The Battle of New Orleans is still going on

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The Battle of New Orleans is still going on

Postby snowlion2 » Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:10 am

The author of "The Mardi Gras Index" was interviewed on our local NPR affilliate earlier this week. The entire report from The Institute for Southern Studies makes facinating and frightening reading. A few of the demographics:<br><br>MARDI GRAS INDEX — Demographic Indicators <br> <br> <br>Total number of people in Gulf Region acutely impacted by Hurricane Katrina: 700,000 <br> <br>Percent of those displaced by Katrina who were from New Orleans: 50 <br> <br>Population of New Orleans pre-Katrina: 484,000 <br> <br>Estimated number of New Orleans residents today: 156,000 <br> <br>Population of New Orleans that lived in areas that were damaged by Katrina: 354,000 <br> <br>Percent of residents living in Katrina-damaged areas of New Orleans who were black: 75 <br> <br>Percent who were poor: 29 <br> <br>Percent who were unemployed: 10 <br> <br>Percent who were renters: 53 <br> <br>Estimated loss of New Orleans’ black population if people are unable to return to flood-damaged neighborhoods: 80 <br> <br>Estimated loss of New Orleans’ white population in such case: 50 <br> <br>The entire report can be found <br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.reconstructionwatch.org/MardiGrasReport6.pdf">here.</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: The Battle of New Orleans is still going on

Postby Gouda » Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:32 am

Thanks snowlion. Add that to my overflowing file on Katrina/NOLA. Stan Goff also has posted an excellent series on the Katrina "extermination" at <!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://stangoff.com/">stangoff.com/</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br>We have to keep up on this. I am afraid the whole bayou bash was conducted and is being studied on some level somewhere as an exercise informing future corporate-military contingency planning, should things get rough in america for the plutocracy. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: The Battle of New Orleans is still going on

Postby Gouda » Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:00 pm

Read also: Iraq, Haiti, Yugoslavia, Central America, on and on and coming to a neighborhood near you...<br><br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://stangoff.com/?p=264">stan goff</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>The capitalist state is owned and operated by the capitalist class. Under conditions of stability and productivity, it represents capital-in-general. This often means that it has to suppress or even eliminate certain fractions of capital – whose range of view is limited by its own business cycle – in order to ensure continued power by the class as a whole.<br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>In the classic Brando film “Burn,” based loosely on the history of Haiti, the colonial military commander orders an entire island colony set ablaze, including its lucrative sugar plantations, in order to crush a Black proletarian rebellion. One of the island’s capitalists pleadingly objects that the commander has wiped out the island’s profits. The commander then explains that the destruction of the island is necessary to send the message to other workers on the rest of the colonized islands, and that this “pacification” is required to ensure profits for all, not just over the next business cycle, but for the next decade.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--> <p></p><i></i>
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Wisdom

Postby snowlion2 » Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:01 pm

I've always thought that at least the beginning of wisdom (if not also its end) is knowing what I don't know, not just those things I do. It's why I come here and why the revelation of the current state of NO stunned me. I, like many others, I suspect, had moved on to more current headlines. It's also why I respect immensely the postings and insights of those who still dare to question...you know who you are.<br><br>Even the former residents of NO in this area (one extended family in particular I know quite well) have moved on to new lives. That's a good thing...I guess...but on the other hand it also may be more evidence that the depopulation/relocation by the PTB is going according to plan. "Nothing to look at here...please move on." And many of us have.<br><br>*****<br><br>More from the above linked report:<br><br>MARDI GRAS INDEX — Infrastructure Indicators <br> <br> <br>Percent of Orleans Parish residents with available electrical service: 95 <br> <br>Percent of former electricity customers in New Orleans who are actually using available power: 35 <br> <br>Percent of residents of the predominantly African-American Lower Ninth Ward with available electrical service: 25 <br> <br>Percent of Orleans Parish residents with available gas service: 83 <br> <br>Percent of Lower Ninth Ward residents with available gas service: 3 <br> <br>Percent of New Orleans streetcars lost in Katrina: 45 <br> <br>Percent of New Orleans buses lost: 53 <br> <br>Number of public transit riders per week in New Orleans pre-Katrina: 124,000 <br> <br>Number of public transit riders per week in New Orleans as of late January 2006: 11,709 <br> <br>Number of operational public transit routes in New Orleans, pre-Katrina: 57 <br> <br>Number of operational public transit routes in New Orleans as of late January 2006: 28 <br> <br>Percent decline in Regional Transit Authority estimated tax receipts for 2006, from the $59.4 million total collected in 2005: 83 <br> <br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Wisdom

