The American Nightmare (Bill Moyers Interview of Richard Wolff)

Moyers: The American dream has become a nightmare for the poor.

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Economist Richard Wolff on Capitalism Run Wild” and “Moyers & Company”)

The American dream has become a nightmare for the poor. I couldn’t have said it better. In this interview by Bill Moyers, Richard Wolff gives a good account of FDR’s rescue of the American dream and economy. The New Deal also rescued the American robber barons who, however, were divided into two groups, one side accepting the rescue measures, and the other side hating them. Those who hated being ousted from their god-king thrones have by now undone almost all the positive outcomes of FDR’s New Deal; and only lately are we, the people, waking up to this sad reality and rising up in anger. Let’s hope our anger will serve to take our country back from today’s robber billionaires, rather than to fall into the trap of demagogues (as back in Nazi Germany).  Continue reading

Video Weekend 7-22-2017: Amazing Portents Some Years Back — Moyers, Bernie, Obama, Trump, NAFTA, Clintons, TPP, Drones, and More…

Sometimes it is useful to look a few years back to see where we and our conversation were back then and compare it with now. Which predictions came true? Which hopes were dashed? And which topics that were taboo are finally on the table? It gives us an idea of the process of change and the trends we are in, as opposed to the mere momentary snapshot we usually see every day. From this we can better tell how to move forward. Here are three astoundingly great episodes, three one-hour classics, of Moyers & Company, which can open our eyes a little more:

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(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Moyers & Company Show 141:Plutocracy Rising”)

Quotes (with comments):

Moyers: “Income inequality has soared to the highest level since the great depression, with the top 1% taking 93% of the income earned in the first year of the recovery.”

Chrystia Freeland: “Thirty-seven percent of the recovery went to the top 0.01 percent.” (That’s one in a hundred of them, the 1% of the 1%!)

Bill Clinton (according to Matt Taibbi): “You can’t attack these people [the super rich] for their success.” (Success?!? What success is it when you are born rich, as most of those at the top of our dunghill were? And how laudable is the success of those few who clawed themselves to the top of the dunghill by robbing the rest of us, just like the dynastic forebears of the born-rich ripped off our forebears?)

We must get over this idea that has been hammered into our heads that, if we are poor, we deserve to be poor and that the rich deserve to be rich. We were all born alike, bringing nothing but ourselves to this world; and none of us created the horribly unjust wealth distribution system of our lopsided economy and money market. This injustice machine grew over many generations through vile acts of crooks and goons who passed their loot, their advantage, and their abominable methods of screwing everyone else, on to their descendants. This created dynasties of economic and political aristocracy who keep doing everything in their power to uphold the vast wealth and income inequality that ruins the lives of almost all human beings, and even hurts the rich themselves — to some degree in their prime when they, for example, have to deal with gold diggers — but most especially as they get old and the biological curse with which we are all born comes to haunt them as it haunts all of us: with death of loved ones, with our own advancing decrepitude, and with our own death after just a few decades spent on Earth.

Why do I mention this biological curse? I do so because it is something that – in our scientific and technological society – we actually can do something about; but we won’t if we only keep spending our energies in a never-ending class war that – in contrast to what the corporate media’s propaganda machine keeps telling us – was never started at the bottom. It always started at the top, when crooks and goons began grabbing everything in their sights and ripping everybody off through either violent force or devious economic rip-off schemes, many of which we have become so accustomed to that we don’t even question their legitimacy anymore, although we darn well should!

Chrystia Freeland: “So, you know, if you want my dystopia scenario for the United States, it is that America’s moving into a more Latin American structure of the economy.” (Banana republic, anyone?)

The funny thing about the “good” plutocrats and the “bad” plutocrats (with each plutocrat always seeing himself as on of the “good” plutocrats) is this: Sure, some of them built their huge companies from scratch, but — putting aside that they usually started out with a head start in life plus friendly help from all sides that most of us never get — there remains the often overlooked fact that they didn’t do it alone! Just as no general has ever won a battle alone (he gave the orders, but his soldiers did the actual fighting!), no Bill Gates or Steve Jobs built his company alone! They were helped by all those who worked for them and didn’t even remotely get a similarly sized share.

In the 1950’s the top tax rate (for the richest of the rich) was 91% while today they pay a lower rate (15% max) than the working everyday Americans like you and me! Let that sink in! And that’s ignoring the rampant tax evasion at the top of our dungheap society!

The government hasn’t been doing its job which our founders defined in no uncertain terms when they demanded it “promote the general Welfare.”

The story of Russia, where – after the end of the Soviet Union – a division of its people into poor and rich was created instantly (by giving all the formerly state-owned companies to a few privileged folks, mostly former KGB officials) is really no different from what created our own dungheap society, only faster. In both cases we are looking at a self-perpetuating division into rich and poor through a never-ending chain of distorted property and economic rigging.

