A bunch of academic pundits and media cognoscenti inform us that among the causes of a person’s becoming unemployed is a yen for job-change because he or she opts for a certain “work-related opportunity cost” so as to “optimise utility function”. Renouncing jargon, others claim the unemployed are loafers. Or The Economist informs us that “the recession this time is behaving weirdly”. All this sophistry and waffle, plus a whole lot more ill-intentioned pronouncements are supposed to “explain” unemployment and hence poverty. Naturally, the three-time Pulitzer winner Thomas Friedman has dreamed up a fantastic solution: all those “muscled out of the workforce should start charging hourly for everything, from cars to drills”. Does anyone want to rent my patch under the bridge? To his credit though, “muscled out” at least hints that leaving the workforce might not have been voluntary. Then there are a lot more horse-feathers flapping around in the hot air expelled by other prodigies who, blithely or maliciously ignoring social context and, in particular, political economy, proclaim that unemployment is about free-loading spongers. This subject is nearly as entertaining as Disneyland for anyone who thinks it’s fun to badmouth less fortunate human beings: “skivers” (as opposed to “strivers”), “wedded to welfare” (single mums), “welfare queen” (hinting at some kind of secret opulence), “misfits”, “free-riders”, “parasites”, “spongers”, “loafers”, “feral underclass”, and the latter-day Rip Van Winkle prone to “sleeping off a life on benefits”, dreamed up by George Osborne. Lurking beneath these labels is the insinuation that members of the said “underclass” are mentally handicapped, violent and criminal. It’s all their fault. They are a threat to the strivers. Owen Jones calls it the “demonization of the working class”, although it must be remembered that many members of this class are excluded from working.
Some more fortunate people are said to belong to a “middle class”, which is so fuzzy in conceptual terms that nobody’s sure exactly what it is. Then there is the group of rich people who, we are told, deserve to be rich, no questions asked. These two latter categories are filled by supposedly hard-working, ambitious, smart and successful people. Yet, despite the best efforts of our most zealous opinion makers – frequently bosom buddies of these Übermenschen – most people actually subscribe to the old saying that behind every fortune there is a crime (or few) and that, in most cases, a few easily-substantiated facts rather tarnish the Merit Theory of Wealth. The correlations tend to be wealth-corruption, wealth-tax-fraud, wealth-inheritance, wealth-robbery and, very often, a little scratching below the surface of things shows a combination of them all. They tend to go together. Otherwise there’d be no need for tax havens.
The rich and their satellites love to put down and revile poor people who depend on welfare payments, carelessly or cynically overlooking the fact that, historically speaking or very recently, their wealth has a lot to do with the poverty of their fellow men and women. The original meanings of the word “charity” are esteem or affection (from the Latin nominative caritas). The implied respect for other humans in this term is now twisted into contempt. And “contemptible” people, the ones we look down on, must be punished, as we know from the history of colonialism, racism, sexism and all the ideologies that have always depended on having somebody to trample on. People receiving any kind of public benefits are clear targets as privatisation tightens its insatiable grip on just about everything: land, water, forests, minerals, indigenous knowledge and the structure of life itself in genetic resources, along with public services such as health care, education, transport, and water and sewerage services, not to mention people-commodities traded in human trafficking, sex slavery, child labour, surrogate motherhood, the baby and child market, and organ sales. The plunderers who are taking over and filling bank vaults with the riches they are appropriating from this common wealth are not going to look kindly on people asking for any form of welfare benefits from “their” institutions. So they malign and punish the poor while they have a field day (in other people’s fields).
In Catalonia, former President Jordi Pujol, founding chairman of today’s ruling conservative party CiU, has recently admitted to very major tax fraud over thirty years. Today’s CiU president, Artur Mas, commented when Pujol was stripped of his titles, that this caused him “great pain”. But he doesn’t feel great pain for the poor. He prefers to cause it. Shortly after coming to power, Mas, considering that the measly welfare benefits paid by the Generalitat (Catalan Government) were too generous, went on the offensive and embarked on monitoring procedures that cost more than the original welfare benefits. (Here we’d like to point out that our criticism of any self-appointed father of conservative Catalan nationalism does not imply the slightest opposition to the mass-based “Process” claiming Catalonia’s democratic right to decide by voting on 9 November for or against independence although – in contrast with Scotland and its vote on 18 September – this right to decide is denied by the Spanish Government).
John Ward, a Tory councillor for Medway who, more emphatic than Mas and Co., was apparently aiming at a nice sound-bite in 2008 when he lambasted “professional spongers” who “breed for greed”, and called for “compulsory sterilisation of all those who have a second, (or third, or whatever) child while living off state handouts.” He was suspended, but not without spawning Internet forums of people who wondered whether he had merely dared to put into words what a lot of upright citizens privately thought. Sterilising the poor isn’t exactly a new idea, and it has had some illustrious proponents who used a collegiate guise to say the same thing. One such enthusiast was Thomas Nixon Carver, professor of Political Economy at Harvard (1902 – 1935), well-known “Republican Brain Truster” and President of the American Economic Association. He was very keen to wield the neutering knife. The Daily Washington Merry-Go-Round reports Point 2 of his economic plan of 1936 as reading, “Reduction of the supply of labor by sterilization of the palpably unfit; […] Marriage would be barred until the parties could afford to buy and operate an automobile”. By “palpably unfit” he meant people earning less than $1,800 per year, which is to say half the population of the United States at the time. Castratio plebis, to put it mildly.
