Sunday, May 15, 2011

Actually, "the Rich" Don't "Create Jobs," We Do

Actually, "the Rich" Don't "Create Jobs," We Do

Go To Original

You hear it again and again, variation after variation on a core message: if you tax rich people it kills jobs. You hear about "job-killing tax hikes," or that "taxing the rich hurts jobs," "taxes kill jobs," "taxes take money out of the economy, "if you tax the rich they won't be able to provide jobs." ... on and on it goes. So do we really depend on "the rich" to "create" jobs? Or do jobs get created when they fill a need?

Here is a recent typical example, Obama Touts Job-Killing Tax Plan, written by a "senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth,"

Some people, in their pursuit of profit, benefit their fellow humans by creating new or better goods and services, and then by employing others. We call such people entrepreneurs and productive workers.

Others are parasites who suck the blood and energy away from the productive. Such people are most often found in government.

Perhaps the most vivid description of what happens to a society where the parasites become so numerous and powerful that they destroy their productive hosts is Ayn Rand’s classic novel “Atlas Shrugged.” ...

Producers and Parasites

The idea that there are producers and parasites as expressed in the example above has become a core philosophy of conservatives. They claim that wealthy people "produce" and are rich because they "produce." The rest of us are "parasites" who suck blood and energy from the productive rich, by taxing them. In this belief system, We, the People are basically just "the help" who are otherwise in the way, and taxing the producers to pay for our "entitlements." We "take money" from the producers through taxes, which are "redistributed" to the parasites. They repeat the slogan, "Taxes are theft," and take the "money we earned" by "force" (i.e. government.)

Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner echoes this core philosophy of "producers" and "parasites," saying yesterday,

I believe raising taxes on the very people that we expect to reinvest in our economy and to hire people is the wrong idea,” he said. “For those people to give that money to the government…means it wont get reinvested in our economy at a time when we’re trying to create jobs.”

"The very people" who "hire people" shouldn't have to pay taxes because that money is then taken out of the productive economy and just given to the parasites -- "the help" -- meaning you and me...

So is it true? Do "they" create jobs? Do we "depend on" the wealthy to "create jobs?"

Demand Creates Jobs

I used to own a business and have been in senior positions at other businesses, and I know many others who have started and operated businesses of all sizes. I can tell you from direct experience that I tried very hard to employ the right number of people. What I mean by this is that when there were lots of customers I would add people to meet the demand. And when demand slacked off I had to let people go.

If I had extra money I wouldn't just hire people to sit around and read the paper. And if I had more customers than I could handle that -- the revenue generated by meeting the additional demand from the extra customers -- is what would pay for employing more people to meet the demand. It is a pretty simple equation:

you employ the right number of people to meet the demand your business has.

If you ask around you will find that every business tries to employ the right number of people to meet the demand. Any business owner or manager will tell you that they hire based on need, not on how much they have in the bank. (Read more here, in last year's Businesses Do Not Create Jobs.)

Taxes make absolutely no difference in the hiring equation.

In fact, paying taxes means you are already making money, which means you have already hired the right number of people. Taxes are based on subtracting your costs from your revenue, and if you have profits after you cover your costs, then you might be taxed. You don't even calculate your taxes until well after the hiring decision has been made. You don;t lay people off to "cover" your taxes. And even if you did lay people off to "cover' taxes it would lower your costs and you would have more profit, which means you would have more taxes... except that laying someone off when you had demand would cause you to have less revenue, ... and you see how ridiculous it is to associate taxes with hiring at all!

People coming in the door and buying things is what creates jobs.

The Rich Do Not Create Jobs

Lots of regular people having money to spend is what creates jobs and businesses. That is the basic idea of demand-side economics and it works. In a consumer-driven economy designed to serve people, regular people with money in their pockets is what keeps everything going. And the equal opportunity of democracy with its reinvestment in infrastructure and education and the other fruits of democracy is fundamental to keeping a demand-side economy functioning.

When all the money goes to a few at the top everything breaks down. Taxing the people at the top and reinvesting the money into the democratic society is fundamental to keeping things going.

Democracy Creates Jobs

This idea that a few wealthy people -- the "producers" -- hand everything down to the rest of us -- "the parasites" -- is fundamentally at odds with the concept of democracy. In a democracy we all have an equal voice and an equal stake in how our society and our economy does. We do not "depend" on the good graces of a favored few for our livelihoods. We all are supposed to have an equal opportunity, and equal rights. And there are things we are all entitled to -- "entitlements" -- that we get just because we were born here. But we all share in the responsibility to cover the costs of democracy --

with the rich having a greater responsibility than the rest of us because they receive the most benefit from it.

This is why we have "progressive taxes" where the rates are supposed to go up as the income does.

Taxes Are The Lifeblood Of Democracy And The Prosperity That Democracy Produces

In a democracy the rich are supposed to pay more to cover things like building and maintaining the roads and schools because these are the things that enable their wealth. They actually do use the roads and schools more because the roads enable their businesses to prosper and the schools provide educated employees. But it isn't just that the rich use roads more, it is that everyone has a right to use roads and a right to transportation because we are a democracy and everyone has the same rights. And as a citizen in a democracy you have an obligation to pay your share for that.

A democracy is supposed have a progressive tax structure that is in proportion to the means to pay. We do this becausethose who get more from the system do so because the democratic system offers them that ability. Their wealth is because of our system and therefore they owe back to the system in proportion. (Plus, history has taught the lesson that great wealth opposes democracy, so democracy must oppose the accumulation of great, disproportional wealth. In other words, part of the contract of living in a democracy is your obligation to protect the democracy and high taxes at the top is one of those protections.)

The conservative "producer and parasite" anti-tax philosophy is fundamentally at odds with the concepts of democracy (which they proudlyacknowledge - see more here, and here) and should be understood and criticized as such. Taxes do not "take money out of the economy" theyenable the economy. The rich do not "create jobs, We, the People create jobs

The dirty energy money behind the Senate move to dismantle the EPA

The dirty energy money behind the Senate move to dismantle the EPA

Go To Original

A group of Senate Republicans led by Richard Burr of North Carolina wants to combine the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy into one agency. They claim the merger would save money -- but a deeper look at the plan and its backers raises questions about other, dirtier motives.

Burr (in photo) introduced legislation last week to join the EPA and DOE into a new agency called the Department of Energy and Environment, arguing that the move would help eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy.

"This common-sense approach will reduce duplicative and wasteful functions across these two agencies and streamline our approach to a comprehensive, coordinated energy and environmental policy," Burr said in a statement.

