Corporate Domination

 

Background Info and Links


I’m Not Your Product


The Sanders Institute


Refund America Project - complete details on the Wall St. induced ‘debt crisis’ in Puerto Rico


America as it should be: a place where hard work is rewarded, everyone participates, and everyone enjoys a fair share of our collective prosperity.

5 points:

Stop offshore tax dodging which costs the US and developing countries more than $100 billion each year.

Raise the minimum wage so that working families can make a living wage.

Fight discrimination of all kinds and ensure equal pay for equal work.

Build and invest in a social safety net for everyone.

Ensure every person has access to affordable, high quality healthcare and education - which can only be achieved by a more progressive tax system rather than the harshly regressive system we have today.

See Oxfam entry of 1/15/17.


Neo-Liberalism: “Free-market” ideology that pushes austerity, privatization, and deregulation for corporations at the expense of the public good. Neoliberals aim to turn people into consumers and replace human rights with private property (corporate) rights. For them, the idea of ‘the commons’ has no place...give public land, water, etc to corporations and then let them charge people for the use of what used to be their own. We’ll probably be paying for the air we breath at some point.


Internet Noise - On 3/28/17, Congress passed a law making it legal for your ISP to track and sell your personal activity online. Running “Internet Noise” will fill their databases with noise.


6/19/18


NYTimes: Koch Bros. Are Waging A War Against Mass Transit, And They Are Winning


6/15/18


Democracy-NOW: Blistering UN Report: Trump Administration’s Policies Designed to Worsen Poverty & Inequality - Here’s the UN report. Some amazing statistics: 40 million Americans live in poverty, 18.5 million in extreme poverty, 5.3 million live in ‘3rd world conditions’, the highest rate of income inequality among Western countries. 4 out of 5 Americans have faced homelessness, near-poverty, no work sometime during their lifetimes.


Even the working poor now face cutbacks in food stamps, housing subsidies, and other safety net programs.


America currently has the shortest ‘healthy life expectancy’ in the developed world, even lower than that of China. We have the worst overall level of healthcare, and the highest level of child poverty in the Western world, more than half of America’s school children live in poverty, and Here, and Here. They go to bed hungry every night, and Here. We are the only country on earth not to have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. We have the highest rate of child mortality in the developed world.


Congress came close this year to eliminating the CHIP program, which would have thrown additional millions of children into chronic hunger. These actions along with arbitrarily removing voters from voter rolls, are setting the stage for the end of democracy and eventual upheaval.


And how does tax policy fit in?

tax policy is being used as a way to shift massive resources to the wealthy, to the best-off corporations, and away from the people who really need it. And, of course, the tax cuts are being paid for, in part, by some of the savings that the administration has consistently predicted will come from less people on food stamps, less people getting housing subsidies and so on.”


Trump and the rethugs are despicable, but given the fact that the Clintons made safety net programs into block grants and turned them over to the states, and Here, the middle class was essentially destroyed during the Obama administration, and no democrap has talked about poverty in 2 generations (Bernie is not a democrap), responsibility for this state of affairs belongs to both parts of the duopoly party.


6/14/18


Reuters: In Puerto Rico, New Hurricane Season Threatens the Elderly


McClatchy: Company Owned by Chinese Government Awarded Another Contract At Trump Development


6/13/18


Center for Economic and Policy Research: Puerto Rico’s New Fiscal Plan: Certain Pain, Uncertain Gain - Puerto Rico is due to receive a large influx of funds in the form of disaster relief. Instead of using it to rebuild PR’s infrastructure, the Financial Control Board plans to put a large portion of that money away to pay debt service to Wall Street banks. See entry of 6/6 for links and more info.


Black Agenda Report: Enclosure, Dispossession and Disaster Capitalism in Antigua and Barbuda - Robert Di Niro is the consummate disaster capitalist.


6/7/18


New Yorker: One Koch Brother Forces the Other Out of the Family Business - A great read. Charles Koch is who actually runs America. Mike Pence, Scott Pruitt, Mike Pompeo, Betsy DeVos all work for him, along with most elected Rethugs. Despite the Koch Bros. initial opposition to Trump, Trump is essentially implementing the Koch agenda. Capitalism IS the problem.


6/6/18


Democracy-NOW: Naomi Klein: Deaths From Hurricane Maria Were State Sponsored Mass Killing - More than 2.5 times the number of deaths as Hurricane Katrina, and still rising. Trump told everybody how lucky they were that only 17 people died, then tossed out some paper towels and left. The average Puerto Rican was exposed to 80 days without electricity and 40 days without water. The cable news networks covered Roseanne for over 10 hours on the first day, the Hurricane Maria death toll for 30 minutes, and Fox spent a total of 48 seconds on Maria.


Puerto Rico already had a crumbling infrastructure (electricity, roads, water treatment facilities, etc.) before Hurricane Maria hit. This lack of infrastructure was caused by a deal worked out between Goldman Sachs, the politicians of Puerto Rico, Wall St. and politicians in Washington, DC. PR’s actual debt load was moderate until the crash of 2008, when already taxpayer-bailed-out Wall St. banks forced it to refinance that debt at an effective rate of 785%, and Here, and Here. Then Congress passed the PROMESA act which essentially replaced the PR government with a Washington picked Financial Control Board, the purpose of which was to force draconian austerity onto the people of PR in order to make sure that Wall St. firms reap a financial windfall. Since then, thousands of have died from the lack of access to health care, and the lack of clean drinking water. The entire population of 3.4 million suffers from lack of adequate roads and lack of communication due to cell phone outages.


6/2/18


Reuters: UN Human Rights Investigator: America’s Poor Becoming More Destitute Under Trump


5/30/18


Media Matters: Dozens of Local Fox Affiliates Run Misleading Segments Pushing Social Security Benefit Cuts - There is no immediate crisis that has just been discovered. SS is viable under current rules until 2034. Removing the ‘cap’ OR a 2.76% increase in payroll taxes would keep SS afloat for 75 years. Fox news is flat out lying when it says that a benefit cut or raising the retirement age is inevitable.


5/25/18


Ghion Journal: Corporate Privilege: Premeditated Murder, Civil Fines and Miscarriages of Justice


5/24/18


UK Guardian: Zuckerberg Set Up Fraudulent Scheme to Weaponize Data, Court Case Alleges


5/23/18


UK Guardian: “Recipe for Authoritarianism”: Amazon Under Fire for Selling Facial-Recognition Software to Police - Amazon developed this software mostly courtesy of the American taxpayer. Amazon is clearly in violation of the Anti-Trust laws that are on the books, and Here. This is about just one way that Amazon seeks to constantly snoop in its customers. As more and more money flows up to the super-rich, Bezos understands that the working poor is becoming a larger segment of the population, so he markets directly to them, and in the process runs small start-up companies out of business. Facebook, Amazon and Google are not friends of the American people.