Postby NavnDansk » Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:22 pm

<!--EZCODE EMOTICON START :| --><img src=http://www.ezboard.com/images/emoticons/indifferent.gif ALT=":|"><!--EZCODE EMOTICON END--> The horrors of what bushco did (armed mercenaries, refusing aid from other countries) and did not do (preventing neighbors from rescuing the helpless who couldn't get out, ice trucks sent to New England, pointing guns at Brian Williams and MSM, still pointing guns at new reporters after CNN went to court against the military in NOLA to get a restraining order so reporters could get the truth of how many people had died or were still stranded and on and on) has US citizens in shock.<br><br>I was disappointed that only about 17 people had responded to Democratic Underground's front page story posted a day or so ago, still up and still very few posts.<br><br>We all feel helpless after the utter betrayal of the Dems in the Alito vote, the passing of the Patriot Act without the amendments by Feingold to preserve some of our civil liberties, and giving bush a free pass on his NSA Domestic Spying, and the danger Russell Tice and other Whistleblowers are in by Gonzales hunting them down and Sancho's prosecution for bringing the Florida voter/election fraud to light. DU does have email address to write to defend this brave patriot on their front page.<br><br>Thank you for continuing to be concerned about the Katrina victims and letting us know about a truthsite. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Wisdom

Postby Qutb » Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:32 pm

Er du dansk, NavnDansk? <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Wisdom

Postby Hugh Manatee Wins » Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:40 pm

The Pentagon no doubt studied carefully the rest of the country's reaction to what was probably an opportunistic FEMA martial law quarantine excercise during Kamp Katrina.<br><br>Whether as let-it-happen-on-purpose excercise or merely a 'lessons learned' follow-up, the event is being digested into a tool of fascist governance.<br><br>Isolating cities that offer too much resistance to empire is probably being worked out logistically using the pandemic as a cover story with the goal of enough political stability to continue the War on Terra.<br><br>Imagine isolating Seattle, San Francisco, or Cleveland.<br>I think Operation Garden Plot excercises have already been done in these cities and others.<br><br>This is only logical and rational to assume, not alarmist.<br>Power works like plumbing in very predictable ways. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: The Battle of New Orleans is still going on

