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TTIP ridicule

Our petition‘s final words: “institutions that are not democratically legitimized should be rejected.”

Today, negotiators return to discussing the terms of TTIP, the planned free-trade agreement between US and EU.

 

The country I live in, Switzerland, recently made such a deal with China. What this means is that Swiss industry gets to play footsie under the table with its Chinese counterparts, while everyone else must put their cards on the table.

 

Regularly, such agreements harm the people of both countries involved, and don’t even help ‘trade’ (but make it easier to shift stuff around between different branches of the same corporation).

 

Personally, I’d have liked to see some free trade when China was ready to export cheap solar cells in the wake of Fukushima. No chance – extra import tax, presumably thanks to effective lobby work we’ll never know about.

 

Instead, here’s some healing humour – click here to enjoy the video!

 

Sigmar Gabriel’s pompous reaction to the anti-TTIP petition is typical for anyone representing industry. As with MAI, if this thing is successfully smashed, it won’t be thanks to guys like him, but you and me! Thanks for sharing this lavishly on both sides of the Atlantic.

 

To be sure: Things aren’t perfect in Germany either. However, most of the scandals (poison in eggs, EHEC germs, undeclared horse meat in beef products) were illegal. TTIP and similar efforts usually want to fix the laws to make the shortcuts legal.

Banking separation

“The first step is to separate commercial and investment banks.” (from our petition)

Here’s a fun little clip that shows a glimpse of hope …or does it?

Click here to play video on youtube.

Deception 101

A quick media analysis from Switzerland.

Yesterday, our Italian* news at noon reported on a major bank “complying with too-big-to-fail laws”. It included the bank’s CEO using those exact words in a statement to the press: too big to fail.

However, those four infamous English words did not appear in the corresponding German-language news show.

That’s because they know the truth: the laws in question don’t solve ‘too big to fail’ – not even close!

‘Too big to fail’ ends when a bank can go bust without the public having to bail it out. What they are doing now is protecting themselves from US courts.

Quite a PR-trick: Instead of tackling the problem honestly, turn it into something else, and then solve that instead!

The difference: in its original meaning, ‘too big to fail’ describes a threat that BANKS pose to US. Now they’re trying to turn it into a threat from US (the public) to THEM.

UBS and CS cannot be sued out of existence like Wegelin; they can’t go bust like Lehman. In their present and anticipated forms, they are too big to fail, to big to jail, and any fines can still be passed right on to the taxpayer.

Until that changes, we really need to pay attention and keep our eye on the basics!

(Note that the term ‘taxpayer’ doesn’t include the banks themselves – UBS announced a cool billion of profits for the first quarter, for which it will be paying zero tax – but this is just a side issue, mind you, related to how we let banks and other corporations legally cook the books.)

Disclaimer: Remember that the banksters are not, technically, lying. The announced restructurings could allow investment subsidiaries die a quiet, natural death. But this doesn’t alter the main points we challenge: the banks’ power to create money, and the fact that they run our entire financial infrastructure, see How banks (don’t) work, and our petition for the objectives.

p.s.
If you can stomach it, please also remember to keep an eye on what’s going on with the OECD’s plans for automatic information exchange. On their website, and Switzerland’s national news channels, it all looks great. However, if you check out other sources, such as Tax Justice Network, well…lot more posts where this came from…

===

* In case you didn’t already know, Switzerland is multi-lingual.

Oppression 101

On his spoken-word album “If Evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will survive” Jello Biafra speaks of a 30-hour week.

The context is our welfare system.

Chomsky points out that people are basically in favour of welfare, but don’t know it. Plus, people grossly overestimate how much government really spends on it.

Private profits are so massive, that we could easily share jobs, and receive the same income!

Unfortunately, the proponents of our system tend to view workers as a ‘resource’ that has to be ‘managed’.

Extra admin costs, extra benefits are a further barrier.

A “benefit” we’re rarely told about: it helps to keep that one worker in line, when he sees how his unemployed contemporaries are being punished.

Banks needs Boundaries supports regaining control of the the system, starting with money creation.

More on (un)employment at banks-need-boundaries.net

Quote

David Graeber

Although it’s already on our reading list, an extra ad for Graeber’s first 5,000 years.