But some experts are questioning the claim that the move is simply about cost savings. They include Joe Romm, a physicist and climate expert who formerly served as acting assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy. He wrote about Burr's proposal for the Climate Progress blog:

I worked at the DOE for 5 years in the mid-1990s. I lived through the efforts of the Gingrich Congress to try to shut down the Department, and especially its clean energy programs. I also worked closely with EPA at that time. In fact DOE ended up hiring some EPA folks who wanted to work on pollution prevention and clean energy.

So I can state with a great deal of confidence that DOE and EPA are utterly different agencies that have no meaningful duplicative functions. Yes, they both have a General Counsel's office, for instance -- but DOEE would still need the lawyers from both EPA and DOE since they do completely different things and require completely different sets of expertise. What this would allow the GOP to do is to cut the combined operations budget and staffing, thereby crippling both agencies, all in the name of "streamlining."
Romm notes that the merger would eliminate a voice of environmental and clean energy expertise from Cabinet meetings. In addition, he observes that combining a regulatory agency like EPA with an agency like DOE that serves the needs of regulated industries is a "disastrously bad idea." He points out that such a scenario contributed to the BP oil spill disaster and led to the Minerals and Management Service being split up to separate its energy development, enforcement and revenue-collecting roles to reduce conflicts of interest.

Burr's proposal comes amid a push among his fellow conservatives to eliminate the EPA, which they accuse of hurting businesses with excessive regulation. In a speech to the Conservative Political Action Committee earlier this year, for example, former Republican House Speaker and 2012 presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich of Georgia called for scrapping the EPA and replacing the regulatory agency with one that would instead reward corporations for environmental innovation.

Republicans have been especially incensed over EPA's efforts to regulate greenhouse gases in order to curb man-made global warming. Just a few weeks before Burr introduced his EPA elimination bill, his Democratic colleagues in the Senate defeated a GOP measure to repeal a 2009 finding by federal scientists that climate change caused by greenhouse gas pollution endangers human health.

And it turns out that Burr and many of his 15 bill co-sponsors -- all of whom have questioned the scientific consensus on human-driven climate change, as the Wonk Room blog points out -- are deeply indebted to dirty energy interests.

According to the Dirty Energy Money database created by Oil Change International, a group that advocates for cleaner energy policies, Burr has received over $880,000 from coal and oil interests over the course of his career. His top five dirty energy donors are North Carolina-based electric utility giant Duke Energy, electric and gas holding company SCANA Corp. of South Carolina, Virginia power provider Dominion Resources, Ohio-based mining corporation Murray Energy and Kansas-based private energy conglomerate Koch Industries.

Two of the bill's co-sponsors -- Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and David Vitter (R-LA) -- collected even more from dirty energy interests than Burr. In all, the sponsors of the bill to eliminate the EPA have raked in over $6.5 million from the oil and coal industries. The following chart offers more details:

dirty_energy_money_epa_abolition.jpg
(Official portrait of Sen. Richard Burr from the Senate website.)

The great corporate tax swindle

The great corporate tax swindle

Go To Original

It's astounding how our politicians have bought in to firms' tax blackmail. But there is an alternative: workplace democracy

More and more, we hear that nothing can be done to tax major corporations because of the threat of how they would respond. Likewise, we cannot stop their price-gouging or even the government subsidies and tax loopholes they enjoy.

For example, as the oil majors reap stunning profits from high oil and gas prices, we are told it is impossible to tax their windfall profits or stop the billions they get in government subsidies and tax loopholes. There appears to be no way for the government to secure lower energy prices or seriously impose and enforce environmental protection laws. Likewise, despite high and fast-rising drug and medicine prices, we are told that it is impossible to raise taxes on pharmaceutical companies or have the government secure lower pharmaceutical prices. And so on.

Such steps by "our" government are said to be impossible or inadvisable. The reason: corporations would then relocate production abroad or reduce their activities in the US or both. And that would deprive the US of taxes and lose more jobs. In plain English, major corporations are threatening us. We are to knuckle under and cut social programmes that benefit millions of people (such as college loan programmes, Medicaid, Medicare, social security, nutrition programmes, etc). We are not to demand higher taxes or reduced subsidies and tax loopholes for corporations. We are not to demand government action to lower their soaring prices. If we do, corporations will punish us.

Three groups deliver these business threats to us. First, corporate spokespersons, their paid public relations flunkies, hand down the word from on high (corporate board rooms). Second, politicians afraid to offend their corporate sponsors repeat publicly what corporate spokespersons have emailed to them. Finally, various commentators explain the threats to us. These include the journalists lost in that ideological fog that always translates what corporations want into "common sense". Commentators also include the professors who translate what corporations want into "economic science".

Of course, there are always two possible responses to any and all threats. One is to cave in, to be intimidated. That has often been the dominant "policy choice" of the US government. That's why so many corporate tax loopholes exist, why the government does so little to limit price increases, why government does not constrain corporate relocation decisions, etc. No surprise there, since corporations have spent lavishly to support the political careers of so many current leaders. They expect those politicians to do what their corporate sponsors want. Just as important, they also expect those politicians to persuade people that its "best for us all" to cave in when corporations threaten us.

What about the other possible response to threats? Government could make a different policy choice, define differently what is "best for us all". In other words, it could persevere in the face of business threats, and to do so, it could counter-threaten the corporations. When major corporations threaten to cut or relocate production abroad in response to changes in their taxes and subsidies, or demands to cut their prices or serious enforcement of environmental protection rules, the US government could promise retaliation. Here's a brief and partial list of how it might do that (with illustrative examples for the energy and pharmaceutical industries):

• Inform such threatening businesses that the US government will shift its purchases to other enterprises.
• Inform them that top officials will tour the US to urge citizens to follow the government's example and shift their purchases as well.
• Inform them that the government will proceed to finance and organise state-operated companies to compete directly with threatening businesses.
• Immediately and strictly enforce all applicable rules governing health and safety conditions for workers, environmental protection laws, equal employment and advancement opportunity, etc.
• Present and promote passage of new laws governing enterprise relocation (giving local, regional and national authorities power of veto over corporate relocation decisions).
• Purchase energy and pharmaceutical outputs in bulk for mass resale to the US public, passing on all the savings from bulk purchases.
• Seize assets of enterprises that seek to evade or frustrate increased taxes or reduced subsidies.

Laws enabling such actions either already exist in the US or could be enacted. In other countries today, existing models of such laws have performed well, often for many years. These could be used and adjusted for US conditions.

Of course, a much better basis than threat and counter-threat is available for sharing the costs of government between individuals and businesses. That basis would be achieved by a transition to an economic system where workers in each enterprise functioned collectively and democratically as their own board of directors. Such worker directed enterprises eliminate the basic split and conflict inside capitalist corporations between those who make the key business decisions (what, how and where to produce, for example) and those who must live with and most immediately depend on those decisions' results (the mass of employees).