Postby Dreams End » Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:49 pm

<!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>[jordanhurricane] Guantanamo on the Mississippi<br> From: neworleans@leftturn.org<br> To: jordanhurricane@lists.riseup.net<br> <br>Guantanamo on the Mississippi<br>By Jordan Flaherty<br><br>Sometimes the injustices here in New Orleans leave me numb. But the continuing debacle of our criminal justice system inspires in me a sense of indignation I thought was lost to cynicism long ago. Ursula Price, a staff investigator for the indigent defense organization A Fighting Chance, has met with several thousand hurricane survivors who were imprisoned at the time of the hurricane, and her stories chill me "I grew up in small town Mississippi," she tells me. "We had the Klan marching down our main street. But still, I've never seen anything like this."<br><br>Safe Streets, Strong Communities, a New Orleans-based criminal justice reform coalition that Price also works with, has just released a report based on more than a hundred recent interviews with prisoners who have been locked up since pre-Katrina and are currently spread across thirteen prisons and hundreds of miles. They found the average number of days people had been locked up without a trial was 385 days. One person had been locked up for 1,289 days. None of them have been convicted of any crime. <br><br>"I've been working in the system for the while, I do capital cases and I've seen the worst that the criminal justice system has to offer," Price told me. "But even I am shocked that there has been so much disregard for the value of these peoples lives, especially people who have not been proved to have done anything wrong." As lawyers, advocates, and former prisoners stressed to me in interviews over the last couple of weeks, arrest is not the same as conviction. According to a pre-Katrina report from the Metropolitan Crime Commission, 65% of those arrested in New Orleans are eventually released without ever having been charged with any crime. <br><br>Samuel Nicholas (his friends call him Nick) was imprisoned in Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) on a misdemeanor charge, and was due to be released August 31. Instead, after a harrowing journey of several months, he was released February 1. Nick told me he still shudders when he thinks of those days in OPP. <br><br>"We heard boats leaving, and one of the guys said 'hey man, all the deputies gone,' Nick relates. "We took it upon ourselves to try to survive. They left us in the gym for two days with nothing. Some of those guys stayed in a cell for or five days. People were hollering, 'get me out, I don't want to drown, I don't want to die,' we were locked in with no ventilation, no water, nothing to eat. Its just the grace of god that a lot of us survived."<br><br>Benny Flowers, a friend of Nick's from the same Central City neighborhood, was on a work release program, and locked in a different building in the sprawling OPP complex. In his building there were, by his count, about 30 incarcerated youth, some as young as 14 years old. "I don't know why they left the children like that. Locked up, no food, no water. Why would you do that? They couldn't swim, most of them were scared to get into the water. We were on work release, so we didn't have much time left. We weren't trying to escape, we weren't worried about ourselves, we were worried about the children. The guards abandoned us, so we had to do it for ourselves. We made sure everyone was secured and taken care of. The deputies didn't do nothing. It was inmates taking care of inmates, old inmates taking care of young inmates. We had to do it for ourselves."<br><br>Benny Hitchens, another former inmate, was imprisoned for unpaid parking tickets. "They put us in a gym, about 200 of us, and they gave us three trash bags, two for defecation and one for urination. That was all we had for 200 people for two days."<br><br>State Department of Corrections officers eventually brought them, and thousands of other inmates, to Hunts Prison, in rural Louisiana, where evacuees were kept in a field, day and night, with no shelter and little or no food and water. "They didn't do us no kind of justice," Flowers told me. "We woke up early in the morning with the dew all over us, then in the afternoon we were burning up in the summer sun. There were about 5,000 of us in three yards."<br><br>Nick was taken from Hunts prison to Oakdale prison. "At Oakdale they had us on lockdown 23 hours, on Friday and Saturday it was 24 hours. We hadn't even been convicted yet. Why did we have to be treated bad? Twenty-three and one ain't nothing nice, especially when you aint been convicted of a crime yet. But here in New Orleans you're guilty 'til you're proven innocent. Its just the opposite of how its supposed to be."<br><br>From reports that Price received, some prisoners had it worse than Oakdale. "Many prisoners were sent to Jena prison, which had been previously shut down due to the abusiveness of the staff there. I have no idea why they thought it was acceptable to reopen it with the same staff. People were beaten, an entire room of men was forced to strip and jump up and down and make sexual gestures towards one another. I cannot describe to you the terror that the young men we spoke to conveyed to us."<br><br>According to the report from Safe Streets Strong Communities, the incarcerated people they interviewed described their attorney's as "passive," "not interested," and "absent." Interviewers were told that "attorneys acted as functionaries for the court rather than advocates for the poor people they represented….the customs of the criminal court excused - and often encouraged - poor policing and wrongful arrests. The Orleans Indigent Defender Program acted as a cog in this system rather than a check on its dysfunction."<br><br>Pre-Katrina, the New Orleans public defender system was already dangerously overloaded, with 42 attorneys and six investigators. Today, New Orleans has 6 public defenders, and one investigator. And these defenders are not necessarily full-time, nor committed to their clients. One of those attorneys is known to spend his days in court working on crossword puzzles instead of talking to his clients. All of these attorneys are allowed to take an unlimited number of additional cases for pay. In most cases, these attorneys have been reported to do a much more vigorous job on behalf of their paid clients.<br><br>"We have a system that was broken before Katrina," Price tells me, "that was then torn apart, and is waiting to be rebuilt. Four thousand people are still in prison, waiting for this to be repaired. There's a young man, I speak to his mother every day, who has been in the hole since the storm, and is being abused daily. This boy is 19 years old, and not very big, and he has no lawyer. His mother doesn't know what to do, and without her son having council, I don't know what to tell her."<br><br>Pre-hurricane, according to the Safe Streets report, some detainees were brought to a magistrate court shortly after being arrested, "where a public defender was appointed 'solely for the purposes of this hearing.' The assigned attorney did not do even the most cursory interview about the arrestee's ties to the community, charges, or any other information relevant to setting a bond. Other interviewees were brought to a room where they faced a judge on a video screen. These individuals uniformly reported there was no defense lawyer present." <br><br>The report continues, "after appointment, (defense attorneys) by and large did not visit the crime scene, did not interview witnesses, did not check out alibis, did not procure expert assistance, did not review evidence, did not know the facts of the case, did not do any legal research, and did not otherwise prepare for trial…with few exceptions, attorneys with the Orleans Indigent Defender program never met with their clients to discuss their case. Appointed council did not take calls from the jail, did not respond to letters or other written correspondence, and generally did not take calls or make appointments with family members…(defenders) frequently did not know the names of their clients."<br><br>"This ain't just started, its been going on," Nick tells me. "I want to talk about it, but at the same time it hurts to talk about it. Someone's gotta start talking about it. It's not the judge, its not the lawyers, it's the criminal justice system. Everybody who goes to jail isn't guilty. You got guys who were drunk in public, treated like they committed murder."<br><br>I asked Price what has to happen to fix this system. "First, we establish who was left behind, collect their stories and substantiate them. Next, we're going to organize among the inmates and former inmates to change the system. The inmates are going to have a voice in what happens in our criminal justice system. If you ask anyone living in New Orleans, the police, the justice system, may be the single most influential element in poor communities. Its what beaks up families, its what keeps people poor."<br><br>How can people from around the US help? "Education, health care, mental health. All these issues that exist in the larger community, exist among the prisoners, and no one is serving them. We need psychiatrists, doctors, teachers, we need all kinds of help," Price says.<br><br>"One thing I can't forget is those children," Benny Flowers tells me. "Why would they leave those children behind? I'm trying to forget it, but I can't forget it"<br><br>Sitting across the table from Benny, Nick is resolute. "I'm making this interview so that things get better," he tells me. "The prison system, the judicial system, the police. We got to make a change, and we all got to come together as a community to make this change. I want to stop all this harassment and brutality."<br><br>------------------------<br>Jordan Flaherty is a resident of New Orleans, an organizer with New Orleans Network and an editor of Left Turn Magazine. His previous articles from New Orleans are at: <br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.leftturn.org/articles/SpecialCollections/katri">www.leftturn.org/articles...ions/katri</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Indignation overcomes cynicism

