Monday, December 5, 2016

`If I'll Give You A Rose' folk love song lyrics

A folk love song from the 1960's about both fearing to fall in love and wishing to find romantic love on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
You've got such long blonde hair
And a mind so rare
And the words you utter
Come through so clear.
And I did realize
When you sat so near
That my heart was warning:
"Look out! Beware!"

Because I don't want to get caught in a web, again,
And I don't want my stream to be exposed.
But if you've got some interest, honey,
Just come to me
And then we will see
If I'll give you a rose.

You've got a way with kids
And you let them live
And they hold your soft hands
With grateful grins.
And in the deep evening
As I lay alone
Your face did appear
With dreams of home.

But I don't want to fall into a well, again,
And I don't want my hopes to be destroyed.
But if you've got some interest, honey
Just come to me
And then we will see
If I'll give you a rose.

You drifted much around
But you never found
Until that kind man
He took you 'round.
And your joy is clear
Beaming through you eyes
And I hear your laughter
As you both stroll by.

So I'm afraid to tell you how I feel, you know,
And all that I can do is write a poem.
But if you've got some interest, honey,
Just come to me
And then we will see
If I'll give you a rose.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Australian Anti-War Activist Joan Coxsedge's November 27, 2016 Letter

The following letter from Australian anti-war and Latin American solidarity activist Joan Coxsedge--who is also a former member of the Victoria state parliament--originally appeared in an Australian-Cuban solidarity group's newsletter 

 “November 27, 2016

“Dear Comrades,

“I am devastated, like all of you.

“We knew Fidel had to die someday but hoped he wouldn’t.

“But what a history! What an inspiration and what guts. And what achievements in health and education, all free from the cradle to the grave. Cuba became a world leader in cancer research and sent humanitarian missions to 68 countries, trained more than 1800 doctors under a free scholarship scheme, hundreds of them in East Timor, and treated free of charge some 26,000 victims of the Chernobyl disaster, most of them children. Fidel ‘liberated’ large tracts of land to small farmers, did away with private beaches, closed casinos, halved rents and outlawed racial discrimination, and became a world leader in environmentally sound policies.

“Fidel and his revolutionary band had to start from scratch, slowly building a new society, with eleven presidents in a row using every dirty trick in the book to bring them down, including invasions, bombings, biological warfare, an illegal blockade that has cost Cuba more than 89 billion dollars - 80% of which involved food and medicines - and had 638 goes at bumping off Fidel. Washington failed.

“Fidel Castro became one of the most notable political figures of the 20th century. His Revolution created the Cuban nation, transforming a small Caribbean island into a player on the world stage. Under his leadership Cubans ‘stood tall’ against the most powerful nation on earth and gave them back their pride and dignity. Close to all Third World leaders, Fidel was the only political figure apart from Nelson Mandela welcomed by a younger generation of activists.

“Commercialized Christmas has landed on our doorsteps even earlier than usual and Donald Trump has landed on the world stage. As someone said, it will get worse before it gets worse. And when the US gets a cold we get double pneumonia.

“In 2016, the US presented the public with the two most detested candidates in history. No wonder more than 40% of voters declined to vote. In the wash-up, the moneyed thug beat the natural born killer who believes that a dousing of cruise tomahawk missiles on recalcitrant countries was good diplomacy, a continuation of her pact with husband Bill. The duo advanced their way through the political jungle by speaking Left and acting Right, leaving a legacy of mass incarceration, perpetual war and regime change. From Christopher Hitchens: ‘She and her husband haven’t met a foreign political donor they don’t like and haven’t taken from.’

“Washington isn’t about to be ruled by Nazis (yet) - although fascist tendencies are certainly present - but by Reactionary Republicans, which is quite bad enough. I hope that the hysterical opposition will not stuff up the few Trump positives, the desire to do business with Putin rather than foment war and putting an end to the loathsome TPPI trade deal, if he can get away with it.

“The entire election campaign focused on personal attacks rather than dealing with serious political issues like the underclass who live in towns ravaged by de-industrialization with banks and stores boarded up, factories closed down and all the decent jobs long gone. Many work up to 70 hours a week at three minimum-wage jobs. Or they have no jobs at all, fueling alcoholism, drug addiction, suicides, racism and the poison of white supremacy.

“And now we’re being assailed by ‘fake news’ or ‘post truth’ where false stories are being deliberately planted throughout our media, as if the bastards don’t lie enough. Facebook and Google are already agreeing to ‘filter out content’. Censorship?

“Peter Koenig writes about a serious issue I don’t recall reading about: ‘A few weeks ago’, he said, the UN kicked Russia out of its Human Rights Commission. The first time in history that a member of the UN Security Council was voted out.’

“Russia’s crime? ‘Bombing hospitals and civilians in Syria and supporting the atrocities of the Assad regime’, when it is the US, NATO and Washington’s Gulf puppets responsible for the devastation in the Middle East.

“And on November 15, a UN special committee condemned Russia’s ‘temporary occupation of Crimea’, a motion carried by 73 to 23 with 76 abstentions that will inevitably be adopted by the 193-member assembly. Most know the truth that the US instigated the coup d’etat in Ukraine, but won’t say a word.

“And then last Thursday I received an email from ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver outlining Turnbull’s latest vicious onslaught on the trade union movement. At 2am the government sneakily rammed through the Registered Organizations Bill, setting up yet another costly commission to further bugger up the work of the trade union movement. Headed by god knows who, our unions will be subjected to a restrictive regime of regulations and fines that could bankrupt ordinary union volunteers just for downing tools if their workplace is unsafe.

“Human history, as Karl Marx said, is defined by class struggle, but today’s psychopathic rulers have been clever by fusing the two major parties into a single corporate entity that has seized control of the whole box and dice, the parliaments, the judiciary, universities, finance and almost all forms of communication, with every facet of our lives controlled by the corporates.

