Author Topic: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System  (Read 106954 times)

Junkenstein

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #555 on: May 21, 2014, 11:51:23 am »
Stinks.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/rival-militias-prepare-for-showdown-in-tripoli-after-takeover-of-parliament/2014/05/19/cb36acc2-df6f-11e3-810f-764fe508b82d_story.html?wpsrc=AG0003336

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Two weeks before he masterminded an assault on two major Libyan cities, Khalifa Hifter hosted a dinner to court a potential ally. Hifter was normally a confident man, a former general who had gone on to spend years in Northern Virginia as an exiled opposition leader before returning home for the 2011 Libyan revolution.

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As a young army officer, Hifter took part in the coup that brought Gaddafi to power in 1969. But Hifter switched sides in the late 1980s, after he was captured while fighting for Gaddafi’s army in a war in neighboring Chad.

He became the leader of a rebel group called the Libyan National Army, which he claimed received U.S. assistance. He later sought refuge in the United States. He apparently became a U.S. citizen — he voted in Virginia in elections in 2008 and 2009, records show.

One member of a prominent Libyan opposition family who knew Hifter when both were living in Northern Virginia noted that he and his family were comfortable. Hifter resided in Falls Church until 2007 and later in a five-bedroom home in a quiet neighborhood in Vienna, near the golf course of the Westwood Country Club. He sold the second home in 2010 for $612,000, according to public records.

“They lived a very good life, and nobody knows what his source for compensation was,” said the acquaintance, who added that Hifter’s family was not originally wealthy.

A cynical person might think that this chap has been having some substantial resources shoved at them. That person might start thinking that Hifter is being primed to take over the role vacated by Ghaddafi some years back.
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Cain

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #556 on: May 21, 2014, 01:06:33 pm »
Pretty sure this is the CIA backed "Libyan warlord" who was mentioned when the bombing campaign in Libya actually started.  Check news sources from that period, it's pretty obvious who his backers are.

Junkenstein

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #557 on: May 22, 2014, 09:59:28 am »
Will have to have a look at the historical side, I've honestly lost all track of Libya fuckery at this point.

Totally unsurprising chart:
http://www.npr.org/2014/05/19/312455680/state-by-state-court-fees

and related article:
http://www.npr.org/2014/05/19/312158516/increasing-court-fees-punish-the-poor

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n Augusta, Ga., a judge sentenced Tom Barrett to 12 months after he stole a can of beer worth less than $2.

In Ionia, Mich., 19-year-old Kyle Dewitt caught a fish out of season; then a judge sentenced him to three days in jail.

In Grand Rapids, Mich., Stephen Papa, a homeless Iraq War veteran, spent 22 days in jail, not for what he calls his "embarrassing behavior" after he got drunk with friends and climbed into an abandoned building, but because he had only $25 the day he went to court.

The common thread in these cases, and scores more like them, is the jail time wasn't punishment for the crime, but for the failure to pay the increasing fines and fees associated with the criminal justice system.

Looks like debtors prisons are back with a slightly new face.

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A state-by-state survey conducted by NPR found that defendants are charged for many government services that were once free, including those that are constitutionally required. For example:

In at least 43 states and the District of Columbia, defendants can be billed for a public defender.
In at least 41 states, inmates can be charged room and board for jail and prison stays.
In at least 44 states, offenders can get billed for their own probation and parole supervision.
And in all states except Hawaii, and the District of Columbia, there's a fee for the electronic monitoring devices defendants and offenders are ordered to wear.

If you can't pay for justice, don't expect any.

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In Washington state, for example, there's 12 percent interest on costs in felony cases that accrues from the moment of judgment until all fines, fees, restitution and interest are paid off in full. As a result, it can be hard for someone who's poor to make that debt ever go away. One state commission found that the average amount in felony cases adds up to $2,500. If someone paid a typical amount — $10 a month — and never missed a payment, his debt would keep growing. After four years of faithful payments, the person would now owe $3,000.

« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 10:23:37 am by Junkenstein »
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Cain

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #558 on: May 22, 2014, 11:13:49 am »
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/03/26/111109/new-rebel-leader-spent-much-of.html

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The new leader of Libya's opposition military spent the past two decades in suburban Virginia but felt compelled — even in his late-60s — to return to the battlefield in his homeland, according to people who know him.