…and a favorite quote, abridged & adapted (original @Graeber p. 488)

Some treat this as if it were news:
Poverty is caused by a lack of credit.
The industrious poor need access to loans from stable, respectable banks.

What about the non-industrious poor?

For me, this is exactly what’s so harmful about the morality of debt: reduce us all to eyeing the world simply for what can be turned into money – and then tell us that it’s only pillagers who deserve to pursue anything in life other than money.

The argument might perhaps make sense if one agreed that work is by definition virtuous. However, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that continuing as now, we’re likely to destroy everything!

The real question now is how to ratchet things down a bit …live more by working less!

Let’s hear it for the non-industrious poor. Who are they really hurting? Insofar as they spend time with friends and family, enjoying and caring for those they love, they’re probably improving the world more than we acknowledge. Maybe we should think of them as pioneers of a new economic order that would not share our current one’s penchant for self-destruction.

(end of mutilated quote)

Here’s the juicy bit tweeted @zuvielisation
a good word for the non-industrious poor …think of them as pioneers of a new order without our current one’s penchant for self-destruction

Thanks for reading. Remember, you “paid” for this post by reading an ad someone had wordpress place below my ramblings – in other words: it’s a form of human trafficking! “Selling audiences to advertisers.” Producing the ad on your screen costs electricity, time, and other resources. Invoices sent up the food chain are tax-deductible, i.e. we all chip in.

We could change this by producing and sharing information in a smarter fashion.

Please also consider “paying” us by studying our petition, and list of solutions – thanks!

FT break!

“Printing counterfeit banknotes is illegal, but creating private money is not. The interdependence between the state and the businesses that can do this is the source of much of the instability of our economies. It could – and should – be terminated.”

Read more at FT (!)

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/7f000b18-ca44-11e3-bb92-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2zpCVXoKF

Light bulb conspiracy

Not only is the current economic system highly un-economical (i.e. wasteful), it’s also largely built on deceit – FROM DAY ONE!

This feature-length documentary deserves our utmost attention.
http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/light-bulb-conspiracy/

It covers most of the vital problems we face, and many solutions!

Note the mentioning of credit as one of the cornerstones of the big machine.

And remember to pause the film when Henry Ford is mentioned to read our favourite quote of his!

Due to the prevalence of silicone (semi-conductors and breast augmentation) in today’s culture, some people have suggested we call this the ‘silicone age’. Personally, I always gravitated more towards calling it the ‘silly con age’.

You be the judge – enjoy the film!

tax on taxes

We’re supposed to hate tax, right?

Question: what’s so bad about getting together to buy something?
You do it with your family – why not with your country?
The problem isn’t tax, but misuse!

Here are some links for a novel idea. No filter – I’m too busy to watch them myself. About to go offline for 6 months. Not completely. But you’ll be hearing a little less from me in the time to come.* Remember this blog remains open to further authors who can identify themselves with Banks need Boundaries!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pYSsME_h7E

www.youtube.com/watch?v=XL3n59wC8kk

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTiVS2lhMuY

The idea to scrub all fees and taxes except for a tax on ground makes a lot of sense to me, and I can imagine to everyone else except for those who own the ground. In any case, it’s an idea to consider. Might help see through the current system, which taxes almost everything, some things even double and triple. Or maybe we just need a tax on taxes 😉

The man who sent me these links is very interesting. Bruno Moser, limo driver at World Economic Forum, and thus a lot more qualified to represent me than the blokes who can afford the 30,000-dollar ticket there. Yesterday, he was arrested for the crime of sitting down between leaflets while running for election.

If you thought you have it tough in India, spare a thought for the oppressed people of Switzerland.

Thanks.

According to Berne police, the main reason was refusing to present his ID. Remember this is someone who was well-known because he was running for election. His story reminds me a little of Ralph Nader in the 2000 US-election where he was first kicked out of the debate, then refused access to the building for the crime of having a ticket, and then threatened arrest.**

I know these problems pale in comparison to what people are suffering elsewhere, but where do ya draw the line?

* Blogging needs boundaries, too 😀

** Source: one of Jello Biafra’s spoken word albums, if I remember correctly it’s “Machine gun in the clown’s hand.”

Buckminster Fuller: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

Quote

Star Wisdom

irvinkershner.net

irvinkershner.net

“It’s a hell of a way to spend millions of dollars.” – Irvin Kershner, speaking about the movie he directed, The Empire Strikes Back

If you take nothing else away from this blog, let it be the idea that all this technology we use for top-down control and distraction could also be used for public involvement, including a public money system.

