Month: April 2009

Obama: A Mad Men Creation of Lies, Wars and Torture for Profit

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When the Obamamania swept the public imagination of TV watching, non-critical minds and those so desperate for change that anything? seemed believable, the colonos blog, as so many others outside of the corporate conspiracy practices, pointed out that – if any change at all – Obama was for the worse. More intimately linked to zionist extremists, particularly through Rahm Emanuel, deeper in bed with corporate banks, particularly the zionist Goldman Sachs, and the elite intelligentsia, such as the racist, misogynist Larry Summers, who no longer need to be embarrassed  about their president’s IQ, Obama is quite possibly the worst thing that has ever happened in political terms to the Planet Earth.

Uncle Tom the Warmonger in the White House of Profit. Calling him black is in itself a form of (warped) racism. Born by a white woman, raised by a white woman, taught by white men, elected by white people, he walks the walk and talks the talk of the White Man. What makes him black? The genetic input of an absent father? His “tainted” skin colour? White is as white does.

What is the point of repeating these so god damn obvious aspects of the elite’s new face of control? Well, they merely serve as an introduction to a recent summary of Obama, the Mad Men business as usual leader, by journalist John Pilger, which I shall leave you with:

Obama’s First 100 Days:
The Madmen Did Well

John Pilger, On April 28, 2009 @ 9:00 pm

The American soap Madmen offers a rare glimpse of the power of corporate advertising. The promotion of smoking half a century ago by the “smart” people of Madison Avenue, who knew the truth, led to countless deaths. Advertising and its twin, public relations, became a way of deceiving on a scale imagined by those who had read Freud and applied mass psychology to anything from cigarettes to politics. Just as the Marlboro Man was virility itself, so politicians could be branded, packaged, and sold.

It is 100 days since Barack Obama was elected president of the United States. The “Obama brand” has since been named Advertising Age’s “marketer of the year for 2008,” easily beating Apple. David Fenton of MoveOn.org describes Obama’s election campaign “an institutionalized, mass-level, automated technological community organizing that has never existed before and is a very, very powerful force.” Deploying the Internet and a slogan plagiarized from the Latino union organizer Caesar Chavez – Si se puede! – “yes, we can,” the “mass-level, automated technological community” marketed its brand to victory in a country desperate to be rid of George W. Bush.

No one knew what the new brand actually stood for. So accomplished was the advertising – a record $75 million was spent on TV commercials alone – that many Americans actually believed Obama shared their opposition to Bush’s wars. In fact, he had repeatedly backed Bush’s warmongering and its congressional funding. Many Americans also believed he was the heir to Martin Luther King’s legacy of anti-colonialism. Yet if Obama had a theme at all, apart from the vacuous “change you can believe in,” it was the renewal of America as a dominant, avaricious bully. “We will be the most powerful!” he declared.

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Rafael Correa: A Flattering Mini-Bio

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This is a rather flattering, brief, misleading look at Rafael Correa’s public life and his rise to political power in Ecuador, which, once again, positions him as  “radical, single-minded” (sometimes called a “socialist”) and which, once again, ignores his dubious environmental politics. Readers of colonos will know better. It has been pasted from openDemocracy.

Rafael Correa: an Ecuadorian journey

The impressive political rise of Ecuador’s economist-turned-president is about to face its greatest test so far, says Guy Hedgecoe.

Rafael Correa’s landslide election victory on 27 April 2009 makes him the first candidate since Ecuador’s return to democracy in 1979 to win a presidential vote outright in the first round. With the opposition divided and the resounding vote confirming his already formidable control of the Andean country, this left-leaning nationalist is the most dominant figure Ecuadorian politics has seen for decades.

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Reflections from the Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change: Burden Lies with Rich Polluters

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Here is an article by “International Environmental Journalist” Stephen Leahy:

CLIMATE CHANGE:
Burden Lies with Rich Polluters, Native People Say

By Stephen Leahy

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Apr 27 (IPS) – Already suffering significant impacts from climate change, indigenous peoples at the close of an international summit here rejected the concept of carbon trading and offsets. Many also called for a moratorium on all new oil and gas exploration in their traditional territories and the eventual phase-out of fossil fuels.

“It has been heartbreaking to hear everyone’s stories about the dire threats climate change poses to their survival,” said Andrea Carmen of the Yaqui Indian Nation in the U.S. at the end of the U.N.-affiliated Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change here last Friday.

More than 400 indigenous people and observers from 80 nations participated in the first ever global discussion on climate change focusing on native communities.

“Indigenous peoples are all profoundly affected by climate change, losing our traditional foods, homes and livelihoods,” Carmen, executive director of the International Indian Treaty Council, a U.S.-based rights organisation, told IPS.

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XMMS in Jaunty Jackalope 9.04: How to install with codecs.

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Many have decried the removal of XMMS from the Ubuntu repositories – it has been absent since Gutsy – despite it being the preferred music player for a lot of people and remains the only media player that – to my knowledge – can handle 30-40k+ collections. Not only is it the only player capable of very large collections, it also handles such collections with very little resource use. It’s the canine’s testicles, mate!

