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September 29 2013

Power and money : Wealthy politicians | The Economist

Power and money : Wealthy politicians | The Economist

http://www.economist.com/news/china/21586883-wealthy-politicians?fsrc=scn%2Ffb%2Fwl%2Fpe%2Fwealthypoliticians

Argent et politique :) Une approche intéressante

Many Americans grumble about the wealth of their politicians, but they are paupers compared with their Chinese counterparts. The 50 richest members of America’s Congress are worth $1.6 billion in all. In China, the wealthiest 50 delegates to the National People’s Congress, the rubber-stamp parliament, control $94.7 billion.

http://cdn.static-economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/full-width/images/print-edition/20130928_CNC970.png

Darrell Issa, a Republican from California, is the richest man in Congress, with $355m. China’s richest delegate is Zong Qinghou, boss of Hangzhou Wahaha Group, a drinks-maker, whose wealth is almost $19 billion (including assets distributed to family). Last year Mr Zong was China’s richest man, but was overtaken by Wang Jianlin, who is not a member of the NPC. Wealth can bring problems wherever you are. On September 20th, a man, angry at being refused a job, attacked Mr Zong with a knife near his home in Hangzhou. Mr Zong survived, with nasty cuts to his hand.

#etats-unis

September 14 2013

In Syria, Israel finds a 'blessed war'€™

In Syria, Israel finds a ’blessed war’€™
http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/9/14/in-syria-israel-findsaablessedwara.html

So why has the Israeli government expended so much energy pressing Washington to draw a red line on the Assad regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons, and why was the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the key outfit of America’s pro-Israel lobby, pressing Congress to authorize military force? The answer is not just about Syria. Indeed, in a press release calling for U.S. intervention, AIPAC homed in not on Damascus but Tehran, stating, “As we witness unthinkable horror in Syria, the urgency of stopping Iran’s nuclear ambitions is paramount.”

Zalman Shoval, a former Israeli ambassador to Washington and Netanyahu confidant, put it more succinctly when he declared, “The very fact that the U.S. was getting ready to act militarily in Syria is positive with regards to the situation in Iran. Confidence in an American commitment that Iran won’t get the bomb has been strengthened.”

Since Obama’s decision to seek congressional authorization for a military strike on Syria, Israeli media have depicted him as a weak, dithering figure who has failed to demonstrate “seriousness” in the face of evil. With U.S. missile strikes on hold, and possibly off the table, the Israeli government has begun disseminating threats that it will take matters into its own hands — by bombing Iran, not Syria.

But even if the U.S. fails to intervene, the Israelis can take heart in knowing that the “blessed war” will continue well into the future.

September 07 2013

Poll : Majority Of Americans Approve Of Sending Congress To Syria | The Onion - America's Finest…

Poll: Majority Of Americans Approve Of Sending Congress To Syria | The Onion - America’s Finest News Source
http://www.theonion.com/articles/poll-majority-of-americans-approve-of-sending-cong,33752

The New York Times/CBS News poll showed that though just 1 in 4 Americans believe that the United States has a responsibility to intervene in the Syrian conflict, more than 90 percent of the public is convinced that putting all 535 representatives of the United States Congress on the ground in Syria—including Senate pro tempore Patrick Leahy, House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and, in fact, all current members of the House and Senate—is the best course of action at this time.

“I believe it is in the best interest of the United States, and the global community as a whole, to move forward with the deployment of all U.S. congressional leaders to Syria immediately,” respondent Carol Abare, 50, said in the nationwide telephone survey, echoing the thoughts of an estimated 9 in 10 Americans who said they “strongly support” any plan of action that involves putting the U.S. House and Senate on the ground in the war-torn Middle Eastern state. “With violence intensifying every day, now is absolutely the right moment—the perfect moment, really—for the United States to send our legislators to the region.”

“In fact, my preference would have been for Congress to be deployed months ago,” she added (...) regardless of whether the Assad regime used chemical weapons or not.

In fact, 91 percent of those surveyed agreed that the active use of sarin gas attacks by the Syrian government would, if anything, only increase poll respondents’ desire to send Congress to Syria.

September 06 2013

Daily chart : State of pay | The Economist

Daily chart: State of pay | The Economist

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2013/09/daily-chart-4?fsrc=scn/fb/wl/dc/statesofplay

State of pay
Sep 6th 2013, 13:29 by R.W., J.M.F. and L.P.

