Big News, URGENT ACTIONS, and Good Reads this Week (7-25-2017)

Some of these we better act on TODAY!  Continue reading

URGENT: Stop This Now! — Criminalizing Protest and Free Speech — Where? In America, Of Course!

To stop it in its tracks, we must act now! Lee Camp, of Redacted Tonight, clearly felt that warning us about this next step in the criminalization of free speech in our country could not wait for the next episode of his show:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “URGENT: Congress Considering Bipartisan Bill To Make Political Activism A Felony!”)

Alert! This isn’t about Israel. It’s about us, our Bill of Rights, our desire for democracy. Without dissent, there can be no democracy! Keep reading!

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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”)

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It’s No Time to Let Our Guard Down

If you keep reading my blog, you now know that the big fish in our government (White House, Congress, etc.) not only betray us for the sake of campaign contributions and follow-up lobbyist jobs or “speaking engagement” kickbacks (and the occasional insider trading) from the robber billionaires, but even play the stock market against us. You die from denied healthcare, your insurance company pockets the difference, and our so-called representatives in Congress buy the quick-to-rise insurance stocks to make their own additional killing — in more than one way. That’s the plan.

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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

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