Support Venezuela with Buycott

Greg Pallast has linked the situation in Venezuela to Koch Industries.

The Koch oil refinery was set up to refine the type of oil that Venezuela produces, and this has forced the company to cooperate with the Maduro government in order to assure a steady supply of oil. This is the motive for the Trump Adminstration’s sanctions on Venezuela and its support of Juan Guaido in his attempt to take over the presidency of that country. If you believe the Kochs are being treated unfairly you should be happy with the way things are going for Maduro, but if you disapprove of US meddling in Venezuela, and if you are tired of Koch money controlling domestic policy in the United States, I have a suggestion. Use the Buycott app to boycott Koch products. At the least, it might convince the Trump administration that diplomacy is not such a bad idea in Venezuela.

Download the app to your phone, join the campaigns that oppose GMOs, fracking, and factory farming, for starters, and then use the app to scan barcodes before you purchase items at the store. https://www.buycott.com  

We Are Not Seeing a Battle between ‘Two Segments of Society’ in Venezuela

Sorry oligarchs, but we’re on to you. You do not represent a segment of Venezuelan society, although that is the claim of a 2017 article in the Independent (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/long_reads/how-venezuela-went-from-the-richest-economy-in-south-america-to-the-brink-of-financial-ruin-a7740616.html).  

The article explains that after Venezuela became a democracy in 1958 the power sharing agreement between the country’s three leading parties unraveled. Their pact, meant to preserve democracy came to dominate it. party elites picked candidates and blocked outsiders, making politics less responsive. The agreement to share wealth fostered corruption. (Sound familiar?)

Chavez ran for president in 1998, and his populist message of returning power to the people won him victory. But the parties, now reduced to two, still dominated government institutions. Chavez made judicial reforms to reduce corruption and abolished the legislature’s upper house. The latter reform is cricized in the Independent article, although the author admits there were problems before the economic crisis that brought Chavez to power, summed up by ‘personalism and petroleum’. Personalism tends to consolidate power under a single leader and petroleum leads to corruption.

Chavez’s struggles with the business and political establishment are said to be due to his executive decrees and populist self-righteousness. In other words, if he had played nice with the oligarchs everything would have turned out ok.

When the establishment elites removed Chavez from power in 2002, the people protested and he was returned to power. The coup leaders, who suffered from a serious case of overreach, had dissoved the constitution and legislature, yet Chavez is criticized for acting as though politics is a zero-sum game. This is based on the fiction that he was fighting a legitimate part of Venezuelan society. His treatment of the unions gets a similar treatment.

When courts challenged Chavez, he gutted them, suspending unfriendly judges and packing the supreme court with loyalists. The result was intense polarization between ‘two segments of society’ who now saw each other as existential threats, destroying any possibility of compromise.

Two segments of society? Really? This strike was actually an ‘oil lockout’ organized by the Venezuelan Workers’ Federatio (CTV); the Venezuelan Chamber of Commerce (Fedecamaras), a right-wing coalition known as the Democratic Coordination (CD); and other sectors of the Venezuelan opposition. It was aimed at overthrowing the President of theRepublic, but meanwhile it caused scarcity of basic goods. More serious for Venezuela’s economy in the long-run, it inflicted damage to the state-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa). The country lost $14.4 billion in oil revenue during the lockout, which lasted 63 days and inflicted damage to Pdvsa that has not been overcome to this day. Over a thousand wells were broken during the lockout, and cannot be repaired. (https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/7527)

There were four stoppages called by the opposition within a year: December 10, 2001; February 9, 2002; October 21, 2002; and the April 2002 coup. The coup included acts of violence and an attempted takeover of the Venezuelan Armed Forces. Yet today, the damage to oil infrastructure is one of the talking points of the corporate media in the US, which supports the administration’s sanctions on the Maduro government.

