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Will the neoliberal managed democracy we have in the USA be dismantled?

July 5, 2013 in Class War, Corporations, Egypt, Global, Globalization, Latin America, South America, World Unrest

It will be interesting to see how the coming five years unfold, but it is more than clear that people are fed up with neoliberal economics that have been spewing out of the USA since the days of Milton Friedman and polluting the world.  Furthermore, judging from the Egyptians reaction to Morsi, they are not settling for religious fanatics who would tolerate it as long as the elite ruling class are allowed to exploit labor and use the natural resources of the nation for their personal profit..  And this was exactly what was coming down the pike with Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood.  I’m glad they kicked his ass out.

The people at least in Egypt and Brazil are well aware of managed democracy, what it looks like,  their fake sideshows and what it means for the majority.  Fewer people these days are being fooled by leaders who promise something different and then end up being just like the asshole who was the prior leader of the nation.  I think more than a lot of Americans see that now in Obama.  Of course the Republican leadership want to cry that “it’s the democrats!  Vote for Republicans.”  It’s been a long run of that good cop/bad cop game, but I really believe the days for that show are limited.  As I mentioned in a previous post, the multimillionaire investor class we have managing our democracy in Washington have more in common with each other than they do with the people they are supposed to represent.   Fewer people are buying the Democrat/Republican schtick and more are realizing the kind of government that we really have here in the USA is a managed democracy by and for the elite.  [LINK]

Consider what has been happening in Brazil these past three weeks.

Like Egypt, the people in Brazil aren’t having any more of the BS from the ruling investor class either. In Brazil a government rooted in a revolutionary legitimacy has proven that its past is only a mask it wears while it partners with the same capitalist order in exploiting people and nature alike. [Excerpt from an open letter from the Egyptian revolutionaries.]

This was a busy week on Brazil’s political agenda. After a wave of protests that involved more than 100 cities throughout the country, several moves took place in the political arena.  On the third week of social unrest, on Monday President Dilma Rousseff met governors and mayors to discuss topics being demanded by those protesting on the streets.

The country wants accountable political representation, a society where citizens, and not the economic power, are in first place. It is very good that people are voicing all this out loud.

President Rousseff proposals where directed to improve basic services and infrastructure, on the belief that the popular uprising was not so much anti-government as it was motivated by income inequality and lack of basic services. She then outlined a governmental action plan of five agreements in favor of the population. Dilma suggested that local governments would take action for immediate improvements.

The first agreement involved fiscal responsibilities and the guaranty of economic stability, with particular attention to inflation control.  In the second agreement, President Rousseff proposed a broad political reform that will put emphasis on citizen involvement on public decisions.

Maybe the US Congress could take a few cues from the Brazilian Congress

On Thursday, senators and congressmen on both chambers of Brazilian Congress quickly approved alterations in the penal code, considering corruption as a hideous crime, which minimal penalty raise from two to four years of incarceration. In a third agreement, Dilma Rousseff proposed reforms to immediately improve the public health system, with the hire of international professionals as an emergency measure, but also thinking long-term by increasing the seats in the public universities to graduate more health professionals.

Several Brazilian Protestors nailed it:   “It is more than just being against the government. It is against neoliberal development policies that exclude popular participation. 

Brazilian government is not left. it is a government that carries on economical politics that are directly linked to imperialism and international financial capital.

The people now on the streets is the result of a frustration with a government that presented itself as a worker’s government, but in reality it represents the owners.

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Here are some links from my previous posts on Brazil and its managed democracy that supports neoliberal economics

The Story of an Occupy Group in Brazil who are being murdered.

Brazil gets ready for the Olympics by getting rid of those troublesome poor folks

Consider this previous clip from March of 2011 when Obama went to Brazil:

After an early morning arrival in Brazil’s capital, Obama kicked off his Latin American tour by meeting with newly elected President Dilma Rousseff, then addressing a joint meeting of U.S. and Brazilian business leaders. He praised Brazil’s economic ascent and said American workers stood to benefit from increased ties with the world’s seventh-largest economy.

“As the United States looks to Brazil, we see the chance to sell more goods and services to a rapidly growing market of around 200 million consumers,” Obama said. “For us, this is a jobs strategy.”

Executives from a number of U.S. corporations, including International Paper, Cargill, Citigroup and Coca-Cola, participated in the CEO session.  Where was the representation for labor, for the workers?  Is this Obama’s idea of Democratic participation?  Management makes the decisions and then tells labor how it will be?