One concrete example can illustrate the benefits of this alternative to the threat/counter-threat scenario. Corporations have used repeated threats (to cut or move production) as means to prevent tax increases and to secure tax reductions. Likewise, they have made the same threats to secure desired spending from the federal government (military expenditures, federal road and port building projects, subsidies, financial supports and so on). In effect, corporate boards of directors and major shareholders seek to shift tax burdens onto employees. Their success over the last half-century is clear. Tax receipts of the US government have increasingly come, first, from individual rather than corporate income taxes and, second, from middle and lower individual income groups rather than from the rich.

In worker-directed enterprises, the incentive for such shifts would vanish – because the people who would be paying enterprise taxes are the same people who would be paying individual income taxes. Taxation would finally become genuinely democratic. The people would collectively decide how to distribute taxes on what would genuinely be their own businesses and their own individual incomes.

In the Theater of the Absurd: US-NATO Support "Al Qaeda in Libya"

In the Theater of the Absurd: US-NATO Support "Al Qaeda in Libya"

Go To Original

"We are fighting nothing other than al-Qaeda in what they call the Islamic Maghreb. It’s an armed group that is fighting from Libya to Mauritania and through Algeria and Mali.… If you had found them taking over American cities by the force of arms, tell me what you would do?" – From a letter sent by the Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi to the US president Barack Obama.


In the Theatre of the Absurd, anything is possible. However, this latest scenario in Libya has taken absurdity to a whole new dimension. A rag-tag bunch of armed, al-Qaeda affiliated tribesmen, being referred to as a ‘pro-democracy movement’ by British State TV (BBC) and other mainstream media outlets, are now being openly armed and trained by the French, British and American governments. This same Coalition of Crusaders, with the support of the Arab League, is fighting alongside the rebels, launching continual bombing raids on targets in Tripoli and beyond, including Muammar Qadhafi’s compound, in a brazen attempt to assassinate the man and re-colonise Libya.
And what is the support inside Libya for this so-called ‘Libyan pro-democracy movement’? The answer is less than 2% of the entire Libyan population. One might have expected that the Western and Arab worlds would have offered Qadhafi and the Libyan armed forces assistance to deal with this al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) inspired insurgency. But no. Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, instead, Britain and the US, led by the clown Sarkozy, in what can only be described as a war mongering frenzy, launched an all out attack on Muammar Qadhafi, his family, and the Libyan people.
As this article goes to press in New Dawn magazine, the Coalition forces continue to savagely bomb targets in Tripoli and beyond, killing civilians and destroying vital infrastructure. They are pounding Libya with a force that was last seen when they invaded Iraq, doing their utmost to leave Qadhafi and his people defenceless against this insurgency. In fact, so brazen is the imperialist Obama, that he has announced an ‘overt operation’, sending in CIA operatives to train and equip the rebels. Rebels who the State Department admits are disorganised and untrained and unable to articulate a vision for Libya, beyond killing Qadhafi.
These rebels however do have an agenda. Their leaders and ideologues, inside and out of Libya, are well known for misinterpreting verses from the Quran, quoting out of context, in an attempt to justify their so-called jihad and practices which are fundamentally alien to the Islamic spirit. The best the Libyan rebels, read counter-revolutionaries, can do, is to chant ‘From Tunisia, Egypt to Libya and on, we will spread Jihad!’

Western Powers and al-Qaeda – On the Same Side

As far back as the mid 90s, a former MI5 agent, David Shayler, testified that British intelligence employed the services of an al-Qaeda cell inside Libya, paying them a large fee to assassinate Muammar Qadhafi. The assassination attempt was carried out. A grenade was lobbed at Qadhafi as he walked among a crowd in his hometown, Sirte. He was saved by one of his bodyguards, who threw herself on the grenade.
Shayler revealed that while he was working on the Libya desk in the mid 90s, British secret service personnel were collaborating with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which was connected to one of Osama bin Laden’s trusted lieutenants. The LIFG officially joined al-Qaeda in 2007. On an Islamist website in 2009, Ayman al-Zawahiri welcomed them to the fold.
Over the past two years, the Libyan authorities have released scores of imprisoned Islamists from the LIFG into the custody of their families and communities in a humanitarian attempt to integrate them back into Libyan society. With a pledge that they would use the forums set up in the country, under the auspices of the General People’s Congress, to express their views. Many of the released prisoners had fought in Afghanistan and Iraq and been returned to the Libyan authorities as part of an agreement with the US. If Qadhafi was truly the ruthless man the West would have us believe, then surely these rebels, classified as terrorists by the US, would have remained in prison and their fate very different.
One of those released in 2008 was the LIFG commander, Abdel Hakim al-Hasidi, now one of the leaders of this uprising. Over the last decade, al-Hasidi fought in Afghanistan, was captured in Pakistan in 2002, handed over to the US, and subsequently handed back to the Libyan authorities. In a recent interview with the Italian newspaper, Il Sole 24 Ore, al-Hasidi admitted that, “jihadists who fought in Iraq against the US are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Qadhafi.”
Libya was the first country to issue an arrest warrant for Osama bin Laden. The Libyan authorities have for years tried to warn the world about the very serious threat posed by these Islamic deviants. According to David Shayler, Western intelligence turned a deaf ear to Libya’s warnings as far back as the mid 90s because they were actually working with the al-Qaeda group inside Libya, to kill Qadhafi, and roll back the Libyan revolution.