Unfortunately, oil stoppages were only part of the sabotage. Since 1979, the information technologies of Pdvsa have been controlled by SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation). No one knew that its members included ex-military officials and former directors of the CIA. According to Minci (the Venezuelan Ministry of Communication and Information), during the oil lockout this company exercised its ability to control the Ministry’s computers by paralyzing the charge, discharge, and storage of crude at different terminals within the national grid. It also altered the functionality of most oil substations, compressing and processing plants, etc. The manipulation was only possible for those with access to secret internal codes. The scheme included the use of hidden modems installed in desks and office walls, the use of phone and internet systems to paralyze Pdvsa operations, and the destruction of databases needed to keep operations running.

Some segment of society! Now what does the Trump administration do? It sanctions the oil company that provides the majority of Venezuela’s revenue.

This December, 2018 article paints a more hopeful picture of Pdvsa. https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14176

Puerto Rico Has Not Been Abandoned After All

The Facebook group Puerto Rico’s Recovery Fund “Hurricane Maria” is reporting that there are enough supplies to help half a million people, but they are sitting in shipping containers in the port.  They’ve been there since Saturday.  According to the governor  they can’t find any trucks to distribute the supplies.  Apologies to President Trump–life is good.  Now about those trucks!

Is Standing Rock the New Middle East?

Recently I criticized two videos (https://hammy64000.com/2017/02/18/standing-rock-u-s-government-genocide/). However their claim of a Bush connection to the pipeline phenomenon inspired me to do some research. I knew oil was a tool of the world’s ruling corporations but I’ve always pictured the geopolitical battlefield somewhere in the Middle East. I suppose it was inevitable that it would eventually come home.

The Bushes are not usually listed in industry articles about the pipelines. The fact that the most disputed pipelines of our time, Keystone XL and Dakota Access, will end up in Port Arthur, Texas, the location of the biggest oil refinery in the United States owned by Bush ally Saudi Arabia, is suspicious, but it’s circumstantial evidence. In 2016, Saudi Arabia became the sole owner of the Port Arthur refinery when it ended its relationship with its former partner, Royal Dutch Shell. 1. [Clifford Krauss, Texas Refinery Is Saudi Foothold in U.S. Market, The New York Times, Apr. 4, 2013. Available: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/05/business/texas-refinery-is-saudi-foothold-in-us-market.html]

A Bush/Saudi connection to the pipelines is counterintuitive. By most accounts Aramco only refines Saudi oil. The Saudis are even said to be fighting the American fracking industry in order to assure a continuing market for Saudi oil. Still, it’s a little disturbing to see that Saudi Arabia has recently upgraded its refinery to process Bakken-type crude, and that certain interests in the U.S. seem to really want the Saudis here. According to Wikileaks, the United States government helped quash lawsuits against the Saudis in 2007 for alleged price-fixing because the Saudis threatened to pull out of their investment in the Port Arthur refinery.

The political persuasion of those who are willing to ignore the Saudi manipulation of the oil market is not counterintuitive however. The so-called NOPEC bill, which would have subjected OPEC producers to the same antitrust laws that U.S. companies must follow was passed by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives in 2007 but blocked by the Republican-controlled Senate. In May of 2008 the U.S. House of Representatives voted to allow the Justice Department to sue OPEC members for limiting oil supplies and working together to set crude prices. The White House under President George W. Bush said it would veto the measure but it failed to get through a Senate vote. Reuters. 1. [Richard Mably, Exclusive-Saudi asked U.S. to stop oil lawsuits-Wikileaks, Reuters, Feb. 9, 2011. Available: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-wikileaks-idUSTRE71834A20110209]

If you are not convinced about the Bush/Saudi connection, Bush cohorts are very visible in this phenomenon. It’s no coincidence that Dick Cheney’s is now advising Donald Trump (Remember Cheney’s secret Energy Task Force?) Haliburton is the largest oil servicing company in the Bakken shale industry. 1. [Todd Beamon, Politico: Dick Cheney Emerging as Key Trump Adviser, Newsman, Dec. 16, 2016. Available: http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/dick-cheney-key-donald-trump-adviser/2016/12/16/id/764430/]

