Home country: USA
Current location: nice place
Member since: Thu May 15, 2008, 03:37 PM
Number of posts: 27,063
Home country: USA
Current location: nice place
Member since: Thu May 15, 2008, 03:37 PM
Number of posts: 27,063
- 2016 (8)
- 2015 (106)
- 2014 (114)
- 2013 (68)
- 2012 (41)
- 2011 (17)
- December (17)
- Older Archives
Interest in New Chomsky Documentary Has Grown So Large Even the NY Times Ran a Review and Praised It
February 4, 2016
Full title: Interest in New Noam Chomsky Documentary Has Grown So Large That Even the NY Times Ran a Review—and Praised It!
In the new documentary Requiem for the American Dream, produced and directed by Peter Hutchison, Kelly Nyks and Jared P. Scott, Noam Chomsky argues that the collapse of American democratic ideals and the rise of the 1% means that the American dream is harder than ever to achieve. And unlike during the Great Depression, there seems to be no end in sight to this class struggle.
“The effect of the concentration of wealth is to yield concentration of power. the very fact of inequality has a corrosive, harmful effect on democracy," Chomsky states.
Chomsky was raised in an American middle-class immigrant family in the 1930s. Filmmakers use interviews with Chomsky and archival video from the 1950s onward to illustrate the golden age of American history, as Chomsky calls it. The average worker was able to buy a home, a car and live a life of relative comfort. Upward class mobility was not only aspirational, but achievable.
The widening wage gap, he claims, is "a result of over 30 years of a shift in social and economic policy, completely against the will of the population.” Today, young families are slightly wealthier than their parents were three decades ago, according to a recent BMO Economics Report. However, millennials need to pay more to get their foot in the door and are accumulating debt loads about 260% higher than their parents did at their age.
"It goes back to the founding of the country. If you read the debates at the Constitutional Convention, James Madison, the main framer, said the major concern of society has to be to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority," Chomsky says.
Posted by Jefferson23 | Sat Feb 6, 2016, 11:13 AM (9 replies)
William K. Black, author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One, teaches economics and law at the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC). He was the Executive Director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention from 2005-2007. He has taught previously at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and at Santa Clara University, where he was also the distinguished scholar in residence for insurance law and a visiting scholar at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.
Black was litigation director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, deputy director of the FSLIC, SVP and general counsel of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and senior deputy chief counsel, Office of Thrift Supervision. He was deputy director of the National Commission on Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement.
Black developed the concept of "control fraud" frauds in which the CEO or head of state uses the entity as a "weapon." Control frauds cause greater financial losses than all other forms of property crime combined. He recently helped the World Bank develop anti-corruption initiatives and served as an expert for OFHEO in its enforcement action against Fannie Mae's former senior management.
Mike Konczal is a Fellow with the Roosevelt Institute, works on financial reform, structural unemployment, consumer access to financial services, and inequality. He blogs for New Deal 2.0 and the Rortybomb, and his work has appeared at The Atlantic Monthly's Business Channel, NPR's Planet Money, the Baseline Scenario, Huffington Post, and The Nation. He was formerly a financial engineer and mathematical analyst. Konczal holds a MS in Finance and a BS in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Posted by Jefferson23 | Thu Feb 4, 2016, 11:11 AM (5 replies)
Jeff Cohen is a media critic and lecturer, founding director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, where he is an associate professor of journalism. Cohen founded the media watch group FAIR in 1986.
SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome back to the Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore. And I'm speaking with Jeff Cohen. Jeff is a director for the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, and he was the founder of the media watchdog FAIR. He's also the co-founder of RootsAction.org. And in segment one I was speaking with Jeff about the Iowa primaries, the results, and what the various candidates, actually the two Democratic candidates, had to say last night. And we were unpacking that. So if you didn't see that, go watch that.
And on this segment we're going to deal with the media, how media covered the Iowa primaries, as well as the endorsements that media is--many of them are giving to Hillary Clinton, like the New York Times. So Jeff, welcome back.
JEFF COHEN: Nice to be with you.
