Monthly Archives: October 2011

Tao Te Ching on the 1 and 99 percent

When rich speculators prosper
while farmers lose their land;
when government officials spend money
on weapons instead of cures;
when the upper class is extravagant and irresponsible
while the poor have nowhere to turn-
all this is robbery and chaos.

. Image from flickr

Let them Default- the Debt Crisis Solution

Ann Petifor

Ann is right about default. She needs to plot revolution in England.

Let them default: The Radical Solution to the Sovereign Debt Crisis

Ann Petifor was one of the founders of the Jubilee 2000 movement to cancel third world debt that started in England. She was interviewed Sept. 15 on the Australian Broadcasting Network, the topic being the first world banking crisis, which she also predicted.

Here is an excerpt from the transcript:

ANN PETTIFOR: There is going to be a crash. We can either allow it to happen as it is at the moment in a chaotic and catastrophic way, or the central banks and other policymakers can decide that they’re gonna manage the restructuring of debt. Because the fact is the world is burdened by too much debt, too much leverage. It’s gonna have to be managed downwards. We can either fold our arms and say leave it to the invisible hand and allow the invisible hand to destroy our economies chaotically, or, as policymakers we can take action and manage it in as orderly a way as possible. It is gonna be painful. There’s gotta be restructuring, there’s gotta be rebalancing. It’s not gonna be easy, and the bankers will scream blue murder. But we’ve gotta make our choices.

STEPHEN LONG: Not the choices made in 2008, when governments bailed out insolvent banks, but demanded little or nothing in return.

How could it have been done differently?

ANN PETTIFOR: We could’ve said to the bankers, “We need to bail you out. This is a systemic crisis. We hate what you’ve done, but off course we have to bail you out, but there are terms and conditions. Thou shalt lend to real businesses doing real productive economic activity. You will not speculate and you will lend at very low rates of interest, and we will take away your license if you don’t. And by the way, you can’t pay yourself bonuses.” We said nothing of the sort. Our governments just simply, in a state of shock, maintained the system as it was prior to crisis.

Default I can agree with. Debts that can’t be paid won’t be paid. However, I think that Ann Petifor doesn’t go far enough. Bailing them out after they’ve failed? We need new institutions. Bailing out failed businesses that are guilty of crimes falls short of a jubilee. Falls short of a revolution. However, in her next interview she gets more radical:

Today another interview with Ann appears on Salon in an article entitled Jubilee 2012? about the Occupy Wall Street movement and its parallels to the Jubilee 2000 campaign. Ann calls for a second American Revolution. This cross-fertilization of the British and American Jubilists is a great thing, and I think it’s time for the  Jubilee 2000 alumni to concentrate on sparking a British revolution. I hope that’s what she has in mind. A jubilee for you and me, as well as the Third World. The Bank of England has been the dominant oligarchical institution of oppression around the globe for the past 400 years. Are there no poor, no debt enslaved in jolly old imperialistic England?

Old Slavery New Slavery

the old slavery in america

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them (around the banks), will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

slavery to bankers

PRESIDENT THOMAS JEFFERSON: “The system of banking [is] a blot left in all our Constitutions, which, if not covered, will end in their destruction… I sincerely believe that banking institutions are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity… is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”

THOMAS A. EDISON: “People who will not turn a shovel full of dirt on the project (Muscle Shoals Dam) nor contribute a pound of material, will collect more money from the United States than will the People who supply all the material and do all the work. This is the terrible thing about interest …But here is the point: If the Nation can issue a dollar bond it can issue a dollar bill. The element that makes the bond good makes the bill good also. The difference between the bond and the bill is that the bond lets the money broker collect twice the amount of the bond and an additional 20%. Whereas the currency, the honest sort provided by the Constitution pays nobody but those who contribute in some useful way. It is absurd to say our Country can issue bonds and cannot issue currency. Both are promises to pay, but one fattens the usurer and the other helps the People. If the currency issued by the People were no good, then the bonds would be no good, either. It is a terrible situation when the Government, to insure the National Wealth, must go in debt and submit to ruinous interest charges at the hands of men who control the fictitious value of gold. Interest is the invention of Satan”.

PRESIDENT JAMES A. GARFIELD: “Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce”.

CONGRESSMAN LOUIS T McFADDEN: “The Federal Reserve(Banks) are one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever seen. There is not a man within the sound of my voice who does not know that this Nation is run by the International Bankers”.

HORACE GREELEY: “While boasting of our noble deeds were careful to conceal the ugly fact that by an iniquitous money system we have nationalized a system of oppression which, though more refined, is not less cruel than the old system of chattel slavery.

PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON: “A great industrial Nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the Nation and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the world – no longer a Government of free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men”. (Just before he died, Wilson is reported to have stated to friends that he had been “deceived” and that “I have betrayed my Country”. He referred to the Federal Reserve Act passed during his Presidency.)

MAJOR L .L. B. ANGUS: “The modern Banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process is perhaps the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that was ever invented. Banks can in fact inflate, mint and unmint the modern ledger-entry currency”.