“There is no way you can fight these forces with petitions, rallies and the polling booth when even the few tepid avenues open to us have been whittled down. ‘Democracy’ as it’s defined today, is a sham that cannot be regulated, reformed or corrected. The only way forward is to become part of a genuine socialist movement to stand up to and demolish the corporate state before it demolishes us and our fragile world.

“Vale Fidel! Hasta Siempre Dear Comandante! Viva Cuba!

“Joan Coxsedge” 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Australian Anti-War Activist Joan Coxsedge's November 1, 2016 Letter

The following letter from Australian anti-war and Latin American solidarity activist Joan Coxsedge--who is also a former member of the Victoria state parliament--originally appeared in an Australian-Cuban solidarity group's newsletter  

“November 1, 2016

“Dear Comrades,

“I can’t think of a better beginning than pinching a few lines from Leunig: ‘How nice it is to sit and see the bombs exploding on TV. The war, the smoke, the refugees While we sip our herbal teas; The special death squad on patrol The building with the gaping hole The wailing wounded and the dead It must be almost time for bed. Time to put an end to war It’s what remote controls are for. Peace at last at any price Oh it’s nice, it’s nice, it’s nice.’

“Leunig’s response to our indifference to horror matched by our indifference to wholesale corruption and nastiness. While rich foreigners with money (usually ill-gotten) can fly in and stay in, the door has been slammed shut against the most desperate and while the world’s CO2 levels surge past a terrifying 400ppm, Turnbull lickspittles are planning to ban legal challenges to the big polluters.

“Dodgy Family First MP Bob Day whose dodgy company Home Australia has been liquidated has resigned - again - from the Senate after initially planning to stick around to vote for the government’s anti-union building industry and same sex marriage bills. Day had put out a handbook called The Sales Doctor about ‘trust’ between salesmen and customers while rooking hundreds of families who ‘trusted’ him. If it wasn’t so awful it would be funny, although sometimes you just can’t help laughing.

“One of the more incongruous sights at the Melbourne Cup, pardon me, Emirates Melbourne Cup, was the National Anthem sung by an Asian woman in Asian dress! A dreary song. I much prefer Waltzing Matilda.

“But no worries. George Brandis is still the Attorney-General, Joe Hockey’s snout remains deep in the trough, asinine Barnaby Joyce continues to embarrass and crooked developers (are there any others?) are hit with a wet lettuce leaf when their outrages are more outrageous than usual.

“And let’s not forget Turnbull’s seriously stupid former Trade Minister Robb who signed dud trade deals and now has a job with one of his Chinese principals. Sickening.

“Like the outrageous assaults on health workers. Almost every hour they are bitten, spat at, punched, abused or threatened while trying to care for patients. Same nasty stats for ambos and fire fighters.

“In the bigger scheme of things, Americans are shortly going to the polls, surely the most bizarre campaign in living memory. A freak show.

“Trump is loathed by Washington’s power-brokers, not because of his obnoxious behavior and opinions, but because in his more lucid moments he’s expressed reservations about going to war with Russia, whereas Clinton has form, lots of it, and is strongly supported by Wall Street Oligarchs and the mega-banks. She backed the Iraqi bloodbath, threatened to obliterate Iran, colluded in the destruction of Libya and has currently pledged to support a No Fly Zone in Syria, with the prospect of provoking war with Russia.

“Trump is an oddball adolescent in an old body, but at least he’s not a neocon or intent on regime change in countries that resist US domination, unlike his rival. The fact that he’s unhinged doesn’t mean his message contains no significant truths, that many communities have been devastated by neoliberal globalization where manufacture has gone belly-up leaving behind poverty and despair and growing inequality. “Many Trump supporters say they ‘just want to shake things up.’ They’ve certainly done that.

“In yet another strange twist, the FBI is now scouring through some 650,000 emails on Clinton aide husband’s laptop allegedly related to a private server used by Hillary Clinton as part of a separate ‘sexting’ probe.

“Without any evidence, Clinton has accused Russia of supporting Trump and hacking her emails. WikiLeaks tells us something else again, that what she says in private to the rich and powerful is the complete opposite of what she says to mug punters.

“If, as I suspect, Clinton wins the election, we will be assailed by a full symphony about her ascension being ‘a giant step forward for women’. Tell that to the Iraqi, Libyan and Syrian women whose lives have been destroyed by her policies. And ask desperate Palestinian women why she ardently supports Israel and ignores their plight, women forced to live under military rule, where Israel controls everything. Who can work and who cannot, who can travel and who cannot, who can visit and who cannot and who ends up in jail and who does not. With every breath, these women and their families breathe in occupation.

“But Israel is a US ally like Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s most repressive, where there is no freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, no political parties, no unions, where dissent is treated as treason, where you can be beheaded for insulting Islam, for insulting the King, for being an atheist or a homosexual. 158 executions last year. Women are segregated and not only forced to fully cover themselves in public, but they’re not allowed to drive, are banned from most jobs and need a male guardian from birth to death.

“Saudi Arabia has become by far the biggest purchaser of US weapons, $115 billion worth of deals under Obama alone, currently being deployed against poverty-stricken Yemen, attacking its power and water purification plants, its schools and factories.

“After all that, we need another touch of Leunig, even though he’s very unhappy with our world: ‘It is Spring And man has ruined everything; Everything he touches, Everything that falls into his clutches, Politicians clutch at lies and get elected. I’m not represented or dejected. What are leaders for? They all believe in war; The mess of lies. Power is a curse. The lies they tell themselves are worse. I am represented by a bird. That builds a nest and has not heard The rotten lies. It sings and represents me as it flies.’