The carried interest tax break, by the way, explains why working in an investment firm is the lower rung on the ladder leading up to the divine world of plutocracy for those who covet wealth and live for money rather than for human values, and who unsurprisingly threat their fellow human beings accordingly.

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And here is a really interesting parallel to our current fight for Net Neutrality, and a chance to meet Bernie Sanders in a Bill Moyers interview a few years ago. And then, fascinating to compare, an interview with a former Republican congressman who is disgusted by what his party has become.

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Moyers & Company Show 148: Bernie Sanders on Big Media’s Power Play”)

Déjà vu: As with Free Speech on the Internet (usually called Net Neutrality), the FCC, with its boss imposed from above by corrupt presidents, acts as the enemy of the people trying to consolidate control of news and communications in the hands of a few billionaires. And obviously the FCC learned from the resistance back then since its current poll taking is utterly hacked.

As Bernie said in the interview, one way for officials to betray the public to the robber billionaires is to be moving quickly, quietly, and secretly. Doesn’t this remind you of the Trumpcare bill this year?

Consider this insanity: One out of four corporations in America doesn’t pay a nickel in taxes, but if I should try to make my living as a tutor selling my time to help students graduate from school, I’d have to pay business taxes on top of my income tax making my tax burden even higher!

And then the interview of Marvin Henry “Mickey” Edwards, a former Republican congressman, who – seeing our political system sink ever deeper into corruption – wrote a book titled: “The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans”

Watching this video, I can’t help but think that both Bernie and this life-long self-identified conservative (a former Republican congressman, at that!) might both agree with me that the political fight we must wage is neither “right” against “left”, nor “left” against “right”, but the people against public enemy #1: the political corruption and plutocracy ruling, squeezing, and oppressing us from atop the dungheap society they have created. Americans who have been traditionally grouped into the “Democrat” and GOP camps, disdaining or hating each other, should actually be able to unite and fight together for the America we both want, putting aside our comparatively minor differences in a struggle for justice and liberty for all.

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Here is yet another flashback to a few years ago, from back when basically none of us knew about the TPP, yet. Also, Bill Moyers exposed the inhumanity of our drone war which many of us are still innocently ignorant about. You really shouldn’t miss this recorded episode:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Moyers & Company Show 148: Bernie Sanders on Big Media’s Power Play”)

In conclusion, I think we can all see here that we have come quite some way in just a few years. Back then, only some were aware of Obama’s and Trump’s corruption. The TPP was still an unknown in the public mind. Yet the people participating on the Moyers & Company Show predicted or foreshadowed much of what we have woken up to — even the idea that our traditional political party divide is a thing of the past that we should leave behind to unite as Americans for a just and fair America with good lives for all. Some voices are always worth listening to.


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This Man, Tim Canova, Can Wipe the Floor with Deplorable Wasserman Schultz!

If you don’t yet know Tim Canova very well, here you can take a good look at this apparently long-time Bernie ally. He talks darn smart (I had no idea he was this knowledgeable and astute (much like Bernie)), and – unlike last year, when he jumped into the ring late to fight back at this corporate hack who had been abusing her position as DNC Chair to rig the primaries against Bernie – he is getting started in good time this year to oust her in 2018. When you consider that he lost by only a few thousand votes last year after entering the race way late against a corporatist with tons of money and the entire “Democratic” Party establishment backing her up, I’d say he’s bound to send her packing. I, for one, will rejoice. May the door hit her on the way out.

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “[69] Tim Canova Talks About Corrupt Democrats With Lee Camp”)

Continue reading

The Healthcare Repealers in Congress Invest in Private Insurance Stocks (Video)

Any more doubt that these parliamentarians kill us out of greed? Watch this Jimmy Dore video:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Congressmen Repealing Obamacare Now Buying Health Insurance Stocks”)

Let’s not forget that these “elected” “representatives” who only represent their own greed (and therefore also the greed of their billionaire donor cronies) were preselected by the robber billionaires in every election. We never put them on the ballot! We only get to rubber-stamp those establishment picks on the ballots! We must fight for a better system!

(Boy, was I tempted to write establishment p*icks, if you know what I mean…)


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Our ISISian “Friend” Saudi Arabia

Despite of all the horrendous problems we have back at home, you hopefully have paid enough attention to the world at large to know our two major allies in the Middle East: Israel and Saudi Arabia. Perhaps you have even heard of the massive arms sales from our soil to Saudi Arabia.

But what else do we know about our beloved ally whom we are currently helping to bomb the $#*% out of its neighbor Yemen?

The video report below can tell you a lot:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “The Empire Files: The Real House of Saud”)

Some Saudi highlights:  Continue reading

Another Showdown against Corruption – Your Help has its Deadline Today!

