The people who run this country, they have to convince Americans that they are some kind of moral leader. A lot of them do it through religion: ‘I’m an upstanding Christian.’ [or] ‘I’m a Jewish person that unquestionably supports Israel’ so no one can question where they stand morally because they have a bloc of politics to rely upon to be their shield, and also to act as a proxy to them, in case they ever fall into the danger of receiving an overt amount of criticism for their beliefs. That said, when we talk about a group of people that are trying to present themselves as an answer to America’s problems—that answer has to come through the communication to work with people, to have a voice and address the issues. Not to blame the people because they have the least amount of blame for what’s going on. The fact that we’re having a conversation about the economy and not a conversation about the two unsustainable wars that put the economy where it is, I think that’s absurd. At some point, Republicans and Democrats can get on each other all day long, but unless one of them provides a viable solution for all the issues rather than a solution because some people don’t like another individual, that’s another story. People can tell me all day that Obama is a war president. He’s an individual who’s violated human rights of other people with drone strikes and what not, that he deported more people than [George W.] Bush, which is true, all these things are potentially true, but at the same time, do I think that Mitt Romney is going to be the solution to that problem? Do I think in any way shape or form, that it would be logical for black and Latino people to vote for someone like that? Or even white Americans who are looking to advance themselves in middle class and working class America. No. That doesn’t mean that I think Barack Obama is a savior or that I’m campaigning or even voting for him. Don’t tell me simply because the food in front of me is rotten that the shit you got in the trunk of your car is better. I digress from that by saying that traditionally in hip-hop, we’ve had a very political culture that’s always been associated with questioning what people tell us is unquestionable. Only because the hypocrisy [of] what we’re told we can question and what we can’t question or what we remember and what we’re told not remember. In school, it was drilled in our heads about 9/11…about the holocaust, yet the holocaust of an indigenous people, which amounts 80 million to 100 million people over the course of 100 years, a million people a year…If we’re talking about World War II being from 1939-1945, six years, six million people of the Jewish faith we’re killed by this, then [why aren’t] we talking about a holocaust that went on for about 100 years? That’s not to quantify them and say one is worse than the other or one is better. That’s not to say one shouldn’t be regarded uniquely in history, but now we’re told about one that is so holy and it should never be talked about or questioned, only researched—I’m not a holocaust denier, I’ve never been that. I was touched early by the historical facts presented about everyone’s struggles and all the genocides that have taken place. But if we’re told that we should always remember one… When you talk about slavery, and the African genocide, that’s just slavery, get over it. Or you guys lost a war. Get over it. You’re not using the litmus by which you require other people to live their life. You’re acting like a drunk irresponsible parent.– Immortal technique in 2012.
That shouldn’t be the leadership of America. The leadership of America shouldn’t be don’t do as I do, do as I say—no! It should be people who lead by example. Individuals that are willing to sacrifice their own personal gain and personal visions to be put before the people as an example of what they’re willing to give. Instead, politicians become champions for individuals who carry the most amount of influence and most amount of corruption that exist within the American state right now, which has now become a political caste system.
Pictures from the game, oiligarchy
The life of money making is a life of constraint; and wealth is obviously not the good of which we are in quest; for it is useful merely as means to something else. It would be more reasonable to take…sensual pleasure, honor, and virtue…as ends than wealth, since they are things desired on their own account.– Aristotle in his book, Nicomachean Ethics
This was originally posted on Interesting Blogger.
In the past I’ve written about how Obama is oiled and how he is basically corrupted. What about his administration as a whole? I looked at important figures in the administration to find out. This list is bound to change in the future if there are new developments.
Current corrupted officials:
Copyright Czar Victoria A. Espinel
While the “copyright” and the “copyleft” applauded her nomination to a position that would be about “intellectual property” and crackdowns on supposed “piracy” according to a 2009 article in Wired Magazine and similarly in 2010 when a “Joint Strategic Plan” was released about “intellectual property” enforcement. In an article in the same magazine two years later, they wrote that:
“top-ranking Obama administration officials, including the U.S. copyright czar, played an active role in secret negotiations between Hollywood, the recording industry and ISPs to disrupt internet access for users suspected of violating copyright law, according to internal White House e-mails…The agreement includes participation by the U.S.’s largest consumer internet providers including AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon. It requires internet service providers, for the first time, to punish residential internet-service customers who media companies suspect are violating copyright rules by downloading copyrighted movies or music from peer-to-peer networks…the communications show that a wide range of officials — from Vice President Joe Biden’s deputy chief of staff Alan Hoffman, the Justice Department’s criminal chief Lanny Breuer to copyright czar Victoria Espinel — were in the loop well ahead of the accord’s unveiling…The e-mails, some of which had the subject line “counteroffer,” show off what seems to be a cordial and friendly two-way relationship between industry and the administration…Digital rights groups were barely visible in the messages the government provided to Soghoian, an issue that was not lost on Espinel…Terms of the brokered deal include: On an internet subscriber’s first reported copyright offense, internet subscribers will receive an e-mail “alert” from their ISP saying the account “may have been” misused for online content theft. On the second reported offense, the alert might contain an “educational message” about the legalities of online file sharing. On the third and fourth reported infractions, the subscriber will likely receive a pop-up notice “asking the subscriber to acknowledge receipt of the alert.” After four alerts, according to the program, “mitigation measures” may commence.”
This article basically shows that the administration helped create what became the “copyright alert system” (or the falsely named “six strikes system”) which is currently in effect as of February 28th.
Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the USPTO* Teresa Stanek Rea
At the end of one of the biggest intellectual property offices worldwide, Teresa supposedly promotes innovations but as we techies know, intellectual property is limiting access to information, not freeing it. One part that worries me is this paragraph:
Ms. Rea is a past president of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (known as AIPLA), a past president of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and has served in leadership roles for a variety of technical and legal associations. Ms. Rea has spoken and published frequently on patent topics including biotechnology, nanotechnology, licensing, technology transfer, patent practice, and export control. Before joining the USPTO, Ms. Rea was a partner in Crowell and Moring LLP’s Washington, D.C., office where she focused on intellectual property and dispute resolution related to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and other life science issues. Ms. Rea worked for Ethyl Corporation from 1980 through 1984 and for patent boutique firm Burns, Doane, Swecker and Mathis in Alexandria, Va.
The American Intellectual Property Law Association is a bar association that focuses on all sorts of issues but mainly intellectual property. I mean, they even have a committee focused on “Anti-Counterfeiting and Anti-Piracy” which has as one of its purposes to “consider laws, rules, regulations and judicial decisions, both domestic and foreign, specific to counterfeiting, piracy, goods hijacking, and the like, to the extent they affect the issues within the United States.” I found some other troubling views of this bar association:
- “In September 2011, our Committee obtained the AIPLA Board of Directors’ unanimous approval of a resolution in which the Association favors passage of the PROTECT IP Act, or similar legislation, which targets the most egregious actors of online infringement, copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting” [this means they supported SOPA! and they even posted a link to it at one point on their website]
- They posted a link to a law from 2007 that has a bunch of fuckin’ propaganda that said: “Whereas such piracy and counterfeiting have a deep impact on economies around the world, translate into lost jobs, lost earnings, and lost tax revenues, and threaten public health and safety…Whereas motion picture piracy now results in lost revenue among all United States industries of $20,500,000,000 annually…Resolved, That the House of Representatives…supports robust and ongoing efforts to protect the health and well-being of citizens in the United States from fraudulent and illegal counterfeiting and piracy.”
- They posted a link to a law from 2005 that criticized Russia as a haven for piracy while it is really a place for creativity and new culture in terms of downloading content
- They posted a link to a law that said intellectual property should be protected on a global scale which was by the same person who introduced SOPA
- In a letter to the Office of the United States Trade Representative they said: “AIPLA supports limiting the Agreement to trademark and copyright enforcement…AIPLA supports keeping the Agreement focused on issues of counterfeiting and piracy…AIPLA is not in a position to comment on specific provisions of the draft treaty that has been publicly circulated. However, AIPLA applauds the efforts of the USTR in securing the cooperation of our trading partners to enact strong laws to protect trademark and copyright owners.”
- In 2007 at their Spring Meeting they had a session about “TRADEMARK COUNTERFEITING AND COPYRIGHT PIRACY” which included mini-sessions like: “Don’t Give Up: Practical Solutions to Counterfeits from China,” “Making a Federal (Criminal) Case Out of It: Working with Federal Prosecutors,” “The In-House Perspective on Effective Anti-Counterfeit Campaigns” and “Copyright Piracy.”
- In a letter sent to the Copyright Czar who I mentioned in the first entry of this article, they wrote that: “The American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) is pleased to have the opportunity to present its views with respect to the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (“IPEC”) Request for Public Comments: Development of the Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement…AIPLA and its members strongly support government efforts to improve enforcement of intellectual property rights. AIPLA also strongly supports the efforts of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator to streamline and facilitate government programs which promote intellectual property enforcement, both domestically and abroad. In particular, AIPLA favors, in principle, the government providing an organized and aggressive solution to address the serious and dangerous effects of domestic and international counterfeiting…Thus, AIPLA believes that the government should strive to reduce the cost of enforcement on IP owners by reducing court costs, streamlining litigation, speeding up time to judgment, and removing barriers to collection of judgments…Since patent protection, like other areas of intellectual property, is on a country-by-country basis, patent enforcement must be accomplished by separate actions in many countries around the world…AIPLA members have asked whether the Department of Justice could create an online form for IP rights owners to report suspected cases of counterfeiting and piracy…A special division within the Department of Justice could be set up as a liaison between federal prosecutors and private industry.”
That’s about the farthest I’ll go. I think you get the point.
*United States Patent and Trademark Office
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel
Via wikipedia: “In the private sector, he serves on the board of directors of Chevron Corporation, Deutsche Bank‘s Americas Advisory Board, and the advisory board of Corsair Capital, and is a director of the Zurich Holding Company of America and a senior advisor to McCarthy Capital Corporation.”
