Paradise Papers or Hell Papers? — Two Sets of Rules for Rich and Poor

wealth

So, after the Panama Papers, the latest leak, called Paradise Papers, once again reveal how the rich “legally” (but not legitimately!) avoid paying their taxes and make play with their money in even illegal ways, well hidden behind aiding and abetting global institutions. Meanwhile, working Americans are getting squeezed out of their last drop of blood and persecuted like criminals when they have any foreign income, for instance when our jobless economy drives them out of the country or they are married to a foreign spouse.

 

I. Intro

First, in case you haven’t heard about the recently published Paradise Papers, here is a TV report (sadly with a dubious focus on laying bare even the flimsiest Russian connections to the Trump cabinet, as if we really needed those to realize that practically all current big-time politicians and their Big Money associates are utterly corrupt):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Paradise Papers: Millions of Leaked Docs Reveal Shady Ties & Tax Evasion by Trump’s Inner Circle”)

But let’s now cut down to the bone:  Continue reading

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They Want Kunkle to Say Uncle

Another case where the establishment strangles the no longer free press:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “WaPo Threatens Writer For Exposing Horrible Working Conditions”)

Comments: Yes, sadly, these practices of the robber billionaires are nothing new. In the old days, they were called robber barons. They set up business practices to shift the nation’s wealth from the hands of the many into their own, gouged the people in the process, corrupted politics to make it all possible, and – when they had hoarded so much wealth that they started running out of ideas of what to do with it, or were getting old and facing the time of life (old age and its decrepitude) when we become increasingly dependent on the goodwill of people around us, or when the worry arises that their might be divine justice after death – they then began to give to charities, or even start their own charities proudly bearing their names, in order to make themselves look good. But when has one of these master thieves ever turned around to try for real absolution and do something to actually fix our rigged system?

Great quote: “Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.” ~ Honoré de Balzac

Continue reading

Jackpot! How to Buy the “Democratic” Party for $20 Million or Less – And Rinse for a Repeat

No honor among thieves. Not even when they blow a whistle on their fellow thieves can you trust their words or intentions. That’s the conclusion we can draw from the latest political bombshell: Donna Brazile’s recent confession of the stolen 2016 primaries that you may have heard things about.

At first I was surprised, then I started thinking; and I suggest you do the same. I see far too many knee-jerk reactions and snap judgments out there related to this piece of news, and those are exactly what makes us subject to manipulation.

I highly recommend you read Donna Brazile’s Politico article yourself. In it the former interim DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile explains the DNC’s collusion with Hillary Clinton’s 2015-2016 campaign for nomination, a campaign that was nothing more than a dog-and-pony show because Hillary was controlling the “Democratic” Party the entire time. How? With money, honey! It’s always the money!

Continue reading

Death Of The American Middle Class: How the Middle Class is Being Forced Out

Here is the fifth part of this week’s rigged economy series. A 28-minute documentary that is very good presenting the 1%’s war on the middle class, but – as so often – skips over the class below into which they are being pushed. This blind spot is a pet peeve of mine. I deplore that so many who rebel against the class war from the top against the so-called middle class (what exactly is that, really?) still ignore the underclass subsisting below, where millions of Americans have suffered in poverty all along and where we all are headed. Tomorrow, I will serve up a documentary which fills that gap, but this video today is still very worth watching. Ultimately, we need to take a look at all the tiers of our class society to get the full picture. So, please watch this report and read my commentary below:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “The Death Of The American Middle Class”)

Commentary:  Continue reading

Attack by the 1%: The Heist

Here is the fourth installment of this week’s series about our rigged economy. It is another well-made documentary, less than 30 minutes this time (phew!) serving up lots of data. It shines a light on many aspects of the dire schemes brought to bear against us. Below the clip follows my commentary addressing a central question raised in this film.

