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Posts Archive

August, 2017

Not the briar patch, Brer Trump!

March, 2017

A Serious Case of the DTs

January, 2017

The American Yeltsin
Sunlight Through Troubled Times
Beyond Zealots and Cold-War Warriors

December, 2016

A Vandal at the Gates of Rome

October, 2016

Are you conscious?

September, 2016

Brave New World?

August, 2016

Stop, for a moment.

July, 2016

Rupert's Coup

March, 2016

Between a Shill and a Hard Case

July, 2015

Swimming in a sea of sugar

June, 2015

Information Rich, Attention Poor
Nerds need to get out more ...

March, 2015

There is a homunculus at the end of the garden path

October, 2014

Determination, not dreams
Welcome Home
Addicted to GDP
Irony?Karma? - take your pick

August, 2014

History? Whose story?
Marketing Ebola

July, 2014

As above, so below

December, 2013

A time for tolerance

November, 2013

Thinking out of the xBox
The old ones are the best ones ...
Welcome to the Gulag

October, 2013

A timely response to spying

September, 2013

Obedience and the Machine
Ban the bible?
Fracticide - don't do it.

July, 2013

Serfing, USUK

June, 2013

Deafened by gossip

May, 2013

Who needs words...?

April, 2013

Why would they stop?
It must be true

March, 2013

Beyond belief

February, 2013

RBS: doing Fine, not Time
Pillars tumbling down
Trouble with models
A matter of perspective

January, 2013

Royal Promo
Boiling the Lance
Boson Brains Rule

November, 2012

Burning symbols

October, 2012

Charles and Jimmy's little secret
Beach bums and Magi
A Reality Check
Happy Birthday

August, 2012

A journey through riotous times

July, 2012

Caring for life
Not everyone for Tennis?
A banker lie? Unthinkable!

June, 2012

A cynical ploy
Collateral damage for The United States of Europe
Will you walk into my parlour?
Beams and motes
From one Jubilee to another

May, 2012

Perturbations
A crazy idea
The course of time
Sorry, Harry

April, 2012

Cracks in the Rear-View Mirror
A keeper of sheeple
Principled Policing
Say goodbye to Betty
Lessons learned
Causality and good news
Manufactured irrelevance
Corporate responsibility

March, 2012

Poppycock - without question
Who's pushing your buttons?
Investigate the Blair-Murdoch Conspiracy

February, 2012

In Praise of The Seven Liberal Arts
The real story
When giving is taking
Giving it all away

November, 2011

Poking a hornets nest
Wealth of Nations poured away
Squeaky and the Paedophile Prince
Boiling frogs
Death of an industry
Change blindness
What a world ...

October, 2011

Gifts
Pictures and words
Screeching to a halt.
Taxing noise

September, 2011

Hand over your money
Breeding psychopaths
Mr Fox, is the hen house safe?
A ludicrous Conspiracy Theory
Can you believe your eyes?
Getting eye contact
Partners in Crime

July, 2011

It was the Wettins 'wot won it'

May, 2011

Kevin
Heir apparently

April, 2011

Putting Emergencies in Context
Underground networks travelling First Class

March, 2011

Be careful what you ask for
Water - a tale of two countries
Newspeak
Here we go again ...
Wake up!!!

February, 2011

Priorities
The right stuff
Revolution! ... and yet, and yet.
Follow the money
Shh - don't tell the children
Does the MoD have a Cunning Plan?

January, 2011

Met Office caught in winter weather whitewash
Read between the lines
The new parable of Noah
Banking on People

November, 2010

Wettins don't say sorry
It's just not fair ...
Remember, remember ...

October, 2010

Kindness sees no crime
Pundits in the frame
Killer drones target the middle class
A tale of two Charlies

September, 2010

A failure to discriminate ...
Good Grief
A rent-boy's rent-boy

August, 2010

Size psycho-fancy
Baiting a Wikid Trap?

July, 2010

... at the gates of Rome
Monday musings

June, 2010

Guilty - but not charged
Psychopaths at the door

May, 2010

ConDemned to the Shock Doctor
Driven by metaphor
Guns and Banksters
Death of Old Conker

April, 2010

Bankster at bay ...
Nuke Iceland?
Smokescreen

March, 2010

It's how you say it ...
Bullying Manner
Quelle surprise!
Iceland - showing the way.

February, 2010

Small steps to a far place
Seeds of silence

January, 2010

Liar
So who needs people?
Late and censored
Freedom for life

December, 2009

Patterns
Testament
Boy-friendly!

October, 2009

Fools served by Zombies
Webs
BBC dogs that didn't bark ...

