Category Archives: Robin Hood Tax

A financial transaction tax is a tax placed on a specific type (or types) of financial transaction for a specific purpose (or purposes).

This term has been most commonly associated with the financial sector, as opposed to consumption taxes paid by consumers. However, it is not a taxing of the financial institutions themselves. Instead, it is charged only on the specific transactions that are designated as taxable. If an institution never carries out the taxable transaction, then it will never be taxed on that transaction. Furthermore, if it carries out only one such transaction, then it will only be taxed for that one transaction. As such, this tax is neither a financial activities tax, nor a “bank tax,” for example. This clarification is important in discussions about using a financial transaction tax as a tool to selectively discourage excessive speculation without discouraging any other activity (as John Maynard Keynes originally envisioned it in 1936).

A Small President on the World Stage

At the U.N., leaders hope for a return of American greatness.

The world misses the old America, the one before the crash—the crashes—of the past dozen years.

By PEGGY NOONAN

That is the takeaway from conversations the past week in New York, where world leaders gathered for the annual U.N. General Assembly session. Our friends, and we have many, speak almost poignantly of the dynamism, excellence, exuberance and leadership of the nation they had, for so many years, judged themselves against, been inspired by, attempted to emulate, resented.

As for those who are not America’s friends, some seem still confused, even concussed, by the new power shift. What is their exact place in it? Will it last? Will America come roaring back? Can she? Does she have the political will, the human capital, the old capability?

It is a world in a new kind of flux, one that doesn’t know what to make of America anymore. In part because of our president.

“We want American leadership,” said a member of a diplomatic delegation of a major U.S. ally. He said it softly, as if confiding he missed an old friend.

“In the past we have seen some America overreach,” said the prime minister of a Western democracy, in a conversation. “Now I think we are seeing America underreach.” He was referring not only to foreign policy but to economic policies, to the limits America has imposed on itself. He missed its old economic dynamism, its crazy, pioneering spirit toward wealth creation—the old belief that every American could invent something, get it to market, make a bundle, rise.

The prime minister spoke of a great anxiety and his particular hope. The anxiety: “The biggest risk is not political but social. Wealthy societies with people who think wealth is a given, a birthright—they do not understand that we are in the fight of our lives with countries and nations set on displacing us. Wealth is earned. It is far from being a given. It cannot be taken for granted. The recession reminded us how quickly circumstances can change.” His hope? That the things that made America a giant—”so much entrepreneurialism and vision”—will, in time, fully re-emerge and jolt the country from the doldrums.

The second takeaway of the week has to do with a continued decline in admiration for the American president. Barack Obama‘s reputation among his fellow international players has deflated, his stature almost collapsed. In diplomatic circles, attitudes toward his leadership have been declining for some time, but this week you could hear the disappointment, and something more dangerous: the sense that he is no longer, perhaps, all that relevant. Part of this is due, obviously, to his handling of the Syria crisis. If you draw a line and it is crossed and then you dodge, deflect, disappear and call it diplomacy, the world will notice, and not think better of you. Some of it is connected to the historical moment America is in.

But some of it, surely, is just five years of Mr. Obama. World leaders do not understand what his higher strategic aims are, have doubts about his seriousness and judgment, and read him as unsure and covering up his unsureness with ringing words.

A scorching assessment of the president as foreign-policy actor came from a former senior U.S. diplomat, a low-key and sophisticated man who spent the week at many U.N.-related functions. “World leaders are very negative about Obama,” he said. They are “disappointed, feeling he’s not really in charge. . . . The Western Europeans don’t pay that much attention to him anymore.”

The diplomat was one of more than a dozen U.S. foreign-policy hands who met this week with the new president of Iran, Hasan Rouhani. What did he think of the American president? “He didn’t mention Obama, not once,” said the former envoy, who added: “We have to accept the fact that the president is rather insignificant at the moment, and rely on our diplomats.” John Kerry, he said, is doing a good job.

Had he ever seen an American president treated as if he were so insignificant? “I really never have. It’s unusual.” What does he make of the president’s strategy: “He doesn’t know what to do so he stays out of it [and] hopes for the best.” The diplomat added: “Slim hope.”

This reminded me of a talk a few weeks ago, with another veteran diplomat who often confers with leaders with whom Mr. Obama meets. I had asked: When Obama enters a room with other leaders, is there a sense that America has entered the room? I mentioned de Gaulle—when he was there, France was there. When Reagan came into a room, people stood: America just walked in. Does Mr. Obama bring that kind of mystique?

“No,” he said. “It’s not like that.”

When the president spoke to the General Assembly, his speech was dignified and had, at certain points, a certain sternness of tone. But after a while, as he spoke, it took on the flavor of re-enactment. He had impressed these men and women once. In the cutaways on C-Span, some delegates in attendance seemed distracted, not alert, not sitting as if they were witnessing something important. One delegate seemed to be scrolling down on a BlackBerry, one rifled through notes. Two officials seated behind the president as he spoke seemed engaged in humorous banter. At the end, the applause was polite, appropriate and brief.

The president spoke of Iran and nuclear weapons—”we should be able to achieve a resolution” of the question. “We are encouraged” by signs of a more moderate course. “I am directing John Kerry to pursue this effort.”

But his spokesmen had suggested the possibility of a brief meeting or handshake between Messrs. Obama and Rouhani. When that didn’t happen there was a sense the American president had been snubbed. For all the world to see.

Which, if you are an American, is embarrassing.