The eugenics movement in the US took off after Sir Francis Galton (1822 – 1911) studied Britain’s upper classes and concluded that their genetic makeup was superior. Early eugenics fans believed in the innate superiority of Nordic, Germanic and Anglo-Saxon peoples and called for the forcible sterilisation of the poor disabled and “immoral”. The movement was generously funded by such august establishments as the Carnegie Institution and Rockefeller Foundation. Some US states (with California in the lead in terms of numbers) sterilised “imbeciles” over much of the twentieth century, a total of over 62,000 individuals and especially women (61% by 1961), and Virginia’s sterilisation law was in force until 1974. By 1928 the leading universities were teaching some 376 eugenics courses. This is not a thing of the past, however. In 2013, one of Australia’s most destructive people, billionaire mining heiress Gina Reinhart, called for sterilisation of the “underclasses”. Income inequality, she says, is caused by differences in intelligence and any couple earning less than $100,000 per year should be forcibly sterilised, while higher earners should have ten or twelve children.
Now, some people might be tempted to think after the Pujol revelations in Catalonia (and other scandals featuring many more crooked paragons of society in the Kingdom of Spain and around the world, not least heads of the IMF) that this man is “immoral” and “palpably unfit” to hold any responsible job and that the country might have been better off if this father of seven (most with greedy fingers in one or other very greasy pork barrel) had been sterilised. But what people really want is change. In Spain the groundswell of support for grassroots political movements like Podemos and Guanyem Barcelona (We’re Going to Win Barcelona [City Council]), which is fast being emulated all over the country, is bringing together people from all walks of life at very sizeable meetings in the city’s streets and squares where the main themes of the day are justice, transparency, political ethics, real human rights in all spheres of life, to sum up very schematically. It’s not difficult to deduce that Pujol did Guanyem Barcelona a big favour. Suddenly, old-fashioned Catalan politics looks very rancid. People want sweeping change that extends to the structures of power. And it’s all about political economy. In 2012, it was estimated that 30% of the population of Catalonia was at risk of social exclusion. Things have only got worse since then. The Kingdom of Spain has the second highest child poverty rate – after Romania – in Europe: 21%. The growing rage among the population where youth unemployment stands at more than 55% is so great that, nowadays, only a lunatic would dare to propose the sterilisation solution. Everyone knows that the “immoral”, “palpably unfit” (and “imbeciles” too because, after all, imbecility is often inseparable from arrogance) are clustered in the privileged 1%. However, their wombs and testicles are safe because, what with the burgeoning growth of new, inclusive political formations, people have better things to think about, in particular their basic rights.
All over Spain, Basic Income is gaining ground (with more or less clarity) as part of the election programme of political parties including Bildu, IU-ICV, Anova, Equo and Podemos (heir of the 15M Occupy Movement, clearest exponent of what a universal Basic Income is and implies, and garnering astonishing electoral results that are cracking the foundations of the basically two-party power-share between the “socialist” PSOE and right-wing PP). Largely thanks to Podemos, no doubt, Basic Income is an increasingly widespread subject of discussion and, like any other radical social proposal, is gathering scores of “friends” and “enemies”. There is increasing awareness that the most basic human right, on which all the rest depend, is the right to exist and, for that to be possible, everybody must have an income above the poverty line. This, in a nutshell, is an unconditional, universal basic income for every single citizen and resident in the country. It is no longer seen as “utopian” or “hare-brained” as the well-to-do and their cronies have claimed in the past. More and more people understand that this guarantee is necessary for a truly democratic society. The obstacles faced by Basic Income have been political, just as they were (or are, depending on the place) in the cases of universal suffrage, paid holidays, and the rights to strike, to abortion and to same-sex marriage. Basic Income embodies no logical or empirical (financial) impossibility. It is an objective aspiration which, almost certainly, won’t enjoy universal support. In politics one must choose, and this is especially true of political economy.
The “idea” of mutilating people’s reproductive organs on the basis of cruel judgements by a few palpably unfit individuals merits adjectives that are much more withering than “utopian”. But conjuring them up is just a pastime. The really important, lapidary statement is Thomas Paine’s observation in Agrarian Justice that people don’t want charity; they want justice. And they have begun to claim precisely this.
Daniel Raventós is a lecturer in Economics at the University of Barcelona and author inter alia of Basic Income: The Material Conditions of Freedom (Pluto Press, 2007). He is on the editorial board of the international political review Sin Permiso
Julie Wark is an advisory board member of the international political review Sin Permiso. Her last book is The Human Rights Manifesto (Zero Books, 2013).
This is George Galloway’s first interview since being attacked on a London Street less than a week ago. In answer to a question regarding whether his remarks about Israel could be viewed as anti-Semitic, the British parliamentarian offers the view that “Israel has nothing to do with Judaism.”
Is Galloway correct? Are Israel and the Jewish religion totally divorced and disconnected from one another? Or is it possible that Judaic precepts such as “chosenness” are major determining factors contributing to Israeli behavior? The Old Testament contains an awful lot of blood and genocide. Moreover, it is common knowledge that many Israelis today view the Palestinians as Amalekites, an ancient tribe of people whom the biblical Israelites were supposedly commanded to destroy, including women and children–and even infants.
Galloway notes, accurately if I’m not mistaken, that 96 percent of Israelis supported the recent savagery inflicted upon Gaza. Israel was founded as a Jewish state and Judaism today is its official religion. Could this possibly have anything to do with why the attack enjoyed such widespread support among the Israeli public? Galloway seems to think not–although after what he’s been through it’s probably a safe bet that he’s being very cautious about what he says, and perhaps that has something to do with why he answered the question the way he did.
In any event, the question of whether there is–or isn’t–a connection between Judaism and the repeated atrocities we see committed by Israel is a legitimate one, and one that deserves to be openly discussed and debated. My own personal view is that there is a connection. At the same time, I fully recognize there are many who would answer that Zionism, not Judaism, is the real begetter and stirrer of the conflict. But one thing is for sure: we have a very serious problem in the Middle East today. And no hope whatsoever have we of ever solving it without at least identifying the true source of it–and that’s why such a debate is so important.
