The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election: 75 Days Of Destiny.

By Jerry Alatalo

Stein Baraka

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Those who would treat politics and morality apart will never understand the one or the other.”

– JOHN MORLEY (1838-1923) British statesman

Alphabet Can Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein and her Vice Presidential running mate Ajamu Baraka pull off a political, historic and odds-defying “miracle” over the next 75 days and win the 2016 presidential election? Just thinking about such a possible scenario coming to pass on voting day November 8 gives the idea of “the old college try” a whole new meaning and level of intensity.

What can one discern from observing neither Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump have expressed any welcoming of Dr. Jill Stein and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson to televised debates, marking the 1st time in U.S. presidential political history where four candidates take the stage and engage in battles of ideas? In answer to that question… Because blocking Dr. Stein and Mr. Johnson from debates is effectively blocking democracy itself, the stances of Ms. Clinton and Mr. Trump are equally undemocratic and should lead to conclusion by the American people in rejecting Clinton and Trump as fundamentally unfit for the high office of President.

There is nothing stopping Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump from gladly accepting and embracing proposals for 4-way debates, numerous and lengthy, in the remaining 75 days of the campaign. So, if there is nothing but their own reasons stopping them from welcoming 4-way debates, how do the American people grapple with Clinton and Trump’s persistent choosing of exclusionary 2-way debates meant to “inform” voters on their “leadership options”?

The most important question Americans need to ask themselves is: “what are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump afraid of?” In an ideal world, at every four-year interval America’s voters attempt to learn about the candidates running for President of the United States – the men and women who’ve decided to present to “We, the people” what they each believe are the best ideas and options moving forward. By firmly denying the fullest range of ideas by candidates with a mathematical chance of winning from occurring, the only logical conclusion is that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have the real fear that Americans will decide Dr. Jill Stein and Gary Johnson have better ideas.

Again, in an ideal world, perceptions held by most Americans of a good or great President is of a man or woman who encourages and fully welcomes better ideas. By taking positions excluding Dr. Jill Stein and Gary Johnson from debates, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump dismiss, ignore, and trample over the highest perceived images of the American people regarding what separates potential leaders of the nation, making clear the distinguishing human characteristics of generally held conceptions of leadership, and making identifiable those who fall short of the mark, the mediocre, those who are very good, and the (hopefully) truly great.

Students of history are aware of humanity’s fundamental evolutionary nature. In the year 2016, those who disregard the wishes of Americans and people around the world for more inclusive and full-range discussions about the future of life where they reside and across the Earth place themselves on the “wrong side of history”. They stubbornly maintain a death-grip on ways of conducting politics, business, economics, militarism and international relations most human beings perceive and have concluded are counter-productive, and the antithesis of evolutionary historical processes inherent to, and inseparable from, the human species.

At this historical juncture in the year 2016 – in the remaining 75 days until Americans decide who they want as their next President – the perennial process of human evolution toward establishment of global conditions most conducive for profound increase in measures of peace, justice and truth must, through unanimous agreement, become remembered and take its rightful place at all tables of serious discussion and debate.

Accurately accounting for the human evolutionary process and acting in concert with natural, inherent workings of life on Earth toward increasing improvement and beneficial choices entailed in building a better “human condition” is nothing less than moral, ethical and honest. “We, the people” are wise enough to listen, compare, assess, imagine and decide the future of life on Earth.

Open up the presidential debates…

(Thank you to RT America at YouTube)

John Stockwell: Lessons From 1987.

by Jerry Alatalo

“… for historians ought to be precise, faithful, and unprejudiced, and neither interest nor fear, hatred nor affection, should make them swerve away from the truth, whose mother is history, the rival of time, the depository of great actions, the witness of the past, example of the present, and monitor of the future.” Don Quixote Pt. 1, ch. 9

– MIGUEL DE CERVANTES SAAVEDRA (1547-1616) Spanish novelist, playwright, poet

aaa-44There was some hesitation about sharing the following talk from 1987 delivered by John Stockwell. That is because this writer sat in the front row during a talk by Mr. Stockwell at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan in that same time period. At the time, John Stockwell was the highest ranking CIA officer in history to “blow the whistle” on his former employers, had been the CIA’s station chief in Angola, and wrote the international nonfiction bestseller “In Search of Enemies” – of which the profits from sales were withheld from Mr. Stockwell.