5/21/18


CBS News: How Did Google Get So Big? - Google is a monopoly in internet searches and in search advertising, but like with Facebook and Amazon, the Justice Dept. and the FTC are not enforcing Anti-Trust laws. Whenever Justice Department staff recommend that any of them be sued for anti-competitive behavior, political appointees at the top reject the recommendation. Most of this activity happened under the Obama administration.

Google knows everything you do on the web and it controls what it lets you see to either assets that it owns or advertisers who pay them the most money. Google searches don’t necessarily deliver the most pertinent content based on your search request, it delivers what it wants you to see. It has the power to snuff out any competition. My suggestion: make duckduckgo.com your regular search engine.


5/9/18


New Yorker: William Barber Takes on Poverty and Race in the Age of Trump


4/28/18


UK Guardian: The Teachers’ Strikes Prove It: The Media is Finally Seeing America’s New Labor Landscape


4/19/18


Intercept: Amazon Gets Tax Breaks While Its Workers Rely on Food Stamps, New Data Shows - From the article: “The American people are financing Amazon’s pursuit of an e-commerce monopoly every step of the way: first, with tax breaks, subsidies, and infrastructure improvements meant to lure fulfillment centers into town, and later with federal transfers to pay for warehouse workers’ food. And soon, when the company begins accepting SNAP dollars to purchase its goods, a third transfer of public wealth to private hands will become a part of the company’s business model.” It is not your friend.


4/17/18


Common Dreams: ‘Astronomical’ Cost of War: Average US Taxpayer Sent $3,456 to Pentagon Last Year and Just $39 to the EPA


4/16/18


AP News/Yahoo: Facebook is Tracking You Whether You Use It or Not


4/11/18


Democracy-NOW: Facebook Doesn’t Sell Your Data. It Sells You. - All 2 billion Facebook users are targeted by advertisers who pay for access to the users’ personal information, using psychological profiles to target ‘vulnerable’ marketing victims, and Here. It’s all allowed in the Facebook agreement, though most users don’t know it. Facebook has repeatedly apologized for 14 years for doing this, repeatedly saying they are going to stop it. But they don’t. In this latest episode, Facebook sold access to users’ data to not one, but hundreds of apps. Those apps were allowed to scrape voluminous data not just from the users of those apps, but from all of their friends as well. Cambridge Analytica was just one of possibly thousands of apps who were provided this private user data. And even on Zuckerberg’s latest apology tour, he has repeatedly spoken disparagingly about companies, such as Apple, that have a strong track record of protecting users’ privacy. From the Vox article:


After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it came to light that Facebook had been downloading and keeping all the text messages of its users on the Android platform—their content as well as their metadata. On Apple phones, however, Facebook couldn’t harvest people’s text messages because the permissions wouldn’t allow it.


Facebook’s 2 billion users are not Facebook’s “community.” They are its user base, and they have been repeatedly carried along by the decisions of the one person who controls the platform. These users have invested time and money in building their social networks on Facebook, yet they have no means to port the connectivity elsewhere.


This isn’t a community; this is a regime of one-sided, highly profitable surveillance, carried out on a scale that has made Facebook one of the largest companies in the world by market capitalization.


Nor do people have any means to completely stop being tracked by Facebook. The surveillance follows them not just on the platform, but elsewhere on the internet—some of them apparently can’t even text their friends without Facebook trying to snoop in on the conversation. Facebook doesn’t just collect data itself; it has purchased external data from data brokers; it creates “shadow profiles” of nonusers and is now attempting to match offline data to its online profiles.


So, here’s the thing. There is indeed a case of Stockholm syndrome here. There are very few other contexts in which a person would be allowed to make a series of decisions that have obviously enriched them while eroding the privacy and well-being of billions of people; to make basically the same apology for those decisions countless times over the space of just 14 years; and then to profess innocence, idealism, and complete independence from the obvious structural incentives that have shaped the whole process.


Facebook’s 2 billion-plus users are surveilled and profiled, and their attention is then sold to advertisers and, it seems, practically anyone else who will pay Facebook—including unsavory dictators like the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte. That is Facebook’s business model. That is why the company has an almost half-a-trillion-dollar market capitalization, along with billions in spare cash to buy competitors.


Surveillance and data harvesting is the Facebook business model. It can’t be trusted to regulate itself, and Here. It uses a social-validation feedback loop, and subliminal stimuli and advertising to keep its users hooked. It is not your friend.


It is clear what needs to be done and Here, but right now politicians don’t have the guts to go up against the data brokers.


A responsible social media site should: 1. Share your personal data with others only after you have provided your affirmative informed consent via an ‘opt-in’; 2. Make it easy for you to ‘opt-out’ if you should then change your mind...you shouldn’t have to be a settings wizard in order to accomplish that task; 3. If you decide to leave the social media site, you should be able to take all of your media with you. Facebook does not provide any of those three options now, and they will not change just because of this latest dust-up.


4/7/18


NYTimes: In 83 Million Eviction Records, A Sweeping and Intimate New Look At Housing in America


4/4/18


Reuters: Sagging School Funding Fuels US Teacher Protests - Neo-libs in both parties have been stripping money from public schools for decades, in an effort to discredit their ability to educate students. Their goal is to provide opportunities for charter schools to step in and turn education into another for-profit opportunity for the 1%...not to mention move us back towards total re-segregation.


4/3/18


CNBC: Amazon Is A 21ST-Century Railroad: Anti-Trust Expert - People today do not have the historic perspective to understand what this means, and how dangerous it is for Amazon or any one company to have this much power over the market. It seems like a cheap place to shop now, however they are running smaller, innovative companies out of existence so they can become the entire market and subsequently gain the power to limit consumer choice and set prices at will. Here’s a short timeline that examines such cases in past American history.


4/2/18


Reuters: Oklahoma Teachers Walk Off Job Over Pay, And Schools Reeling From Decades of Budget Cuts - Workers of the world, UNITE!


3/30/18


Fast Company: Andrew Yang Wants You To Vote For a $1,000-A-Month Basic Income in 2020


3/27/18


Pacific Standard: Inside the Tax Bill’s $25 Billion Oil Company Bonanza - Highlights: Oil/gas companies (the most profitable industry in history) are among the greatest beneficiaries of the $1.5 Trillion tax bill. Pitched as a ‘boon for workers,’ in fact the biggest winners will be large corporations, with 53% of the tax bill’s initial benefits going to the wealthiest 1% of Americans and 30% to the top 1% (many of whom now populate the Trump administration). That is just in the first year. In 10 years, the top 5% will get 85% of the benefits, permanently. You and I will get a tiny, temporary tax cut...maybe.