The wide diversity in the size and salary of America’s state legislatures : poor Kansas lawmakers...

http://cdn.static-economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/595-width-retina/images/2013/09/blogs/graphic-detail/20130914_gdc347_1190.png

. They earn $4,000 apiece—almost ten times less than their peers in neighbouring Oklahoma and Missouri. Californians earn the most, but represent the most populous state, and face tricky issues. So what explains Pennsylvania, whose legislature is almost twice the size, and paid three times as much, as the national average? The issue is controversial in austere times, as we explain in this week’s edition. See full article.

#états-unis #revenus

September 01 2013

Exclusive interview : Joseph Stiglitz sees bleak future for America if we don't reverse inequality :

Exclusive interview: Joseph Stiglitz sees bleak future for America if we don’t reverse inequality:
http://www.alternet.org/story/155918/exclusive_interview:_joseph_stiglitz_sees_terrifying_future_for_america_if
What will life look like down the road if we don’t reverse economic inequality? We must see through the myths of capitalism and build a mass movement if we are to save ourselves’.

http://media.wwnorton.com/cms/books/9780393088694_300.jpg

One of the myths that I try to destroy is the myth that if we do anything about inequality it will weaken our economy. And that’s why the title of my book is The Price of Inequality. What I argue is that if we did attack these sources of inequality, we would actually have a stronger economy. We’re paying a high price for this inequality. Now, one of the mischaracterizations of those of us who want a more equal or fairer society, is that we’re in favor of total equality, and that would mean that there would be no incentives. That’s not the issue. The question is whether we could ameliorate some of the inequality — reduce some of the inequality by, for instance, curtailing monopoly power, curtailing predatory lending, curtailing abusive credit card practices, curtailing the abuses of CEO pay. All of those kinds of things, what I generically call ‘rent seeking,’ are things that distort and destroy our economy

August 30 2013

Paying CEOs Top Dollar for Poor Performance

Paying CEOs Top Dollar for Poor Performance
http://www.thenation.com/blog/175950/paying-ceos-top-dollar-poor-performance

These cases of gross overcompensation for poor performance seem exceptional, but in fact they’re representatives of a trend. A twenty-year review released today by the Institute for Policy Studies found that the records of nearly 40 percent of America’s top-earning executives include leading their firms to bankruptcy, government bailouts, fraud-related fines and settlements, and their own firing.

http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/user/248866/ee13_graphic_-_poor_performers_aug_16_report_copy.png
#rémunération

August 27 2013

Exclusive : CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran - By Shane Harris and Matthew M.…

Exclusive: CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran - By Shane Harris and Matthew M. Aid |

Foreign Policy
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/08/25/secret_cia_files_prove_america_helped_saddam_as_he_gassed_iran

The U.S. government may be considering military action in response to chemical strikes near Damascus. But a generation ago, America’s military and intelligence communities knew about and did nothing to stop a series of nerve gas attacks far more devastating than anything Syria has seen, Foreign Policy has learned.

In 1988, during the waning days of Iraq’s war with Iran, the United States learned through satellite imagery that Iran was about to gain a major strategic advantage by exploiting a hole in Iraqi defenses. U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Hussein’s military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent.

The intelligence included imagery and maps about Iranian troop movements, as well as the locations of Iranian logistics facilities and details about Iranian air defenses. The Iraqis used mustard gas and sarin prior to four major offensives in early 1988 that relied on U.S. satellite imagery, maps, and other intelligence. These attacks helped to tilt the war in Iraq’s favor and bring Iran to the negotiating table, and they ensured that the Reagan administration’s long-standing policy of securing an Iraqi victory would succeed. But they were also the last in a series of chemical strikes stretching back several years that the Reagan administration knew about and didn’t disclose.

August 26 2013

The NYPD Division of Un-American Activities Has the NYPD's Demographics Unit Stopped Any Terror…

The NYPD Division of Un-American Activities
Has the NYPD’s Demographics Unit Stopped Any Terror Plots ? — New York Magazine
http://nymag.com/news/features/nypd-demographics-unit-2013-9/#print

Pire que la #surveillance de la #NSA, celle (toujours en cours malgré sa fracassante inefficacité) des #musulmans (et plus au passage) des #Etats-Unis par le #NYPD,

(...)

The activities [NYPD Ray] Kelly set in motion after 9/11 pushed deeply into the private lives of New Yorkers, surveilling Muslims in their mosques, their sporting fields, their businesses, their social clubs, even their homes in a way not seen in America since the FBI and CIA monitored antiwar activists during the Nixon administration. It was a proactive approach, but, in constitutional terms, a novel one.

