Detroit auctions city assets for pennies on the dollar

by Seraphine Collins and Andre Damon, from the WSWS

On the side of the Lodge Freeway, a few blocks from Detroit’s historic Boston-Edison neighborhood, stand, row upon row, acre upon acre, hundreds of city maintenance vehicles—backhoes, snow plows, and lighting and utility trucks—all newly-painted and cleaned.

It looks as though these vehicles have been lined up for some great task; perhaps, at any moment, thousands of workers will arrive at the lot, man the cabins, and stream into America’s poorest large city to repair its thousands of broken street and traffic lights, fill the potholes that mar nearly every street, prepare its antiquated drainage system for the harsh Michigan winter, and remove the trash piled up in neighborhoods and parks.

But these vehicles have been assembled to a different end. As part of the largest municipal bankruptcy in history, the city has turned over nearly 500 vehicles and other pieces of city infrastructure, the vast majority of them in completely functional condition, for auction to the highest bidder.

Over 130 public lighting vehicles, 120 garbage trucks, more than 70 busses, and 24 lift buckets are parked in the vacant lot of the Herman Kiefer Health Complex, which was shuttered earlier this year and is itself being auctioned off.

The city sold the vehicles to Hilco Industrial and Miedema Auctioneering and Appraisals, who are conducting the auction, for $5 million. The garbage trucks alone, new, cost more than three times that amount.

“Historic” was the word that Isidor Strom, the co-owner of a small used truck parts business who was browsing the vehicles Wednesday, used to describe the sale. “Earth shattering. The biggest auction I have ever seen.”

Asked why the city was selling off the vehicles, Isidor did not mince words. “To f**k the workers in the city of Detroit.” He made his attitude clear: “I’m not happy about it; I don’t like it.”

[read more here]

RCMP Official – Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was Wealthy but Homeless, Had a Motive… but… It’s a Secret

by Scott Creighton

While Stephen Harper continues to use the Ottawa Shooting to his political advantage (passing the ill-advised draconian bill in Canadian parliament intended to add expanded powers to CSIS  ) the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have declared that suspect Michael Zehaf-Bibeau did in fact have a “political and ideological” motive but they claim they can’t tell you exactly what that motive is right now because it’s a secret.

But hey, trust your government Canada. The suspect had politically motivated reasons to attack a soldier and parliament… or at least, someone did.

In a statement released by the RCMP, they write that Zehaf-Bibeau recorded a video statement “just prior” to the attack which they have now located and will not release to the public. They also claim he had “contact” with others prior to the attack. Is it possible that we are going to find out those “others” may have been CSIS handlers? Lastly, they still don’t know where the vintage “Big Valley” type rifle came from but they say Michael was working in the oil industry prior to going off for no apparent reason so he had plenty of money.

Didn’t they run a bunch of stories saying the guy was homeless and using crack again just prior to the attack? Homeless, using crack, working in the oil industry with plenty of money?

What?

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The Tale of Two Videos: One Shows Shooter Leaving Scene, the Other Shows How Far Officials Go to Cover it Up

by Scott Creighton

UPDATE: “This attack, and the one on Canadian soldiers in St. Jean sur Richelieu, Quebec, two days earlier, came the very week that the Harper government was introducing legislation to grant expanded powers to CSIS.” Richocet

——–

A reader, Prom Queen, came over and decided to correct one of my comments on yesterday’s article in which I stated that it would appear the story of the Ottawa shooting suspect hijacking a car and leaving the scene of the memorial shooting has been dropped down the memory hole.

A security video SHOWS the shooter commandeering a car while the RCMP Commissioner narrates the video, explaining the shooter’s actions. That hasn’t gone down the memory hole at all.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/rcmp-show-dramatic-security-video-of-gunman-behind-ottawa-shootings-1.2068134

In so doing, Prom Queen has inadvertently opened up a brand new angle of inquiry for me and it’s something I thought you guys might be interested in… there are apparently two totally different car “hijacking” scenes from that morning and neither of them is actually a hijacking. But one is real, the other, an official distraction.

Yes, two totally different videos. In one you see what appears to be the shooter calmly leaving the scene in his waiting vehicle and the other one.. the official “hijacking”, well… we’ll get to that.