17 oil and gas companies reported a total one time initial benefit of $25 Billion. Exxon alone will reap a $6 Billion bonanza the first year. The company building the Dakota Access pipeline will get $1.53 Billion. Most of them will pay no taxes this year, and instead will receive $Millions in tax refunds, courtesy of the American taxpayer. The sub-sector of the oil/gas companies that participate in fracking will be the biggest over all winners of the group.


All of their corporate tax rates will then be reduced by 40% in perpetuity. Exxon, for instance, will experience an effective tax rate drop from 3.7% to -85.6%.


Destroying the earth now turns out to be more profitable than ever before.


3/20/18


UK Guardian: “Utterly Horrifying”: Ex-Facebook Insider Says Covert Data Harvesting Was Routine - The loophole that gave Facebook permission to sell access to users’ private information without the individual user's knowledge was buried deep in the terms and conditions...that of course nobody ever reads. Facebook says they are “shocked, shocked!!” to find that outside sources were using this private data inappropriately, but that now everything is fixed up nice and tidy so that can never happen again. Somehow I doubt it.


In the end, Facebook curtailed this particular loophole not because of concern for users’ privacy, but because they realized they had been selling this access too cheaply as outlined in the article.


This is not about Russian meddling, it’s about the way that Facebook works, which is based upon creating a social-validation feedback loop to push various advertisements at users and to steer them to the advertisers’ websites. Facebook then gets a little money every time a user clicks on an ad.


Anything you put on Facebook belongs to Facebook - not you. It can never really be truly deleted and they can do whatever they want with it.


Silicon valley is not our friend. Computers are great for processing large amounts of data, but not much else.


3/19/18


CNN: Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes: US Needs Universal Basic Income


3/15/18


Business Insider: Income Inequality Is Growing Across the US - Here’s How Bad It Is In Every State


2/27/18


Reuters: White House Reaches Informal Deal with Boeing for Air Force One - Trump said he was going to cancel the order during the campaign. Boeing spokesman: “President Trump negotiated a good deal on behalf of the American people.” What a farce.


2/26/18


Common Dreams: America’s Richest 2% Made More Money in 2017 Than the Cost of the Entire Safety Net


2/8/18


Intercept: The Stock Market Swings Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Our Rigged Economy - Synopsis: The 1% don’t like full employment - usually defined as about 4-5% unemployment. That’s because they can’t treat their employees like slaves anymore. If they do, the employees can go work for someone who treat’s them more fairly, or they can organize and go on strike.

Every structure in our economy is geared towards insuring that wages never go up. Trump’s new Fed Chair appointee’s only job is to keep “the boot on the neck of wages.” The Fed will raise rates and claim it’s to stop inflation - for which there is only a very flimsy evidence for any correlation - but the real reason is to keep the 1% on top.


2/5/18


Reuters: US Consumer Protection Official Puts Equifax Probe on Ice - Because this will probably get Equifax off the hook for a multi-million dollar fine, it’s another example of #CorporateWelfare.


2/3/18


NYPost: Tech Giants Are the Robber Barons of Our Time - Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon know more about your personal habits than you do, and they use this information to modify your internet experience in an effort to keep you hooked and incessantly hammer you with overt and subliminal advertising and stimulation. In so doing, they are stifling entrepreneurial innovation by small start up firms and they are driving smaller individually run retailers out of existence. These are monopolies and they need to be broken up under anti-trust laws already on the books.


1/18/18


Democracy-NOW: How Trump’s Deregulatory Push Is Harming Workers, Muzzling the EPA Scientists and Unleashing Pollution


1/17/18


Black Agenda Report: Oligarch Jeff Bezos - Not only the richest man on earth, the richest man ever. “In a Bezos-run world every worker will be impoverished, every level of government will subsidize corporations, and an anyone who speaks out will be discredited and under surveillance.”


1/15/18


Alternet: Some Cities Aren’t Waiting Around for Trump to Gut Net Neutrality - They Are Building Their Own - The catch phrase: “Fiber to the Home.” Right now, before the FCC guts net neutrality, the US still has one of the slowest and lowest capacity internet services in the developed world. After net neutrality goes away, it only gets worse. Countries like Sweden, Norway, Japan and S. Korea have ‘gigabit symmetrical service’ serving up data 100 times faster than what we have in the US at about one seventeenth the monthly cost. Check out this interview to learn more.


NYTimes: Democraps and Rethugs Work to Loosen Banking Rules - Working for big banks but not people. No Difference.


1/14/18


UK Guardian: Bernie Sanders: Let’s Wrench Power Back From the Billionaires - A five minute read that encapsulates Sanders’ philosophy and solutions. Bernie references the Pope’s 2013 speech attacking the worldwide ‘cult of money.’ It also made me think of the Pope’s 2015 speech naming capitalism ‘the dung of the devil’ and calling it the new cult of the golden calf and worship of mammon; and the column in the AJC on Saturday pointing out that there was a lot more to Dr. King than ‘I Have A Dream.’


1/10/18


Intercept: First France, Now Brazil Unveils Plan to Empower the Government to Censor the Internet in the Name of Stopping “Fake News” - Great example of governments working with large corporations to spread corporate propaganda and limit dissent. Fascism.


1/9/18


International Business Times: Trump Administration Waives Punishment For Convicted Banks, Including Deutsche - To Whom Trump Owes $130 - 300 Million


1/7/18


Intercept: “Black Mirror” Reveals Our Fear of Robots and Algorithms We Can’t Control - From the article:


The potential of automation to wipe out millions of U.S. jobs and artificial intelligence’s potential to undermine democracy have been well-documented. Instead of developing new technologies to achieve acknowledged public goals, we have begun to take technological advance as an end unto itself. Without a strong cultural and political context to determine what should be invented and why, we risk undermining both our civic culture and our democracy in the face of powerful new technologies that operate according to their own logic.


In the last 10 to 15 years, many long-held social and political norms have been washed away by technologies that have helped contribute to a crisis of faith in American democracy. Silicon Valley companies have been remarkably opaque about the future implications of their research and development programs, which, among other things, many Americans plausibly believe will lead to the loss of their jobs.


