Disney, Chevron and Monsanto Contracted with Blackwater for Intelligence, Training and Security Services

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/investigations/148202/disney%2C_chevron_and_monsanto_contracted_with_blackwater_for_intelligence%2C_training_and_security_services?page=entire
Posted on September 16, 2010, Printed on September 17, 2010

Over the past several years, entities closely linked to the private security firm Blackwater have provided intelligence, training and security services to US and foreign governments as well as several multinational corporations, including Monsanto, Chevron, the Walt Disney Company, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and banking giants Deutsche Bank and Barclays, according to documents obtained by The Nation. Blackwater’s work for corporations and government agencies was contracted using two companies owned by Blackwater’s owner and founder, Erik Prince: Total Intelligence Solutions and the Terrorism Research Center (TRC). Prince is listed as the chairman of both companies in internal company documents, which show how the web of companies functions as a highly coordinated operation. Officials from Total Intelligence, TRC and Blackwater (which now calls itself Xe Services) did not respond to numerous requests for comment for this article.

One of the most incendiary details in the documents is that Blackwater, through Total Intelligence, sought to become the “intel arm” of Monsanto, offering to provide operatives to infiltrate activist groups organizing against the multinational biotech firm.

Governmental recipients of intelligence services and counterterrorism training from Prince’s companies include the Kingdom of Jordan, the Canadian military and the Netherlands police, as well as several US military bases, including Fort Bragg, home of the elite Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), and Fort Huachuca, where military interrogators are trained, according to the documents. In addition, Blackwater worked through the companies for the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the US European Command.

On September 3 the New York Times reported that Blackwater had “created a web of more than 30 shell companies or subsidiaries in part to obtain millions of dollars in American government contracts after the security company came under intense criticism for reckless conduct in Iraq.” The documents obtained by The Nation reveal previously unreported details of several such companies and open a rare window into the sensitive intelligence and security operations Blackwater performs for a range of powerful corporations and government agencies. The new evidence also sheds light on the key roles of several former top CIA officials who went on to work for Blackwater.

Continue Reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/investigations/148202/disney%2C_chevron_and_monsanto_contracted_with_blackwater_for_intelligence%2C_training_and_security_services?page=entire

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IMF fears ‘social explosion’ from world jobs crisis

UK Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/8000561/IMF-fears-social-explosion-from-world-jobs-crisis.html

America and Europe face the worst jobs crisis since the 1930s and risk “an explosion of social unrest” unless they tread carefully, the International Monetary Fund has warned.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Published: 11:00PM BST 13 Sep 2010

Duration of unemployment in the US - Bureau of Labor Statistics

Duration of unemployment in the US, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Us long-term unemployed - Bureau of Labor Statistics figures

US long-term unemployed, Bureau of Labor Statistics figures.

“The labour market is in dire straits. The Great Recession has left behind a waste land of unemployment,” said Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF’s chief, at an Oslo jobs summit with the International Labour Federation (ILO).

He said a double-dip recession remains unlikely but stressed that the world has not yet escaped a deeper social crisis. He called it a grave error to think the West was safe again after teetering so close to the abyss last year. “We are not safe,” he said.

A joint IMF-ILO report said 30m jobs had been lost since the crisis, three quarters in richer economies. Global unemployment has reached 210m. “The Great Recession has left gaping wounds. High and long-lasting unemployment represents a risk to the stability of existing democracies,” it said.

The study cited evidence that victims of recession in their early twenties suffer lifetime damage and lose faith in public institutions. A new twist is an apparent decline in the “employment intensity of growth” as rebounding output requires fewer extra workers. As such, it may be hard to re-absorb those laid off even if recovery gathers pace. The world must create 45m jobs a year for the next decade just to tread water.

Continue reading at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/8000561/IMF-fears-social-explosion-from-world-jobs-crisis.html

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The Changing Semantics of “Tough”

I am reading Tony Judt’s book, “Ill Fares the Land“.  It is about the confusion people feel as free market economics destroy the lives of the multitudes for the enrichment of a small minority of the ultra wealthy.  It is about the destruction of society wrought by the neo-con/neo-lib politics born of Reaganism and Thatcherism.

I have in the past pointed out the ironic use of the semiotic for patriotic devotion to one’s country: “Are you willing to die for your country?” A meme that conjurers up visions of a bayonet charge into a hail of machine gun fire. Today the subtext of that should read: “Are you willing to commit murder, torture and genocide at minimal risk to your own life.”

From Tony Judt’s book pg. 36-37

The ‘false precision’ of which Maynard Keynes accused his economist critics is with us still.  Worse: we have smuggled in a misleadingly ‘ethical’ vocabulary to bolster our economic arguments, furnishing us with a self-satisfied gloss upon crassly utilitarian calculations.  When imposing welfare cuts on the poor, for example, legislators in the UK and US alike have taken a singular pride in the ‘hard choices’ they have had to make.

