Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Well said !!

Dear America: Please Stop This Shit. Signed, The Rest Of The World.

in trump •  21 hours ago

They want you arguing over who should and shouldn't be called a terrorist based on what ideology you subscribe to and what color the latest killer's skin was. They do not want you talking about the way the label "terrorist" itself is being used to justify unconstitutional detentions, torture, mass surveillance, and wars.
They want you arguing over whether to support the Democrats because the Republicans will take civil rights away from disempowered groups or Republicans because the Democrats will take away your guns and force you to bake gay wedding cakes. They don't want you talking about the fact that both parties advance Orwellian surveillance, neoliberal exploitation and neoconservative bloodshed in a good cop/bad cop extortion scheme to keep Americans cheerleading for their own enslavement.
They want you arguing about whether Trump did or did not collude with Russia. They do not want you looking at what preexisting agendas the CNN/CIA Russia narratives are advancing and who stands to benefit from them.

They want everyone fighting over table scraps while they pour unfathomable riches into expanding and bolstering their empire. They psychologically brutalize you with propaganda day in and day out, and then expect you to look to them for protection from the phantoms they invented.
They don't want you paying attention to the growing number of signs that the current administration is gearing up for a major military bloodbath which may lead our species into a third and final world war. They want you talking about Stormy Daniels instead.
And by "they" I of course mean the loose transnational alliance of plutocrats and defense/intelligence agencies who control the US-centralized empire, whose primary agenda is always to expand their own power and influence.

The "they" in question are aware that their empire is (according to their own data) entering post-primacy, which will lead to the rise of a multipolar world in which the US-centralized empire suddenly has rivals which can compete on equal footing for resources, assets and allies. Unless they do something very drastic very soon.
This arrival at post-primacy just so happened to coincide with the choice in 2016 between a warmongering establishment stalwart whom the DNC and media propaganda machine tried to force into the White House at great expense, and a billionaire who knew what people wanted to hear and has proven himself to be every bit the violent empire loyalist that his opponent would have been.
The election was fake and meaningless. Both candidates are owned and operated by the same unelected power establishment.
Now the Trump administration is being filled with more and more bloodthirsty neoconservatives of the same strain which backed Hillary Clinton, who are being promoted to higher and higher positions within that administration. Longtime Iran and Russia hawk Mike Pompeo's promotion into Hillary Clinton's old job as Secretary of State was quickly followed by the elevation of John Bolton, easily the most virulent neoconservative war hawk in Washington, to the position of National Security Advisor.
There were many perfectly qualified candidates who could have served as Secretary of State and National Security Advisor, but Trump selected the two most violent neoconservatives on the menu. There is no reason to do such a thing unless wars are planned; none of the countless feeble arguments I'm seeing from Trump apologists come anywhere close to a convincing argument to the contrary. All John Bolton does is war. You don't appoint him to the leading advisory position on national security unless war is what you want.
In response to all this, Trump's political opponents are of course talking about what he did with his penis.

As of this writing, #StormyDanielsDay is the top US trend on Twitter. I don't know what #StormyDanielsDay is. I don't care what #StormyDanielsDay is. Neither should you. Neither should anyone else.
Please stop this shit, America. If the US war machine goes after Iran or Russia it will likely mean a world war against multiple nuclear-armed countries, which could very easily send our species the way of the dinosaurs should a nuke get deployed in the fog of war. We don't have time to focus on Stormy fucking Daniels.
Those most fiendishly devoted to the service of the empire would rather take that risk than see the US lose its dominant role on the global stage; for them there is no difference between the end of their empire and the end of their lives. From their point of view they are fighting for their lives, and they are willing to take all-or-nothing gambles with the lives of every terrestrial organism in order to win.
We are staring down the barrel of world war and possible extinction. This should deeply impact the hearts and minds of Trump's opponents and his supporters. Stop arguing about Stormy fucking Daniels and spread awareness about things that really matter.

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Thursday, 16 November 2017


How skewed - hammer a dole recipient, and ignore Apple....