September 4, 2014 Posted by aletho | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Supremacism, Social Darwinism, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | Israel, Middle East, Palestine, Zionism | Leave a comment
Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai claims that there is a ‘Jewish gene’ and that is passed down from mother to child (and not from father to child). Both of these claims have absolutely no scientific factual basis whatsoever. However, he publicly proclaims them as such, because if they were in fact true, they would lend credence to his racist, Jewish supremacist ideology. Disgusting. [NOTE: The Biblical passage mentioned in the video is actually in Chapter 7 of Deuteronomy, not in Chapter 4]
Silicon Valley billionaire venture capitalist and Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla wants everyone to stay off Martins Beach, a lovely stretch of oceanfront south of Half Moon Bay. To that end, he is invoking The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican-American War in 1848 and transformed California from being a chunk of Mexico to becoming part of the USA. Okay, Vinod. Whatever.
“Khosla purchased the land containing the only public access road to the beach – and then closed the road,” writes San Francisco Chronicle reporter Melody Gutierrez. He “has been locked in a court case with the Surfrider Foundation over access.”
From a related blog post at sfgate.com :
The lobbyists for Khosla are using as justification for their position a decision last October by Superior Court Judge Gerald Buchwald that said Martins Beach was still subject to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican-American War in 1848. The treaty essentially required the United States to recognize Mexican land grants as long as the owner filed a claim. Jose Antonio Alviso, who owned the land grant at the time, filed such a claim, and a patent for the beachfront property was issued in 1865.
Judge Buchwald ruled that Alviso’s patent, handed down over the generations, extinguished all public rights to the property, including beach access rights established under the public trust doctrine in the California Constitution, which was first drafted in 1879.
The letter opposing SB968 claimed that Buchwald’s order means Khosla does not have to provide access to either the beach or off-shore submerged tidelands, which his lawyers point out were specifically mentioned in Buchwald’s ruling.
Lawyers fighting for public access to the beach were apoplectic.
“It’s preposterous,” said Joe Cotchett, the lead attorney for Surfrider, which is awaiting a decision on a lawsuit claiming that Khosla needed a California Coastal Commission permit before he could close the road or make other improvements.
The Irish government is under pressure to order an inquiry into a recently uncovered mass grave for almost 800 children who died at a Catholic Church facility for unwed mothers and their children. Most of the bodies were dumped in a sewage tank.
The mass, unmarked grave in the town of Tuan, western Ireland, was unveiled by a local historian, Catherine Corless, who was gathering information on the mother-and-baby home which functioned there in the first half of the 20th century, run by the Bon Secours order of nuns.
Back then, unmarried pregnant women were ostracized by conservative Irish society and sent away to special church-run institutions, where mothers often had to engage in unpaid hard labor, while their children were taken away from them to be either adopted or raised in orphanages.
The burial place appeared to be one for the children who died at the facility.
“I was dismayed to find that in fact the number of children who died in the Home during its existence 1925-1961 numbered nearly 800,” Corless wrote on Facebook, commenting on her research. “I now have all those children’s names, date of death, and age at death, which will be recorded into a special book.”
Locals first learned of the mass burials in the 1970s. By that time the home for mothers and babies had been closed and the area turned in a residential one. Two boys accidentally broke apart the concrete slab over the mass grave and discovered little skeletons there. The place was then sealed again, but still remained unmarked for decades.
Corless is now engaged in a fundraising effort to get the place marked with a monument bearing all of the 769 names of the dead children. She says they died of malnutrition and neglect. A sewage tank served as a graveyard.
“If you look at the records, babies were dying two a week, but I’m still trying to figure out how they could [put the bodies in a septic tank],” Corless told the Irish Mail. “Couldn’t they have afforded baby coffins?”
“Harrowing details” as Children’s Minister Charlie Flanagan put it, of burial arrangements for children at the church-run institutions, have led to calls for an inquiry into what happened decades ago.
“Many of the revelations are deeply disturbing and a shocking reminder of a darker past in Ireland when our children were not cherished as they should have been,” Flanagan said in a statement cited by Reuters. A government report on the scandal is expected by the end of June.
Labor senator Lorraine Higgins has called for the Catholic Church to reveal more details of the incident.
“Now is the time for the church authorities to tell us where the rest of the bodies are,” Higgins said, The Irish Times reported. “We need to know how many died in each of these homes throughout the country. We need details about each one of these children and where their resting places are.”
The Archbishop of Tuam, Michael Neary, said that the diocese was not running the home. He told the order of nuns who did that it must co-operate with any inquiry into the discovery.
“Regardless of the time lapse involved, this is a matter of great public concern which ought to be acted upon urgently,” Neary said.
Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, told The Irish Examiner he would support exhumation of the children’s bodies if necessary for the investigation.
It’s not the first time that the Catholic Church in Ireland has found itself under fire over inhuman practices in its institutions in the past.
A year ago the Irish government agreed to pay up 58 million euros ($75 million) in compensation to hundreds of women, who were forced to work at the notorious Magdalene Laundries, also run by the Catholic Church. A teenage girl or young woman could be sent to the laundries just over suspicions that her behavior could be contrary to the Church’s conservative morals. The inmates at the institutions, run by Catholic nuns, were forced to do physically demanding work while living in prison-like conditions.
Some 140 participants representing 22 countries will be attending the 62nd annual Bilderberg meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark. The newly released list is a who’s who of business, academia, and the political world.
As is usually the case with the renowned summit, this year’s Bilderberg – which will take place May 29 to June 1 – has attracted a cadre of influential experts, including notable attendees such as NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former director of the US National Security Agency Keith Alexander, and former US national security advisor to the White House Thomas E. Donilon.