The colonos blog has provided some detailed explanations for installing XMMS in Intrepid (see this entry for an overview) and now the time has come for installing XMMS in Jaunty Jackalope, also known as Ubuntu 9.04.
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ETC Group: Terminating Food Sovereignty in Ecuador?

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colonos is here reproducing a news release from the ETC Group. President Rafael Correa has proposed several changes to the Law on Food Sovereignty which dangerously weaken the legislation and open the door to Terminator seeds.

ETC Group
News Release
April 17, 2009
www.etcgroup.org

Terminating Food Sovereignty in Ecuador?
President opens door to Terminator seeds

On February 18, 2009, the Ecuadorian Congress approved a new Law on Food Sovereignty, which, among other important points, declared the country “free of transgenic crops and seeds.” However, in spite of vocal popular opposition, the legislation left the door open to approvals of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in “exceptional”
cases. Now, President Rafael Correa has proposed several changes to the legislation – in what is known in Ecuador as a partial-veto – and sent it back to the Congress. The president’s changes dangerously weaken the law and open the door to Terminator seeds.

Terminator technology is designed to make “suicide seeds,” genetically engineered to be sterile in the second generation. The technology has been widely rejected around the world by farmers’ movements, governments, research institutions and UN agencies as dangerous, immoral and undesirable.

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“There are two sides: the agents of waste and the lovers of the wild.”

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The recent, very violent policing of protests against the G20 meeting in London has become a matter of concern. The story that the authorities tell is one of disobedient police officers. The story, with a bit of imagination, could be understood as if, perhaps, there aren’t just a few bad apples in the barrel, some individuals: maybe there is a disease inside the institution, indeed it is “very worrying“:

“Some officers now appeared prepared to flout recent orders from senior commanders to display their numbers, Huhne said, with another officer photographed at the protest staged by Tamils in Parliament Square with his numbers disguised. “What we appear to have is repeated cases of police officers ignoring the direct orders of their police supervisors and this is very worrying.

“There’s only one motive for a police officer disguising his identity and that’s because he thinks he’s going to be doing something reprehensible.”

Senior Metropolitan police officers held a series of crisis meetings throughout last week and sources said Sir Paul Stephenson, the new commissioner, was determined to get a grip. One Met source said he was ready to “kick some ass” among senior officers. The IPCC has received more than 185 complaints about the G20 protests, of which 44 are not eligible for consideration, including complaints from people who saw footage on TV. Around 90 complaints about use of force included witness accounts as well as those from alleged victims.”

It is obviously wishful thinking that the current concern will translate into institutional reforms on a large scale. Most likely it will subside into a few firings, extended suspensions (paid holidays) and early retirements with golden handshakes. The police as an institution is intricately connected to the economy and representative democracy, representing industrial, private interests, as such it is a force of violence that is mobilised when the masses threaten the elite. The police are the arms of the agents of waste.

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The Pirate Bay Guilty of Helping Sharing People?

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The Swedish legal system – running errands of Hollywood and the recording industries – have decided that helping people to share their digital data across the Internet is illegal. They might be guilty in the eyes of a corrupt court of law and in the corporate press, but in my book they are fine people, caring and sharing. It is the new world against those of old who hold on to their power and money – accumulated through exploitation over centuries and generations.

In a landmark ruling, the Stockholm district court sentenced Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundstrom to one year each in prison.

They were also ordered to pay damages of 30 million kronor ($3.6 million) to a series of entertainment companies, including Warner Bros, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI and Columbia Pictures.

The Pirate Bay provides a forum for its estimated 22 million users to download content through so-called torrent files. The site has become the entertainment industry’s enemy No. 1 after successful court actions against file-swapping sites such as Grokster and Kazaa.”

- more here from a Wired blog (see also BBC) as well as Alan Toner’s two extensive commentaries [1/2].

“The Pirate Bay founders got their start in Sweden, a country that once was considered a bastion of piracy. The trial changed that image, along with a new law that took effect April 1 that allows content owners to force internet service providers to reveal subscriber data in piracy investigations.

The defendants, though, say their servers are scattered throughout the world– hidden out of reach of the Swedish authorities.

One minute after the judgment was public Friday, Sweden’s Pirate Party issued a press release claiming: “The verdict is our ticket to the EU Parliament”, referring to the election that takes place in the beginning of June.

The party’s top candidate, Christian Engström, comments: “Sweden has now outlawed one of our most successful ambassadors. We have long been a leading IT nation but with these kind of actions we will be left behind and become dependent on other nations’ arbitrary views”.”

God forbid that people should use the new technologies – Imagine if people had just started printing pamphlets and bibles and things like that, just because the printing press has been invented?!?! Or started to make use of the photographic lense to produce cultural artifacts?!?! That could have led to thriving economies, such as news corporations, movie and music recording industries – Oh, hold on – that DID happen?!?! But this is as far as we go, it seems. The conservative, capitalist shareholders and their lawyers have decided that we have reached the end. They are now – as enemies of progress, sharing and community – legitimate targets for political action by any decent means necessary.