In addition, Robert Crear is a lobbyist for Dakota Access and Sunoco Logistics. He formerly served as a chief of staff and commanding general for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers where he headed up the project, “Task Force: Restore Iraqi Oil’, under the George W. Bush administration. 1. [Steve Horn, Lobbyist for Dakota Access Formerly Led Arm’s Restore Iraqi Oil Program, Huffington Post, Nov. 5, 2016. Available: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-horn/lobbyist-for-dakota-acces_b_12819066.html]

These connections are just the tip of the iceberg. I haven’t even mentioned the shady banks that seem to spring up around these people. You might be surprised at this. You probably think they are wealthy enough and powerful enough to work with clean banks, but you’d be wrong. Their political and economic supremacy has been achieved through fraud and theft. As the saying goes, the best way to rob a bank is to own one. In reality they’re flying by the seat of their pants, competing for world domination with allies and enemies who are no better than they are. It seems obvious that the reasonable thing to do is climb down from the pinnacle gradually, but these people are clearly not equipped to be reasonable. This is our dilemma. So what should be done?

Today I heard an argument from two different people that corporations should be reconfigured so that they do good works instead of dirty tricks. I disagree for two reasons:

1. This is more of the same old top-down baloney from a ruling class that only wants to stay in power. They’ve proved over and over again that they don’t have any answers. What is needed now is guidance and protection for the real engine of the world, the people.

2. The corporations we have now will never play a benevolent role in society. Corporations were never meant to be immortal beings with human rights. Unfortunately, although this system lacks substance and legitimacy, it could live long enough to destroy us all.

I ask Dick Cheney, the Bush family, the various global interests and their puppet Donald Trump, to be the first to forsake world domination. The course we are on will only lead to grief. Guide the world’s leaders to do likewise. Dismantle the corporations and allow the real engine of the world to go into action. Finally, stop harming the earth so that we may survive together into the next century. I urge you and the other leaders of the world to do these things while you still can. Otherwise your system will collapse under its own weight.

Big Oil, Standing Rock and Local Politics

I wasn’t surprised when I heard of the mistrust between water protectors and tribal leaders. The U.S. government has always created inequality within the tribe because they know the privileged members will be more likely to do the government’s bidding. But this is not only true of Native Americans.  Look at the 2016 election. Our efforts were derailed because a significant number of people believed they would benefit from other people’s misfortune.

Today at 2 p.m. MST the water protectors, the last link in this country’s chain of environmental disaster, will be forcibly removed from treaty land as part of the oil industry’s push to secure drilling rights across the U.S. As we speak, Donald Trump is poised to trample the remaining legal barriers to Big Oil’s supremacy over this land. The following video reveals the betrayals leading up to this desperate standoff.

America, Where the Money Changers Rule

The problem with the analyses of this election is not their tendency to attribute the outcome to a conspiracy. The problem is that they all focus on just one conspiracy. In reality there are several, or maybe I should say several conspirators.  Any one of them alone could explain the outcome. Greg Palast’s documentary, “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy,” is a good place to start this discussion.  Don’t leave when the documentary ends.  Stay to watch Palast’s recommendations, including his invitation to go to trumpstoleit.com and sign up for updates. Oops, this will get you there, but by way of Palast’s website.  You can go directly to trumpstoleit.org.

The Unending Nightmare of the IMF

(Correction: I said the IMF compresses to 2.  Thus was a mistake.  International Montetary Fund compresses to 7.)