True Religion versus False Religion

The battle being fought in the Libyan desert today dates way back beyond the mid 90s. Today’s battle is essentially a battle between, on the one hand, the revolutionary Islam of Prophet Muhammad, manifest in the writings of Muammar Qadhafi and in the practice of the Libyan revolution. And on the other hand, the reactionary Islam of the Ikhwan al-Muslimeen (Muslim Brotherhood) and their off shoots such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and its affiliate, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.
The Muslim revolutionary scholar, Ali Shariati, notes that, “the battle of history is the battle of religion against religion… true religion versus false religion.”
The Islam of the Wahhabist/Salafi sect, adhered to by the LIFQ, is a reactionary interpretation and practice of Islam that seeks to replicate the political and social structures of 7th century Arabian society. Although for the BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera cameras, the rebels are careful to present themselves to the world as a force fighting for ‘liberal democracy’ and to show their love and admiration for the West. Off camera, they are calling for what AQIM has named the ‘Islamic Emirate in the Maghreb’.
Qadhafi, along with other progressive Islamic scholars, argues the message of the Quran and Islamic theology is incompatible with the idea of an emirate. They point out dynastic rule was imported into the body politic of Islam by the likes of Abu Sufyan Muawiyah, the governor of Damascus, in the period 642 to 661, who borrowed these anti-Islamic practices from the Byzantium Empire and the Persians. Qadhafi points out this particular system of governance has nothing at all to do with Islam.
The central ideological concern of Muammar Qadhafi and the Libyan revolution was to redefine Islam in the context of modern knowledge and contemporary political systems and thought. This is a task that requires us to revisit and rethink previous political systems set up by Muslims, without losing any of the Perennial Truth that is Islam.
The Third Universal Theory, outlined in Qadhafi’s Green Book, is a comprehensive worldview – a body of philosophical, political, economic, sociological and scientific principles, all inter-related. Together they form an alternative and largely self-sufficient intellectual structure. It is a guide for authentic Islamic revolution, and can be applied to non-Islamic, popular revolutions. It ushers in a whole new social and political practice, outlining an alternative model of democracy.
Progressive academics worldwide have acclaimed The Green Book as a serious body of political thought, offering an incisive critique of Western parliamentary democracy, capitalism and Marxist socialism. In addition, there is no denying the system of direct democracy, posited by Qadhafi’s Third Universal Theory, offers an alternative model and solution for Africa and many other parts of the ‘Third World’, where multi-party ‘democracy’ has been a dismal failure, resulting in ethnic/tribal conflict, social fragmentation and political chaos.
In his book Islam and the Third Universal Theory: The Religious Thought of Muammar al Qadhafi, the respected Muslim scholar Mahmoud Ayoub points out that, “the first part of the Green Book is an interpretation of one single verse of the Quran: ‘and their affairs are decided through consultation (shura) among themselves’… To others it means an assembly of jurists ruling over a traditional Islamic society strictly governed by Shariah. Only Qadhafi has taken the important Quranic precept seriously, understanding it literally, and applying it equally to every member of society.”
Ayoub further states that, “Qadhafi sees Islam as a perpetual revolution against unnecessary and illegitimate wealth, exploitation and oppression. Qadhafi asserted that the Islam which both the East and the West knew was that observed by kings and princes, as well as mendicants (darawish) who live off Islam. Thus, people thought of Islam as a reactionary movement, a message which could never keep up with life. They considered Islam simply as a religious heritage which could be venerated but which had to be kept from the fields of action and human struggle.”
This Islam, whose theology is primarily one of liberation, has been marginalised, distorted and co-opted to serve the interests of ruling elites throughout the Muslim world. Theirs is the Islam observed by kings and princes, the ‘feudal Islam’ of the Ikhwan al-Muslimeen (Muslim Brotherhood) and its Wahhabi spiritual leaders, such as Egyptian cleric, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who recently issued a fatwa stating that any Libyan soldier who can shoot dead embattled leader Muammar Qadhafi should do so “to rid Libya of him.”
Qaradawi is a neo-feudalist, who has defended the practice of female genital mutilation, called for the death penalty to be applied to those who leave Islam and advocates separate systems of law for different classes of citizens. Qadhafi views Qaradawi and those like him as the spiritual heirs of the corrupt Umayyad dynasty (661-750) that transformed the revolutionary Islam of the Holy Prophet into a feudal dispensation.
How does Qadhafi’s revolutionary Islam play out in practice? Why is this man and the revolution he has led such a threat? And why, over recent weeks, have people from every corner of the globe spoken out in support of Qadhafi and the Libyan revolution? Why have thousands of African freedom fighters (not mercenaries as the BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera would have us believe) poured into Libya from the Congo, Guinea, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Niger, Chad, Mauritania, Southern Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso to fight to the death for this leader and Libya?
Who is this man and this revolution that has the moral authority and power to draw an army of Africans from every corner of the continent and solidarity from liberation movements, political parties and progressive governments worldwide?

A Libyan Jamahiriya

On September 1st, 1969, the 27 year old Qadhafi, an army captain, carried out a bloodless coup overthrowing the corrupt monarchy of King Idris Senussi, who had ruled Libya for 18 years. Qadhafi established what he called the Libyan Jamahiriya or the State of the Masses. When asked what was the Constitution of Libya, he replied “the Quran.”
Immediately after the 1969 coup, Qadhafi told Gamal Abdel Nasser to consider Libya a partner in his Pan-Arab project, offering Nasser access to Libyan resources in the struggle against Israel. From a young age Qadhafi understood the absolute necessity of unity if Western hegemony and colonialism was to be challenged effectively.
Not long after the revolution Qadhafi earned the wrath of the imperialists by closing the British Naval Base at Tobruk and the American Wheelus Air Base on the outskirts of Tripoli. He nationalised key sections of Libya’s vast oil resources and used his influence within OPEC to negotiate fairer prices for oil producing countries. Qadhafi used the oil revenue to benefit the Libyan people, building schools, universities, hospitals and much needed infrastructure.
During the reign of King Idris, fewer than one in five Libyans was literate and there was virtually no access to education for the majority of people. Today, Libya boasts a quality education system, free right up to university level, and the literacy rate is 83 per cent, the highest in North Africa and the Arab world. In addition, Libya has one of the finest health care systems in the ‘Third World’. All people have access to doctors, hospitals, clinics and medicines, free of charge. If a Libyan needs surgery that is unavailable in Libya, funding is provided for the surgery to be carried out overseas. Average life expectancy is now 75, during the time of King Idris it was as low as 44.
Soon after the revolution, basic food items were subsidised and electricity was made available throughout the country. Huge irrigation projects were established in order to support a drive towards agricultural development and self-sufficiency in food production.
Recognising that water, not oil, would be the most scarce resource of the future, Qadhafi initiated the construction of the Great Man Made River, which took years to complete (see illustration and photo above). Referred to as a wonder of the modern world, this river pumps millions of cubic metres of water daily from the heart of the Sahara desert to the coast where the land is suitable for agriculture. Any Libyan who wanted to become a farmer was and still is given free use of land, a house, farm equipment, livestock and seed.
At the outset of the revolution, Qadhafi vowed to house every Libyan, many of whom were still living in tents and houses made out of flattened oil drums. He also vowed that his own parents, who lived in a tent in the Sirte desert, would not be housed until every Libyan was housed. He fulfilled that promise, his own father dying before he had the opportunity to move him into a home. Large scale housing construction took place right across the country, all Libyans being given a decent house or apartment to live in rent-free. In Qadhafi’s Green Book it states: “The house is a basic need of both the individual and the family, therefore it should not be owned by others.”
Under the revolutionary leadership of Muammar Qadhafi, Libya has now attained the highest standard of living in Africa. Rated on the UN’s Human Development Index ahead of Russia, Brazil and Saudi Arabia. In 2007, in an article which appeared in the African Executive Magazine, Norah Owaraga noted that Libya, “unlike other oil producing countries such as Nigeria, utilised the revenue from its oil to develop its country. The standard of living of the people of Libya is one of the highest in Africa, falling in the category of countries with a GNP per capita of between USD 2,200 and 6,000.”
Qadhafi believes that economic democracy can only be achieved when the GDP of a country benefits all of its citizens and when the country’s wealth is dispersed to every single citizen. Today, money from Libya’s oil revenue is directly deposited into the bank account of every Libyan.
From the beginning, Qadhafi was dedicated to the emancipation of Libyan women, encouraging them to participate in all aspects of political life. The revolution ensured that women gained full access to education and has actively encouraged acceptance of female paid employment. Qadhafi has enabled women to serve in the armed forces, and as a way of breaking down stereotypes and taboos, he established a corps of female bodyguards, assigned to his protection. Libya is a very traditional society and these moves by Qadhafi have been met with stiff resistance, especially by the forces in Benghazi.
From the outset of the revolution, Qadhafi channelled a great deal of effort and resources into continued attempts, following on from Gamal Abdel Nasser, to bring about Arab unity. At meeting after meeting of the Arab League, he condemned and exposed their ineptness at arriving at a unified position in relation to the Palestinian issue and other issues relating to neo-colonial control of the region. He became impatient as he realised that the Arab rulers of the day were more interested in protecting and preserving their own parochial interests in tandem with Western imperialism, and were only too willing to stab each other in the back behind closed doors, despite their rhetoric at the summits.
He vehemently opposed the US led invasion of Iraq and condemned those Arab leaders who supported the so-called ‘coalition of the willing’, earning the wrath of the Saudi monarchy when he said that “the Kabah was under the yoke of American occupation,” and questioned “what meaning the Haj has for Muslims as long as the American occupation of the sacred House of God continues.”
He worked tirelessly to encourage African-Arab unity, and built strong relationships with African leaders and the African streets. In October 2010, at the second African-Arab summit in Libya, Qadhafi was the first and only leader in the Arab world to formally apologise for the Arab role in the trade in captured Africans. He was highly critical of Arab leaders/elites condescending attitude toward Africans, and their despicable treatment of African workers, and in particular African domestic workers in their own countries. He stated:
“I regret the behaviour of Arabs… they brought African children to North Africa, they made them slaves, they sold them like animals and treated them in a shameful way. I regret and am ashamed when we remember these practices. I apologise for this. Today we are embarrassed and shocked by the outrageous practices of rich Arabs who treat Africans with contempt and condescension.”
This riled the Arab leaders and ruling elites and was an affront to their notion of Arab supremacy.
Disgruntled with the arrogance of the Arab leaders, and a continual thorn in their side as he openly criticised their hypocrisy and servitude to Western imperialism, Qadhafi became isolated in the Arab world.

