Monday, November 14, 2011

Why Would Reporters Lie about 9/11 if the Truth is Worth a Pulitzer Prize?

     A 9/11 fact denier named Jonathan Kay recently came up with an age-old counter-conspiracy theory for denying the facts of 9/11: When the facts are against you, keep your opponent’s attention fixed on theories. Here’s how it works:
     Instead of addressing the facts your opponent has presented, insist that he come up with a theory for you to debate. If your opponent fails to come up with a theory and prove it to your satisfaction—of course you should continue to profess yourself unsatisfied—then use that failure to “prove” that his facts are incorrect. Once you’ve found real or imagined weaknesses in your opponent’s theory, you then claim that the weaknesses in his theory, by default, prove your own theory. By that time, innocent bystanders have completely forgotten that all the facts are against you.
     Specifically, Mr. Kay has written something like the following: If the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and an abandoned mineshaft in rural Pennsylvania were an inside job, our thoroughly professional and honest corporate media would be clambering for the chance to win a Pulitzer Prize by telling us the truth. That no one in the corporate media has done so, in Kay’s mind, proves that the corporate-owned media’s conspiracy theory is correct.
     Below, I present a simple diagram of how to prove an assertion or find the answer to a question. Then you use reason or agreed-upon premises to determine how or whether those facts support the belief or theory, or answer the question. If they don’t completely answer the question, this is a limitation. You adjust your theory accordingly.
     Nowhere in that graph do you see that you can prove a theory by disproving someone else’s theory. To prove your theory, you must use facts and reason.
This doesn’t mean, though, that Mr. Kay wouldn’t have a point if everything he said were true. In fact, he’s wrong on two points:
1. He’s assuming that no reporters for the corporate-owned media observed any anomalies.
2. He’s also assuming that reporters for the corporate-owned media are answerable to no power other than their individual convictions.
     Here’s where the rubber meets the road. There have been numerous instances when corporate-owned reporters expressed doubts, only to backpeddle after learning that their questions were verboten by their corporate bosses.
     Let’s take the alleged crash into the Pentagon. CNN reporter Jamie McIntyre was on the scene. McIntyre was visibly mystified. He claimed that he had inspected the grounds and even the hole and had found no indication that a plane had crashed “anywhere near the Pentagon.” (video)
     In a later broadcast, McIntyre claimed that his inspection had yielded the opposite results. He said he had seen “the wreckage,” and he scoffed at “conspiracy theorists” who questioned whether a plane had crashed anywhere near the Pentagon. He also made excuses for the federal government’s confiscation of the 84 security tapes around the Pentagon. He claimed that the tapes were withheld from the public only because they were evidence in the trial of alleged “20th hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui. McIntyre expressed confidence that the tapes would be released in their “full and unedited form” once the trial was over. (video) The trial ended five years ago, and we’re still waiting.
     Another reporter quoted an eyewitness as saying that he’d seen a “US Air 737” at the Pentagon. The instant the words left the reporter’s lips, his microphone was cut off.
Reporter's mic cut off after saying a "US Air 737" at Pentagon on 9/11.  (video)
     Mike Walter, a reporter for USA Today (another corporate-owned media source) went on camera for CNN and claimed to have seen a commercial airliner crash into the Pentagon. When an independent investigator checked his story and proved that he could not have seen anything from his alleged vantage point, he went on camera for a second time. That time, he was obviously embarrassed to stand before the camera telling a story that no one in his right mind could believe.
     Chew on that one for a moment. Here we have someone doing the exact opposite of what Jonathan Kay says that every reporter would be eager to do. Far from running down a story that might get him a Pulitzer Prize he actually stood there making a fool and a liar of himself in front of millions of people by spinning a yarn that’s more risible than the claim that cookies are baked by elves in hollow trees.  