While Mr. Rouhani could not meet with the American president, he did make time for journalists, diplomats and businessmen brought together by the Asia Society and the Council on Foreign Relations. Early Thursday evening in a hotel ballroom, Mr. Rouhani spoke about U.S.-Iranian relations.

He appears to be intelligent, smooth, and he said all the right things—”moderation and wisdom” will guide his government, “global challenges require collective responses.” He will likely prove a tough negotiator, perhaps a particularly wily one. He is eloquent when speaking of the “haunted” nature of some of his countrymen’s memories when they consider the past 60 years of U.S.-Iranian relations.

Well, we have that in common.

He seemed to use his eloquence to bring a certain freshness, and therefore force, to perceived grievances. That’s one negotiating tactic. He added that we must “rise above petty politics,” and focus on our nations’ common interests and concerns. He called it “counterproductive” to view Iran as a threat; this charge is whipped up by “alarmists.” He vowed again that Iran will not develop a nuclear bomb, saying this would be “contrary to Islamic norms.”

I wondered, as he spoke, how he sized up our president. In roughly 90 minutes of a speech followed by questions, he didn’t say, and nobody thought to ask him.

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Fear, Everywhere, Fear

By Alan Caruba

If my emails and the headlines I am reading indicate anything, there is widespread fear among Americans that something terrible has occurred with the reelection of President Obama. Not all Americans, though. Those who voted for Obama appear to remain oblivious despite the threat of a “fiscal cliff” or the new taxes in Obamacare that will kick in on January 2nd.

We have a Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy, Geithner, calling for an end to debt ceilings, apparently believing that America can continue to borrow money to pay for the interest on its escalating debt, now pegged at $16 trillion and growing daily. The U.S. borrows $4 billion a day. Anyone with a credit card knows that their payments increase as they struggle to deal with their personal debt. Eventually they either declare bankruptcy or turn to companies that negotiate a payment to release them.

If America was to default on its debt, the dollar, already in free fall, would be worth nothing. We would be bartering shiny beads and anything else to buy food and other necessaries. We would become Zimbabwe where you need a million of their dollars to buy a loaf of bread.

Writing recently on her Fox Business blog, Gerri Willis spelled out the huge rise in taxes Americans are facing. “All told, next year, total taxes will go to almost 50% for the middle class; the very group that the president says he wants to protect. That means 50 cents out of every dollar earned has to go to the government. Half of everything will go to an entity that didn’t earn that money, and shouldn’t be entitled to all that dough.”

What kind of madness is it that the Teamsters union would impose such senseless rules that it would weaken Hostess to the point of bankruptcy, preferring to let the company die rather than to protect the jobs of 18,500 bakers? Other unions are engaged in attacks on a weakened economy. What kind of nation is it that its government employees are lobbying Congress to not only increase their pay, but to exempt them from the impact of the spending cuts scheduled to kick in?

There is a full-scale attack on the privacy Americans have taken for granted, protected by the fourth Amendment that says “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”

On November 14th, the Heritage Foundation asked “Do you trust the government with your computer?” The government has had “13 breaches and failures of its own cybersecurity just in the last six months.” Even so, “the President and his allies in the Senate are pushing forward to regulate America’s cyber-doings, without any clues about how much this will cost or how it will work.”

“It has become the norm with this President—if Congress fails to accomplish his objectives, he goes around it with executive orders and federal regulations. He’s doing it again. Congress did not pass the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 before the election, so the President has issued a draft of an executive order to put much of that legislation in place without lawmakers voting.”

This is the very essence of tyranny and the President has had four years to perfect it. Are conservative think tanks the only ones paying any attention? It would appear so.

A new proposed law in the Senate would strip Americans of any privacy as they communicate with one another by email. A vote for the law would allow warrantless access to American’s email and is scheduled for a vote shortly. It would allow 22 federal agencies as well as state and local law enforcement to access one’s emails with nothing more than a subpoena. This is totally unconstitutional.

Already $16 trillion in debt, the government is looking for ways to take over the $3 trillion that is held in private retirement plans such as 401(k) plans and IRA’s. A recent hearing by the Treasury and Labor Departments addressed the nationalization of the nation’s pension system. The director of the National Senior’s Council, Robert Crone, warns “It is clear that this is the first step towards a government takeover. It feels just like the beginning of the debate over health care and we all know how that ended up.”

As we move closer to an Electoral College vote confirming Obama’s reelection, whistleblowers are coming forth in Ohio, Florida and elsewhere to reveal that significant voter fraud was a contributing factor, but it receives little or no media coverage. One must ask how 99% of votes in Philadelphia districts went to Obama and ask why nothing is being done to investigate this and other offenses such as the 141.1% of the vote recorded in Florida’s St. Lucie County. That is statistically impossible, but it robbed Rep. Allen West (R) of his seat in Congress.

This isn’t government. It is gangsterism. It is “the Chicago way.”

The monster Homeland Security Agency just graduated its first class of FEMA Corps, kids aged 18-24, recruited from the President’s Americorps volunteers, that will become a full time, paid standing army. Fears of FEMA camps abound and in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, people seeking shelter and food were herded into one that resembled a concentration camp of the Nazi regime and told not to use various means of communication to contact the media or outside community. They went from hurricane victims to prisoners of the government.

In so many ways, the freedoms protected by the U.S. Constitution are in danger of disappearing along with the separation of powers it requires.

Little wonder that citizen’s petitions from a growing number of states are called for secession. Or that governors are refusing to set up the Obamacare exchanges required by a law that has taken control of twenty percent of the nation’s economy; their budgets held hostage to Medicaid.

