Video Weekend 9-23-2017 (8 Videos)

Once again, a collection of fine videos to brighten your weekend with enlightenment and fuel for our political revolution:

I.
Jimmy Dore and Lee Camp together. A fine duo. Unfortunately, I felt they had both made the same statements before, and better, when they did them alone and better prepared. Still, I like what comes up 14:20 minutes into this clip (asking why you would donate to the “Democratic Party” when its primaries are rigged by its own admission!). The talk then moves to the topic of our rigged debates keeping out third parties… handcuffing presidential candidates to keep them away from the rigged debates… and record climate events in the past two months. Later Lee Camp, talking about Bannon, reveals how our corporate media lift up right-wingers by allowing only THEM to criticize corruption even though they are part of it):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Jimmy Dore On The Corporate State And The Power Of The Petrodollar “)

 

II.
Political wrangling surrounding Bernie’s Medicare for All bill:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Some Democrats Are Pretending Bernie’s ‘Medicare for All’ Bill Doesn’t Exist “)

 

III.
The usual lies about healthcare costs and single-payer:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Aetna CEO is Scared To Death of Single-Payer”)

Debunking one of the biggest lies: No, single-payer coverage such as Medicare for All is not single-provider healthcare, meaning a government-run healthcare, but merely a government-secured payment system. So, you can pick and choose your doctors as before, except this time their will be no question whether or not you can pay. It is simply our government doing its sworn duty to look out for its citizens.

 

IV.
Cha-Ching:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Obama Enriches Self With Back Room Oil Deal”)

 

V.
We have a responsibility not only for ourselves to fix our country:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Propaganda Buries Facts & Manipulates Emotions – Abby Martin with Chris Hedges”)

Various revelations about our country’s dark history. Also: an interesting and creepy revelation from former war correspondent Chris Hedges. He explains how the despotic regime in a foreign country went through the same motions as our southern states with their glorification of the Confederation: basically, when people are getting desperate over their worsening lives, give them a myth to feel good about, the better to control them. In our case, that myth would be the ‘noble heroism’ of our civil war’s slavery defenders, building up a white-against-black and south-against-north mentality that keeps us from uniting against the blood-sucking establishment controlling and exploiting us from above. The more divided we are, the better controlled from the top we are.

 

VI.
An older but very nice conversation:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Cornel West and Richard Wolff talk about Capitalism and White Supremacy”)

How much better off are freed slaves when they become enslaved by a wage slavery system? When one king of a company can hire and fire you, abuse you, rip you off and make you lick his boots – and every alternative job is just as bad – it is anathema to democracy!

 

VII.
Nice historic review of the last century of our economy and politics – the New Deal and its repeal:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Full Show 11/11/15: How Reaganomics Killed America’s Middle Class”)

Conclusion: we can’t keep a golden age after getting it, if we don’t topple the plutocrats who will roll back everything to resume their godlike status among a sea of serfs. The pendulum will always swing back to the dark side if we do nothing to lock it in place.

 

VIII.
And not to forget: the environment we depend on. One thing apparently forgotten in this conversation was the great danger that lies in our getting the permafrost soil to melt, releasing huge amounts of methane, which is a far worse greenhouse gas than CO2. Basically, we are terraforming ourselves off this planet:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “After Maria “Obliterates” Puerto Rico, Trump Pushes Dangerous Climate Policy”)


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Why a High Corporate Tax Rate is Actually Good

There is a meme-pic on mematic.net, picturing America’s 34th president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, during whose term our corporate tax rate was the highest ever (90%!). It explains that tax rate quite logically as follows:

Corporate Tax Rate: 90%

Why? Because high corporate tax rates create incentive for big business to spend earnings and expand (i.e. new locations, new hires, new equipment, and product R&D) which are deducted from taxable earnings, thus driving reported wealth into a lower tax bracket. Better to spend a majority of earnings on expansion than to horde it and pay Uncle Sam 90% of it. It’s not Communism, it’s responsible economics.

Continue reading

Reading Weekend 8-26-2017: The People’s Party Looms

Fork In The National Road: A New Progressive Supermajority Party Is Forming (HuffPost )

How will Senator Bernie Sanders react? Which path will you take?

The time is ripe. The Democratic and Republican parties, private political clubs, are not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution and do not represent the people who elect them, yet have a stranglehold on our electoral system. People are fed up. Hemorrhaging voters, the Dems and Reps are each down to around a fourth of the voters, already minority parties. Progressives — those who support minimum wage, social justice, strong environmental protection, 21st century infrastructure and universal healthcare and oppose corruption, invasive wars and corporate welfare — are meanwhile 66%, two-thirds of voters, the U.S. supermajority.