We have already sacrificed much of our personal autonomy to technologies whose underlying philosophies were unclear when they were introduced to the public. There is a growing backlash to this kind of corporate authoritarianism. Calls to break up tech companies under federal antitrust laws are increasing, while disillusioned former Silicon Valley executives have become increasingly vocal about the negative social side effects of the programs they helped develop. Technological utopianism is slowly giving way to an acknowledgement that technologies aren’t value-neutral, and it’s the role of a functioning society to govern how they are utilized. If the nightmare future depicted in shows like “Black Mirror” can be avoided, it will only come by asserting public oversight of the Silicon Valley companies whose policies are dictating the future shape of our societies — as well as our personal lives.”


Advances in technology, which obviously are all enabled by research funding from the federal government, should be used for the public good, and not to control the public and line the pockets of technology company professionals.


1/5/18


BBC: Is This the Year ‘Weaponized’ AI Bots Do Battle? - The real question should be how many jobs will they take? And with all of the profits they will make for their corporate masters, should we begin to think of ways to change our economic system? Should we consider a guaranteed wage for those put out of work? Single Payer health care? Lets make the robots work for all of us.


12/27/17


Bloomberg: Bumper Year: World’s Wealthiest Became $1 Trillion Richer in 2017 - This was before their recent $1.5 Trillion entitlement program, aka the new Tax Plan.


12/24/17


The Hill: Trump Told Friend at Mar-a-Lago “You All Just Got A Lot Richer” After Tax Bill Passed


12/22/17


Mother Jones: Here Are Some Other Things We Could Have Accomplished With That $1.5 Trillion Giveaway to the Ultra-Rich - Make college free to all. Wipe out all Student Debt. Completely repaire all of US infrastructure. Universal pre-school with $1 Trillion to spare. Universal housing vouchers for all with $1 Trillion to spare. 100 plus years of children’s health care funding. Fight global warming. Build 15 new space stations. But all of that would have been ‘unrealistic.’


SF Chronicle: GOP Tax Plan Is A Triumph of the American Oligarchs


12/21/17


WGBH News: Why Jill Stein Isn’t Worried About the ‘Investigation’ Into Her Campaign - This is a tough interview and Stein knocks it out of the park. The Dems are attempting to smear her campaign, but it’s only going to backfire on them.


UK Independent: Donald Trump Accidentally Admits the Republican Tax Bill Was Deceptively Sold As a Boost to the Middle Class - Trump just can’t keep his trap shut. He exults in his own victories, and attempts to smear others in his defeats - of which he has had many so far - the opposite of a true statesman. Pitiful.


12/20/17


CNN: White House, GOP Celebrate Passing Sweeping Tax Bill - By getting rid of the mandate, it probably also means the end of Obamacare. Bernie Sanders: “Republicans are celebrating raising taxes on working families to give tax breaks to billionaires, corporations, private jet owners and themselves. Remember that.”


12/19/17


NPR: Charts: See How Much of GOP Tax Cuts Will Go To the Middle Class - In 2027, households earning $1 Million or more will get 82% of the total benefits from this bill. Just 26% of Americans approve of this plan. Time for a new party. These two suck.


Intercept: Corporations Say Publicly They’ll Pocket the Tax Cut, But Republicans Aren’t Listening


Robert Reich: Triumph of the Oligarchs - “Before the new Trump-Republican tax hoax, blue states had been sending more tax money to Washington than they got back, while red states were sending less than they got back. Starting January 1st, the blue-to-red state subsidy will be even larger.”


12/16/17


Robert Reich: A Guide to Why the Rethuglican Tax Plan is a Disgrace - In addition to what Reich points out in this article:


Current corporate tax rates in the US are already the 4th LOWEST of any developed country as a percentage of GDP.


Corporations currently pay an effective tax rate of less than 20%. Many pay no tax.


Corporations are already sitting on $2.5 Trillion in cash. They will only use further tax cuts for stock buybacks (which were illegal until Reagan) and larger executive salaries as they are already doing - not investing in new jobs for the middle class.  Stock buybacks are only good for executives for 3 reasons: 1. They increase ‘earnings per share’ on which most exec bonuses are calculated, 2. By reducing the number of shares in circulation, they drive up the share price, another bonus trigger and 3. increased share price also allows execs to sell their shares at an artificially high price.


12/15/17


Human Rights Watch: UN: With Passage of Tax Law, US Becomes World’s Champion of Extreme Inequality


Intercept: Killing Net Neutrality Has Brought On a New Call for Public Broadband


Common Dreams: Millionaire’s Viral Video Explains Why New Tax Plan Will Cut His Taxes, But Not Yours


12/14/17


Reuters: Disney to Buy Fox For $52 Billion - This brings the number of corporations that control most of American media down to 4, from 50 in 1983, and 6 in 2012. No wonder we keep hearing repetitive phrases from all cable, print and radio talking heads. Abortion, Gays and Guns are used as wedge issues to divide Americans. Medicare for All is said to be unrealistic and pie in the sky. “A tax cut for all Americans...” “War on Terror!!!” “ISIS!!!” “WMDs!!!” Celebrity/Super Rich Interviews - but never average working people. Americans are trained to worship the rich (our true religion), agree on whatever they say, and never question their true motives.


Reuters: US States Sue Trump Administration For Not Granting Student Loan Relief -  Not surprising when the Sec. of Education made $Billions through for-profit, unaccountable charter school schemes.


12/13/17


Consumer Watchdog: Google, Amazon Digital Assistants Patents Reveal Plans for Mass Surveillance - From the article: “Digital assistants can be “awake” even when users think they aren’t listening. The digital assistants are supposed to react only when they “hear” a so-called “wakeword.” For Amazon Echo it’s “Alexa” and for Google Home it’s “OK, Google.” In fact, the devices listen all the time they are turned on – and Amazon has envisioned Alexa using that information to build profiles on anyone in the room.”


They can listen to conversations in the room to target marketing to you. They can monitor when you’re home, how much TV you watch, how much sleep you get, who you wake up with, your hygiene habits, when you shower, when you flush the toilet, and with Nest cameras can monitor the books on your bedside table and the logos on t-shirts that you wear. They can then share the data with retailers, utility companies, insurance companies, etc. Hackers and identity thieves can easily access the data collected.


12/11/17


Reuters: Apple Aims To Block Climate, Rights Proposals With Quick Use of SEC Guidelines


12/8/17


Reuters: How Monsanto’s GM Cotton Sowed Trouble in Africa


11/19/17


NYTimes: We Can’t Trust Facebook to Regulate Itself - 5 months after this was published, this very issue blew up in Facebook’s face.