On an individual level, people who have jobs are fearful of losing them. College graduates are fearful of the huge debt they carry for the loans they received. People wonder if they can afford to get married. Married couples fear the cost of having another child. Homeowners fear not being able to pay their mortgages. Seniors fear that their savings won’t last as they live longer.

There is ample reason to fear not only the collapse of the nation’s economy, but the loss of liberty in America.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

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US Congress Short Memory: (Oil For Food) “Why the U.N. Shouldn’t Own the Seas”

The Law of the Sea Treaty is as harmful today as it was when Reagan and Thatcher first opposed it in 1982.

June 13, 2012
By DONALD RUMSFELD

Thirty years ago, President Ronald Reagan asked me to meet with world leaders to represent the United States in opposition to the United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty. Our efforts soon found a persuasive supporter in British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Today, as the U.S. Senate again considers approving this flawed agreement, the Reagan-Thatcher reasons for opposition remain every bit as persuasive.

When I met with Mrs. Thatcher in 1982, her conclusion on the treaty was unforgettable: “What this treaty proposes is nothing less than the international nationalization of roughly two-thirds of the Earth’s surface.” Then, referring to her battles dismantling Britain’s state-owned mining and utility companies, she added, “And you know how I feel about nationalization. Tell Ronnie I’m with him.”

Reagan had entered office the year before with the treaty presented to him as a done deal requiring only his signature and Senate ratification. Then as now, most of the world’s nations had already approved it. The Nixon, Ford and Carter administrations had all gone along. American diplomats generally supported the treaty and were shocked when Reagan changed America’s policy. Puzzled by their reaction, the president was said to have responded, “But isn’t that what the election was all about?”

Yet, as the Gipper might have said, here we go again: An impressive coalition—including every living former secretary of State—has endorsed the Obama administration’s goal of ratifying the treaty. The U.S. Navy wants to “lock in” existing and widely accepted rules of high-seas navigation. Business groups say the treaty could help them by creating somewhat more certainty.

Can so many people, organizations and countries be mistaken? Yes. Various proponents have valid considerations, but none has made a compelling case that the treaty would, on balance, benefit America as a whole.

Though a 1994 agreement (signed by some but not all parties to the treaty) fixed some of its original flaws, the treaty remains a sweeping power grab that could prove to be the largest mechanism for the world-wide redistribution of wealth in human history.

The treaty proposes to create a new global governance institution that would regulate American citizens and businesses without being accountable politically to the American people. Some treaty proponents pay little attention to constitutional concerns about democratic legislative processes and principles of self-government, but I believe the American people take seriously such threats to the foundations of our nation.

The treaty creates a United Nations-style body called the “International Seabed Authority.” “The Authority,” as U.N. bureaucrats call it in Orwellian shorthand, would be involved in all commercial activity in international waters, such as mining and oil and gas production. Pursuant to the treaty’s Article 82, the U.S. would be required to transfer to this entity a significant share of all royalties generated by U.S. companies—royalties that would otherwise go to the U.S. Treasury.

Over time, hundreds of billions of dollars could flow through the Authority with little oversight. The U.S. would not control how those revenues are spent: The treaty empowers the Authority to redistribute these so-called international royalties to developing and landlocked nations with no role in exploring or extracting those resources.

This would constitute massive global welfare, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer. It would be as if fishermen who exerted themselves to catch fish on the high seas were required, on the principle that those fish belonged to all people everywhere, to give a share of their take to countries that had nothing to do with their costly, dangerous and arduous efforts.

Worse still, these sizable “royalties” could go to corrupt dictatorships and state sponsors of terrorism. For example, as a treaty signatory and a member of the Authority’s executive council, the government of Sudan—which has harbored terrorists and conducted a mass extermination campaign against its own people—would have as much say as the U.S. on issues to be decided by the Authority.

Disagreements among treaty signatories are to be decided through mandatory dispute-resolution processes of uncertain integrity. Americans should be uncomfortable with unelected and unaccountable tribunals appointed by the secretary-general of the United Nations serving as the final arbiter of such disagreements.

Even if one were to agree with the principle of global wealth redistribution from the U.S. to other nations, other U.N. bodies have proven notably unskilled at financial management. The U.N. Oil for Food program in Iraq, for instance, resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in corruption and graft that directly benefited Saddam Hussein and his allies. The Law of the Sea Treaty is an opportunity for scandal on an even larger scale.

The most persuasive argument for the treaty is the U.S. Navy’s desire to shore up international navigation rights. It is true that the treaty might produce some benefits, clarifying some principles and perhaps making it easier to resolve certain disputes. But our Navy has done quite well without this treaty for the past 200 years, relying often on centuries-old, well-established customary international law to assert navigational rights. Ultimately, it is our naval power that protects international freedom of navigation. This treaty would not make a large enough additional contribution to counterbalance the problems it would create.

In his farewell address to the nation in 1988, Reagan advised the country: “Don’t be afraid to see what you see.” If the members of the U.S. Senate fulfill their responsibilities, read the Law of the Sea Treaty and consider it carefully, I believe they will come to the conclusion that its costs to our security and sovereignty would far exceed any benefits.

Mr. Rumsfeld was secretary of defense from 1975 to 1977 and from 2001 to 2006. He is author of “Known and Unknown: A Memoir” (Sentinel, 2011).

A version of this article appeared June 13, 2012, on page A15 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Why the U.N. Shouldn’t Own the Seas.

Law of the Sea Treaty = The Rape of America … J. D. Longstreet

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May 23rd, 2012
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

The Obama Administration has dragged the Law of the Sea Treaty back before the US Senate this week.