Postby Hugh Manatee Wins » Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:59 pm

Thanks for the article, DE. It has words to live by-<br><br>"How can people from around the US help? "<!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Education, health care, mental health.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> All these issues that exist in the larger community, exist among the prisoners, and no one is serving them. We need <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>psychiatrists, doctors, teachers,</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> we need all kinds of help," Price says.<br><br>"One thing I can't forget is those children," Benny Flowers tells me. "Why would they leave those children behind? I'm trying to forget it, but I can't forget it."<br><br>"It was inmates taking care of inmates, old inmates taking care of young inmates. We had to do it for ourselves."<br><br>The United States of Addicts and Children. <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p216.ezboard.com/brigorousintuition.showUserPublicProfile?gid=hughmanateewins>Hugh Manatee Wins</A> at: 3/10/06 1:01 pm<br></i>
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Thanks DE

Postby snowlion2 » Fri Mar 10, 2006 4:20 pm

for the article. You mean there's something I can do besides write a check? I'm getting a 404 on the link for Jordan Flaherty, though. I need to make a phone call, I think. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Thanks DE

Postby Gouda » Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:35 am

"Evacuees' Lives Still Upended Seven Months After Hurricane"<br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/22/national/nationalspecial3/22katrina.html?_r=1&hp&ex=1143003600&en=abda1b5fa93f7842&ei=5094&partner=homepage&oref=slogin">www.nytimes.com/2006/03/2...ref=slogin</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>Nearly seven months after Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans and forced out hundreds of thousands of residents, most evacuees say they have not found a permanent place to live, have depleted their savings and consider their life worse than before the hurricane, according to interviews with more than 300 evacuees conducted by The New York Times.<br><br>...<br><br>The interviews suggested that while blacks and whites suffered similar rates of emotional trauma, blacks bore a heavier economic and social burden. And even as both groups flounder, most said they believed that the rest of the nation, and politicians in Washington, have moved on.<br><br>"I don't think anybody cares, really," said Robert Rodrigue, a semiretired computer programmer who has returned to his home in the suburb of Metairie. "New Orleans is kind of like at the bottom of the country, and they just forget about us."<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Thanks DE

