Today’s super-rich are the most privileged and powerful group of people in history. If you’re a billionaire, you can even decide an election by funneling a little bit of your money into the race. You can choose to pay 0% tax. You can sway public opinion by buying up media outlets, and by using think tanks to influence schools and news sources. You can mobilize law enforcement agencies towards targeting your enemies, that is anyone who annoys you.
They are criminals, even the very few with a conscience give away just a fraction of their ill-gotten loot. Even today, with many states openly run by neo racist, sexist and militarist neo fascists, it’s popular to campaign against the astounding and ballooning wealth and power of billionaires. Unmasking these mega robbers helps unite us and at least slows down the trend to dictatorial rule.
The eight richest people in the world hoard more wealth than the bottom 50% of humanity combined .. they are playing with fire..’.
Extreme inequality and declining living standards have happened everywhere that neoliberalism has been imposed, including in the Scandinavian countries that have tried to “reform” capitalism. While the world’s eight richest men now have the same amount of wealth as the bottom half of humanity, the world’s poorest 3.6 billion people are currently getting poorer.
Some call it Moneyland, others see a return to feudal times. The offshore world could also be compared to the two-tiered architecture of imperial Panem in Suzanne Collin’s dystopian Hunger Games trilogy, which is said to reflect the workings of the Roman empire.
Income inequality is at its highest level in at least 50 years, according to one measurement from the government’s Census Bureau. Oxfam reported that the world’s wealthiest 26 individuals, as of 2018, had the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the US population, which is supposedly the richest state. There were 2,153 billionaires as of March, with the ultra-rich worth $8.7 trillion, according to Forbes.
Spending time with the union members of Chapare, who run society in a collective fashion, offers special insights into the resistance to the coup. They succeeded in expelling the police, but now fear a bloodbath in retaliation.
By Ollie Vargas
Cochabamba, Bolivia — Known as Bolivia’s Chapare region, the Tropico of Cochabamba is a sanctuary for elected President Evo Morales’ most dedicated base of support. Since the November 10 coup, it has effectively become a self-governing territory where the military junta is absent.
The police and military were sent in full retreat from this area the coup began and were told they would only be welcomed back if the they “get on their knees and apologize” to the community.
In this 12,000 square kilometer swath of land, hundreds of unions have flourished over the years. I spent several days with the union rank and file, witnessing how they run society in a collective fashion, and how they have organized ferocious resistance to a right-wing coup government that threatens to destroy them.
Despite the resilience on display here, there is also a sense of dread. Union leaders told me that if the state decides to militarize the region, as it has threatened, a bloodbath is practically inevitable. If the violent crackdown arrives, it could unravel a social structure they have been steadily constructing for decades.
‘Once more the heroes at Wikileaks expose the US war machine for a disgraceful False Flag Debacle in a way that short circuits the power of the US media to assert that Black is White’. #FreeAssange#FreeChelseaManning
New WikiLeaks Bombshell: 20 Inspectors Dissent From Syria Chemical Attack Narrative
Late Saturday WikiLeaks released more documents which contradict the US narrative on Assad’s use of chemical weapons, specifically related to the April 7, 2018 Douma incident, which resulted in a major US and allied tomahawk missile and air strike campaign on dozens of targets in Damascus.
The leaked documents, including internal emails of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) — which investigated the Douma site — reveal mass dissent within the UN-authorized chemical weapons watchdog organization’s ranks over conclusions previously reached by the international body which pointed to Syrian government culpability.
It’s part of a growing avalanche of dissent memos and documents casting the West’s push for war in Syria in doubt (which had resulted in two major US and allied attacks on Syria).
US cruise missile is launched in retaliation. It was only after the blitz that a team of OPCW inspectors – non-political scientists – were able to visit Douma to investigate the attack, later detailing their conclusions in a report
This newly released batch, WikiLeaks reports, includes a memo stating 20 inspectors feel that the officially released version of the OPCW’s report on Douma “did not reflect the views of the team members that deployed to [Syria]”. This comes amid widespread allegations US officials brought immense pressure to bear on the organization.
see also> Seeing is Believing, Earthworks: Community Empowerment against fracking pollution and climate change. HERE> .https://wp.me/pIJl9-e9f
By Jonah M. Kessel and Hiroko Tabuchi Dec. 12, 2019
Immense amounts of methane are escaping from oil and gas sites nationwide, worsening global warming, even as the Trump administration weakens restrictions on offenders.