Khalifa Hifter was once a top military officer for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, but after a disastrous military adventure in Chad in the late 1980s, Hifter switched to the anti-Gadhafi opposition. In the early 1990s, he moved to suburban Virginia, where he established a life but maintained ties to anti-Gadhafi groups.

It's just coincidence he chose to live in suburban Viriginia, with its easy access to both DC and Langley.

Junkenstein

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #559 on: May 22, 2014, 11:50:42 am »
I tried to think of something amusing but failed miserably. It seems to be exactly what it looks like and it's probably a bad sign for the future.

 
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Junkenstein

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #560 on: September 04, 2014, 01:23:02 pm »
So on the nose for this thread, I nearly stopped laughing for a minute:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-29052861

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Ed Miliband has accused the SNP of attempting to "con" Scottish voters into believing independence was the only way to achieve social justice.

The Labour leader described the Conservatives as "divided and demoralised" and predicted a Labour government "is on its way".

Again, no further reading is required, it's a classic bout of two man con. Conservatives claim almost identical things about Labour and the whole circus continues.

I think it was Nigel who suggested a while ago about making clown costumes mandatory for cops to weed out those who are just on authoritarian power trips. It's tempting to push for something similar for politicians. If you're going to act like one, at least have the fucking decency to look the part.

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Telarus

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #561 on: October 23, 2014, 02:17:52 am »
So I was reading through this article, when a sentence jumped out at me and something in my patternmatching software went *click*:

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The Snowden disclosures about the surveillance carried out by the National Security Agency killed all those proposals. Now Mr. Comey appears to be going even further, seeking a way into data stored on phones even if it is never transmitted. And he wants to make sure that Apple, or other phone manufacturers, do not “throw away the key” that allows that information to be unencrypted. The companies, meanwhile, are going the other way: They want to convince customers that their data will be private, even from the phone’s maker.

“Just as people won’t put their money in a bank they won’t trust, people won’t use an Internet they won’t trust,” Brad Smith, the general counsel for Microsoft, said recently.

Recognizing America’s suspicion of government surveillance, Mr. Comey has based his argument on the need to conduct investigations into child pornographers and kidnappers, not terrorists. The office of the director of national intelligence and the N.S.A. have deliberately stayed out of this argument, leaving the issue to Mr. Comey.

But under questioning from Benjamin Wittes, a cybersecurity expert at Brookings, and from reporters and audience members, Mr. Comey made clear he was speaking only for the F.B.I. As a result, he made no commitment that the N.S.A. or other American intelligence agencies would never exploit the technology that could unencrypt data.


No. Fuck you. You and plague ridden horse you ride in on. You're all quite terrified of a future where all these little networks of SERIOUS FUCKS you've setup all over the world (including mafia, cartelistos, terrorists, child-pornographers, arms dealers, etc) will suddenly be able to *poof* vanish into the crowd if you don't have actual eyes on them. The tech companies are threatening to cut the strings on all of your Kites at once. It has you pissing your shorts.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2014, 02:20:28 am by Telarus »
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Cain

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #562 on: November 03, 2014, 08:30:26 am »
http://whowhatwhy.com/2014/11/02/the-deep-state-plots-the-1980-defeat-of-jimmy-carter/

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The Safari Club was an alliance between national intelligence agencies that wished to compensate for the CIA’s retrenchment in the wake of President Carter’s election and Senator Church’s post-Watergate reforms. As former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki bin Faisal once told Georgetown University alumni,
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In 1976, after the Watergate matters took place here, your intelligence community was literally tied up by Congress. It could not do anything. It could not send spies, it could not write reports, and it could not pay money. In order to compensate for that, a group of countries got together in the hope of fighting Communism and established what was called the Safari Club. The Safari Club included France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Iran. (1)

After Carter was elected, the Safari Club allied itself with Richard Helms and Theodore Shackley against the more restrained intelligence policies of Jimmy Carter, according to Joseph Trento. In Trento’s account, the dismissal by William Colby in 1974 of CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton,
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combined with Watergate, is what prompted the Safari Club to start working with [former DCI Richard] Helms [then U.S. Ambassador to Iran] and his most trusted operatives outside of Congressional and even Agency purview. James Angleton said before his death that “Shackley and Helms … began working with outsiders like Adham and Saudi Arabia. The traditional CIA answering to the president was an empty vessel having little more than technical capability.”