Postby Gouda » Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:45 am

Oh, just double-checked on the link to <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Jordan Flaherty's</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> piece, which DE had posted...that one was dead, but has been resurrected here, better than ever, including all of his katrina work, updated:<br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.leftturn.org/Articles/specialcollections/jordanonkatrina.aspx">www.leftturn.org/Articles...trina.aspx</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br>And here are several dozen groups, with contact info, helping out: <br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.leftturn.org/Articles/Viewer.aspx?id=689&type=W">www.leftturn.org/Articles...689&type=W</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Thanks DE

Postby Gouda » Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:21 pm

<!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Who Is Killing New Orleans?</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br>by MIKE DAVIS<br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.thenation.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20060410&s=davis">www.thenation.com/docprin...10&s=davis</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br><br>***<br><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>25 Questions About the Murder of New Orleans</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br>by MIKE DAVIS & ANTHONY FONTENOT<br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.thenation.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20051017&s=davis">www.thenation.com/docprin...17&s=davis</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: The Battle of New Orleans is still going on

Postby StarmanSkye » Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:06 pm

I suppose like many, I bounce between outrage and fatalist cynicism at the immense scale of fraud, abuse, crimes and duplicity committed by our illegitimate 'leaders' and their military/financial partners-in-crime, occasionally to disguast and anger when I'm particularly reminded of the actual PRICE in human suffering by way of immense horrors and injustices being perpetrated by the plutocrats and the owner-class corporatocracy on the poor and worker class. <br><br>As Stan Goff points-out and as you quite-perceptively suggest, Gouda (re: Iraq, Haiti, Yugoslavia, Central America coming to a neighborhood near you), what happened in Katrina is but another face of the same policy of subversion and subjugation the US and International Financial Institutions have been wreaking on third-world nations for the past 40+ years thru neoliberalism --eliminating local autonomy and dynamic community organization --the basis for authentic grassroots democracy-- by removing direct, local controls over one's development, trade, and economy. <br><br>Goff said: "The capitalist state is owned and operated by the capitalist class. Under conditions of stability and productivity, it represents capital-in-general. This often means that it has to suppress or even eliminate certain fractions of capital – whose range of view is limited by its own business cycle – in order to ensure continued power by the class as a whole."<br><br><br>The 'failed' economies of the third-world and their impoverishment as debtor-nations was deliberately and strategically engineered at the highest-levels of US Foreign Policy, coordinating between the State Dept., Pentagon, IMF/World Bank and International Financial Institutions.<br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Reforming_System/World_of_Debt.html">www.thirdworldtraveler.co..._Debt.html</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br>--quote--<br>By the early l990s, while the IMF and the World Bank claimed to be helping the third world develop and get out of debt, most of their clients not only remained underdeveloped and poor but had fallen deeper into debt. And by the mid-l990s, the global gap between the rich and poor countries had roughly doubled since the 19605. Today the top 20 percent of the world's population controls more than 80 percent of the world's wealth and the bottom 20 percent controls about 1 percent. Debt payments from the poor countries to the rich ones usually amount to far more than new aid or foreign investment flowing from the rich countries to the poor. To make matters worse, although the structural-adjustment programs are supposed to reduce poverty through "market-led economic growth," they have yet to help even one third-world economy achieve both a high rate of growth and a substantive decline in poverty. A study conducted by the Center for Economic and Policy Research suggests that the structural-adjustment programs have actually impaired economic growth rates.<br><br>Strikingly, the conditions attached to IMF and World Bank loans are nothing like the policies of industrialized economies over the past 150 years. Europe, the United States, Japan, and the Four Tigers of Asia (Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) all have relied on an extensive partnership between industry and the state. Their industrialization process involved several decades or more of government providing protective trade barriers, large subsidies to domestic industry, support for public utilities and state-owned industries, tax breaks and other incentives for research and development to diversify the economy, and controls on currency and capital.<br><br>In contrast, structural-adjustment programs call for third world economies to reduce the states' role in their economic development process. These conditions-which are pushed most heavily by the U.S. Treasury Department and are thus dubbed the Washington Consensus-force third-world governments to lower or eliminate trade barriers and tariffs, lower or eliminate subsidies to their businesses, privatize public utilities and state-owned businesses, limit production to only one or two major exports, and eliminate their controls on currency and capital. A11 of this constricts the ability of the state to assist domestic industry or provide needed public services. Since no country in history has ever industrialized under such a process, structural-adjustment programs are essentially a massive, radical experiment foisted on the poorest two-thirds of the world's population.<br><br>Structural-adjustment programs drew lots of criticism throughout the l990s. Such objections culminated in the boisterous protests last year outside the IMF and World Bank joint conferences in Prague and in Washington, D.C. Critics note that the trade barrier reductions and subsidy cuts have wiped out domestic businesses, which could not compete with foreign multinational competitors; and that when a country's public utilities and state-owned companies are privatized, only foreign investors or the few domestic elites can afford to purchase them. Being forced to stick to one or two main exports has repeatedly made entire economies vulnerable to sudden price drops in international commodity markets. And currency-and-capital-control deregulation is now widely understood to have exacerbated the recent currency crisis in Asia.