Utopian Goal Setting Makes Human Progress Possible (vid)

The below audio-only video of an interesting interview not only reveals the little known societal healing power contained in a citizen dividend (a.k.a. shared national inheritance or universal basic income) but also points out that all the good achievements of humanity used to be considered Utopian pipe dreams before they were realized and thereupon became the new normal, things like democracy, equal rights for women, and so forth. So, aiming high is always better than aiming low, because it brings bigger and faster progress; and what seems too high tends to turn out not being too high, at all.

At 50 minutes long, the following clip might be perfect to listen to during a commute or when resting one’s eyes after a day spent staring at digital displays.

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Basic Income – Utopia, now? A radical rethinking of work, wealth and freedom”)

Note: One of the revelations about a universal basic income that this interview presents is that – based on past experiments – a u.b.i. can literally pay for itself by reducing the costs on society caused by poverty and widespread financial insecurity. Many of these costs derive from worse health and bad decisions elicited by bad nutrition, constant stress, and the lack of money for medications and timely doctor visits. More costs derive from drug abuse, alcoholism, crime, school drop-outs, pay-day loan-sharking, and so forth. Poverty is remarkably expensive, and the reduction in those costs achieved in universal basic income experiments exceeded the costs of the u.b.i. itself. It’s a repeat of the old discovery that prevention is cheaper than the cure.

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Ending Note: Being an independent media outlet is a lot of work. Please help any way you can. (tip: sharing links to this site is a great, no-cost way to help) :-

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Video Weekend 02-10-2018 (11 videos)

This weekend’s video compilation focuses on national politics and a wide array of economy-related topics, ranging from our oligarchy’s war on thinking, the Dempublican-Repucratic resistance against the will of the people, corporate deception, different segments of the public suffering from different economic changes, the unhealthy consequences of inequality and historic rise of inequality with the rising chance of violent revolutions.

 

I. National Politics:

Newsbroke: Anti-Intellectualism – The War on Thinking

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “The Rich Want To Keep You Dumb”)

 

Jimmy Dore: The Voter’s Will Keeps Getting Trampled by the Dempublicans

I reported on other ballot initiatives (such as laws against politician corruption) being trampled by state governments. Well, here is a new case once again:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Ranked Choice Voting Under Attack In Maine”)

 

HR: The “Dem” arm of the Dempublican Corporate Stooges:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Democratic Establishment Still Cheating Progressives, Shielding Corporatists “)

 

HR: The Manipulative Dishonesty of our Corporations

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “AT&T Caught Funding Fake Activism for Phony Net Neutrality “Protection” Law”)

 

II. Economics

Billionaire admits that tax gifts to the rich do nothing for us:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Have you gotten your $4,000 yet? “)

 

Richard Wolff – the abusiveness built into oligarchic power structures:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Richard Wolff On Hierarchies And Workplace Abuse“)

 

And now two talks on the consequences of inequality (you can skip the longer second if you are short on time since it overlaps with the first):

Inequality creates Unhealthy Societies by all Measures (17 min short):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “How economic inequality harms societies | Richard Wilkinson”)

 

Social Science: The psychological and health effect of income inequality (56 min long):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Inequality is unsustainable | Richard Wilkinson”)

Note: At 20:17 minutes in you may note that the U.S. is an outlier with regard to prison population since here we don’t only have the direct effects of income inequality, but in the U.S. we additionally have a racket in the form of private prisons and prison-profiteering supply companies which put pressure on our legislature to create them more prisoners to profit from. We also have a high share of politically motivated legal persecution (the war on drugs really always having been a war on Blacks and dissidents (such as the hippies once were)).

 

Economists sorting out the types of our current problems and solutions at the World Economic Forum (in part interesting because that’s the place where our oligarchs meet to hobnob and pat themselves on the shoulders while heads of governments visit to kiss their feet) (I must warn you of the chortling moderator, though, who clearly has no clue about the suffering many of us go through nowadays):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “How Is Rentier Capitalism Aggravating Inequality?”)