11/14/17


Truth-Out: Trump’s Pick for Health Secretary Led Company That Jacked Up Insulin Prices


11/13/17


Medium: Friendly Reminder That Jeff Bezos is Trying to Take Over The Universe


11/7/17


NYTimes: How Business Titans, Pop Stars and Royals Hide Their Wealth - Paradise Papers - This is not available to you or I. Shameful.


11/3/17


Democracy-NOW: Former Greek Finance Minister: Global Capitalism & How Trump’s Tax Plan is Class War Against the Poor - Also see this informative TED talk where he clearly explains just why democracy and capitalism are diametrically opposed.


10/30/17


Politico: How The Koch Are Trying to Shake Up Public Schools One State At A Time - Their, and Betsy Devos’ favorite tool: Charter Schools


10/22/17


Business Insider: Amazon and Walmart Battle For the ‘Permanent Underclass’ Market, Revealing a Dark Truth About the Death of the Middle Class - The big retailers realize that more and more families are permanently falling into a subsistence life style and its going to stay that way. At some point it will dawn on Americans that it was not such a good idea for Amazon, Google and FaceBook to own everything and for Walmart to destroy all of the mom-and-pop small retailers.


10/13/17


NYTimes: Silicon Valley is Not Your Friend - A very informative 12 minute read, with some good links. Facebook, Amazon and Google are the enemy. See Here and Here.


Now that Google, Facebook, Amazon have become world dominators, the questions of the hour are, can the public be convinced to see Silicon Valley as the wrecking ball that it is?...


...the extreme concentration of wealth and power is a threat to our democracy by making some people and companies unaccountable.


In addition to their power, tech companies have a tool that other powerful industries don’t: the generally benign feelings of the public. To oppose Silicon Valley can appear to be opposing progress, even if progress has been defined as online monopolies; propaganda that distorts elections; driverless cars and trucks that threaten to erase the jobs of millions of people; the Uberization of work life, where each of us must fend for ourselves in a pitiless market.


As is becoming obvious, these companies do not deserve the benefit of the doubt. We need greater regulation, even if it impedes the introduction of new services. If we can’t stop their proposals — if we can’t say that driverless cars may not be a worthy goal, to give just one example — then are we in control of our society? We need to break up these online monopolies because if a few people make the decisions about how we communicate, shop, learn the news, again, do we control our own society?”


10/9/17


NYTimes: Why Corporate Tax Cuts Won’t Create Jobs - This is a great, short primer for discussion with anyone who thinks they will.


9/29/17


People’s Policy Project: New Fed Data: Top 10% Now Own 77% of Wealth


LATimes: GOP Tax Plan Would Benefit Super-Rich the Most, Analysis Finds - From the article: “Taxpayers in the top 1% (incomes above $730,000) would receive about 50% of the total tax benefit (in the first year); their after-tax income would increase an average of 8.5%.” Their benefits would then rise over time. This group would get 80% of the total tax benefits from the GOP plan after 10 years. “The ultra-rich would top that. People with incomes of more than $5 million would have nearly 10% more after-tax income under the plan in 2027.


Lower-income households might see a modest gain from the increase in the standard deduction to $24,000 (for couples). But they’d lose out from the repeal of all personal exemptions for them and their dependents. As other experts have noted, the combination of these two factors could well mean a tax increase for lower- and middle-income families with two children or more.


With a proposed additional deficit of $1.5 Trillion in the first year, and possibly $8 Trillion over the next 10 years, the Trump tax plan will prove a day of reckoning for Rethug Deficit Hawks.


9/27/17


Americans For Tax Fairness: Updated: Trump’s Unpaid-For Tax Cuts May Total $5 Trillion in New Tax Plan


9/26/17


ABC News/Washington Post Poll: Two/Thirds of Americans Say Large Corporations Pay Too Little Tax - While the statutory tax rate for corporations is 35%, the rate they actually pay is less than 1/2 of that, and that’s on the profits that they book in the US. They currently have stashed about $2.4 Trillion in overseas tax havens. If they brought those profits back, they would owe $700 Billion in unpaid taxes. Almost half of off-shore profits are held by health care corporations and information technology corporations.


Democracy-NOW: Puerto Ricans Call for Aid Amidst Catastrophe: “We’re American Citizens. We Can’t Be Left to Die.” - During the Obama Administration, Puerto Rico was forced to sign a series of “Capital Appreciation Bonds,” which work exactly the same as payday loans. Control of the country was taken over by a ‘control board’ appointed by Obama to inflict austerity measures on the country. These loans were negotiated by the big Wall St. banks, primarily Goldman Sachs - the same exact people (Gary Cohn, Steve Mnuchin, Jay Clayton) who now serve on Trump’s cabinet. The vast majority of the money that Puerto Rico now owes is interest, not principle. They are being forced to pay an effective interest rate of 785%. Puerto Ricans are now literally starving while Wall St. “investors” make $Billions. Both Retugs and Democraps had a big hand in this and now look the other way.


9/25/17


NYTimes: The Law Strangling Puerto Rico


9/23/17


Robert Reich: Why We Must Raise Taxes on the Corporations and the Wealthy, Not Lower Them


9/22/17


Open Markets Institute: To Address Inequality, Let’s Take on Monopolies


9/17/17


Intercept: Government by Goldman


9/9/17


Jacobin: An Organizing Seat in City Hall - Socialist Alternative candidate for Minneapolis City Council Ginger Jentzen talks about the struggle for a $15/hour min. wage in Minneapolis and her campaign to represent working people. Minneapolis is an example of a city run by contemporary liberal Corpora-Dems, who talk about how they hate Donald Trump and use terms such as “inclusivity,” and then jet off to country club fundraisers to court $Millions from local developers. At first all of the Corpora-Dems said that increasing the minimum wage would be “illegal” under the city charter, up until Socialist Alternative put thousands of people in the street. Then they increased it.


9/6/17


Black Agenda Report: Charter Schools: A License to Steal


9/5/17


Real News: Corporate Dems Have a Vested Interest in Not Listening to Workers


9/1/17


Common Dreams: As Tech Giants Threaten Democracy, Calls Grow for New Anti-Monopoly Movement


8/30/17


NYTimes: Google Critic Ousted From Think Tank Funded by...Google - Once they accept Google money, so called independent think tanks become nothing but Google mouthpieces. The New America Foundation is no exception.


8/22/17


Career Builder: Living Paycheck to Paycheck Is A Way of Life for Majority of US Workers - Didn’t used to be, and doesn’t have to be.


8/10/17


Economic Policy Institute: Corporations’ Effective Tax Rate: 13% - And very few pay even that, since they move their headquarters overseas specifically to avoid paying any tax, while most American workers making minimum wage cannot afford to rent a 1 bedroom apartment.


