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Archive for October 19th, 2011

One Globalist “super-corporation”?

A University of Zurich study ‘proves’ that a small group of companies – mainly banks – wields huge power over the global economy.

The study is the first to look at all 43,060 transnational corporations and the web of ownership between them – and created a ‘map’ of 1,318 companies at the heart of the global economy.

The study found that 147 companies formed a ‘super entity’ within this, controlling 40 per cent of its wealth. All own part or all of one another. Most are banks – the top 20 includes Barclays and Goldman Sachs. But the close connections mean that the network could be vulnerable to collapse.

The 1318 transnational corporations that form the core of the globalised economy – connections show partial ownership of one another, and the size of the circles corresponds to revenue. The companies ‘own’ through shares the majority of the ‘real’ economy

‘In effect, less than one per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network,’ says James Glattfelder, a complex systems theorist at the Swiss Federal Institute in Zurich, who co-wrote the research, to be published in the journal PLoS One.

Some of the assumptions underlying the study have come in for criticism – such as the idea that ownership equates to control. But the Swiss researchers have no axe to grind: they simply applied mathematical models usually used to model natural systems to the world economy, using data from Orbis 2007, a database listing 37 million companies and investors.

Economists such as John Driffil of the University of London, a macroeconomics expert, told New Scientist that the value of its study wasn’t to see WHO controlled the global economy, but the tight connections between the world’s largest companies.

The collapse of 2008 showed that such tightly-knit networks can be unstable.

‘If one company suffers distress,’ Glattfelder says, ‘This propagates.’

(…)

The ‘core’ of 147 companies also represents too many interests to wield real political power – but it could act ‘as one’ to defend common interests. Sadly for market reformers, resisting change may be one such common interest.

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Federal employees whose compensation averages more than $126,000 and the nation’s greatest concentration of lawyers helped Washington edge out San Jose as the wealthiest U.S. metropolitan area, government data show.

The U.S. capital has swapped top spots with Silicon Valley, according to recent Census Bureau figures, with the typical household in the Washington metro area earning $84,523 last year. The national median income for 2010 was $50,046.

The figures demonstrate how the nation’s political and financial classes are prospering as the economy struggles with unemployment above 9 percent and thousands of Americans protest in the streets against income disparity, said Kevin Zeese, director of Prosperity Agenda, a Baltimore-based advocacy group trying to narrow the divide between rich and poor.

“There’s a gap that’s isolating Washington from the reality of the rest of the country,” Zeese said. “They just get more and more out of touch.”

Total compensation for federal workers, including health care and other benefits, last year averaged $126,369, compared with $122,697 in 2009, according to Bloomberg News calculations of Commerce Department data. There were 170,467 federal employees in the District of Columbia as of June. The Washington area includes the District of Columbia, parts of Northern Virginia, eastern Maryland and eastern West Virginia.

from information liberation

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OCCUPATION 101

Occupation 101:

The Documentary Israel does not want you to see

A thought-provoking and powerful documentary film on the current and historical root causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Unlike any other film ever produced on the conflict — ‘Occupation 101’ presents a comprehensive analysis of the facts and hidden truths surrounding the never ending controversy and dispels many of its long-perceived myths and misconceptions.

The film also details life under Israeli military rule, the role of the United States in the conflict, and the major obstacles that stand in the way of a lasting and viable peace. The roots of the conflict are explained through first-hand on-the-ground experiences from leading Middle East scholars, peace activists, journalists, religious leaders and humanitarian workers whose voices have too often been suppressed in American media outlets.

The film covers a wide range of topics — which include — the first wave of Jewish immigration from Europe in the 1880’s, the 1920 tensions, the 1948 war, the 1967 war, the first Intifada of 1987, the Oslo Peace Process, Settlement expansion, the role of the United States Government, the second Intifada of 2000, the separation barrier and the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, as well as many heart wrenching testimonials from victims of this tragedy.

Featured Interviews

Occupation 101 features a leading list of some of the most credible Middle East scholars, historians, peace activists, journalists, and humanitarian workers.

Official website
http://occupation101.com

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ARKTOS and the Kali Yuga

ARKTOS:

PREPARING YOU FOR THE END OF THE KALI YUGA

 

ARKTOS is the result of a novel idea that was arrived at simultaneously by several individuals scattered across many parts of the globe, causing us to combine forces to bring this idea to fruition. The basis of this idea is our common observation that there are a growing number of individuals who believe that something has gone terribly wrong with the modern world. As with the people who make up Arktos itself, some see this primarily as a political or sociological issue, while others believe that the root of the problem lies in a spiritual or metaphysical decline. Still others may see these two factors as being interrelated.

Arktos is founded on the proposition that there is a common thread that links all of these individuals and ideas together, regardless of the particulars, and that the primary obstacle to realizing any genuine change or renewal over the past half-century has been the internal squabbles over these differences which neutralised many such groups and movements from within. As such, Arktos does not seek to propagate any specific ideology, system of beliefs or viewpoint. We do not seek consistency. Rather, we want to provide the resources for individuals of many different inclinations to find alternatives to the onslaught of modernity. We leave it to the Fates to decide which of these seeds will bear fruit in the future.

