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 7/15/2017: 7 Videos

This weekend, enjoy politically relevant videos across a wide spectrum of issues: media mendacity, Syria, U.S. poverty, automation and lay-offs , the next economic crash, repression of dissent, government spending for a new New Deal, and Universal Basic Income.

 

1. Media Lies and Syria

Beware the corporate media! Beware, beware, beware! If you use outfits like CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News as your only source of information, you will be mislead again and again. Sometimes they will let a bit of real news slip through; but you can only tell real news from fake news if you do some vetting of sources. One way is to check out multiple information sources from different places on the political spectrum – alternative media especially (to get away from vested corporate interests) – and then compare the disagreeing reports to find commonalities. Another way is to use your brain to take into account how these sources make their money, then put two and two together, and you will know what’s really going on. You know that you can’t trust a used cars salesman when he praises a car standing on his lot; but he may be quite honest talking about the weather or the problems his child has in school. Makes sense, right? — I work hard to bring you the real news, as well as original thoughts and ideas; so you would do well to follow my posts and help me reach more people (or even help me become financed, for example by a small donation from you, or you buying an online course from me).

One topic the corporate media are compulsive liars about is our eternal warfare around the globe. So, here is some rarely heard news about Syria:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Max Blumenthal on How the Media Covers Syria”)

Quote: “The progressive media’s job is to challenge [the establishment media] narrative, but in the Trump era this is not really happening.” The great risk, at this time, is that alternative media join the corporate media in their distractive anti-Trump mania, a convenient trick for our corporate media and politicians not to report on corporate crimes or truly transformative political opportunities. Merely resisting won’t move us forward. We must do more to fight the establishment and take our country back from the robber billionaires.

 

2. American Poverty

Meet the Poor Country USA (over half the U.S. lives in or near poverty (such as working for less than a living wage)). See and hear from their reality, if you don’t experience it yourself every day, or know you are not alone if you do:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “America Is The Poorest First World Country Linh Dinh”)

If you want to know how we got to this place, I write about this regularly. In fact, if you haven’t read it already, I wrote a succinct summary yesterday: How the Bandits Took Over

 

3. Automation and Lay-offs

McDonald’s just used its record stock prices to fire 2,500 of its workers. Conclusion: Technology either improves the profits of plutocrats or the lives of workers. Plutocrats fire workers replaced by machines to improve their profits. In contrast, workers owning their companies and making the decisions would improve their lives and their communities:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “McDonald’s, Capitalism, and Unemployment”)

 

4. The Next Economic Crash

The next economic crash is about to hit:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Economist Dr. Richard Wolff – The Lottery Economy”)

 

5. Repression Of Dissent

Brutal repression of dissent is quickly growing in our country. It will soon be the dark future for all of us if we don’t fight back now when it is still only hitting some of us:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “[#68] A U.S. Political Prisoner Is Finally Released & CNN Cover Up”)

 

6. Government Spending for a New New Deal

The below is probably the best video by Steve Grumbine that I have seen so far. This one is really good — full of vital truth. Gist: Watch your language! Most Americans need and want the same things, but the way we talk, pushing the party-line-division buttons, we tune each other out. Talk real issues, not slogans, party lines, or candidates:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Crossing political boundaries”)

Gist continued: Federal spending is an investment which can have taxes collected afterwards to balance out the economy. You don’t need to fight drawn-out political trench wars to free up tax dollars first, and you don’t need to burden most working people with higher taxes, to give us things like Medicare for All. All we really need, is a broad coalition of voters (across party lines) to get us a new New Deal. Taxes don’t exactly pay for any of these, the government does. The federal government can print all the money it needs (or create it with a click on a computer, actually). Taxation is only the re-taking of money from the economy lest we get inflation if the growth in money supply exceeds the growth of the economy. This re-taking is best done in places where the money uselessly accumulates (the billionaires).

Now, Steve Grumbine promotes a federal job guarantee but seems to oppose a universal basic income. Personally, I think that combining the two of them would give people a greater amount of flexibility. The thing not to overlook, after all, is that government – even one that is accountable to the voters (as our American government definitely is NOT and has not been for decades!) – is never perfect. One-size-fits-all measures always do wrong by some people. Hence, in my opinion, having an unconditional universal basic income as a financial safety buffer for all those for whom a federal job guarantee might not work, is highly recommendable. For example, if a federal job guarantee, for whatever reason, would exclude taking care of one’s children or one’s elderly (say, because their might be a worry about nepotism or unqualified care), then people able to rely on an unconditional basic income could still make the choice to care for their relatives, making for more individual liberty and a better, more caring society. Liberty and choice is what government should guarantee us, just like our founders demanded.