     What about the commercial airliner that allegedly crashed straight down into a ten-foot by twenty-foot abandoned mine shaft in rural Pennsylvania?  The mayor of Shanksville inspected the site and, on local television, announced that there was no airplane there. (video)
    A reporter for Channel 5 News, and another reporter for Fox News (sic) were on the scene. The first reporter said that it’s shocking “how little debris” could be found at the site of the supposed crash—nothing larger than a phone book. The Fox News (sic) reporter said, “[B]asically, there’s nothing there—just a hole in the ground.”  (video)
9 11 Flight 93 crash site no plane
     For comments on the collapse of WTC buildings 1 and 2, we go to the legendary Dan Rather himself. CBS talking head Dan Rather, I hasten to add, was the heir to Walter Cronkite, acclaimed as “the most trusted man in America.”
     Dan Rather said that the collapse of the World Trade Center—including, apparently, WTC building 7—looked like “controlled demolitions.” (video)
     For hours, Dan Rather harped (no, that’s not a play on words) on the probability that an attack of that “sophistication” strongly suggested “the involvement of a state.” He said it at least three times. (video) (video) I haven’t been able to locate the third video, in which a high-level source squelched further talk of that possibility, though I did see the video a few months ago.
     Oh, let’s not forget the report on WTC7, although the 9/11 Commission Report never mentioned it. In case you’ve been living in Plato’s cave for the past ten years, WTC7 was a 47-story building reinforced with over 40 tons of steel specifically designed to withstand collapse. No plane hit WTC7, and the only damage done to it was when a piece of one of the WTC towers broke off 12 feet of parapet.  In spite of all these facts, WTC7 collapsed an nearly free-fall speed.
     BBC had all the proof they needed that 9/11 was an inside job. Instead of spilling the beans in hopes of posthumously receiving a Pulitzer Prize, they had a reporter announce that WTC7 (a.k.a. the Salomon Brothers building) had already collapsed. The problem was, they made this announcement twenty minutes before the collapse occurred. The entire time the reporter talked about the collapse already having occurred, viewers could see WTC7 standing proudly in the background. Five minutes before WTC7 really did collapse, the BBC conveniently lost contact with the reporter. Otherwise, viewers would see the event take place twenty minutes after it had been reported.  (video)
     It isn’t necessary for me to come up with a theory as to why world-famous journalists would choose to tell transparent lies than receive a Pulitzer Prize. The facts speak for themselves.
     I would like to ask a question, though: Would they really receive a Pulitzer Prize; or would they, like dozens of truthful eyewitnesses, receive a tombstone? (video) 
     Or would they prefer to follow the example of Dan Rather in November 1963? When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Dan Rather was just another reporter on the scene in Dallas. Apparently not realizing that the Zapruder film of the assassination would be made public, Rather appeared on television and claimed to have seen on the film that the fatal shot caused JFK’s head to jerk forward. This lie supported the "official" story that Kennedy had been shot from behind. We all now know that Kennedy fell back and to the left, indicating that the fatal bullet had been fired from the grassy knoll. (video)
     Was Dan Rather disgraced as a result of this lie? No, far from it. He went on to New York and rose to the top of his profession. He won seven Peabody awards, several Emmys, and a slew of honorary awards. For a false witness, a successful career like that beats a tombstone any day.
     I had intended for the previous paragraph to be the final paragraph of this article.  Then I ran across the video clip Psychologists Help 9/11 Truth Deniers Accept the Facts.  At first, I thought it was a spoof, but it's not.  It's the real deal, and it's important for people who want to understand the paradigm that causes people to resist the evidence that our government (and, as many of us believe, the Israelis) was involved.

