University are the principle US ideological centers of this trend.

Its principles are as follows:

1. The business cycle is a completely virtuous cycle. Slumps are the price we pay for booms. Recessions are the just punishment for the excesses of previous expansions. The fact that the rich reap the rewards regardless, and the poor are the ones punished regardless, is of no importance to the Austrian school. Every graph of the financial crises showing crashes and bubbles is just God’s continuing morality play. Government intervention in this “virtuous” cycle prevents God and/or nature from rendering justice with the “tough love” everyone needs – and thus is evil. The Austrians are always in a state of continual frustration because no nation in the world seems to be willing to wait out financial crises and depressions trusting in the “magic of the market” to fix everything – that mirable dictu, keeps crashing and suffering from persistent instability. Instead of waiting for God’s judgement, people – to the amazement of the “Austrians” – still resist walking calmly to the grave from starvation or homelessness!! They say: “if this is virtue, then the Devil has ascended Heaven.” Nonetheless, the “virtuous business cycle of capitalism” has a certain seductive power. Not because it offers any solutions, but because it explicitly offers nothing: Welcome to God’s Plan.

2.  The Austrian School rejects a scientific foundation to economics. The failure of any political regime to endorse the virtuous business cycle theory of the Libertarians gives rise to all sorts of political backwardness and numbness to reality in its supporters – listening to them frequently arouses a generous desire to help them with a wake-up “dope slap,” after such tortured jewels as: “the people are too stupid to understand,” or “the people are entitled to nothing,” and other too-vulgar-or-racist-to-repeat sentiments. So few believe them, in fact, that they have become hostile to any group or government or institutional level of analysis at all. Instead they advocate strict adherence to “methodological individualism” – analyzing human action exclusively from the perspective of individual agents. Austrian economists also argue that mathematical models and statistics are an unreliable means of analyzing and testing economic theory, and advocate deriving economic theory logically from “basic principles” – read “divinely inspired principles” – of human action. They have even given their methodology a name, “praxeology.” Additionally, renouncing science altogether, the Austrians reject experimental and empirical research altogether. They reject testability and falsification en toto. The great virtue (not!) of a theory that rejects testing and falsification is, of course, that it cannot be disproved!

3. The role of the state in Austrian and now Libertarian theory is more confused than its transparently false propositions on the business cycle. The first Austrian, von Hayek, was actually a social democrat and strongly supported standard social democratic policy on the key role of the state in providing services that were market failures. He differed only on whether the post office should be public or private. But latter day Austrians at the Von Mises Institute take this notion for a ride off the sanity cliff, calling for the end of public schools, roads, post offices, Internet, media of any kind, health care, retirement, fire stations, etc, etc, etc.

4. Like many cultish theories, libertarian economics rise in popularity reflects public dissatisfaction with the performance of large institutions in many areas of economic and public life. They often correctly identify corporate corruption as a source of the decay of these institutions, but rather than reform the corruption, they become captured by an attractive, but ultimately doomed, ideology that – due to its futility as a guide to leadership – strengthens the very corruption they decry.

Here is a “parable of the ship” from Mike Huben – a nearly perfect allegory of Libertarian and Austrian School Economics, that should serve you well in any debates:

The owner of a ship noticed that his ship was filling with water. Being an educated man (if not nautically trained) he knew there were many possible causes for water in a ship: leaks in the hull, the bilge pump being broken, waves washing over, condensation, and even the crew urinating in the hold. He heard the bilge pump running, he saw water from waves pouring in the open hatches, but worst of all he smelled urine in the hold! Being sensible, he ordered the crew to shut the hatches and then gave them a lengthy, stern harangue on hygienic use of the head. While he was lecturing the crew, his ship sank due to a combination of causes: large, unobserved leaks in the hull, a bilge pump that was running but not pumping correctly, and condensation that had shorted out warning circuitry.

Illustration by Alexei Talimonov




source

anti-propaganda:

George Galloway on Wests Libya intervention (19Mar11) (by liarpoliticians)

‘Ex-MP George Galloway talks about why the UK and other countries are interested in Libya so much…. it’s about oil, which other African despot countries don’t have.

Recorded from Sky News, 19 March 2011.’

Did Sky News let George Galloway lose again? They don’t learn, do they?!?

Once again George Galloway speaks the Truth! I would ask, why isn’t the well armed (by the West) Egyptian army attacking Mad Dog Gadhafi? Very simple answer: the Egyptian army was propped up by the US, not to fight Libya or (god forbid) Israel, but to pacify and control their own population. The same goes to the Tunisian army, I would assume.

Personally I defend a partition of Libya, but I guess BP wouldn’t like that. So we spend more than a million quid per tomahawk missile…Serious, a million quid that’s what some defense expert said on bbc radio 4.

(via noleadersplease)

Masters of Sock Puppetry

The US government’s plan to use technology to create and manage fake identities for social interaction with terrorists is as appalling as it is amusing. It’s appalling that in this era of greater transparency and accountability brought on by the internet, the US of all countries would try to systematise sock puppetry. It’s appallingly stupid, for there’s little doubt that the fakes will be unmasked. The net result of that will be the diminution, not the enhancement, of American credibility.

By Jeff Jarvis

  read more Guardian

CIA’s ‘Facebook’ Program Dramatically Cut Agency’s Costs

The CIA’s invention of Facebook has saved the government millions of dollars.

Operation Farmville pacifies millions !!!

Debate between some selfish tool from the ARC and a quasi decent liberal guy from Demos. I could easily strangle (metaphorical speaking, of course) that Rand echoing parrot and his tepid regurgitated garbage.

At same point the duty charlatan will come out with the argument that corporations are being “forced” to hire lobbyists due to the “strong” restrictive measures imposed on business by the government…

Really?!? That’s the same if I claim that the Mafia only contracts lawyers because the police keeps investigating them.

Also, don’t be fooled by his claim that America was constantly  “absorbing” workers from the four corners of the world. That happened in the US, not because the system was radically different than the rest of the world or due to the wonders of venture capitalism but because there was a huge mass of land and constant shortage of workers, hence slavery and then immigration. That’s the reason why the wages kept going up and the American Dream subsisted till the mid seventies, let’s not forget, with the help of some FDR mildly socialistic policies and later the New Deal.

The Rand tool chooses to ignore that fact. Plus, not even Marx argued that capitalism wasn’t a improvement over feudalism. Although today, if we follow the ARC advice we’ll walk into serfdom again…kids and all, by the looks of it…bloody shocking seeing people defending this sort of shit in public…The bastard wants to abolish child labour laws with the excuse that kids always worked in their family farms…And I ask, how many kids, percentage wise, work in farms nowadays, and how many kids you reckon that would work in factories, construction or services if child labour laws were abolished..

Fucking disgraceful, I’m about to review my position on free speech and all…nah, just kidding! Let ‘em talk bollocks…