Secretary of State John Kerry
Was one of the richest people in Congress (richest in the Senate in 2011) with between $184,268,546 to $287,685,063 in net worth and assets in a number of different companies (3M Co, AT&T Inc., Bank of America, Bain Capital, Barclays Bank, Berkshire Hathaway, Boeing Co., BP, Cisco Systems, Citigroup, Coca-Cola Co., Comcast, Conoco Philips, Dells, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Microsoft, Proctor & Gamble, Target Corp., TransOcean, Walt Disney Co. and Wells Fargo among others), more background on him: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kerry
Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar
NPR Article in 2008: “President-elect Obama’s apparent pick to head the Department of the Interior has angered environmentalists who supported him during the election…Among those cheering the apparent Salazar nomination are the mining and agriculture industries, which generally backed Republican John McCain for president.” New York Times article in 2008: “Oil and mining interests praised Mr. Salazar’s performance as a state official and as a senator, saying that he was not doctrinaire about the use of public lands…Mr. Salazar had tried to engineer a deal in the Senate allowing mining companies and others to reclaim abandoned mines without fear of lawsuits….He has also supported robust research on technology to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal-burning power plants, something the coal industry favors. He also backed a compromise that would let oil companies drill for natural gas in limited parts of the Roan Plateau in northwestern Colorado, a plan that most environmental advocates opposed.”
Attorney General Eric Holder
Via wikipedia: “From 2001 until he became Attorney General, Holder worked as an attorney at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., representing clients such as Merck and the National Football League…In 2004, Holder helped negotiate an agreement with the Justice Department for Chiquita Brands International in a case that involved Chiquita’s payment of “protection money” to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, a group on the U.S. government’s list of terrorist organizations. In the agreement, Chiquita’s officials pleaded guilty and paid a fine of $25 million. Holder represented Chiquita in the civil action that grew out of this criminal case.”
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vislack
According to the Organic Consumers Association: “Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack’s support of genetically engineered pharmaceutical crops, especially pharmaceutical corn…The biggest biotechnology industry group, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, named Vilsack Governor of the Year. He was also the founder and former chair of the Governor’s Biotechnology Partnership…When Vilsack created the Iowa Values Fund, his first poster child of economic development potential was Trans Ova and their pursuit of cloning dairy cows…Vilsack was the origin of the seed pre-emption bill in 2005, which many people here in Iowa fought because it took away local government’s possibility of ever having a regulation on seeds- where GE would be grown, having GE-free buffers, banning pharma corn locally, etc. Representative Sandy Greiner, the Republican sponsor of the bill, bragged on the House Floor that Vilsack put her up to it right after his state of the state address. Vilsack has a glowing reputation as being a schill for agribusiness biotech giants like Monsanto. Sustainable ag advocated across the country were spreading the word of Vilsack’s history as he was attempting to appeal to voters in his presidential bid…Vilsack often traveled in Monsanto’s jet. Vilsack is an ardent support of corn and soy based biofuels, which use as much or more fossil energy to produce them as they generate, while driving up world food prices and literally starving the poor”
Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission Jonathan (Jon) Leibowitz
- Worked for Paul Simon (D) [1986-7] who “fiercely took a stand against obscenity and violence in the media during the 1990s, and his efforts against media violence helped lead to the adoption of the V-chip,” a TV censorship tool
- Was the VP of Congressional Affairs for the MPAA (Motion Picture Assn of America) for several years
Director of the Office of Management and Budget Jeffrey Zients
Via Wikipedia: “Zients was the chairman (2001–2004), chief executive officer (1998–2000), and chief operating officer (1996–1998) of the Advisory Board Company and former chairman (2000–2001) of the Corporate Executive Board. Both companies were founded by David G. Bradley and provide research and advice to corporations around the globe on best practices in management, strategy and operations. Zients and Bradley took each of the companies public through successful initial public offerings that made both men multimillionaires . At age 35, Zients was named to Fortune Magazine’s “40 under 40″ with an estimated wealth of $149 million”
Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Julius Genachowski
Via wikipedia: “He was Chief of Business Operations and a member of Barry Diller‘s Office of the Chairperson at IAC/InterActiveCorp and executive responsible for the creation of Fox Broadcasting Company and USA Broadcasting. He earned at least $2.5 million when Vivendi acquired Universal assets in 2003. He had previously served on the Boards of Directors of Expedia, Hotels.com, and Ticketmaster. Genachowski was a co-founder of LaunchBox Digital and Rock Creek Ventures; a Special Advisor at General Atlantic; and a member of the Boards of Directors at The Motley Fool, Web.com, Mark Ecko Enterprises, and Beliefnet. In April 2006, he was appointed to the Board of JackBe.” He also approved the Comcast-NBC Merger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comcast_NBC_merger)
Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Commerce Bruce H. Andrews
From Secretary of Commerce website: “As Chief of Staff at Commerce, Andrews serves as the Secretary’s most senior adviser and counselor, oversees the entire operation of the Department and spearheads the Department’s efforts to implement the top policy priorities of the Obama administration… Before joining the Committee staff, Andrews served as Vice President of Governmental Affairs for the Ford Motor Company, where he oversaw the company’s federal and state government affairs.” He has also been associated with the huge law firm titled Arnold & Porter which has been a counsel to Philip Morris Company, US Airways, CBS, and even advocated against the Clean Air Act!
Assistant Attorney General of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division William Baer
Via Wikipedia: “Baer left the FTC in 1980 to join the law firm Arnold & Porter. He was an associate at the firm from 1980 until 1984, when he became a partner. He remained a partner at Arnold & Porter until 1995, and among his higher-profile cases was successfully defending General Electric against price-fixing accusations in the 1990s…Baer returned to Arnold & Porter as a partner. In his practice, he represented a broad range of firms in U.S. and cartel investigations, mergers and acquisitions reviews, and antitrust litigation.” To see more about Arnold & Porter please read the above entry for Bruce H. Andrews.
General Counsel at the Department of Commerce Cameron F. Kerry
What he does in his current position according to the Dept. of Commerce is that he “serves as chief legal officer of the Department and oversees the work of over 325 lawyers in 14 offices who provide legal advice to all components of the Department. Kerry is the Department’s chief ethics officer, and co-chairs the Secretary’s Internet Policy Task Force, which brings together Commerce agencies with expertise on the internet in the 21st century global economy…He has been a leader on work across the US government on patent reform and intellectual property issues, privacy and security, and efforts against transnational bribery.” The reason he is corrupted is not his work at the law firm Mintz Levin but when he was an associate at the law firm Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering which has represented clients including but not limited to: “Apple…AT&T…Bayer…Boeing…Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Chrysler LLC…Deutsche Bank…General Electric, Goldman Sachs…Honda, HSBC Finance…JPMorgan Chase, Kodak…Monsanto, Morgan Stanley…Pfizer…Procter & Gamble…Staples…UBS…[and even] Swiss banks accused of profiting from the Holocaust.”
Director of Office of Policy and Strategic Planning [at the Department of Commerce] Malcolm R. Lee
Officially he “leads the Secretary’s team of senior policy advisers who counsel the Secretary on the full range of work of the Department and develop and drive administration strategy and priorities in the areas of manufacturing, innovation, exports, investment and technology policy.” This is a problem because according the Secretary of Commerce’s own bio:
“Malcolm was Senior Director then General Manager for China Policy and Strategy for Microsoft in both Beijing (2006-2010) and in Redmond headquarters (2010-2011). His team was responsible for positioning the company to compete effectively in China. He served as an elected governor of AmCham China and as a board member of USITO, a trade association representing the U.S. technology companies in China. Malcolm was Senior Policy Counsel and Director of International Policy and Strategy in Microsoft’s U.S. headquarters (2003-2006), directing global trade and technology policy. Malcolm joined Microsoft in 2003 from Cisco Systems, where he was responsible for international trade policy and Asia government relations.”
Director of the Office of Business Liaison for the Dept. of Commerce Matthew T. McGuire
According to the Dept. of Commerce’s own bio: “he leads the department’s efforts to engage the business community on the Obama Administration’s top policy priorities…work[ing]…to strengthen the international economic position of the United States and facilitates global trade by advocating for American businesses…Prior to joining the Commerce Department, McGuire worked as a senior executive in the financial services industry for more than eight years. He was most recently at Citadel, LLC, a leading global financial institution with over $11 billion in its hedge funds and with offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia…Previously, McGuire worked as an investment officer at New York State’s Common Retirement Fund. There he was responsible for investor affairs and corporate governance activities for this $110 billion public pension fund.”
Under Secretary of the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Eric L. Hirschhorn
According to the BIS, he “will oversee the Commerce agency that advances U.S. national security, foreign policy and economic objectives” and this is a problem because he is “is the former Executive Secretary of the Industry Coalition on Technology Transfer (ICOTT), a group whose trade association and industry participants are affected by U.S. export control and embargo rules [and] he is the author of The Export Control and Embargo Handbook.”
Assistant Secretary of Export Enforcement at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) David W. Mills
He is officially “responsible for the protection and promotion of U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives through a law enforcement program focused on deterring the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and missile delivery systems, diversion of dual-use goods to unauthorized military end-uses, terrorists and state sponsors of terror and prohibited foreign boycotts.” This is a problem because he has worked in the private practice at law firms like DLA Piper, and Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, “specializing in economic sanctions, export controls and antiboycott matters.” DLA Piper is one of the biggest law firms in the world and according to their website, their “clients range from multinational, Global 1000, and Fortune 500 enterprises to emerging companies developing industry-leading technologies.” If you really want evidence of their corruption, I recommend you read this part about their “experience” in the field of antitrust including: “Advice to a generic drug manufacturer on the antitrust issues raised by settlements of patent litigation…advice to a Japanese automobile importer on distribution issues…Representation of online audio content distributor in merger investigations in the US and Europe…Representation of multinational corporation in DOJ investigation relating to divestiture of mineral processing technologies…Representation of a leading motion picture exhibitor in a federal and multi-state merger investigation…Representation of a major US poultry processor…Representation of a major US consumer electronics manufacturer” and so on.