<br><br>In its 2001 annual edition of Global Economic Perspectives and the Developing Countries, the World Bank itself has pointed to one of the largest hypocrisies of all in global trading: The rich countries maintain high levels of trade barriers and subsidies for their own protection but force third-world governments to remove barriers and subsidies that support their industries. These prevent third-world goods from being sold in their markets. The effects of such hypocrisy have been disastrous.<br>--end quote--<br><br><br>As we are now seeing, the 'follow-up' in Katrina, such as reconstruction and rebuilding of devastated neighborhoods, communities and social institutions so as to reinvigerate and empower displaced citizens and help them restore their lives. is showing how superficial and insincere government and corporate/financial interests are in their consideration for and committment to the people and communities most affected. This shows the extreme poverty of our 'leadership' and late capitalism's philosophy, which have replaced the value of human lives with concern for wealth and power. <br><br>Sometimes I wonder if America hasn't been so totally corrupted by the public's semi-witless accomodation to the crimes of empire committed in their name, that there's any moral rationale to 'defending' the US -- defending from WHO, and for what purpose? -- So the US can continue killing indiscriminately in it's illegal, hegemonic expansion by force or guile? Perhaps the compelling, necessary interests of social justice and human and civil rights are better-served by recognizing the extent America's social institutions have been subverted and betrayed by the past several decades of frauds and charletans and brutes who are ready to allow millions to die and be killed to serve their narrowly-defined hidden ends? I mean, if the public are silent, uninterested or unconcerned about the enormous crimes the US has perpetrated on their own citizens as well as the peoples of the world thru fraud and theft, outraight wars or low-intensity conflcit, civil-strife or terrorism or economic enslavement, conspiring thru election-fraud or coups or blackmail to place corrupt officials in power who are induced to make secret loan-agreements that future generations inherit and that force the forfeiture of future-generations' national-wealth legacy, the provocation of civil-wars and the undermining of rule of law and civil guarantees, the erosion of the public commons thru giving corporations free licence to pollute and plunder and unloose dangerous technologies and toxic poisons ... then how DARE the American public think they are more-entitled to protections than anyone else, especially the US's many victims -- from its chemical-warfare crimes of Agent Orange (dioxin, SE Asia) and now Agent Green (Plan Columbia), to depleted uranium and pre-emptive 'defense' via the public works project of perpetual war and plans for martial war and suspension of Posse Comitas, etc.<br><br>I suggest, for the US to *begin* the long- long process of restoring a measure of decency, self-respect and reputation as a force for righteousness and freedom, we need to indict at least 100 of the biggest war-criminals from positions of government and military leadership, going back at least to Kissinger and Johnson/Nixon's regime (and the killers/conspirators of JFK) -- as well as disbanding CIA and NSA, IMF and World Bank and the Republican Party, and granting limited-immunity for whistleblowers and witnesses in a massive several-year truth-and-reconciliation movement.<br><br>But, HA! You can bet the guilty PTB would rather sacrifice millions of Americans rather than acknowledge their guilt -- <br><br>--quote--<br>The United States comprises large organizations - corporations, bureaucracies, "interest groups," and the like - which are conspiratorial by nature. That is, they are hierarchical, their important decisions are made in secret by a few key decision-makers, and they are not above lying about their activities. Such is the nature of organizational behavior. "Conspiracy," in this key sense, is a way of life around the globe.<br><br>Anyone who has lived in a repressive society knows that official manipulation of the truth occurs daily. But societies have their many and their few. In all times and all places, it is the few who rule, and the few who exert dominant influence over what we may call official culture. - All elites take care to manipulate public information to maintain existing structures of power. It's an old game.<br><br>America is nominally a republic and free society, but in reality an empire and oligarchy, vaguely aware of its own oppression, within and without. I have used the term "national security state" to describe its structures of power. It is a convenient way to express the military and intelligence communities, as well as the worlds that feed upon them, such as defense contractors and other underground, nebulous entities. Its fundamental traits are secrecy, wealth, independence, power, and duplicity.<br>-- Richard M. Dolan<br>***<br>Deliberate US Policy: Sabotaging Third World Development<br><br>Beginning in the 1970s and escalating dramatically in the 1980s and 1990s, the United States and international financial institutions began forcing Third World nations to abandon Import Substitution Industrialization (ISI) and begin implementing neoliberal economic reforms. Two factors were instrumental in allowing this to happen: the winding down and eventual end of the Cold War, and the massive foreign debts incurred by many Third World nations. <br>. . .<br>During the Cold War, the United States militarily and economically supported many authoritarian, anti-communist Third World regimes. Washington encouraged international financial institutions (IFIs) and private banks to provide loans to these dictatorships with little transparency and accountability. As a result, much of the money was spirited out of these countries by corrupt officials and deposited into personal overseas bank accounts. Little of the money was spent on projects that improved living conditions for the general population. The masses, however, did inherit the massive debts that many of these corrupt regimes had incurred by the 1980s. <br>-- <!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.colombiajournal.org/colombia204.htm">www.colombiajournal.org/colombia204.htm</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br>*****<br><br>And so it goes ...<br>Keep the light shinin.<br>Starman <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Sharks and Sardines