 

Thom Hartmann’s very telling recent interview of Richard Wolff:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Prof. Richard Wolff Believes Extreme Poverty in America is only Going To Get Worse”)

 

III. Media

A very rare case of honesty and significance in corporate media reporting (telling stuff I have been writing about all along, very surprising for the Clinton “News” Network, probably as part of their anti-Trump menu of dishes):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “U.S. May Soon Have Revolution”)

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Ending Note: Being an independent media outlet is a lot of work (100+ hours per month in my case). Please help any way you can. (tip: sharing links to this site is a great, no-cost way to help) :-)

Video Weekend 01-20-2018 (5 Videos & Commentaries)

… in 4 categories:

  1. The Money Monsters (hedge fund politics and more)
  2. Russia, Russia, Russia! (instilling some reality)
  3. Celebrity Politics (lets take off the blinders)
  4. Moving Forward (good strategy wins)

 

I. The Money Monsters

Money “Making” Money (in reality siphoning it away from those who earn it). The super-rich taking from the rich and turning our government into their puppet. A little explanation of index funds and the hedge fund scam, plus an additional little insight into the current tax “reform” gift to the rich:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Warren Buffett Wins $1 Million Bet That Hedge Funds Are a Rip-Off “)

 

How the Predatory Capitalists Crashed the World Economy. What’s sadly funny is that the makers of this documentary in 2011 still thought the mortgage banksters and Wall Street predators who with their self-enriching criminal gambles crashed the world economy and robbed millions of working people of their homes, jobs, and careers – in other words their chance at a tolerable life – were about to be held accountable:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “The men who crashed the world“)

 

II. Russia, Russia, Russia!

Some real info about Russia:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “American Journalist In Russia Tells Truth About RT“)

Note: 21:22 min in, a great point is made. Namely, if the Russian political elite had really wanted to boost Trump’s candidacy in 2016, all they would have had to do is publicize what they know about the Clinton’s uranium deal with them. No need for them to hack into the DNC’s emails to commit the oh so horrible “election hacking” of revealing important truths to the public. That was clearly done by others. Plus, the Russian political elite doesn’t care who’s in office in the U.S. because it won’t make a difference since ALL U.S. governments, R or D, have been hostile to them.

 

III. Celebrity Politics

For most people, politics has always been about particular personalities in politics. Not for me. I prefer to look at the big picture, find the faults, and design strategies to fix them. However, sometimes it is useful to review what the corporate politicians do to us and remove their false halos:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Obama Chose Wall St. Over Main St. – Thomas Frank on RAI (8/9) “)

Thomas Frank is someone with whom I don’t agree under the bottom line. He stays faithful to the treacherous “Democratic” Party, and he even endorsed Hillary if I recall correctly, an attitude which in my opinion misses the point that we will only go further down the drain if ALL the main parties (currently two) keep betraying the people, our country, and world to the robber billionaires because they can keep doing so as long as we keep playing into their hands.

It’s not some kind of impractical “purity” stance by me, when I insist we must create a new major party (or coalition of parties) to represent us. Rather, it’s an external pressure strategy combined with a fallback strategy. And it is also the simple reality on the ground, meaning it’s happenng and won’t just go away.

This strategy is not really in conflict with attempts to take over this duopoly party by flooding the base, either. In my opinion, it is a mistake to learn nothing from the past and continue to let any of the current two major parties get away with endless corruption and treason just because of many long years of habitual allegiance and unjustified trust in them. The time for such naiveté is over!

We are too close to the cliff now, to let corrupted politicians push us ever closer to it or – as has become ever more common in this century – sell us out at a rate that can only be described as a frantic fire-sale. We can’t expect different results by doing the same thing. We can’t expect the crooks in politics to go away if we give a pass to those crooks who rule a party we think we can take over. Taking over a party must include outing the crooks in it. And historically, it has always required massive pressure from outside the party, as well. Study up on what pressured FDR into going for the New Deal. Established political parties don’t change when the crooks running them feel assured that voters have nowhere else to go. Hillary and her machine were a blatant example of that attitude, as are Tom Perez and the lingering corporatist elite in the “Democratic” Party. They want their corporate money and figure we are helpless. Let’s prove them wrong!

 

IV. Moving Forward

Thoughts about breaking the corrupt party duopoly:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “People’s Party Founder Nick Brana, Live! Paradise Or Oblivion!?”)