Commissioner Robert McDowell of the FCC
“Commissioner McDowell brings to the FCC approximately sixteen years of private sector experience in the communications industry. Immediately prior to joining the FCC, Commissioner McDowell was senior vice president for the Competitive Telecommunications Association (CompTel), an association representing competitive facilities-based telecommunications service providers and their supplier partners. There he had responsibilities involving advocacy efforts before Congress, the White House and executive agencies. He has served on the North American Numbering Council (NANC) and on the board of directors of North American Numbering Plan Billing and Collection, Inc. (NBANC). Prior to joining CompTel in February 1999, McDowell served as the executive vice president and general counsel of America’s Carriers Telecommunications Association (ACTA), which merged with CompTel at that time.”- http://www.fcc.gov/leadership/robert-mcdowell
Commissioner Ajit Pai of the FCC
“Commissioner Pai’s career outside of the FCC has spanned the private and public sectors. With respect to the private sector, Pai worked in the Washington, DC office of Jenner & Block LLP, where he was a Partner in the Communications Practice until being sworn in as a Commissioner. Years earlier, he served as Associate General Counsel at Verizon Communications Inc., where he handled competition matters, regulatory issues, and counseling of business units on broadband initiatives.”- http://www.fcc.gov/leadership/ajit-pai
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
We should know now that Bernanke is an evil man. Wikipedia provides specifics “Bernanke attended Harvard University, where he lived in Winthrop House with the future CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein… Bernanke “has been attacked for failing to foresee the financial crisis, for bailing out Wall Street, and, most recently, for injecting an additional $600 billion into the banking system to give the slow recovery a boost.”…In a letter to Congress from then-New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo dated April 23, 2009, Bernanke was mentioned along with former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in allegations of fraud concerning the acquisition of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America. The letter alleged that the extent of the losses at Merrill Lynch were not disclosed to Bank of America by Bernanke and Paulson…According to a January 26, 2010, column in The Huffington Post, a whistleblower has disclosed documents providing “‘troubling details’ of Bernanke’s role in the AIG bailout”. Republican Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky said on CNBC that he had seen documents which show Bernanke overruled recommendations from his staff in bailing out AIG…Bernanke has been identified by The Wall Street Journal and a close colleague as a “libertarian-Republican” in the mold of Alan Greenspan…Bernanke favors reducing the U.S. budget deficit, particularly by reforming the Social Security and Medicare entitlement programs.”- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Bernanke
Chief Technology Officer of the United States Todd Y. Park
According to Wikipedia: “Prior to his career in government, Park was the co-founder of two successful health information technology companies. He began his business career as a consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton,” which is a huge technology consulting firm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Park)
Chief Agricultural Negotiator Islam A. Siddiqui
According to Wikipedia: “From 2001 to 2008, Siddiqui was a registered lobbyist with CropLife America, representing biotechnology companies including BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, FMC Corp., Monsanto, Sumitomo, and Syngenta…Siddiqui is a supporter of genetically modified foods (GMO foods) for human consumption, and repudiates their potential health risks. In 1999 he worked against the mandatory labeling of GMO foods in Japan, stating that such labeling “would suggest a health risk where there is none.” In 2003, he criticized the European Union’s precautionary rejection of the importation of GMO’s, stating that the ban was tantamount to “denying food to starving people.” In 2009 he called for a “second green revolution” employing biotechnology and genetic engineering.”- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_A._Siddiqui
Chairperson of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Gary Gensler
According to wikipedia: “Gary Gensler joined Goldman Sachs in 1988 and spent 18 years there. He became a partner at the age of 30, youngest in Goldman Sachs history at the time. He later became head of the company’s fixed income and currency trading operations in Tokyo by the mid-’90s, and eventually the company’s co-head of finance…As the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for domestic finance in the last two years of the Clinton administration, Gensler found himself in the position of overseeing policies in the areas of U.S. financial markets, debt management, financial services, and community development. Gensler advocated the passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which exempted credit default swaps and other derivatives from regulation.”- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Gensler
Senior Advisor to the President of the United States and Assistant to the President for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs Valarie Jarrett
“Jarrett was the CEO of The Habitat Company, a real estate development and management company…which she joined in 1995. She has been replaced by Mark Segal, a lawyer who joined the company in 2002, as CEO. Daniel E. Levin is the Chairman of Habitat, which was formed in 1971. Jarrett was a member of the board of Chicago Stock Exchange (2000–2007, as Chairman, 2004–2007)…Jarrett serves on the board of directors of USG Corporation, a Chicago based building materials corporation. Jarrett’s previous year’s income, in a 2009 report…She was paid $76,000 for service as a director of Navigant Consulting, Inc. a Chicago-based global consulting group with governmental clients. She received $146,600 from USG, and $58,000 to serve on the board of Rreef American REIT II, a real estate investment trust based in San Francisco. The Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc., paid her $34,444.”- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_Jarrett
Chief of Staff to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden named Bruce Reed
He is a former CEO of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) which according to Greg Palast in 8:30 of the first show of Lee Camp’s new show was founded in part by a contribution of 100 million dollars (I think) by the Koch Brothers (http://youtu.be/uXbbDfgsE84)
Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling
According to Wikipedia: “Sperling was also a principal negotiator with then-Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers of the Financial Modernization Act of 1999, also known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Gramm-Leach-Bliley repealed large portions of the depression-era Glass-Steagall Act allowing banks, securities firms and insurance companies to merge…Also in 1999, together with United States Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky, Sperling successfully negotiated and concluded the China-World Trade Organization agreement in Beijing, paving the way for China to enter the WTO in 2001…Sperling earned $887,727 from Goldman Sachs in 2008 for advice on its charitable giving and $158,000 for speeches mostly to financial companies.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Sperling)
Chairperson of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Martin J. Gruenberg
“Gruenberg served as Chairman of the Executive Council and President of the International Association of Deposit Insurers from November 2007 to November 2012″ which is related to the Bank of International Settlements (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_J._Gruenberg)
Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration Michele Leonhart
“Leonhart has consistently turned down research into the therapeutic and medicinal benefits of marijuana, and has a track record of undermining state law with regard to legal medical marijuana. On July 21, 2010, several pro-legalisation groups called on President Obama to withdraw his support of Leonhart, including SSDP, MPP, NORML, LEAP, and DPA.”- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michele_Leonhart
Director of the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) [Dept. of Commerce] Bruce Borzino
Officially he is “responsible for directing NTIS operations and developing new lines of business that were consistent with the NTIS mission and would generate stable revenue streams.” But, “prior to joining the Federal Government, he held a number of management and consulting positions with the Anteon Corporation, now part of General Dynamics.”
Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and Administrator, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) [Dept. of Commerce] Lawrence E. Strickling
He has an interesting job, mainly that includes being “principally responsible for advising the President on telecommunications and information policy.” However he was the “Chief Regulatory and Chief Compliance Officer at telecommunications service provider Broadwing Communications, LLC, from 2004 to 2007…[served] senior roles at competitive communications service providers Allegiance Telecom, Inc. and CoreExpress, Inc. and as a member of the Board of Directors of Network Plus.” Also, when he was previously in government, past of the FCC, he worked to “promote competition and protect consumers in the telecommunications sector and implement many of the key provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.” This law is one that helps big business and promotes more mergers:
“Television is big business. And thanks to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the business is about to get bigger…The new law has stripped down the television ownership rules so much, that big media players will can be more aggressive in buying out smaller stations…A new legislative fight is brewing on the horizon as the broadcast industry gears up for the introduction of digital television. Networks are trying to influence legislation which would block FCC efforts to force them to pay for use of the new broadcast spectrum…The Telecommunications Act (sent to the President as S.652) sailed through Congress in February, 1996. The votes went 91-5 in the Senate and 414-16 in the House. Highlights include:
Deregulation of most cable TV rates by 1999.
Eliminates the FCC rule barring a single company from owning more than 12 television stations.
Lifts the limit of a broadcaster’s national TV station audience reach from 25 percent to 35 percent.
End the FCC partial ban on broadcast networks owning cable systems.
Allows telephone and cable companies to compete in each other’s businesses.
Extends TV and radio station license terms to eight years.
Repeals the law against common ownership of cable system and TV station in a market.
Eases one-to-a-market rule to allow ownership of TV and radio combos in the same locale, but only in the top 50 markets.”
Deputy Commander of the United States Central Command Robert S. Harward
“He holds a master’s degree in International Relations and Strategic Security Affairs, served as a federal executive fellow at RAND and is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Foreign Policy program.”- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_S._Harward_Jr. If think RAND is all great, please look listen to Malvina Reynold’s Rand Hymn:
Under Secretary for Economic Affairs for the Department of Commerce Mark Doms
As the head of the Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) and overseer of the US Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis, his past is important. According to the ESA: “Prior to joining the Department, Dr. Doms served as the Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and worked at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Bank in Washington, D.C.”
Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade for the Dept. of Commerce Francisco J. Sánchez
According to the International Trade Administration: “Sánchez leads the efforts to improve the global business environment by helping U.S. businesses compete abroad…one of the architects of President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI), with the ambitious goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014, Sánchez directs programs and policies that promote and protect the competitiveness of American businesses…He has also strengthened relations with priority markets, playing a leading role in advancing the U.S.–Brazil Commercial Dialogue, the U.S.–Turkey Business Council, the U.S.–Indonesia Commercial Dialogue, the U.S.–India Commercial Dialogue, and China through the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade…In addition to his public service, Sánchez spent more than 15 years working with several leading consulting companies on projects involving negotiation strategy and training, most recently as a partner with CMPartners.” However, according an article in the online journal titled State of Nature this “national import initiative” benefits big business:
“Another objective is to make US producers more competitive in global markets, a strategy of export promotion at the expense of the working class that President Obama calls National Export Initiative: “Boosting America’s exports strengthens our economic growth and supports millions of good, high-paying American jobs. That’s why I set a goal during my State of the Union address to double our exports over the next five years.” Stripped from its Orwellian veneer, the President’s “national export initiative” simply means bringing US wages and benefits down on a par with those of China, Vietnam, India, and other less-developed countries so that American manufacturers can compete more effectively in international markets. These are ghastly Neoliberal policies of super exploitation that are sometimes called “the race to the bottom,” or competing backward to the Dickensian days of working class misery.”