     Please watch it.
For more articles on the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Breaking the Matrix, Part Two: A Strategic Fit among the Needs and Goals of Business, Society, and the Environment

     (In Part One of this series of articles, I pointed out the folly of the false divide between environmentalists and business advocates. In Part Two, I will show that meeting business needs, environmental needs, jobs, and other social needs don’t have to be zero-sum “trade offs.” Through issue sets analyses, all of these needs and goals can be fitted to the benefit of all concerned.)
     I wish I could tell you that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) necessarily leads to higher profits. The fact of the matter is, absolutely nothing necessarily leads to higher profits, and CSR is no exception.
     Some of y’all, in the back of your heads, may be thinking of Milton Friedman’s 1970 article claiming that CSR is a betrayal of business stakeholders. His line of reasoning ran that 1.) investors, shareholders, creditors, and others have placed their money into the hands of business managers with the understanding that those managers would do their best to maximize their investments, that 2.) CSR loses money for the business and its financial stakeholders; therefore 3.) CSR is a betrayal of trust.
     Friedman’s article, “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits,” is worth reading in full. I have read and studied it several times.  

     Doctor Friedman received a Nobel Prize for economics—not business management. While there is some overlap between business, economics, and finance, the three are as different as television, movies, and theater. Naomi Klein, in her book Shock Doctrine, described what happened when Friedman's ideas were tried out in the real world.  There's many a slip between the cup and the lip.  Slips are more disastrous between the academic and the politician.
     If there were a Nobel Prize for business management, three (or four) of the recipients should be Michael Porter (possibly sharing it with Mark Kramer), and (shared) William McDonough and Michael Braungart. In this article, I’ll tell why.
     Doctor Porter asserts that most CSR initiatives are wasted and even counterproductive because they’re just add-ons and not part of a seriously considered business strategy. In several articles, probably the best known of which is “Strategy and Society: The Link Between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility,” Porter and Kramer tell us that the wisest CSR strategy involves a strategic fit among business needs and goals, societal needs, and goals, and the demands of CSR concepts.
     As an example, they describe something that Nestle did right in Africa. (Porter and Kramer didn’t mention what Nestle did wrong in Africa; in this article, I won’t either.) In a cattle-growing area, they brought in veterinarians and refrigeration, and they brought about improved roads. As a result, cattle and their farmers produced higher quality milk with less spoilage and a much higher profit to the farmers. Nestle, in turn, generated reliable sources of high quality milk. (For a PDF of their article, click here.)  
     We hear all the time that business practices should be “sustainable,” and that’s true as far as it goes. From my studies into business administration and my research for my doctoral dissertation, Monitoring Corporate Social Responsibility, I’ve concluded that CSR strategies must also be sustainable. Just as business practices become more sustainable by fitting them to CSR requirements, I’ve concluded that the CSR strategies must become more sustainable by fitting them to the needs and goals of business and society.
     Earlier in this article, I used the term “issue sets analysis.” The concept is simple; applying it  can be complex.  Everybody needs and wants certain things. An issue sets analysis involves determining what each party needs and devising a strategy that will bring about a win-win situation.
     A few years ago, people in my area were at odds over a proposed bicycle path. Bicyclists, casual nature lovers, and government leaders were for it, for obvious reasons. Environmentalists, aborigines, and communities along the proposed route were against it. Aborigines were against it because they lived along the flood plain and the government ordered them to leave to make way for the path. Communities hated paying taxes to build the path when there were few off ramps leading to their communities.
     The first three groups were given all they wanted, the environmentalists and communities were given some of what they wanted, and the aborigines—well, their story can be read by clicking here for “Formosa Betrayed Again,” and here for “Formosa Aborigines Betrayed Again.” In addition to describing aboriginal suffering and the arrogance of their conquerors, you can see how strategic fit among issue sets has enjoyed some measure of success. 
     William McDonough (American architect) and Michael Braungart (German chemist) carry CSR strategy a quantum leap beyond Porter and Kramer. I take it you've heard politicians speak of cradle-to-grave business concepts. Well, that’s old hat. With McDonough and Braungart, it’s a life-cycle analysis resulting in cradle-to-cradle (C2C) design. It involves business models that imitate nature; nature wastes nothing. (here)
     Most businessmen know that they can maximize profits by decreasing waste. Most environmentalists know that waste is pollution. I’m sure you can see the fit.
      In 1991, a Swiss textile concern hired McDonough and Braungart to come up with clothing "safe enough to eat."  They tested 3,000 chemicals commonly used to produce clothing and found that only 36 were that safe.  With just 36 chemicals, the company could produce clothing in any color except black.  Here's a quote: "The result was a 30% increase in total output, a drastic reduction in costs, and the production of the first 100% biodegradable commercial fabric."  What's more, the water flowing from the textile plant was cleaner than the water flowing in from the town's drinking water supply.  Click here for the story.
     In Part Three of this series, I’ll address things that many businesses and individuals do to increase benefits to themselves while practicing social and environmental responsibility. Though you have already heard of some, you’ll hear of loop closing, new service economy, downcycling, upcycling, reuse, waste hierarchy, trashion, and even dumpster diving.
     Contrary to what the TV advertisements suggest, we can live healthier, happier, cleaner, more frugally, and more prosperously—all at the same time. Oh, and for what it’s worth, by doing all this, we can enjoy more freedom from the banksters and other malefactors of great wealth.  It'll give them hives.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Multi-trillion-dollar Embezzlement and Fraud that Wall Street and Washington are Committing