Africa Called, Qadhafi Answered

Meanwhile, Libya’s neighbours to the south were far more receptive to Qadhafi’s ideas. When African nations called, Qadhafi answered. He is passionate about the plight of Africans and Africa and longs to see the liberation of the continent and its people. He called on the African Union to give representation to Africans in the Diaspora – the US, Europe, the Caribbean and South America, and acknowledge the need to deal with the conditions of poverty, underdevelopment and marginalisation that continues to confront these communities. At a recent conference held in Libya in January this year, to address the needs and concerns of African migrants to Europe, Qadhafi stated:
“From now on, by the will of God, I will assign teams to search, investigate and liaise with the Africans in Europe and to check their situations… this is my duty and role towards the sons of Africa; I am a soldier for Africa. I am here for you and I work for you; therefore, I will not leave you and I will follow up on your conditions.”
Today, Qadhafi is seen by Africans on the continent and throughout the diaspora as a leading Afrocentric Pan-Africanist, articulating a vision for a United States of Africa – with one government, one currency and one army.
One of Muammar Qadhafi’s most controversial and difficult moves has been his determined drive to unite Africa with a shared vision for the true independence and liberation of the entire continent. He has contributed a great deal of his time, energy and large sums of money to this project, and like Kwame Nkrumah, he has paid a high price.
Many years ago, Qadhafi told a large gathering, which included Libyans and revolutionaries from many parts of the world, that the Black Africans were the true owners of Libya long before the Arab incursion into North Africa. Adding Libyans need to acknowledge and pay tribute to their ancient African roots. He ended by saying, as is proclaimed in his Green Book, “the Black race shall prevail throughout the world.”
‘Brother Leader’, ‘Guide of the Revolution’ and ‘King of Kings’ are some of the titles that have been bestowed on Qadhafi by Africans. Only recently Qadhafi called for the creation of a secretariat of traditional African Chiefs and Kings, with whom he has excellent ties, to co-ordinate efforts to build African unity at the grassroots level. This bottom up approach is widely supported by Pan-Africanists.
While the Libyan revolution has irritated the West since its inception, and although they never forgave Qadhafi for nationalising Libya’s oil, the most worrying move has been his call for the unification of Africa. After years of tireless effort on the part of Qadhafi and the Libyan revolutionary movement, the idea of a United States of Africa is gaining real momentum and support on the continent and amongst Pan-Africanists worldwide.
Unity is something the imperialists fear and loathe. They are well aware that a united Africa would completely alter the balance of power globally. The well-documented fact is that if Africa stopped the flow of all resources and raw materials to the Western nations for just one week, the United States and Europe would grind to a halt. They are that dependent on Africa, and are therefore determined to maintain their ability to control events on the continent.
The leader of the Nation of Islam in the US, Minister Louis Farrakhan, pointed out many years ago at a conference in Libya, “Europe and the US cannot go forward into the new century without unfettered access to the vast natural resources of Africa.” He added: “Qadhafi is one who stands in their way.”
If they cannot maintain control, then at least they must try to maintain Africa’s divisions, thereby ensuring it is always in a position of weakness. African unity and true independence is something white supremacy, in all of its manifestations – capitalism, imperialism and neo-colonialism – will oppose with all its might. The French are presently spearheading a plan, with other southern European nations, to form a Mediterranean bloc, incorporating the whole of North Africa, to try to bring about the balkanisation of the continent, in an attempt to halt this unification project.