PERIES: So Jeff, let's dig right into this. The New York Times came out on Sunday endorsing Hillary Clinton, that is the editorial board of the New York Times. What do you make of that?
COHEN: Totally expected. What we've had at the New York Times, and most of the corporate mainstream media, is the traditional Gandhi quote, attributed to Gandhi. It's also been said by early feminists and labor leaders. First, they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. Then they attack you. Then you win.
And you know, at first it was ridicule--at first it was ignoring. And you might remember that when Bernie Sanders announced he was running for president, the announcement in the New York Times was on a back page, very small, page A-21. And when a lot of these Republicans one after another was announcing for president, they got big, front-page coverage in the New York Times. In Iowa, Bernie's 50-50. And he was on the back page of the times. These Republicans who walked away with one, two percent of the vote in Iowa, they got front-page treatment.
So I think what's happened is it started as ignoring, it went to ridicule, and now the New York Times is going to come out for Hillary editorially. The Washington Post ran two editorials in two days attacking Bernie. And the first editorial was an utter doozy, basically defending Wall Street status, and saying that the big banks are now safely regulated, suggesting that Bernie is a demagogue when he talks about Wall Street. So we're definitely moving into this state where you can expect the corporate mainstream media to be on the attack.
The important thing for activists, and the kinds of people that get their news from the Real News, to understand is that this problem plaguing Bernie, the bias against Bernie, well, it's long-standing that in mainstream media you've had a narrow spectrum of views, political views, among the punditocracy. It goes from the center to the right, from corporate centrist Democrats to the far right. It's a spectrum no broader than from General Electric to General Motors. A corporate spectrum.
So in all of these discussions in the week leading up to Iowa, we're going to see it in the week leading up to New Hampshire. You have a lot of these people on the panels that are big supporters of Hillary Clinton, like who's associated with one of Hillary Clinton's superPACs. But they have panel after panel on CNN, on MSNBC, on the Sunday politics shows, where there are supporters of the right wing, supporters of Hillary Clinton and corporate centrism, but there's no one who's an unabashed supporter of Bernie Sanders. And if I were an activist seeing that, I would immediately go and protest to these media outlets, now that it's a 50-50 campaign in the Democratic party, you can't have defenders of Hillary and no defenders of Bernie. But that's what mainstream TV news has been doing.
in full: http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=15577
Reminder from 2015: Television News Network Lobbyists Are Fundraising for Hillary Clinton
Another example of money in politics and its influence.
in full: https://theintercept.com/2015/10/29/media-fundraisers-presidential/
Posted by Jefferson23 | Thu Feb 4, 2016, 11:07 AM (4 replies)
Fair and Accuracy in Reporting
February 1, 2016
Janine Jackson: A Washington Post columnist writes that we need to admit that healthcare reform’s twin goals, comprehensive universal insurance and cost control, are at odds. The New York Times reports that a single-payer system requires unpopular taxes, making it, even in the eyes of sympathetic Democrats, politically impossible. And USA Today says the US hasn’t seriously considered single payer because it would cause great disruption to the economy, result in higher taxes, and give the federal government vast new powers.
Well, those claims have some things in common: They’re all untrue, and they’ll all from 1993. It seems the story corporate media tell us about single payer—we want it, it makes a lot of sense, and it can never ever happen—hasn’t changed a great deal. For as long as that media narrative has been abroad, we’ve been checking in with our next guest about how to address it. A primary care physician for many years, Steffie Woolhandler is co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program and professor at the CUNY School of Public Health.
Welcome back to CounterSpin, Steffie Woolhandler.
Steffie Woolhandler: My pleasure.
JJ: Single payer is in headlines now because of the election, and the alternative visions for healthcare presented by Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Sanders’ proposal of a single-payer type of system makes him “exciting,” the Washington Post said, but Clinton’s attempt to “bat down hopes” about it make her “the voice of reason.” The Arizona Republic says:
in full: http://fair.org/home/single-payer-saves-money-by-saying-no-to-the-insurance-industry/
Posted by Jefferson23 | Wed Feb 3, 2016, 06:24 PM (4 replies)
January 10, 2016
Last year was a memorable one for the global economy. Not only was overall performance disappointing, but profound changes – both for better and for worse – occurred in the global economic system.