“Joan Coxsedge, “

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Hillary Clinton's 1990's White House Years Revisited: Part 3

If 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is elected on November 8, 2016 to become first wife of a former U.S. president to win a U.S. presidential election, and she moves into the White House for four years on January 20, 2017, it won't be the first time that Clinton will be occupying the White House. As she recalled in her 2003 book Living History (for which she was paid more than $10 million in book advance and book royalties by the Viacom-CBS media conglomerate's Simon and Schuster book publishing subsidiary): 

"Webb [Hubbell] had resigned from from his job at the Justice Department...In his own memoir, Friends in High Places, Webb [Hubbell]...admits that the charges against him were true and that he had stolen from the [Rose] law firm in a futile attempt to get out from under a crippling debt that he had hidden from his family and friends...Hubbell would plead guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion. He confessed that between 1989 and 1992, he submitted more than 400 doctored bills to cover personal expenses, cheating his the Rose Law Firm of at least $394,000.

"...Webb [Hubbell] had been a trusted colleague...He was a dear friend. I had spent more hours in his company than I could count...In March 1995, I took my first extended trip overseas without the President...My companions included...Jan Piercy, my friend from Wellesley and U.S. Executive Director of the World Bank...In late July [1995], I began a weekly newspaper column...

"Welfare reform had been debated by Bill [Clinton]'s staff since the presidential campaign, when Bill [Clinton] promised to `end welfare as we know it.' I agreed that the system was broken and needed to be fixed...During my book tour I spoke at my alma mater, Wellesley College, on January 19, 1996, and spent the night at the gracious home of its...President...

"...Bill [Clinton] and I were anxious about our...State Dinner for French President Jacques Chirac and his February 1996...Bill [Clinton] worked hard to win French cooperation...most notably in 1999 when he persuaded France to go along with NATO air Kosovo despite the lack of a specific U.N. resolution...The State Department had asked me to go as an emissary to Bosnia-Herzegovia...Gains on the ground by the Croat-Muslim coalition that the U.S. had helped support, coupled with the NATO airstrikes that Bill [Clinton] had advocated...forced the Serbs to negotiate...The United States had sent over 18,000...troops...

"As part of his foreign policy agenda, Bill [Clinton] supported the expansion of NATO eastward from the Atlantic...There was significant opposition to NATO expansion within the United States and Russia, which did not want to see NATO at its own borders...I spoke at Radio Free Europe headquarters...I applauded the role Radio Free Europe had played...I said that......sustaining a free society is like a three-legged stool: one leg is a...government, the second is a free market economy...I favored NATO expansion...

"...Welfare reform became a success for Bill [Clinton]. I strongly argued that we had to change the system...In 1987 and again in 1988, Bill [Clinton] was the lead Democratic governor working with...the Reagan White House on welfare reform...The third bill passed by Congress...cut off most benefits to legal immigrants, imposed a 5-year lifetime limit on federal welfare benefits, and maintained the status quo on monthly benefit limits, leaving the states free to set benefit limits...

"The President [Bill Clinton] signed this third bill into law...I agreed that he should sign it and worked hard to round up votes for its passage--though he and the legislators were roundly criticized by...liberals, advocacy groups for immigrants and most people who worked with the welfare system...Bill's decision and my endorsement of it, outraged some of our...supporters...They...believed the legislation was shameful, impractical and harmful to children...By the time Bill [Clinton] and I left the White House, welfare rols had dropped 60 percent from 14.1 million to 5.8 million..."

(end of part 3)

Hillary Clinton's 1990's White House Years Revisited: Part 2

If 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is elected on November 8, 2016 to become first wife of a former U.S. president to win a U.S. presidential election, and she moves into the White House for four years on January 20, 2017, it won't be the first time that Clinton will be occupying the White House. As she recalled in her 2003 book Living History (for which she was paid more than $10 million in book advance and book royalties by the Viacom-CBS media conglomerate's Simon and Schuster book publishing subsidiary): 

"...On October 26 [1963]...the Hillaryland gang invited over a hundred of my family members and friends to come from around the country for a surprise 46th birthday party at the White House...I was ushered upstairs and told to put on a black wig and hoopskirt--the Colonial look...and an attempt to replicate the fashions worn by Dolly Madison. Then I was led down to the State Floor, where I was greeted by a dozen staffers in blond wigs...Bill [Clinton] was disguised as President James Madison (with white wig and tights)...

"On Halloween 1993,...I learned that...the Resolution Trust Corporation [RTC]...had recommended the criminal investigation of Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan, owned by Jim McDougal. McDougal and his wife, Susan, had been our partners in the Whitewater Development Company, Inc....RTC investigators were looking into allegations that McDougal had used his S&L to funnel money illegally to political campaigns in Arkansas, including Bill [Clinton]'s gubernatorial reelection campaign in 1986...

"...Our personal lawyer, Bob Barnett, recused himself from Whitewater because his wife, Rita Braver, was a CBS correspondent assigned to cover the White House...Bob became my counsel and adviser in 1992, and I could not have asked for a better friend in the years that followed.

"Bob recommended David Kendall, his colleague at Williams and Connolly, to represent us in the Whitewater matter...David...had experience in corporate law...He represented clients in several S. and L. investigations in the 1980's...David took over the files from Vince Foster's office...

"By the mid-1980s McDougal...had bought a small thrift called Madison Guaranty...He...used the Whiteewater Development Company to buy property near a trailer park south of Little Rock that he...named Castle Grande Estates...In 1985, Rick Massey, a young lawyer at the Rose Law Firm...worked for McDougal...Because McDougal had been negligent in paying a previous bill from Rose for legal services, the firm insisted that he pay a $2,000 monthly retainer...My partners asked me to request the retainer from McDougal and to become the `billing partner'...I arranged the retainer...Federal S. and L. regulators took over Madison Guaranty...and initiated an examination of the S. and L.'s transactions because of allegations that McDougal had engaged in a pattern of self-dealing...