     It is rare for me to reprint articles written by others.  I usually research my articles and cite several useful articles in the process.  The following article, though, deserves to be reprinted in full, with only a few added comments from me.  I've taken the liberty of highlighting important passages.  

US lawmakers are accomplices to financial industry’s immorality

Political ‘donations’ — more appropriately, legalized bribery — are fueling the injustice wrought by financial institutions and their selfish excesses

By Thomas Friedman / NY Times News Service, NEW YORK
(reprinted in the Taipei Times, November 2, 2011)

     Citigroup is lucky that former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi was [allegedly] killed when he was. His [alleged] death diverted attention from a lethal article involving Citigroup that deserved more attention because it helps to explain why many average Americans have expressed support for the Occupy Wall Street movement. The news was that Citigroup had to pay a US$285 million fine to settle a case in which, with one hand, Citibank sold a package of toxic mortgage-backed securities to unsuspecting customers — securities that it knew were likely to go bust — and, with the other hand, shorted the same securities — that is, bet millions of US dollars that they would go bust.
     It doesn’t get any more immoral than this. As the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) civil complaint noted, in 2007, Citigroup exercised “significant influence” over choosing US$500 million of the US$1 billion worth of assets in the deal and the global bank deliberately chose collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs, built from mortgage loans almost sure to fail.     According to the Wall Street Journal, the SEC complaint quoted one unnamed CDO trader outside Citigroup as describing the portfolio as resembling something your dog leaves on your neighbor’s lawn.
     “The deal became largely worthless within months of its creation,” the Journal added. “As a result, about 15 hedge funds, investment managers and other firms that invested in the deal lost hundreds of millions of US dollars, while Citigroup made US$160 million in fees and trading profits.”
     Citigroup, which is under new and better [better for whom?  Don't forget that this article was written by a hack for the corporate-owned media.] management now, settled the case without admitting or denying any wrongdoing. James Stewart, a business columnist for the Times, wrote Citigroup’s flimflam made “Goldman Sachs mortgage traders look like Boy Scouts. In settling its fraud charges for US$550 million last year, Goldman was accused by the SEC of being the middleman in a similar deal, allowing hedge fund manager John Paulson to help choose the mortgages and then bet against them without disclosing this to the other parties. Citigroup dispensed with a Paulson figure altogether, grabbing those lucrative roles for itself.” 
     (On Thursday, the US District Court judge overseeing the case demanded that the SEC explain how such serious securities fraud could end with the defendant neither admitting nor denying wrongdoing.) [The American Action Report's Realistic Dictionary says that the name Goldman Sachs came from the words gold + man + saxophone.  It's an instrument, mostly brass, so that banksters can have congressmen dance to their tune.]
     This gets to the core of why all the anti-Wall Street groups around the globe are resonating. I was in Tahrir Square in Cairo for the fall of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and one of the most striking things to me about that demonstration was how apolitical it was. 
     [In a large part, that's also true of the Tea Parties and the Occupy Movement.  Pompous asses in the corporate media never seem to tire of ridiculing the protesters for their lack of expertise in economics, business, political science, and other fields.  The protesters do know, however, that they're hurting, where they were kicked, and who kicked them.  Pompous asses like Peter Schiff are telling them, in effect, "Since you're not experts as I am, you must not have a problem.  Go back to sleep."  Hell, the "experts" are the ones who caused the problem!  Oh, one more comment on Schiff's pomposity.  He seemed to be implying that the Wall Street protesters could be part of the 1% like him, if they only followed the "free market system."  The truth is, the Wall Street protesters have no hope or desire to be reincarnated as part of the inbred Schiff, Rothschild, and Warburg families.  Take a look at this marriage announcement from 1916 here. That should reveal the hypocrisy of the Rothschild who has infiltrated Ron Paul's campaign as an adviser.] 