Liberation Movements Worldwide Called, Qadhafi Answered

In addition to his tireless efforts in the Arab and African worlds, in 1982 the World Mathaba was established in Libya. Mathaba means a gathering place for people with a common purpose. The World Mathaba brought together revolutionaries and freedom fighters from every corner of the globe to share ideas and develop their revolutionary knowledge. Many liberation groups throughout the world received education, training and support, including the ANC, AZAPO, PAC and BCM of Azania (South Africa), SWAPO of Namibia, MPLA of Angola, the Sandinistas of Nicaragua, the Polisario of the Sahara, the PLO, the Moro National Liberation Front of the Philippines, the Pattani National Liberation Front of Thailand, the Dalits of India, Indigenous movements throughout the Americas and the Nation of Islam led by Louis Farrakhan to name but a few.
Nelson Mandela called Muammar Qadhafi one of the 20th century’s greatest freedom fighters, and insisted the eventual collapse of the apartheid system owed much to Qadhafi and Libyan support. Mandela said that, “in the darkest moments of our struggle, when our backs were to the wall, Muammar Qadhafi stood with us.”
Having examined not only the words and writings, but also Qadhafi’s life time of unwavering revolutionary action dedicated to the liberation of humankind, it is not difficult to answer the questions posed above regarding how Qadhafi’s revolutionary Islam has played out in practice? Why this man and the revolution he has led is such a threat to Western powers, and why freedom fighters from all over Africa are willing to fight to the death for him and the Libyan revolution.

The Final Act – Imperialism’s Last Hideous Gasp

As neo-liberalism and neo-colonialism plunges the world deeper and deeper into chaos, Western imperialism is in crisis. As people revolt in every corner of the world, their ability to influence global affairs is challenged. Even in the economic sphere, their power is decreasing, as China, India and Brazil emerge as vital new trading partners in Africa and South America. In the words of Kwame Nkrumah, “Neo-colonialism is not a sign of imperialism’s strength, but rather of its last hideous gasp.”
As the capitalist crisis worsens, the imperialists will become more and more desperate in their attempts to regain their influence and direct events as they are used to doing. Events which they are increasingly incapable of comprehending – not only because of the speed at which these events are occurring, but also because of the complexity of the events and the paradigm shifts taking place, that are, quite simply, far outside the Western imagination.
Furthermore, they have lost all credibility as the Iraq and Afghanistan debacles continue. The Emperor is naked, and the hypocrisy of the Empire has become so transparent, that even the least informed observers are finally realising that something is horribly wrong.
Imperialism is experiencing its ‘last hideous gasp’ and it is imperative for progressive movements and decent minded citizens worldwide to seize this moment and to oppose this current assault on Libya with all of our collective strength. Those who still struggle to see the wood from the trees will remain enablers of the reactionary and destructive forces that have arrested the advancement of humanity, subjugating and enslaving us since the beginning of time.
Gerald A. Perreira is from Guyana and a founding member of the Guyanese organisations, Joint Initiative for Human Advancement and Dignity and Black Consciousness Movement Guyana (BCMG). He lived and worked in Libya for many years and served in the Green March, an international battalion for the defence of the Libyan revolution, and was an executive member of the World Mathaba based in Tripoli.

How Fox News Outfoxes Americans

How Fox News Outfoxes Americans

Go To Original

To understand how so many average Americans can be duped into embracing right-wing positions that go against their own interests, you must look at how Fox News (and right-wing media outlets) use faux populism and phony outrage as propaganda techniques, a topic explored by Danny Schechter in this guest essay.

By Danny Schechter

May 13, 2011

Grrrrrrrr. You can almost hear the growling in the background as the masters of attack politics go into action, virtually every hour on the hour, on the Fox News Channel.

The issues they focus on are carefully selected by top executives and then broken down into highly politicized message points. Their dominant emotion is annoyance as expressed in sarcasm and scowling; contempt is the underlying attitude.

In the Fox view, the other side is usually not just wrong but plain stupid, almost unbelievable in its softheaded naiveté and distance from reality.

A “what do you expect” question invariably tops off the argument which always ends with the Fox host a winner and the Democrat or social critic a loser on every level.

Standing on a podium driven by self-righteous certainty, the finger pointers view the people they talk about, and talk down to, as below the intelligence threshold of people even worth arguing with.

In this universe, hyping the extreme and outrageous seems to attract audiences as Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck have proven. That leads to higher ratings and, the real goal, higher revenues.

Clearly they feel it is their duty to play Paul Revere who warned Colonial America that “The British Are Coming.” They warn their faithful against political deviations that might lead them astray.

What is hard to recognize or often realize is that the topics chosen are calculated as part of a strategy of using emotionally tested wedge issues to politicize by polarizing.

Political scientist Alan Abramowitz argues that polarization is good for America in his new book, The Disappearing Center:

“All the indicators we have show that polarization has actually contributed to increased engagement in politics, because people do perceive important differences and they think that there are big stakes in elections.”

He was asked if he thinks this is healthy for a democracy:

“Well, up to a point. I think that a certain degree of polarization is healthy in a democracy. It clarifies the choices people have in elections, and it helps voters to hold the parties accountable for their performance.”

At the same time, other political analysts say, “The more polarized political parties are, the less most of us care about the political process.”

Survey data shows that people often take polarized positions because they think they are expected to when they identify with a certain party. With the sincerity and beliefs of Democrats mocked and under constant vitriolic attack, who would want to be thought of that way?

If they have questions, they don’t raise them. It’s easier to parrot the party line.

Recall, it is politicians not “the people” who define those issues. The politicians rely on corporate-style market research and focus groups. They chose slogans and even language that often has a patriotic subtext.

When government programs are likened to socialism, it’s not surprising that people who consider themselves conservatives reject those programs even when they don’t really know what socialism is.

This is also true of what appears to be populist movements like the Tea Party whose agenda and talking points have been established by professional consultants, guided by political operatives and funded by conservative billionaires.

As one study put it. “In other words, since the parties are now more clearly divided — and on a broader set of issues — it is easier for people to split accordingly, without changing their own views.”

That’s the key point — “without changing their own views.” The dirty little secret is the discovery in many studies that the most systematic polarization appears only in mass partisanship: those who are politically active or identify themselves with a party or ideology tend to have more extreme positions than the rest of the population.

But, at the same time, their core political views have changed very little. For example, many on the Right depend on and support Medicare.

What’s also not always clear to folks on the Left is that Fox News positions itself as an upholder of what are, at bottom, liberal American values. Hence their motto about Fairness and Balance. (They actually have more opposing views on their programs than channels like MSNBC do.)

The Los Angeles Times understood this when writing, “Fox’s real ethos is not Republican but anti-elitist — a major reason it connects with so many Americans and annoys so many coastal elites. ‘There’s a whole country that elitists will never acknowledge,” Ailes once observed. ‘What people resent deeply out there are those in the “blue states” thinking they’re smarter.’

“This anti-elitism shows itself in Fox’s pro-U.S. stance in covering the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and its broadcasters’ use of terms such as ‘terrorist’ instead of ‘militants.’ Another aspect of Fox’s anti-elitism: Christians, far from being seen as lunatics or curiosities — as too often is the case in the mainstream media — actually get some respect.”

So Fox plays a double game, concealing the most reactionary and partisan of perspectives in the appearance of populism. It is then packaged in the format of news programming and above the fray television driven by hot graphics, pretty blondes, and relentless posturing.