September, 2009

Taken Hostage

August, 2009

Have a good weekend ...
High Frequency Trading ...
Money money money
Fit for a politician

July, 2009

Inside clouds

June, 2009

Fond thoughts of Tony Blair ...
A good day ...
Midnight musing

May, 2009

aaah diddums
Zal may ...

April, 2009

Echos of a dark past
Sharks in the Shadows
Worlds Apart

January, 2009

Money Matters
Killing History
Magic

December, 2008

Home improvements
Get the Picture?

November, 2008

Barak - the movie

October, 2008

Won't get fooled again
Bankers, all of them!

September, 2008

And The Winner is ...
Light relief
A Financial 9/11
That's Lucky!
On this day

August, 2008

Mark My Words

July, 2008

The Management Myth
Sense Making Questions

June, 2008

Beware this Griffin
42 Day Folly
A Tortured Silence

May, 2008

A new Dawn needed
Is Justin Webb A Neo-Con?
The Puppy, the Mountain and the Fascists

April, 2008

Attention Pays

March, 2008

Fat Cats and Pork Pies
Fed up Darling?
Swearing - it's just not British!

October, 2007

TsarkoMania

Welcome to the Gulag   November 10, 2013

As I write this, our Video du Jour (The Wall Street Code) tells a fascinating insiders tale of how stock markets are fraudulently manipulated by algorithmic trading

It is difficult for most people to grasp how this affects them. It seems so remote - high finance - a long way away. It's just those bankers and geeks again.

But it impacts us all, directly. The price of food, clothes, vehicles, houses - everything - is much much more expensive because of it. It is one of the reasons we have austerity. The higher prices do not affect those with big salaries, the cost of a loaf of bread or pint of milk is a tinier fraction of their disposable income than for the less well-off.

The unfairness and criminality are, of themselves, good enough reasons to pay attention. However, there is a deeper, darker lesson hidden in there. A lesson about corporate greed and how society is inexorably being sucked dry by it.

That the fuel in your car is paid for by the death and maiming of millions of people worldwide is now so well known that it is a non-fact. Like the mistreatment of chickens or pigs by supermarkets. (If you can watch all of this video about production of Walmart pork, you have a stronger stomach than I do.)

The recent fuss about spying by the NSA and GCHQ has focussed on the issue of government surveillance and invasions of privacy. While important, the noise has obscured the fact that it is the multi-national corporations that have and use the relevant data.

Pay attention next time you search for a product on the internet. You will immediately see advertisements for those very same products pop up on totally unrelated sites. You are being watched, tracked and sold to - but not only by governments.

It is in the interests of insurance and pension companies to know about your interest in particular symptoms or medications. They want to both reduce their risks and increase your contribution.

Military spending for oil, animal cruelty, corporate spying - all these are now common knowledge. But I have to thank ZeroHedge and Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg for this latest example of how corporate greed is reshaping society: the Private Prison scam.

It has been obvious for some time that the 'soft gulag' that we have entered is structured around an institutional dependence on privately offered 'public services'. A good example is the way community hospitals are closed down and then hotels, restaurants and shopping malls spring up around their regional replacements.

The same has happened with prisons. Prison visitors need food and accommodation when they go to remote prisons with awkward visiting hours. Prisons are an even better corporate investment than hospitals, because the prisoners can be made to do a valuable days work for a pittance.

Whether it is producing hi-tech components in the USA or manning call centres inside prisons in the UK, prisoners have become slaves - labouring for the profit of private corporations. A labour force that is forced to work for 25c /hour, takes no vacation  and has no union – a corporate dream.

But the real killer is this: a Public Interest report on a survey of private prison contracts found that a majority of contracts include a guarantee of 'occupancy rates'. These are typically around 90%, but are sometimes 95% to 100% - if the targets are not met, the tax-payer has to pay an 'empty-bed tax'. Such contracts typically run for 20 years.

Just think about it for a minute. The civil authority is motivated to keep the prisons full! If they don't, they have to pay. There are even cases where a private contractor has taken over a prison, demanded, and got, a 95% occupancy rate, and then subsequently converted some pre-release study facilities into more beds - to increase revenue.

No wonder the US prison population has ballooned up to nearly 2.5 million, 25% of the worlds total prison population, in a country which only comprises 5% of the worlds people. There is no bureaucratic incentive for rehabilitation, prisoner re-offending is a direct benefit to the state.

Corporate greed is driving, and thriving on, an increase in criminality. It is not necessary to postulate an intentional desire to dehumanise and dumb-down the majority of the population. But that is the outcome.

And corporate profit benefits from it.


Posted by Nicholas Moore    6:47:57 PM
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