The treaty, if approved by the Senate will amount to the rape of America.

Here’s what the Center for Security Policy has to say about the Law Of The Sea Treaty: “If, on the other hand, the members of the U.S. Senate trouble themselves to study, or at least read, the text of the Law of the Sea Treaty, they would immediately see it for what it really is: a diplomatic dinosaur, a throwback to a bygone era when UN negotiations were dominated by communists of the Soviet Union and their fellow-travelers in the Third World.

These adversaries’ agenda was transparent and wholly inimical to American equities. They sought to: establish control over 70% of the world’s surface; create an international governing institution that would serve as a model for bringing nation states like ours to heel; and redistribute the planet’s wealth and technology from the developed world to themselves. LOST codifies such arrangements – and would subject us to mandatory dispute resolution to enforce them via stacked-deck adjudication panels.”
SOURCE:

Center for Security Policy

Still, many, if not MOST, Americans have never heard of it — the Law Of The Sea Treaty.

So why is it important?

OK, lets look at some reasons why the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) is important to you as an American and to all inhabitants of the earth:

Why We Lose if LOST Wins
By asserting UN authority over seven-tenths of the Earth’s surface, LOST would be the largest territorial conquest in history.

In principle, the treaty would assert UN jurisdiction over U.S. territorial waters, and eventually over waterways within our country.

It would create a huge bureaucratic entity called the “Enterprise” which would regulate and tax all commercial uses of the high seas.

By taxing all efforts to develop the wealth of the seabed, the UN would be given a huge revenue stream, independent of national governments, to push its agenda for international socialism.

The treaty would require the redistribution of cutting-edge technology from the U.S. to all governments in the “developing world,” including extremely repressive governments.

Get the picture??? It’s that cussed “One World Government thing again! (Otherwise known as “Global Governance) You know… the “GLOBALISTS” at work.

Apparatchiks from the Obama Administration will trudge over to the US Senate this week to sing the praises of LOST. They will applaud it and explain to the Senators that it is the best thing since the US Constitution for America, indeed, for the whole world.

It will be a pack of lies.

So, where do we stand today on LOST? Not good, I’m afraid.

The National Center for Public Policy Research has a website providing educational resources on the Law of the Sea Treaty (also known by the acronyms LOST and UNCLOS).

“The Law of the Sea Treaty is a terrible deal for the U.S. It would threaten our sovereignty, place a significant portion of the world’s resources under the control of a U.N.-style body, and complicate our efforts to apprehend terrorists on the high seas by subjecting our actions to review by an international court unlikely to render decisions favorable to the U.S.,” said National Center Vice President David Ridenour.

“The Law of the Sea Treaty would help radical environmentalists achieve what they haven’t been able to achieve through legislation,” Ridenour added. “Greenpeace has said ‘the benefits of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea are substantial, including its basic duties for states to protect and preserve the marine environment and to conserve marine living species.’ The Natural Resources Defense Council challenged the Navy’s use of ‘intense active sonar,’ arguing that it violates the treaty by posing a danger to marine life. The Navy ultimately agreed to scale back use of this technology. The Law of the Sea Treaty has also been used by Australia and New Zealand in an attempt to shut down an experimental blue fin tuna fishing program and by Ireland in an attempt to shut down a plant on land in England”

The website, the United National Law of the Sea Treaty Information Center, contains a collection of research papers, commentaries and blog entries about LOST from a variety of think-tanks, scholars, opinion writers and bloggers. It can be accessed at: Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST or UNCLOS III).

“Although the Law of the Sea Treaty has been around for decades — the National Center for Public Policy Research first worked on it in 1982 — relatively few people know much about it,” said Amy Ridenour, president of the National Center for Public Policy Research. “The United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty Information Center website is designed to help correct this.”

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a non-partisan, non-profit educational foundation based in Washington, D.C.

It is more important now then ever before to contact your senators and urge them to oppose the Law of the Sea Treaty.

Look. This Law Of The Sea Treaty is serious socialist, global governance, trickery! And NOBODY IS Talking ABOUT IT! Of course, we cannot expect the so-called “Mainstream Media” in America to bring it up, being so deep in the bunker for Obama, that is. The near incestuous relationship between the MsM and Obama prevents them from actually informing their readers, listeners, and viewers, of important, pending, life-changing policy being considered in the nation’s legislature.

We urge you to educate yourself about the Law Of The Sea Treaty — and do so quickly.

In the meantime, however, we suggest that you get on the phone, or send an e-mail or fax to the offices of your US Senators and ask them to vote NO on the Law Of The Sea Treaty.

Every so often, we get a chance to use our constitutional rights for good. This is one of those times.

J. D. Longstreet

The tab for U.N.’s Rio summit: Trillions per year in taxes, transfers and price hikes

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By George Russell
Published April 20, 2012
FoxNews.com

The upcoming United Nations environmental conference on sustainable development will consider  a breathtaking array of carbon taxes, transfers of trillions of dollars from wealthy countries to poor ones, and new spending programs to guarantee that populations around the world are protected from the effects of the very programs the world organization wants to implement, according to stunning U.N. documents examined  by Fox News.

The main goal of the much-touted, Rio + 20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, scheduled to be held in Brazil from June 20-23, and which Obama Administration officials have supported,  is to make dramatic and enormously expensive changes  in the way that the world does nearly everything—or, as one of the documents puts it, “a fundamental shift in the way we think and act.”