     When I talked to Egyptians, it was clear that what animated their protest, first and foremost, was not a quest for democracy — although that was surely a huge factor. It was a quest for “justice.” Many Egyptians were convinced that they lived in a deeply unjust society where the game had been rigged by the Mubarak family and its crony capitalists. Egypt shows what happens when a country adopts free-market capitalism without developing real rule of law and institutions.
     However, then, what happened to us? Our financial industry has grown so large and rich it has corrupted our real institutions through political donations. As US Senator Dick Durbin bluntly said in a 2009 radio interview, despite having caused this crisis, these same financial firms “are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they, frankly, own the place.”  [No, they share ownership with a criminal syndicate blasphemously calling itself Israel.  The Israeli regime, which has no need of foreign aid, is the world's largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid.  Add to that the trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives America has lost fighting wars under false pretenses, benefiting no one but the Israeli regime.  America's "best friend in the Middle East?  Not hardly.  To read about Israel's covert war against the United States, click here.]
     The US Congress today is a forum for legalized bribery. [That's only the tip of the iceberg.  Those crooks are continuously passing bills that siphon money from the Treasury and into their business interests.] One consumer group using information from calculates that the financial services industry, including real estate, spent US$2.3 billion on federal campaign contributions from 1990 to last year, which was more than the healthcare, energy, defense, agriculture and transportation industries combined. Why are there 61 members on the US House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services? So many lawmakers want to be in a position to sell votes to Wall Street.
The US can’t afford this any longer. It needs to focus on four reforms that don’t require new bureaucracies to implement:
1) If a bank is too big to fail, it is too big and needs to be broken up. We can’t risk another trillion-US dollar bailout;
2) If US banks’ deposits are federally insured by US taxpayers, it can’t do any proprietary trading with those deposits — period;
3) Derivatives have to be traded on transparent exchanges where we can see if another AIG is building up enormous risk;
4) Finally, an idea from the blogosphere: US lawmakers should have to dress like NASCAR drivers and wear the logos of all the banks, investment banks, insurance companies and real-estate firms that they’re taking money from. The public needs to know.
     Capitalism and free markets are the best engines for generating growth and relieving poverty — provided they are balanced with meaningful transparency, regulation and oversight. The US lost that balance in the last decade. If it doesn’t get it back — and there is now a tidal wave of money resisting that — it will have another crisis. If that happens, the cry for justice could turn ugly. Free advice to the financial services industry: Stick to being bulls. Stop being pigs.
     [The author of this article is giving Congress too much of a break.  Congressmen are not just accomplices; they're perpetrators.  Take the 2009 Bankster Bailout Bill, for example.  The bailout, which saved no homeowner's home, and for which the banksters lost nothing, was a theft of $700 million.  The bill ended up costing $1.2 billion because congressmen festooned the bill with funds earmarked for investments congressmen had made.  That amounts to a $500 million embezzlement benefiting no one but the congressmen and their cronies.  To see how your congressman voted on this criminal act, click here.]