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Heist: A Who Done It On The Economy “)

The documentary makers ask how were “they” be able to pull this off right before our eyes, meaning: how were the the robber billionaires and their thugs able to disown and subjugate all of us, thereby causing widespread poverty but little resistance or even public awareness of their heist? To this I wish to reply that the system in which we grew up, and therefor are used to, has always been about a few dominating and ripping off the many. So the heist was just an acceleration of what we were used to and accepting of.  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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Our Rapacious Inequality-Economy

In this speech, the second installment in this week’s economic revelations series, economist Richard Wolff paints a lively picture of today’s systematic craziness and intentional inequality. If you are looking for examples of inequality and the resulting social disintegration, of our ailing economy and its faked recovery, of predatory capitalism or our current stock market bubble and stocks manipulation, this presentation has plenty.

The recorded video starts out with a lot of announcements which you can skip by starting 10:03 minutes into the clip (and if you don’t care to hear Wolff’s Trump-related preliminary comments, you can skip to 15:50 where the systemic analysis starts):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Global Capitalism: Trump’s/GOP’s Tax Plan and a Changing US Economy [October 2017]”)

I tracked down some really interesting data on that Sears scandal:  Continue reading

Fascism, the Enemy of Democracy and Body Guard of Capitalism

This week is going to be loaded with highly informative, eye-opening presentations on the mess of our economy and ways to fix it. Please share them far and wide. Today begins with a thorough 30 minute review of fascist history showing many, many worrisome parallels to today. This lecture is likely to open your eyes on many issues. (If you prefer to read the script over listening to the lecture, you can do that here)

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Real History: Free Market Fascism”)

Terms like fascism, capitalism, and socialism – and their relations to democracy – have been so tremendously warped, overused, and intentionally turned upside down in demagogic efforts to confuse the public, that it has become dangerous to use them in conversation as they tend to make people misunderstand and demonize each other, killing all meaningful conversation before it has had a chance to touch upon anything of substance.  Continue reading

Medicare Soon Raided by the Super-Rich – What’s Up? – Causes & Solutions

While the nation’s attention was on the Las Vegas Massacre, and while Bernie Sander’s Medicare for All plan is up for votes and gaining ground in the American public, the evil demons in politics snuck another backstab of the American People through the House of Representatives: the federal 2018 budget.

Have you ever wondered how the super-rich got so rich? There is a famous quote by the classical, French writer Balzac, author of The Human Comedy: “Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.”  Continue reading

Video Weekend 10-07-2017 (6 Videos)

This video weekend has a story arc that starts with the topic of state violence and gun ownership, transitions to high-brass corruption and holding the corrupt accountable, then reviews some of our nation’s highest corrupt politicians (i.e. presidents), circles back to our last not-so corrupt president in conversation with Bernie Sanders, and ends in a grand finale about our country’s decay presented by some of our best and brightest truth tellers and fighters.

 

I. Riot Police against Voters

I have a slightly different take on Catalonian’s desire for secession from Spain than Lee Camp. I think they should reconsider. My rationale: I am for fewer rather than more borders. Instead of more affluent regions surrounding themselves with walls and fences, and leaving poorer regions to struggle all the harder, I’d prefer to see more solidarity and a successful push to bring affluence to all parts of the world. Then we wouldn’t have these silly wishes for costly walls, mass migrations disrupting millions of families, badly justified hatred of immigrants, and/or a bad conscience for how we stiffed the less fortunate. On the other hand, I do share Lee’s outrage at riot cops brutally suppressing voters or stealing ballot boxes. It’s an example of what 2nd-Amendment proponents warn against. And while I’d like to see less mass shootings and gun-assisted crimes in the U.S., I do get the argument of 2nd-Amendment proponents that day-to-day folks should not be completely helpless against violence brought against them by warlords, corporations, and governments. I think we have to fix our political and economic riggings first before we can all come to much of a consensus on what to do about guns.