Jonah M. Kessel, a New York Times visual journalist, and Hiroko Tabuchi, a Times climate reporter, went to West Texas oilfields with a camera that can photograph methane.
To the naked eye, there is nothing out of the ordinary at the DCP Pegasus gas processing plant in West Texas, one of the thousands of installations in the vast Permian Basin that have transformed America into the largest oil and gas producer in the world.
There is a huge global spike in methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases driving climate change over the last decade, according Harvard University Studies. The U.S. is the biggest culprit, mostly from oil and gas fracking wells, there are over a million of them, with half already abandoned. Obama introduced laws so that the industry would -voluntarily- at least measure the leaks. But even that is being repealed by the Trump administration, a criminal and ecocidal policy in the light of years of concrete scientific proof that the methane emissions are tipping us towards imminent uncontrollable climate chaos..Controlling methane emissions would be a quick way to pause climate change, while CO2 remains in the atmosphere for many decades.
But a highly specialized camera sees what the human eye cannot: a major release of methane, the main component of natural gas and a potent greenhouse gas that is helping to warm the planet at an alarming rate.
Two New York Times journalists detected this from a tiny plane, crammed with scientific equipment, circling above the oil and gas sites that dot the Permian, an oil field bigger than Kansas. In just a few hours, the plane’s instruments identified six sites with unusually high methane emissions.
DCP Pegasus Gas Processing PlantNov. 5, 2019Using a powerful infrared camera, The Times identified large-scale releases. Here, methane escapes from a device meant to be burning it off.
Methane is loosely regulated, difficult to detect and rising sharply. The Times’s aerial and on-the-ground research, along with an examination of lobbying activities by the companies that own the sites, shows how the energy industry is seeking and winning looser federal regulations on methane, a major contributor to global warming.
Operators of the sites identified by The Times are among the very companies that have lobbied the Trump administration, either directly or through trade organizations, to weaken regulations on methane, a review of regulatory filings, meeting minutes and attendance logs shows. These local companies, along with oil-industry lobby groups that represent the world’s largest energy companies, are fighting rules that would force them to more aggressively fix emissions like these.
Next year, the administration could move forward with a plan that would effectively eliminate requirements that oil companies install technology to detect and fix methane leaks from oil and gas facilities. By the E.P.A.’s own calculations, the rollback would increase methane emissions by 370,000 tons through 2025, enough to power more than a million homes for a year.
Impacted residents travel to Madrid to highlight that planned infrastructure to process & export Permian oil & gas would guarantee catastrophic climate change
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Madrid, Dec 4 — Today at an official COP25 side event Texas and New Mexico residents — impacted by the extraction of Permian Basin oil & gas, and by planned infrastructure to transport, process and export it — informed delegates and other attendees that catastrophic climate change is inevitable unless the Permian infrastructure expansion is stopped.
“The Permian Basin is an oil and gas carbon bomb that’s exploding, and it’s happening right now. If we can’t defuse it, the world cannot avoid catastrophic
climate change. Major oil companies are trying to lock in decades more oil and gas demand by building infrastructure from the Permian to the Texas Gulf Coast to transport, process and export the world’s largest current oil & gas play,” said Earthworks’ Energy Campaigner Ethan Buckner.
Although communities across the region are bearing the brunt of impacts from oil, gas and petrochemical development, those most at risk from the Permian expansion are those already the most impacted by social and environmental injustice. And on Texas’ Gulf Coast — where the oil & gas is processed and exported — they’re suffering twice: from the operations’ toxic pollution, and from intensified climate change.
“I live less than two miles from the Ship Channel in the East End of Houston, TX. My dad was a United Steelworker who died of cancer in 2016, and I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that same year. So I’m well aware that workers and fenceline communities are paying with their health the price of daily exposure to toxic pollution from oil and gas infrastructure,” said Ana
No One Should Have to Breathe These Chemicals – AnaParras of Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (@tejasbarrios). HOUSTON — While families across the country celebrated Thanksgiving with their loved ones, more than 50,000 people in Port Neches, Tex., were forced to evacuate from their homes and spend the holiday in makeshift shelters
“I want to make it clear, however, although I am deeply opposed to war, I am not advocating appeasement. It is often necessary to take a strong stand to counter unjust aggression. For instance, it is plain to all of us that the Second World War was entirely justified. It “saved civilization” from the tyranny of Nazi Germany, as Winston Churchill so aptly put it.