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper Drinking Wine During RCMP Ottawa Briefing? What? No Golf with Obama?

by Scott Creighton

An image has surfaced purportedly showing Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper conducting a emergency briefing with Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner Bob Paulson over the Ottawa shooting situation. There is a glass of red wine positioned in front of the Prime Minister. It’s all over Twitter at this time and Canadians are not amused.

There’s no doubt that it’s wine and it doesn’t appear to be within the reach of the police commissioner (it would take some serious balls for the top cop to be drinking while briefing his boss, don’t ya think? Especially with reporters in the room taking the publicity shots)

Harper’s relaxed Laissez-faire attitude toward this “crisis” speaks volumes to those few who are still listening as did President Obama’s after a recent beheading, the first of that trio (James Foley), when he gave his somber address to the nation to claim “we will get even for this outrage” and then jetted off to play a round of golf on an exclusive course with his billionaire friends, fist bumping and laughing the entire day.

If you listen closely, these whispers tell a story. But only if you listen. Only if you care.

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Neoliberal News of the Day – Oct. 22nd, 2014

by Scott Creighton

- A brief note about pervasive influence peddling and the rebranding of neoliberalism -

2014 1018 mich 1

The term “neoliberalism” is popping up all over the place as of late. People are starting to “get it” so of course, it’s important to those committed to it’s ultimate success and acceptance, that folks who are aware of what’s going on are carefully led back to the warm embrace of fascism lite (neoliberalism) under the guise that it is somehow an alternative to the globalist neoliberal doctrine that is wrecking the entire world as we speak. We are being asked to become beggars to our own demise and some of us are being asked to help promote this ideological poison without question. That’s simply not going to happen. Not here anyway. ( this is for you John J. ;) )

“In the 1960s, usage of the term “neoliberal” heavily declined. When the term was reintroduced in the 1980s in connection with Augusto Pinochet’s economic reforms in Chile, the usage of the term had shifted. It had not only become a term with negative connotations employed principally by critics of market reform, but it also had shifted in meaning from a moderate form of liberalism to a more radical and laissez-faire capitalist set of ideas. Scholars now tended to associate it with the theories of economists Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman.”

You might remember the last comment left by the now banned John Jasper. In it he stated that he was pulling his support of this site because all I was doing was “bellyaching” and not offering up an alternative to the globalist neoliberal assault that is currently underway. He suggested I promote the “libertarian principles and the Austrian School of Economics” which, as you can see from above, are the economic principles of Friedrich Hayek (of the London School of Economics and the University of Chicago (birthplace of modern neoliberalism)), also known as “neoliberalism”

“If anyone would like to actually learn something about anarcho-capitalist/libertarian principles and the Austrian School of Economics, there’s plenty available at …” John Influence Peddler Jasper

Talk about asking us to be beggars to our own demise. Thus is the “alternative” offered up by the likes of Alex Jones, Ron Paul, Alan GreenspanMilton Friedman and Bill Clinton. Hayek went to the University of Chicago in 1950. The “Chicago Boys” project, the “Chile Project”, a group of neoliberal economists put together to design a purely neoliberal economic system, started in 1955.

“The training program was the result of a “Chile Project” organized in the 1950s by the U.S. State Department, through the Point Four program, the first US program for international economic development. It was funded by the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation aimed at influencing Chilean economic thinking”

Chicago boys generally advocated widespread deregulation, privatization, and other free market policies for closely controlled economies. They rose to fame as leaders of the early reforms initiated in Chile during the rule of General Augusto Pinochet.”

It should also be noted that Mr. Influence Peddler John Jasper was recommending we all read the Mises website, as in Ludwig von Mises. He is of the Austrian School of Economics. Wrote a book called Liberalism in 1927 during the rise of fascism.

“At one time, Mises praised the work of philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand and Rand’s view of Mises was generally favorable…”

“Von Mises’ 1927 book Liberalism has been largely ignored, except for its comments on fascism. Marxists Herbert Marcuse and Perry Anderson, as well as German writer Claus-Dieter Krohn, criticized Mises for writing approvingly of Italian fascism, especially for its suppression of leftist elements...[27] More recently economist J. Bradford DeLong[28] and sociologist Richard Seymour,[29] repeated the criticism. Mises wrote in the book:[30]

It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aiming at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has, for the moment, saved European civilization. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history. But though its policy has brought salvation for the moment, it is not of the kind which could promise continued success. Fascism was an emergency makeshift. To view it as something more would be a fatal error”

Yeah, that’s what John Jasper thought I should be promoting as an alternative to neoliberal fascist globalization… fascism lite or “Libertarianism’ for short.