It’s remarkable/worth noting that successful efforts to stop the Reagan administration from starting a major war in Central America with Nicaragua – what people at the time perceived as potentially  “another Vietnam” – became carried out before the rise of the global internet.

One of the foremost mysteries for those aware of John Stockwell was his decision to leave the public arena completely in the early 1990’s, and not re-emerging up to this day. He was born in 1937, as far as known is still alive,  and so is 78 years old. Leaving speculation about Mr. Stockwell’s personal choices aside, one must admit being fascinated with the possibility – if his mental/intellectual capacity has held – of John Stockwell’s agreeing to interviews and sharing his experiences over the past 20 or more years.

Alphabet The reason for hesitating to post his talk…  In the mid-1980’s this writer had only begun gaining an awareness of what was occurring around the world; geopolitics naivete accurately described the personal situation.  To more effectively spread his message, John Stockwell (he had no website) had compiled a list of dozens of books he believed important and brought copies to the many universities and other venues where he talked, and offered the book lists in handout form for free to men and women attending.

So, the reason for hesitation in sharing his 1987 talk is that I took his bibliography of books/authors and read a good number of those he suggested, and since reading them have at times wished attending Mr. Stockwell’s talk hadn’t occurred. In other words, the information presented in those books was very difficult to deal with, and – for those who aren’t familiar with the message Stockwell delivered across America in the late 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s – his talk will be equally difficult to deal with.

Sharing this information from 1987 was done in the hopes of reaching men and women who come this way unaware of the historical facts Stockwell presented. Ideally, the recipients will include university students majoring or minoring in – and college graduates/persons interested in – fields including political science, international relations, economics, history, philosophy and many others – or, in the broadest sense, people who wish to gain more of the total truth, past and related to the present, of what has occurred on Earth.

Some will have the thought that a talk given in 1987, 28 years ago, has no relevance to events occurring now in 2015. This is understandable, yet gaining a fuller understanding of past historical events helps the person trying to come up with explanations for current events. What was conveyed in the famous saying  by philosopher George Santayana –  “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” –  applies to the highly condensed, astonishing  measure of historical facts presented by John Stockwell in 1987 during this nearly 2-hour talk that includes a 35-minute question and answer period.

The writer wishes to express the sincerest apology for any emotional, psychological, spiritual or other distress produced in persons who listen to John Stockwell’s 1987 talk in Boulder, Colorado at what was called the “World Affairs Conference”.  Again, the information he presented across America during the late 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s was/is not for the faint of heart.

It is impossible to predict whether some young men or women attending university who listen to this powerful and disturbing 1987 talk will become effective leaders for world peace and nuclear abolition as a result.  The same goes for older men and women aware of John Stockwell because they heard him in person decades ago or in other ways.

While all too aware of the possible psychic harm and sadness which will occur for persons who pass this way and experience this post in its entirety, the overarching vision involves encouragement of utilizing increased knowledge of recent, not-so-recent, and important historical events in efforts to prevent war in 2015. That humble vision or dream can come true in various ways, the common, essential aspect being greater understanding of the realities that have comprised war and violence on Earth.

The greatest manifestation of that vision would be a man or woman who passes this way one day delivering their acceptance speech after becoming awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  Obviously, the odds of that are near non-existent, and only mentioned for encouragement and inspiration.

The odds that person(s) passing this way may become effective voices for peace are much higher, and for that reason hesitation is not an option.

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(Thank you to Americans For Change at YouTube)

The Elders Propose United Nations Evolution.

Originally posted / for more information visit:  www.theelders.org

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STRENGTHENING THE UNITED NATIONS

Statement by The Elders, 7 February 2015

peace pipe 222The United Nations was founded in 1945 “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”.