To reinvent the Intelligence Division, Kelly called on David Cohen, a former senior CIA officer who was a year into a post-retirement stint with the Wall Street insurance giant American International Group. Kelly offered a rare opportunity not just to return to intelligence work but also to build something from scratch—in effect, the city’s own CIA.

(...)

Cohen eagerly accepted. Cohen didn’t come alone. To build his new program, Cohen wanted someone by his side with access to the most sensitive intelligence, someone who could play a role in day-to-day operations. With a phone call to Langley, Cohen persuaded CIA director George Tenet to lend him Larry Sanchez. Like Cohen, Sanchez was an analyst who’d come up through the ranks. Unlike Cohen, Sanchez still had a blue CIA badge and the privileges that came with it.

(...)

Cohen and Sanchez’s appointments represented a major shift in mind-set at the NYPD. Police are trained to uphold the law. By comparison, CIA officers are trained to subvert laws and operate undetected in places where the Constitution doesn’t apply. They are forbidden from doing this in America.

(...)

Sanchez told colleagues that he had borrowed the idea from Israeli methods of controlling the military-occupied West Bank, the swath of land captured from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War. But the proposal ignored some important differences between the U.S. and Israel. Brooklyn and Queens, for instance, were not occupied territories or disputed land. There was no security wall being erected in New York City. And, where Muslims are concerned, no one would choose Israel as a model of civil liberties.

Nevertheless, Cohen liked the idea. (...)

(...)

Inside the NYPD, the document was regarded as a masterwork and the foundation for everything the department would build subsequently. It was part autobiography, part history, and part ideology. One senior NYPD official took to calling it Cohen’s Mein Kampf.

(...)

Most important for the secretly planned Demographics Unit, Haight ruled: “For the purpose of detecting or preventing terrorist activities, the NYPD is authorized to visit any place and attend any event that is open to the public on the same terms and conditions as members of the public generally.”

(...)

To accomplish their goals, however, Cohen and Sanchez needed to go far beyond what the FBI could do. (...)

Far from raising concerns about a police department taking it upon itself to reconsider constitutional rights, Congress enthusiastically embraced Cohen’s views.

(...)

About once a week, they filed reports on conversations they’d eavesdropped on. Nobody trained the rakers on what exactly qualified as suspicious, so they reported anything they heard. (...)

(...)

Surveillance turned out to be habit-forming. Cohen and Sanchez’s efforts also reached beyond the Muslim community. Undercover officers traveled the country, keeping tabs on liberal protest groups like Time’s Up and the Friends of Brad Will. Police infiltrated demonstrations and collected information about antiwar groups and those that marched against police brutality. (...)

(...)

Confirmation that the activities of the Demographics Unit went far beyond what federal agencies were permitted to do was provided by the FBI itself. Once, Sanchez tried to peddle the Demographics reports to the FBI. But when Bureau lawyers in New York learned about the reports, they refused. The Demographics detectives, the FBI concluded, were effectively acting as undercover officers, targeting businesses without cause and collecting information related to politics and religion. Accepting the NYPD’s reports would violate FBI rules.

Cohen told his officers the FBI had its rules and the NYPD had its own. He was no longer constrained by the politicians. The NYPD was governed by the City Council, which had effectively given Kelly carte blanche to run the department as he saw fit.

In the fall of 2005, a senior CIA officer named Margaret Henoch attended a briefing with Sanchez and other NYPD officials. The meeting was a wide-ranging discussion of the NYPD’s new capabilities, including its Demographics Unit.

Henoch had a reputation as a skeptic. During the run-up to the Iraq War, when CIA analysts concluded that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, they put a lot of stock in statements by an Iraqi defector code-named Curveball. (...)

She didn’t see how the Demographics reports could be used to draw conclusions. “I think this is a really impressive collection of what’s where, but I don’t understand how it helps you,” Henoch told the NYPD brass. If it was useful, she figured, maybe the CIA could replicate it. But she didn’t understand how collecting troves of information on local businesses and religious affiliations helped find terrorists.

She asked if there was some success story that summed up the program’s usefulness in its first two years. When she didn’t get an answer, she assumed that the NYPD was being coy with a potential rival. Even in the post-9/11 era, intelligence agencies often jealously guarded their secrets.

“I figured they were just lying to me,” Henoch recalled. It did not occur to her that there might not be any stories to tell.

(...)

“At the very least, we can eliminate this guy from our list if he’s not a terrorist,” (...) “And we can find out who the terrorists are. And that’s your job.”

The truth, though, was that raking didn’t eliminate anybody from a list. It just expanded the NYPD’s files. (...)

(...)