Anyway, here is Lee Camp’s fine rant. He does his rants very well:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “What They Won’t Tell You About Catalonia, Spain”)

 

II. When the Mighty are Held Accountable

Another report about events outside our border. Big fish can be held accountable (heck, Peru even prosecutes its presidents for crimes committed in office!):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Lawyers Fight Staggering Corruption In Brazil & Win!”)

 

III. When the Mighty Have no Clue

Talk about being privileged and disconnected from your fellow human beings:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Trump Throws Paper Towels At Puerto Rican Victims”)

 

IV. Presidents of Graft

Our wonderful presidents (could we have a little Peru here?):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Corp. Democrats Disgusting Rehabilitation Of George Bush”)

 

V. Our Last Not-so-Corrupt President

President Carter is now often seen as a virtual angel. He wasn’t a perfect president. Deregulation began under him, starting the neoliberal slide of our country towards hell. Still, the beginning of his panel discussion with Bernie is quite good (the rest less). I thought I shared this one before but can’t find it if I did. So, here it is:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “FULL CONVERSATION Between Bernie Sanders and Jimmy Carter on Human Rights”)

A point made about human rights and economy: We violate human rights when we allow corporations to push people into poverty. And that is true both here and globally, because today’s economy is global.

What’s perhaps the most interesting, is the bunch of comments Youtube viewers left under this video. Here are some I picked out:

AS A BILLIONAIRE I WANT OUR COUNTRY TO SAVE MONEY. I [WANT] ALL AMERICANS WHO HAVE 2 LEGS, 2 ARMS, TO SIGN UP FOR WORK. WE OFFER A 401K PLAN TO SAVE YOUR MONEY.

Yeah, right, so that guys like you can siphon off a large portion into your vaults… I’d prefer living size social security benefits or that now mostly extinct thing called “pension” over this trick of stock market gamblers raiding people’s retirement savings.

WE LOVE BILLIONARES, WE DO NOT LIKE PEOPLE [WHO WANT] TO TAKE FREE MONEY. EARN YOUR BILLION.

I wonder if that was meant literally or sarcastically… After all, currently, it’s mostly the billionaires who get free money.

Does anyone really “earn” a billion dollars? If folks knew the dark, heartless shit untalented people will do to make that money as they hypocritically tell you “work hard”, you’d hunt and put them down as the conniving thieving dogs that they are.

Ditto!

52% of our income was paid into taxes. It’s like I work for the government, part time. I need a new roof, I need some windows, and I can’t afford to maintain my property so it looses value, because I am taxed to death!

That’s what happens when the governmnet has been bought up by the rich and works for them, taxing working folks and giving tax breaks, tax loopholes, and government subsidies to the rich.

Support OUR Public Schools & Public School Teachers! We have been dumbed down by big money behind standards and testing while the richest get even richer off our young’s back.

Having worked as a teacher, I can confirm that. Yes, the crooks have their claws in our school system, too.

 

VI. Summing Up America’s Decline

And now let’s turn from American presidents to really great Americans who have been telling us the truth about our systemic corruption and fighting for the people (a fight for us all to join):

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

There is much in this video about how the privileged keep themselves in charge, and ever grow their privilege, at the expense of us all, employing an antiquated pyramid scheme when the age of natural scarcity is long past and we could remake our system in the image of prosperity for all, even with plenty of leisure for all.

At 1:16:24 into the video, the important point gets made that we have moved from industrial capitalism to finance capitalism: a system which no longer is buying materials and labor and selling products but buying and selling entire companies, producing nothing for people, only shifting more and more of the world’s wealth to the top.

Also good to remember: in 1983, 90% of American media were owned by 50 companies. Today, the same 90% is controlled by 6 companies! Six corporations which, surprise(!), push corporate-friendly (a.k.a. billionaire-friendly or status-quo-friendly) narratives. And when you think about it, in the long run our status-quo isn’t necessarily friendly to the rich, either, since it is busy undermining our national and global economy and also destroying the life support systems of our planet on which human survival depends.

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