The Bilderberg meeting, which the BBC has referred to as “possibly the most influential discussion network in the world,” first began in 1954, has over the years attracted a considerable amount of media attention, both for its formidable attendee lists as well as the perceived aura as an opportunity for the world’s elite to mingle. In addition to the yearly attendees, the Bilderberg Steering Committee is likewise a list of powerful financiers, which includes Peter D. Sutherland, Chairman of Goldman Sachs International, as well as Peter Thiel, president of Thiel Capital.
Bilderberg operates under the “Chatham House Rule,” which stipulates that neither the identity nor affiliation of a speaker’s quotes may be revealed by other participants, including any media in attendance. Though it may be intended to promote the free exchange of ideas among the well-heeled, such rules have fed directly into what detractors say is an unnecessary cloud of secrecy, as well as a range of conspiracy theories that liken the summit to a shadowy gathering for architects of the “New World Order.”
Already fueling such wild speculation ahead of this year’s summit were the arrests of independent reporters Luke Rudkowski and Dan Dicks, who attempted to confront staff at the Copenhagen hotel where Bilderberg is set to take place. Video of the encounter quickly spread online.
According to an official press release, this year’s summit will be focusing on a variety of topics, including the future of democracy and the “middle class trap,” China’s political and economic outlook, and the ongoing situation in Ukraine. Interestingly, the agenda also includes the topic of privacy, as well as “the relationship in intelligence sharing,” which suggests the meeting may be used to address last year’s onslaught of NSA leaks by former intelligence contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Below is a list of participants as released by Bilderberg:
|FRA||Castries, Henri de||Chairman and CEO, AXA Group|
|DEU||Achleitner, Paul M.||Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG|
|DEU||Ackermann, Josef||Former CEO, Deutsche Bank AG|
|GBR||Agius, Marcus||Non-Executive Chairman, PA Consulting Group|
|FIN||Alahuhta, Matti||Member of the Board, KONE; Chairman, Aalto University Foundation|
|GBR||Alexander, Helen||Chairman, UBM plc|
|USA||Alexander, Keith B.||Former Commander, U.S. Cyber Command; Former Director, National Security Agency|
|USA||Altman, Roger C.||Executive Chairman, Evercore|
|FIN||Apunen, Matti||Director, Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA|
|DEU||Asmussen, Jörg||State Secretary of Labour and Social Affairs|
|HUN||Bajnai, Gordon||Former Prime Minister; Party Leader, Together 2014|
|GBR||Balls, Edward M.||Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer|
|PRT||Balsemão, Francisco Pinto||Chairman, Impresa SGPS|
|FRA||Baroin, François||Member of Parliament (UMP); Mayor of Troyes|
|FRA||Baverez, Nicolas||Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP|
|USA||Berggruen, Nicolas||Chairman, Berggruen Institute on Governance|
|ITA||Bernabè, Franco||Chairman, FB Group SRL|
|DNK||Besenbacher, Flemming||Chairman, The Carlsberg Group|
|NLD||Beurden, Ben van||CEO, Royal Dutch Shell plc|
|SWE||Bildt, Carl||Minister for Foreign Affairs|
|NOR||Brandtzæg, Svein Richard||President and CEO, Norsk Hydro ASA|
|INT||Breedlove, Philip M.||Supreme Allied Commander Europe|
|AUT||Bronner, Oscar||Publisher, Der STANDARD Verlagsgesellschaft m.b.H.|
|SWE||Buskhe, Håkan||President and CEO, Saab AB|
|TUR||Çandar, Cengiz||Senior Columnist, Al Monitor and Radikal|
|ESP||Cebrián, Juan Luis||Executive Chairman, Grupo PRISA|
|FRA||Chalendar, Pierre-André de||Chairman and CEO, Saint-Gobain|
|CAN||Clark, W. Edmund||Group President and CEO, TD Bank Group|
|INT||Coeuré, Benoît||Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank|
|IRL||Coveney, Simon||Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine|
|GBR||Cowper-Coles, Sherard||Senior Adviser to the Group Chairman and Group CEO, HSBC Holdings plc|
|BEL||Davignon, Etienne||Minister of State|
|USA||Donilon, Thomas E.||Senior Partner, O’Melveny and Myers; Former U.S. National Security Advisor|
|DEU||Döpfner, Mathias||CEO, Axel Springer SE|
|GBR||Dudley, Robert||Group Chief Executive, BP plc|
|FIN||Ehrnrooth, Henrik||Chairman, Caverion Corporation, Otava and Pöyry PLC|
|ITA||Elkann, John||Chairman, Fiat S.p.A.|
|DEU||Enders, Thomas||CEO, Airbus Group|
|DNK||Federspiel, Ulrik||Executive Vice President, Haldor Topsøe A/S|
|USA||Feldstein, Martin S.||Professor of Economics, Harvard University; President Emeritus, NBER|
|CAN||Ferguson, Brian||President and CEO, Cenovus Energy Inc.|
|GBR||Flint, Douglas J.||Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings plc|
|ESP||García-Margallo, José Manuel||Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation|
|USA||Gfoeller, Michael||Independent Consultant|
|TUR||Göle, Nilüfer||Professor of Sociology, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales|
|USA||Greenberg, Evan G.||Chairman and CEO, ACE Group|
|GBR||Greening, Justine||Secretary of State for International Development|
|NLD||Halberstadt, Victor||Professor of Economics, Leiden University|
|USA||Hockfield, Susan||President Emerita, Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|NOR||Høegh, Leif O.||Chairman, Höegh Autoliners AS|
|NOR||Høegh, Westye||Senior Advisor, Höegh Autoliners AS|
|USA||Hoffman, Reid||Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, LinkedIn|
|CHN||Huang, Yiping||Professor of Economics, National School of Development, Peking University|
|USA||Jackson, Shirley Ann||President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute|
|USA||Jacobs, Kenneth M.||Chairman and CEO, Lazard|
|USA||Johnson, James A.||Chairman, Johnson Capital Partners|
|USA||Karp, Alex||CEO, Palantir Technologies|