8/7/17


Quartz Media: Amazon Owns Whole Collection of Secret Brands


8/2/17


NYTimes: Wall Street, Climbing Sharply, Skips Washington’s Soap Opera - What’s going on at the Trump White House and even more so the fake conspiracy theories surrounding Russia-gate are nothing more than a form of highly dramatized and affected Kabuki theatre. Trump is serving the oligarchs well, and they are happy to keep it that way. But the stock market is entering bubble-land. It won’t last.


7/31/17


Real News: Trump Stacking the NLRB to Favor Corporations - Looks like I’m going to have to start a new page: “Things Trump’s Been Doing Behind the Scenes While We Focused on the Madcap Adventures of His White House Staff.” For now I’m keeping up with them on the Trump Cabinet/Actions page, navigable via the Politics page.


7/22/17


Nation of Change: In the Last 40 Years, CEO Pay Has Risen 937%; Worker Wages 0% - The Study. Couple that with the fact that all income gains since the 2008 meltdown have gone to the top 1%, and you have the recipe for a real revolution. To the pitchforks!


7/18/17


Democracy-NOW: Trump’s Re-Negotiation of NAFTA Begins to Resemble TPP


7/17/17


Human Rights Watch: The World Bank’s Investment in Forced Labor


Democracy-NOW: Charter School Billionaire Betsy Devos Undermines Civil Rights and Favors Predatory Lenders Over Students - With the elimination of the enforcement powers of the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, the elimination of any protections against campus rape, the elimination of the “borrower defense rule” and the Education Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid, Devos and Trump are attempting to eliminate public schools and replace them with for-profit non-accountable ultra-right-religious private charter schools at all levels, encourage segregation, and put lenders in charge of collecting student debt. Any form of ‘student aid’ is being eliminated so that education opportunity will be totally eliminated for the most vulnerable and the poor. This will put us back before Brown vs Board of Education and education in this country will return to the days of separate and un-equal education systems.


But the evening news will be consumed with the daily circus of the latest Trump antics and the Trump/Russiagate conspiracy theories.


7/16/17


Intercept: Financial Advisers Want to Rip Off Small Investors. Trump Wants to Help Them Do It. - If you don’t read this now, then definitely do so the next time you get one of those flyers in the mail that invites you to a free fancy steak dinner where you can learn more about financial and/or retirement planning.


7/15/17


UK Independent: The Rich Are Getting Richer, And the Young Are Losing The Most


7/14/17


Intercept: Congress Trying to Sneak Through Major Giveaway to Defense Contractors - #CorporateWelfare


7/13/17


City Lab: How Income Inequality Makes Economic Downturns Worse


7/12/17


Tax Policy Center: Trump’s Tax Plan Would Cut Revenue (and thus increase the deficit) By $7.8 Trillion - After tax income increase for low-wage earners, earning less than $25,000 per year: 1%. For those making $50,000 to $86,000, an after tax income increase of 3%. For those earning over $732,000 (the top 1%) would get an after tax income increase of 18% and those the top 0.1%, earning $1.6 Million per year, would see an after tax income increase of 20%. 40% of the benefits from Trump’s tax plan would go to the top 1%.


7/11/17


NYTimes: The Deep Industry Ties of Trump’s Deregulation Team - Trump’s “deregulators” are working in secret creating riches for themselves and their clients. #CorporateWelfare


7/7/17


Common Dreams: The Fortress World of Capitalism vs. The Beautiful Possibilities of Cooperation


7/4/17


Common Dreams: “We Will Be Fearless”: Teachers Vow to Defend Students From Trump and Devos - President of National Education Association delivers scathing speech defying Trump’s plan to privatize the American education system through the proliferation of charter schools.


6/27/17


ABC News: Dakota Access Security Firm Operated in ND Without A Proper License, Board Says - See entries of 6/3 and 6/1. They coordinated their activities with local law enforcement in service to the firm building the pipeline. They applied for a license to carry out security services in ND, were turned down, but then did it anyway with the full knowledge of all three parties. They turned attack dogs on peaceful demonstrators exercising their Constitutional rights. They sprayed water hoses on demonstrators in sub zero temperatures. They shot and severely injured demonstrators with rubber bullets to the face and tear gas canisters, with one demonstrator probably losing her arm. They infiltrated groups of demonstrators and hacked into their email servers, gathering information considered derogatory “to be used at a later time.” All of the above would have been illegal if done by law enforcement. At worst they will pay a small fine as a cost of doing business and this type of behavior will become the new normal. This is what America has come to.


6/20/17


Bilaterals: US In Trade Talks With Asian Nations to Replace TPP


6/19/17


Mail & Guardian: Brics Meet At Key Point in Battle Against Global Inequality


6/16/17


UK Independent: Global Inequality Much Worse Than Previously Reported, When Hidden Offshore Assets Are Taken Into Account - To the pitchforks! Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos: Come Clean!


The Hill: GOP Chairman Seeks Tax Reform Recommendations - ...from “industry groups.” He’s not going to hear anything about making the super-rich pay a 40% tax rate like most of the rest of us, or forcing huge corporations and the very rich to pay the $750 Billion they owe on assets hidden abroad, or getting rid of the carried interest loophole for hedge fund managers, large real estate investors and high paid lawyers, or nixing the $600 Billion tax cut for the rich in Trumpcare (on top of the $400 Billion tax cut for the rich during Bush’s first term), or replacing #CorporateWelfare with infrastructure jobs.


6/12/17


Common Dreams: The 5 Richest People Own As Much As the World’s Poorest 3.75 Billion - Get out the pitchforks!


6/9/17


City Lab: The Hourly Wage Required to Rent A 2-Bedroom Apartment - Rent is affordable in only 12 counties in the USA.


Democracy-NOW: House Votes to Repeal Financial Regulations of Dodd-Frank - ...while everyone was focused on James Comey just a few steps away.


6/7/17


Medium: Bernie Sanders: Why Trump’s Public-Private Partnership Model Is Good For Wall St, But Bad For America


Charlotte Observer: Lowe’s Lays Off 120, Will Send Jobs to India - I thought Cheeto-Man said this wouldn’t happen.


6/5/17


Occupy: You Get What You Pay For: If Money is Speech, Can Democracy Work?