Coca-Cola, one of the multinational corporations present with Obama has been targeted in legal actions and pressure campaigns stemming from allegations that two of its bottlers in Colombia conspired with paramilitary groups to intimidate and assassinate trade unionists. In 2001 the International Labor Rights Fund and the United Steelworkers of America filed suit in federal court in Miami on behalf of Sinaltrainal, the union representing workers at the bottling companies, as well as several workers who said they had been tortured and the estate of a union leader slain in 1996. In addition, due to their overall control of the Colombian bottling operations, the suit named the Coca-Cola Company and its subsidiary, Coca-Cola Colombia, as defendants under the Alien Tort Claims Act.

The district court dismissed the case against Coca-Cola and its subsidiary in 2003, but supporters of the plaintiffs launched a campaign that continued to pressure the parent company to address the conditions of the workers in Colombia. The Stop Killer Coke Campaign, led by veteran labor campaigner Ray Rogers, has targeted Coca-Cola’s relationship with SunTrust Bank and promoted a boycott of the soft drink company, focusing on its campus contracts. The campaign claims credit for getting numerous colleges and universities to suspend their business with Coca-Cola.  Coca-Cola has long been criticized for its marketing efforts aimed at children, including efforts in schools, where it negotiated contracts to place soda machines in hallways and cafeterias.

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    World News: Inter-ethnic clashes are heating up in Nairobi today.

    November 19, 2012 in Africa, Class War, Economy, World News

    NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 19 – Inter-ethnic clashes broke out on Monday in Nairobi over a bus bomb blamed on sympathisers of Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab insurgents, leaving several people wounded.

    An AFP reporter at the scene said police used tear gas and fired into the air to contain the violence, in Eastleigh, a predominantly Somali district of Nairobi where a bomb that went off on Sunday on a bus killed seven and wounded many more.

    A day after the blast, non-Somali Kenyans turned on Somalis and attacked their shops and stalls, accusing them of being responsible for the bomb.

    No one has claimed responsibility for the blast.

    “There is chaos. Several people have been injured but we are doing everything possible to contain the riots,” Moses Nyakwama, Nairobi Police chief told AFP by phone    SOURCE

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    World unrest continues.  Let’s hope that the U.S. leaders keep our American noses and Wall Street profits out of other people’s business.  If we want to be our brother/sisters keeper, we have plenty of work to keep us busy right here at home.

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      Not only Egyptian Citizens, but American Taxpayers need to be asking about the IRI

      February 6, 2012 in Corporations, Economy, Egypt

      As an American,  don’t want my tax dollars going to support right-wing democratization of other nations.

      It looks like the Egyptians feel the same way as Egypt says that 19 Americans will be ordered to stand trial.

      U.S. has threatened to suspend $1.3 billion in annual aid to Egypt’s military–a move that, while not likely welcome by the Egyptian military, would be a move that is welcomed by the majority of the people of Egypt.

      State media reported judges have referred 43 people, including 19 Americans, to be prosecuted on charges of violating foreign funding laws for nongovernmental organizations working in Egypt. One of them is reported to be Sam LaHood, the Egypt director of the Washington-based International Republican Institute, or IRI, and son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

      The younger LaHood and other Americans working for IRI received haven last month at the U.S. Embassy  amid fears they might be arrested after a travel ban was placed upon them. Employees at two other U.S.-based groups — Freedom House and the National Democratic Institute — are also under investigation. The charges reportedly carry a penalty of up to five years in prison.

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      ABOUT THE IRI

      The International Republican Institute (IRI) was founded in 1983 and is funded by the United States government.  It conducts international political programs sometimes labeled “democratization programs.”  It has been chaired by John McCain since January of 1993.  Among its other activities, the IRI has organized right-wing political parties in Poland and has been involved in political activities in Egypt during the Arab Spring. The majority of the IRI’s funding comes from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US State Department, and the National Endowment for Democracy.  As a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, it plays no part in domestic U.S. politics. However, the majority of its board, staff and consultants are drawn from the Republican Party.

      Among other things, The IRI is accused of training some of the leaders of the 2004 Haitian coup d’état, as well as funding opposition groups in the country in a destabilization campaign in the months leading up the removal of democratically-elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide by a coalition of Canada, the US and France. Aristide was replaced with an unelected government.

      I don’t want my tax dollars going to support right-wing democratization of other nations–Do you?

      How about if we defund the IRI and use their annual budget of $79 million to create jobs and repair some of the USA infrastructure?