|USA||Katz, Bruce J.||Vice President and Co-Director, Metropolitan Policy Program, The Brookings Institution|
|CAN||Kenney, Jason T.||Minister of Employment and Social Development|
|GBR||Kerr, John||Deputy Chairman, Scottish Power|
|USA||Kissinger, Henry A.||Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc.|
|USA||Kleinfeld, Klaus||Chairman and CEO, Alcoa|
|TUR||Koç, Mustafa||Chairman, Koç Holding A.S.|
|DNK||Kragh, Steffen||President and CEO, Egmont|
|USA||Kravis, Henry R.||Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.|
|USA||Kravis, Marie-Josée||Senior Fellow and Vice Chair, Hudson Institute|
|CHE||Kudelski, André||Chairman and CEO, Kudelski Group|
|INT||Lagarde, Christine||Managing Director, International Monetary Fund|
|BEL||Leysen, Thomas||Chairman of the Board of Directors, KBC Group|
|USA||Li, Cheng||Director, John L.Thornton China Center,The Brookings Institution|
|SWE||Lifvendahl, Tove||Political Editor in Chief, Svenska Dagbladet|
|CHN||Liu, He||Minister, Office of the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs|
|PRT||Macedo, Paulo||Minister of Health|
|FRA||Macron, Emmanuel||Deputy Secretary General of the Presidency|
|ITA||Maggioni, Monica||Editor-in-Chief, Rainews24, RAI TV|
|GBR||Mandelson, Peter||Chairman, Global Counsel LLP|
|USA||McAfee, Andrew||Principal Research Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|PRT||Medeiros, Inês de||Member of Parliament, Socialist Party|
|GBR||Micklethwait, John||Editor-in-Chief, The Economist|
|GRC||Mitsotaki, Alexandra||Chair, ActionAid Hellas|
|ITA||Monti, Mario||Senator-for-life; President, Bocconi University|
|USA||Mundie, Craig J.||Senior Advisor to the CEO, Microsoft Corporation|
|CAN||Munroe-Blum, Heather||Professor of Medicine and Principal (President) Emerita, McGill University|
|USA||Murray, Charles A.||W.H. Brady Scholar, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research|
|NLD||Netherlands, H.R.H. Princess Beatrix of the|
|ESP||Nin Génova, Juan María||Deputy Chairman and CEO, CaixaBank|
|FRA||Nougayrède, Natalie||Director and Executive Editor, Le Monde|
|DNK||Olesen, Søren-Peter||Professor; Member of the Board of Directors, The Carlsberg Foundation|
|FIN||Ollila, Jorma||Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell, plc; Chairman, Outokumpu Plc|
|TUR||Oran, Umut||Deputy Chairman, Republican People’s Party (CHP)|
|GBR||Osborne, George||Chancellor of the Exchequer|
|FRA||Pellerin, Fleur||State Secretary for Foreign Trade|
|USA||Perle, Richard N.||Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute|
|USA||Petraeus, David H.||Chairman, KKR Global Institute|
|CAN||Poloz, Stephen S.||Governor, Bank of Canada|
|INT||Rasmussen, Anders Fogh||Secretary General, NATO|
|DNK||Rasmussen, Jørgen Huno||Chairman of the Board of Trustees, The Lundbeck Foundation|
|INT||Reding, Viviane||Vice President and Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, European Commission|
|USA||Reed, Kasim||Mayor of Atlanta|
|CAN||Reisman, Heather M.||Chair and CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc.|
|NOR||Reiten, Eivind||Chairman, Klaveness Marine Holding AS|
|DEU||Röttgen, Norbert||Chairman, Foreign Affairs Committee, German Bundestag|
|USA||Rubin, Robert E.||Co-Chair, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Secretary of the Treasury|
|USA||Rumer, Eugene||Senior Associate and Director, Russia and Eurasia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace|
|NOR||Rynning-Tønnesen, Christian||President and CEO, Statkraft AS|
|NLD||Samsom, Diederik M.||Parliamentary Leader PvdA (Labour Party)|
|GBR||Sawers, John||Chief, Secret Intelligence Service|
|NLD||Scheffer, Paul J.||Author; Professor of European Studies, Tilburg University|
|NLD||Schippers, Edith||Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport|
|USA||Schmidt, Eric E.||Executive Chairman, Google Inc.|
|AUT||Scholten, Rudolf||CEO, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG|
|USA||Shih, Clara||CEO and Founder, Hearsay Social|
|FIN||Siilasmaa, Risto K.||Chairman of the Board of Directors and Interim CEO, Nokia Corporation|
|ESP||Spain, H.M. the Queen of|
|USA||Spence, A. Michael||Professor of Economics, New York University|
|FIN||Stadigh, Kari||President and CEO, Sampo plc|
|USA||Summers, Lawrence H.||Charles W. Eliot University Professor, Harvard University|
|IRL||Sutherland, Peter D.||Chairman, Goldman Sachs International; UN Special Representative for Migration|
|SWE||Svanberg, Carl-Henric||Chairman, Volvo AB and BP plc|
|TUR||Taftalı, A. Ümit||Member of the Board, Suna and Inan Kiraç Foundation|
|USA||Thiel, Peter A.||President, Thiel Capital|
|DNK||Topsøe, Henrik||Chairman, Haldor Topsøe A/S|
|GRC||Tsoukalis, Loukas||President, Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy|
|NOR||Ulltveit-Moe, Jens||Founder and CEO, Umoe AS|
|INT||Üzümcü, Ahmet||Director-General, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons|
|CHE||Vasella, Daniel L.||Honorary Chairman, Novartis International|
|FIN||Wahlroos, Björn||Chairman, Sampo plc|
|SWE||Wallenberg, Jacob||Chairman, Investor AB|
|SWE||Wallenberg, Marcus||Chairman of the Board of Directors, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB|
|USA||Warsh, Kevin M.||Distinguished Visiting Fellow and Lecturer, Stanford University|
|GBR||Wolf, Martin H.||Chief Economics Commentator, The Financial Times|
|USA||Wolfensohn, James D.||Chairman and CEO, Wolfensohn and Company|
|NLD||Zalm, Gerrit||Chairman of the Managing Board, ABN-AMRO Bank N.V.|
|GRC||Zanias, George||Chairman of the Board, National Bank of Greece|
|USA||Zoellick, Robert B.||Chairman, Board of International Advisors, The Goldman Sachs Group|
The median pay package for a chief executive officer (CEO) in the United States rose above $10 million for the first time in 201, according to a new Associated Press/Equilar pay study, while worker pay stagnates.
