“All matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. We are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is a dream, and we’re the imagination of ourselves.” ~ Bill Hicks
“Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence – those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. If war, waste, and moneylenders were abolished, you’d collapse. And while you people are overconsuming the rest of the world sinks more and more deeply into chronic disaster.” ― Aldous Huxley
Monday, Mar 17, 2014 07:43 AM EDT
Roger Waters (Credit: AP/Bebeto Matthews)
Seventy years ago, my father – 2nd Lt. Eric Fletcher Waters – died in Italy fighting the Nazis. He was a committed pacifist, and a conscientious objector at the start of the war, but as Hitler’s crimes spread across Europe, he swapped the ambulance he had driven through the London blitz for a tin hat and a commission in the Royal Fusiliers and he joined the fight against fascism. He was killed near Aprilia in the battle for the Anzio Bridgehead on Feb. 18, 1944. My mother – Mary Duncan Waters – spent the rest of her life politically active, striving always to ensure that her children, and everyone else’s children, had no Sword of Damocles in the form of the despised Nazi Creed or any other despicable creed hanging over their heads.
Last month, thanks to the good people of Aprilia and Anzio, I was able to pay tribute to the father I never knew by unveiling a memorial in the town where he died and laying a wreath to honor him, and all the other fallen. Losing my father before I ever knew him and being brought up by a single, working mother who fought tirelessly for equality and justice colored my life in far-reaching ways and has driven all my work. And, at this point in my journey, I like to think that I pay tribute to both my parents each time I speak out in support of any beleaguered people denied the freedom and justice that I believe all of us deserve.
After visiting Israel in 2005 and the West Bank the following year, I was deeply moved and concerned by what I saw, and determined to add my voice to those searching for an equitable and lawful solution to the problem – for both Palestinians and Jews.
Given my upbringing, I really had no choice.
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Global Research, March 02, 2014
According to the New York Times, “The United States and the European Union have embraced the revolution here as another flowering of democracy, a blow to authoritarianism and kleptocracy in the former Soviet space.”
( After Initial Triumph, Ukraine’s Leaders Face Battle for Credibility, NYTimes.com
, March 1, 2014, emphasis added)“Flowering Democracy, Revolution”
? The grim realities are otherwise. What is a stake is a US-EU-NATO sponsored coup d’Etat in blatant violation of international law.
The forbidden truth is that the West has engineered –through a carefully staged covert operation– the formation of a proxy regime integrated by Neo-Nazis.
Confirmed by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, key organizations in the Ukraine including the Neo-Nazi party Svoboda were generously supported by Washington: “We have invested more than 5 billion dollars to help Ukraine to achieve these and other goals. … We will continue to promote Ukraine to the future it deserves.”
The Western media has casually avoided to analyze the composition and ideological underpinnings of the government coalition. The word “Neo-Nazi” is a taboo. It has been excluded from the dictionary of mainstream media commentary. It will not appear in the pages of the New York Times, the Washington Post or The Independent. Journalists have been instructed not to use the term “Neo-Nazi” to designate Svoboda and the Right Sector.
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By Michael Snyder, on February 16th, 2014
Did you know that the U.S. state that produces the most vegetables is going through the worst drought it has ever experienced and that the size of the total U.S. cattle herd is now the smallest that it has been since 1951? Just the other day, a CBS News article boldly declared that “food prices soar as incomes stand still“, but the truth is that this is only just the beginning. If the drought that has been devastating farmers and ranchers out west continues, we are going to see prices for meat, fruits and vegetables soar into the stratosphere. Already, the federal government has declared portions of 11 states to be “disaster areas”, and California farmers are going to leave half a million acres sitting idle this year because of the extremely dry conditions. Sadly, experts are telling us that things are probably going to get worse before they get better (if they ever do). As you will read about below, one expert recently told National Geographic that throughout history it has been quite common for that region of North America to experience severe droughts that last for decades. In fact, one drought actually lasted for about 200 years. So there is the possibility that the drought that has begun in the state of California may not end during your entire lifetime.
This drought has gotten so bad that it is starting to get national attention. Barack Obama visited the Fresno region on Friday, and he declared that “this is going to be a very challenging situation this year, and frankly, the trend lines are such where it’s going to be a challenging situation for some time to come.”
According to NBC News, businesses across the region are shutting down, large numbers of workers are leaving to search for other work, and things are already so bad that it “calls to mind the Dust Bowl of the 1930s“…
In the state’s Central Valley — where nearly 40 percent of all jobs are tied to agriculture production and related processing — the pain has already trickled down. Businesses across a wide swath of the region have shuttered, casting countless workers adrift in a downturn that calls to mind the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.