The poor vote in smaller numbers than anyone else. So there is little political risk in penalizing them: just how ‘hard’ are such choices? These days, we take pride in being tough enough to inflict pain upon others. If an older usage were still in force, whereby being tough consisted of enduring pain rather than imposing it upon others, we should perhaps think twice before so callously valuing efficiency over compassion.

The scapegoating of minority groups as dirty, criminal, evil and undeserving serves as a tool to prioritize the vote of white working class people one step up (socially and economically ) from the stigmatized lumpen minorities.  While the white working poor have had class war waged upon them from above, those who serve the rich and powerful in religion, government and media divert the attention from those inflicting the pain, upon the ever diminishing middle class by directing the anger toward those who have next to no power at all beyond their ability to articulate the pain inflicted upon them.

One in seven Americans is in poverty, the highest number since the mid-1960s when the last real New Deal Democratic President, LBJ viewed poverty as the crisis it truly is.  The War on Poverty lasted a mere 3-4 years before Nixon dismantled it and declared the Welfare State to be preferable.  The divide between rich and poor hearkens back  to the Gilded Age of the 1890s when unions were first being formed to gain power for workers and to help create a middle class.  The right wing killed the unions and the rich heads of corporations, the masters of the universe are protected by phalanxes of both police and laws. They are  armed with tools and spies that make it difficult to think or speak disparagingly regarding the way working people are exploited by the rich who own the corporations and make the policies that the government then enacts.

We are constantly fed the message that if we want to be among the winners, (A position few working people will ever actually get to occupy) then we must be as tough (viciously cruel)  on those designated as losers by the the overlords and their religious/governmental/media minions.  Current scapegoats (losers, terrorists, criminals, undeserving poor) include, people of color, pot smokers, LGBT/T folks, Muslims, the unemployed, the disabled, feminists.)

When people call their abusers out for the pain that the abusers are inflicting upon them rather than excepting the platitudes regarding how hard it is to inflict this pain and how tough and courageous those who inflict the pain are, then we are chastised for whining and playing the victim card. Yet we are the ones who endue the pain, we are the ones whose lives are shortened by both too much work and too little reward.

If advocating for social justice, racial equality, women’s equality, LGBT/T equality, worker’s rights, immigrant rights, equality for people of color, National Health insurance and an ecological approach towards life and the means of production makes me a Communist, then Communist is a label I will wear proudly.

For what it is worth favoring those things do not make one a communist although to their credit the Communist Party in the US has long been a supporter of all those things.

If advocating for those things make me a Socialist then Socialist is a label I will wear proudly.  And like the Communists, Socialists have also been in the forefront of the struggles for social justice and equality.

All and all the bullshit from the right and the economic pain being inflicted by those “making hard choices” have caused me to read some Marx and Engels.  All I can say is, “Humm… Maybe there is a reason we aren’t taught what Marx and Engels really said.”

Maybe if people stopped playing the game of scapegoating minority groups because of their race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexuality etc. and looked at those who are really inflicting the pain then they might realize that a one-sided class war has been waged against the middle class ever since the elections of Reagan and Thatcher.

Class war… Not just for the rich anymore…

Pol: Girl Scouts Are Lesbian Atheists

Where do the Republi-Nazis find these stupid animatronic Know Nothings.  I realize the Know Nothings are an American sub-culture replete with immigrant bashing that dates to the mid-19th century, but why resurrect this level of stupidity?

I forgot it is a way of distracting the base of ignorant home schooled/church schooled dumb white fucks whose sole use is as consumers of cheap crap made elsewhere.

Dumb fucks who work their asses off and own nothing while enriching the banks by paying usurious interest on credit cards and mortgages.

From The Advocate: http://advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/09/17/Politician_Says_Girl_Scouts_are_Lesbian_Atheists/

By Michelle Garcia


A candidate for the Washington State house of representatives said the Girl Scouts of America is a hotbed of lesbianism and atheism.

Hans Zeiger, the 25-year-old Republican nominee for Washington’s 25th district seat, once wrote on a conservative website that the Girl Scouts organization has been spared the same scrutiny of the Boy Scouts of America has faced regarding its rules against gay inclusion because the group allows lesbians and atheists, Change.org reports. He also charged the Girl Scouts with being a “pro-abortion, feminist training corps.”

The blog where Zeiger has made many similar statements is being swept of some of his more offensive posts, according to the report.

Zeiger, who was an Eagle Scout, is the author of two books, Reagan’s Children: Taking Back the City on the Hill and Get Off My Honor! The Assault on the Boy Scouts of America.

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Friday Night Fun and Culture