For a more current example of how the Austrian School has influenced the world we live in…

“In February 1975, Margaret Thatcher was elected leader of the British Conservative Party. The Institute of Economic Affairs arranged a meeting between Hayek and Thatcher in London soon after.[48] During Thatcher’s only visit to the Conservative Research Department in the summer of 1975, a speaker had prepared a paper on why the “middle way” was the pragmatic path the Conservative Party should take, avoiding the extremes of left and right. Before he had finished, Thatcher “reached into her briefcase and took out a book. It was Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty. Interrupting our pragmatist, she held the book up for all of us to see. ‘This’, she said sternly, ‘is what we believe’, and banged Hayek down on the table

Congrats John Jasper. You tried your best to sway the readers of this site back into the fold of neoliberal ideology, the ideology of Augusto Pinochet and Margret Thatcher… but you failed. You gave it a shot… nice try. Better luck at a lesser site…. it should also be noted that Mr. Jasper hails from… you guessed it… the UK.

John is an example of what some would call “cognitive infiltration”. That’s when someone comes on sites like this one to gently steer dissidents back to the fold, in this case, the acceptance of “libertarianism” as an alternative to neoliberalism. They are effectively the same thing.

- Now, on to the Neoliberal News of the Day -

Henry Giroux on the Rise of Neoliberalism – “We’re talking about an ideology marked by the selling off of public goods to private interests; the attack on social provisions; the rise of the corporate state organized around privatization, free trade, and deregulation; the celebration of self interests over social needs; the celebration of profit-making as the essence of democracy coupled with the utterly reductionist notion that consumption is the only applicable form of citizenship. But even more than that, it upholds the notion that the market serves as a model for structuring all social relations: not just the economy, but the governing of all of social life.”

Neoliberalism has brought out the worst in us – “An economic system that rewards psychopathic personality traits has changed our ethics and our personalities”

Hong Kong’s Fight Against Neoliberalism – “But regardless of what the BBC wants the world to believe, Occupy Central isn’t so much a fight for democracy as a fight for social justice.”

 Lad culture thrives in our neoliberal universities – “Laddism is at home in the callous environment of market-driven higher education, argues, Alison Phipps, who offers advice to universities on how to root it out”

The poverty of neoliberal economics - “Paul Verhaeghe, senior professor of clinical psychology and psychoanalysis at Ghent University in Belgium, has argued in a recently published essay that neoliberal economics brings out the worst in human beings. He finds that thirty years of neoliberalism, and the privatisation and free-market misery that comes with it, have taken their toll on people’s values and even their personalities.”

There Are 870,000 Slaves in Modern-Day America – “If this sounds like some hellish turn-of-the-century sweatshop, it is close. But this is today’s reality for hundreds of thousands of American prisoners, who work backbreaking full-time jobs for shockingly low pay. Half of the 1.6 million Americans currently serving time do this kind of “institutional maintenance,” and the median wage they receive is between 20 and 31 cents an hour. Some states, like Texas and Georgia, offer no compensation at all.”

Obama’s Latest Speech About The Economic “Recovery” Results In Mass Audience Exodus – “Yesterday, Obama made a rare campaign trail appearance in Maryland where he spoke in support of Democratic candidate for governor, Anthony Brown, proceeded with his usual bulletin of reading fabricated economic data off the teleprompter in which he highlighted improvements in US unemployment (if not the 46.5 million people on foodstamps or the 93 million Americans out of the labor force), a rebounding housing market (just as the bouncing dead cat is once again dead), the benefits of health insurance (if no mention of the disaster for small businesses that Obamacare now definitively is) a resurgent manufacturing sector (just don’t look at this chart) even if he did point out the unfairness of families having “two folks working”, and… a mass audience exodus followed.

The Shell Game of Contingent Employment – “The rise to power of Ronald Reagan in the United States and Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom ushered in a new era of economic policy. Minimal corporate taxation, privatization of public goods, and the deregulation of businesses became the dominant policies promoted for economic growth. The attacks against organized labor, progressive organizations, and community groups that opposed the new regime were brutal. The percentage of workers in unions plummeted.”