The formula works in attracting audiences while the same time, feeding into a political strategy of promoting partisanship through heightening polarization and political conflict.

No issue is too small to exploit. A week after the targeted killing of Osama bin Laden, Fox had found a new enemy to bash as a target in the nightly culture war behind its political war.

Michelle Obama had invited a rapper named Common to a White House poetry reading. Some of his lyrics, in the parlance of ghetto talk, appeared to suggest he approved of a cop killing. That’s all that Fox needed to hear. Program after program went on the attack at this latest example of black racism.

Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart used video clips and his own free-style rapping to ridicule the distortions in their characterizations. He blasted Fox for “manufacturing outrage” and pumping a blend of propaganda he calls “foxygen” into the room.

Fox’s Bill O’Reilly blasted back inviting Stewart to debate him and insisting that their focus only reflected their outrage over a pro-cop-killing artist being invited to the White House.

(Hip Hop radio personality Davey D reminds his audience that Fox never gets outraged by police brutality in black communities. He posted a thoughtful commentary on his Facebook page.)

Any objective person might concede the poet rapper was not calling for a jihad against cops. It didn’t matter because Fox viewers tend to believe what their TV heroes tell them. It looked like he was; therefore he was.

Soon, the facts no loner mattered in a cross-cultural battle of metaphor and misinformation. Fox had its new weapon of mass distraction to focus on and use to smear President Obama while ignoring the other big story of the day: the conviction of a billionaire hedge fund schemer accused on insider-trading and conspiracy.

In Fox world, the “free market” is holy even when it’s not, and only “big government” (under Democrats, of course) is to blame for our economic woes.

In the end, what we have is a cruel and deceptive game that appears to be informative when its not, presided over by professional actors and reactors.

And like the old joke asks: “How do you know when they are lying?” The answer: “when their lips are moving.”

Exxon Pays a Lower Effective Tax Rate than the Average American

Exxon Pays a Lower Effective Tax Rate than the Average American

Go To Original

Exxon Mobil Corp.'s robust balance sheets have become a poster child for what The New York Times dubs the “paradox of the United States tax code.”

The company’s large 2010 profits allowed them to lead Fortune 500’s annual ranking of the nations’ most profitable firms for the eighth time in a row. But the oil giant’s average effective tax rates are roughly half the 35 percent tax rate that currently stands as the high-water mark for American corporations. Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil and other big oil companies continue to exploit tax loopholes for nearly $4 billion in subsidies each year. These subsidies include write-offs for drilling costs and a deduction for domestic production that was intended for manufacturers, not big oil producers.

Exxon Mobil registered an average 17.6 percent federal effective corporate tax rate on its annual earnings in the three years spanning 2008 to 2010. Its average domestic profits exceeded $6.8 billion. And as a 2011 Citizens for Tax Justice report points out:

Over the past two years, ExxonMobil reported $9,910 million in pretax U.S. profits. But it enjoyed so many tax subsidies that its federal income tax bill was only $39 million -- a tax rate of only 0.4 percent.

Even when Exxon Mobil had a record profit of $40 billion in 2008 due to record oil prices it had only a 31 percent effective tax rate. That’s 13 percent lower than the maximum 35 percent despite being Exxon Mobil's fifth year as the top corporate earner in Fortune 500’s annual listing. The company paid no taxes at all to the U.S. federal government in 2009 on its domestic profits of nearly $2.6 billion. It appears that they avoided the tax man that year by legally funneling their profits through wholly owned subsidiaries in countries like the Cayman Islands, and reinvesting their earnings overseas.

More striking still is the discrepancy between Exxon Mobil's rates and those of most American breadwinners. The company’s effective rate of 17.6 percent is nearly 16 percent below the average individual federal tax rate, which according to the Congressional Budget Office was 20.4 percent as of 2007.

Individuals in the highest quintile pay an average tax rate just over 25 percent in the United States. Exxon Mobil, meanwhile, paid approximately the same effective tax rate as Americans in the fourth income quintile -- which includes Americans earning from $62,000 to $100,000 a year.

Exxon Mobil's accounting methods mask its relatively low effective tax rate. According to CNN Money the $3.1 billion in taxes the company claims to have paid since January 2011 includes both federal and state gasoline taxes -- that are really paid by drivers -- as well as employee payroll taxes.

Think Progress’s Pat Garofalo rightly observes that “Exxon is counting as part of its tax burden [taxes] that it simply does not pay,” making the exorbitant subsidies the company receives even more unnecessary.

These strategic maneuverings have not been lost on congressional Democrats. Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) introduced a bill to repeal at least one of these tax loopholes for large oil companies including Exxon. The legislation would result in $12 billion in revenue over 10 years by removing the Section 199 domestic manufacturing tax deduction.

House Republicans successfully blocked Democratic attempts to force a vote erasing this unnecessary oil subsidy on May 5 by passing a motion, 241-171, on two drilling bills.

But this promises to be only a temporary respite for Big Oil tax breaks. And a short one at that. The Senate is expected to vote next week on the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act, legislation introduced by Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and other senators to address oil prices and subsidies for the five biggest oil companies.

Seth Hanlon, Director of Fiscal Reform at the Center for American Progress, explains that the glaring contrast between:

Today’s high gas prices and inflated profits have undermined the industry’s argument that their tax breaks benefit consumers.

Meanwhile, federal budget deficits have sharpened Congress’s focus on eliminating wasteful government spending -- of which oil subsidies are one of the worst examples.

Right on cue, Rep. Max Baucus (D-MT), on the morning of May 6, called on executives from Exxon Mobil and its Big Five compatriots -- BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and Shell -- to stand before the Senate Finance Committee for a May 12 hearing on "Oil and Gas Tax Incentives and Rising Energy Prices." As of this writing, top-level representatives from each company have confirmed attendance, including ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson. He now finds himself with the difficult task of publicly rationalizing Exxon's share of billions in subsidies, despite the company reaping enormous profits and paying relatively little in the way of taxes.

Download full data on Exxon Mobil's effective tax rate from 2008 to 2010 (.xls)

TEPCO now confirms nuclear meltdown in Fukushima reactor No. 1

TEPCO now confirms nuclear meltdown in Fukushima reactor No. 1

Go To Original

(NaturalNews) TEPCO has now publicly admitted it wasn't telling the truth about the severity of the damage to Fukushima reactor No. 1. We're now being told what we've suspected all along -- that nuclear fuel rods in that reactor are totally exposed and have suffered a nuclear meltdown, releasing vast amounts of radiation comparable to Chernobyl. As Bloomberg now reports, the water level in reactor No. 4 is one meter below the fuel assembly itself. This means, of course, that the water isn't high enough to cover the fuel rods, which is why those fuel rods have suffered a nuclear meltdown. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-...)