      Big business, lobbyist groups and foundations annually donate $1.4 million to the IRI, a small fraction of the organization’s $79 million budget. Such donors to the IRI include UPS, AT&T, Anheuser-Busch, Bell-South, Lockheed Martin, Blackwater, Chevron, ExxonMobil and BP. It is worth noting that several of these donors regularly lobby regarding issues under the jurisdiction of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation where McCain is the second-highest ranked Republican. Private donations account for only $200,000, significantly less than one percent of the IRI’s total income.

       

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        Now Libya’s new government is taking advice from an accused war criminal

        January 8, 2012 in Libya


        ADVICE FROM WAR CRIMINAL OMAR HASSAN al-BASHIR

        Inviting a war criminal to your country to listen to his advice?  Bashir’s visit does not say  much in terms of Libya’s promise to be a new democratic nation.  Al Arabiya reports this morning that Libyan officials welcomed Omar Hassan al-Bashir,  President of Sudan,in a red carpet ceremony at a Tripoli airport, and Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib called him one of Libya’s friends.

        Al-Bashir, the dictator of Sudan, was accepted into Libya over the weekend.  Omar al-Bashir, who has been charged with crimes against humanity for atrocities committed in Darfur, was there on Saturday to provide advice on how to disarm Libya’s former rebel fighters and integrate them into the army and police forces.  (After all, you can’t have dissent among the police when agencies from the West come in to pillage Libya because those in charge who will profit from this will need all the help they can get to quell the dissent in the streets that is sure to arise when the price of gas goes from 15 cents a gallon to $5, when free electricity goes to $100 monthly electric bills, when free college education goes to unaffordable for 99% of the population.)

        The International Criminal court in The Hague, Netherlands, has charged Bashir with crimes against humanity for atrocities committed against civilians during the Darfur conflict.

        Erwin van der Borght, the group’s Africa director, called it “cynical” of Sudan to offer to help with militia integration, given that country’s experience in arming militias like the Janjaweed, which is blamed for some of the worst abuses in Darfur.

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        Here are the official counts from the ICC of crimes against humanity for Omar Hassan al-Bashir

        And Libyan leaders want to listen to the advice of this criminal?  I guess next week they will be inviting Assad and then perhaps after that some of the U.S. military trained thugs from Hosni Mubarak’s army.

        Counts

        Mr Al Bashir is allegedly criminaly responsible ten counts on the basis of his individual criminal responsibility under Article 25(3)(a) of the Rome Statute as an indirect (co) perpetrator including:

        • five counts of crimes against humanity: murder – Article 7(1)(a);
          extermination – Article 7(1)(b); forcible transfer – Article 7(1)(d); torture – Article 7(1)(f); and rape – Article 7(1)(g);
        • two counts of war crimes: intentionally directing attacks against a
          civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking part in hostilities -Article 8(2)(e)(i); and pillaging – Article 8(2)(e)(v).
        • Three counts of genocide: genocide by killing (article 6-a), genocide by causing serious bodily or mental harm (article 6-b) and genocide by deliberately inflicting on each target group conditions of life calculated to bring about the group’s physical destruction (article 6-c).
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          Regarding the current situation in Egypt

          December 19, 2011 in Egypt

          Why would anyone expect anything different with Mubarak’s USA trained military in charge of the Egyptian government?

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            Big Turnout for the Vote in Egypt–Egyptians Flock to the Polls

            November 28, 2011 in Egypt

            In spite of all the fear mongering to the contrary, the Egyptians has a much larger than expected turnout for their first post- Mubarak election.

            The election, due to run through to mid-January, is a test for the credibility of Egypt’s generals who have struggled to deal with social unrest and growing pressure for a quick handover to civilian rule.

            The army said it would not allow foreigners to monitor the vote but seems to have backed down, allowing groups such as NDI, The Carter Centre, the International Republican Institute and South African, Turkish, Polish and Danish groups to take part. Alongside 300 foreign civil society representatives are 25,000 accredited monitors and thousands more concerned citizens who have pledged to alert the organizers to abuses.

            Monitors Without Borders said the turnout was the biggest in six decades, and was accompanied by a flurry of citizen activism on social networks and YouTube, where people were uploading examples of violations.