Among the proposals on how the “challenges can and must be addressed,” according to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon:

–More than $2.1 trillion a year in wealth transfers from rich countries to poorer ones, in the name of fostering “green infrastructure, ”  “climate adaptation” and other “green economy” measures.

–New carbon taxes for industrialized countries that could cost about $250 billion a year, or 0.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product, by 2020. Other environmental taxes are mentioned, but not specified.

–Further unspecified price hikes that extend beyond fossil fuels to anything derived from agriculture, fisheries, forestry, or other kinds of land and water use, all of which would be radically reorganized. These cost changes would “contribute to a more level playing field between established, ‘brown’ technologies and newer, greener ones.”

— Major global social spending programs, including a “social protection floor” and “social safety nets” for the world’s most vulnerable social groups  for reasons of “equity.”

–Even more social benefits for those displaced by the green economy revolution—including those put out of work in undesirable fossil fuel industries. The benefits, called “investments,”  would include “access to nutritious food, health services, education, training and retraining, and unemployment benefits.”

–A guarantee that if those sweeping benefits weren’t enough, more would be granted. As one of the U.N. documents puts it:  “Any adverse effects of changes in prices of goods and services vital to the welfare of vulnerable groups must be compensated for and new livelihood opportunities provided.”

Click here for the Executive Summary Report.

That  huge catalogue of taxes and spending is described optimistically as “targeted investments  in human and social capital on top of investments in natural capital and green physical capital,” and is accompanied by the claim that it will all, in the long run, more than pay for itself.

But the whopping green “investment” list  barely scratches the surface of the mammoth exercise in global social engineering that is envisaged in the U.N. documents, prepared by the Geneva-based United Nations Environmental Management Group (UNEMG), a consortium of 36 U.N. agencies, development banks  and environmental bureaucracies, in advance of the Rio session.

An earlier version of the report was presented  at a closed door session of the U.N.’s top bureaucrats during a Long Island retreat last October, where Rio was discussed as a “unique opportunity” to drive an expanding U.N. agenda for years ahead.

Click here for more on this story from Fox News.

Under the ungainly title of Working Towards a Balanced and Inclusive Green Economy, A United Nations System-Wide Perspective,  the  final version of the 204-page report is intended to “contribute” to preparations for the Rio + 20 summit, where one of the two themes is “the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. ”  (The other theme is “the institutional framework for sustainable development” –sometimes known as global environmental governance.)

But in fact, it also lays out new roles for private enterprise, national governments, and a bevy of socialist-style worker, trade and citizens’ organizations in creating a sweeping international social reorganization, all closely monitored by regulators and governments to maintain environmental “sustainability” and “human equity.”

“Transforming the global economy will require action locally (e.g., through land use planning), at the national level (e.g., through energy-use regulations) and at the international level (e.g., through technology diffusion),” the document says. It involves “profound changes in economic systems, in resource efficiency, in the composition of global demand, in production and consumption patterns and a major transformation in public policy-making.”  It will also require “a serious rethinking of lifestyles in developed countries.”

As the report puts it, even though “the bulk of green investments will come from the private sector,” the “role of the public sector… is indispensable for influencing the flow of private financing.”  It adds that the green economy model “recognizes the value of markets, but is not tied to markets as the sole or best solution to all problems.”

Among other countries, the report particularly lauds China as “a good example of combining investments and public policy incentives to encourage major advances in the development of cleaner technologies.”

Along those lines, it says, national governments need to reorganize themselves to ” collectively design fiscal and tax policies as well as policies on how to use the newly generated revenue”  from their levies. There,  “U.N. entities can help governments and others to find the most appropriate ways of phasing out harmful subsidies while combining that with the introduction of new incentive schemes to encourage positive steps forward.”

U.N. organizations can also “encourage the ratification of relevant international agreements, assist the Parties to implement and comply with related obligations…and build capacity, including that of legislators at national and sub-national levels to prepare and ensure compliance with regulations and standards.”

The report declares that “scaled-up and accelerated international cooperation” is required, with new coordination at “the international, sub-regional, and regional levels.”  Stronger regulation is needed, and “to avoid the proliferation of national regulations and standards, the use of relevant international standards is essential” — an area where the U.N. can be very helpful, the report indicates.

The U.N. is also ready to supply new kinds of statistics to bolster and measure the changes that the organization foresees—including indicators that do away with old notions of economic growth and progress and replace them with new statistics. One example: “the U.N. System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA), which will become an internationally agreed statistical framework in 2012.” 

These changes, the authors reassure readers, will  only be done in line with the “domestic development agendas” of the countries involved.

“A green economy is not a one-size-fits-all path towards sustainable development,” an executive summary of the report declares.   Instead it is a “dynamic policy toolbox” for local decision-makers, who can decide to use it optionally.

But even so, the  tools are intended for only one final aim. And they have the full endorsement  of U.N. Secretary General Ban, who declares in a forward to the document that “only such integrated approach will lay lasting foundations for peace and sustainable development,” and calls the upcoming Rio conclave a “generational opportunity” to act.

Click here for the full report.

George Russell is executive editor of Fox News and can be found on Twitter @GeorgeRussell

Click here for more stories by George Russell.

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Occupiers Have A Mascot, Robin Hood. Too Bad He Is Opposed To Their Rhetoric.

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by Casey Hendrickson

I suppose it was inevitable. Eventually, people ignorant to the circumstances they are protesting were bound to extend their ignorance to a new mascot.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’d expected them to take up the Robin Hood fallacy.