But we can only judge whether or not a conflict was vindicated on moral grounds with hindsight. For example, we can now see during the Cold War, the principle of nuclear deterrence had a certain value. Nevertheless, it is very difficult to assess such matters with any degree of accuracy. War is violence and violence is unpredictable. Therefore, it is better to avoid it if possible, and never to presume we know beforehand whether the outcome of a particular war will be beneficial or not.”
Wounded children in Tel-Rifaat massacre: We were playing suddenly we bombed
“Are we terrorists, what did we do to them so that they bombed us and killed our friends? Now they are bombing us here too. We want to live in peace,” said the children who were injured in the Turkish massacre in Tel Rifaat.
Intent on Genocide and destroying the democratic feminist Rojava the Turkish president arrived in Buckingham Palace for a NATO summit, just hours after committing another massacre of 10 civilians, mostly kids going home after school.. Nobody in the Palace is so rude as to mention the bodies of innocent children.
Erdogan then labeled his victims as terrorists, yet again, and again openly threatened his fellow presidents unless they agreed with him and continued their criminal deals.
What a SHAME that the world has come to this.. that an obvious genocidal illegal invasion and ethnic cleansing be condoned, flagrant war crimes against people who have NEVER attacked Turkey. Indeed the US NATO leaders refused in the UN (along with Russia) to even condemn the latest invasion.
Everyone pays for the rich to get richer. We pay with our labor, working to fill their pockets. We pay with skyrocketing rent as they gentrify us out of our homes. We pay with the destruction of the environment, the erasure of our communities, the stress in our day-to-day lives. We pay for things that used to be free, like water. We pay taxes so they can hire more cops to terrorize us. Everyone pays, but only they benefit.
Last December, the Trump administration enacted a scheme requiring Central American asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their legal proceedings drag on indefinitely in the United States.
The Migrant Protection Protocols policy – a
handily perverse euphemism – is the approximate equivalent of calling
the Exxon Valdez oil spill the Marine Life Protection Initiative. As
various human rights and advocacy organisations have pointed out, the
border programme has exposed tens of thousands of asylum seekers to violence; including rape, kidnapping and assault, in the unsure border regions of Mexico.
In light of the surplus of rapes and other abuses already documented
as a result of so-called “protection”, the International Day for the
Elimination of Violence against Women – marked annually on November 25 –
is an ideal occasion to reflect on the violence facing migrant women in
an era of mass migration.
As the UN Women website observes : ” Rape
is rooted in a complex set of patriarchal beliefs, power, and control
that continue to create a social environment in which sexual violence is
pervasive and normalised.”
For an idea of the extent of normalisation, just recall Patriarch-in-chief President Donald Trump‘s own previous advice about fondling women without their consent: “Grab ’em by the p****.”
Migrant women, of course, are particularly
vulnerable to “grabbing” – and much worse – especially given that crimes
against migrants are not generally reported or prosecuted. And for
Central American women transiting Mexico to the US border, sexual
assault is frequently par for the course.
The SDF coalition of militias, of Rojava/Autonomous Administration(AA) though 70,000 strong, are facing a giant 639,551. strong modern NATO army , led by an openly fascist, racist, misogynist and mass murdering expansionist regime, as being illustrated daily in Afrin, which in principle should destroy them in days.
The SDF has very few armoured vehicles, tanks or heavy artillery and of course no air force at all, while Turkey is the second biggest NATO force with tens of thousands, now poised to take over Rojava and northern Syria.
21:41 10 Oct 19:Fighting resumes between Manbij Military Council fighters and the occupation forces in Ceblê, Hemra, Til Torîn and Boxaz villages of Manbij that were attacked with heavy weapons. Manbij Military Council fighters are retaliating in kind.
Most of Turkey’s weapons are US, and there are no restrictions, so in replacements the US, and personally Donald Trump, stand to gain a bonanza from a genocidal massacre they permitted, and could have prevented with just 1000 of their million strong military.
The SDF should therefore probably go for a guerilla resistance from the beginning, as any set battles in the open countryside could be suicidal. However this is do or die for them, and for their amazing human revolution. Everything else has been tried. There is no other choice but total resistance.
Another tactic then may be to extend the battlefield, on all levels.. all the long border, in Afrin, in Iraq, in Iran and across Europe and the world, with all, including me and hopefully you, resisting at their own level.
Rise Up For Rojava !
@RojavaNetwork+++Turkish occupation army has captured the village “Bir ‘Ashiq”, east of the city Girê Sipî.