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Market Access and Compliance Michael C. Camuñez
Officially he pushes the fucking national import initiative while also helping lead the “effort to open new markets for U.S. goods and services, identify and eliminate significant market access challenges, particularly non-tariff barriers, and help to monitor and enforce U.S. trade agreements and commitments.” Oh, and “prior to joining the administration, Mr. Camuñez was a partner in the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where he represented Fortune 500 companies in a range of matters involving domestic and international commercial disputes. He also advised U.S. companies doing business abroad in Latin America and Europe on corporate compliance, anti-corruption, and the risks associated with foreign investment and multinational business transactions.” In short, he’s a complete bastard.
Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale
Officially she “she helps U.S. industries succeed internationally by strengthening their competitive position in foreign markets.” However, “before joining the Obama Administration, Nicole was the Managing Partner of the Detroit office of an international law firm where she specialized in business restructuring in the manufacturing sector…her involvement over the years has included serving as vice-chair of the Board of Directors of the Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority…[and a] member of The Links Incorporated; and a member of Jack & Jill of America, Inc.”
Drug Czar of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Gil Kerlikowske
“Kerlikowske oversaw the demonstrations marking the second anniversary of the controversial WTO conference in Seattle which had caused his predecessor, Norm Stamper, to resign…Kerlikowske faced criticism over the department’s slow response to the 2001 Seattle Mardi Gras Riots that left one man dead and 70 people with injuries…In a December 9, 2010 interview with The Nation magazine, Kerlikowske called Nancy Reagan‘s “Just Say No” campaign one of the “major successes” of the War on Drugs…On June 6, 2011, Kerlikowske published his report “Drug policies must be rooted in science,” in response to a report calling for the decriminalization of illicit drugs by the Global Commission on Drug Policy. In the report, he denies the Commission’s assertions that the War on Drugs is failing and costing billions of the taxpayers’ dollars.”- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gil_Kerlikowske
Acting Secretary of Labor Seth Harris
Harris is also a member of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation’s Board of Directors which “is the U.S. government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and, in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC works with the private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds.”- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overseas_Private_Investment_Corporation
Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice
Campus Progress writes that: “OnEarth magazine recently looked into Susan Rice’s financial holdings and found that she has a large chunk of money—stock valued between $300,000 to $600,000, to be exact—invested in TransCanada, the company behind the infamous Keystone XL pipeline as well as other major fossil fuel companies.” (http://campusprogress.org/articles/susan_rices_stock_in_transcanada_could_raise_eyebrows_for_evironmenta/)
National Security Adviser Thomas E. Donilon
Via Wikipedia: “He worked as Executive Vice President for Law and Policy at Fannie Mae, the federally-chartered mortgage finance company, as a registered lobbyist from 1999 through 2005.”- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_E._Donilon
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki
Via Wikipedia: “Shinseki has served as a director for several corporations: Honeywell International and Ducommun, military contractors; Grove Farm Corporation; First Hawaiian Bank; and Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.”- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Shinseki
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
“Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Duncan to serve as Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Schools on June 26, 2001. Opinions vary on Duncan’s success as CEO; one prominent publication notes improved test scores and describes Duncan as a consensus builder, while another finds the improvements largely a myth and is troubled by the closing of neighborhood schools and their replacement by charter schools, and what it describes as schools’ militarization.”- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arne_Duncan
Vice Chair of the US Sentencing Commission Ketanji Brown Jackson
Is an attorney at Morrison & Foerster which is a huge multimillion dollar firm
The whole fuckin’ President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness [the “Jobs” Council]
This includes people like:
- Council Chair Jeffrey Immelt, “the ninth Chairman and CEO of GE, a post he has held since September 7, 2001.”- http://www.jobs-council.com/author/immelt/
- Council Co-Chair Kenneth I. Chenault, who is the “Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American Express Company”- http://www.jobs-council.com/author/chenault1/
- Ex Officio Member Ursula M. Burns who is the “is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Xerox Corporation…[and] is a board director of the American Express Corporation.”- http://www.jobs-council.com/author/burns/
- Christopher Che, “the President & CEO of the Che International Group, LLC (CIG), a multinational holding company that he founded in 2005 with the objective of creating subsidiary companies in diverse industries through strategic acquisitions, joint ventures, and strategic alliances.”- http://www.jobs-council.com/author/cche/
- John Doerr, who “is a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Together with KPCB’s partners, John has backed many of America’s best entrepreneurial leaders and companies. He currently serves on the boards of Google and Amazon.com.”- http://www.jobs-council.com/author/doerr/
- Roger W. Ferguson, Jr. who “is President and Chief Executive Officer of TIAA-CREF, the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields”- http://www.jobs-council.com/author/ferguson/
- Lewis “Lew” Hay, III who “is chairman and chief executive officer of NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), one of the nation’s leading electricity-related services companies and the largest renewable energy generator in North America.”- http://www.jobs-council.com/author/lhay/
- Gary Kelly who “serves as the Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer at Southwest Airlines. A 24-year Southwest veteran who became CFO in 1989, Gary has worked closely with Southwest’s legendary Cofounder and Chairman Emeritus Herb Kelleher and President Emeritus Colleen Barrett to build the nation’s largest airline in terms of passengers—and the undisputed Low-Fare Leader.”- http://www.jobs-council.com/author/kelly/
- Ellen Kullman who is “Chair of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of DuPont”- http://www.jobs-council.com/author/kullman/
- Monica Lozano who is the Chief Executive Officer of impreMedia
- Ex Officio Member James (Jim) McNerney, Jr. who is “chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of The Boeing Company…McNerney is a director of Procter & Gamble, a director of IBM…He also serves on the executive committee of The Business Roundtable.”- http://www.jobs-council.com/author/mcnerney/
- Darlene Miller who “is the owner and CEO of Permac Industries, a precision machining company custom manufacturing precision parts for customers worldwide in virtually all industries located in Burnsville, Minnesota.”- http://www.jobs-council.com/author/miller/
- Paul S. Otellini who is the president and chief executive officer of Intel Corporation
- Richard D. Parsons who “is a Senior Advisor at Providence Equity Partners Inc., a leading private equity investment firm specializing in media, communications and information companies. He is also Chairman of the Board of Citigroup, Inc.”- http://www.jobs-council.com/author/parsons1/
- Penny Pritzker who is “founder, chairman and CEO of PSP Capital Partners and its affiliate, Pritzker Realty Group (PRG). As well, she’s also chairman and co-founder of Artemis Real Estate Partners…She serves on the board of Hyatt Hotels Corporation.”- http://www.jobs-council.com/author/pritzker/
- Matthew Rose, Chairman of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) which is owned by Warren Buffet
- Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook
- Laura Tyson who serves as a member of the Boards of Directors of Eastman Kodak Company, Morgan Stanley, AT&T, Silver Spring Networks, CB Richard Ellis, the Peter G. Peterson Institute of International Economics, and New America Foundation.
- Robert Wolf “Founder and CEO of 32 Advisors. Prior to forming 32 Advisors he spent 18 years at UBS, most recently as Chairman for UBS Americas and President for UBS Investment Bank.”- http://www.jobs-council.com/author/wolf/
- Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast Corp.
If confirmed, then will be corrupted officials:
Nominee for Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker
Greg Palast writes that: “One day, state Sen. Barack Obama was visited by his fairy godmother. Her name is Penny Pritzker…Pritzger’s net worth is listed in Forbes as $1.8 billion, which is one hell of a heavy magic wand in the world of politics. Her wand would have been heavier, and her net worth higher, except that in 2001, the federal government fined her and her family $460 million for the predatory, deceitful, racist tactics and practices of Superior, the bank-and-loan-shark operation she ran on the South Side of Chicago. Superior was the first of the deregulated go-go banks to go bust – at the time, the costliest failure ever. US taxpayers lost nearly half a billion dollars. Superior’s depositors lost millions and poor folk in Sen. Obama’s South Side district lost their homes…Pritzker introduced Obama, the neophyte state senator, to the Ladies Who Lunch (that’s really what they call themselves) on Chicago’s Gold Coast. Obama got lunch, gold and better – an introduction to Robert Rubin. Rubin is a former Secretary of the Treasury, former chairman of Goldman Sachs and, when Robert met Barry, co-chairman of Citibank. Even atheists recognized Rubin as the Supreme Deity of Wall Street. Rubin opened the doors to finance industry vaults for Obama. Extraordinarily for a Democrat, Obama in 2008 raised three times as much from bankers as his Republican opponent. So what did Citibank’s Rubin get for showering Obama with gold? Obama agreed to take care of Rubin’s poodles, Larry Summers and Tim Geithner. They became Obama’s first cabinet picks: Summers as Economics Czar and Geithner as his czarina, Secretary of the Treasury. Geithner and Summers were the gents who, under Treasury Secretary Rubin, designed the deregulation of banking. In effect, they had decriminalized the kind of financial flim-flammery that brought the planet to its knees while bringing Rubin, Pritzker and the banksters loads of lucre…In the 2012 campaign, Obama, to his credit, kept the door shut on Pritzker, reducing her to hosting an election fundraiser at her Gold Coast digs, which she had to bill as a Goldman Sachs PAC event. This marks possibly the first time anyone has used Goldman Sachs as a PR cover. The Pritzker family made its billions mostly from Hyatt Hotels and Hyatt nursing homes. Penny, on the Hyatt board of directors, is an infamously combative anti-union apostle. UNITE HERE, the union that represents Hyatt workers, has called for an international boycott of Hyatt hotels. In 2012, UNITE HERE and its parent, the AFL-CIO, were crucial to Obama’s winning Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. So, in this last campaign, Obama had to keep his billionairess heiress on the down-low. But today, with the unions’ money and votes already pocketed and counted, Obama can give working folks The Finger and give Penny her pound of flesh: the Commerce post…If Penny the Piggy Banker gets Commerce, we’ll have to drop Obama’s rating to sub-prime.”- http://www.gregpalast.com/billionaire-burglar-breaks-into-obamas-cabinet-pinch-penny-pritzker-pockets-commerce-post/
Nominee for Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew
He was the COO of Citigroup from 2006 to 2008. More according to Wikipedia: “In June 2006, Lew was named chief operating officer of Citigroup‘s Alternative Investments unit, a proprietary trading group. The unit he oversaw invested in a hedge fund “that bet on the housing market to collapse.”During his work at Citigroup, Lew had invested heavily in funds in Ugland House while he worked as an investment banker at Citigroup during the 2008 financial meltdown.Lew also had oversight of Citigroup subsidiaries in countries including, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, and Hong Kong; and during his time at Citigroup, Citigroup subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands increased to 113…During his confirmation hearings before the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Chuck Grassley expressed concern that Lew did not know what Ugland House was, though he had invested in it. During his work at Citigroup, Lew had invested heavily in funds in Ugland House while he worked as an investment banker at Citigroup during the 2008 financial meltdown.He had taken advantage of current tax law and his financial allocation in the venture resulted in Lew taking roughly a 2.8% loss, a $1,582 decrease in his investment principal.”
