You surely have heard about Steve Bannon’s revelations in Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” and Trump’s cease and desist reaction. What’s all the hoopla about? Continue reading
A big part of the self-gifting buried in the GOP Tax Scam (that chimera they call a “tax reform” which I analyzed in great detail yesterday) is the elimination of the federal estate tax. And while this is so clearly a gift the rich are giving to themselves, the Republican Party and its allied corporate media amazingly manage to get a bulk of the people whom their actions harm to cheer and support them (as they have been able to do since Ronald Reagan who was an expert in making dastardly deeds sound good). What is really going on when a poor or middle-income person defends the rich against an estate tax? It boggles the mind of anyone who understands the estate tax. So, how does this abstruse behavior come to be? Continue reading
This week’s series about our economic rigging and its collusion with politics comes to an end in the first segment of today’s Part A of this Video Weekend. The second segment has some mixed videos on recent events, and the third segment ends with a special rant and interview. Tomorrow, in Part B as a proper response to so much wrong and misery presented all week, I plan to share an analysis of the deepest roots of our trouble and a light at the end of the tunnel, a glimpse at a chance for our nation and humanity to crawl out of its trap, oddly enough spearheaded by human cousins. Well, let’s get started:
Segment 1: The Finale of the Rigged-Economy-Week
I. The Face of our Engineered Poverty: The End of the Rope
I have quite a bit in common with… Without further ado:
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “The Line: Poverty in America – Officially Licensed Version”)
Have you shed any tears watching? I hope you have. It’s proof of your humanity — and/or indication that you have experienced some of this yourself and are therefore recruitable for change.
II. The Invisible Victims
One way our rigged system has survived and done so well is by our habit of turning a blind eye to those who suffer the most. The ill fate of the poor is mostly known only to them. Few documentaries exist, and filling the gap in everybody else’s knowledge won’t happen in a single day. Still, for a start, here is a second telling documentary.
One aspect of poverty is not being able to afford proper housing, and – as usual – we not only have a situation of an entire section of the public being of low means (and being blamed for it on top of that), but of being not helped, only allegedly helped, discriminated against, price-gouged, cheated, and held in poverty and obscurity, with the rest of us lookin elsewhere. What a surprise we have coming when we find ourselves pushed out of the shrinking middle class and suddenly find ourselves in this dark underworld we never bothered to acknowledge or take a look at because looking below us might make us feel guilty and scared.
ZIP Code is Destiny – Housing is disappearing for Americans:
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “The American dream is turned into poverty. Documentary 2017”)
III. Gods or Demons?
To top it off and complete the picture, an inside view of the 1% (not so much of their dark deeds which have already been exposed, but their lives and attitudes):
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “The One Percent”)
I wonder if a rare rich boy like this will ever move past making an Emmy-nominated confession and actually do something about the evil doings of his inherited business empire, or – better yet – not only do that but also work on changing the hellish course of our world? As it happens, Johnson & Johnson is still listed among the corporations that employ prison labor! Prison labor is a modern day form of slavery in the United States (and elsewhere, especially Asia). Inmates, often imprisoned without trial and on drummed-up or rather meaningless charges, work for $1.15 or less for a full day of work! This is not only an inhuman practice in itself but also takes away properly paid job opportunities from the labor makrket outside these slave-prisons.