@RojavaNetwork SDF Military source: “SDF stunned Turkish forces and confused them by extending the front line to 650 km while Ankara planned to 80 km, so the SDF opened more than eight battle fronts while the Turkish army planned one.”
@RojavaNetwork Afrin Liberation forces: “A convoy belonging to the Turkish occupation army were targeted in Afrin, casualties unknown, at the same time our forces has eliminated four and wounded two Turkish-backed militants”
@RojavaNetwork +++People protection units (YPG) has infiltrated in the city Cizre (Cizîr) in Turkey. YPG has raided and surrounded a police station, clashes continue. #Twitterkurds#Rojava#SDF#Turkey#TSK#Syria
7 Oct 2019. Yesterdays massive protests against imminent illegal Turkish Invasion in Sere Kaniye/Ras al-Ayn border.
Erdogan is still being courted by both the US and Russia who see Turkey as strategic, he has defied with impunity the now embattled Trump on the S400 deal and on buying Iranian oil, and now demands permission to use Syrian air space to again bomb the Syrian people before invading.
But over and over he previously claimed he wants to expel the local Kurdish population. ”cleanse Rojava” and restore the Ottoman Empire and is proving his wish in ‘turkifying’ Afrin, so this new senseless invasion would be more ethnic cleansing and attempted genocide.
Erdogan has gained much needed support (his AKP party lost Istanbul city council) by complaining often about the 3.5m Syrian refugees in Turkey, although they are less than 5% of the Turkish population in a huge area. Turkey has already received 6,000,000,000 euros by blackmailing EU taxpayers to support them.
Refugees used again as Human Blackmail by Erdogan to extract money and impunity for Rojava invasion
Meanwhile they are forced to work black for starvation wages, boosting the economy and forcing salaries down for everyone. (The over 3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey (actually a tiny minority in a population of 81 million compared with the IDP’s hosted in Rojava and formerly Afrin) are being cruelly exploited as virtual black slave labour while being subsidised with billions of euros by the EU taxpayer with continuous blatant blackmail threats to ” flood Europe” with them.)
And now he is using them as a ridiculous excuse for a new illegal invasion, this time in NE Syria. (The idea of ‘settling’ 2,000,000 refugees in an already occupied rural semi desert region with no resources might appeal to Erdogan’s favourite historical figure: Adolf Hitler).
Lebanon for example has nearly half its population Syrian refugees and gets little aid or attention. Afrin, before the ongoing invasion by Turkey, had nearly doubled its population hosting a huge number of Arab, Christian, Assyrian and Turkmen refugees and was hailed as a model of direct democracy, gender equality and religious and ethnic tolerance.
Despite a siege blockade the Afrin population nearly doubled (172k to 323k ) while Turkey’s has only increased by 4.4% (3.5 million out of 80 million). (The total population of Afrin as of 2005 was recorded at only 172,095 people Wikipedia.) The Turkish takeover has forced a mass exodus of refugees from Afrin amidst documented reports of mass murder, widespread looting , kidnapping, rape, a continuing guerilla war and pillage by the Turkish contracted Jihadi mercenaries and Turkish military.
Once invaded Turkey will NEVER LEAVE, and a guerilla war will continue indefinitely. For example, Turkey refuses to leave Nth Cyprus, or its illegal bases in Iraq,or Afrin, Al Bab, Jarablus, Azaz.. or of course the Syrian province of Hatay, now 80 years invaded and ethnically cleansed.
Erdogan forced more than half Afrin’s population to flee and they still survive in tent camps, seizing their property and importing thousands of jihadi mercenaries, Al Qaeda ex ISIS guerillas, and sponsored the Al Qaesa mini state in Idlib….
…and now has the utter hypocrisy to complain about refugees and announce a new invasion ‘to settle them in a safe area’.
Not only have land grabbers , illegal loggers and big ranchers been given immunity ‘on the nod’ and urged to attack and murder locals and indigenous and burn the forest.. but also, in this case, the police and army are acting illegally on behalf of the local corrupt oligarchy.. Bolsonaro should be tried for crimes against humanity and the planet.
(edited translation) Last week, the National Army, and the Military Police Tactical Force evicted 400 families from the Boa Esperança Camp in Porto Velho, Rondônia.
The residents report that the military acted violently and set fire to the area, arresting Delson Pinto de Souza, a farmer who has been harassed and persecuted for years and has legal ownership of the Boi D’Água area where the Boa Esperança camp is located.