Census report: Half of Americans poor or near poor – “Forty-seven percent of Americans have incomes under twice the official poverty rate, making half of the country either poor or near-poor, according to figures released last week by the Census Bureau.”

Shocking New Report: Superrich Have Grabbed Half the World’s Assets – “There have been moments in history when things were not so lopsided. During the post-war period, inequality was contained because governments made sure their rich didn’t accumulate at such alarming rates by doing things like taxing their estates at a high rate. At the same time, they created policies to lift the incomes of the less well-off and allow them to have some basic security. But that’s an exception in history. Most of the time, this kind of intervention did not happen, and so the rich kept gobbling more and accumulating more power to keep it that way until one of two things happened — a revolution or some kind of catastrophe or disruptive event, like a war, shook things up.”

Mexico’s disappeared students – “It is nearly four weeks since police in the town of Iguala in Mexico’s impoverished southern state of Guerrero violently attacked a group of some 80 young student teachers leaving at least six dead, 17 wounded and 43 “disappeared.”… Mexico is the most unequal of the 34 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), with the richest 10 percent of the population having an average income almost 30 times as high as the bottom 10 percent… Notably silent on the Iguala massacre is the Obama administration in Washington. US imperialism has major interests in Mexico, which is the United States’ third-largest trading partner… The massacre has also underscored the rising inequality and savage violence that have gone hand in hand with Mexico’s free market “reforms.

H/T Tom K. – Freedom Rider: Privatized Ebola – an example of how privatization does not in any way serve the interests of the general public – “The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation may appear to be a savior when it provides $300 million to the WHO budget, but those dollars come with strings attached. WHO director general Dr. Margaret Chan admitted as much when she said, “My budget [is] highly earmarked, so it is driven by what I call donor interests.” Instead of being on the front line when a communicable disease crisis appears, it spends its time administering what Gates and his team have determined is best.”

- more to follow later this morning -

“A Carbon Tax OFFSET by Tax Breaks to Big Corporations Will Defeat ISIS™ ” – Thomas L. Friedman

by Scott Creighton

When you have a relatively successful psychological operation going on like they do with the U.S. created “ISIS™ Crisis“, what you do as a state propagandist is pile on any and all periphery objectives, getting them linked as best you can to that particular psyop in the public sphere.

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.” Edward Bernays, Propaganda

What they do is they constantly monitor various polls and online trends and they say “Heck. This “ISIS” thing is really gaining momentum. How can we piggy-back our other agendas on that success ?” and what you end up with is:

  • The “ISIS™ Crisis” is worse than the Nazis sooooo…… let’s attack Iran!
  • The “ISIS™ Crisis” is worse than the Nazis sooooo……let’s pass comprehensive immigration reform so Big Business can cut the cost of labor!

and, believe it or not….

  • The “ISIS™ Crisis” is worse than the Nazis sooooo……STOP GLOBAL WARMING!!!

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Autopsy Diagram Shows Mike Brown was Shot from Behind

by Scott Creighton

There’s been a lot of disinformation being circulated in the MSM as well as in the fake alternative press about how the “new” witness (some guys hanging around chatting while filming near the scene) and the autopsy drawing proves that Mike Brown was shot from the front side and the front side only while he was “charging” at the police officer.

That claim is patently ridiculous and only goes to show how stupid the spin crafters think we are.

First of all, the video of the two guys talking while viewing the scene of the shooting proves nothing. You take any crime scene or accident scene and you are going to have 15 people show up after the fact, having actually witnessed nothing, and half of them are going to trying to tell the other half what happened as if they had been there the whole time. It’s bullshit gossip from an undisclosed source and it is absolutely meaningless unless of course you run a police department which is desperate to blame the victim. Then, it gets circulated like it’s the gospel truth even if it flies in the face of common sense and the available evidence.

Second and most importantly, the autopsy diagrams DO NOT show that Mike Brown was hit from the front. That is also ridiculously stupid. They certainly don’t back up the claim that he was “charging” at the officer when he was hit.

SUB-JP-BROWN-2-master495

You notice how his palms are turned outward? Do you run like that? Does someone “charging” at an officer run like that? Look at where on his arms he was hit. In the BACK of the bicep near the shoulder, in the tricep near the elbow, in the back of the forearm and in the meat of his thumb on the palm side, not the back of his hand.

More importantly, look at the diagram showing his back side. Do you run like that? Do you stand like that?

Take a look at this:

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