(Former Secretary of the British Treasury): “Banks lend by creating credit. They create the means of payment out of nothing”.

ROBERT H HEMPHILL (Credit Manager of Federal Reserve Bank, Atlanta, Ga.): “This is a staggering thought. We are completely dependent on the commercial Banks. Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash or credit. If the Banks create ample synthetic money we are prosperous; if not, we starve. We are absolutely without a permanent money system. When one gets a complete grasp of the picture, the tragic absurdity of our hopeless position is almost incredible, but there it is. It is the most important subject intelligent persons can investigate and reflect upon. It is so important that our present civilization may collapse unless it becomes widely understood and the defects remedied very soon”.

Another Day for Blowing the Trumpet

Shofar, the trumpet of jubilee

Shofar, photo by Olve Utne

Today is Yom Kippur, the 10th day of the Jewish New Year. It was on this day, in the ancient Jubilees, that the trumpet (shofar) was once again blown and slaves were set free.

It is believed by some teachers of Bible Chronology that on this day, Yom Kippur in 2011, we will see release from an ancient cycle of bondage.

Yom Kippur is a day of fasting, prayer and repentance.

Lord, give us faith as a people and a nation to turn to You and trust in You, desperately depending upon You alone to give us Your wisdom. Let us not try to explain away or cover up our sins of material lust, self-centered indulgence, predatory lending, greed, and rebellion against the wisdom of Your Word and Your ways. Let us admit the sin for the sin that it is and repent before You, personally and as a people of a nation humbling themselves before God (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Here is an outline of the Jewish observance of Yom Kippur

…  Much symbolism surrounds the blowing of the shofar, but it is most commonly seen as a wake-up call. Likened to an alarm clock, the shofar says, “Wake up and take a look at the way you’ve been living, and do something about it.”

The High Holy Days – A Time Of Personal Change And Spiritual Return

By Nina Amir

As the leaves on the trees begin to turn, local Jews, as well as Jews all over the world begin the process of t’shuvah, a Hebrew word meaning repentance which comes from the root “to turn or return.” For them, autumn ushers in the High Holy Days, during which they turn their attention away from the distractions of everyday life and toward God, away from outward denial of wrongdoing and toward acknowledgment of sins, away from unwanted behavior and toward repentance. At this time of year, change is in the air for Jews all around the world.

The High Holy Days include both Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Repentance. Thus, this period marks the joyous beginning of a new year as well as a somber period of introspection. However, preparations for the “Days of Awe” – the period between Rosh Hashanah and the end of Yom Kippur, begin on September 8 with the observance of Selichot, a late evening or nighttime service involving the recitation of penitential prayers. Many Jews take time both with their community and on their own to begin the process of evaluating their own behavior over the past year on this night, and then continue doing so until the last sound of the shofar, the rams horn traditionally blown on this holiday, at sundown on Yom Kippur.

Although some Jews observe Selichot for a full month prior to Rosh Hashanah, others begin their observance approximately a week before the start of this holiday. In either case, this religious observance might be likened to a “warm up” for the High Holidays, my old Rabbi Steven Bob of Congregation Etz Chaim in Lombard, once told me. “Before you go running, you want to stretch a little bit. This is spiritual stretching. The Selichot service introduces the theme and melodies of the High Holy Days while also stressing God’s royalty and our modest position. We recognize that God is judging us, but…we don’t want justice, we want mercy,” said Bob.

Selichot marks the first time during the High Holidays that Jews hear the shofar blown. Much symbolism surrounds the blowing of the shofar, but it is most commonly seen as a wake-up call. Likened to an alarm clock, the shofar says, “Wake up and take a look at the way you’ve been living, and do something about it.” Blowing the shofar on Rosh Hashanah represents a call to return to God. During the year, we tend to stray from the path or get distracted, and we have to come back, turn towards God once again.

At the conclusion of the Selichot service, Jews have a week to begin their self-assessment before Rosh Hashanah. Although this holiday is a joyous one, it does mark the beginning of 10 days of introspection and repentance. On Rosh Hashanah the liturgy speaks of people “being written in the Book of Life.” If they sincerely repent for sins and rectify wrongs from the last year, on Yom Kippur their names are “sealed” in the Book. If they do not, their names are erased. While this language can be seen as a liturgical poetic image, it serves to remind Jews that what we do counts whether it is well known or whether it is secret. With our deeds, we write on the pages of our own Book of Life.

The Book of Life also provides a beautiful metaphor that reminds us we are fragile and don’t know whether we will survive the year or not. Should we not survive, it seems a good idea to atone before meeting God and facing whatever fate lies before us.

The stress on being written in the Book of Life also allows Jews to think about the fact that our fate is not sealed forever, that we have an active role in what the future may bring us. Judaism has a doctrine of fee will; thus, we not pawns that play out Divine Will. The Yom Kippur liturgy stresses this fact, repeating over and over again that repentance, prayer and just actions can avert the severity of the decree.