 Why do people care more about benefit ‘scroungers’ than billions lost to the rich?

Despite the Paradise Papers’ revelations, most British people prefer to focus on the perceived crimes of the poor. We must show how tax avoidance harms us all
‘Fewer people may have killed themselves after a work-capability assessment if Alphabet (Google) had not registered its offices in Bermuda, and the downward pressure on benefits payments was not so intense.’ Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Paradise Papers have once again revealed the ingenuity and energy the super-rich are willing to deploy to keep their money away from the taxman. By illuminating the scale of this injustice, journalists have provided an invaluable service. And yet the revelations do not seem to have generated the level of public outrage that might have been expected.
At a time of staggering global inequality, it is perhaps surprising that people are not more animated by the determination of the ultra-rich to avoid their obligations to support our roads, hospitals, soldiers and schools – when regular citizens are unable to take advantage of such arrangements. However, this relative lack of concern is consistent with research on people’s attitudes towards tax avoidance.
Last year’s British Social Attitudes survey asked Britons about their feelings on this issue. Our analysis of this data (with Ben Baumberg Geiger of the University of Kent) revealed that the British public believes tax avoidance to be commonplace (around one third of taxpayers are assumed to have exploited a tax loophole). In moral terms, people seem rather ambivalent; less than half (48%) thought that legal tax avoidance was “usually or always wrong”.
By contrast, more than 60% of Britons believe it is “usually or always wrong” for poorer people to use legal loopholes to claim more benefits. In other words, people are significantly more likely to condemn poor people for using legal means to obtain more benefits than they are to condemn rich people for avoiding tax. This is a consistent finding across many different studies. For example, detailed interviews conducted by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis found that people “tended to be far more exercised by the prospect of low-income groups exploiting the system than they were about high-income groups doing the same”.
This discrepancy is reflected in government priorities. Deep public antipathy towards benefit “scroungers” has been the rock upon which successive Conservative-led parliaments have built the case for austerity. Throughout his premiership, David Cameron, along with his chancellor, George Osborne, kept the opposition between “hardworking people” and lazy benefit claimants right at the centre of their messaging on spending cuts. Though gestures have been made towards addressing widespread tax avoidance by the wealthy, very little has actually been achieved. This stands in stark contrast to the scale and speed with which changes have been made to welfare legislation.
Will the Paradise Papers shift the public’s focus? The leaks alone are seemingly not enough. The 2016 British Social Attitudes survey was conducted just four months after the release of the Panama Papers. Even then, the British public remained more concerned about benefit claimants than tax avoiders.
Fundamentally, the Paradise Papers are about numbers – vast sums of money disappearing offshore that could be spent on public services here in the UK. However, as the former chair of the UK Statistics Authority, Andrew Dilnot, has often pointed out, people are bad at dealing with numbers on this scale. Unless you are an economist or a statistician, numbers in the millions and billions are just not particularly meaningful.
The key is to link these numbers to their consequences. The money we lose because people like Lewis Hamilton don’t pay some VAT on their private jet means thousands more visits to food banks. The budget cuts leading to rising homelessness might not have been necessary if Apple had paid more tax. Fewer people might have killed themselves after a work-capability assessment if companies like Alphabet (Google) had not registered their offices in Bermuda, and the downward pressure on benefits payments was not so intense.
The causal chains connecting these events are complex and often opaque, but that does not make their consequences any less real, especially for those who have felt the hard edge of austerity.
The Paradise Papers have dragged the murky world of offshore finance into the spotlight. However, calls for change may founder against the British public’s persistent focus on the perceived crimes of the poor. That is, unless we – as academics, politicians, journalists and others – can articulate how the decisions of the very rich contribute to the expulsion of the vulnerable from the protection of state-funded public services. Quite simply, people get hurt when the rich don’t pay their taxes.
Robert de Vries is a lecturer at the University of Kent; Aaron Reeves is a research fellow at LSE’s International Inequalities Institute