If you will recall, there have been warnings that Dust Bowl conditions were going to return to the western half of the country for quite some time.
Now the mainstream media is finally starting to catch up.
And of course these extremely dry conditions are going to severely affect food prices. The following are 15 reasons why your food bill is going to start soaring…
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Tuesday, December 17, 2013 12:00 am
Walmart, Waltons epitomize class war in America
By Brian Cooney Contributing writer
Central Kentucky News
In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, a sign in the employees-only area of a Walmart in Canton, Ohio, urged workers to “Please donate food items here so Associates in Need can enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner.” When news of this got out, there was a storm of angry comments about Walmart. Critics suggested Walmart should try paying its employees a living wage rather than asking its poorly paid workers to help feed each other.
Walmart quickly dismissed the criticism. Kory Lundberg, a Walmart spokesman, said: “This is part of the company’s culture to rally around associates and take care of them when they face extreme hardships (such as a spouse losing a job).”
As a result of the Great Recession, median family wealth fell by 38.8 percent between 2007 and 2010. During the same period, according to the Economic Policy Institute (7/17/12), the combined wealth of six members of the Walton family rose 22 percent, from $73.3 billion to $89.5 billion. Since then, it has grown another 62 percent, to $144.7 billion (Politifact, 12/8/13).
With its 1.4 million employees, Walmart is the nation’s largest private employer. The Waltons don’t share their immense riches with this huge Walmart “family.” Walmart led the Wall Street Journal’s 2012 and 2013 lists of “Companies Paying Americans the Least.”
Not content with paying miserable wages, it also has a record of cheating its employees. “In 2008, Walmart agreed to pay $640 million in settlements of dozens of class-action lawsuits that claimed the company deprived workers of pay for time worked” (WSJ, 11/21/12).
In a separate 2010 case, it agreed to pay $86 million for “failing to pay vacation, overtime and other wages to thousands of former workers in California” (Reuters, 5/12/10).
Walmart claims that it pays its associates an average of $12.83 per hour, but that applies only to full-time workers. The average for all associates is about $9 per hour. It tries to make do with as many part-time workers as possible to avoid paying its meager benefits. By Walmart’s definition of full time as 34-plus hours per week, a full-time associate earns as little as $21,811 per year.
That salary, according to the Living Wage Calculator of Penn State University’s Poverty in America Project, is $13,000 less than a “living wage” for one adult supporting one child in Boyle County. (A living wage is one that enables a household to meet basic needs such as housing, food and medical care.)
With its enormous purchasing power, Walmart constantly pressures its suppliers to lower their prices. This depresses wages, benefits and working conditions in these firms. Walmart also drives down compensation for employees of competing retailers.
In case associates show any sign of organizing to improve their compensation and working conditions, Walmart has a history of fierce union busting. On Nov. 18, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Walmart stores in Kentucky and 12 other states “unlawfully threatened, disciplined, and/or terminated employees for having engaged in legally protected strikes and protests.”
Because Walmart doesn’t pay most of its workers a living wage, its employees commonly depend on welfare programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and Earned Income Tax Credit. The Democratic staff of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce issued a report in May 2013 called “The Low-Wage Drag on Our Economy.” It estimated that the cost in taxpayer-funded benefits for a typical Walmart Supercenter in Wisconsin was at least $904,542 per year — about $3,015 per employee.
In effect, Walmart’s labor costs are subsidized by the public. Its employees couldn’t do their work if they had inadequate food and medical care. Yet, its workers aren’t paid enough to afford these goods. We taxpayers make up the difference by funding Medicaid, food stamps and other welfare benefits.
Walmart’s parasitic business plan is becoming the new normal in America’s economy. For instance, “taxpayers are doling out nearly $900 million a year to supplement the wages of bank tellers, which amounts to a public subsidy for multibillion-dollar banks” (Washington Post, 12/3/13). As reported in Forbes Magazine (10/16/13), American fast-food companies have “outsourced a significant chunk of their labor costs to the taxpayer, with more than half of the industry’s 3.65 million low-wage workers on public assistance at a cost of $7 billion each year.”
Walmart’s business is extraction; it is the great American Taker. Its goal is to pile up ever more wealth for the Waltons and other investors by underpaying its intimidated workers, violating their right to organize, and getting taxpayer subsidies for its antisocial behavior.
By VLADIMIR V. PUTIN Published:
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