We don’t often think of change as easy. It seems easier to stay the way we are and where we are. Yet, change is inevitable and often forced upon us. At this time of year, the Jewish tradition doesn’t force us to change but asks us to change. We are reminded of the necessity of change – change for the better.

We can see this as an obligation. We can see it as an opportunity.

Either way, the Jewish New Year offers us a chance – for some of us a second chance in addition to the secular New Year – to look at ourselves, our relationships and our lives and to set new goals, to create new priorities and to make amends for the wrongs we might have consciously or unconsciously, purposefully or accidentally committed over the past 12 months. This, too, can be difficult – to honestly look at ourselves and our deeds. If we are willing to do the work, however, the period from Selichot to Yom Kippur provides a chance for t’shuvah, to turn towards what we want in our selves, in our lives and in the world, to return to our best selves. It’s a time to write our life for the coming year, to envision the year as we would like it to be and ourselves as we would like to become. And then when we hear the shofar blown in those last moments of Yom Kippur, we know that change has descended upon us. Or, more accurately, we have brought change upon ourselves.

Nina Amir, a writer, motivational speaker, workshop leader, and Kabbalistic conscious creation coach, teamed up with Karen Stone, a life and love coach, writer, speaker, and workshop leader to publish “Planting Seeds of Change…And Watching Them Grow.” They co-lead a 4-part Teleseminar Series based on their booklet. The next series begins on September 6th. To enroll, visit or call 408-353-1943 or 770-435-2030.

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Illegitimate Debt Week

illegitimate debt weekThe Week of Global Action against Debt and IFIs is an initiative of the different movements and organizations in the International South North Campaign on Illegitimate Debt. It was born at the World Social Forum in Nairobi, in 2007, and this year, its 4th edition, runs from 11 to 17 of October 2011.

One of the cornerstones of the Week of Global Action against Debt and International Financial Institutions (IFIs) on October 11-17, 2010 is the demand for the immediate cancellation of illegitimate debts across the globe – Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and North America. At least 297 organizations from 60 countries will participate and will strongly raise issues around illegitimate debt cases in the week-long activity.

Ancient Liberty signified Debt Cancellation

Amagi Cuneiform Freedom Liberty

Amagi - Sumerian Liberty in Cuneiform Script

The  earliest-known written appearance of the word “freedom” or “liberty” is the Sumerian cuneiform “Ama-gi”, above. Its meaning is freedom from debt slavery. The literal translation is  “return to the mother,”  as former debt slaves were “returned to their mothers, (i.e., freed).”

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Who’s Afraid of a Debt Jubilee?



The New York Times is now starting to ridicule the idea of a debt jubilee that is “doing the rounds”.


Entitled “The Downside To a Debt Jubilee”, NYT says,

Good ends do not justify bad means. That philosophical observation applies to proposals for a big American debt jubilee that are now doing the rounds. The basic idea is to slash consumer debt, which is an admirable aim for an overleveraged nation. Household debt is still 90 percent of gross domestic product, down only modestly from the 2008 peak of 100 percent. But even bank-haters should recognize that this cure might be worse than the disease.

Read more….

At least the writer recognizes that there are bank haters in the American population. He then goes on to say that if there’s a jubilee it will require help from the Fed. Too bad the writer just doesn’t get it… the Fed is doomed…it will be erased along with the debt in the coming jubilee…

Imagine An American Jubilee Celebration. Imagine a celebration sometime soon in the future: A celebration of Jubilee. Over 90% of the American national debt has been eliminated, through the American National Jubilee Act and International Treaty. Trillions of dollars of new debt-free credit for manufacturing, energy R&D, scientific innovation and advanced technologies to solve the pressing problems facing the world, has been issued by the government lawfully and debt-free. America is rebuilding its economy.

Imagine the American Jubilee Party of the future. It would transcend nationalism, and would indeed be a world wide party, celebrating the “shaking off” of debt burdens around the globe.

Occupy Wall Street Should Make 4 Demands

Author and Historian Webster Tarpley, In “An Emergency Program for Anti-Wall Street Protestors: Don’t Let Soros Hijack the Movement“, offers 4 Key Demands that the “Occupy Wall Street” protestors should include:

1. Student Loan Amnesty.
2. Stop Foreclosures
3. Defend and fully fund the social safety net.
4. Pay for healthcare and social services with a 1% Wall Street Sales Tax.
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Reuters calls for a haircut to kick start economy


Creditors need a new style

A Reuters Special report calls for a haircut (massive debt relief, or Jubilee) to kickstart the economy.

“More than three years after the financial crisis struck, the economy remains stuck in a consumer debt trap. It’s a situation that could take years to correct itself. That’s why some economists are calling for a radical step: massive debt relief.”


I find it amazing that the Reuters article claims that jubilee made it into popular culture through the Margaritaville episode of South Park.

Reuters makes no mention of  Jubilee 2000, the campaign America missed: The Jubilee 2000 debt relief movement mobilized millions of people, transformed international policy and shaped public opinion — in Europe.