Posts tagged ows
Posts tagged ows
Bill Moyers speaks to Jacob Kornbluth, director of Inequality for All, a new documentary film about how America’s widening income gap is a threat — not only to the viability of our workforce, but also to the foundations of our democracy. The film features economic analyst and former Clinton cabinet member Robert Reich, who uses humor and facts to explain why the consolidation of wealth into the hands of few affects all Americans today.
Kornbluth tells Moyers that his working class roots shaped his decision to make the film: “My friends knew [I was poor] because I got those free lunches in the classroom,” he says. His mother raised a family of four on a teaching salary that, at times, was as low as $9,000 a year. Kornbluth says with Inequality for All he wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the issues from his childhood while elevating the conversation beyond party lines and partisan bickering. “Although [inequality] is a deeply moral question, the argument in the film is that it’s an economic one as well,” he says.
DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy
(DBA/CMD) have spent more than the past year gathering records, through state and federal open records/freedom of information laws, from various law enforcement agencies tasked with “counter-terrorism”/”homeland security” operations. The resultant stacks of documentation, numbering in the thousands of pages, form a grim mosaic of “counter-terrorism” agency operations and attitudes toward activists and other socially/politically-engaged citizens over the course of 2011 and 2012. As such, records show that methods employed by the nation’s “counter-terrorism” apparatus against these citizens has ranged from the use of undercover officers tasked with infiltrating activist groups, to constant monitoring and the use of advanced technologies in the tracking and identification of certain individuals.
Put simply, the pattern that emerges from these pages shows that heavily-funded municipal, county, state and federal “counter-terrorism” agencies (often acting in concert through state/regional “fusion centers”) view citizens engaged in movements of political and social dissent, such as Occupy Wall Street (and its regional incarnations), as nothing less than nascent, if not bonafide, “terrorist” threats.
What’s more, records obtained by DBA/CMD show that this view of activists, and attendant activist monitoring/suppression, has been carried out on behalf of, and in cooperation with, some of the nation’s largest financial and corporate interests— the very entities that the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement and others oppose as usurpers of American democracy.
Additionally, records obtained from the police departments of several cities show that, when possible, corporate interests, or other subjects of public protest, would purchase the services of off-duty police officers— armed, in uniform and acting under the color of law— outright. Our records indicate that, in at least one instance, police officers employed by corporate interests who explicitly stated a desire for protestor arrests and prosecutions were more than happy to not only provide the desired protestor arrests, but to also lie in official records, as well as to the news media, in order to facilitate prosecutions and cover their own actions.
Furthermore, records obtained by DBA/CMD from agencies active in state counter-terrorism “fusion centers— including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)— demonstrate the institutionalized blending of corporate security with “national security” through a number of public-private “counter-terrorism” intelligence sharing programs.
What has resulted is the wholesale criminalization of tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of American citizens who have dared to voice opposition to what is increasingly viewed as the undue influence of private corporate/financial interests in the functions
Fix the Debt is the most hypocritical corporate PR campaign in decades
Fix the Debt is an ambitious attempt to convince the country that another cataclysmic economic crisis is around the corner and that urgent action is needed. Its strategy is pure astroturf: assemble power players in business and government under an activist banner, then take the message outside the Beltway and give it the appearance of grassroots activism by manufacturing an emergency to infuse a sense of imminent crisis.
Behind this strategy are no fewer than 127 CEOs and even more “statesmen” pushing for a “grand bargain” to draw up an austerity budget by July 4. With many firms kicking in $1 million each on top of Peterson’s $5 million in seed money, this latest incarnation of the Peterson message machine must be taken seriously.
Austerity, ‘cause the wealthy need more.
No deal would be better than a bad deal.
The current debate over the so-called “fiscal cliff” is just the latest in a long string of GOP-manufactured crises designed to whip up public hysteria and put the Democrats on the defensive. I urge you to reject the right wing’s “fiscal cliff” scare tactics and keep your promise to preserve the social safety net.
Democratic offers to strike an alternative budget deal and avoid the “fiscal cliff” have demonstrated a willingness to continue balancing the budget on the backs of the poor. No previous Democratic president has agreed to cut Social Security. And the presidential election delivered Democrats a solid mandate to ensure the wealthiest 2% pay their fair share of taxes. Turning your backs on these commitments to basic fairness can only serve to deepen economic inequalities Black families have experienced for decades.