Nominated Director of Central Intelligence John Brennan
“Brennan then left government service for a few years, becoming Chairman of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) and the CEO of The Analysis Corporation (TAC) now renamed as Sotera Defense Solutions. He continued to lead TAC after its acquisition by Global Strategies Group in 2007 and its growth as the Global Intelligence Solutions division of Global’s North American technology business GTEC, before returning to government service with the Obama administration”- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_O._Brennan
Nominated Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Mary Jo White
Wikipedia notes: “For the past 10 years, she has been Chair of the litigation department at Debevoise & Plimpton. It has been asserted summarily in Rolling Stone magazine that, among other duties at Debevoise, White has used her influence and connections to protect certain Wall Street CEOs from prosecution. In this regard, The Huffington Post noted, “If she is confirmed by Congress, the agency will have at its helm a well-respected attorney who won high-profile cases against mobsters, terrorists and financial fraudsters over the course of nearly a decade as the U.S. attorney for Manhattan.”-
Former corrupted officials:
Administrator of the Small Business Administration Karen Mills
“She has worked as a management consultant in the US and Europe for McKinsey and Co., and as a product manager for General Foods, and has served on the boards of directors for Scotts Miracle-Gro and Arrow Electronics.”- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_Mills
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk
Worked as a “partner at the Houston-based law firm Vinson & Elkins and worked as a lobbyist for Energy Future Holdings and Merrill Lynch…Later he was a partner with the Houston-based law firm Vinson and Elkins, where, according to Texans for Public Justice, he was, as of March 2007, one of the four highest paid lobbyists for Energy Future Holdings Corporation…[and] a supporter of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)”- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Kirk
Public Advocates in Obama Administration
- Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius seems opposed to influence of insurance industry
- Acting Administrator of the EPA Bob Perciasepe who was part of the National Audobon Society
- Secretary of Energy Steven Chu
- Chairperson of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Nancy Sutley
- Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Richard Cordray
- Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz
- Alen Kruger of the Chairperson of the Council of Economic Advisers
- Denis McDonough of the White House Chief of Staff
- Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano
- Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood
- Shaun Donovan of the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
- Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank
- Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Matthew Olsen
- Deputy Director of the NSA John C. Inglis
- Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Craig Fugate
- Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Robert Mueller
- Director of National Security Agency, Chief of Central Security Service and Commander of United States Cyber Command Keith B. Alexander Said by Jacob Applebaum to be the most powerful man in the world who partcipated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm (http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/gen-keith-b-alexander/gIQA7gFTKP_topic.html)
- Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy John Holdren
- Deputy Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy A. Thomas McLellan
- This guy: http://geneva.usmission.gov/2012/09/12/ambassador-punke/
“After some earlier speculation, the filing reveals that MPAA boss and former Senator Chris Dodd earns a healthy income of more than $2.4 million a year.”- TorrentFreak
None of the major news outlets in the “Western” world have anything about this massive general strike in India. Of the ones that have stories about India, most of them are about a supposed terrorist strike in the country. Maybe its the concentration over control of the media in the United States (and worldwide for that matter). Regardless of the reason, this revolutionary event is not being covered. But I plan to break down that veil of ignorance and tell you about this historic strike.
Steven Argue in the Santa Cruz edition of Independent Media Center wrote about this strike two days ago. He said that
“with all 11 central trade unions participating, the working class of India will strike for 48 hours at the end of this week. One hundred million workers are expected to strike…This is expected to be the largest strike in India’s history. Tens of millions of workers participated in a similar one day general strike last February 2012. This strike has been called against the anti-worker policies of the governing coalition called the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), led by the Congress Party. Workers’ demands…include:
* Raise the National Minimum Wage to 10,000 Rupees! (The current minimum wage is between 5500 and 6500 rupees, depending on the state and the industry.) [currently this translates to in US Dollars between $101.76 to $120.76 dollars and the demand is to raise it to $183.55. But note that there are high food and petroleum prices in the country which caused a strike two years ago and to be more specific, look on numbeo and at a Centad report from 2008]
* Secure Pensions For All!
* National Social Security For Unorganized Workers!
* End Delays in Registering Trade Unions!
* End Outsourcing and Subcontracting of Permanent Work! [which sounds a lot like demands in the U.S.]”
He further urged to “revolutionaries and unionists around the world [to]…support this strike and its demands,” noting that there will need to be more than just this two-day strike to bring about major changes, and that in order to “force the Indian capitalist government to give in to working class demands, workers must attempt to strike until the government gives in to their demands.” Argue even attacks the
“various reformist Stalinist (USSR line) and Maoist currents,” saying they “lack a revolutionary program” and have “become defenders of the capitalist state.” His final point is that the workers must take control with a revolutionary workers party, and put in place a “revolutionary socialist program” (“a planned socialist economy and workers’ democracy”) by way of a proletarian revolution to smash the capitalist state.
All of these ideas seem to echo what Karl Marx and Frederich Engels wrote in The Communist Manifesto. They wrote that “The real fruit of their battles lie not in the immediate result, but in the ever expanding union of the workers…It was just this contact that was needed to centralize the numerous local struggles, all of the same character, into one national struggle between classes…he proletarians cannot become masters of the productive forces of society, except by abolishing their own previous mode of appropriation, and thereby also every other previous mode of appropriation. They have nothing of their own to secure and to fortify; their mission is to destroy all previous securities for, and insurances of, individual property…Since the proletariat must first of all acquire political supremacy, must rise to be the leading class of the nation, must constitute itself the nation, it is, so far, itself national, though not in the bourgeois sense of the word…The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degree, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the state, i.e., of the proletariat organized as the ruling class; and to increase the total productive forces as rapidly as possible.”
I still come back to the strike itself. What else about this strike should you know, other than what Argue wrote? Well, an article in the Hindustan Times may give some background as well. They write that:
“Central trade unions on Wednesday said the success should serve as a wake up call to the government for settling their demands, even as they deplored reports of violence on the first day. Union leaders regretted that they were being blamed for causing Rs 20,000 crore loss to the economy and wondered if the government was aware of the loss accrued due to 2G license row, concession extended to corporates in the last budget and farmers’ suicides…the government was never ready for talks with the unions when they announced the strike in September last year and even when the matter was raised in Parliament and at the standing labour committee’s meeting where the Prime Minister was present…the AITUC general secretary said…Right to strike is guaranteed by the Constitution and nobody can declare illegal…The two-day strike has been called up 11 central trade unions to press for their 10-point charter of demands which include pensions for everyone along with removal of ceiling on bonus and provident fund…Dasgupta deplored the violence in Noida and Ambala, and tendered his “apology” for the inconvenience caused to the people because of the strike. He said the trade unions had no option but to call the strike…barring the states of Delhi and Maharashtra, transport sector came to a standstill in the rest of the states while strike was complete in the banking sector…While industrial workers shut down production…the post offices and the income tax offices were largely affected.”
As such a report tells some specifics it wasn’t enough for me, so I went further. I found an article in Al-Jaazera about the strike. They wrote that: “a strike by millions of low-skilled workers in India has seen banks close and public transport disrupted…an estimated 100 million Indians, angry about rising prices, low pay and poor working condition, walked off their jobs on Wednesday, on the first day of a two-day strike organised by eleven major trade unions…Earlier this week, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh…had asked for the strike to be called off…In many areas public transport was not running, banks were closed and most shops and offices kept their shutters down…Several trains were stranded at stations as protesters blocked railway tracks…The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry estimated losses from the strike at more than $3.7bn.” Even though the cost from the strike is supposedly high, most of that loss will be suffered from those at the top of the capitalist structure. In a better note, the shutting down of much of the economy due to this strike is powerful because it shows the workers can take control away from the greedy capitalists, the international financiers and other bourgeoisie.
