25 November 2010

Adam Curtis on Cameron's Behavioural Insights Unit: FROM PIGEON TO SUPERMAN AND BACK AGAIN


Adam Curtis | 16:53 UK time, Tuesday, 16 November 2010

I am fascinated by the group David Cameron has set up in No.10, called The Behavioural Insights Unit. I think it is evidence of a massive shift that is just beginning in British politics which will change the way politicians govern and manage the rest of us.

Tony Blair believed in a consumerist idea of democracy. He used focus groups to try and find out what people wanted as a way of shaping policy (except, of course, over Iraq). Like Mrs Thatcher, he believed that the people knew best. They expressed their desires and wants clearly through the market. And politics, he believed, should imitate this.

The Behavioural Insights Team believe the opposite. That in many cases you can't trust the people. That if you let them just follow their desires they will often do things that are bad both for themselves and for society.

This doesn't mean you get rid of the market. Instead governments should find ways to manipulate ordinary peoples' feelings and desires so they "choose" to do the right thing.

Behind this are the ideas of what is called Behavioural Economics. They were popularised by a book called "Nudge" written by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein.

The idea of "nudging" citizens to do the right thing sounds cute. But in reality it marks the return of a powerful psycho-political theory that rose up in the mid-20th century. It was called Behaviourism. And it was hated by both the right and the left.

Behaviourism's most famous exponent was an American psychologist called B. F. Skinner who was an idealist and a utopian. He believed that his techniques of behaviour modification could be used to create a completely new kind of world.

...continues at link above.

19 November 2010

Israeli War Criminals

The following information was received anonymously; presumably from a member of the Israeli Military. It was presented as follows:

"Underlining the following people is an act of retribution and affront. They are the direct perpetrators, agents for the state of Israel that in Dec.- Jan. 2008- 2009 attacked scores of people in the besieged Gaza. The people listed here held positions of command at the time of the attack therefore not only did they perform on behalf of a murderous state mechanism but actively encouraged other people to do the same. They bear a distinctive personal responsibility. They range from low-level field commanders to the highest echelons of the Israeli army. All took an active and direct role in the offensive.

In underlining them we are purposefully directing attention to individuals rather than the static structures through which they operate. We are aligning people with actions. It is to these persons and others, Like them, to which we must object and bring our plaints to bear upon.

This information was pirated. We encourage people to seek out other such similar information, it is readily available in the public sphere and inside public officials' locked cabinets. This is a form of resistance that can be effectively sustained for a long while.

This project for one, has only just begun, do your bit so that this virtual list may come to bear upon the physical.

Disseminate widely."

List of Israeli War Criminals


Agai Yehezkel
אגאי יחזקאל
Brigadier General
Head of the Armored Corps
קצין שריון ראשי
19/04/66 22380406
26 Inbar st.
ענבר 26

Aharon Haliwa
אהרן חליוה
Head of “Bahad 1" (officer training academy)
מפקד בית הספר לקצינים בה”ד 1
12/10/67 23050578

Alex Shakliar
אלכס שקליאר
Second Lieutenant
Nesher Field Inteligence Battalion, Squad Commander
גדוד מודיעין השדה נשר, מפקד צוות
12/12/87 304074636

Amir Ulo
אמיר אולו
Lieutenant Colonel
Yahalom Engineering Battalion Commander
מפקד גדוד ההנדסה יהל"ם
09/05/71 28542900 62 Hagai st.
Har Adar
הגיא 62
הר אדר

Amir Abstein
אמיר אבשטיין
Lieutenant Colonel
7th Regiment, 75 Romach Battalion Commander
חטיבה 7 מג"ד 75 רומח
21 Yahalom st.
יהלום 21
מודיעין- מכבים- רעות

Amir Shimon Eshel
אמיר שמעון אשל
Major General
Head of the Planning Directorate
ראש אגף התכנון
04/04/59 55652846 # 78
קידרון 78

Amos Yadlin
עמוס ידלין
Major General
Head of Intelligence Directorate
ראש אמ"ן
20/11/5151112027 11 Smadar st.
Karmei Yosef
סמדר 11
כרמי יוסף

11 November 2010

'Wealthy Israelis' behind illegal organ transplants in South Africa. NHS provider involved.