However, they are not sent off to do hard time just yet. The Guardian writes:

A Stockholm court found the four defendants guilty of making 33 specific files accessible for illegal sharing through The Pirate Bay, which means they will have to pay compensation to 17 different music and media companies including Sony BMG, Universal, EMI, Warner, MGM and 20th Century Fox.

All four have pledged to appeal against the decision though the process may take several years.

One of the defendants, Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi, admitted on Twitter that Pirate Bay had lost its case.

“Stay calm – nothing will happen to TPB, us personally or filesharing what so ever. This is just a theatre for the media,” he said.

“Really, it’s a bit LOL. It used to be only movies, now even verdicts are out before the official release.”

In Politiken one of the pirates is quoted as saying “a confused and poor judgement” while some lawyer for a musician association reckons that ThePirateBay takes away the “daily bread” of the musicians and that the pirates blow their own trumpets in the name Robin Hood – and typical of his creed he invokes emotional sentiments, when he that musicians cannot buy baby clothes. For crying out loud? Is that the argumentative capacity of a lawyer representing artists?

Funny that, last time I talked to a musician who wasn’t in the pocket of the recording industry they were very enthusiastic about the new distribution and advertising platform that P2P offers. Last time I checked how, say, David Bowie and Madonna were doing financially, they did not seem to suffer AT ALL?!? It has never been too easy to be an artist, but new ways of reaching audiences are great for all, but the corporate shareholders, perhaps, but who in the heaven’s name cares for them?

See also the Wikipedia entry for the Piratebay case.

piratebaySHARE NOW – IT IS A GOOD THING TO DO!

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

Boycott the Guilty Innocent: A Smoothie Coke Operator

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They were different, silly comments on the bottles, they were rare, then were all over the place and now they are in the pocket of the Evil Empire (also known as the Coca-Cola Company, the ones with the Nazi connections).

The Guardian recently reported that:

“The founders of Innocent, the ethically aware smoothie business that yesterday sold a stake of between 10% and 20% to the US drinks group Coca-Cola for £30m, are adamant that their ideals and eco-friendly sentiments will not be crushed as a result of striking a deal with a company best known for its less than healthy fizzy drinks.”

So they are not only greedy buggers, but rather ignorant, too, or think that the conscientious consumers, upon whom the lads have built their fortune, are completely ignorant: who, in their right minds, would think they were buying a nice, ethical drink, if the money goes to Coca-Cola?

For what it is worth, then, boycott (the very guilty) Innocent!

boycott_coke

More from the India Resource Center:

“Innocent No Longer So Innocent

For Immediate Release
April 7, 2009

Contact:
Amit Srivastava, India Resource Center +1 415 336 7584

San Francisco (April 7, 2009): Innocent – a UK based beverage company known for its ethical practices and providing natural and healthy beverages – has sold out.

The Coca-Cola company is buying a £30 million stake in Innocent, representing between a ten to twenty percent share of Innocent.

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G20 Violence: Death at the Hands of the Police

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“The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the ‘state of emergency’ in which we live is not the exception but the rule.” Walter Benjamin, 1940.

For those who have followed mainstream media coverage – as it first unfolded – of the protests against the scandalous G20 (who are deciding to give the IMF, those with the Structural Adjustment Plans to steal from the poor, an enormous amount of money: The G-20 agreed to give the fund and other development bodies new resources of $1.1 trillion, exceeding most expectations, with the IMF’s coffers potentially boosted by $750 billion) might have missed a few things, but thankfully we have Indymedia and others.

This is not, however, about economics and politrix directly (this seems like an interesting introduction to those issues), but about police brutality.

UPDATE: The Guardian has now brought two stories, documenting police brutality leading to the death of Ian Tomlinson:

Police ‘assaulted’ bystander who died during G20 protests

and Video reveals G20 police assault on man who died: Exclusive footage obtained by the Guardian shows Ian Tomlinson, who died during G20 protests in London, was attacked from behind by baton–wielding police officer

FURTHER UPDATE: The mainstream media is now completely in on the Witch Hunt for “one bad apple”, who acted “out of order”. Channel 4 has a report here (curiously followed by an interview with “protests police commander Simon O’Brien” lying through his teeth: HE SHOULD BE ARRSTED TOO, FOR DELIBERATELY LYING TO THE PUBLIC TO PROTECT A CRIMINAL!) and the BBC reports that the “Metropolitan Police (Met) has now acknowledged Mr Tomlinson came “into contact with police” before he died.”

Compare the evidence to the first stories from the BBC and SKY (released three hours later; i.e. time for scripting) saying that he died of “natural causes” and that protestors prevented them from providing first aid. What really happened was that the police brutally attacked a random pedestrian and he died consequently.

violent1

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