A combination of things led me to interpret Bernie’s campaign as the announcement of a messianic age: the email-release revealing that his supposed atheism was invented by the DNC; my shock at the way his supporters were being ignored; and the conviction (or determination) that his campaign would not be erased from history. However there are specific rules about what believers can expect from a messianic age and you can’t go around inventing your own messianic scenario. One of the things I still hope to understand from Eisler’s book is the basis of messianic hopes and whether they have a constructive role to play here and now. Of course my talk of a messianic age brought up some of the old fears of apocalypse.  However, I wish that’s all we had to worry about.  Unfortunately, there are worse things, by far.  Perhaps Eisler’s book can help me clarify the role of messianic thinking in geopolitics. I’m referring to Christine Lagard’s strange occult speech.

On January 15th, 2014, Christine Lagard gave a speech filled with occult references, and bandied around a version of numerology complete with what I think were misleading instructions about how it should be interpreted. I am not implying that I think numerology has any ultimate meaning—only that it seems to have meaning for Lagard. Because of the role the IMF plays today in our politics and economics, and because Le Gard went to such trouble to call attention to it, maybe we should start by doing the math.

According to Eisler, we should use the system found on inscribed tablets of the Dodonean oracle-priests and familiar to readers of Homer. This system is found in the twenty-four cantos of the Iliad and the Odyssey. It uses the twenty-four sequent letters of the Greek alphabet—Α = 1, Β = 2, Γ = 3, . . . Κ = 10, Λ = 11, . . . Φ = 21, Χ = 22, Ψ = 23, Ω = 24—, without the supplementary signs Stigma, Koppa and Sampi used in the other series. Eisler tested the hypothesis of Wolfgang Schultz in his own book, Weltenmantel und Himmelszelt, and he identifies it as the system used by the Orphic and Pythagorean mystics to conceal their innermost mystery-secrets. However it’s possible Lagard used a different system.

At the beginning of her speech she mentioned the ‘magic number 7’, saying that it’s ‘in all sorts of themes, religions’. She also makes it clear that the numbers should be compressed.

Both January 15 and 2014 equal 7: 01 + 1 + 5 = 7 and 2 + 1 + 4 = 7. In other words, the entire date equals 14, not just the last two digits of the year as Lagard claimed in her speech.

If we use the Greek letters for January, we get the same result. January in Greek is Ιανουȧριος, or 9 + 1 + 13 + 15 + 20 + 1 + 17 + 9 + 15 + 18 = 118. Compressing 118 gives 1 + 1 + 8 = 10. So again that’s: 1 + 0 + 1 + 5 = 7.

Next she tells us that 2014 will mark the 100th anniversary of World War I. The date of the beginning of World War I, June 28, 1914, doesn’t give us a 7 in the same way that January 15, 2014 does, so maybe it’s not relevant. However the number 28 is important as the fulfillment of the number 7: 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 = 28.

Then she says 2014 is also the ‘70th anniversary of the Bretton Woods conference that gave birth to the IMF’. The 70 compresses to 7.  International Monetary Fund compresses to 7.  (This is a correction.  I originally said 2.)

Next she says, it’s the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. 2 + 5 = 7.

The Berlin Wall fell November 9, 1989. November in Greek is Νοεμβριος. This is 13 + 15 + 5 + 12 + 2 + 17 + 9 + 15 + 18 = 106, which compresses to 7.

1989 is 1 + 9 + 8 + 9 = 27. (Compressed this is 9, however the number 27 may be important in itself.)  November 9, 1989 is 106 + 9 + 27 = 142. 1 + 4 + 2 = 7.

Next, she tells us that 2014 marks the 7th anniversary of the ‘financial jitters that turned into the greatest global catastrophe since the Great Depression’. The 7th anniversary comment looks to be the main relevance of this date as well.

It’s not hard to guess why she chose January 15 for an occult speech in the year 2014, but what do the correspondences mean? Is she hinting that her cabal had a hand in those events? Unfortunately this system can be used to ‘prove’ just about anything, so it’s anyone’s guess.