Great points:

  1. 57:15 min: “What’s the U.S. mission statement? ”
  2. 1:43:38: “People get so normalized into the way the world is that they have a hard time seeing what it could be. In a weird way, they believe that society is organized in a natural way. They believe that the way we are organized is the natural way to organize. … No, these were policy choices that people made to advantage themselves while disadvantaging others. And all these policy choices can be changed. ”

Election Integrity:

I really do wonder why so many Americans seem to be so sold on electronic voting or electronic vote counts, and that in the face of massive election fraud in our country, a good deal of which made possible because of our electronic voting and vote counting. In other countries, much greater election integrity exists because they count votes by hand at the polling stations in the public and with opposing party members double-checking (recounting) each others’ counts. Simple and solid. The only chance of tampering exists up-chain in the count reporting. As long as that is handled in a transparent way, there can be no tampering with the cast votes.

So, why does Nick Brana seem to like block chain voting which is toted as a means of more tamper-proof electronic voting? Maybe because the American public isn’t yet ready to ban electronic voting and vote counting like, for example, Europe has done? Maybe he is looking forward to greater citizen participation in decision making by letting us all vote on issues rather than leaving them to corruptible delegates? The latter is something I toy with. I just don’t yet know if it can be done in ways that (A) eliminate tampering and (B) maintain voter anonymity. It’s another thing to research in the future. One question in my mind: can block chain voting really be transparent?

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Ending Note: It takes me at least 100 hours a month to research and write for this site and work on my book. If you find any value in what I do, please consider becoming a patron and supporting this site with an automatic monthly donation of $1 or more. If you can’t afford this, then don’t, but please share my posts, tell folks about my online course offering, refer others to this site, refer me to paying outlets or companionable fellow blogs, partake in discussion, or contribute essays of your own. Or help my book get out there when it’s finished. Thanks. Only together can we change this world. 🙂

The Dishonesty of Demagoguery

Here is a little more info on the right-wing media’s language warping and manipulation (following up on a clip of two weeks ago):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Megyn Kelly SHOCKED After Suddenly Realizing Fox News Always Pandered To Racists”)

Speaking code among insiders and reeling in folks by pulling the wool over their heads has always been the strategy of the extreme right. This should hardly be surprising when you consider that the “right” has, from the very beginning, be a corrupt gang serving the ruling establishment. Its original masters were kings and emperors, the Catholic Church (essentially the first multinational corporation in history), and the landed aristocracy. Later bankers, industrial capitalists, and corrupt high-ranking politicians took over. The right’s task always was to befuddle sufficiently large segments of the population into acting against their own interests by baiting them with follies like nationalism, racism, or religion, all ways to give the gullible a sense of being special and belonging to a superior social group. It’s feel-good politics instead of make-good politics and usually at other groups’ expense.

Addendum (1/23/2018): In our military, everybody gets brainwashed by Fox-“News” per force according to this report: EXCLUSIVE: 2-tour Iraq veteran exposes deliberate right wing brainwashing in the military

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Ending Note: It takes me at least 100 hours a month to research and write for this site and work on my book. Please share or help any other way you can. 🙂

Epiphany on the “Leftist Media” Myth

For ages I boggled at the right-wing claim of the corporate media being left-wing when ALL the corporate media were so obviously anti-left. How could right-wingers not recognize that ALL the mass media were propounding right-wing views while blocking, mocking, and smearing left-wing views? The math just didn’t add up to me.  Continue reading

The Immorality of Capitalism Exposed in Detroit (2 Videos)

As these well documented short video clips show, capitalism is like a three-year-old’s economic philosophy.

The Immorality of Capitalism: The Rich Deserve and Working People Do Not :

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “How Wall Street Bankrupted Detroit | Interview with Richard Wolff “)

Gist: In the capitalist mindset, the rich deserve other people’s fruits of labor and working people do not deserve their savings. Hence, steal the working people’s retirement savings and give them to the rich on Wall Street. Then all is as it should be.

There is more:

The Ravages of Capitalism in America exemplified by Detroit :

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Detroit’s Recovery And What It Means – Richard Wolff”)

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Ending Note: It takes me at least 100 hours a month to research and write for this site. If you find any value in what I do, please consider becoming a patron and supporting this site with an automatic monthly donation of $1 or more. If you can’t afford this, then don’t, but please share my posts, tell folks about my online course offering, refer others to this site, refer me to paying outlets, partake in discussion, or contribute essays of your own. Thanks. Only together can we change the world. 🙂

Why we Don’t Have the Promised Utopia Today

Out of a rather winding and over-philosophizing public talk, I have extracted an answer of why we don’t already have that wonderful world of prosperity and leisure for everyone promised to us a generation or two ago and made possible by our technology. (By over-philosophizing I mean that David Graeber looses track of who the decision-makers are, which is as bad as not following the money.)