Libcom.org gives some background on this strike in a post in January. One of their bloggers wrote that:
“The strike has been called because workers have said ‘enough is enough’, after two years of the government refusing to negotiate with unions on any issue…Recent months have seen a mounting wave of militant worker struggles in India, strikes for union recognition in India’s expanding auto sector, including a two-day occupation of a Hyundai plant, a wildcat strike by Air India personnel, and walkouts by telecom workers and coal miners against the central government’s privatization plans…Despite seeing growth of around 9% each year, more than four hundred million Indians live in absolute poverty. Only a handful of countries enjoy similar growth, yet Indian workers have not even been flicked so much as a crumb from the bosses table…Indian workers are starting to switch on to the fact that they ‘system’ only serves the wealthy and the bosses. The last few year has seen a dramatic rise in the number off millionaires and billionaires, yet jobs are lost, wages cut, and unions rights pushed back. India’s richest fifty five people have 1/6th of all the country’s wealth.”
What the International Socialist Group, based in the UK is very relevant here. They wrote that the crucial element of this struggle is that India’s working class, its proletariat, is united together in pushing “a long-term strategy…[to make] the government…make good on previous assurances to basic standards of living, and [put in place] a fundamental right to work in a country where poverty is higher than in all the countries of sub-Saharan Africa combined.”
This strike, which I fully support, can hopefully inspire others to do the same in their respective countries.This struggle also shows how people can stand up to a rotten capitalist system, something that could be done in the belly of the world capitalist system in the United States and the advanced industrialized countries. Dead Prez put it wonderfully in their song, Globalization:
The new name in the twenty-first century of Imperialism/Is really globalization/And when you think about that/When you read about that
When you study about that/Globalization really means the Globalization of Capital/You don’t hear people talking about the Globalization of Labor /But you know working people all around the world/have more in common with each other/Than they have with their own so-called leaders or the rulers/The ruling class that is of the Society/So people should…Globalize resistance…Who cares if you get stepped on, get stepped on/In the name of progress/They business has no conscious/All they want is profits…Oppressive domination, Resiiiiiiist”
From this, I repeat what activist Steven Argue wrote:
“Workers of the World Unite!!!
International Solidarity to the Indian General Strike!!!”
Global Research, February 10, 2013
Part I: Africa’s New Thirty Years’ War?
Mali at first glance seems a most unlikely place for the NATO powers, led by a neo-colonialist French government of Socialist President Francois Hollande (and quietly backed to the hilt by the Obama Administration), to launch what is being called by some a new Thirty Years’ War Against Terrorism.
Mali, with a population of some 12 million, and a landmass three and a half times the size of Germany, is a land-locked largely Saharan Desert country in the center of western Africa, bordered by Algeria to its north, Mauritania to its west, Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Niger to its southern part. People I know who have spent time there before the recent US-led efforts at destabilization called it one of the most peaceful and beautiful places on earth, the home of Timbuktu. Its people are some ninety percent Muslim of varying persuasions. It has a rural subsistence agriculture and adult illiteracy of nearly 50%. Yet this country is suddenly the center of a new global “war on terror.”
On January 20 Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron announced his country’s curious resolve to dedicate itself to deal with “the terrorism threat” in Mali and north Africa. Cameron declared, “It will require a response that is about years, even decades, rather than months, and it requires a response that…has an absolutely iron resolve…”  Britain in its colonial heyday never had a stake in Mali. Until it won independence in 1960, Mali was a French colony.
On January 11, after more than a year of behind-the-scenes pressure on the neighboring Algeria to get them entangled in an invasion of its neighbor Mali, Hollande decided to make a direct French military intervention with US backing. His government launched air strikes in the rebel-held north of Mali against a fanatical Salafist band of jihadist cutthroats calling itself Al-Qaeda in the Islamic-Mahgreb (AQIM). The pretext for the seemingly swift French action was a military move by a tiny group of Islamic Jihadists of the Tuareg people, Asnar Dine, affiliated with the larger AQIM. On January 10 Asnar Dine – backed by other Islamist groups – attacked the southern town of Konna. That marked the first time since the Tuareg rebellion in early 2012 that Jihadist rebels moved out of traditional Tuareg territory in the northern desert to spread Islamic law to the south of Mali.
As French journalist Thierry Meyssan noted, French forces were remarkably well prepared: “The transitional President, Dioncounda Traore, declared a state of emergency and called to France for help. Paris intervened within hours to prevent the fall of the capital, Bamako. Far-sightedly, the Elysée had already pre-positioned in Mali troops from the 1st Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment (“the Colonials”) and the 13th Parachute Dragoon Regiment, helicopters from the COS (Special Operations Command), three Mirage 2000D’s, two Mirage F-1’s, three C135’s, a C130 Hercules and a C160 Transall.”  What a convenient coincidence.
By January 21 US Air Force transport planes began delivering hundreds of French elite soldiers and military equipment to Mali, ostensibly to roll back what we were told was an out-of-control terrorist advance south towards the Mali capital.  French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told media the number of its ‘boots on the ground’ in Mali had reached 2,000, adding that “around 4,000 troops will be mobilized for this operation,” in Mali and outside bases. 
But there are strong indications the French agenda in Mali is anything but humanitarian. In a France 5 TV interview, Le Drian carelessly admitted, “The goal is the total reconquest of Mali. We will not leave any pockets.” And President Francois Hollande said French troops would remain in the region long enough “to defeat terrorism.” The United States, Canada, Britain, Belgium, Germany and Denmark have all said they would support the French operation against Mali. 
Mali itself, like much of Africa is rich in raw materials. It has large reserves of gold, uranium and most recently, though western oil companies try to hide it, of oil, lots of oil. The French preferred to ignore Mali’s vast resources, keeping it a poor subsistence agriculture country. Under the deposed democratically-elected President Amadou Toumani Toure, for the first time the government initiated a systematic mapping of the vast wealth under its soil. According to Mamadou Igor Diarra, previous mining minister, Malian soil contains copper, uranium, phosphate, bauxite, gems and in particular, a large percentage of gold in addition to oil and gas. Thus, Mali is one of the countries in the world with the most raw materials. With its gold mining, the country is already one of the leading exploiters directly behind South Africa and Ghana.  Two thirds of France’s electricity is from nuclear power and sources of new uranium are essential. Presently, France draws significant uranium imports from neighboring Niger.
Now the picture gets a little complex.
According to usually reliable former US military experts with direct familiarity with the region, speaking on condition of anonymity, US and NATO Special Forces actually trained the same “terrorist” bands now justifying a neo-colonial US-backed invasion of Mali by France. The major question is why would Washington and Paris train the terrorists they are now acting to destroy in a “war on terror?” Were they really surprised at the lack of NATO loyalty from their trainees? And what is behind AFRICOM’s American-backed French takeover of Mali?
Part II: AFRICOM and ‘Victoria’s Secrets’
The truth about what is really going on in Mali and with AFRICOM and NATO countries, especially France is a little bit like a geopolitical “Victoria’s Secret”—what you think you see is definitely not what you will get.
We are being told repeatedly in recent months that something supposedly calling itself Al Qaeda—the organization officially charged by the US Government as responsible for pulverizing three towers of the World Trade Center and blowing a gaping hole in the side of the Pentagon on September 11, 2001—has regrouped.
According to the popular media account and statements of various NATO member country government officials, the original group of the late Osama bin Laden, holed up we are supposed to believe somewhere in the caves of Tora Bora in Afghanistan, has apparently adopted a modern business model and is handing out Al Qaeda official franchises in a style something like a ‘McDonalds of Terrorism,’ from Al Qaeda in Iraq to Libyan Islamic Fighting Group in Libya and now Al-Qaeda-in-the Islamic-Maghreb.
I’ve even heard reports that a new Al Qaeda “official” franchise has just been given, bizarre as it sounds, to something called DRCCAQ or Democratic Republic of Congo Christian (sic) Al Qaeda.  Now that’s a stretch which reminds one of an equally bizarre sect called Jews for Jesus created back in the hippie days of the Vietnam War era. Can it be that the architects of all these murky groups have so little imagination?
If we are to believe the official story, the group being blamed in Mali for most all the trouble is Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM for short). The murky AQIM itself is actually a product of several behind-the-scenes workings. Originally it was based in Algeria across the border from Mali and called itself the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC according to its French name).
In 2006 Al Qaeda’s head guru in absence of Osama bin Laden, Egyptian jihadist Ayman al-Zawahiri, publicly announced the granting to the Algerian GSPC the Al Qaeda franchise. The name was changed to Al-Qaeda-in-the Islamic-Mahgreb and Algerian counter-terror operations pushed them in the past two years over the desert border into northern Mali. AQIM reportedly is little more than a well-armed criminal band that gets its money from running South American cocaine from Africa into Europe, or from arms dealing and human trafficking. 
A year later, in 2007, the enterprising al-Zawahiri added another building block to his Al Qaeda chain of thugs when he officially announced the merger between the Libyan LIFG and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM).
The LIFG or Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, was formed by a Libyan-born jihadist named Abdelhakim Belhaj. Belhaj was trained by the CIA as part of the US-financed Mujahideen in Afghanistan during the 1980s alongside another CIA trainee then named Osama bin Laden. In essence, as the journalist Pepe Escobar notes, “for all practical purposes, since then, LIFG/AQIM have been one and the same – and Belhaj was/is its emir.” 
That becomes even more interesting when we find that Belhaj’s men – who, as Escobar writes, were at the forefront of a militia of Berbers from the mountains southwest of Tripoli, the so-called Tripoli Brigade—were trained in secret for two months by US Special Forces. 
LIFG played a key role in the US and French-backed toppling of Libya’s Qaddafi, turning Libya today into what one observer describes as the “world’s largest open air arms bazaar.” Those arms are reportedly flooding from Benghazi to Mali and other various hotspot targets of destabilization, including, according to what was suggested at the recent US Senate Foreign Relations testimony of outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, by the boatload from Libya to Turkey where they were being channeled into the various foreign terrorist insurgents sent into Syria to fuel the destruction of Syria. 
Now what does this unusual conglomerate globalized terror organization, LIFG-GPSC-AQIM intend in Mali and beyond, and how does that suit AFRICOM and French aims?