Because the rakers never received specialized training, their reports contained numerous errors. Sephardic Jews and Lebanese Christians were mistaken for Syrian Muslims.

The reports began looking the same (...). No matter how detailed, they never matured into criminal cases. If terrorist cells operated in New York, (...), why weren’t the police making arrests? That’s how they’d dismantled drug gangs in the Bronx. Gang members, like terrorists, were secretive, insular, and dangerous. (...)

(...)

Whatever the shortcomings of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act oversight system, at least there is, theoretically, a check on the agency’s activities. But in New York City, for Muslim citizens and activists of many stripes, there is no such outside system meant to safeguard their privacy. The NYPD conducts its oversight in-house. City Hall doesn’t review intelligence programs the way Congress does. Courts can step in to settle questions about constitutionality, but only if somebody finds out about programs that are designed to remain secret forever.

In 2010, the Demographics Unit was renamed the Zone Assessment Unit over fears about how the title would be perceived if it leaked out. But *rakers still troll Muslim neighborhoods, filing an average of four new reports every day, searching for hot spots. The Muslim community is marbled with fear, afraid to speak openly because an informant could be lurking near.

Kelly is unapologetic. Like the department’s use of the tactic known as stop-and-frisk, raking is a tactic Kelly maintains is legal. He said the program is operating just as it always has. “Nothing” has changed, Kelly boasted to The Wall Street Journal earlier this year.

(...) [but] now, the lawyers [are] arguing that Kelly and Cohen, in their effort to keep the city safe, have crossed constitutional lines. Regardless of the outcome, the NYPD’s programs are likely to join waterboarding, secret prisons, and NSA wiretapping as emblems of post-9/11 America, when security justified many practices that would not have been tolerated before.

Prison reform : An unlikely alliance of left and right | The Economist

Prison reform: An unlikely alliance of left and right | The Economist
http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21583701-america-waking-up-cost-mass-incarceration-unlikely-alliance-left

America has the world’s largest prison population. China, which has more than four times as many people and nobody’s idea of a lenient judiciary, comes a distant second.

#prison #états-unis #discrimination #répression

August 20 2013

Saudi Arabia Blames America For the Turmoil in Egypt

Saudi Arabia Blames America For the Turmoil in Egypt
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/08/19/saudi-arabia-blames-america-for-the-turmoil-in-egypt.html

In an unprecedented comment this weekend, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah blamed American “ignorance” for the crisis in Egypt. Without mentioning America by name, the king blamed Washington’s “interference” in Arab politics for the last two years of turmoil.

In a scathing statement, the king urged Muslims to stand behind the Egyptian Army in fighting terrorism and extremism. Speaking in sorrow, Abdullah blamed outsiders ignorant of Arabism, Islam, and Egypt for senseless interference in the politics of the Arab world’s most populous state. Clearly referring to President Obama’s decision two years ago to push for Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, the king suggested Washington played with fire and has now been burned.

Egypt's Rulers Have a New Friend in DC : The Israel Lobby | The Cable

Egypt’s Rulers Have a New Friend in DC: The Israel Lobby | The Cable

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/08/19/egypts_rulers_have_a_new_friend_in_dc_the_israel_lobby

As pressure mounts on Washington to cut off U.S. military aid to Egypt, Cairo has found an awkward ally in the form of AIPAC, the influential pro-Israel lobby firm that is actively pushing for continued U.S. aid to Egypt.

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/files/140650757.jpg

Long considered an incentive for Cairo to maintain peaceful ties with Israel, America’s $1.3 billion package in annual U.S. military assistance to Egypt has come under global criticism as Egypt’s military continues its bloody crackdown against anti-government protesters with U.S.-funded tanks and tear gas.

#egypte #israel

Sympathy for the devil : Israel's efforts on behalf of Cairo's generals By Chemi Shalev 20th of…

Sympathy for the devil: Israel’s efforts on behalf of Cairo’s generals
By Chemi Shalev
20th of August 2013
Haaretz
http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/west-of-eden/.premium-1.542403

In June 1941, on the eve of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, Winston Churchill famously told his personal secretary John Colville “If Hitler invaded hell, I would at least make a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.” The next day he expressed unequivocal support for his arch-enemy Stalin and dispatched military assistance to beleaguered Moscow.

This “principle of the lesser evil” that Churchill so pithily expressed has been the guiding principle of much of America’s post-World War II policy. In its name, the U.S. has supported a long line of disgusting dictators and terrible tyrants who were considered to be critical for vital American interests such as combatting Communism and terror or safeguarding oil supplies in the Middle East. Democracy and human rights, in most cases, took a back seat, often for many decades.