It is clear that we could build this great society right now and could have been well underway 40 to50 years ago. I grew up at a time when everybody I knew believed that we were on the verge of it, but it didn’t happen. The world has actually gone in the opposite direction, gone down the drain, gone to the dogs, slid towards a precipice throughout my entire adult life. What a horror this has been to watch!

Furthermore, I did realize years ago that the ancient Greeks could have created the modern industrial age some two millennia before our time (they were experimenting with steam engines and robots back then). They didn’t because the decision-makers had slaves. So what would they have needed robots for, other than mere toys? Their robots and steam engines therefore were just toys, not labor-saving machines; and so it never became a serious development. So, had it not been for ancient slavery, the industrial revolution could have happened 2000 years ago. It’s stunning to try to imagine where we would be by today.

In his winding talk, David Graeber eventually gets around to state that the same thing happened back in the sixties and seventies when we seemed on the verge of creating Paradise on Earth.   Continue reading

The Seductive and Destructive Power of Debt

A hallmark of our dark current times is debt. More and more people are drowning in debt while banks get bailed out and bankster CEOs ride into the sunset with huge bonuses even after crashing the world economy. People often think that a system of credit and debt is the latest in economic developments, but in reality debt has a long and interesting history which explains why our almost religious worship of debt can lead to dreadful human suffering.

You have the option of listening to the following 1 hour and 21 minutes-long talk by David Graeber or read my short 598-word summary below:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: »David Graeber: “DEBT: The First 5,000 Years” | Talks at Google«)

Summary: Debt started, and is apparently inborn in us, as a way of social cohesion. Example: I gave you, my neighbor, a cow. So, some day, you help me build a new barn. Another neighbor gave me a bunch of chicken to start my chicken coup, and next year, when he has had a bad harvest, I give him and his hungry family several sacks of potatoes…  Continue reading

Xenophobic News: The United States of Aliens

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Oh, my! We’re the United States of Aliens! We’re a Halloween Nation! Our monsters don’t all speak English at home! Write your last will! The end is near!

Xenophobic Americans — you know, Trump supporters convinced that poor immigrants rather than the establishment are responsible for our rigged system — are circulating news like this to reinforce their xenophobia.  Continue reading

Our System: Poverty Inc.

As the third installment of this week’s series about our rigged economy I present a documentary film I shared once before (on a video weekend) because it just fits so well in this place in the chain. There is another one vying for this place which I think is better shared next (tomorrow). It is beginning to look as if my original plan to keep it all to one week may not work unless you all have time to watch more than one long documentary per day, which – as working people – I doubt many of us have. So, I may extend this series a bit, at least into the coming video weekend. There will be very pertinent follow-ups (that I planned all along), but this series is intended to be a compact crash course of sorts giving a fairly comprehensive picture of our economic rigging. The follow-ups will largely focus on our way out of this trap (although at least one beam of light will also show up this week, Friday or Saturday). I hope the “crash course” will fit into one week when we include the weekend. We’ll see. Anyway, whether you have watched the below documentary from 2014 before or not, it is well worth watching again.

Main topics: Neoliberalism, financial capitalism, austerity, speculation, colonization of the first world much like was previously done to what thereby became the poor third world, American Empire, American poverty, heartless discrimination against the poor and turning the middle class into more and more poor, prison slavery, corporatism, stopping beneficial government spending to give subsidies and tax breaks to the richest of the rich, the rich no longer paying taxes and instead having the government borrow money from them so we have to pay interests on the loan through our taxes (all this when the federal government has the authority to issue its own money), entitlement thinking of the super-rich. Leveraged Wall Street buyouts that steal all we have (even our retirement) into the robber billionaire’s vaults. The new, modern form of large-scale slavery/feudalism is one where corporations (including banks) are the fronts of a very few global masters and the rest of us are their serfs sliding deeper and deeper into serfdom towards slavery. The system is rigged by the super-rich who want it all. We need a fundamental change.

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Poverty Inc. a film by Gary Null “)

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