However there several things in this speech we can talk about without feeling ridiculous. I’ll deal in this post with one interpretation of Lagard’s emphasis on weakness. ‘Weak and fragile’ is the way she described the previous 7 years.

By coincidence, I was researching the relationship between the theories of Joachim of Fiore & secularism and found an article about Gianni Vattimo that seems relevant.  ((Gianni Vattimo, (1936–) Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: a peer-reviewed academic resource. Available: http://www.iep.utm.edu/vattimo/)) I realize the connection of Vattimo with the IMF is random but it’s amazing how well it fits.

Vattimo is an Italian philosopher and cultural commentator, who is currently a Member of the European Parliament and a gay rights activist. He is influenced by Joachim of Fiore, but also by the works of Nietzsche, Heidegger, Gadamer and Kuhn. His ideas have influence across disciplines such as feminism, theology, sexuality studies, and globalization.

Vattimo is “well known for his philosophical style of ‘weak thought’ (pensiero debole). ‘Weak thought’ is an attempt to understand and re-configure traces from the history of thought in ways that accord with postmodern conditions. In doing so, the aim of ‘weak thought’ is to create an ethic of ‘weakness’…” But what does this entail?

Vattimo, an ‘End of History’ type of philosopher, believes there is no longer a coherent narrative which is accepted in the West. In his view this process is a positive thing–it was initiated by Jesus Christ who  came to expose society’s propensity for sacrificial religion.

Vattimo posits that history has lost its unilinear character in three principle ways: theoretically, demographically, and through mass communication. To explain the theoretical process he uses Walter Benjamin, who argues that unilinear history is a product of class conflict. Vattimo thinks that demographic effects in modern Europe, in particular mass migration, have acted to undermine the notion of Europe’s unilinear history. This process is aided by mass communication which facilitates the rebellion of previously ruled peoples. The chaotic aspect of mass communication will lead to ‘emancipation’, in his view–a view that contrasts with that of Adorno, Horkheimer, and Orwell, who thought that a homogenization of society would result from mass communication. As a result of Vattimo’s reading of Nietzsche, he thinks mass communication will lead to an increase of interpretations rather than facts.

Vattimo’s philosophy is not free of contradictions and hypocrisy. In spite of his supposed acceptance of a variety of interpretations, he firmly believes that his diagnosis of the situation of late modernity makes the best possible sense of this interpretative plurality. In another example he accepts the wearing of a cross as part of the secular furniture of the West but he rejects the wearing of the chador, which he thinks is an example of strong thought.  Never mind that the chador could be worn out of choice in a ‘weak’ sense. (Vattimo is an atheist but he was educated as a Catholic.)

Weak thought is Vattimo’s philosophical style but it’s also his agenda.  It has lead him to posit that the only plausible late-modern, Western philosophical outlook is ‘hermeneutical nihilism’.” According to Vattimo, one must weaken the traces of the tradition into which one is ‘thrown’, and this can be done by twisting the old traces of Being. (Hermeneutics is a branch of knowledge that deals with interpretation, especially of the Bible or literary texts.)

“Determined in this manner, Vattimo’s philosophy of ‘weak thought’ involves a withdrawal from metaphysics by avoiding new foundations or complete assent to any position.”

Is it just me, or would it be more realistic to break free of Joachim’s third-age tyranny? Although this philosophy is all wrapped up in a new package, it’s not new at all.  In fact it’s been proven over and over again to be harmful.   Unfortunately our illustrious leaders have seen fit to put the cart in front of the horse or in other words the money in front of the common good. Maybe they’re afraid that if they give up Joachim’s third-age dream their reign of bloody terror will come to an end.

In my opinion, Lagard’s speech was a manifestation of an abusive relationship. Here a powerful representative of a powerful institution had the gall to rub her secrecy in our faces and then let us struggle to understand its implications. And the torment continues today.  Subsequently we’ve seen the destruction of Syria, blatant disrespect for the electoral process, and the bulldozing of tribal burial grounds in North Dakota, all directly related to out-of-control corporate power. (I’ll provide my arguments later for how these things connect to Lagard’s speech.)