 In an online BBC article headline today "S African hospital group pleads guilty in organ scandal" we read:

"South Africa's largest private medical group has pleaded guilty to performing illegal kidney transplant operations at one of its hospitals.
It follows a seven-year investigation into transplants carried out at the facility in Durban.
The medical group Netcare admitted that children were recruited to donate their organs, and said the hospital had wrongly profited from the operations."

Who were the donors? According to the BBC it was "(p)oor donors, often from Brazil".

And where did the organs go? Again according to the BBC: "These were then given to those in need, who were often wealthy Israelis."

Note too how the BBC is extremely light on details, such as how much donors were paid.

Note how the BBC manages to get "wealthy Israelis" and "those in need" into the same sentence, and notice the word 'mostly':

In fact ALL those who benefited from  the illegal organs were Israelis, and that the organs were 'donated by poor Brazilians, Romanians and Israelis', some of whom were paid as little as $6,000 while recipients paid $100,000 and the "Mercury newspaper reported on September 16 that Netcare allegedly made more than R22 million from the operations", equivalent to £2 million sterling

Israelis have a history of being involved in organ trafficking scandals. As far back as 2001 Organ Watch called Israel a "pariah" in the organ transplant world. It was only in April this year (2010) that we read about another organ trafficking ring: "Police smash Israeli organ-trafficking ring", in which people were offered up to $100,000 for a kidney, were flown to 'poor countries' like Azerbaijan or the Phillipines, had their kidneys removed but who never received the money.

We also can see how the corporation behind all this, Netcare, has managed to escape scot-free, by a manoevre in which its own hospital declared itself guilty: "Netcare spokeswoman Martina Nicholson said Tuesday that the state had withdrawn charges after the hospital pleaded guilty to accepting payments for kidney donors and removing kidneys from minors."

Lets have a look at the original charges brought against Netcare: "Netcare, its head, Richard Friedland, Durban's St Augustine's Hospital, two transplant unit staff and an Israeli interpreter were yesterday served with summons on 11 charges. These include 109 counts of fraud, 21 counts of forgery, 21 counts of uttering, 109 counts of serious assault, and charges of contravening the Human Tissues Act and the Prevention of Organised Crime Act."

Here the BBC is more forthcoming:

"Several of those directly involved pleaded guilty at the time, but Netcare - which runs more than 50 hospitals in South Africa - had until now refused to accept responsibility.
Our correspondent says things began to change when prosecutors brought charges against Netcare's chief executive and the company made a plea bargain.
In return for those charges being dropped, Netcare accepted that some of its employees had known that the kidney donors and recipients had not been related.
It acknowledged that "payments must have been made to the donors for their kidneys, and that certain of the kidney donors were minors at the time that their kidneys were removed".
"Certain employees participated in these illegalities, and (the hospital) wrongly benefited from the proceeds," it said."

Netcare also has a profitable UK operation running UK private hospitals and NHS 'services'. The Netcare website itself tells us:
"The United Kingdom business provides the following key services:
  • Private hospital services through BMI, operating 56 acute care private patient hospitals with 2,907 registered beds, 152 operating theatres and 37 pharmacies.
  • NHS services through Netcare UK, an established independent service provider to the NHS, operating surgical centres, ophthalmic units (specialising in cataract operations) and an NHS Walk-in Centre in Leeds."
 In fact, the Netcare business in the UK goes under the umbrella name of General Healthcare Group, which it acquired in 2006. Their " primary businesses are BMI Healthcare and Netcare UK." They are also "a major shareholder in CARE Fertility...Netcare UK provides specialised clinical services for the NHS"

"At 31 March 2007, Netcare managed 122 private hospitals and clinics, equipped with more than 12,100 beds. For the year ended 30 September 2006, Netcare had consolidated revenue of £799 million, operating profit of £108 million, total assets of £3,476 billion and a market capitalisation of £1,518 million. "

The company also has a joke page called "Corporate social responsibilty", where it says pretty much nothing about Corporate Social Responsibility, which is itself an oxymoron. Organ traffickers socially responsible? Pull the other one....

