Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Filet of Filly: Eatin' Hoss

Horsemeat is not part of the American diet. It would be difficult for people to eat horse, even if they wished to, as horse are not legally slaughtered in the USA for human consumption. I'm quite surprised.

Just around the corner from my home in Stockholm is a restaurant specializing in horsemeat; we go there often (great french fries). Perhaps my first taste of horse was 30 years ago in Japan, eating 'sakura niku' or raw horsemeat - basashi 馬刺し. Tasty! The odd thing of that neighborhood was its big horse racing track, and we regularly joked we ate the slow ones. Disappointed gamblers perhaps enjoyed revenge when ordering that dish.

I've surely eaten many odd foods over the years. Jellyfish in Chinese food is one. All creatures great & small, but I'd forgotten horse was odd.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Visit Japan for Fraudulent Food

Many Chinese tourists in Japan seeking a taste of world-famous Matsusaka beef have been served lesser stuff. Over the past five years, several dozen tourists each month were sold 180-gram ¥3700 servings (US$48 or $120 per pound) of mislabeled inferior meat. One restaurant under investigation, Barato Garden North Hill of Ishikari City, Hokkaido, admitted deception (link). But the firm's president Shigeru Oka insists Japanese customers for the well-marbled wagyū were never swindled.

Cheat only the tourists... Terrible. A great way to torpedo trade.

No information about how the scam was uncovered. What penalties should be imposed? The heifer themselves would be happy if their hand-massaged, beer-fed, tasty flesh were in less demand. But does such news damage producers of the beef? Or will the attention and publicity raise demand? Advertisers elsewhere in Japan recognize mislabeling fraud, sometimes insisting "Proof of Origin Supplied!"

Friday, November 18, 2011

Worship the Bunghole of the Rich

The oligarchs control most media. They show us reality, and
often we believe.

Have you visited an Occupy assembly? What do you know of what's going on? You may be scared to question authority -- will our rulers take away the little you've earned?

Why did our neighborhood cops become paramilitary?
...looking & mobilizing like a Darth Vader unit?

We're told those clubbed on the streets by our stormtroopers are dirty rabble. They are gassed and electrocuted for "talking back" or taking photos.

But arresting the public won't solve the vampire banking crisis.

Did the marchers cheat my community of trillions of dollars?
If I work hard, won't the system treat me fairly?
Are our leaders corrupted by the megarich?
Can't wealth buy-out equal opportunity?
Have our recent wars done any good?
Time to wake up, asskisser.

apathy ain't cool

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Busted By Billy: Billionaire Bloomberg

"The First Amendment gives every New Yorker the right to speak out - but it does not give anyone the right to sleep in a park..."
    -- "Billy"   New York City billionaire mayor Michael Bloomberg

Billionaire Bloomberg now barricades himself against the city.
Mayor Billy lies in luxury, but it's beginning to end...

He's harbored Wall Street, a nest of vipers -- corrupt financiers who robbed us of trillions of dollars. Billy's a gimpy poster boy for corporate media, which seeks to scare, mislead and constantly tease the public. They consider us dumb beasts. Sheeple. But the abuse stops now - we're not gonna take it anymore.

Meanwhile Pres. Obama senses trouble & scurries away.
Obama turns tail to Australia & goes Down Under...

"Mic Check" & Other Merry Pranks

The Occupy movement needs good ideas & energies. Activists hoping to shake up the status quo and promote reform by culture jamming might try some of the below strategies:

1) Of course, illegal actions & pranks that threaten life, liberty or pursuit of happiness are best avoided.

2) Intimidation by authorities is very spooky. State Stormtroopers easily generate fear (each darkly wants to be Vader; serenade them with the Star Wars Imperial March). Try to insert levity. Smile, laugh & foster a sense of humanity as darkness surrounds you.
You'll be scared. Laugh at the cold! Prepare to get dragged & be violently clubbed. You may lose property, and may suffer stress & pain. It's fun!

3) It's a great idea to publicly confront deceitful businesspeople & corrupt government officials who've raped our national treasuries. But how to do it? Activists politely deferring to wealth & power are ignored. The "Mic Check" and human megaphone strategies of cascading disruptors have energized participants.

4) During "serious" meetings, hidden phones can laugh, or cry... From assorted concealed places, phones can amplify a message. Cellphones can be programmed to ring together.

5) It's important to encourage drop-in visitors to our Occupy venues at any hour. Motley tent cities & roped-off private territories frighten newcomers; it's easier to join assemblies gathering in places not allowing camping. Any Occupy assembly is a shifting assortment of people. Most can sleep elsewhere. Potential mobility is tactically superior to a rooted encampment Thanks Billy! (see below)

6) Build memes, motto, slogans, catchphrases, and battle cries. Hopefully we'll not see another "Boston Massacre" or "Remember Pearl Harbor" but imagery work is essential. For a start, recognize the unusual elegance of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg by dubbing him " Billy "
-- short for Billionaire --

7) The key contest is a battle for minds. Corporate media (so-called "News") regularly portrays unsavory actions & doubtful people, and seeks to thus emasculate the Occupy movement. But it's a small 1%, the rabid megarich, who are extreme. Stay on message:

-- Megawealthy banksters & corrupt politicians suckered us for $7 trillion dollars of public money (US$7,000,000,000,000).
Stop.   Indict.   They stole our future.   Claw back.