Source:

On October 29, on the eve of the G20 Leaders Summit in France, let’s the people of the world rise up and demand that our G20 leaders immediately impose a 1% #ROBINHOOD tax on all financial transactions and currency trades. Let’s send them a clear message: We want you to slow down some of that $1.3-trillion easy money that’s sloshing around the global casino each day – enough cash to fund every social program and environmental initiative in the world.

‘Take from the rich, give to the poor,’ is the often misused mantra of Robin Hood.  However, Robin Hood was not about wealth redistribution at all.  This proposal to demand a tax in Robin Hood’s name is the very definition of irony.  Robin Hood wasn’t an occupier, he was a tea partier.

Robin Hood’s beef wasn’t with the wealthy.  It was with the abusive government over-taxation policy.  It was the Sheriff’s unfair taxation to fund government programs he opposed.  Robin Hood has often been depicted as an aristocrat who had his wealth wrongly stripped from him.  He would oppose the occupiers at every turn.

Demanding a tax in his name is the exact opposite of what he stood for.  Robin Hood would have thrown tea into the harbor. Robin Hood would have been there at the beginning of the tea party movement.  Echoing what our founders and the tea partiers after them stood for … less taxation and getting the government out of our lives. Not the pillaging of the fruits of one’s labor.

Robin Hood is not one of the fictional 99% … Robin Hood is one of the 53%.

Related articles

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Follow the “MONEY”: Never been a better time to make Robin Hood Tax a reality

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By Roger James
Sep 29, 2011

“The Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) we propose will be banks’ contribution to a fair society,” said EU president José Manuel Barroso this week.

The EU Commission further noted that financial firms had played a role in the current “economic crisis” and was “under-taxed” compared with other sectors, also arguing that banks must make a “contribution” back to society after the €4.6 trillion of taxpayers’ money they have received in the last three years.

Earlier this year 1,000 economists urged G20 countries to accept a similar ‘Tobin tax’. France and Germany have been joined by Bill Gates alongside other leading financial actors, George Soros, Warren Buffet and the UK’s Lord Adair Turner who have stated their support for a tax on financial transactions which could raise billions for the fight against poverty and climate change.

Gates was asked by President Nicolas Sarkozy to come up with proposals for new forms of financing for development for this autumn’s meeting of the G20 meeting of the biggest twenty economies in Cannes in November.

The next few weeks leading up to the G20 are going to be critical in deciding whether an FTT is agreed and crucially whether the resources are earmarked for the fight against poverty at home and abroad and to tackle climate change.

EU Finance Ministers next week are expected to discuss the proposal as part of pre-G20 and EU summit discussions. Public and political support is building behind an EU-wide FTT before the EU Heads of State Summit on October 17 and 18 and for a global agreement before the French G20 Summit starting on November 3.

I was heartened to see it as the leading item on the 10pm news only to be followed by interviews with City of London representatives who decried the idea claiming that about 80% of the revenues of any Europe-wide financial tax would come from London.

The UK Government is currently opposed to the idea. The UK Treasury said it would “absolutely resist” any tax that was not introduced globally because it may drive business overseas. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the contrary, has clearly stated that FTTs exist in all the major financial sectors already, without driving business away.

The best example of this is the UK, where we have a stamp duty of 0.5% on all share transactions. The UK’s major competitors do not have this and there certainly is no global agreement, yet it is a successful FTT that raises around £5 billion pounds each year. It is designed so it can’t be avoided and London remains one of the biggest stock markets in the world.

The Robin Hood Tax Campaign, backed by 115 aid agencies (including Oxfam), green campaigners, trade unions and faith groups is campaigning for a tiny tax of about 0.05% on transactions like stocks, bonds, foreign currency and derivatives.

It has the potential to raise £250 billion a year globally. It will not affect retail banking, which includes savings and mortgages. It will instead introduce a micro-tax on short-term, casino-style trading which employs a small number of highly paid bankers in London, not the tens of thousands employed in high street financial services.

The world faces a dramatic economic crisis but alongside our concerns we must remember that the financial crisis has driven millions of people into poverty and put many more at risk, as the world’s poorest countries scramble to fill huge budget holes with dwindling help from richer nations. Poor people in the UK are also being hit hardest by cuts. Revenue from a Robin Hood Tax could go a long way to helping make the world a fairer place by helping tackle poverty and climate change, at home and abroad.

Oxfam and others do have concerns about the apparent EU proposals. While we welcome the fact that the FTT is moving from rhetoric to reality, a significant part of the revenues should be used as Bill Gates suggested, to help poor countries facing chilling reductions in aid, trade, and investment – not just shore up the EU budget. An FTT is not a ‘Robin Hood Tax’ unless clear commitments are made to use the revenues for tackling climate change and poverty at home and abroad

That is why huge public pressure is needed to convince the government it is more costly to ignore the people than to ignore the banks. Actor Bill Nighy has been a prominent public supporter. The UK campaign alone has a quarter of a million supporters, and there are sister campaigns across the globe. A recent EU poll of more than 27,000 people found that 61% of Europeans support FTT, including 65% of Britons.

If you are reading this article please give your support to this campaign at a critical time. Many MPs have declared they are supportive – contact your own and ask them to write to the UK Chancellor and to press their own party spokespeople to come out in support. Have a look at Robin Hood Tax site for all the low down. One fun thing to do is add your own (or friend’s) face to a RHT Video. It’s great!

If a tax is agreed, it’s crucial that a commitment is made that the resources will go towards tackling poverty and climate change – not into the general EU or national budgets. Otherwise it’s not a Robin Hood tax.

We have lots of support, both expert and popular, there has never been a better time or opportunity to make the Robin Hood Tax a reality!