This is creeping privatisation of the UK health system to organ traffickers!!!

07 November 2010

Al-Qaeda is a 'Western-made' group

"Al-Qaeda is a 'Western-made' group". So says the Yemeni Prime Minister Ali Mujawar.

"Al-Qaida, literally "the database", was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians." So said the late Robin Cook, former UK Foreign Minister.

"Yemen orders US-born cleric found 'dead or alive'". So says the Associated Press.

Now we find out that there were "at least five cases in which US agencies were warned that David Coleman Headley, who became a central figure in the 2008 attacks on Mumbai, was training or working with Pakistani militants." We also read in the same story that "(i)n the seven years in which leads accumulated, Headley was not questioned or placed on a terror watch list, officials say."  So, it turns out this guy was reported by his own wife to US authorities who did nothing. Not surprising considering he was a DEA agent at the time, and who knows what more.

What's the betting, that by using the CIA's own 'advanced interrogation techniques', I could make the radical U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and David Coleman Headley confess to being double agents for the US government?

04 November 2010

Schutzstaffel, Völkisch & Untermenschen: Israel 2010

Gideon Levy has yet another bold article in Israeli daily, Haaretz: "Israel is proud to present: The aggressor-victim"

In it he criticizes the hero-worship and "scandalous support of senior officers" for two Israeli Occupation Force soldiers who were found guilty of using an 11 year old child as a human shield during Operation Cast lead in Gaza in 2009, or as the BBC put it:

"The soldiers were found guilty of reckless endangerment and conduct unbecoming for forcing the nine-year-old boy to check suspected booby-traps...
A summary of the verdict said that - when rounding up residents of Tel al-Hawa - the soldiers came across bags in a home and ordered the Palestinian boy to search for suspected booby-traps.
"The boy, who feared for his fate and was under the stress of the situation, wet his pants," the three-judge panel wrote in the summary of the verdict.
"The court has noted that, unlike the soldiers, the child was, naturally, bereft of any form of protection.""

And guess what? The soldiers are the victims! And we notice that the names of the 2 cowards have not been released...and they call themselves the "most moral army in the world"!

Levy, on how the Israeli Occupation Forces frame the argument: "there has never been an occupier who presented himself like that, as a victim...The victimhood, it turns out, belongs not to an 11-year-old child whose life was put at risk and who has been suffering from insomnia ever since, but the soldiers who ordered him to check for explosives, in clear contradiction of a ruling by the Supreme Court...Not the Samouni family, 21 of whose members were butchered when the same Givati Brigade, under the same commander, bombed the house into which the soldiers ordered the family, but the brigade commander, Ilan Malka, whose conduct is now being investigated, shamefully late. And certainly not the residents of Gaza, who experienced Cast Lead with its hardships, horrors, destruction and war crimes, but the soldiers, who share responsibility with the commanders and politicians. "

Levy continues "The soldiers taking pictures of themselves dancing with prisoners and posing with corpses are proud of what they do. They upload the footage onto the Web, for all to see, and friends of the two Givati troops are equally proud of what their mates have done. They're proud of the conduct of people who broke the law."

It appears friends and colleagues of these two cowards protested outside the court wearing black T-shirts.

Well we all know the significance of black shirts...

Schutzstaffel: SS protective squads; who operated the concentration camps; also had an elite "Black Shirts" squad to guard the Nazi Party.

It's appearing more and more that the Israelis have developed a form of Stockholm Syndrome with the Nazis, their actions more and more resemble the actions of the Nazis, and let's face it, who needs gas chambers when you can use Hellfire missiles, GBU-39s, white phosphorous bombs and other experimental weapons such as Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME) (even more cancer-inducing than depleted uranium which was also used)  over densely populated areas?

Oh, and the other two terms in the title?

völkisch -- an adjective used to describe the racist, nationalist ideology which divided people into "pure" Aryans and inferior Untermenschen.
Untermenschen -- those peoples the Nazi's derided as subhuman

Just change the word 'Aryans' for 'Jews' and 'Nazis' to 'Zionists' and we have a pretty clear picture of today's Israel...

03 November 2010

Kiko Veneno - La Rama de Barcelona