Segment 2: The Political Establishment & State Machinery Continue their Evil Romp Unabated
So as not to fall completely behind on current events, here are some recent current event videos not to be missed:
IV. Meet our upside-down justice system:
Remember our Monday video telling of how the state machinery of pre-Nazi Germany helped bring the Nazis to power by actively opposing the working people’s unions, parties, and activists while at the same time promoting and shielding from prosecution and punishment many murderous fascists? We just had an eerily similar case in the U.S. — an outrageous, sad, and horrible mockery of justice and the law by none other than a judge and our police:
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “VICTIM Of Beating In Charlottesville Charged With Assault”)
V. The “Democratic” Party Unvervingly Committed to Evil Corporatism
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Corporate Democrats Purge Bernie Backers From DNC”)
Segment 3: Patriotism, Nationalis, War Machine, and POTUS
VI. To finish, a bit of fun with Jesse Ventura:
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “WATJ 5: Paid Patriotism, the NFL & Dennis Kucinich”)
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How the establishment likes to play with our heads! Long years ago, one of their think tank monsters came up with the devious idea of labeling the estate tax as a “death” tax. For people who take in catchy phrases like that without using the gray matter of their brains to think, this automatically sounds like a horrible idea since we don’t like death. The automatic thought runs through their heads: Oh no! I’ve been paying taxes all my life, and now they want to tax me when I’m dead?!? Continue reading
Of course you have heard the profuse allegations of Trump’s white supremacy links in connection with his pardon of Joe Arpaio, the Texas sheriff found guilty, among other things, of racial profiling — a shocker that came right after Trump defended the murderer of Charlottesville by blaming both sides: the violent supremacists and the peaceful protesters. We sure heard a lot of pumped-up outrage about it. But, honestly, both Trump’s flirting with white supremacists and the attempt of his political opponents to turn it to their political advantage, are nothing new. I’d never bother to write a whole article about them. The deeper meanings and connections I am going to share with you today, however, might be new to you and of much greater significance than the pardoning of one bad guy. There is indeed a lot more here than meets the eye. So, keep reading… Continue reading
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:
(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.
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.
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 week’s posts on Our Revolution Continues had a post from Our Revolution that everyone should read and act on. A quote:
While most of the country wasn’t looking, House Republicans voted to claw back virtually every banking regulation implemented after Wall Street crashed and the Great Recession began. With so much scrutiny on the White House, Senate Republicans are now poised to roll back Dodd-Frank and the Affordable Care Act in the same month. Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and every other politician bought by Wall Street and corporate donors thinks that they can get away with this while we’re distracted by the daily circus in the West Wing.
And this is their names collection link.
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A nice video for this weekend, if you haven’t seen it already — or perhaps even if you have:
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Who Is More Corrupt: Trump, Clinton or Obama? Surprising Answer!”)
Let’s be honest. The “Democratic” and Republican Party are not extremes of one another! They are almost identical! No true alternatives, at all. And the same goes for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Yes, you read correctly. They all screw us (the American working class people) to enrich themselves and their wealthy cronies. And, there is at least one very critically reason why Hillary would have been actually worse than Trump!
Jamarl Thomas, an unusually smart video blogger who I rate highly, gave a very sharp analysis arguing that the confused ones among us should stop, once and for all, to perpetuate the canard that Hillary would have been better than Trump in the Oval Office. In fact, the exact opposite is true! The very sensible argumentation comes from someone situated on what we, in America, traditionally consider the political “left,” a term which in the past was synonymous with the “Democratic” Party, but today is anything but that. Listen or read (or do both). It’s well worth it.
Here is the video, and below it my own summary and commentary:
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Verdict Segment. Is Hillary Clinton the Lesser Evil? For Once and For all, NO!”)
Best recent videos for you weekend pleasure…
1.) Recently, Bernie ripped the new budget:
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Bernie Sanders SLAMS mick Mulvaney Trumps Budget plan, estate taxes”)
2.) Jimmy Dore on the dishonesty of our corporate mass media, the formerly “free” press, the so-called 4th estate which was supposed to keep a watch on governmnet for us. The case exposed: The Washington Post
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Washington Post Caught Blatantly Lying To Their Readers Yet Again”)
3.) Noam Chomsky agrees with Jimmy Dore and me (and you?) on the reprehensible election rigging of the 2016 “Democratic” primaries:
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Chomsky’s Comments Give Support For DNC Lawsuit”)
4.) Jimmy Dore on our plutocrats’ horrible arms deals with the Saudi-Arabian terror regime (and thus ISIS, as well):
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Saudi Arms Deal Exposes Obama Administration’s Jaw Dropping Hypocrisy”)
As always, you are invited to comment below, and if you agree that the dishonesty of our corporate mass media is a problem, you can help independent media like this one, perhaps the only way to keep us all informed and the ideas flowing.