We as a people therefore stand at a fork in the national road.

The country’s Progressive supermajority could sweep every local, state and federal election if it united.

This weekend, I recommend taking a break from watching videos and suggest that we instead take the time to read a very worthwhile long piece for which a busy work week rarely leaves any time. Why? Because this is a really good piece, a great follow-up to my popular piece from last April: Is the Time Ripe for a New Party? The article I recommend, appeared a few days ago and has critical updates. It announces the upcoming People’s Convergence Conference and details why America is at the doorstep to forming a new party. It also gives a thorough review of Bernie Sanders and the 2016 election, including its rigged primaries, election fraud, corporate media collusion, and how the Clinton Camp got us the Trump presidency. It reviews the decades-long corruption of neocons and neoliberals, and how their Property Party with its two right wings (the Republican and “Democrat” wing) keeps us, the working people from having a say in our government. It’s all there. So, despite its length and a startling bunch of typos (which suggest there was no editor involved!), this article is worth reading. That it made it onto the Huffington Post is also enough of a miracle to make it a must-read.

Here is the link: Fork In The National Road: A New Progressive Supermajority Party Is Forming (HuffPost)

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This Time We Must Do Better than Just Repeat History

There is something to the old claim that history moves in cycles: mistreated people revolt, fix some things, go back to sleep, have their world rigged against them again, have to wake up and revolt again, and so on. In the current popular uprising, we better aim higher than ever before to achieve more than before. If we don’t, the next uprising may hit an impermeable wall of perfected surveillance, “security,” and manufactured consent. So, while history went through its cycles, the means by which to control us, the people, from the top became ever more polished. If we don’t roll them back and put safeguards in place this time, we may pass a point of no return and never get another time. That’s why the current mantra of resist-resist-resist is not enough. In fact, I see it as a slick trick by the establishment to prevent us from achieving substantial change and keep us from stopping the perfection of our subjugation. So, beware: do not merely resist. Aim high. Aim for fundamental system change. Our current system is so sick that palliative treatment will end as it always does in medicine: with death. Death of democracy, justice, and hope, in this case.  Continue reading

Inequality for All (BM, RR, & DD)

Today’s piece holds a lot of critical thoughts about our faulty economy and politics. It analyses the economic faults we need to fix. I thought I shared the below excellent Bill Moyers interview of Robert Reich before, but I can’t find this earlier share. So, maybe I didn’t. Anyway, this is a good interview to watch (and discuss) about the topic of our flawed economy, even if I may have shared it earlier, say on a Video Weekend. Here is the video clip itself plus a bit of meaningful commentary I just wrote, followed by Reich’s 2013 documentary film and some more commentary distilling and digesting the most important points he makes:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for “Moyers & Company” and the title: “Inequality for All”)

Robert Reich reminds us of the old idea of upward mobility rewarding guts and gumption. It’s a traditional concept for excusing and edifying our socio-economic system, the idea of a meritocracy. Not only have we fallen far behind other countries (like European countries) in this rags-to-riches story, as Robert Reich reminds us in this interview, but I also feel that there is something else wrong with it: namely, in my opinion, this philosophy of everything being just fine when upward mobility exists, warps society towards greed and socially irresponsible callousness. It warps it in favor of greedy, materialistic people, especially those who have absolutely no concern for others (or very lightly put such concerns aside) and will do anything – even destroy livelihoods and kill people with abandon – in order to rise in wealth. I am completely in agreement with Pope Francis when he deplores our societies’ loss of human values in the wake of making everything to be just about money.  Continue reading

Video Weekend 8-12-2017 (6 Videos): 2 x Jimmy Dore, 3 x Richard Wolff, and 1 x Chris Hedges with Kshama Sawant

Welcome to another political video weekend keeping you safe from dumbing down via spectator sports or corporate “news” casts. As I am buried under a medical family emergency, this time there are few comments from me.