"...In 1986...I asked McDougal to take our names off the [Whitewater Development Company] mortgage...Whitewater...had failed to pay property taxes...

"My brother [Tony Rodham] had...become engaged to Nicole Boxer, the daughter of Senator Barbara Boxer of California...We were planning a spring wedding [in 1994] for Tony and Nicole at the White House, so I invited Nicole, her parents and her brother, Doug [Boxer] to join us for Thanksgiving dinner at Camp David [in 1993]...

"NAFTA was ratified on December 8, 1993....As more of our financial records were released...they generated additional stories...In mid-March [1994], The New York Times ran a front-page article...The story accurately reported the profits I had made in the commodities market in 1979...Our close friend Jim Blair...was generous enough to share his expertise in trading commodities...With his help, I...turned $1,000 into $100,000 in a short time...

"...In the early spring of 1993, [Richard] Nixon...sent Bill [Clinton] a letter...Bill [Clinton] invited the former President to the White House...and Chelsea [Clinton] and I greeted him as he stepped off the elevator on the second floor...

"...Paula Corbin Jones...accused Bill Clinton of sexually harassing her by making unwanted advances...On May 6, 1994...Paula Jones filed a civil suit against the President of the United States, asking for $700,000 in damages...In early June 1994, Bill [Clinton] and I traveled to England...Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had invited us to spend the night on her royal yacht HMS Britannia...

"As we moved toward the midterm elections in November [1994], Bill [Clinton]'s political advisers assured us that the Democrats were in relatively good shape. But I was worried...I also knew that some core Democratic supporters felt disillusioned by our failure to reform health care or betrayed by the Administration's successful push for NAFTA...

"Two weeks before Election Day [in 1994], Bill [Clinton] and I took a brief break...and traveled to the Middle East...And I celebrated my 47th birthday...On October 26 [1994], I saw the Pyramids at Giza in the morning light, and...President Mubarak's wife, Suzanne, hosted a birthday breakfast, complete with cake, in a dining room overlooking the Sphinx.

"Hosni and Suzanne Mubarak are an impressive couple...Like other Arab leaders whom I have met, Mubarak recognizes the dilemma he faces in governing...

"I began my schedule Election Day [in November 1994] much as I would any other...Bill [Clinton] and I...wanted to be alone as we absorbed the election returns...The Democrats lost 8 Senate seats and an astounding 54 seats in the House--ushering in the first Republican majority since the Eisenhower administration. Democratic incumbents were routed everywhere...Defeated and disappointed, I wondered how much I was to blame for the debacle..." 

(end of part 2)

Friday, November 4, 2016

Hillary Clinton's 1990's White House Years Revisited: Part 1

If 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is elected on November 8, 2016 to become first wife of a former U.S. president to win a U.S. presidential election, and she moves into the White House for four years on January 20, 2017, it won't be the first time that Clinton will be occupying the White House. As she recalled in her 2003 book Living History (for which she was paid more than $10 million in book advance and book royalties by the Viacom-CBS media conglomerate's Simon and Schuster book publishing subsidiary): 

"...Throughout the [1993] inaugural festivities, Bill [Clinton] received security briefings...He was already shifting his news of U.S. planes that were bombing Iraq...The [Secret] Service uses code names for its protectees...Bill [Clinton] became `Eagle,' I was `Evergreen.'...

"...I wanted to put our personal stamp on the White House...I hired Walter Scheib, an experienced chef...In early February [1993], Bill [Clinton] and I invited Vince Foster, now Deputy White House Counsel; Bruce Lindsey, also in the Counsel's office and still one of Bill [Clinton]'s closest advisers and traveling companion; and Webb Hubbell, Associate Attorney General, to a...dinner in the second-floor dining room...Bruce, Vince and Webb were among my closest friends...I can still close my eyes and see Vince at that table...

"On January 25 [1993], Bill [Clinton] invited lunch in the President's small study near the Oval Office...and our old friend Ira Magaziner, consultant...Ira...had private sector experience as the owner of a consulting business in Rhode Island that advised multinational companies on how to become...profitable...

"...As the wife of a...President, I didn't have to worry about my family's access to health care...Bill [Clinton] announced that I would chair a newly formed President's Task Force on National Health Care Reform...Several of Bill [Clinton]'s key lieutenants heartily endorsed the idea, including [then-Goldman Sachs executive] Robert Rubin, Chairman of the National Economic Council and later Secretary of the Treasury. One of my favorite people in the administration, [former-Goldman Sachs executive] Bob [Rubin] is fabulously...successful...

"...Bill [Clinton]...had won the [1992] election...with less than a majority of the popular vote--43 percent...Bill [Clinton]...rejected the single-payer and Medicare models, preferring a quasi-private system...that relied on private market forces...

"In...Yugoslavia...I was disgusted by the failure of the United Nations to intervene...I was convinced that the only way to stop...genocide in Bosnia was through...air strikes against Serbian targets...Bill [Clinton] met with his advisers to consider American involvement...

"...On July 20 [1993]...Vince Foster was dead; it looked like a suicide...Bernie Nussbaum...had been with Vince the morning of his death...Two days after Vince's death, Bernie Nussbaum went to Vince's office and, with representatives from the Justice Department and the FBI, reviewed every document there...In the course of this first search, Bernie discovered that Vince had stored in his office some files containing work he had done for Bill [Clinton] and me when he was our attorney in Little Rock, including files that had to do with the land deal called Whitewater. Bernie gave these files to Maggie Williams; and, soon after, they were transferred to the office of Bob Barnett, our private attorney in Washington...

"...By late August [1993], [then-Treasury Secretary Lloyd] Bentsen, Secretary of State Warren Christopher and economic adviser [former Goldman Sachs Director] Bob Rubin were adamant about postpoining health care reform and moving forward with the North American Free Trade Agreement, known as NAFTA. They believed that...NAFTA warranted immediate action and creating a free trade zone in North America...would...create jobs..."