This is the general theme of the Israeli effort to persuade Washington not to cut U.S. military aid to the Cairo regime, despite its transgressions. America and Israel share an overriding interest in preserving the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty and in preventing Sinai from turning into a launching pad for Al-Qaida attacks, Israel says. Former ambassador to Egypt Eli Shaked told the New York Times on Monday, “We don’t have good guys. It is a situation where you have to choose who is less harmful.”

August 19 2013

Drastic growth in “extreme poverty” in US - World Socialist Web Site

Drastic growth in “extreme poverty” in US - World Socialist Web Site

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/08/19/extr-a19.html

Drastic growth in “extreme poverty” in US
By Debra Watson
19 August 2013

A report this summer from the National Poverty Center (NPC) reveals that the number of people in the US living on less than $2 a day per person, termed “extreme poverty,” increased by 160 percent from 1996 to mid-2011, rising from 636,000 households to some 1.65 million households. The findings throw light on the terrible plight of children in America. Concentrating on non-elderly households with children, the report found that 4.3 percent of these households were in extreme poverty, with 3.55 million children living in them.

#états-unis #pauvreté #extrême_pauvreté #santé

August 15 2013

Did an 8-Year-Old Spy for America ? - Gregory D. Johnsen - The Atlantic

Did an 8-Year-Old Spy for America? - Gregory D. Johnsen - The Atlantic
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/09/did-an-8-year-old-spy-for-america/309429/?single_page=true

This wouldn’t have been the first time a Middle Eastern ally of the United States had used a child to spy on al-Qaeda. As Lawrence Wright recounts in his book The Looming Tower, in 1995, Egyptian intelligence agents lured two young boys into an apartment, drugged them, and then raped them. The agents photographed everything and used the photos as leverage to force the boys, who were sons of senior militants close to Ayman al-Zawahiri, to spy on al-Qaeda and try to kill the man who would go on to become Osama bin Laden’s deputy and eventually his successor. That plot failed when Zawahiri discovered what the boys were doing. A Sharia court convicted them, and Zawahiri had them both executed.

#valeurs

August 14 2013

How America is killing itself with sugar — War in Context

How America is killing itself with sugar — War in Context
http://warincontext.org/2013/08/14/how-america-is-killing-itself-with-sugar

http://warincontext.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/unlimited-sugar-america.jpg

A diet in which 25 percent of one’s calories come from added sugar could be just as harmful to a person’s health as being the inbred offspring of first cousins, a new study conducted by University of Utah researchers found.

The scientists chose this threshold due to the National Research Council’s formal recommendation that a person’s calories from added sugar not exceed 25 percent of their total caloric consumption. However, even this may be far too much, according to the study’s results which found female mice died at twice the normal rate and males were a quarter less likely to hold territory and reproduce when fed the diet reflective of many Americans.

“Our results provide evidence that added sugar consumed at concentrations currently considered safe exerts dramatic adverse impacts on mammalian health,” the researchers said regarding their findings published in the journal Nature Communications, adding they were careful to keep the administered levels of sugar proportionate to the amount consumed by humans through candy, beverages and baked goods. For example, the researchers stressed that the mice’s diet directly corresponded with one in which a person drinks three sodas a day “plus a perfectly healthy, no-sugar-added diet.”

Policing Bahrain : the long arm of the British | openDemocracy

Policing Bahrain : the long arm of the British | openDemocracy
http://www.opendemocracy.net/opensecurity/john-horne-john-lubbock/policing-bahrain-long-arm-of-british

Un article sur les liens indéfectibles entre le régime bahreini et l’ancien colonisateur britannique, symbolisé par le fait que le jour de la fête nationale à #Bahreïn ne correspond pas à celui de l’indépendance vis-à-vis des Britanniques, le 14 Août (1971), mais au jour de la prise de "pouvoir" par le père de l’actuel roitelet, le 16 Décembre (1961).

L’article se focalise sur la participation- sous couvert de "formation"- du Britannique #John_Yates (et en passant celle de “#America’s_worst_cop#John_Timoney), ex-flic de haut rang dans son pays, dans la répression à Bahreïn.

(John Yates avait été impliqué dans le scandale des écoutes illégales du tabloïd News of the World.)

On August 14th, many Bahrainis will celebrate the day in 1971 when the country gained its independence from Britain. The Bahrain government and its ruling family, however, will not, preferring instead to commemorate “National Day” on December 16th, marking the date the current King’s father began his rule in 1961. King Hamad recently went so far as to say, “for all practical and strategic purposes the British presence has not changed and it remains such that we believe we shall never be without it.” The celebrations on August 14th will thus take the form of protests demanding self-determination, democracy and human rights.