This one starts a bit slow, but about 14:45 minutes into the video it starts getting better and better and eventually really good:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Democrat’s “Better Deal” Is Just Another Sh*t Sandwich”)

 

Jimmy Dore on breaking up monopolies – the one swamp-draining act any President can do without congress (are you hearing this Trump?):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “The One Thing Democrats’ Better Deal Gets Right”)

 

A historic review of capitalism and socialism:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Global Capitalism: Capitalism vs Socialism Today [August 2017]”)

Robert Wolff sez: Capitalism = a tiny group of people called employers running the show for a mass of people who are employees. No wonder it couldn’t bring liberty, equality, and fraternity (the high ideals of the French Revolution) – “because at the core of the society, the production of the goods and services without which we can’t live (food clothing, shelter, all of that), right there in the organization of production, there is a tiny group of people, the board of directors, the big capitalist, the owner… , and a mass of people who come to work and do the work nine to five, 5 days a week, until they retire, get a watch and drop dead. Or in a different order some times.” (I’d like to add that nine to five is pretty much a thing of the past by now.)

 

A mix of humor and deep insights into the dirty tricks of our money aristocracy (Hey, did you know how our mega-corporations cheat us out of their taxes through their offshore money stashing?):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Prof. Richard D. Wolff – Capitalism and Socialism have failed. Now what?”)

 

Another good Richard Wolff video. This one is short (and on how, in the U.S., we traditionally blame the victims of poverty and worship those who make them poor):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Blaming the Poor and Worshiping the Rich – Richard Wolff”)

 

Going back in time (by about a year), a smart review of the rigged 2016 primaries, back when they were coming to their end, and a prescient suggestion of us having to form a new party:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Kshama Sawant: How to counter establishment politics (On Contact with Chris Hedges)”)

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Video Weekend 8-05-2017 (6 Videos): Lee Camp, Noam Chomsky, Richard Wolff, Chris Hedges, and Someone I’d Rather Not Mention

Noam Chomsky gives a good account on how social isolation and predatory/parasitic selfishness (euphemistically presented as individuality), when adopted as an alternative to social awareness and appreciation of civilization, causes havoc among us and has given us our current mess:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Noam Chomsky Destroys Libertarianism”)

 

I find that Lee Camp is often better in his rants than his Redacted Tonight show. In this one, he debunks the neoliberal “Democrats’” latest effort to scam us and the political monopoly formed by our party duopoly:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “The Democrats Try to Rebrand Their Corruption: QUICK TAKE”)

 

Dug up from over a year ago, worth watching again or not to have missed, a great rant by Lee Camp (except for his repeating the common mistake of equating free market with capitalism when, in reality, capitalism is a force which ensures that only the biggest (the richest) bullies are free, free to subjugate everyone else). Our “free” market and “free” country are free only for the rich. The best kinds of slaves don’t know they are slaves:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “[92] Truth About The Drug War, Hillary’s Emails Are Being Censored, You Are Not Free & more “)

 

The current state of our kleptocracy, Henry Wallace, neoliberal philosophy is a form of extremism, and 2008 is coming again:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Dr. Richard Wolff – Is the Global Financial Crisis Close?”)

 

I admit to great reluctance sharing the next video. I cannot stand Stefan Molyneux’s arrogance, nor his ill-conceived stance that government must be abolished without anything to replace it. He is, of course, right that, currently, our government is being abused by our human parasites and predators as a tool against us, and also in proposing that government will always be at risk of being usurped and subverted this way by these “human farmers,” as he calls them. For reasons of attitudinal blindness or possible self-serving motivations, as someone who lives comfortably high in our dungheap society, he refuses to see or admit that these same “human farmers” would continue to exploit and oppress us even more unhindered if there were no government around, and that government – as a force which we, the people, can control if we act smartly enough – is the one major force we can bring to bear against these “human farmers.” Molyneux does, however, very nicely present the enslavement of human beings by other human beings, especially the dire fact that the most efficient form of slavery is the kind which gives the slaves the illusion that they are free and a limited range of choices within which to become more productive. Mentality and perception are indeed the key to our injustice machine of a society, and Molyneux description of us unprivileged working class folks as our oligarchs’ “livestock” is really fitting. I find they really do treat and regard us like livestock. Still, while Molyneux’s analysis is worth mulling over, his conclusion is anything but. (I guess, Molyneux is probably a star among the alt-right and/or Ayn Rand style libertarians.) So, I recommend this video (which apparently has had over 6 million views!) with a grain of salt. Please do not let yourself be deluded into its conclusion that eliminating government without something to replace it with as a guardian against the human predators and parasites among us is the course to take. I would also advise against watching more of his videos. The ones I have come across in the past were all… what’s a good word for that… uhm… let’s say beyond the pale.

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “The Story of Your Enslavement”)

So, I hope you took the grain of salt before watching this video (at least its conclusion).

 

Chris Hedges was moving as always:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Chris Hedges Best Speech In 2017”)

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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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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

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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