Most notable was the Paris climate agreement reached last month. By itself, the agreement is far from enough to limit the increase in global warming to the target of 2ºC above the pre-industrial level. But it did put everyone on notice: the world is moving, inexorably, toward a green economy. One day not too far off, fossil fuels will be largely a thing of the past. So anyone who invests in coal now does so at his or her peril. With more green investments coming to the fore, those financing them will, we should hope, counterbalance powerful lobbying by the coal industry, which is willing to put the world at risk to advance its shortsighted interests.
Indeed, the move away from a high-carbon economy, where coal, gas, and oil interests often dominate, is just one of several major changes in the global geo-economic order. Many others are inevitable, given China’s soaring share of global output and demand. The New Development Bank, established by the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), was launched during the year, becoming the first major international financial institution led by emerging countries. And, despite Barack Obama’s resistance, the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was established as well, and is to start operation this month.
The US did act with greater wisdom where China’s currency was concerned. It did not obstruct the renminbi’s admission to the basket of currencies that constitute the International Monetary Fund’s reserve asset, Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). In addition, a half-decade after the Obama administration agreed to modest changes in the voting rights of China and other emerging markets at the IMF – a small nod to the new economic realities – the US Congress finally approved the reforms.
Posted by Jefferson23 | Sun Jan 10, 2016, 09:20 AM (1 replies)
The Saudis are plunging into political snake pits without much idea of how they are going to get out of them
15 hours ago
Saudi Arabia will be pleased that the furore over its execution of the Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr is taking the form of a heightened confrontation with Iran and the Shia world as a whole. Insults and threats are exchanged and diplomatic missions closed. Sunni mosques are blown up in Shia-dominated areas of Iraq. The Saudi rulers are able to strengthen their leadership of a broad Sunni coalition against an Iranian-led Shia axis at home and abroad.
The motive for the mass execution of Sheikh Nimr and 46 others, many Sunni jihadists, was primarily domestic. The threat to the al-Saud family within Saudi Arabia comes from Sunni extremists in al-Qaeda and Isis and not from the Shia, who are only a majority in two provinces in the eastern region of the country. Furious denunciations by Shia communities and countries will do nothing but good to the reputation of the ruling family among the majority of Saudis.
Saudi Arabia and its fundamentalist Wahhabi variant of Sunni Islam has been blamed by many outside the kingdom as the ideological forbearer of Isis, but the real danger for the monarchy is that it should be seen at home as insufficiently zealous as defender of the faith.
Posted by Jefferson23 | Tue Jan 5, 2016, 09:47 AM (0 replies)
This presidential election could show how private capital and secrecy conspired to take the political process away from the American people.
By Adele M. Stan / The American Prospect
January 1, 2016
In general, it can be said that billionaires in America almost always have pretty good years, by at least one important measure: They have more than a billion dollars. They’ve made it into a club composed of 536 people, in a nation with a population of 321 million.
Over the past 40 years, their fortunes have soared, and according to new report in The New York Times, they pay precious little tax on them. That’s because they’ve bought the Congress that writes the tax code, paid the lobbyists who strong-arm the legislators, and funded the think tanks that crafted the policy strong-armed on the bought-and-paid-for legislators.
OK; that may be a bit of an oversimplification—not every member of Congress is in the pocket of the 0.01 percent—but not by much.
More and more, the billionaires’ influence is conducted out of public view, thanks to a Supreme Court with a billionaire-boosting majority, and a tax code designed by the billionaires’ lackeys to hurt the brain of any normal human who deigned to apply her intelligence to it.
Posted by Jefferson23 | Sun Jan 3, 2016, 03:55 PM (0 replies)
Amid all of the hatred and horror of Syria's civil war, there have also been stories of compassion and bravery
Abdul Halim Attar, a Palestinian Syrian refugee living in Jordan, with his daughter
For Syrians, 2015 has been a year of violence, famine, siege and brutality, but amid the inhumanity and barbarism of war there have also been acts of heroism, generosity and love.