A typical American CEO at an S&P 500 company earned a record $10.5 million in 2013, an increase of 8.8 percent from $9.6 million in 2012, the study showed.
Chief executives, generally the most senior position in a large public company, now make 257 times the average worker’s salary, up sharply from 181 times in 2009.
Last year was the fourth straight that CEO compensation rose following a decline during the Great Recession. The median CEO pay package has climbed more than 50 percent since the recession.
“We are still dealing with a situation where CEO compensation has spun out of control and CEOs are being paid extraordinary levels for their work,” says Gary Hewitt, director of research at GMI Ratings, a corporate governance research firm.
The highest paid CEO was Anthony Petrello of oilfield-services company Nabors Industries, who made $68.3 million in 2013. The second-highest paid CEO among companies in the S&P 500 was Leslie Moonves of CBS. Moonves’ total compensation rose 9 percent to $65.6 million in 2013.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold CEO Richard Adkerson received a total payment of $55.3 million, making him the third-highest paid CEO last year.
CEO pay remains a divisive issue in the US. The 8.8 percent increase in total pay that CEOs got last year dwarfed the average raise a US worker received.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said average weekly wages for US workers rose 1.3 percent in 2013. At that rate an employee would have to work 257 years to make what a typical S&P 500 CEO makes in a year.
According to a study released earlier this month by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the growing income inequality in the United States has reached a 50-year high.
American public universities with the highest-paid presidents also have the highest increase in both student debt and the use of low-wage, part-time professors, according to a new study.
The study, conducted by the Institute for Policy Studies, a left-leaning Washington research group, examined the relationship between executive pay, student debt and low-wage faculty labor at 25 public universities with the highest-paid presidents.
Since the 2008 financial crisis, executive pay at “the top 25” has risen dramatically to far exceed pre-recession levels, the study found. Over the same period, low-wage faculty labor and student debt at these colleges rose faster than national averages.
“Like executives in the corporate and banking sectors, public university presidents weathered the immediate aftermath of the fall 2008 financial crisis with minimal or no reductions in total compensation,” the report said.
The study, titled “The One Percent at State U: How University Presidents Profit from Rising Student Debt and Low-Wage Faculty Labor,” found that Ohio State was No. 1 on the list of what it called the most unequal public universities.
The report found that from fiscal 2010 to fiscal 2012, Ohio State paid its president, E. Gordon Gee, a total of $5.9 million. During the same period, it said, student debt at Ohio State grew 23 percent faster than the national average.
Others on the “most unequal” list were Pennsylvania State University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Michigan and the University of Washington.
Student loan debt is growing public concern for millions of Americans, who currently owe $1.2 trillion, a number that has tripled in the last decade.
Officials of the Harper regime recently announced the construction of a new “holocaust” monument in Ottawa set to be completed in the fall of 2015.
“The monument features a large gathering space for ceremonies — with room for 1,000 visitors — enclosed by six triangular, concrete volumes to create the points of a star. … Monochromatic photographs by Burtynsky depicting Holocaust sites will be embedded upon concrete surfaces,” reported the Toronto Star.
It should come as no surprise that the Harper regime is backing this new holocaust monument project, considering that the ruling neo-conservatives in Ottawa have openly expressed their adherence to Jewish supremacist ideology on numerous occasions. Harper and his lackeys in Parliament have incessantly praised the apartheid state of Israel (a nation birthed through ethnic cleansing and mass terror) and have vehemently denounced those who challenge or criticize Israeli imperialism and state-terrorism.
At a May 14, 2014, speech before the American Jewish Committee’s Global Forum, Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird told the room of Zionist fanatics that Israel is a “truly special nation” that is a “great example to the world.” A great example for what? Ethnic cleansing, mass murder and ruthless deception? Not shy to announce his belief in Jewish exceptionalism, the Zionist puppet foreign minister added that Israel is a “most extraordinary society.”
Many have argued that the holocaust promotion industry is an extortion racket designed to bolster Jewish privilege. By emphasizing Jewish victimhood above that of all other peoples, the Zionists aim to suffocate the public at large underneath a blanket of self-serving propaganda so that evidence of wrongdoing on the part of these tribal zealots will not see the light of day. Not only are Jews today not victims of any sort or underdogs in any sense of the term, they are in fact the most affluent and influential segment of every society in which they live. “Jewish families [are] among the wealthiest families in the United States. According to Forbes, 25 to 30 percent of U.S. multimillionaires and billionaires are Jewish,” noted James Petras in his book The Power of Israel in the United States.
A similar situation to the one described by Petras exists in Canada, Australia, Britain, Germany, France, etc.
The sages and holy men of holocaustianity have endeavored to promote this quasi-religion to the four corners of the earth. Hundreds of holocaust museums, memorials, monuments, research centers, etc., have been erected across Europe, Russia, North America, Latin America and even Asia. Hundreds of holocaust-themed films and television shows have been broadcasted throughout the Americas and Europe. Countless books, memoirs and other literature relating to the sacred Shoah have flooded the libraries and bookstores of all Western countries. Dozens of governments have created laws forbidding any revision of the rigid, one-sided narrative engineered by the winners of World War II.