Don’t settle for a bad deal that both doubles down on decades of failed tax policy favoring the super-rich and punishes our communities for a deficit we didn’t create. Please stand up for our communities and protect the social safety net.
Obama, You Asshole..Look for Work.
We The Cattle
The Elites Will Make Gazans of Us All
“Gaza is a window on our coming dystopia. The growing divide between the world’s elite and its miserable masses of humanity is maintained through spiraling violence. Many impoverished regions of the world, which have fallen off the economic cliff, are beginning to resemble Gaza, where 1.6 million Palestinians live in the planet’s largest internment camp. These sacrifice zones, filled with seas of pitifully poor people trapped in squalid slums or mud-walled villages, are increasingly hemmed in by electronic fences, monitored by surveillance cameras and drones and surrounded by border guards or military units that shoot to kill. These nightmarish dystopias extend from sub-Saharan Africa to Pakistan to China. They are places where targeted assassinations are carried out, where brutal military assaults are pressed against peoples left defenseless, without an army, navy or air force. All attempts at resistance, however ineffective, are met with the indiscriminate slaughter that characterizes modern industrial warfare.
In the new global landscape, as in Israel’s occupied territories and the United States’ own imperial projects in Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Afghanistan, massacres of thousands of defenseless innocents are labeled wars. Resistance is called a provocation, terrorism or a crime against humanity. The rule of law, as well as respect for the most basic civil liberties and the right of self-determination, is a public relations fiction used to placate the consciences of those who live in the zones of privilege. Prisoners are routinely tortured and “disappeared.” The severance of food and medical supplies is an accepted tactic of control. Lies permeate the airwaves. Religious, racial and ethnic groups are demonized. Missiles rain down on concrete hovels, mechanized units fire on unarmed villagers, gunboats pound refugee camps with heavy shells, and the dead, including children, line the corridors of hospitals that lack electricity and medicine. “
(more of this article by Chris Hedges here)
GOP is SHIT
A new report reveals how wealthy individuals and their families have between $21 and $32 trillion of hidden financial assets around the world in what are known as offshore accounts or tax havens. The actual sums could be higher because the study only deals with financial wealth deposited in bank and investment accounts, and not other assets such as property and yachts. The inquiry was commissioned by the Tax Justice Network and is being touted as the most comprehensive report ever on the “offshore economy.” It also finds that private banks are deeply involved in running offshore havens, with UBS, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs handling the most assets. -James Henry, economist, lawyer, board member of the Tax Justice Network, and author of the report, “The Price of Offshore Revisited.” He is former chief economist at McKinsey & Company.
We’re broke? No, we have been ripped off. Our debt problem is not a debt problem it is a tax problem.
Walmart workers march in LA, saying ‘no thanks’ to new stores
July 5, 2012
More than 4,000 union members and community supporters, including many Walmart workers, marched in Los Angeles Saturday June 30. They opposed the chain’s bid to bring its tornado of destruction into urban centers.
The march was led by 100 current and former Walmart workers, members of Organized United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart), who carried the lead banner: “Walmart = Poverty.”
Amanda Greiner, a Walmart worker for seven years in northern California and now a full-time organizer for OUR Walmart, told Labor Notes that Walmart workers are fed up with poverty wages, lack of benefits, part-time hours, and disrespect from management.
Most of Walmart’s workers “are on welfare,” she said, and work “such low part-time hours that we can’t qualify for health insurance.”
Walmart’s pitch to the public is that it has the lowest prices anywhere, offers “competitive” pay, and aids local communities.
Greiner disagrees, pointing to an independent study saying the average wage is $8.81 an hour—not the $12.66 the company claims.
Girshriela Green, who works at the Baldwin Hills Grenshaw Plaza Walmart in L.A.’s Black community, told the LA Wave, “I’m a manager in one of their biggest consumable departments. I make $9.80 and have to depend on county health care and food stamps to make ends meet.
“I’m neglected on a daily basis, but that’s not just my story, that’s the story of Walmart workers nationwide,” Green said. “When I complain to managers they just say there’s a hundred people waiting in line for my job.”
Karl Kautsky (via antistate)
Corporate Ruled Supreme Court: Citizens United
The Saving American Democracy Amendment states that:
"With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that, I believe, will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections."