Yet 70 years later far too many people in this world – in Nigeria, in Pakistan, in the Middle East, to name but a few places – are beginning the year 2015 in grief and suffering, caused by conflict and deliberate violence. Seventeen murders in Paris may seem little by comparison, but they too have horrified us all, because they were so clearly targeted at freedom of expression, and at the Jewish community. Millions of Muslims around the world sincerely deplore these murders, yet are also shocked to see their faith repeatedly caricatured.

Meanwhile the older threat of confrontation between great powers is also stirring again, notably in East Asia, and in Eastern Europe.

In short, human beings are far from being safe from the scourge of war, despite the UN’s best efforts.

Yet the world’s peoples yearn for a fairer, more peaceful world, where new generations can grow up in confidence. They do not want to see the UN wither into irrelevance, as the League of Nations did in the 1930s.

What needs to change?

All institutions must adapt to cope with new circumstances – and today’s circumstances are very different from those of 1945.

There have been profound shifts of power and wealth in the world since then. Of the 193 member states of the United Nations today, nearly three quarters were not members in 1945 – in a few cases because they had been on the wrong side in the second world war, but in the great majority of cases because at that time they did not yet exist as independent states.

Yet the Security Council, which has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, acting on behalf of all the member states, is still dominated by the same five permanent members that were designated all those years ago, being the five great powers that had just won the war.

The governments of those five powers have become so used to their exalted status, which is protected by their ability to veto any change in the Charter, that they think of it almost as their natural right, sometimes forgetting that it is above all a responsibility. They assume that the world will continue to respect their authority, and fail to notice that, year by year, that authority is eroding.

The peoples of the global South, especially, do not see themselves adequately represented in the Council. They are therefore more and more inclined to question its authority, and the legitimacy of its decisions. We ignore this threat at our peril.

Recalling the wise guidance of our founder, Nelson Mandela, we, The Elders, call on governments to listen to their peoples, and on peoples to insist that their governments make more farsighted decisions.

We call on both the existing permanent members of the Security Council and the rest of the membership of the Organization to accept the urgency of strengthening the United Nations, and therefore accept also the compromises – sometimes painful ones – that will be needed to make it possible.

Our proposals:

  1. A New Category of Members

In principle, the existing permanent members claim to be ready to welcome new ones. But their sincerity has not been tested because the rest of the membership cannot agree on essential points: which countries, and how many, should be new permanent members, and should they, like the existing ones, be given a veto over the Council’s substantive divisions? In the view of many, the use or abuse of the veto is responsible for some of the Council’s most conspicuous failures, when it does not intervene in time, or with sufficient force, to protect the victims of genocide and other comparable crimes. Those states are understandably reluctant to give yet more powers the right of veto.

We therefore propose a compromise. Let the states which aspire to permanent membership accept instead, at least for the time being, election to a new category of membership, which would give them a much longer term than the two years served by the non-permanent members, and to which they could be immediately re-elected when that term expires. This would enable them to become de facto permanent members, but in a more democratic way, since it would depend on them continuing to enjoy the confidence of other member states. By making the Council more democratic, this change would increase its legitimacy in the eyes of the world, thereby enhancing its authority and so also making it more effective.

This compromise will not be easy for states which aspire to full permanent membership to accept. But we urge them, for the greater good, to set aside for now their larger ambition. If they do, we believe that other member states will be willing to accord them this special status, whereas their chances of achieving full permanent membership in the near or even medium term still seem remote. Half a loaf (and we submit that in its practical effects it would be much more than half) is proverbially better than no bread. And “no bread” in this instance means continuing the present stalemate, at an unacceptable cost to humanity and to innocent human lives.

Even so, such a change requires amendment of the Charter, which requires a two-thirds majority in the General Assembly and then ratification by two thirds of all UN members, including all five permanent members of the Security Council. This can be done. (The Charter has been amended three times – in the 1960s and early 70s – to enlarge the Security Council from 11 to 15 members, to make related changes to its voting arrangements, and to enlarge the Economic and Social Council.)