Part III: Curious Mali Coup and AQIM terror—exquisite timing
Events in the formerly peaceful, democratic Mali began to get very strange on March 22, 2012 when Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure was ousted and driven into exile in a military coup one month before a scheduled presidential election. Toure had earlier instituted a multi-party democratic system. The putsch leader, Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo, received military training in the US, at Fort Benning, Georgia and the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia according to AFRICOM’s spokesman.  Sanogo claimed the military coup was necessary because Toure’s government was not doing enough to quell Tuareg unrest in northern Mali.
As Meyssan points out, the March 2012 military coup against Toure was suspicious in every regard. A previously unheard-of group called CNRDRE (in English: National Commitee for the Recovery of Democracy and the Restoration of the State) overthrew Touré and declared intention to restore Mali law and order in the north.
“This resulted in great confusion,” Meyssan goes on, “since the putschists were incapable of explaining how their actions would improve the situation. The overthrow of the President was even stranger since a presidential election was to be held five weeks later and the outgoing President was not running for office. The CNRDRE is composed of officers who were trained in the United States. They halted the election process and handed power to one of their candidates, who happened to be the Francophile Dioncounda Traore. This sleight of hand was legalized by the CEDEAO (or in English, ECOWAS—Economic Community of West African States), whose President is none other than Alassane Ouattara, who was placed in power in the Ivory Coast by the French army a year earlier.” 
Alassane Ouattara, educated in economics in the US, is a former senior IMF official who in 2011 forced out his Ivory Coast presidential rival with French military assistance. He owes his job not to “the New York Times,” but to French Special Forces. 
At the time of the military coup, the unrest in question was from an ethnic tribe, Tuareg, a secular, nomadic group of pastoral cattle-herding people who demanded independence from Mali in early 2012.
The Tuareg Rebellion was reportedly armed and financed by France who repatriated Tuaregs who had been fighting in Libya for the purpose of splitting the north of Mali along Algeria’s border, from the rest of the country and declaring Sharia law. It only lasted from January to April 2012, at which time the nomadic Tuareg fighters rode off to their nomad haunts in the central Sahara and borders of the Sahel, a vast borderless desert area between Libya and Algeria, Mali and Niger. That left the Algerian-Libyan LIFG/Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and their associates in the Jihadist Asnar Dine to carry out the dirty work for Paris. 
In their 2012 battle for independence from Mali, the Tuareg had made an unholy alliance with the Jihadist AQIM. Both groups, briefly joined together with Asnar Dine, another islamist organization led by Iyad Ag Ghaly. Asnar Dine is believed to have ties to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb which is led by Ag Ghaly’s cousin, Hamada Ag Hama. Ansar Dine wants the imposition of strict Sharia law across Mali.
The three main groups briefly joined forces the moment Mali was plunged into chaos following the March 2012 military coup. The coup leader was Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo, who received military training at the Marine Corps camp at Quantico, Virginia and Special Forces training at Fort Benning, Georgia in the US. In a bizarre play of events, despite the claim the coup was driven by the civilian government’s failure to contain the rebellion in the north, the Malian military lost control of the regional capitals of Kidal, Gao, and Timbuktu within ten days of Sanogo’s assuming office. Reuters describe the farcical coup as “a spectacular own-goal.” 
The violation of Mali’s constitution by the military was used to trigger severe sanctions against the central military government. Mali was suspended from membership in the African Union; the World Bank and African Development Bank have suspended aid. The US has cut half of the $140 million in aid that it sends each year, all of which created chaos in Mali and made it virtually impossible for the government to respond to the growing loss of territory in the north to Salafists.
Part IV: Terror-Anti-Terror
What then ensued is like a page ripped out of the insurgency-counter-insurgency textbook of Britain’s Brigadier Frank E. Kitson during the 1950s British Mau Mau operations in Kenya. The Jihadist insurgency in the North and the simultaneous military coup in the capital led to a situation in which Mali was immediately isolated and massively punished with economic sanctions.
Acting with indecent haste, the US and French-controlled regional 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) demanded the coup leaders restore civilian rule. On March 26, the US cut off all military aid to the impoverished country, ensuring maximum chaos just as the Jihadists made their major push south., Then at a meeting April 2 in Dakar, Senegal, ECOWAS members closed their countries’ borders with land-locked Mali and imposed severe sanctions, including cutting off access to the regional bank, raising the possibility that Mali will soon be unable to pay for essential supplies, including gasoline.
The same military that “trains” the terrorists also trains the “anti-terrorists.” This seems a bizarre contradiction in policy only when we fail to grasp the essence of US and British-developed methods of irregular warfare employed actively since the early 1950’s.
The method was originally termed Low Intensity Warfare by the British Army officer who developed and refined the method for control of subject areas in Malaysia, Kenya during the Mau Mau 1950’s freedom struggles and later for the British Army in Northern Ireland. Low intensity warfare as he termed it in a book by that name,  involves use of deception, of infiltration of double-agents, provocateurs, and use of defectors into legitimate popular movements such as those struggles for colonial independence after 1945.
The method is sometimes referred to as “Gang/Counter-Gang.” The essence is that the orchestrating intelligence agency or military occupying force, whether the British Army in Kenya or the CIA in Afghanistan, de facto controls the actions of both sides in an internal conflict, creating small civil wars or gang wars to the aim of dividing the overall legitimate movement and creating the pretext for outside military force in what the US now has deceptively renamed as “Peace-Keeping Operations” or PKO. 
In his advanced course on American Military Intervention Since Vietnam, Grant Hammond of the US Air War College refers openly to Low Intensity Conflict aka Peace Keeping Operations as “war by another name.” 
We begin to see the bloody footprints of a not-so-well-disguised French recolonisation of former French Africa, this time using Al-Qaeda terror as the springboard to direct military presence for the first time in more than half a century. French troops will likely stay on to help Mali in a “peace keeping operation.” The US is fully backing France as AFRICOM’s “cat’s paw.” And Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and its spinoffs make the whole NATO military intervention possible.
Washington claimed to have been caught blind-sided by the military coup. According to press reports, a confidential internal review completed July 2012 by the Pentagon’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) concluded that the coup had unfolded too fast for American intelligence analysts to detect any clear warning signs. “The coup in Mali progressed very rapidly and with very little warning,” said AFRICOM spokesman, Col. Tom Davis. “The spark that ignited it occurred within their junior military ranks, who ultimately overthrew the government, not at the senior leadership level where warning signs might have been more easily noticed.”  That view is strongly disputed. In an off-the-record interview with The New York Times, one Special Operations Forces officer disagreed, saying, “This has been brewing for five years. The analysts got complacent in their assumptions and did not see the big changes and the impacts of them, like the big weaponry coming out of Libya and the different, more Islamic fighters who came back.” 
More accurate it seems, AFRICOM had been “brewing” the crisis for five years since it began operations in late 2007. Mali for the Pentagon is but the next building block in the militarization of all of Africa by AFRICOM using proxy forces like France to do the dirty work. The Mali intervention using France upfront is but one building block in a project for the total militarization of Africa whose prime goal is not capturing strategic resources like oil, gas, uranium, gold or iron ore. The strategic target is China and the rapidly growing Chinese business presence across Africa over the past decade. The goal of AFRICOM is to push China out of Africa or at least to irreparably cripple her independent access to those African resources. An economically independent China, so goes thinking in various Pentagon offices or Washington neo-conservative think-tanks, can be a politically independent China. God forbid! So they believe.
Part V: AFRICOM Agenda in Mali: Target China
The Mali operation is but the tip of a huge African iceberg. AFRICOM, the Pentagon’s US Africa Command was signed into existence by President George W. Bush in late 2007. Its prime purpose was to counter the dramatically growing Chinese economic and political influence across Africa. Alarm bells went off in Washington in October 2006 when the Chinese President hosted an historic Beijing summit, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which brought nearly fifty African heads of state and ministers to the Chinese capital. In 2008, ahead of a twelve-day eight-nation tour of Africa—the third such journey since he took office in 2003—Chinese President Hu Jintao announced a three-year, $3 billion program in preferential loans and expanded aid for Africa. These funds came on top of the $3 billion in loans and $2 billion in export credits that Hu announced earlier.
Trade between China and African countries exploded in the ensuing four years as French and US influence over the “Dark Continent” waned. China’s trade with Africa reached $166 billion in 2011, according to Chinese statistics, and African exports to China – primarily resources to fuel Chinese industries – rose to $93 billion from $5.6 billion over the past decade. In July 2012 China offered African countries $20 billion in loans over the next three years, double the amount pledged in the previous three-year period. 
For Washington, making AFRICOM operational as soon as possible was an urgent geopolitical priority. It began operation on October 1, 2008 from headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. Since the Bush-Cheney Administration signed the directive creating AFRICOM in February 2007, it has been a direct response to China’s successful African economic diplomacy.
AFRICOM defines its mission as follows: “Africa Command has administrative responsibility for US military support to US government policy in Africa, to include military-to-military relationships with 53 African nations.” They admit working closely with US Embassies and State Department across Africa, an unusual admission which also includes with USAID: “US Africa Command provides personnel and logistical support to State Department-funded activities. Command personnel work closely with US embassies in Africa to coordinate training programs to improve African nations’ security capacity.” 
Speaking to the International Peace Operations Association in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 27, 2008 General Kip Ward, Commander of AFRICOM defined the command’s mission as, “in concert with other US government agencies and international partners, [to conduct] sustained security engagements through military-to-military programs, military-sponsored activities, and other military operations as directed to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of US foreign policy.” 
Various Washington sources state openly, AFRICOM was created to counter the growing presence of China in Africa, and China’s increasing success, to secure long-term economic agreements for raw materials from Africa in exchange for Chinese aid and production sharing agreements and royalties. By informed accounts, the Chinese have been far shrewder. Instead of offering savage IMF-dictated austerity and economic chaos as the West has, China is offering large credits, soft loans to build roads and schools in order to create good will.