To many opposition activists, the contemporary face of British “practical and strategic purposes” in Bahrain is John Yates, the former Assistant Metropolitan Police Commissioner hired as an advisor to the Bahrain Ministry of Interior (MOI) in December 2011. Yates is the latest in a long line of British advisors to Bahrain, including the notorious Colonel Ian Henderson CBE who oversaw horrific torture during his tenure heading the country’s security apparatus between 1966 and 1998.

August 13 2013

Rise Of The Renting And Sharing Economy Could Have Catastrophic Ripple Effects - Business Insider

Rise Of The Renting And Sharing Economy Could Have Catastrophic Ripple Effects - Business Insider
http://www.businessinsider.com/rise-of-the-renting-and-sharing-economy-2013-8?op=1

What’s to blame? A few main effects are at play here, according to the ConvergEx team: (1) the bursting of the housing bubble and the attendant rise in personal bankruptcies; (2) lower disposable incomes as wage growth in America remains elusive; and (3) the introduction of new apps and websites in the past few years that enable more renting and sharing opportunities.

“The potential impacts of renting/leasing as a long-term trend, though, are worrisome: Renting and sharing could lead to lower home sales (and, subsequently lower home values and net worths), as well as lower auto and retail sales,” write the strategists. “The ripple effects could also be catastrophic: Adjusting to a consumer who does not necessarily buy, but rather rents, would necessitate a shift in production, sales, and even employment structures. Everything interesting in economics happens at the margin, so if the nth consumer chooses to rent an apartment instead of buying a house or making do with a car-share program instead of purchasing a new vehicle, then demand for new houses and cars drops.”

#economiecollaborative #partage #valeur #néocapitalisme

July 25 2013

Edward Snowden's fear of flying is justified | Geoffrey Robertson | Comment is free | The Guardian

Edward Snowden’s fear of flying is justified | Geoffrey Robertson | Comment is free | The Guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/23/snowden-asylum-america-international-law

So far #Snowden has had three offers of asylum from Latin America, but to travel there means dangerous hours in the air. International law (and the Chicago Convention regulating air traffic) emphatically asserts freedom to traverse international airspace, but America tends to treat international law as binding on everyone except America (and Israel). Thus when Egypt did a deal with the Achille Lauro hijackers and sent them on a commercial flight to Tunis, US F-14 jets intercepted the plane in international airspace and forced it to land in Italy, where the hijackers were tried and jailed. President Mubarak condemned the action as “air piracy contrary to international law” and demanded an apology, to which Reagan replied: “Never.” The UK supported the action as designed to bring terrorists to trial.

In 1986 Israel forced down a Libyan commercial plane in the mistaken belief that PLO leaders were among its passengers, and the US vetoed UN security council condemnation.

So there must be a real concern, particularly after Nato allies collaborated in forcing down the Bolivian president’s jet, that the US will intercept any plane believed to be carrying Snowden to asylum, either because he is tantamount to a terrorist (Vice-President Biden has described Julian Assange as a “hi-tech terrorist”) or simply because they want to put him on trial as a spy.

#violation du #droit_international #Israël #Etats-Unis #pirates_de_l'air

Hakim Bey Boycott cop culture ! (faites ce que je dis pas ce que je fais - digression à propos de

Hakim Bey
Boycott cop culture !
(faites ce que je dis pas ce que je fais - digression à propos de http://seenthis.net/messages/159527#message159889 for @mad_meg)
IF ONE FICTIONAL FIGURE can be said to have dominated the popcult of the eighties, it was the Cop. Fuckin’ police ev- erywhere you turned, worse than real life. What an incredible bore.
Powerful Cops—protecting the meek and humble—at the expense of a half-dozen or so articles of the Bill of Rights- -"Dirty Harry." Nice human cops, coping with human perversity, coming out sweet ’n’ sour, you know, gruff & knowing but still soft inside—Hill Street Blues—most evil TV show ever. Wiseass black cops scoring witty racist remarks against hick white cops, who nevertheless come to love each other—Eddie Murphy, Class Traitor. For that masochist thrill we got wicked bent cops who threaten to topple our Kozy Konsensus Reality from within like Giger- designed tapeworms, but naturally get blown away just in the nick of time by the Last Honest Cop, Robocop, ideal amalgam of prosthesis and sentimentality.