            MORE AT AL ARABIYA NEWS

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              Morocco holds a good promise for improved government soon

              November 26, 2011 in Africa

              Al Arabiya News reports that Morocco’s moderate Islamists won slightly more than 100 parliamentary seats in elections held on Saturday november 26, 2011, but all the count is not in yet.  The Justice and Development Party’s (PJD), a party supported largely by Morocco’s poor hopes to push Islamic finance which makes charging interest on loans illegal.  The PJD vows to steer clear of imposing a strict moral code–a promise they they will be forced to keep because, in order to wield any power, the PJD will be forced to form alliances with other political groups as while they may be the strongest among the other parties, capturing a little more than a 100 seats, they are far from the majority of the  total 395 seats–just a little more than 25%. PJD has said it aims to obtain a majority by joining forces with three parties in the current governing coalition, including the left-wing Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) and the nationalist Istiqlal of Prime Minister Abbas al-Fassi.

              The King will pick the next prime minister from the party that wins the most seats.

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              King Mohammed VI of Morocco

              Still all is not well in Morocco as evidenced by voter turnout:  Only 6 million of  21 million eligible to vote participated in the election. This is in protest to King Mohammed.  Many say that his reforms do not go far enough and thus thousands of people boycotted the elections. The king revived a reform process this year hoping to sap the momentum out of a protest movement and avoid the violence-ridden revolts in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen and Syria.  It looks like he may have been successful, at least for the time being.

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              ILWQ COMMENTS

              Yet,  when compared to Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain and even Tunisia, Morocco appears to be the leader on the path to establishing a government that is more reflective of the will of the people–ironic since it is a monarchy.

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                Every day it sounds more and more like a bunch of thugs with the assistance of NATO took over Libya

                November 24, 2011 in Libya

                7,000 New Detainees?  Some of them tortured?  This is freedom?

                Al Arabiya News reports that despite a new government line-up in Tripoli, which drew praise from Washington on Wednesday, a United Nations report has revealed that some 7,000 people, are being held in Libyan detention centers controlled by “revolutionary brigade” militias.

                Foreigners and many women and children are among the detainees, a report by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon ahead of a Security Council meeting Monday on Libya’s reconstruction after the death of dictator Muammar Qaddafi. Some of the detainees have allegedly been tortured, the report notes. The estimated 7,000 are new detainees, which have no access to courts “in the absence of a functioning police and judiciary,” said the report.

                The U.N. said that a large number of those held are sub-Saharan Africans accused or suspected of being Qaddafi mercenaries. “Some detainees have reportedly been subjected to torture or ill treatment. Cases have been reported of individuals being targeted because of the color of their skin,” Ban’s report said.

                The largely tribal-based “revolutionary brigades” united to force Qaddafi out of power but have retained significant control in their own regions, according to diplomats and U.N. officials.

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                ILWQ COMMENTS

                Libya sounds like one giant mess.

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                  Egyptian people reject promises from Egypt’s military as “Too little too late.”

                  November 22, 2011 in Egypt

                  Al Arabiya reports that Egypt’s Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi said the ruling military council is ready to hold a referendum on immediate transfer of power to a civilian administration and vowed that the planned Nov. 28 elections would go ahead as planned. Tantawi said the army was “completely ready to hand over responsibility immediately, and to return to its original mission of protecting the nation if the nation wants that, via a popular referendum, if need be.”

                  Tantawi, who took power when former president Hosni Mubarak was ousted, also said in a televised address that he had accepted the cabinet’s resignation.“The armed forces, represented by their Supreme Council, do not aspire to govern and put the supreme interest of the country above all considerations,” Tantawi added.

                  But the concessions were immediately rejected by tens of thousands of protesters in Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square threatening a “Second revolution.” 

                  Abdulrahman al-Zaghimy, in the collation of youth revolution, told Al Arabiya that Tantawi’s speech came too late, adding that the protesters would continue their sit-in at Tahrir Square until the departure of the military council. The military council had earlier met with politicians to accept the resignation of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf’s cabinet and to replace it with a national salvation government. The military also agreed to hold presidential elections before the end of June 2012, a vote the ruling council has deemed the final stage necessary for the transfer of power.

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                  ILWQ COMMENTS:  Too little, too late–a familiar story for leaders worldwide.  The people are stepping up to the plate and taking over.

                  The people are right.  All they need to do is look at how much the promises of Yemen’s leader, Saleh have meant.  These people only use their promises to buy time.  Look at Assad of Syria and all the promises he made to the Arab Leaague and then less than 24 hours later he launched yet another huge assault against his people.

                  Enough of their damn lies!  And this includes the leadership of the US Congress and the White House as well.