6/3/17


Intercept: Standing Rock Documents Expose Inner Workings of Surveillance-Industrial-Complex - An example of how a very large corporation, in cooperation with publicly funded law enforcement, will use disinformation campaigns, fabricated leaks to the press and political connections to attack the very citizens who pay the salaries of law enforcement, and to create propaganda and lies that ‘justify’ abuse of those very citizens to achieve more profits. TigerSwan portrayed the peaceful protestors as violent, drug using “diviants” and “jihadists”, when the truth is that TigerSwan was the violent party, turning attack dogs on the protestors, spraying them with water in sub-zero temperatures, and shooting tear gas canisters directly at protestors, blowing one woman’s arm off. We apparently now live in a corporate run totalitarian state.


6/1/17


Grist: Paramilitary Tracked and Targeted DAPL Opponents As “Jihadists” - “How do people feel about mercenaries being deployed on U.S. civilians for the benefit of an oil corporation?! My intention, my hope is that people wake up to the reality that what we’re seeing right now are incremental steps to a totalitarian reality.” 


TigerSwan situation report of 10/16: “social media cell has harnessed a URL coding technique to discover hidden profiles and groups associated with the protesters allowing the firm to access private social media information. … Self-incriminating information can be gathered on protesters to be used at a later date.”


All of this information will sooner or later be shared with DHS, and private corporations to keep tabs on and manipulate private citizens who don’t happen to agree with corporate initiatives. The founder of TigerSwan, James Reese, has on numerous occasions worked with Blackwater (now known as Academi), and owned by Eric Prince, brother of current Sec. of Education Betsy Devos. James Reese is currently a top candidate to replace James Comey as Director of the FBI. See entry of 5/27 & 5/30.


Counter Punch: Poverty Fuels European Extremism - Throughout Europe, including Germany which still has a relatively strong economy, neo-liberal policies are causing greater and greater inequities in wages and wealth. The neo-liberal promise of higher wages and better jobs never materializes. Neo-liberal policies have no track record of improving any economy. It only leads to extremist parties arising on both left and right, as we are seeing here in America as well. Extensive empirical evidence shows that Keynesian policies and an end to stock buybacks are the only avenues to improved economies for everyone.


5/30/17


McCleans: Ontario to Raise Minimum Wage to $15/Hour - Remember where this all got started.


Tech Dirt: Congress Fast-Tracks Bill That Gives DHS Agencies Access to NSA Collections - Between Bush and Obama, the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution has been completely shredded, just in time for Trump. DHS Fusion Centers, which are routinely used by large corporations to get dirt on their critics and Here, Here, will now have access to all electronic communications from around the world, and Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, which are collected in the NSA’s giant $2 Billion, 20 terabyte per minute, 12+ exabyte data center, and Here. This information will also be very useful for the new Ministry of Propaganda.


5/27/16


Intercept: Leaked Documents Reveal Counterterrorism Tactics Used At Standing Rock to “Defeat Pipeline Insurgencies” and Democracy-NOW - The cooperation between public law enforcement (paid for by all taxpayers) with private security firms to protect private corporate interests and eliminate public protest supposedly protected by the Constitution is chilling to say the least. It is one of the fundamental conditions defining fascism. The DAPL protestors were simply attempting to protect lands already guaranteed to them by the US government, and there were alternative routes that would not have endangered Native American land. Obama gave lip service to this approach, but apparently never had any intention to carry through - an action typical of his entire time in office. Compare the repressive measures used by our government in this case with the light hand used against the heavily armed Bundy protestors.


Socialist Alternative: On The Verge of Victory How ‘Fight for $15’ Was Won in Minneapolis - It all started Here.


5/23/17


ProPublica: The Beleaguered Tenants of Kushnerville - This whole family is a bunch of low-class miscreants.


5/16/17


Broadcasting Cable: FCC Commissioner: Only Silence Will Kill the Internet


5/11/17


Newsweek: Private Prison Company GEO Group Gave Generously to Trump; Now Has Lucrative Contract


5/6/17


Bureau of Investigative Journalism: Big Pharma’s Pollution Is Creating Deadly Superbugs While the World Looks the Other Way - These bugs are worse than MRSA and can alter their own DNA in response to various types of treatment.


5/3/17


Robert Reich: Trump and His (6) Banksters Seem to Think Americans Have Forgotten What They Lost in 2008 - 6 Goldman Sachs execs on his cabinet now: Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, Sec. of State Gary Cohn, Sec. of Treasury Steve Mnuchin, Dep. Sec. of Treasury James Donovan, SEC Chair Jay Clayton, Dep. Natl. Security Advisor Dina Powell. Goldman finally admitted in 2016 to having defrauded investors during the 2007 - 2008 meltdown, and paid a $5.1 Billion settlement. Of course, it was a sweetheart deal and not one executive went to jail - while Americans lost their jobs, homes and savings.


Black Agenda Report: Study Shows School Vouchers Hurt Students - But Trump and DeVos Couldn’t Care Less - #CorporateWelfare. As always, the Democrap, and Koch Bros. neoliberal stalking horse, Corey Booker, is at the lead of this charge.


5/2/17


Common Dreams: Opposing Trump’s “Moral Chaos,” People’s Budget Offers Roadmap For Resistance - Sorry to say, this is an annual donation-raising exercise for the Congressional Progressive Caucus. You won’t hear another word from them about this outside of their effort to use it to get contributions. The Green New Deal and Green Party Platform continue to support a more realistic initiative.


4/27/17


Intercept: Wall Street Firm Paying Obama $400,000 Faced Internal Controversy After Pocketing Huge 9/11 Settlement


4/26/17


Economic Policy Institute: Why America Needs a $15 Minimum Wage - A good article, but it mis-states where this all started.


Common Dreams: Goldman Sachs Execs Roll Out  Trump’s Tax Cut Plan for the Ultra-Wealthy


Alternet: Robert Reich: 5 Reasons Why Trump’s Corporate Tax Cut Is Totally Moronic


Common Dreams: Obama’s $400K Speech to Wall Street Fat Cats - Payday for Obama. He took care of them during his administration and now they are taking care of him. This was the plan from the very beginning.


4/24/17


Science: The Fading American Dream: Trends in Absolute Income Mobility Since 1940 - Children born since 1980 have almost no chance of earning more than their parents did, whereas children born around 1940 had a 90% chance of doing so. The solution: a steeply progressive income tax that would more equitably distribute wealth and truly create opportunities for investment and prosperity.


4/21/17


UK Independent: US Has Regressed to Developing Nation Status, Per MIT Economist


4/17/17


The Atlantic: How “School Choice” Turns Education Into A Commodity - Just another form of neoliberalism that hurts good education for all - a necessary feature of a successful country. File under Charter Schools.