In his book The Holocaust Industry, Jewish scholar Norman Finkelstein labeled these practitioners of professional victimhood “a repellent gang of plutocrats, hoodlums and hucksters.” One such charlatan was Herman Rosenblatt who appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show multiple times and attained a movie deal based on his fallacious fibbing. After admitting that climactic portions of his memoir An Angel at the Fence were manufactured, he unapologetically told ABC News: “It was not a lie because in my imagination I believed it.”
Another holocaust faker, Misha Defonseca, was ordered by a judge to pay back her publisher $22.5 million after it was revealed that her best-selling 1997 memoir, Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years, was entirely fictional. Defonseca claimed that as a young girl she journeyed across Europe in search of her parents who were taken away to a German concentration camp during WW2, and that amid her search she was taken care of and raised by a pack of wolves who adopted her as one of their own. “It’s not the true reality, but it is my reality,” Defonseca told The Guardian. “There are times when I find it difficult to differentiate between reality and my inner world,” the mythomaniac explained.
Binjamin Wilkomirski’s 1994 holocaust memoir Fragments was exposed as a fraud. He was never interned in any camp and actually lived in neutral Switzerland during the war. Rudolf Vrba admitted on the stand at the Toronto trial of Ernst Zundel in 1985 that his memoir I Cannot Forgive was an “artistic picture” that contained embellishments and exaggerations. Elie Wiesel, the veritable pope of the holocaust religion, has long been suspected of at least partially fabricating his story of survival. In his memoir Night, he tells of how a doctor performed surgery on his infected foot while interned at the “death camp” Auschwitz. One might ask: what is the purpose of a doctor in a “death camp”? Then, reported Wiesel, he and his sick father chose to evacuate that camp in January of 1945 alongside the retreating German Army and SS-men instead of waiting for the Red Army to arrive. Miraculously he survived this supposedly “genocidal” ordeal.
Wiesel collects hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees to preach “tolerance” to the world, while simultaneously advocating vicious hatred of German people. “Every Jew, somewhere in his being, should set apart a zone of hate -healthy virile hate- for what the German personifies and for what persists in the German,” wrote the man once described by the Chicago Tribune as a ‘beacon for human rights’ in his book Legends of Our Time. The unscrupulous pretender and money-getter has shown blatant disregard for Palestinian human rights because their oppressors are members of a master class of “chosen people” of which he is a Learned Elder.
Also not visible on Wiesel’s “human rights” radar are the tens of millions of Russians and Eastern Europeans, mostly Christians, who were starved, shot, tortured and enslaved by the Jewish-dominated Bolshevik regime in Russia. “Many Jews sold their soul to the devil of the Communist revolution and have blood on their hands for eternity,” wrote the Israeli journalist Sever Plocker in an op-ed for Ynet News. “Even if we deny it,” the Jewish writer concluded, “we cannot escape the Jewishness of ‘our hangmen,’ who served the Red Terror with loyalty and dedication from its establishment.”
Why have Stalin’s Jewish executioners and secret police torturers not received the same level of scrutiny that the Nazis have? Why have there been no Hollywood movie depictions of what happened in Stalinist Russia? When the subject has been broached, kosher commentators and careerist historians have been reluctant to note the fact that a large percentage of the top officials of the Soviet regime and the post-WW2 communist regimes of Eastern Europe were Jewish chauvinists.
When in 2009 the Ukrainian security service published a list of Soviet and Communist Party officials responsible for the Holodomor – the famine-genocide sponsored by Moscow in 1932 that took the lives of 6-7 million Ukrainians – Jewish groups cried foul, contending that publicizing such a list was a bad idea because most of the names on it were Jewish and would thus cause anti-Jewish sentiments, reported the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Instead of learning about the true nature of this unspeakable crime and the culprits responsible, Ukrainians should just “forget history” — at least that is what the Israeli politician Shimon Peres implored them to do in a 2010 speech.
Ukrainians are commanded by the Zionists to forget their history; as are the Palestinians. But we, the ‘gullible goyim,’ must “never forget” what may or may not have happened to Jews during the Second World War. In this New World Order of Malthusian mayhem and Orwellian mind control, the Zionists hope to lock us in a mental dungeon where unwelcome thoughts are extirpated with ruthless efficiency and cold determination.
Unfortunately for them, the truth can only be hidden from public sight but never extinguished.
May 16, 2014 Posted by aletho | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Supremacism, Social Darwinism, Timeless or most popular | Canada, Israel, Ukraine, Zionism | 1 Comment
Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai says the United States and Britain continue running “illegal” detention facilities in the country.
“After many decrees that have been issued by the presidential palace about not having any detention centers run by foreign forces, still foreign forces are detaining Afghan and putting them in prisons,” Karzai said in a statement on Tuesday.
“It’s a clear violation of the law of Afghanistan,” he added.
Karzai’s remarks came after an investigation panel revealed that six Afghan prisoners are held at a UK-run facility at Kandahar Air Field in the country’s south and 17 others at a facility at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province, which is also run by British forces.
Ghalum Farooq Barakzai, the head of the panel, said that his team has not found any prisoners at the American facilities, stressing that such facilities should no longer exist.
Under pressure from Afghan President, the US signed an agreement with Kabul to transfer its prisons and inmates into Afghan custody. British forces in the country are only allowed to hold suspects for 96 hours and can detain them longer only in exceptional conditions.
Barakzai called on Britain to hand over any Afghans held in the facilities, saying that the 23 inmates detained ranging from several weeks to 31 months.
“All the detainees should be transferred to Afghan security forces in the areas where they were arrested. Then the judicial officials in that area will investigate them and put them on trial. If they are guilty they should be jailed, if they are innocent they should be freed,” he also said.