But it will inevitably take some time: all the more reason for starting the process without further delay. Meanwhile, we propose three other changes, which do not require Charter amendment. We believe all three are urgently needed, to make the UN more effective, more authoritative and more efficient in its work of maintaining the peace. They should not wait until this first one has been completed.

  1. A Pledge by the Existing Permanent Members

As already noted, on too many issues the Security Council is deadlocked by the failure of its permanent members to agree on a course of action, with the result that millions of people are left to suffer while great powers score debating points off each other. As the UN’s founders understood, without the united support of the permanent members, both material and moral, the Council cannot act.

None of us has forgotten the Holocaust, Rwanda, Srebenica, Saddam Hussein’s campaign against Iraq’s Kurds, or the killing fields of Cambodia. No part of the world has been spared these horrors. So the political will must be summoned to prevent, or at least limit, their repetition.

We therefore call on the five existing permanent members to pledge themselves to greater and more persistent efforts to find common ground, especially in crises where populations are being subjected to, or threatened with, genocide or other atrocity crimes.

States making this pledge will undertake not to use, or threaten to use, their veto in such crises without explaining, clearly and in public, what alternative course of action they propose, as a credible and efficient way to protect the populations in question. This explanation must refer to international peace and security, and not to the national interest of the state casting the veto, since any state casting a veto simply to protect its national interests is abusing the privilege of permanent membership.

And when one or more permanent members do feel obliged to cast a veto, and do provide such an explanation, the others must undertake not to abandon the search for common ground but to make even greater efforts to agree on an effective course of action.

  1. A Voice for Those Affected

When they can agree, the permanent members too often deliberate behind closed doors, without listening to the voices of those most directly affected by their decisions, and present their elected colleagues with ready-made resolutions leaving little room for debate. To remedy this, we call on all members of the Security Council to make more regular and systematic use of the “Arria formula” (under which, in the last two decades, Security Council members have had meetings with a wide variety of civil society organizations), to give groups representing people in zones of conflict the greatest possible opportunity to inform and influence Council decisions.

At present, meetings under the Arria formula are too often attended only by junior officials, whose reports can easily be ignored. In future, we call on the heads of the delegations of all countries serving on the Security Council, including the permanent members, to attend all meetings held under this formula in person. Members of the Council must use such meetings to ensure that their decisions are informed by full and clear knowledge of the conditions in the country or region concerned, and of the views of those most directly affected.

  1. A New Process for Choosing the Secretary-General

At the United Nations, it is the Secretary-General who has to uphold the interests and aspirations of all the world’s peoples. This role requires leadership of the highest calibre. Yet for 70 years the holder of this post has effectively been chosen by the five permanent members of the Security Council, who negotiate among themselves in almost total secrecy. The rest of the world is told little about the process by which candidates are identified, let alone the criteria by which they are judged. This barely follows the letter, and certainly not the spirit, of the UN Charter, which says the Secretary-General should be appointed by the General Assembly, and only on the recommendation of the Security Council.

To remedy this, we call on the General Assembly to insist that the Security Council recommend more than one candidate for appointment as the Secretary-General of the United Nations, after a timely, equitable and transparent search for the best qualified candidates, irrespective of gender or regional origin.

We suggest that the next Secretary-General be appointed for a single, non-renewable term of seven years, in order to strengthen his or her independence and avoid the perception that he or she is guided by electoral concerns. She or he must not be under pressure, either before or after being appointed, to give posts in the Secretariat to people of any particular nationality in return for political support, since this is clearly contrary to the spirit of the Charter. This new process should be adopted without delay, so that the United Nations can make full use of it to choose the best person to assume the post in January 2017.

No time to lose.

The Elders believe that, for the UN to recover its authority and effectiveness in maintaining world peace and security, these changes are an essential starting point. We also believe that they are achievable, with a minimum of good will and effort on the part of member states. We therefore call on the citizens of all states to press their governments to take the necessary action. We, for our part, will do all we can to persuade them.

Discussions on these priority changes must start immediately, inside and outside governments. There is no time to lose.