Democratic control of the workplace, schools, and such tantalizing questions as which country to invade, if any!

Remember Reagan loved Star Wars. The superhuman aspect, and all the fancy toys. But like many of us, he missed the big moralistic lessons of non-violence contained in those movies.

“We’re still just a child creature, we’re still being nasty to each other, and (…) all children go through those phases. But when we grow up … man, we are going to be something. And we’re going to do it, too.” (Gene Roddenberry) 

p.s. “Empire…” was hugely successful, and George Lucas paid out a share of the profits to everyone who worked on it!

***this is the abridged, more accessible version of this post***
***see below for a screenshot of the rambling, long version***
***I worked very hard on the bit about Britney in Somalia!***
Star_Wisdom_Banks_need_Boundaries_-_2014-03-26_13.09.50

Association Against Predatory Credit

You might recall we mentioned our group taking a new approach: via the courts!

Finally, an English name has been chosen for this department:
Association Against Predatory Credit

This remains focussed on Austria for now, so the only information is in German:
www.kreditopferhilfe.net
– but there’s no reason this can’t be done anywhere!

Two things that are good to know:
a) When courts sentence people for credit fraud, they usually treat the damages at face value. This is of course not quite correct, considering how this money was created. (A film about this recently passed the 100,000-viewer mark.)

b) – and this is at present the main focus of KOV/AAPC –
When someone takes out a loan, they believe this to be money coming from savers. Furthermore, the price (interest rate) of this fresh money is based on Libor/Euribor, which should ring a bell.

Banks, as I’m sure you’ll be surprised to learn, are not people. They are legal persons – a kind of entity whose framework has been structured over the years to benefit… …well, not to put too fine a point on it: people like myself!*

Most of the privileges involved are neither God-given, nor are they in our respective Constitutions. They were won by legal precedent.** Thus, it also makes sense to approach curbing them there.

It’s a sad, crazy world in which money can perform its useful, positive function only when others have to be duped into signing the dotted line. Granted: some of them are aware of the risk when taking out a loan. However, case after case confirms that it’s usually small and medium-sized businesses that get hit the worst. The big fish routinely offset their debt as a business expense. (And let’s not forget that they are more likely to be bailed out.) Please see here for alternatives, thanks.

workless

Do feel free to contact Banks need Boundaries! if you would like to get involved. Let’s take AAPC global! It could grow into a new movement for legal aid, focussed purely on dismantling the illegitimate private monopoly on money creation.

Anyone can contribute a little something, some even without intending to. Here’s the Post that helped us name this baby:
http://theconversation.com/lets-call-financial-mis-sellers-what-they-really-are-23387

* see Activism and Happiness and Everything you always wanted to know about finance…but were too rich to ask.

**
This is a real scandal, considering the first thing a corporation does when it
– pays its lawyers
– gets hit by a fine
– or files a S.L.A.P.P.
is to relay the cost to you guys (sorry!)
One of the big unreported scandals of human history if you ask me, and one can’t even begin to estimate the price, monetary and spiritual.
When discussing this with the “comfortably off”, they tend to recite all the obvious pros, but regularly demonstrate monumental ignorance about the glaringly obvious, unrefuted cons, e.g. how legal aid to the poor is under attack.
And why not? After all, they’re poor, they matter less…which you hear a lot…a bit like the sentence a German comedy news show thankfully picked up, said in all earnest: the poor stay poor because they mismanage their assets.
(This at a time, mind you, that sees most cases on corporate malfeasance settled out of court, i.e. with no admission of guilt). We’re all supposed to watch Erin Brockovich and wipe off our tears, and certainly it’s never all just purely pointless…but wouldn’t it be nice for a change to get to the root of things?

Some links about the war you’re not supposed to think about –
CLASS WAR, fought on many fronts, in this case legal aid:

Guardian: “Is this the cut that kills the system?

second-best-lawyers

New Statesman:
How legal aid cuts are harming the voiceless and most vulnerable

wsws

PILnet website:
works to make systems of justice more effective, accessible and fair