(end of part 1)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

How Billionaire Speculator/`Philanthropist' and 2016 Clinton Presidential Campaign Funder Soros Got Rich Revisited

Most anti-war Democratic Party voters don't think Wall Street speculators should be able to enrich themselves by profiteering from offshore hedge funds, from investments in weapons manufacturing firms, from endless U.S. wars abroad or from apparently violating Securities and Exchange Commission regulations and engaging in stock manipulation. Yet in his 2013 book Street Smarts, the former business partner of Billionaire Speculator/"Philanthropist" and 2016 Clinton presidential campaign contributor George Soros, a Wall Street speculator named Jim Rogers, wrote the following:

"...There were only two firms on Wall Street, small companies, that specialized in foreign investing, and Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder was one of them...I was hired at Bleichroeder to work with a vice president of the firm...Soros had grown up in Hungary, lived in the United Kingdom until his mid-twenties...We were managing a fund at Bleichroeder, the Double Eagle hedge fund...when due to...a new regulatory restriction, we were forced to split from the firm and go out on our own. Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder would remain our primary broker.

"We got a little office and created the Quantum Fund...a...offshore hedge fund for foreign investors--who were not subject to the interest equalization tax--incorporated in the Netherlands Antilles...

"...I jumped on a plane [in the 1970's] and started visiting defense contractors around the country. Lockheed...was famous for its Advanced Development Projects division, better known as the Skunk Works, located in California, where its engineers came up with sophisticated weaponry for the Pentagon. I investigated Lockheed and other companies, like Northrop. I flew to Washington and learned that even the doves in Congress--Democratic Senator William Proxmire from Wisconscin being one of those to whom I talked--were in favor of Pentagon spending on advanced electronic warfare...Defense stocks at the time were depressed--selling for a dollar, two dollars, some of them...We started buying a lot of those stocks...

"...Lockheed went up a hundred times over the next few years...In 1980...the Quantum protfolio was up 4,200 percent...

"By 1979...the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] investigated us over our investment in a company called Computer Sciences Corporation. The SEC claimed that my partner, George Soros, was engaged in stock manipulation. He was charged with selling the stock short, only to cover his short sales by buying shares back at a lower price on the upcoming public offering. He was given the opportunity to sign a consent decree, in which he and the firm...promised not to do it again. Why should we agreed to sign it? I asked him...Why let it be construed that we were manipulating the stock? I was taken aback by his answer--`Because that is what I was doing,' he said."

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Did Hillary Rodham Clinton Seek To Enrich Herself When Husband Held Arkansas Public Office?

Most Democratic Party voters don't think that the wife of a public official should seek to personally enrich herself and her family when her husband is supposed to be serving the public interest as a state attorney general or state governor. Yet in her 2003 book Living History (for which she was paid more than $10 million book advance and book royalties by the Viacom-CBS media conglomerate's Simon and Schuster book publishing subsidiary), former Arkansas Attorney General and Governor Bill Clinton's wife--2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton--wrote the following:

"...We lived in the Governor's Mansion [in the late 1970's] and had an official expense account that covered meals...But I worried that...we needed to build up a nest egg.

"...My friend Diane Blair was married to someone who knew the intricacies of the commodities market...Jim Blair whose clients included the poultry giant Tyson Foods...Jim had developed a system of trading that was making him a fortune...By 1978...I was willing to risk $1,000 and let Jim guide my trades walked away from the table $100,000 ahead...

"...In the spring of 1978...a businessman...named Jim McDougal approached us with Bill [Clinton] and I entered a partnership with Jim and his...wife Susan, to buy 230...acres on the south bank of the White River in...Arkansas. The plan was to subdivide the site for vacation homes, then sell the lots at a profit.

"...Bill [Clinton] had...made a...real estate investment with McDougal the year before that had turned a...profit...We took out bank loans to buy the property, eventually transferring ownership to the Whitewater Development Company, which we and the McDougals had equal shares...

"...I kept my name after Bill [Clinton] was elected to state office partly because I thought it would help avoid the appearance of conflict of interest...

"I was helping...defend a company that sold and shipped...logs by railroad. As a shipment was unloaded at its destination, the logs came loose...and injured some employees of the company that had purchased the logs...

"...In early March [1992]...[1992 Democratic Party presidential primary candidate and California Governor] Jerry Brown went on the offensive against Bill [Clinton], focusing on my law practice and on the Rose Law firm, where I had been a partner since 1979...The Rose to the Arkansas state government.....

"...Brown accused Bill [Clinton] of steering state business to the Rose Firm...

"...I was [1992 Democratic Party presidential candidate] Bill [Clinton]'s principal surrogate on the campaign trail. I wanted to support his campaign and to advance his ideas. I had taken leave from my law firm and resigned from all of the corporate boards on which I served. That meant leaving the board of Wall-Mart, on which I had sat for 6 years at the invitation of Sam Walton, who taught me a great deal about corporate...success...

"I proudly cast my vote for Bill [Clinton] to be my President...Robert Rubin, the Co-Chairman of the investment bank Goldman Sachs, accepted Bill [Clinton]'s offer to become the first head of a soon-to-be-created National Economic Council...

"...Bill [Clinton] couldn't appoint me to an official position, even if he had wanted to. Anti-nepotism laws had been on the books...But there were no laws to prevent me from continuing my role as Bill Clinton's...advisor and, in some cases, representative..."