-- Public spaces are for public use, and are not the private domain of government or the police. Where possible, public spaces should always be open & accessible. Our societies run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; the public should be able to meet & play freely, and not be shutout of our own spaces by Puritanical operating hours or nanny-state cost-cutting.

-- Overseas US military adventures in Iraq, Afghanistan (Vietnam, and elsewhere) are brutalizing & too expensive.
Unaffordable.   Stop.

8) Handout key web addresses to passers-by, who'll go home and lookup information. Many who might be sympathetic are as yet unprepared for confrontation. Start by recommending:   [ speak up now ]

9) Record what happens. Archived records protect both demonstrators and law enforcement officials from unjust abuse. The bottom line remains: too little justice, too many cops.

... more later

Hawaii - A New Iraq?

Last Saturday at 3AM, a US Federal agent allegedly shot & killed a local Hawaiian man inside a Waikiki McDonalds.

Quarreling with authority might lead to summary death in Iraq or Pakistan or Afghanistan, but Hawaiians expect better treatment.

This incident recalls the case of Raymond Davis, an American government employee who in January 2011 on the streets of Lahore, Pakistan, shot & killed two men (a third was crushed by a car driven by his colleagues). After Davis was released & returned to the USA, he was arrested for reportedly brawling over a parking space (link) and charged with felony second-degree assault.

Last weekend's Honolulu event was no less murky and tragic. After an argument, Federal agent Chris Deedy reportedly stated "How would you like to get shot tonight?" before knocking down local 23-year old Kollin Elderts with a kung-fu kick and shooting him in the chest. (He fired two more shots that went elsewhere). Both men reportedly had consumed alcohol. This event was a horrific catastrophe for all concerned; both families suffer loss, the government loses an important staff member, lives are shattered.

Christopher W. Deedy, 27, an off-duty special agent with the State Department Bureau of Diplomatic Security, has been charged with second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Deedy is reportedly married & lives in Arlington VA; he's a Tulane Univ. graduate originally from Holden, MA. He's now free on bail (after being held two days).

Meanwhile, Hilo Hawaii's Roger Christie, a 62-year-old U.S. Army veteran, remains incarcerated without bail on marijuana charges. Rev. Christie, an ordained minister with no history of violent crime, was refused bail & jailed as a danger to the community. Since 8 July 2010 he's been held in the Honolulu Federal Detention Center awaiting trial (as of today, for 496 days).

This is unjust & unreasonable. An accused murderer with no local ties is freed in two days. A peaceful local pot smoker is jailed 18 months without trial...

Samaras as Tyrant

Right-wing Greek leader Antonis Samaras Αντώνης Σαμαράς is a hugely ambitious Harvard boy. His rebellion from his party's government in 1992-93 caused it to collapse. Now he's toying with Greek debt and the euro. His brinksmanship serves American big corporate interests: to destabilize the euro & the European Union.

Greece tried all kinds of democracy in its long history. The politics of Samaras -- "New Democracy" -- might be labeled "No Democracy"

Samaras is a weasel.   Expect bad things from him.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Baddies Among Us

Due to a supposed presence of a few scoundrels, drug users & thieves, political authorities are urging the shutdown of assorted Occupy camps (Portland OR, Oakland CA, Burlington VT, Salt Lake City UT, and New York City). The argument of danger & "we care" is aimed at stay-at-home couch potatoes -- don't be scammed.

Democracy activists know any community is composed of all types of people. Activists live with the homeless and derelict, while the mayor whisks past in a motorcade; police dumbly process the downtrodden, though there aren't enough prisons to warehouse us all.

The worst baddies are those who've raped our treasuries & savings: smarmy banksters such as Robert Rubin (who took US$126 million in cash & stock from Citigroup), flim flam artists such as Bernard Madoff and the Enron gang, assholes like Larry Summers. War criminals responsible for untold death & destruction brazenly base themselves in well-sheltered enclaves. Are their yacht clubs, coops & neighborhoods shut down or under threat? I don't think so...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Occupy Deaths

The Wall Street Journal (link) and hundreds of other corporate media outlets today published an open letter from the Oakland Police Officer's Association telling Occupy demonstrators to quit their encampments: "Please leave peacefully, with your heads held high, so we can get police officers back to work fighting crime..."

Condescending?   Bet your life.

Since 17 September 2011, when Occupy Wall Street began in New York City's Liberty Square, hundreds of civilians have been killed & injured, along with many government officials. These tragedies happened not in Occupy camps across America, but rather as collateral deaths around colossal U.S. military encampments nicknamed Occupy Iraq & Occupy Afghanistan.

Deadly MILITARY Occupy too much of our world!
Global military empire costs too much. We have vital projects at home.
We should withdraw our armies & munitions from foreign lands.

Victims of Limited Liability Corporate Greed -- We are the 99%.