"The conceit that corporations must be treated identically to natural persons in the political sphere is not only inaccurate but also inadequate to justify the Court¹s disposition of this case.
"In the context of election to public office, the distinction between corporate and human speakers is significant. Although they make enormous contributions to our society, corporations are not actually members of it.
They cannot vote or run for office. Because they may be managed and controlled by nonresidents, their interests may conflict in fundamental respects with the interests of eligible voters.
"The majority¹s approach to corporate electioneering marks a dramatic break from our past. Congress has placed special limitations on campaign spending by corporations ever since the passage of the Tillman Act in 1907.
"The Court’s ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation. The path it has taken to reach its outcome will, I fear, do damage to this institution."
"When corporations use other people’s money to electioneer, that is a harm not just to the shareholders themselves but a sort of a broader harm to the public that comes from distortion of the electioneering that is done by corporations."
"I’m Ben, I’m a person. I’m Jerry, I’m a person. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? Not a person."
"Citizens United was so extreme that unless we take action to stop it, America will return to the Gilded Age — on steroids."
"We are not going to let this decision to go unchallenged…At a time when Americans are worried about special interests having too much influence, this decision opens up the floodgates and allows special interest money to overflow elections and undermine our democracy.
“If there’s one thing that Americans from the left, right and center can all agree on, it’s that they don’t want more special interests in our politics.”
"This decision enables larger financial interests to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens, allows foreign corporations to spend money through their domestic subsidiaries, and permits major recipients of taxpayer dollars to funnel these funds into political activities."
Under the watch of CEO Jamie Dimon, J.P. Morgan Chase just lost $2 billion in dangerous trading practices similar to those that caused the 2008 financial meltdown. This once again illustrates the need for strong, enforceable financial reform.
The Federal Reserve is currently working on crafting and implementing some of the most important aspects of the 2010 financial reform bill. Unfortunately, Jamie Dimon is also a director at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a position which he has used to become the leading voice against increased regulation of Wall Street.
There is no way Jamie Dimon should be a part of the ongoing reform process. Sign the petition calling on Jamie Dimon to resign from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Jamie Dimon gets very mad when you say that his bank got bailed out by the government, and he insists that the government made him take all that free money. Then his bank somehow accidentally lost billions of dollars last week, whoops! And he is really embarrassed, but not embarrassed enough to fire himself. So, let’s put him on trial and force him to explain what good he and his bank are.
The SEC is investigating the massive loss, but that will take a lot of time and the eventual report will probably be very difficult for novices to understand and probably they won’t put anyone in jail. Dimon might have to be hauled before Congress to answer questions, but no one watches congressional hearings, and no one likes members of Congress. I think a big televised prime-time tribunal would be best. And then maybe some JPMorgan shareholders, unemployed people, journalists and angry bloggers can just ask him some really simple questions about why he thinks JPMorgan shouldn’t be regulated at all.
Big Banks With Legislatewhores = America Is a Shithole.
If we are going to change the conversation about deficits away from giving even more tax breaks to millionaires while cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, then we have to make a strong opening bid.
Join with Senator Bernie Sanders by becoming a citizen co-sponsor of Bernie’s progressive budget alternative. Support Bernie’s Progressive Budget.
At least Bank of America got its name right. The ultimate Too Big to Fail bank really is America, a hypergluttonous ward of the state whose limitless fraud and criminal conspiracies we’ll all be paying for until the end of time. Did you hear about the plot to rig global interest rates? The $137 million fine for bilking needy schools and cities? The ingenious plan to suck multiple fees out of the unemployment checks of jobless workers? Take your eyes off them for 10 seconds and guaranteed, they’ll be into some shit again: This bank is like the world’s worst-behaved teenager, taking your car and running over kittens and fire hydrants on the way to Vegas for the weekend, maxing out your credit cards in the three days you spend at your aunt’s funeral. They’re out of control, yet they’ll never do time or go out of business, because the government remains creepily committed to their survival, like overindulgent parents who refuse to believe their 40-year-old live-at-home son could possibly be responsible for those dead hookers in the backyard.
Bank America is in deep trouble, but they won’t die, because our current president, like the last one, apparently believes it’s better to project a false image of financial soundness than to allow one of our oligarchic banks to collapse under the weight of its own corruption.