Philosophy is one thing. Imposing one’s philosophy on the physical world and then teasing people with this magical nonsense is another thing entirely. We need time to talk about these ideas. Unfortunately, Lagard and her minions seem determined to avoid honest dialogue.  Perhaps they’re afraid their philosophy won’t survive our scrutiny.

It should go without saying that this behavior is not acceptable, but apparently it needs to be said. Call off your dogs Christine Lagard. It’s time to talk.

Can Bernie Sanders Revive the U.S. Economy? and Other Questions

I think it’s time to talk about the relationship between the election and the conversation.  Elections are really more of an anti-conversation, but this one has become part of our conversation.  It’s necessary, but thankfully it’s a temporary part.  However, balancing the long view of the conversation with the immediate concerns of an election requires conscious effort.  The South Carolina Town Hall taught me something about how this might be done.

Bernie Sanders was given a loaded question.  He was asked if he held any principle that he wouldn’t be willing to violate in order to win the election.  His answer demonstrated that the question was based on a misunderstanding of the candidate.  Sanders said that the only thing that really scares him is the thought of disappointing the people who support him.

My response to Senator Sanders would be to say that the voters have a responsibility as well.  If they can’t recognize the importance of such an answer, our fate will be decided, especially considering the amount of misleading information out there.

I would say to the voters that if you chose not to caucus in Nevada or if you have decided not to vote in your own primary, maybe out of discouragement over the super-delegate situation, you’re making a mistake. There’s no room for cynicism in any election, least of all this one.  Sanders is the only winning candidate but it’s in the interests of those he’s fighting to make you think otherwise.  That’s why the odds are against him and against us.  But fighting against impossible odds for a good cause is never foolish. It’s heroic. Always has been, always will be.

Watch this video on Bloomberg Business. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2016-02-24/can-bernie-sanders-revive-the-u-s-economy

Russia or China? Washington Can’t Decide Who’s a Bigger Threat | The Nation

Source: Russia or China? Washington Can’t Decide Who’s a Bigger Threat | The Nation

In my opinion, this article represents the kind of conversation about the future that we need.  If nothing else it can help to make sense of what we see in the news.

Throwing in the Towel

I’ve decided to sell my stocks, not because the companies have had bad news recently but because the downward pattern is more extreme and unrelenting than I’ve ever seen it. I’m especially concerned that certain amateur websites write several new articles each week although they have nothing of any real substance to report.

Since I recommended the stocks on this website I haven’t felt I could sell them without good reason. As a result, I’ve continued to lose money that I can’t afford to lose.  I’ve finally decided that’s reason enough. I’m selling everything even though LBMH is due to report its earnings on Friday.  As I’ve said before, I think the steady downward trend across the board for no apparent reason can hardly be a coincidence.  I just don’t feel I can continue to recommend the stocks when the decline is so persistent.  I leave the decision to you.

The Real World of OTC

Recently an investment site published a negative article about OriginClear (OriginOil). OriginOil has its problems, as I’ve already said. However, this article may not be unbiased. [ref name=“Hotstock Precision Related company Sued for Fraud”]Peter Hristov, Hotstock Precision Related Company Sued for Fraud, 1 Feb. 2014. Available: http://stockreich.com/hotstocked-precision-related-company-sued-fraud/[/ref] It says the jump in the stock price on the 17th was due to paid promotion. Silly me, I thought it was because of my article. But I guess they should know because these people have promoted the securities of companies on the OTC and Pink Sheets exchange. But strangely, this website, hotstocked.com, has been publishing similar articles about OriginOil since at least 2010.

A random commenter on the above cited article says Hotstocked is run by the shorts—people who make money if the stock price goes down. But so what? That’s the world we live it. What it comes down to is this: this is not good news for OriginClear investors.