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The `New York Times'' Mexican Billionaire Connection Revisited Again: Part 8

New York Times Owner Slim’s Mexican Political Connections Historically

In addition to “receiving a million pesos from his mother” in 1966,  New York Times Owner Slim apparently benefitted financially in the following decades from “the fact that Slim was a huge contributor to” former Mexican President “Carlos Salinas de Gortari's PRI party,” according to an Aug. 20, 2007 Fortune magazine article; which also quoted College of William & Marry Professor of Government George Grayson as saying that Slim “made his billions because of an extremely close and advantageous relationship with the Salinas government.” The New Internationalist magazine in its June 1, 2004 issue also recalled that “as it happens Slim was good buddies with then-President CarlosSalinas de Gortari,” “in 1993, at a gala fundraising dinner, Slim—along with 30 other business leaders—pledged an average $25 million each to Gortari’s PRI party,” and “Salinas left office in 1994, was charged with massive fraud and corruption and has been in exile in Ireland ever since.”

(end of part 8)

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The `New York Times'' Mexican Billionaire Connection Revisited Again: Part 7

New York Times Owner Slim’s 1960’s Money-Making

According to Chrystia Freeland’s Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else book, New York Times Owner Slim “started to make serious money straight out of college, when he was one of the Los Casabolseros or Stock Market Boys, a group of aggressive young men who traded shares on the Mexican stock market.” Then, “by the end of 1965” Slim “had established a brokerage house, acquired a bottling company, and incorporated a real-estate business, Inmobiliaria Carso” and in 1966, “upon receiving a million pesos from his mother…built a twelve-story condominium in Mexico City,” “occupied the ninth floor and rented out the other apartments,” according to Lawrence Wright’s June 1, 2009 article in The New Yorker. So by the age of 26, according to the 2009 American Journalism Review article, “Slim had already accumulated $400,000 in wealth from his business ventures and from his mother.”

(end of part 7)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The `New York Times'' Mexican Billionaire Connection Revisited Again: Part 6

New York Times Owner Slim’s Billions and Poverty In Mexico

California State University Professor Emeritus Rodolfo Acuna also observed in a Dec. 27, 2013 article which was posted on the CounterPunch website that “as of December 2013” Slim’s “corporate holdings amounted to US $71.2 billion” while “some 50 percent of Mexicans live below the poverty line;” and “critics charge that Slim’s monopoly prevents the growth of smaller companies, and his monopolistic practices have resulted in a shortage of paying jobs, contributing to migration to the United States.” As University of California-San Diego Professor Emeritus Ramon Eduardo Ruiz noted in his 2010 book Mexico: Why A Few Are Rich and The People Poor:

“Of the more than 100 million Mexicans, why do over half live in poverty, some 20 million of them enduring daily hunger, barely able to keep body and soul together?...Mexico…ranks near the top of the list of countries with the most glaring inequalities of wealth and income...One Mexican, Carlos Slim, the telephone magnate, is one of the richest men in the world…Every 24 hours of every month of every year, his income grows at the rate of $22 million dollars, yet 1 out of 5 Mexicans survives on just $2 dollars a day...Unwilling to help their poor, Mexico's elite had chosen to rely on Uncle Sam to give the [Mexican] poor jobs and to feed them, and equally important, to avoid a potential social explosion of the restless [in Mexico]...No country in the world has exported more manpower than Mexico...An average of 450,000 people a year are thought to have crossed into the United States [from Mexico] during the early years of the 21st-century...One fact [in Mexico] stares one in the face. The well-off [in Mexico] hate paying taxes, and Mexico has one of the lowest-tax rates in the world….Over 12 million Mexicans do not have running water in their homes...Carlos Slim...purchased the [Mexican] nation's telephone a bargain price; his monopoly nonetheless...charges some of the world's highest phone rates...”

(end of part 6)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The `New York Times'' Mexican Billionaire Connection Revisited Again: Part 5

New York Times Owner and Philip Morris International Director Slim’s Special Economic Interests 

In a Mar. 18, 2009 article that was posted on the CounterPunch website, John Ross indicated what the special economic interests of New York Times Owner Slim were in 2009:

“The big guns of Slim’s empire are Telmex, the Mexican phone monopoly that charges higher rates than any other such enterprise in the wide world, with which he was gifted in an excess of crony capitalism by the reviled ex-president Carlos Salinas, and American Mobil – the Mexican tycoon’s cell phone companies dominate 70% of the Latin American market. Also in the Slim portfolio: Inbursa banks; Carso Construction; Prodigy Internet (Mexico’s top provider); the Sanborn’s restaurant and department store chain; double digit chunks of Sears and Saks Fifth Avenue; the Mixup record store chain; El Globo, the nation’s top pan dulce outlet; "La Cigarera", his tobacco cartel in Nayarit state; and....the Historic Center of Mexico City…Now Carlos Slim owns up to 160 buildings in the old quarter and dominates rental property….Slim built his empire on corporate cannibalism…”.

(end of part 5)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The `New York Times'' Mexican Billionaire Connection Revisited Again: Part 4

New York Times Owner and Philip Morris International Director Slim’s Inherited Wealth

Much of the big money that New York Times Owner Slim used to gain control of his lucrative privatized telecommunications monopoly in Mexico (which—prior to 1990--had been a nationalized, publicly-owned utility company of the Mexican government) and to purchase his New York Times stock was originally “derived from selling cigarettes” to people in Mexico—where 15% to 20% of male deaths and 5% to 10% of female deaths in 2000 were thought attributable to smoking and an estimated 60,000 people died of tobacco-related illnesses in 2010—and his tobacco industry investment profits. As The New Yorker magazine (6/1/09) article also noted, his Cigatam tobacco industry company investment “provided Slim with a critical ingredient for amassing a fortune: steady cash flow.”

Yet some of the money that Mexican Billionaire Slim originally used to invest in his Mexican tobacco industry companies was apparently derived from the wealth he inherited from his father. As Sherry Ricchiardi noted in her 2009 “A Dubious Benefactor” article in the American Journalism Review [AJR], “his father, Julian Slim Haddad, moved to Mexico in 1902 and made a fortune as a merchant and in real estate” and “when he died, Julian Slim left his six children well heeled.” As long ago as 1922, for example, Carlos Slim’s father was apparently worth over 1 million Mexican pesos and apparently owned at least 11 valuable Downtown Mexico City real estate properties.