Dr. J. Peter Pham, a leading Washington insider and an advisor of the US State and Defense Departments, states openly that among the aims of the new AFRICOM, is the objective of, “protecting access to hydrocarbons and other strategic resources which Africa has in abundance … a task which includes ensuring against the vulnerability of those natural riches and ensuring that no other interested third parties, such as China, India, Japan, or Russia, obtain monopolies or preferential treatment.”
In testimony before the US Congress supporting creation of AFRICOM in 2007, Pham, who is closely associated with the neo-conservative think-tank, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, stated:
This natural wealth makes Africa an inviting target for the attentions of the People’s Republic of China, whose dynamic economy, averaging 9 percent growth per annum over the last two decades, has an almost insatiable thirst for oil as well as a need for other natural resources to sustain it. China is currently importing approximately 2.6 million barrels of crude per day, about half of its consumption;…roughly a third of its imports come from African sources…perhaps no other foreign region rivals Africa as the object of Beijing’s sustained strategic interest in recent years…
… many analysts expect that Africa—especially the states along its oil-rich western coastline—will increasingly becoming a theatre for strategic competition between the United States and its only real near-peer competitor on the global stage, China, as both countries seek to expand their influence and secure access to resources. 
To counter the growing Chinese influence across Africa Washington has enlisted the economically weak and politically desperate French with promises of supporting a French revival of its former African colonial empire in one form or another. The strategy, as becomes clear in the wake of the French-US use of Al Qaeda terrorists to bring down Ghaddafi in Libya and now to wreak havoc across the Sahara from Mali, is to foster ethnic wars and sectarian hatred between Berbers, Arabs, and others in North Africa—divide and rule.
It appears they have even co-opted an earlier French blueprint for direct control. In a groundbreaking analysis, Canadian geopolitical analyst and sociologist, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya writes, “The map used by Washington for combating terrorism under the Pan-Sahel Initiative says a lot. The range or area of activity for the terrorists, within the borders of Algeria, Libya, Niger, Chad, Mali, and Mauritania according to Washington’s designation, is very similar to the boundaries or borders of the colonial territorial entity which France attempted to sustain in Africa in 1957. Paris had planned to prop up this African entity in the western central Sahara as a French department (province) directly tied to France, along with coastal Algeria.” 
The French called it the Common Organization of the Saharan Regions (Organisation commune des regions sahariennes, OCRS). It comprised the inner boundaries of the Sahel and Saharan countries of Mali, Niger, Chad, and Algeria. Paris used it to control the resource-rich countries for French exploitation of such raw materials as oil, gas, and uranium.
French map of Sahara in 1958 compared with USAFRICOM Pan-Sahal Initiative map (below) of terror threat in Sahara today.(Source: GlobalResearch.ca)
He adds that Washington clearly had this energy-rich and resource-rich area in mind when it drew the areas of Africa that need to be “cleansed” of alleged terrorist cells and gangs. At least now AFRICOM had “a plan” for its new African strategy. The French Institute of Foreign Relations (Institut français des relations internationals, IFRI) openly discussed this tie between the terrorists and energy-rich areas in a March 2011 report. 
The map used by Washington for combating terrorism under the Pentagon Pan-Sahel Initiative shows an area of activity for the terrorists, inside Algeria, Libya, Niger, Chad, Mali, and Mauritania according to Washington’s designation. The Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative (TSCTI) was begun by the Pentagon in 2005. Mali, Chad, Mauritania, and Niger were now joined by Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria, and Tunisia in a ring of military cooperation with the Pentagon. The Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative was transferred to the command of AFRICOM on October 1, 2008. 
The Pentagon map is remarkably similar to the boundaries or borders of the colonial territorial entity which France attempted to sustain in Africa in 1957. Paris had planned to prop up this African entity in the western central Sahara as a French department (province) directly tied to France, along with coastal Algeria—the Common Organization of the Saharan Regions (Organisation commune des regions sahariennes, OCRS). It comprised the inner boundaries of the Sahel and Saharan countries of Mali, Niger, Chad, and Algeria. The plans were foiled during the Cold War by the Algerian and other African countries’ independence wars against French colonial rule, France’s “Vietnam.” France was forced to dissolve the OCRS in 1962, because of Algerian independence and the anti-colonial mood in Africa.  The neo-colonial ambitions in Paris however, did not vanish.
The French make no secret of their alarm over growing Chinese influence in former French Africa. French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici stated in Abidjan last December that French companies must go on the offensive and fight the growing influence of rival China for a stake in Africa’s increasingly competitive markets. “It’s evident that China is more and more present in Africa…(French) companies that have the means must go on the offensive. They must be more present on the ground. They have to fight,” Moscovici stated during a trip to Ivory Coast. 
Clearly Paris had in mind a military offensive to back the economic offensive he foresaw for French companies in Africa.
 James Kirkup, David Cameron: North African terror fight will take decades, The Telegraph, London, 20 January 2013.
 Thierry Meyssan, Mali: One war can hide another, Voltaire Network, 23 January 2013.
 Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon United States Air Forces in Europe/Air Forces Africa Public Affairs, US planes deliver French troops to Mali, AFNS, January 25, 2013.
 S. Alambaigi, French Defense Minister: 2000 boots on ground in Mali, 19 January 2013.
 Freya Petersen,France aiming for ’total reconquest’ of Mali, French foreign minister says, January 20, 2013.
 Christian v. Hiller, Mali’s hidden Treasures, April 12, 2012, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
 Sources include private discussion with retired US military active in Africa.
 William Thornberry and Jaclyn Levy, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, CSIS, September 2011, Case Study No. 4.
 Pepe Escobar, How al-Qaeda got to rule in Tripoli, Asia Times Online, August 30, 2011.
 Jason Howerton, Rand Paul Grills Clinton at Benghazi Hearing: ‘Had I Been President…I Would Have Relieved You of Your Post’,www.theblaze.com, Jan. 23, 2013.
 Craig Whitlock, Leader of Mali military coup trained in U.S., March 24, 2012, The Washington Post.
 Thierry Meyssan, op. cit.
 AFP, [Ivory Coast’s ex-President Gbagbo ‘arrested in Abidjan’ by French forces leading Ouattara troops, April 11th, 2011.
 Thierry Meyssan, op. cit.
 Cheick Dioura and Adama Diarra, Mali Rebels Assault Gao, Northern Garrison“, The Huffington Post, Reuters.
 Frank E. Kitson, Low Intensity Operations: Subversion, Insurgency and Peacekeeping, London, 1971, Faber and Faber.
 C.M. Olsson and E.P. Guittet, Counter Insurgency, Low Intensity Conflict and Peace Operations: A Genealogy of the Transformations of Warfare, March 5, 2005 paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association.
 Grant T. Hammond, Low-intensity Conflict: War by another name, London, Small Wars and Insurgencies, Vol.1, Issue 3, December 1990, pp. 226-238.
 Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality, US Hands Off Mali An Analysis of the Recent Events in the Republic of Mali,. MRzine, May 2, 2012.
 Adam Nossiter, Eric Schmitt, Mark Mazzetti, French Strikes in Mali Supplant Caution of US, The New York Times, January 13, 2013.
 Joe Bavier, French firms must fight China for stake in Africa—Moscovici,, Reuters, December 1, 2012.
 AFRICOM, US Africa Command Fact Sheet, September 2, 2010.
 F. William Engdahl, NATO’s War on Libya is Directed against China: AFRICOM and the Threat to China’s National Energy Security, September 26, 2011.
 Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya and Julien Teil, America’s Conquest of Africa: The Roles of France and Israel, GlobalResearch, October 06, 2011.
 Joe Bavier, Op. cit.
All those against the Fed say it prints US currency. This is incorrect. Actually part of the U.S. Treasury does and then hands them over to the Fed. Here’s what their website has to say:
The mission of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is to develop and produce United States currency notes, trusted worldwide.As its primary function, the BEP prints billions of dollars - referred to as Federal Reserve Notes - each year for delivery to the Federal Reserve System. The Federal Reserve operates as the nation’s central bank and serves to ensure that adequate amounts of currency and coin are in circulation. The BEP does not produce coins - all U.S. coinage is minted by the United States Mint.
Here’s the Federal Reserve Note page on Wikipedia:
A Federal Reserve Note, also a United States banknote or U.S. banknote, is a type of banknote used in the United States of America. Denominated in United States dollars, Federal Reserve Notes are printed by the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing on paper made by Crane & Co. of Dalton, Massachusetts…Federal Reserve Notes are authorized by Section 411 of Title 12 of the United States Code and are issued to the Federal Reserve Banks at the discretion of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.The notes are then put into circulation by the Federal Reserve Banks, at which point they become liabilities of the Federal Reserve Banks and obligations of the United States. Federal Reserve Notes are legal tender…Federal Reserve Notes are backed by the assets of the Federal Reserve Banks, which serve as collateral under Federal Reserve Act Section 16…When Federal Reserve Banks require additional notes for circulation, they must post collateral in the form of direct federal obligations, private bank obligations, or assets purchased through open market operations…A Federal Reserve Bank can retire notes that return from circulation by exchanging them for collateral that the bank posted for an earlier issue… Notes in poor condition are destroyed and replacements are ordered from the BEP.
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is a government agency within the United States Department of the Treasury that designs and produces a variety of security products for the United States government, most notable of which is paper currency for the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve itself is the central bank of the United States of America. In addition to paper currency, the B.E.P. produces Treasury securities; military commissions and award certificates; invitations and admission cards; and many different types of identification cards, forms, and other special security documents for a variety of government agencies. The B.E.P. does not produce coins; all coinage is produced by the United States Mint.
I wanted to have this to clear some stuff up and point out that the Fed does not issue money.
An interesting post on Facebook which I believe shows that the traditional founders didn’t care about the Bill of Rights and cared more about the U.S. Constitution.