Junkenstein

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #563 on: November 03, 2014, 11:25:45 am »
Somewhat related to the Verison thread, article covering links between  Pierre Omidyar, "microtransactions" (read: loans with a new name) and systemic debt:

https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/extraordinary-pierre-omidyar/

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The idea behind micro-loans is very simple and seductive. It goes something like this: the only thing that prevents the hundreds of millions of people living in extreme poverty from achieving financial success is their lack of access to credit. Give them access to micro-loans—referred to in Silicon Valley as "seed capital"—and these would-be successful business-peasants and illiterate shantytown entrepreneurs would pluck themselves out of the muck by their own homemade sandal straps. Just think of it: hundreds of millions of peasants working as micro-individuals, taking out micro-loans, making micro-rational investments into their micro-businesses, dutifully paying their micro-loan payments on time and working in concert to harness the deregulated power of the markets to collectively lift society out of poverty. It's a grand neoliberal vision.

To that end, Omidyar has directed about a third of the Omidyar Network investment fund—or about $100 million—to support the micro-lending industry. The foundation calls this initiative "financial inclusion."

Shockingly, micro-loans aren't all that they've cracked up to be. After years of observation and multiple studies, it turns out that the people benefiting most from micro-loans are the big global financial players: hedge funds, banks and the usual Wall Street hucksters. Meanwhile, the majority of the world’s micro-debtors are either no better off or have been sucked into a morass of crippling debt and even deeper poverty, which offers no escape but death.

ETA - Seriously, this is some really horrifically evil shit. Even by my standards.

Note - SKS is a Omidyar backed/funded entity:
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"Both reports said SKS employees had verbally harassed over-indebted borrowers, forced them to pawn valuable items, incited other borrowers to humiliate them and orchestrated sit-ins outside their homes to publicly shame them. In some cases, the SKS staff physically harassed defaulters, according to the report commissioned by the company. Only in death would the debts be forgiven.

"The videos and reports tell stark stories:

"One woman drank pesticide and died a day after an SKS loan agent told her to prostitute her daughters to pay off her debt. She had been given 150,000 rupees ($3,000) in loans but only made 600 rupees ($12) a week.

"Another SKS debt collector told a delinquent borrower to drown herself in a pond if she wanted her loan waived. The next day, she did. She left behind four children.

"One agent blocked a woman from bringing her young son, weak with diarrhea, to the hospital, demanding payment first. Other borrowers, who could not get any new loans until she paid, told her that if she wanted to die, they would bring her pesticide. An SKS staff member was there when she drank the poison. She survived.

"An 18-year-old girl, pressured until she handed over 150 rupees ($3)—meant for a school examination fee—also drank pesticide. She left a suicide note: 'Work hard and earn money. Do not take loans.'"

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"First they were stripped of their utensils, furniture, mobile phones, televisions, ration cards and heirloom gold jewelry. Then, some of them drank pesticide. One woman threw herself in a pond. Another jumped into a well with her children.

"Sometimes, the debt collectors watched nearby."

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It was subprime lending fraud taken to the poorest regions of the world, stripping them of what little they had to live on. It got to the point where the Chief Minister of Andrah Pradesh publicly appealed to the state’s youth and young women not to commit suicide, telling them, "Your lives are valuable."

It's an almost impressive level of evil to target the poorest regions of the world with the sole motive of sticking them in eternal debt to boost your profit line.

The notable thing for me here is it again highlights the nature of the system. Money must flow upwards in greater amounts at all costs or all is lost, cats and dogs living together, snakes everywhere etc. etc.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2014, 11:35:30 am by Junkenstein »
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Doktor Howl

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #564 on: November 03, 2014, 02:23:13 pm »
It's shit like this that makes me want the Old Testament God to exist.
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Junkenstein

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #565 on: November 03, 2014, 03:03:39 pm »
It's shit like this that makes me want the Old Testament God to exist.

It's shit like this that starts making me think that perhaps it does, and it's got much more inventive over the years.

Why turn everyone to salt and rain fire when you can set it up so they'll do it to themselves?

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Bruno

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #566 on: November 03, 2014, 07:38:37 pm »
Muhammad Yunus (the guy who came up with, and received a Nobel Prize for microfinance) taught at my school for a while. I remember being quite optimistic about the idea at the time.