(end of part 4

Monday, October 17, 2016

The `New York Times'' Mexican Billionaire Connection Revisited Again: Part 3

New York Times Owner Slim’s Historic Tobacco Industry/Philip Morris International/Altria Connection

A 2010 research paper by Tiffany Burch, Nathaniel Wander and Jeff Collin, titled “Uneasy money: the Instituto Carlos Slim de la Salud, tobacco philanthropy and conflict of interest in global health”, described some conflicts-of-interest and ethical issues related to New York Times Owner Slim’s foundations that raised some questions about whether or not the New York Times owner is actually a “new breed” of billionaire who has aided health historically:

“In May 2007, the Instituto Carso de la Salud—now Instituto Carlos Slim de la Salud (ICSS)—was endowed with US$500 million to focus on priority health issues in Latin America… ICSS was soon criticized, however, on the grounds that its funding was derived from tobacco industry profits and that its founder Carlos Slim Hélu remained an active industry principal…This research…demonstrates a prima facie conflict of interest between ICSS's health mission and its founder's involvement in cigarette manufacturing and marketing, reflected on ICSS's website as a resounding silence on issues of tobacco and health….”

According to the “Uneasy Money” research paper:

"The Instituto Carlos Slim de la Salud (ICSS) or Carlos Slim Health Institute (originally Instituto Carso de la Salud), was founded as a health charity by Mexican businessman Carlos Slim Helú and inaugurated on 18 September 2007 by Mexican President Felipe Calderón and Sra. Vivian Fernández, wife of the president of Panama. Backed by health and political elites, ICSS…is partnering with the Clinton Global Initiative…Slim, one of the world's richest men whose holdings include telecommunications, finance and retailing, also owns a 20% stake in the Mexican cigarette manufacturer Cigarrera La Tabacalera Mexicana (Cigatam), with the majority interest currently held by Philip Morris International (PMI). Having previously served on the board of Philip Morris Companies, Inc. (renamed Altria in 2003), Slimjoined the board of PMI when it was spun off from the Altria parent in April 2008. His annual compensation from PMI includes a retainer of at least US$100000, reimbursement of travel and business expenses and shares worth US$140000.

“…The then editor of Tobacco Control Simon Chapman described Slim as ‘a direct beneficiary of massive sales of tobacco’…This paper documents Slim's…involvement in tobacco corporations, detailing tobacco's significance in the development of his Grupo Carso (GC) and his historic and ongoing strategic value to the global tobacco industry…The documents presented here substantiate a longstanding pattern of financial and political relations between Carlos Slim/GC and Philip Morris/Altria/PMI…..

“The relationships between ICSS, Carlos Slimand the tobacco industry remain rooted in the finances of the Slim/GC commercial enterprise and in the services to the tobacco industry thatSlim continues to provide. They have been and remain arguably antithetical to national, regional and global interests in public health…

“…GC (originally Grupo Galas) was incorporated in 1980 ‘to obtain the majority stake in Cigatam, in which Philip Morris was a 29% partner’….By 1995 Cigatam was Mexico's most profitable domestic cigarette company, generating 24% of GC's revenue and 32% of its net income. In 1997, immediately before Slimwas elected to its board of directors, the Philip Morris parent company increased its stake in Cigatam to 50%, paying GC US$400 million. Shortly after the inauguration of ICSS in 2007, Slim/GC further profited by selling an additional 30% of Cigatam to PM/Altria at a price of US$1.1 billion. By 2008, Cigatam commanded 55% of the Mexican cigarette market and continued to increase its profits. The Slim/GC enterprise continues to benefit from its remaining 20% share of Cigatam, as well as from holdings in PMI.

“During the early 1980s, Slim/GC also became the largest shareholder in Cigatam's main competitor, Cigarerra La Moderna (CLM), which was partnered with British American Tobacco (BAT), though seemingly less openly than was Cigatam with PM…In 1985, ostensibly ‘to avoid antitrust problems’, Slim sold his 40% stake in CLM (which then held a 75% share of the Mexican market) to competitor/colleague Alfonso Romo Garza for US$32.4 million…Though formally competitors, Cigatam and CLM were described as functionally cooperative, being said to constitute an effective merchandising duopoly that controlled 98% of Mexico's cigarette market in 1997….

Slim's direct involvement in PM/Altria intensified during his service on the company's board of directors from 1997 to 2006, and he benefited additionally from annual retainers and share accumulations. Altria's 2005 Annual Report, the last full year in which Slim served, showed him owning over 4 million company shares, almost 1.5 times that of then-Chairman Louis Camilleri. In 2000, Slim purchased 3.9 million shares at greatly depressed prices, selling them for a profit of US$63 million 1year later. Slim retained 1.5 million Altria shares when he retired from its board in the spring of 2006.