Already there is a groundswell of pressure for change. By the time we mark the UN’s 70th anniversary later this year, we hope to see this groundswell build into an unstoppable wave, drawing strength from all around the world.

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Planet Ponzi.

by Jerry Alatalo

Alphabet Former hedge fund manager and author of “Planet Ponzi” Mitch Feierstein talks to Tariq Ali on “The World Today”. Mr. Feierstein believes a better option in 2008 would have been to allow “too-big-to-fail” banks to fail, instead of propping them up with massive taxpayer bailouts. He sees no real difference between conditions or regulatory measures from the worldwide financial crisis of 2007-8, a global crisis still being experienced today, and now in 2015 where the financial sector can still pronounce “heads I win, tails you bail me out”. His view is the financial sector is in worse condition now than in 2008, after considering comparative levels of leverage, credit and debt.

Feierstein points out that Cyprus-like actions have recently been adopted in Europe, the United States, along with the other G20 nations. This includes the phenomenon of “bail-ins”, where bank customer deposits in savings and checking accounts etc. are at risk of confiscation by troubled or bankrupt banking organizations, while parties to complex derivatives contracts hold first place among those who seek legal remedy for losses from any bank failures.

G20 nations:

Argentina

Australia

Brazil

Canada

China

France

Germany

India

Indonesia

Italy

Japan

Mexico

Russia

Saudi Arabia

South Africa

South Korea

Turkey

United Kingdom

United States

European Union

It is worth noting that during the recent passage of the United States “Cromnibus” spending bill, a provision written by Citigroup which placed American taxpayers “on-the-hook” for certain derivatives trade losses – in essence repealing one of the main regulatory measures of Dodd-Frank legislation – became included in the must-pass bill, despite strong objections from a number of legislators, most visible being Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Mr. Feierstein notes that, in connection to the 2008 economic crisis, people have “short memories”. He shares the statistic that 60 cents of every tax dollar which comes to the U.S. Treasury goes toward servicing interest on the national debt. He sees the examples of people-powered movements “from below” in Greece, Spain, Italy, and perhaps even soon France as reason for optimism in such movements’ potential for bringing about real reform which could become international.

He sees so-called deficit cutting measures by governments as “spending money they don’t have, but less of it”. He shares the analogy of his wife coming home from a high-class clothing store with an expensive dress, telling him that she “saved” 100,000 euros because the price had been reduced by 100K, but that he didn’t have the 100k she paid for the dress.

According to Mitch Feierstein, democracy is “vaporized”; it’s an illusion”. Whenever the economy goes down, extreme right-wing parties spring up, along with more acceptable alternative third parties whose success is directly linked to the people’s no longer being able to vote for people “who have lied to you”. Feierstein tells Tariq Ali about illegal manipulations of LIBOR (London Inter-Bank Offer Rate) interest rates, the interest rate banks charge each other for loans.

Mr. Feierstein considers the LIBOR rigging scandal as the largest financial crime in history, LIBOR rates connected globally to $300 trillion dollars worth of contracts. If such massive rigging at the highest levels of bank management of LIBOR weren’t disturbing enough, some now view manipulations of currency rates and prices for precious metals as even more damaging to the world economy.

The world’s combined GDP (gross domestic product) is an estimated $67 trillion. Some of world’s largest banks hold more than the world’s GDP in complex financial instruments contracts becoming more commonly known as derivatives. Thanks to the “Citigroup Provision” passed along with America’s Cromnibus spending bill, the American people could face the situation where their tax dollars will “cover” losing derivatives bets that Mr. Feierstein early in the interview termed “…tails you bail me out”.

He tells Mr. Ali that these are “incredibly bizarre times”, and that governance has become a stepping stone to great wealth instead of an honorable profession where speaking the truth and trying to make life better for fellow citizens is the one and only focus. Using the example of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Feierstein concludes: “If you’re a good boy, and you toe the line and keep the narrative, you’ll do just fine. Get out (of political office) and become very wealthy”.

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(Thank you to The World Today with Tariq Ali at YouTube)