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                    The Egyptians raise the bar of expectations for politicians worldwide

                    November 20, 2011 in Egypt

                    Several political figures and coalitions boycott campaigning after police crackdown in Tahrir

                    Can you think of even one American politician who would do what Hamzawy did?  If you can, then I advise you to vote for that person in 2012–someone who is more concerned about the people than their own political career.

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                    Ahram Online reports today that the uncertainty surrounding the parliamentary elections was fuelled on Sunday after several coalitions and political figures protested the government’s violent tactics against the roughly ten thousand protesters on Saturday by boycotting campaigning.

                    Police’s rough tactics to disperse protesters camping out in Tahrir Square backfired. To the contrary; it incited many activists to flock to the epicentre of January’s revolution in support of the protesters and eventually engage in mass confrontations with the notorious Central Security Forces.

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                    ILWQ COMMENTS:  Too Bad that American Politicians don’t conduct themselves in a similar manner.  Unfortunately, they are too busy saying yes to Wall Street to notice the rest of us.

                    I am impressed and deeply moved by these Egyptian politicians who are willing to do this and take a stand for the greater good of the majority–that is what real leaders do.  They don’t stand fast in a “Me-First” attitude.  They don’t choose the politically safe move to protect their careers.  They don’t think of themselves first.  They think of the people they represent and what is best for them.

                    Compare this to how the shameful way that Democratic candidates responded in 2007 to the ousting of Mike Gravel from the presidential debates by MSNBC’S Chuck Todd:  Not a one of them uttered a peep and the debates went on as scheduled. All this  in spite of the fact that a corporate executive, Chuck Todd, representing GE, the largest war profiteer in the world, told a US Presidential candidate that he could not participate in a national Presidential debate because he had not raised a million dollars.  Todd is on record several months prior in June of 2007 as having said that they can’t have two candidates (Kucinich and Gravel) talking against the war.  The excuse he gave was that it would be “bad for the Democrats.”  It wouldn’t have been bad for the Democrats, it would have been bad for GE because that is how they , and many in Congress make their money–off war profits.

                    I was so outraged by their self-serving behavior that I wrote letters to all the candidates, to the DNC, MSNBC and Chuck Todd.  If those Democrats had been true and fearless leaders, they would have stood up to GE and refused to debate unless Gravel was allowed to debate with them.  Obviously they cared more about their political careers than liberty and justice for all.  Kucinich, the other anti-war candidate, got his corporate come-uppence shortly after when the Gannett Corporation ousted Kucinich on rules (not having a storefront in Iowa for a certain period of time).  When our democracy has gotten to the point where Wall Street corporations make the rules for who is allowed to debate in our Presidential elections, it is time for REAL people to step in and stop them.

                    The point is not whether you support Mike Gravel.  The point is whether you support the democratic process or a Wall Street Corporate process.

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                    Here is Mike Gravel’s response to being ousted from the Presidential debates by a representative of the world’s largest war contractor:

                    October 22, 2007, Senator Gravel posted the following explanation for why MSNBC ousted him:

                    ” In the past year, I have attended 11 national Democratic debates of which two were sponsored by corporate media giant NBC. However, last week, the network suddenly conjured up arbitrary polling and fundraising requirements specifically designed to exclude me. None of the previous debates I attended held such requirements.

                    When my staff called NBC directly to find out why I was now barred from attending, Chuck Todd, NBC news’ political director, told us that there were three criteria we did not meet, namely that I had not campaigned in New Hampshire and/or Iowa at least 14 times in the past year, that I was not polling at 5% and that I hadn’t raised $1 million.

                    It is abundantly clear that NBC just wants me out of the race. This was made evident by the fact that NBC did not even inform me of its arbitrary criteria before making the decision to stifle my campaign. NBC’s Todd waited until 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19, to inform my staff that I was not invited to the Oct. 30 debate at Drexel University in Philadelphia. And, according to a recent CNN poll, I am tied with Joe Biden, Dennis Kucinich and Chris Dodd.

                    NBC claims I haven’t raised enough money to qualify. I’m proud of the fact that I don’t collect millions from special interests (or fugitives like Norman Hsu). The reason why Senator Hillary Clinton seems to have a fundraising scandal every month is because money has corrupted our democracy.

                    NBC’s decision is proof that our corporate media do not want a genuine debate over our impending war with Iran. During the last debate I was the only one to aggressively confront Senator Clinton over her vote to label the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. Had I not brought up the subject, seasoned NBC commentator Tim Russert, the moderator of the Sept. 26 debate, would not have even asked about it.

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