We’ve been obsessed with cops since the beginning—but the rozzers of yore played bumbling fools, Keystone Kops, Car 54 Where Are You, booby-bobbies set up for Fatty Arbuckle or Buster Keaton to squash & deflate. But in the ideal drama of the eighties, the “little man” who once scattered bluebottles by the hundred with that anarchist’s bomb, innocently used to light a cigarette—the Tramp, the victim with the sudden power of the pure heart—no longer has a place at the center of narrative. Once “we” were that hobo, that quasi-surrealist chaote hero who wins thru wu- wei over the ludicrous minions of a despised & irrelevant Order. But now “we” are reduced to the status of victims without power, or else criminals. “We” no longer occupy that central role; no longer the heros of our own stories, we’ve been marginalized & replaced by the Other, the Cop.

Thus the Cop Show has only three characters—victim, criminal, and policeperson—but the first two fail to be fully human—only the pig is real. Oddly enough, human society in the eighties (as seen in the other media) sometimes appeared to consist of the same three cliche/archetypes. First the victims, the whining minorities bitching about “rights”—and who pray tell did not belong to a “minority” in the eighties? Shit, even cops complained about their “rights” being abused. Then the criminals: largely non-white (despite the obligatory & hallucinatory “integration” of the media), largely poor (or else obscenely rich, hence even more alien), largely perverse (i.e. the forbidden mirrors of “our” desires). I’ve heard that one out of four households in America is robbed every year, & that every year nearly half a million of us are arrested just for smoking pot. In the face of such statistics (even assuming they’re “damned lies”) one wonders who is NOT either victim or criminal in our police-state-of-consciousness. The fuzz must mediate for all of us, however fuzzy the interface— they’re only warrior-priests, however profane. America’s Most Wanted—the most successful TV game show of the eighties—opened up for all of us the role of Amateur Cop, hitherto merely a media fantasy of middleclass resentment & revenge. Naturally the truelife Cop hates no one so much as the vigilante—look what happens to poor &/or non-white neighborhood self-protection groups like the Muslims who tried to eliminate crack dealing in Brooklyn: the cops busted the Muslims, the pushers went free. Real vigilantes threaten the monopoly of enforcement, lÉse majest­, more abominable than incest or murder. But media(ted) vigilantes function perfectly within the CopState; in fact, it would be more accurate to think of them as unpaid (not even a set of matched luggage!) informers: telemetric snitches, electro-stoolies, ratfinks- for-a-day.

What is it that “America most wants”? Does this phrase refer to criminals—or to crimes, to objects of desire in their real presence, unrepresented, unmediated, literally stolen & appropriated? America most wants...to fuck off work, ditch the spouse, do drugs (because only drugs make you feel as good as the people in TV ads appear to be), have sex with nubile jailbait, sodomy, burglary, hell yes. What unmediated pleasures are NOT illegal? Even outdoor barbecues violate smoke ordinances nowadays. The simplest enjoyments turn us against some law; finally pleasure becomes too stress- inducing, and only TV remains—and the pleasure of revenge, vicarious betrayal, the sick thrill of the tattletale. America can’t have what it most wants, so it has America’s Most Wanted instead. A nation of schoolyard toadies sucking up to an elite of schoolyard bullies.

Of course the program still suffers from a few strange reality-glitches: for example, the dramatized segments are enacted cinema verit­ style by actors; some viewers are so stupid they believe they’re seeing actual footage of real crimes. Hence the actors are being continually harassed & even arrested, along with (or instead of) the real criminals whose mugshots are flashed after each little documentoid. How quaint, eh? No one really experiences anything—everyone reduced to the status of ghosts—media-images break off & float away from any contact with actual everyday life— PhoneSex—CyberSex. Final transcendence of the body: cybergnosis.

The media cops, like televangelical forerunners, prepare us for the advent, final coming or Rapture of the police state: the “Wars” on sex and drugs: total control totally leached of all content; a map with no coordinates in any known space; far beyond mere Spectacle; sheer ecstasy (“standing- outside-the-body”); obscene simulacrum; meaningless violent spasms elevated to the last principle of governance. Image of a country consumed by images of self-hatred, war between the schizoid halves of a split personality, Super-Ego vs the Id Kid, for the heavyweight championship of an abandoned landscape, burnt, polluted, empty, desolate, unreal. Just as the murder-mystery is always an exercise in sadism, so the cop-fiction always involves the contemplation of control. The image of the inspector or detective measures the image of “our” lack of autonomous substance, our transparency before the gaze of authority. Our perversity, our helplessness. Whether we imagine them as “good” or “evil,” our obsessive invocation of the eidolons of the Cops reveals the extent to which we have accepted the manichaean worldview they symbolize. Millions of tiny cops swarm everywhere, like the qlippoth, larval hungry ghosts—they fill the screen, as in Keaton’s famous two-reeler, overwhelming the foreground, an Antarctic where nothing moves but hordes of sinister blue penguins.