The resources we offer will vary widely. Our books, both those of other publishers which we offer through our retail section and those we publish under our own imprints, Traditio (for our more spiritually-inclined texts) and Eos (for our sociopolitical works), lay the foundation in their presentation of both alternative visions of the world, as well as practical guidebooks on how to live outside the prevailing culture. We also seek to continue to develop our music and lifestyle sections to reflect the interests of those we serve. Every item in the Arktos catalogue has been carefully reviewed and selected by our committee to fulfill a need which we believe exists in the subculture of anti-modernity.

Please show support!

 

Arktos Media

Arktos Facebook

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Hugo Chavez applauds OWS protesters, condemns police violence

Venezuela’s socialist president Hugo Chavez has likened the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States to Venezuela’s February 1989 Caracazo riots against neoliberal policies that are widely seen as the start of Venezuela’s revolutionary process.

Chavez made the comments by phone on the television program Dando y Dando on October 5.

Chavez also expressed solidarity with the protesters and condemned police repression of peaceful protest. “This movement of popular outrage is expanding … and the repression is horrible, I don’t know how many are in prison now,” he said.

Discussing the roots of the popular explosion, he said: “Poverty’s growing. The misery is getting worse”.

The Caracazo broke out across Venezuela after a “shock package” of neoliberal reforms was introduced by then-president Carlos Andres Perez involving drastic price hikes in fuel and transport costs.

It was a popular explosion of anger by Venezuela’s working people and destitute masses. It marked the beginning of the end of the rule of Venezuela’s capitalist oligarchy.

Three years later, Chavez lead a failed military rebellion aimed at toppling the Andres Perez regime and establishing a popular revolutionary government. The attempt failed, but it earned Chavez and his military comrades immense respect among Venezuela’s poor majority.

On the back of this mass support, Chavez was elected president in December 1998.

In his comments, Chavez characterized the Caracazo as “a forerunner to what we are seeing in Europe, and in North America, huge protests” against neoliberalism. In the Caracazo, “the Venezuelan people struck out against neoliberalism, against the Washington consensus, and here a revolution broke out”.

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It has been two week since the declaration of the hunger strike by the prisoners of our people. This strike is set to protest the detention in the most despicable conditions possible. The time to establish a decisive stance of support has come. The time to regain the issue of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement to the top priority of the struggle of the Palestinian people has come.

Their hunger is ours.

Thus, a solidarity strike has been initiated by a group of Palestinian youth from within the Palestinian occupied territories 1948, from all factions and political groups. We declare an open hunger strike and sit-ins in the city of Haifa that will commence on Saturday October the 8th, in solidarity with the demands of the Palestinian captive movement, and with the fierce struggle against the occupation and its prisons.

The aim of this step is to declare full support for the demands of the captive movement. The most important among those demands is complete freedom from captivity. In addition, we wish to raise awareness and recruit public and institutional support and for the prisoners and their suffering, and to prepare the ground for a genuine popular protest against the prisons of the occupation.

Unfortunately, we are in a race against time, as each day passes, the danger to our brothers in prison grows, leaving us with many difficulties in the recruitment and coordination. And, therefore:

It is necessary to stress that we consider all the national factions and parties as partners in this struggle, and all are requested to contribute, support, and participate in the revival of the activities and initiatives. We call upon the movements and the national parties, as well as NGOs, especially those working in the field of human rights, the Palestinian captive movement, and legal affairs, to join this struggle which seeks freedom for political prisoners,and to support the prisoners’ key demands. We draw a warm, brotherly appeal to our people and the families of the prisoners, to stand on our side.

We invite all those who wish to contribute and support or to join the hunger strike to send a message to majd948@gmail.com or lana.khaskia@gmail.com or call – 0506386646 / 0523259766 to match up the work. We need all the support with media outreach, organisational logistics, recruitment and personal involvement.

Freedom for Prisoners of Freedom!

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American Front occupies Wall Street 2 !

 

An update from a  American Front  cadre working within the “Occupy” movement.  This is occurring nation-wide…

“In ** (city name removed for security), things are going smooth. Most of us are over 36  hours with  no sleep but still going strong. The people are not allowed to build shelters at all, and you can’t sleep anywhere on the occupy site without being ticketed. We are finding loop holes in that by taking short naps in shifts. We’ve been helping out where we can to show as much support as possible and educate as many as we can about AF.

It has been a fun couple of days and some of the smartest local people we’ve ever met are at this.  The people protesting alongside us are really friendly and most know what they are talking about. 

As far as cop traffic, we have some suspicions they will increase their  harassing of us soon. They’ve increased their patrols and monitoring. In a couple of hours you probably see 20 to 30 cops drive past on a bad night.  We are ready for whatever  happens.

We will of course continue our updates  as often as we  can. Once again our being AF has drawn a very positive response here.  NO  issues with anyone while talking about national revolutionary politics or AF. 

The protesters are very respectful to other protesters, but tensions are rising both about the heavy cop traffic as well as, the intensity shown by a few people who are against what the protests stand for.   They are in for a surprise if the counter demonstrators think that the “occupy” protestors are just college kids or that we (AF and other militants ) won’t meet force with force. 

Things might get hectic but we have a lot of support out here in **.

It feels like the Revolution is coming.”

Actually Comrade the Revolution is here.  Now.  And you’re a part of it!

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