Here are just a few examples of heroism and compassion that grabbed the world's attention in 2015.
Hope for the unborn
In September, doctors in Aleppo performed an emergency caesarian section on a woman injured in a missile strike. Shrapnel had penetrated her torso and she feared for the life of her unborn baby.
A video from the Aleppo City Medical Council, a non-profit medical service, shows doctors working to save the baby, clearing her airways and rubbing her lifeless body until she finally takes a deep breath and starts to cry.
- See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/in-depth/features/remembering-heroes-2015-1335481736#sthash.4ZDFjcs5.dpuf
Posted by Jefferson23 | Sat Jan 2, 2016, 08:50 AM (0 replies)
Conflicts among communities that once lived together in peace brings the prospect of a refugee crisis that will continue long after the fighting ends
Sunday 27 December 2015
Sectarian and ethnic cleansing by all sides in Syria and Iraq is becoming more intense, ensuring that there are few mixed areas left in the two countries and, even if the war ends, many refugees will find it too dangerous to return to their homes.
Communities which once lived together in peace are today so frightened of each other after years of savage warfare that the more powerful sect or ethnic group is forcing out the weaker one. This pattern is repeating itself everywhere from the Sunni towns captured by Shia militiamen in provinces around Baghdad to Christian enclaves in central Syria under threat from Isis, and in Turkmen villages just south of the Syrian-Turkish border being bombed by Russian aircraft.
The inability of Syrians and Iraqis to return home in safety means that Europe and the Middle East will have to cope for decades to come with an irreversible refugee crisis brought on by the war.
There are good reasons for everybody to be afraid, though outside powers play down the sectarian or ethnic agenda of their local Syrian proxies and allies. “We will end up like the Christians, being forced out of the country,” says a young Sunni photographer, Mahmoud Omar, who once lived in Ramadi in the overwhelmingly Sunni province of Anbar. Many fled when Isis captured the city in May which is now under assault by the military forces of the Shia-dominated government in Baghdad trying to recapture it. Some 1.4 million people from Anbar or 43 per cent of its population are displaced, according to the International Organisation for Migration.
Posted by Jefferson23 | Mon Dec 28, 2015, 05:49 PM (1 replies)
December 19, 2015
Israeli human rights organization are accustomed to being labelled as anti-patriotic and anti-Zionist, but even they were caught by surprise this week by the brutality of a video clip posted by the right wing Im Tirzu movement.
In the clip, a Palestinian-looking young man is approaching the camera with a knife in his hand, yet a moment before the seemingly inevitable stabbing, the faces of four activists from a leading human rights organizations appear on the screen in "wanted" mug pictures, and a voice warns that "before the next terrorist will stab you" he knows that these activists would defend him. "They are Israelis, they live here with us and they are 'implants'. When we fight terror, they fight us."
The clip was part of a campaign promoting what is termed the "implants" law, which would classify organizations receiving aid from foreign countries as "implants" and forbid them from contacting any government office or the Israeli army without special permission. Yet it is clear that the scope of the clip was wider than just promoting this law. It was meant to depict those human rights workers as the enemies from within, helping "Palestinian terrorists" to murder innocent Israeli citizens.
snip* The immediate reaction to Im Tirzu's clip was a surge in support for Breaking the Silence in social media and even from some former generals, who claimed that its work is important to Israel's moral values. More ex-soldiers volunteered to give evidence, and even donations to the organization have gone up. This may indicate the wakening up of the dormant Israel Left. It might also be its death throes.
- See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/israel-breaking-witness-733223900#sthash.6CpYJ6k1.dpu
Ex-IDF general takes out ad to support Breaking the Silence
Amiram Levin backs NGO that publishes alleged abuses by soldiers, says army should encourage such groups to speak out
By Times of Israel staff December 18, 2015
Posted by Jefferson23 | Sat Dec 19, 2015, 04:51 PM (2 replies)