Postby Gouda » Fri Mar 31, 2006 6:03 am

Ideally, the oligarchs and the military-corporate class would like to implement the NOLA model worldwide - it's just hard to sweep so much away on a planetary scale, though I trust they are working on that. They have had varying degrees of success in latin america, but now we see they are losing that battle. Outcome of the war remains to be seen. Americans were blindsided, and with the entrenched capitalist mythos and apparatus so strong, resistance has been less than we'd like. <br><br>A short note on the truth of the relationship between neoliberal corporate free market sharks and regular people, the sardines (cemented, for example, in treaties such as NAFTA and in IMF / WB loans etc) is well illustrated by J. Blum in his <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>Calumet Review</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->: <br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Gone Fishing.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em> The Shark and the Sardines </em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->was a little book penned by the man not unjustly dubbed “the father of Guatemalan Democracy,” Juan Jose Arevalo. Naturally, the book was penned in exile, as United Fruit and the CIA put a quick end to Guatemalan Democracy after the election of Arevalo’s successor, Jacobo Arbenz, in 1954. <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>The Shark and the Sardines</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> does not concern itself so much with events in Guatemala as with American imperial adventures in Nicaragua (a tale which is continued, with much greater documentation, in Holly Sklar’s <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>Washington’s War on Nicaragua</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->). Arevalo’s book is an easy read, and its point is right on, that there can be no talk of treaties or of law generally between a shark (the USA) and sardines (the tiny republics of Latin America). This is true of contracts between giant corporations and real human beings as well. The idea of “equality” between giants and miniscules exists only in the rhetoric of giant-speak, and only when it pleases the giants to so speak. In this light, we might be sardonically grateful to the Bush Administration for being so blatant in their <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>selachianism</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> (sharkness).<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--> <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>The Calumet Review</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->, Volume Three, Number One, Winter 2006 <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p216.ezboard.com/brigorousintuition.showUserPublicProfile?gid=gouda@rigorousintuition>Gouda</A> at: 3/31/06 3:06 am<br></i>
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