Five months ago, I reported the hair-raising Coup d’État of the South Dakotan governor and legislature against their own people when they brazenly repealed the anti-corruption law placed upon them by their people via a ballot initiative in November. Well, Represent.Us, bless their hearts(!), isn’t done fighting these political gangsters. They are collecting donations to hire full time petitioners for ensuring they get the needed signatures for an Anti-Corruption Constitutional Amendment before the deadline. They will have to submit nearly 28,000 valid signatures to the secretary of state by November 2017 for the amendment to appear on the 2018 ballot

As I just found out, they are saying that a longtime supporter will add a $25,000 donation if they collect enough other donations by the end of today. Here is there DONATIONS LINK.


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Quickypinion: Bully Town U.S.A.

As C.A. Matthews of the great weekly blog The Revolution Continues has been saying for quite some time, “We are a society of bullies and scared people kissing up to the bullies (in order to stay alive). How long can we survive under this sociopathic regime before we’ve all gone certifiably insane from its cruelty?”

I hope this view can pull some weight with traditional “conservatives.” After all, kissing up is a lousy version of “personal responsibility,” the odd counter-argument we hear so much from the Republican-owned side of voters and their nose-leading demagogues in the GOP and corporate media (even some neoliberals) whenever they block our efforts to form a posse with which to topple the ruling bullies.  Continue reading

The Lords of the Flies (Umair Haque on Medium)

I came across an article I want to share around because it fits right in with the things I have been saying, namely that our lives are being ruled by bullies in a system they have set up to oppress and exploit us, all the while distorting what human lives and our countries should be about. The article bears the title: The Lords of the Flies

Quotes:

My American friend Tucker stays late every night at his highly professional job every night and arrives early every morning. He’s not paid for it. He’s just expected to do it. I ask him, as someone who studies management and leadership, who tells him to. No one, he says. The expectation is just there. Lingering in the air, like an unspoken threat.”  Continue reading

Trumpcare/GOPcare: The AMERICAN HOLOCAUST

When, back in March, I calculated a conservative minimum of first-year deaths from Trumpcare (13,500) using the meager data I could scrounge up at a time when I seemed to be the only one asking the question of how many early deaths the wealth care bill’s loss of healthcare would translate to, I warned that the true number would be much higher due to the fact that most of those losing healthcare coverage will be those who need healthcare the most desperately. A recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine has now vindicated my warning. Their estimate, surely based on better data than were available to me, comes to 28,600 casualties per year!

I think, this number justifies the term American Holocaust — at least if you want to reserve the term for internal genocide. (Overseas, we are looking at considerably larger numbers of deaths caused by our wars for profit, especially in the Middle East.) All this suffering and death, merely to shunt even more wealth to the robber billionaires who can’t even feel the increase of their sky-high piles of money and assets and who only use this robbery to keep us too poor and struggling to wake up and fight back!

Here is a news cast on the topic, an interview of Richard Wolff by Thom Hartmann:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Dr. Richard Wolff – The Death Economy, Opioids & Capitalism Exposed”)

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Video Weekend 7/1/2017 : Once Upon A Time a Man Spoke Truth To Power on Corporate TV (Once!), Even More Trumpcare Deaths Ahead, Silencing Dissent, and More (4 Videos)

For one brief moment in this 21st century, a man actually spoke truth to power on our corporate mass media (never to be seen in his job again, of course). It’s amazing to watch. The gist: the officially long obfuscated truth that it is American power mongers who (through the Saudis) radicalize the world’s worst terrorists and supply them with money and weapons. It really was amazing to watch:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “MSNBC Host SHOCKS Panel: “Saudi Arabia Is Funding Terrorists!’”)

The man is Dylan Ratigan, by the way. He now has his own website.

 

Officially, we have no true healthcare debate, just two plans which keep millions of Americans from Healthcare access (27 vs 51 million, especially the very sick, old, or poor whom the robber billionaires will miss the least since they can cash in on their Social Security and Medicare funds via billionaire tax breaks once these unwanted-by-them peons are dead). Rich Americans live on average 15 years longer than the struggling rest of us. Government secrecy is on the rise despite the Freedom of Information Act. Trump’s press secretary disallows cameras (government secrecy gone wild?). Net Neutrality is under attack again. The 1st Amendment keeps being demolished. The criminalization of dissent advances. Felony charges angling for 75-year prison sentences have been levied against Trump-inauguration protesters. Reporters have been charged, too. At least 20 states have put forward or already passed dissent-silencing laws (in clear violation of our constitution — but, then, what else is new in this century of America’s hurtling decline?):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “[154] Healthcare Debate Fraud, White House Secrecy Beyond Belief & More”)

 

Republicans are deconstructing the Great Society (oh, and so are the “Democrats,” even if this show won’t go as far as to admit this), and they have a stealthy way of doing it over time. A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that about 28,600 more people could die every year in the U.S. if the Senate’s “health” care bill becomes law:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “America’s Economy of Death Exposed…”)

 

And, to finish, a satirical quicky:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “You Are Free! (To Do As We Tell You)”)

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