“…Tobacco money enabled GC to purchase a share of the privatized Telefonos de Mexico (Telmex) from the Mexican government in 1990, which became the basis of GC telecommunications holdings…ICSS's funds originated in the tobacco industry…

“Even before his elevation to its board…Slimhad been serving as a Philip Morris conduitto the Mexican government….Slim's value to Philip Morris was further demonstrated when the company made a substantial donation to aSlim family charity consistent with its wider ‘influence’ strategies….In March 2008, less than a year after the launch of the ICSS, Slimbecame a director for the newly independent Philip Morris International, when it was spun off from the PM/Altria parent company…Specifically, he serves on PMI's Regulatory Affairs and Product Innovations Committee…

“If Slim had no further role than the financing of a health charity, it would still present a problematic case of ‘white coating’—the tobacco industry clothing itself in the respectability and goodwill of medical research and healthcare provision. While Slim appears to have no official role in ICSS per se, he remains the Chairman Emeritus of GC, within which ICSS and its parent the Carlos Slim Foundation, are described as ‘a fundamental part of Carlos Slim Helú's business strategy and culture’…Although Slim does not sit on the ICSS board of nine directors,…three are family members (son Marco Antonio, also CEO of Inbursa and a GC director; son-in-law Arturo Elias, a GC director and a key Telmex executive, described as Slim's spokesman; and daughter Vanessa), a fourth is a GC executive (Raul Zepeda, a Telmex attorney and Inbursa director), two are directors of GC and/or its subsidiaries (Jose Kuri and Roberto Kriete)…

“Finally, it cannot be overemphasized thatSlim, who is said to remain in close communication with his three sons and two sons-in-law, the active managers of his business interests, is not simply any wealthy patron. His family holdings were reported to comprise more than 5% of Mexico's 2006 gross domestic product and to account for one-third the value on Mexico's US$422 billion stock exchange. Consistently ranked alongside Bill Gates and Warren Buffett as one of the three richest men in the world, Slim's significance within a national economy 1/14th the size of the US substantially exceeds that of Buffett and Gates…

“ICSS's funding from telecommunication and infrastructure shares ultimately derives from the tobacco industry. By Slim's account, it was the large cash flows generated by cigarette manufacturing, and by our analysis, additional profits from shares in domestic and transnational tobacco companies that financed GC's expansion into these other sectors…The tobacco links at play here are not matters of ancient history: GC, which parents the Carlos Slim Foundation of which ICSS is a subsidiary, retains a 20% share in the pre-eminent tobacco company in the largest market in Spanish-speaking America, and Slim and his family have benefited from owning large volumes of shares in Altria and PMI….By serving PMI, the founder of what would be Latin America's most influential health charity has agreed to promote the long-term interests of the world's leading tobacco transnational....

“The profits, power and prestige of Slim, his family and GC are substantially derived from selling cigarettes; their ongoing engagement in this business suggests their continued acceptance of this activity as unproblematic…ICSS can reasonably be viewed as essentially the tobacco-funded gift of one of the world's richest men….”

(end of part 3

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The `New York Times'' Mexican Billionaire Connection Revisited Again: Part 2

Most people who live in New York City—including most of New York City’s over 183,000 Mexican-American residents—don’t think that the human rights of people in Mexico should be violated or that Mexican workers and consumers should be exploited by the Mexican government or the corporations that Mexican billionaires or U.S. billionaires own or control.

Yet one of the richest billionaires in the world—a Mexican billionaire named Carlos Slim—has been one of the owners in recent years of the Big Apple’s New York Times newspaper—which publishes “all the news that fits the rich” each day. As Sherry Ricchiardi noted in an article, titled “A Dubious Benefactor,” that appeared in the April/May 2009 issue of American Journalism Review [AJR]:

“On January 19 [2009], the Times Co. accepted a $250 million loan at 14 percent interest from a controversial billionaire who already owned a 6.9 percent stake in the company.

“The benefactor: Carlos Slim Helú.

“Immediately, questions swirled about the propriety of the nation's leading newspaper getting a bailout from a much-criticized subject of its own news coverage…The industry was abuzz with the apparent conflict of interest…The Times Co. declined requests for an interview about the company's connection to the Mexican billionaire…Slim's son-in-law and spokesman, Arturo Elias Ayub, declined a request for an interview with Slim or a family member for this story…If Slim exercises the warrants he holds from the loan, he will be among the largest single shareholders in the Times Co., owning up to 17 percent of the common shares outstanding...reported Times writer Eric Dash…” 

And in an article, titled “When the World’s Richest Billionaire Owns Your Paper: The New York Times covers Carlos Slim—carefully,” that appeared in the November 2013 issue of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting [F.A.I.R.]’s Extra! magazine, Zaid Jilani indicated how the New York Times has been reporting in recent years about the Mexican billionaire that owns much of its stock:

“In 2008, the multibillionaire purchased a 6.4 percent stake in the New York Times Company. Today, he is the second-largest shareholder in the company, with a 13 percent stake…

“A natural topic for coverage would be Slim’s telecommunications monopoly that critics charge has free rein to rip off millions of consumers…The OECD calculated that this virtual monopoly by Slim reduces the living standard of the average Mexican family by over $600 a year...The OECD study did get a passing reference in a 2011 Times article on Mexico’s attempt to break up Slim’s monopoly—which mentioned Slim’s stake in the Times in the print version, but not the online edition. The article, headlined `Mexico Takes Aim at a Titan in Telecom,’ looked at a $1 billion fine that Mexico’s antitrust agency imposed on one ofSlim’s subsidiaries…Places where criticism ofSlim would seem obvious sometimes find him conspicuously absent, as when Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote that Mexico has `big energy, telecom’ monopolies that are harming the country’s economy—without naming the Mexican monopolist who owns much of the company that pays Friedman’s salary.

“Incidents of public pushback to Slim’s business practices have also gone unnoted, as when hundreds demonstrated when George Washington University gave him an honorary degree; Mexican immigrant groups threatened boycotts against his telecommunications companies; and activists in the U.S. and Mexico formed the group Two Countries, One Voice to rally against Slim…You’ll find the paper’s sharpest criticism of Slim in an op-ed from 2007, a year before he became an investor in the Times. In it, Eduardo Porter condemns Slim as a `robber baron.’ Porter writes that `Mr. Slim’s sin, if not technically criminal, is like that of Rockefeller, the sin of the monopolist.’…

“Perhaps the paper was feeling like it had given its future investor a raw deal. By December of that year, it published a reported piece callingSlim a `new breed of billionaire’ who “has pledged billions of dollars to his two foundations that will aid health and education.’”

(end of part 2)