American People: Don't Give Up Democracy... Keep our Occupy Camps active in parks & city squares! Encourage Freedom. Resist brutal military & police provocations. Question corporate media. Undermine the crushing financial systems ruling us with uncaring deadly power. The Big Crime is an Inside Job, brazenly commissioned by the greedy 1% against the rest of us. Go home? I lost my home & homeland.

Give up now to live as pets or slaves or corrupted human scum.

U.S. Debt Clock

Continuing Casualties of Occupy Afghanistan (link)

Ongoing Casualties of Occupy Iraq (link)

Every violent death is a human tragedy. Stop this brutality now.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Corporate Criminals

Capitalism has twisted to become devilish. The system of incentives and exchange was always dangerous for having no in-built safety net for the weak or the outmaneuvered. It is all worse thanks to corruption.

Business must police itself against corporate thieves, and the public must also be vigilant.

Big money & lobbyists undermine our governments. When corporate bureaucracies are guilty of criminal activity or fraud, they're often able to negotiate payment of minor fines without admitting guilt - and avoid civil and criminal proceedings.

See Edward Wyatt's article in the NY Times (link) "Promises Made, Then Broken, By Firms in S.E.C. Fraud Cases" 8 Nov 2011, p A1.

These payoffs enter the public record, often rating a quick article in the corporate mouthpiece-of-record (e.g., Wall Street Journal or The New York Times). Then no more is said, and abuse begins afresh.

We need an official archive of record, a place where we can quickly see what fines and penalties have been paid by Goldman Sachs, Philip Morris, Bank of America, and other repeat offenders. Our communities allow these organizations to operate in our midst - we need to understand their behaviour. We must all be vigilant. Officers and staff, retired employees and their families have no socially-granted immunity from their employer's transgressions. They should struggle against antisocial behaviour, or be shunned.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Hypocrite Zionist?

Too many American political leaders loudly claim sympathy with Zionism, but ultimately fail to follow-through. A hypocrite politician votes to support Zionist expansionism, and pledges U.S. public funds, but refuses to open his or her own personal wallet.

This shows shallowness and lack of genuine concern. Wealthy members of Congress and outspoken press pundits truly dedicated to strengthening Israel should step forward: AIPAC's distinctive "Minyan" membership is a mere US$100,000 (link). Donations to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces or the American Zionist Movement are welcome. Hillary Clinton? Joe Biden? Barack Obama? Bill O'Reilly? Sean Hannity? Rick Perry? Herman Cain? Mitt Romney? Cough up yo' own money, or you speak with forked tongue...

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Speculation Surcharge

Demands grow stronger for a financial transactions tax. The financial industry, accustomed to gambling with our money, is against such taxation. But financial speculation should be more costly - a surcharge discourages the possibility of sudden runaway machine trading. It also raises funds for our wider society, now impoverished by the mega rich.

Our trading systems have ballooned such that speculative transactions are some $1.5 trillion per day, or fifty times more than global trade.

Read more on the "Tobin Tax" (link) or see this article from the rather conservative Center for Economic and Policy Research, CEPR, in Washington (link).

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Tragedy in Greece?

Greece is the focus of huge financial & political attention as they struggle to maintain payments on sovereign debt. Should they be bailed out with public funds? What's involved here?

Greek debt, in the form of bonds, is an agreement between borrower (Greece) & lender - for the most part large European banks. The banks lend money and receive interest for their risk & opportunity costs. Such investments are a gamble to an unknown extent; interest is higher or lower depending on market perception.

If a borrower appears unsteady, and seems unlikely to pay, lenders withdraw what they can and refuse new loans. Borrower negotiates with existing lenders for new terms. The interest rate rises to potentially attract new money.

Lender banks take a financial hit. If their exposure were large, perhaps the bank would fail & close. But since the 2008-09 USA bailout (of many large banks, finance firms & manufacturers), it became more possible for banks to seek assistance from government and ultimately the public. Public funds might be provided to both borrower & lender, allowing disentanglement from agreements. Government can negotiate new requirements as a fee for participating. In the USA bailout, the terms were easy -- private interests got huge public subsidies at little cost, and this greatly undercut normal market mechanisms. For Greece, discussion among EU governments has steadily demanded more from private interests in exchange for new public help. A larger part of the original loan would be written-off ("haircut") and when bonds mature, lenders would rollover the funds - reinvesting in Greece.

So we have governments supporting each other, governments supporting private investors, and the common people paying the bills. A major trouble with activist government involvement is markets becoming skewed to political relationships. The process is inherently corrupt.

Blame for the scale of Greece's public debt resides with assorted Greek governments over past decades, who've hidden the scale of their budget deficits (Eurozone requirements of maximum 3% deficit were mocked).

Recognize also foremost a fundamental animosity by USA financial officials toward the euro - America has always hoped the euro would disappear and the US dollar become an unrivaled reserve currency. The UK has parallel rivalries with continental Europe. Beware financial news filtered through the lenses of Anglo-American interests; subsequent events may consistently seem illogical.

More on this will follow...