Earlier this year, Afghan government freed dozens of detainees held in the US-run Bagram prison.
In November 2012, President Karzai ordered Afghan forces to take control of the prison and accused US officials of failing to fully comply with the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding on Detentions signed between Kabul and Washington.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) must stop demeaning its people. One can understand being fooled once or even twice, but being fooled over and again every three to four years for the last 20 years is just going overboard.
It becomes a bit annoying to continue hearing cries from the same “deceived” Palestinian leaders repeating empty threats in response to Israeli intransigence and lies.
I heard it directly from several high level PLO officials that should the current negotiations fail to reach an agreement by April 29, the PA was prepared to join UN organizations. They spoke specifically of the International Criminal Court of Justice (ICCJ).
Early in April, Israel broke a nine-month-old agreement by refusing to release the final batch of Palestinian “hostages” as it agreed to with the US Secretary of State last July. Half-heartedly, the PA submitted applications to join 15 UN organizations.
Half-heartedly, because the token measure ratified accords obligating the PA to fulfil UN conventions, none of which could have empowered the PA to put an end to Israel’s wanton disregard of international law.
The decision to endorse UN treaties such as the 4th Geneva Convention, protocol one, Conventions against Corruption, Rights of the Child, Civil and Political Rights, Consular Affairs … etc., was most likely to mollify rising internal frustrations with the sham negotiations. It was not directed at Israel and this might explains the US’ muted displeasure with the toothless measures.
Now the PA is disingenuously leaking out information about dismantling the Authority and turning over its role of managing the occupation to Israel.
Israel and its America Israel Public Affair Committee (AIPAC) ex-staffer who is mediating the talks on America’s behalf, understand very well that the PA threats are for local political consumption just like the inconsequential move to join irrelevant UN organizations.
It is mind-boggling that the PA expects others to take its threats seriously. Shouldn’t they first take other steps such as ending security co-ordination to protect Israel’s illegal settlers? How about joining relevant UN organizations like ICCJ or endorsing article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention- which Israel is categorically violating- instead of signing the worthless protocol one.
Just like the self-proclaimed “chief” Palestinian negotiator who publicly resigned more than a month ago protesting, ostensibly, the lack of progress at the peace talk. In reality however, he was incensed by informal parallel secret negotiations conducted with Israel behind his back.
He backed off once assured of his role as the main collaborator. Interestingly though, he did not seem bothered enough to resign after Israel failed to carry out a feeble agreement he himself negotiated last July.
It is not just Israel’s disregard to the international law, but this type of Palestinian leadership – lacking self-respect- who represent the biggest threat to the future of Palestine. It is the groveling Oslo-created Palestinian VIP class.
VIP passes are renewable benefits bestowed by the Israeli army to supposedly facilitate the movement of Palestinian officials. Obviously, VIP Palestinian club members do not experience the reality of occupation and have for the most part enjoyed this status since the establishment of the PA in 1994 as long as Israel was content with their performance.
To be taken seriously, the PA must first end this joke and limit the “intravenous” VIP status for its officials to no more than two years.
Not to suggest a far-fetched “radical proposal” like ending security co-ordination with Israel, PA should at a minimum return all VIP passes and insist on its security coordinators and negotiating team to navigate Israeli military barriers like normal citizens.
Besides making Israel and AIPAC American’s mediator sit and wait, reminding these officials of the evil of occupation might be an incentive to change the way VIP holders negotiate with Israel.
- Jamal Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes weekly newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America. (A version of this article was first published by the Gulf Daily News newspaper.)
Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie
An Egyptian court sentenced Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and 682 others of the organization to death Monday, a lawyer and prosecutor said, after two brief sessions which the defense partly boycotted.
The same court also reversed 492 of 529 death sentences it passed in March, commuting most of those to life in prison.
The court presided over by judge Said Youssef Sabry had sparked an international outcry with its initial sentencing last month, which came amid an extensive crackdown on supporters of ousted president Mohammad Mursi.
Under Egyptian law, death sentences are referred to the top Islamic scholar for an advisory opinion before being ratified. A court may choose to commute the sentences, which can later be challenged at an appeals court.
Of the 683 sentenced on Monday, only about 50 are in detention. The judge will confirm the verdict on June 21. The others have a right to a retrial if they hand themselves in.
The verdict was the first against Badie, the spiritual head of Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood, in the several trials he faces on various charges along with Mursi himself and other Brotherhood leaders.
Those sentenced on Monday were accused of involvement in the murder and attempted murder of policemen in Minya province on August 14, the day police killed hundreds of Mursi’s supporters in clashes in Cairo.
Defense lawyers boycotted the last session, branding it “farcical” after the mass death sentencing which the United Nations denounced as a breach of international human rights law.
Defense lawyer Khaled Elkomy claims that 60 percent of the 529 defendants, including teachers and some doctors, have evidence that “proves they were not present the day they were accused of attacking the Matay police station” in Minya, a statement released by human rights group Avaaz said.
The government has defended the court’s handling of the first mass case, insisting that the sentences were passed only “after careful study” and were subject to appeal.
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From the Archives
By Andy West | Climate Etc. | November 1, 2013
The hypothesis for a single, simple, scientific explanation underlying the entire complex social phenomenon of CAGW.
Whatever is happening in the great outdoors regarding actual climate, inside the minds of men overwhelming evidence indicates that Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is a self-sustaining narrative that is living off our mental capacity, either in symbiosis or as an outright cultural parasite; a narrative that is very distanced from physical real-world events. The social phenomenon of CAGW possesses all the characteristics of a grand memetic alliance, like numerous similar structures before it stretching back beyond the reach of historic records, and no doubt many more cultural creatures that have yet to birth. … continue
Aletho News Exclusive Content
This article will examine some of the connections between the US and UK National Security apparatus and the appearance of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory beginning after the accident at Three Mile Island. … continue
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