 

7. Universal Basic Income: A Comedian Talking Sense that Escapes Most Serious People

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Breaking The Stigma Towards Universal Basic Income Can Better Society!”)


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How the Bandits Took Over

Wake up, everybody! We are worthy of more than mere crumbs from our powerful economy. We, who do all the human work, definitely deserve more than a few crumbs while all the rest of our fruits of labor goes to the exclusionary, private club of the billionaire class that rips us off at every turn and ends up “owning” our entire world by the process of raking in all this loot.  Continue reading

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

Video Weekend 7/8/2017: “Democratic Party” Sinking, the “Patriotic Millionaires,” Devious “Reforms,” and our Oligarchs’ Global Empire (8 Videos)

A wide range of topics awaits you this video weekend:

Hundreds of billions of tax gifts to the super-rich (who can’t even feel them), paid for by cuts to Medicaid among other things and another devious calculation (4 billion dollars saved by letting 200,000 older people die early in the next ten years):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Who Will Win the Coming Democratic Civil War? “)

By the way, I contacted the Patriotic Millionaires, proposing they help finance my work. I wanted to see how serious they are, and give my financial betters the chance to put their money where their mouths are. I never heard back. One of many indications that people at or near the top who talk a good game don’t necessarily walk much of the walk, and that those who benefit from our society’s rigging may be willing to place a band-aid here or there, or perform a little tweak, but don’t really want to fix the system.

 

The “Democratic” Party Digging its Own Grave:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Julian Assange Explains Why The Democrats Are Doomed”)

Quote: “The Democrat establishment needs the support of the security sector and media barons to push this diversionary conspiracy agenda…” (He is referring to the – so far still baseless – Russiagate hysteria.)

 

Richard D. Wolff on gentrification, legalization of gambling and marijuana as a way of not taxing the rich, betrayal of the American voter, free trade, deregulation, tax cuts for the rich and gutting of welfare to allegedly make the poor work harder, anti-governmental revenge politics… BITTER politics… This video is about an hour long and starts out a bit slow, but towards the middle and the end there come really valuable news and sharp insights:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Economic Update: Capitalism’s Self-Destruction”)

 

And now to a much overlooked and ignored, but very important, topic:

It is high time we take a look at how our oligarchs not only rig the system in our country but the rest of their global empire, as well. I have occasionally exposed our oligarchs’ dark deeds in the Middle East before and once also shown a light on Venezuela. Venezuela is actually far more important than most U.S. Americans currently realize. Venezuela has the largest oil reserves on the planet! Let that sink in! It also replaced classical dictatorship back in 1958 with a political system mirroring ours: three branches, two corrupt parties passing power between them and enriching their own (and their plutocrat cronies’) pockets while the majority of the nation became ever more impoverished. Then, Hugo Chavez sparked off a political revolution. That’s correct! A political, not an armed revolution. He was their Bernie Sanders, not the awful “dictator” as which our corporate media kept defaming him! Venezuela apparently has clean elections (unlike us!!!), confirmed by hundreds of international observers! Venezuela (constantly decried in our corporate media as a despotic commie country) actually has it written in its constitution that the people (yes, the people, not unreliable, bribable representatives in Congress) can impeach the president and trigger an automatic election. All they need is enough signatures. Imagine that!

Now, when you put all these things together, you get a mix of circumstances which practically SCREAMS for intervention by our oligarchs, to secure the oil and stamp out the kind of political revolution that might topple them from their own thrones right here at home in the States if it were to leak over our border and catch on here.

Let that sink in! And so, unsurprisingly, our oligarchs have been putting pressure on Venezuela ever since they realized that Hugo Chavez wasn’t just talk but the real deal.

This is what that looks like when they don’t stage an outright military invasion (like they so often do in the Middle East) but prefer to try regime change closer to home in the Americas through infiltration and financing rebel-rousing insurrection by local plutocrats:

An introductory summary:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Abby Martin: World Ignores Opposition Violence at Venezuela Protests”)

If you want more detail on these violent opposition actions, you can watch this coverage: Empire Files: Abby Martin Meets the Venezuelan Opposition

If you want more detail on our oligarch’s hand in all this, their usurping and misusing millions of our tax dollars through institutions like the USAID and the “National Endowment for Democracy” to kill democracy elsewhere under the false banner of fighting FOR democracy (that’s how we have been hoodwinked for ages), you can learn more here:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Why the CIA Won’t Give Up on Venezuela | Interview with Eva Golinger”)