The Associated Press is also reporting that "other fuel has slumped to the bottom of the pressure vessel and is thought to be covered in water." This statement is astonishing all by itself because it means the fuel rods were in a total meltdown hot enough to cause their metal containment cylinders to "slump" and melt their way down to the lower levels of the coolant pools. Notably, AP carefully avoids using the term "melt" and instead says the fuel rods "slumped." This is all part of the AP's determined downplaying of the Fukushima catastrophe (see below).

Not surprisingly, as AP now reports, "The findings also indicate a greater-than-expected leak in that vessel." But the laws of nuclear physics don't care what you "expect," you see. They don't care about media spin or power company B.S. The laws of physics simply follow their natural course, regardless of what you hope they do.

And in the case of Fukushima, the laws of physics led directly to a core fuel meltdown that now even the mainstream media cannot deny (although they still aren't calling it a "nuclear meltdown"). As AP reports:

Nuclear Industrial and Safety Agency officials said the new data indicates that it is likely that partially melted fuel had fallen to the bottom of the pressurized vessel that holds the reactor core together and possibly leached down into the drywell soon after the March 11 quake and tsunami that struck Japan's northeastern coast.

Undeniable meltdown

What AP is describing, of course, is a nuclear meltdown. It doesn't get any more obvious than this: The fuel reached melting temperature and melted down. Along with this, there would have had to be a massive release of radiation into the containment vessel, which just happens to have numerous holes in it that allow highly radioactive water to leak directly into the environment. No wonder TEPCO discovered its radiation detectors had all maxed out there and become non-functional. No wonder TEPCO had to selectively stop reporting radiation releases -- it was in the middle of a Chernobyl-like core fuel meltdown!

The Telegraph in the UK is refreshingly printing the truth on this story: "One of the reactors at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant did suffer a nuclear meltdown, Japanese officials admitted for the first time today, describing a pool of molten fuel at the bottom of the reactor's containment vessel." (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...)

But the mainstream media in the U.S. has obviously been instructed by the White House to avoid using the term "nuclear meltdown" in describing what happened at Fukushima. There is a rather blatant downplaying of the facts going on behind the scenes at the media giants.

Some of this spin can only be called blatant lies, by the way. In the same story linked above, AP claims "Unit 4 contained no fuel rods at the time of the earthquake..."

Huh? No fuel rods in reactor No. 4? This what on Earth is this video showing? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKHW...

I love how the media admits it has been misreporting the truth of the situation all along, and then it comes up with new fairytale spin stories in practically the same sentence. They might as well just report, "There was no nuclear fuel in Fukushima at the time of the tsunami, and that's why governments have stopped monitoring radiation levels."

TEPCO once again meets Murphy's Law

In any case, this sudden revelation that reactor No. 4 has already experienced a nuclear fuel meltdown is, not surprisingly, causing considerable setbacks to TEPCO's plan to have the whole facility deactivated by Christmas. Just as NaturalNews publicly predicted, the Christmas shutdown plan was little more than a combination of fantasyland thinking and industry spin.

"What this means is this is probably going to be a much more difficult cleanup than they originally planned for," said particle physicist Paul Padley in a Bloomberg story (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-...). The government and Tepco "have consistently appeared to be underestimating the severity of the situation."

And that's the story of modern science: Arrogant in its confidence over the laws of nature, yet utterly dishonest in reporting the truth when its Tower of Babel crumbles to the ground. No wonder the reputation of the conventional scientific community continues to plummet as people realize just how dangerous these people really are. Read my related story on this to learn the truth of how modern conventional science is based on a mindless, soulless, false belief that human beings have no free will or consciousness. And therefore, human beings are all expendable in science's big experiments: Nuclear power, GMOs, vaccines and much more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032372_s...

Sources for this story include:
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/storie...

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...

He Served the Empire Abroad; The Regime Killed Him in His Home

He Served the Empire Abroad; The Regime Killed Him in His Home

Jose Guerena survived two combat tours of Iraq, only to become a casualty of the Regime’s longest war — the one waged against its domestic subjects in the name of drug prohibition. The former Marine was slaughtered by a SWAT team during a May 5 assault on his home in Arizona.

Guerena’s wife, Vanessa, heard a noise outside the couple’s home near Tucson at about 9 a.m. Jose, who had just gone to bed after pulling a 12-hour shift at the Asarco Mine, suspected — correctly, as it turned out — that his family was threatened by an armed criminal gang. Grabbing his AR-15, Guerena instructed his wife and four-year-old son to hide in the closet while he confronted the intruders. According to Mrs. Guerena, the stormtroopers from the Pima County Regional SWAT team never identified themselves as police; they simply stormed into the home and started shooting.

“I saw this guy pointing me at the window, Vanessa recalled in a television interview. “So, I got scared. And, I got like, ‘Please don’t shoot, I have a baby.’ I put my baby [down]. [And I] put bag in window. And, I yell ‘Jose! Jose! Wake up!’”

“A deputy’s bullet struck the side of the doorway, causing chips of wood to fall on his shield,” recounts the Arizona Daily Star, paraphrasing an account provided by Pima County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) functionary Michael O’Connor. “That prompted some members of the team to think the deputy had been shot.” Guerna never fired a shot; the marauders who invaded his home fired no fewer than seventy-one. As is standard procedure in such events, the invaders claimed that Guerna had fired on the officers, as he had every moral and legal right to.

Neither Jose nor his wife had a criminal history of any kind. The attack on their home was described as a narcotics enforcement operation, but there are no reports that narcotics were found at the residence – - even though the invaders reportedly “seized” (that is, stole) something that belonged to the victim.

“Tucson is notorious for home invasions and we didn’t want it to look like that,” insisted PCSO spokesman O’Connor, exhibiting the dull-witted refusal to acknowledge the obvious that typifies tax-feeders of his station. He also maintained that the death squad “went lights and sirens and we absolutely did not do a `no-knock’ warrant,” a claim refuted by the only surviving witness, Vanessa Guerena. Such details are morally inconsequential, since there was no reason — apart from the institutional vanity of the PCSO and the indecent eagerness of the armored adolescents who compose its SWAT team — to conduct a paramilitary raid to serve a routine search warrant.

“I never imagined I would lose him like that, he was badly injured but I never thought he could be killed by police after he served his country,” lamented the wife of the murdered ex-Marine, who died on his feet, a rifle in his hand, and his face to an unexpected enemy. The grim but unavoidable truth is this: We shouldn’t be at all surprised that a Regime capable of sending Americans abroad to terrorize Iraqis in their homes would employ the same state terrorism against Americans here at home.