Roger James is a campaigner at Oxfam South West in Bristol

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Who’s really behind Wall Street protests?

Radicals foment agitation in New York, while hinting at American ‘Arab Spring’


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By Aaron Klein

As the news media struggles to find a unifying theme behind the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters, a closer look at the activists behind the agitation reveals a transformative agenda aimed at assaulting U.S. capitalism.

The New York Times on Friday featured a video depicting the motivation of the Wall Street protesters without disclosing the radical background of some of those featured in the newspaper’s piece.

The video was entitled, “The young and old on what they hope to accomplish by joining the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in Zuccotti Park.”

One activist interviewed was Bev Rice, who has been sending online updates of the protests to the War Resisters League, where she has been an activist.

The League was one of the first radical groups to blame America for the 9-11 attacks.

On the very day of the 9-11 attacks, the League released a statement alleging, “The policies of militarism pursued by the United States have resulted in millions of deaths. … [M]ay these profound tragedies [of 9/11] remind us of the impact U.S. policies have had on other civilians in other lands.”

Another activist interviewed by the Times was holding a placard that quoted John F. Kennedy stating, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.”

Yet another was donning a red Kafiya, or Arabic headscarf with a specific pattern that has come to symbolize so-called Palestinian “resistance” against Israel. That style of Kafiya was popularized by Yasser Arafat.

The Occupy Wall Street movement launched two weeks ago and has been escalating ever since.

Earlier, police closed the Brooklyn Bridge and arrested more than 700 anti-Wall Street protesters for blocking traffic lanes and attempting an unauthorized march across the span.

The protests reportedly spread across the U.S., including to Boston, Seattle and Los Angeles. The organizers’ exact motivation has until now been sketchy.

The Twitter feed of a group calling itself Take the Square, one of the social media planners behind the Wall Street protests, has been blasting a multitude of messages, including:

  • “Fight market dictatorship.”
  • “People of the world rise up!”
  • “We are legion.”
  • “Take to the streets.”

Organizers have also been calling for rewriting the U.S. Constitution, imposing a “Robin Hood Tax” on most financial transactions worldwide with the goal of taking from the “rich” to give to the “poor” and giving the Federal Reserve permission to regulate interest rates on savings accounts.

The scheme seeks to bring to American streets the “same indignation that has prompted the people of Greece and Spain to occupy streets and squares on a permanent basis, the people of Egypt and Tunisia to overthrow their governments, the people of Iceland to nationalize their bank system and rewrite the constitution.”

So reads a call to arms by a group calling itself the General Assembly of New York City.

The group has been asking supporters to participate in a “Day of Rage” that started last month and seeks to escalate into protests across the nation.

The General Assembly of New York City has listed some of the possible goals of the current protests:

  • The imposition of a Robin Hood Tax on all financial transactions: The tax is the brainchild of nongovernmental organizations largely based in the United Kingdom. It calls for a new tax on most goods and services to be implemented globally, regionally or unilaterally by individual nations.
    The name of the tax originated in 2008, when Italian treasury minister Giulio Tremonti introduced a windfall tax on the profits of energy companies. Tremonti called the tax a “Robin Hood Tax,” stating it was aimed at the “wealthy” with revenue to be used for the benefit of poorer citizens.
    A prominent supporter of the Robin Hood Tax is Jeffrey Sachs, a Columbia University economist who crafted a controversial economic “shock therapy.” Sachs is a key member of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, or INET.
    Billionaire George Soros is INET’s founding sponsor, with the billionaire having provided a reported $25 million over five years to support INET activities.
    This past April, Sachs keynoted INET’s annual meeting, which took place in the mountains of Bretton Woods, N.H. The gathering took place at Mount Washington Hotel, famous for hosting the original Bretton Woods economic agreements drafted in 1944. That conference’s goal was to rebuild a post-World War II international monetary system. The April gathering had a similar stated goal – a global economic restructuring.
  • Rebooting the system and rewriting the Constitution: The concept seems to be a reference to a plan to push for a new, “progressive” U.S. Constitution by the year 2020.
    WND previously reported at least three White House advisers and officials, including President Obama’s regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein, have ties to the Constitution rewrite effort, which is funded by Soros.
    Sunstein has also been pushing for a new socialist-style U.S. bill of rights that, among other things, would constitutionally require the government to offer each citizen a “useful” job in the farms or industries of the nation.
    According to Sunstein’s new bill of rights, the U.S. government can also intercede to ensure every farmer can sell his product for a good return while the government is granted power to act against “unfair competition” and monopolies in business.
  • Reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act, which sought to enforce more government regulation of the banking industry. Some provisions of the act allowed the Federal Reserve to regulate interest rates in savings accounts.

Wall Street protests to turn violent?

Meanwhile, there are indications the Wall Street protesters are training to incite violence, resist arrest and disrupt the legal system.

Activists advertised on social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter for a “Day of Rage” on Sept. 17 to begin the “occupation” of Wall Street and continue with protests across the nation.

Planners have their own website – USDayofRage.org – which is not specific about the purpose of the “Day of Rage” other than calling for “integrity” to be “restored to our elections.”

The site accuses corporations of using “money to act as the voices of millions, while individual citizens, the legitimate voters, are silenced and demoralized by the farce.”

Advertisements claimed the protests at Wall Street and nationwide will be “non-violent.”

However, the official website provides resources, including videos and detailed written instructions, for protesters to engage in “civil disobedience.” The resources provided include instructions on how to resist police arrest and disrupt court hearings.