And here is an interview with one of those alleged despots (Venezuela’s Economy Minister):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Empire Files: Venezuela Economy Minister—Sabotage, Not Socialism, is the Problem”)

In conclusion, you might want to watch (perhaps for the second time?) this summary, previously served up on this site — Tariq Ali’s very insightful, comprehensive summary on what has been happening in Venezuela:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Global Empire – Crisis in Venezuela”)


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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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Video Weekend 6/24/2017: One Who Came Before: Bill Moyers

In the dark days of accelerated mass media consolidation by giant corporations, when they were thoroughly brainwashing the American people and blacking out every bit of important truth, before the arrival of independent media on the Internet such as you are reading this very moment, you could count the remaining voices of truth on the airwaves on the fingers of one crippled hand, foremost among these a name that resonates venerably with many of the older folks: Bill Moyers. As fascism descended upon our country, he was cut down, yet rose again. Like Bernie Sanders in politics, Bill Moyers had the stamina and age-long standing in news and commentary to somehow persist. Like Bernie, old enough to enjoy his final years in retirement, the decline of our country and our lives has not let him rest; and when I think I will never hear from him again, I stumble upon a happy surprise.

In 2014, Moyers foreshadowed what Bernie Sanders would bring to the table of public discourse in his soon to follow campaign. Coming from a venerable old media man who interviews a former Republican who has come to see the light, perhaps the following two videos might open eyes even for people who self-identify as Republicans, conservatives, right-wingers, or whatever labels they prefer and which they consider incompatible with the virtues and values of justice and liberty for all, commonly associated with the political “left.” Here are these two remarkable videos:

Moyers & Company (Published on Apr 15, 2014) :

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “The Deep State Hiding in Plain Sight”)

Moyers & Company (Published on Apr 18, 2014) :

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “What the 1% Don’t Want You to Know”)

And here is an audio-only recording which could be of special interest to Black voters but also anyone else who wants a fundamental course change of our country. One of the ideas raised, is an interesting way of rethinking: the “blank-out campaign.”

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Voters Don’t Have to Choose Between Clinton and Trump”)

Continue reading

Catching up on the News and Activism 6/20/2017: Trumpcare, Medicare for All, Gerrymandering, Jail Injustice…

Trumpcare 2.0 – They are trying to sneak it quietly through the Senate

From Reuters and other sources emerges: “Democratic” Senators criticize the closed-door meetings that Republicans have been holding to craft a replacement for Obamacare (as you know, even worse than Obamacare). They are calling for open committee hearings and more time to consider the bill before a Senate vote, which Republicans say could come in the next two weeks, although a draft bill has yet to emerge publicly.  Continue reading

The Death of Dodd-Frank — Prepare for the Next Economic Crash

This week’s posts on Our Revolution Continues had a post from Our Revolution that everyone should read and act on. A quote:

While most of the country wasn’t looking, House Republicans voted to claw back virtually every banking regulation implemented after Wall Street crashed and the Great Recession began. With so much scrutiny on the White House, Senate Republicans are now poised to roll back Dodd-Frank and the Affordable Care Act in the same month. Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and every other politician bought by Wall Street and corporate donors thinks that they can get away with this while we’re distracted by the daily circus in the West Wing.

And this is their names collection link.

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Video Weekend 6/10/2017: Bernie on Fire, Hillarite Myths Debunked, Anti-Science Policies, Slavery = Freedom of the Masters, Tulsi Stepping Up, Mass RepExit of Millennials…

For your weekend enjoyment:

The Humanist Report gives a good treatment of Bernie’s New Budget Criticism (13 min):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Bernie Sanders Goes H.A.M. on Trump’s Budget Director”)

 

Jordan Chariton debunks some Hillarite myths (the idea: force Dem apparatchiks to face reality and do honest politics) (10 min):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Hillary Slams DNC After They Rigged Primary For Her!”)

 

Anti-Science Schooling and Taking My Slaves Away = Taking Away My Freedom (7 min):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Kids Will Now Take “Anti-Science” Classes”)

 

Tulsi has balls (pun possibly intended) (17 min):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Tulsi Gabbard Refuses Bribes & An Acknowledgement of Sanders’ Influence”)

 

Millennials are FLEEING The Republican Party In Droves (12 min):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Millennials are FLEEING The Republican Party In Droves”)

 

Bernie Sanders VS John Kasich (R)! (5/17/17) FULL DEBATE… Both almost agreeing on people deserving to be treated as people rather than commodities or obstacles as the neoliberals and neocons tend to do (55 min):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Bernie Sanders VS John Kasich! (5/17/17) FULL DEBATE”)

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