We propose an esoteric hermeneutical exegesis of the Surrealist slogan “Mort aux vaches!” We take it to refer not to the deaths of individual cops (“cows” in the argot of the period)—mere leftist revenge fantasy—petty reverse sadism—but rather to the death of the image of the flic, the inner Control & its myriad reflections in the NoPlace Place of the media—the “gray room” as Burroughs calls it. Self-censorship, fear of one’s own desires, “conscience” as the interiorized voice of consensus- authority. To assassinate these “security forces” would indeed release floods of libidinal energy, but not the violent running-amok predicted by the theory of Law ’n’ Order.

Nietzschean “self-overcoming” provides the principle of organization for the free spirit (as also for anarchist society, at least in theory). In the police-state personality, libidinal energy is dammed & diverted toward self-repression; any threat to Control results in spasms of violence. In the free-spirit personality, energy flows unimpeded & therefore turbulently but gently—its chaos finds its strange attractor, allowing new spontaneous orders to emerge.

In this sense, then, we call for a boycott of the image of the Cop, & a moratorium on its production in art. In this sense...

MORT AUX VACHES!

Avec la voix de Hakim Bey et la musique de Bill Laswell
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-Ll70h_jXk

#musique #taz #police #culture

Don't buy the right-wing myth about Detroit-

Don’t buy the right-wing myth about #Detroit- http://www.salon.com/2013/07/23/dont_buy_the_right_wing_myth_about_detroit

Conservatives want you to think high taxes drove people away. The real truth is much worse for their radical agenda

Detroit isn’t just any old city — it happens to be the biggest population center in the state hit the hardest by the right’s corporate-written trade agenda. Indeed, according to the Economic Policy Institute, the state lost more jobs than any other from NAFTA (43,600, or 1 percent of its total job base) and lost another 79,500 jobs thanks to the China PNTR deal. And that’s just two of many such #trade_pacts. Add to this the city’s disproportionate reliance on American auto companies which made a series of horrific business decisions, and Detroit is a microcosmic cautionary tale about what happens when large corporations are allowed to write macro economic policy and dictate the economic future of an entire city.

If told, this cautionary tale would likely spark a discussion about revising current trade deals, regulations, public investment and industrial policy in general. That is, it would spark precisely the discussion that the conservative movement and the corporations that fund politicians don’t want America to have. So the right works to make sure that discussion is short circuited by a narrative that focuses the Detroit story primarily on taxes and public pensions.

...

That brings us to how this all plays into the right’s push to enact ever more regressive tax cuts, protect endless corporate welfare and legislate new reductions in workers’ guaranteed pensions.

These latter objectives may seem unrelated, but they all complement each other when presented in the most politically opportunistic way. It’s a straightforward conservative formula: the right blames state and municipal budget problems exclusively on public employees’ retirement benefits, often underfunding those public pensions for years. The money raided from those pension funds is then used to enact expensive tax cuts and corporate welfare programs. After years of robbing those pension funds to pay for such giveaways, a crisis inevitably hits, and workers’ pension benefits are blamed — and then slashed. Meanwhile, the massive #tax_cuts and #corporate_subsidies are preserved, because we are led to believe they had nothing to do with the crisis. Ultimately, the extra monies taken from retirees are then often plowed into even more tax cuts and more corporate subsidies.

We’ve seen this trick in states all over America lately. In Rhode Island, for instance, the state underfunded its public pensions for years, while giving away $356 million in a year in corporate subsidies (including an epically embarrassing $75 million to Curt Schilling). It then converted the pension system into a Wall Street boondoggle), all while preserving the subsidies.

Similarly, in Kentucky, the state raided its public pension funds to finance $1.4 billion a year in tax subsidies, and then when the crisis hit, lawmakers there slashed pension benefits — not the corporate subsidies.

The list of states and cities following this path goes on — but you get the point. In the conservative narrative about budgets in general, the focus is on the aggregate annual $333 million worth of state and local pension shortfalls — and left out of the story is the fact that, according to the New York Times, “states, counties and cities are giving up more than $80 billion each year to companies” in the form of #tax_loopholes and subsidies.”

The mythology around Detroit, then, is just another version of this propaganda.

Reposted bykrekk krekk
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