Similar instructions are provided on the website of an affiliated organization, which calls itself “Occupy Wall Street” and was also involved in planning the Sept. 17 protests.

The use of the term “Day of Rage” recalls the “Days of Rage” organized in the 1960s by the Weather Underground domestic terrorist organization co-founded by Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, close associates for years of President Obama.

Purple shirt power

In March, ACORN founder Wade Rathke announced what he called “days of rage in 10 cities around JP Morgan Chase.” Rathke was president of an Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, local in New Orleans.

Those efforts are being organized by Stephen Lerner, an SEIU board member who reportedly visited the Obama White House at least four times. Lerner is considered one of the most capable organizers of the radical left. He recently organized the SEIU’s so-called Justice for Janitors campaign.

As part of his planned protests, Lerner called for “a week of civil disobedience, direct action all over the city.”

His stated aim is to “destabilize the folks that are in power and start to rebuild a movement.”

In an interview about the protests, Lerner outlined his goals: “How do we bring down the stock market? How do we bring down their bonuses? How do we interfere with their ability to, to be rich?”

Forecast for American cities: Confrontation, intimidation?

There are other indications radicals and unions are planning chaos using the current economic crisis.

Last month, WND reported that a slew of extremist organizations, some tied to Obama, are preparing protests to coincide with major NATO and G-8 summits in Chicago next May.

Foreshadowing possible violent confrontations, some of the same radical trainers behind the infamous 1999 Seattle riots against the World Trade Organization have been mobilizing new protest efforts geared toward world summits as well as the current economic crisis.

The NATO and G-8 summits are not the only focus of radical groups. WND reported Heather Booth, director of a Saul Alinsky-style community organizing group, the Midwest Academy, was among the main speakers at the “2011 State Battles Summit” in June at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Booth’s husband, Paul, also was a speaker at the union summit. Paul Booth co-founded Midwest Academy in the 1970s.

The four-day summit was organized by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, with participation from the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest union.

An official schedule for the event, obtained by WND, declared: “Our union is under unprecedented attack in every state. Extremist politicians want to weaken us as we head into 2012. Their tactics include budget cuts, layoffs, privatization and the denial of our very collective bargaining rights.”

Continued the flyer: “New challenges require new energy and new thinking. We encourage union activists to attend this conference and bring their creative ideas on how to overcome the challenges ahead.”

Heather Booth participated in a panel entitled, “Our Message, Alliances and Best Practices.”

Another speaker at the union event was John Podesta, who co-chaired President Obama’s transition team.

Podesta is president of the Center for American Progress, which is heavily influential in advising the White House. The center is funded by philanthropist George Soros.

Mideast revolutions coming to U.S.?

Citizen Action of Wisconsin, an arm of Booth’s Midwest Academy, is part of the Moving Wisconsin Forward movement, one of the main organizers of the major Wisconsin protests in February, as WND first reported.

The protests were in opposition to Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal for most state workers to pay 12 percent of their health care premiums and 5.8 percent of their salary toward their own pensions.

WND reported at the time speakers at the rallies likened the Wisconsin protests to the ongoing revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa while calling for similar uprisings in the U.S.

And just this past week, former Obama czar Van Jones told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell that “October is going to be the turning point for the progressive fight back” and referred to the Occupy Wall Street protests as part of a “progressive counterbalance to the tea party.”

“You’re going to see an ‘American Autumn,'” Jones said, “just like we saw the Arab Spring.”

‘Redistribution of wealth and power’

Obama himself once funded Midwest Academy and has been closely tied to Heather Booth.

Booth has stated building a ”progressive majority” would help for ”a fair distribution of wealth and power and opportunity.”

Her husband Paul is a founder and the former national secretary of Students for a Democratic Society, the radical 1960s anti-war movement from which Ayers’ Weather Underground splintered.

In 1999, the Booths’ Midwest Academy received $75,000 from the Woods Fund with Obama on its board alongside Ayers, In 2002, with Obama still serving on the Woods Fund, Midwest received another $23,500 for its Young Organizers Development Program.

Midwest describes itself as “one of the nation’s oldest and best-known schools for community organizations, citizen organizations and individuals committed to progressive social change.”

It later morphed into a national organizing institute for an emerging network of organizations known as Citizen Action.

Discover the Networks describes Midwest as “teach[ing] tactics of direct action, confrontation and intimidation.”

WND first reported the executive director of an activist organization that taught Alinsky’s tactics of direct action, confrontation and intimidation was part of the team that developed volunteers for President Obama’s 2008 campaign.

Jackie Kendall, executive director of the Midwest Academy, was on the team that developed and delivered the first Camp Obama training for volunteers aiding Obama’s campaign through the 2008 Iowa Caucuses. Camp Obama was a two-to-four day intensive course run in conjunction with Obama’s campaign aimed at training volunteers to become activists to help Obama win the presidential election.

Also, in 1998, Obama participated on a panel discussion praising Alinsky alongside Heather Booth, herself a dedicated disciple of Alinsky. The panel discussion followed the opening performance in Chicago of the play “The Love Song of Saul Alinsky,” a work described by the Chicago Sun-Times as “bringing to life one of America’s greatest community organizers.”

Obama participated in the discussion alongside other Alinskyites, including political analyst Aaron Freeman, Don Turner of the Chicago Federation of Labor and Northwestern University history professor Charles Paine.

“Alinsky had so much fire burning within,” stated local actor Gary Houston, who portrayed Alinsky in the play. “There was a lot of complexity to him. Yet he was a really cool character.”

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