That'll teach me.
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Doktor Howl

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #567 on: November 03, 2014, 07:49:25 pm »
Muhammad Yunus (the guy who came up with, and received a Nobel Prize for microfinance) taught at my school for a while. I remember being quite optimistic about the idea at the time.

That'll teach me.

When the money men have a great idea that they want to talk about, they probably aren't having a fit of altruism. 

You may notice that anytime an HR person talks about "restructuring benefits", they don't mean they just had a spasm of generosity.  No, they mean they're going to fuck your benefits like a sex-crazed weasel.
"Daisy had syphilis, Tom died of genital warts, and Nick Carroway watched it all in mounting horror, then made off with the silverware and the maid."
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Evil doesn't work without good people. Good people will do the most repugnant, nasty shit for what they think are "the right reasons"

Junkenstein

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #568 on: November 03, 2014, 08:43:16 pm »
Muhammad Yunus (the guy who came up with, and received a Nobel Prize for microfinance) taught at my school for a while. I remember being quite optimistic about the idea at the time.

That'll teach me.

It's another questionable Nobel prize award for sure. That said, there's been somewhat questionable awards ever since Milton Fuckwit Fuckwit Friedman Fuckwit.

I think probably my favourte Nobel fuckup, excluding the joke that is the Peace award, would have to be Antonio Moniz though. Name not familiar? The word "Lobotomy" might be.

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n 1949, the neurologist António Egas Moniz received the Physiology or Medicine Prize for his development of the prefrontal leucotomy. The previous year Dr. Walter Freeman had developed a version of the procedure which was faster and easier to carry out. Due in part to the publicity surrounding the original procedure, Freeman's procedure was prescribed without due consideration or regard for modern medical ethics. Endorsed by such influential publications as The New England Journal of Medicine, leucotomy or "lobotomy" became so popular that about 5,000 lobotomies were performed in the United States in the three years immediately following Moniz's receipt of the Prize.

There's a dollop on Freeman and the various horrors he inflicted with his lobotomobile. I'm not even joking there, there was a fucking lobotomobile. Google it. Right fucking now. Google "Lobotomobile" and you can see Freeman, who I must stress is not a surgeon and is now remembered for developing the "Ice pick method".


Roger, I take back the above. An old testament god would be much more preferable to whatever kind of batshit insanity this is. At least you know where you stand with fire and brimstone. Away. You stand away pushing your neighbours towards it.
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Doktor Howl

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #569 on: November 03, 2014, 09:19:09 pm »
Muhammad Yunus (the guy who came up with, and received a Nobel Prize for microfinance) taught at my school for a while. I remember being quite optimistic about the idea at the time.

That'll teach me.

It's another questionable Nobel prize award for sure. That said, there's been somewhat questionable awards ever since Milton Fuckwit Fuckwit Friedman Fuckwit.

I think probably my favourte Nobel fuckup, excluding the joke that is the Peace award, would have to be Antonio Moniz though. Name not familiar? The word "Lobotomy" might be.

Quote
n 1949, the neurologist António Egas Moniz received the Physiology or Medicine Prize for his development of the prefrontal leucotomy. The previous year Dr. Walter Freeman had developed a version of the procedure which was faster and easier to carry out. Due in part to the publicity surrounding the original procedure, Freeman's procedure was prescribed without due consideration or regard for modern medical ethics. Endorsed by such influential publications as The New England Journal of Medicine, leucotomy or "lobotomy" became so popular that about 5,000 lobotomies were performed in the United States in the three years immediately following Moniz's receipt of the Prize.

There's a dollop on Freeman and the various horrors he inflicted with his lobotomobile. I'm not even joking there, there was a fucking lobotomobile. Google it. Right fucking now. Google "Lobotomobile" and you can see Freeman, who I must stress is not a surgeon and is now remembered for developing the "Ice pick method".


Roger, I take back the above. An old testament god would be much more preferable to whatever kind of batshit insanity this is. At least you know where you stand with fire and brimstone. Away. You stand away pushing your neighbours towards it.

This thread is making "A Million Ways to Die in the West" look downright comfy.
"Daisy had syphilis, Tom died of genital warts, and Nick Carroway watched it all in mounting horror, then made off with the silverware and the maid."
~ The Good Reverend

Evil doesn't work without good people. Good people will do the most repugnant, nasty shit for what they think are "the right reasons"