4/14/17


Vox: New Poll Shows What Americans Really Think About Taxes: The Rich Should Pay More


4/12/17


New York Magazine: Trump Budget Director Admits Their Goal is High Inequality, Not Low Deficits


4/5/17


Americans For Tax Fairness: Talking Points on Donal Trump’s Tax Plan - File this under #CorporateWelfare.


4/4/17


Democracy-NOW: Noam Chomsky: Trump Administration is Aiming To Decimate All Programs To Help Working People


4/1/17


AJC: Big Tax Breaks Given to Large Corporations At Taxpayer (schools, services, infrastructure) Expense - #CorporateWelfare


3/20/17


Alternet: The Rich Pay Fewer Taxes Than The Poor and Get More Services - #CorporateWelfare It’s the rich and corporations that receive the most ‘entitlements’/‘welfare’. Between deductions, exemptions, exclusions, credits, capital gains, loopholes, underpayments, tax havens, corporate tax subsidies/credits, the total exceeds $3 Trillion. That’s 3 X more than the US deficit, or 3 X the amount of total conventional welfare expenditure, and enough to guarantee a full time job for every middle-class household in America.


“Capitalism has outlived its usefulness. It has brought about a system that takes necessities from the masses to give luxury to the classes. Call it what you may, call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all of God’s children.”
Martin Luther King


3/9/17


Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy: The 35 Percent Corporate Tax Myth - File this under #CorporateWelfare. In the period studied, 2008 - 2015, 18 of the country’s most profitable corporations paid nothing in taxes. 100 corporations had at least one year in which their tax bill was zero or negative (refund). The study examined only the corporations that were consistently the most profitable over the eight year period. As a group they paid 21.2% in taxes, just over half of the statutory 35% rate. Collectively they received $513 Billion in tax breaks over the period studied. How did they do it? Loopholes in the tax code, industry specific subsidies, the ability to write off executive stock options, etc.


One Example:

In the US, oil companies - the most profitable enterprises in the history of the world - receive about $40 Billion in annual subsidies, and Here. Worldwide, they receive about $1 Trillion yearly.


3/6/17


ProPublica: Florida to Examine Whether Charter Schools Underreport Dropouts


Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester, NY: Decision-Makers Skip NY Nuclear Bailout Hearing - More #CorporateWelfare. The Public Service Commission saw no point in attending a hearing with politicians because the PSC has already ruled that ratepayers are going to bail out the private corporation Exelon to the tune of several $$$Billion over the next 11 years. And just as soon as the PSC members finish their terms, they no doubt already have cushy jobs lined up at Exelon until they retire.


2/28/17


Frontline: How the Deck is Stacked


2/27/16


NYTimes: Trump to Seek $54 Billion Increase in Military Spending - Cuts to come from environmental, educational, science and poverty programs. Current US defense spending is already over $850 Billion (including Veterans’ Services, and Foreign Military and Economic Aid), more than the total defense spending of all other countries on Earth combined. There is only one group of people that benefit from this: the Boards of Directors and C-level employees of defense contracting corporations. It’s just another form of #CorporateWelfare - entitlements for the rich.


2/20/17


Democracy-NOW!: “For Profit President”: A Look At How Trump is Pushing Wholesale Corporate Takeover of the Govt - Public Citizen Report. Corporate Cabinet


TruthOut: More Republican Handouts to the Rich


2/19/17


Truth-Out: Authentic Hope in the Twilight of Failed Neoliberal Capitalism - Interesting. The opposite of retrotopianism.

“...a focus on responding to local conditions with solutions that have the potential to be scaled to connect with larger movements...

a national movement to preserve heritage seeds among Mexican campesinos stands out as having enormous global potential...

a global network of hackers who educate university students on truly disruptive tech social innovation to address economic inequity...

residents partner with tech experts to solve problems specific to their barrio with locally appropriate technology...

"trafkintu" that mirrors the seed exchanges I found in Mexico. In premodern Mapuche culture, there were regular trafkintu to allow different tribal branches to share knowledge and goods, including food and seeds. In this native economic model, seeds were considered to be gifts, and the exchange was an expression of friendship to build communal bonds among tribes. There was no quid pro quo. This native social-economic tradition is being revived across the Andes as a de facto counterweight to the corrosive ethos of modern consumer culture...

requires major changes in the way political strategy is conceived and executed on the left. Creating a civic life strong and diverse enough to counter and supplant the current destructive ethos of globalized neoliberal capitalism requires full political engagement of a kind that is very different from simply voting...

cynically hip capitalist modernity...

Outdated industrial-era thinking that insists on using assembly-line factory models as the primary reference point does nothing to inspire or illuminate the kinds of small scale, often joyful civic actions and creative mindset that are necessary to advance humanity's cause...

The paucity of new ideas about work and play on the left is already at a crisis point. Global capital has outflanked ossified leftist political theory by inventing a so-called "sharing economy" in which human subjectivity itself has become the product. Under this new "cognitive capitalism," even the interactions of friendship and hospitality have been monetized as commodities...

emerging collaborative civic sensibility...authentic sharing and vibrant communal attachment to life in the elaboration of a common cause with others. They are also the opposite of retrotopianism.


2/17/17


Intercept: Bank/Corporate-Protector That Obama Placed At The Top of the SEC, Returns to Her Happy Place


2/16/17


Real News: Upward Distribution of Wage Income Behind Social Security’s Shortfall - Synopsis: The last time the Social Security cap was changed was in 1983. The cap was set at the point where 10% of wage earners were above the cap of $127,000. Today 20% are above that cap. When Rethuglicans claim that Social Security is underfunded and is about to fail, they never mention this. Bottom line: Remove the cap and Social Security will be funded well beyond any actuarial projection. Here’s a tool that shows when the wealthiest Americans stop paying into Social Security.


2/8/17


Real News: Greek Creditors Demand New Austerity Measures, Is Grexit Back on the Table?


2/3/17


Kansas City Star: Grieving Moms, Wives Form Front Line Against CTE at Super Bowl - Why is this entry under Corporate Domination? Follow the publicity, celebrity...and the money.


1/30/17


Truth Out: Trade Deal Proponents Double-Down In Defense of Harmful Trade Policy - An important study. Synopsis: In answer to those who say that the loss of manufacturing jobs is not due to trade agreements such as NAFTA, but rather is a result of automation:


All according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: Despite the fact that the pace of automation in the US has been climbing steadily since 1970, the number of manufacturing jobs fell only 0.5 million (about 3%) from 1970 to 2000. From 2000 when NAFTA was signed into law, to 2007 just prior to the economic meltdown, the number of manufacturing jobs fell 3.4 million.


The three states that determined the Trump victory, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan lost a total of 800,000 jobs or about 30% of their original total. Those people were hurting and they were pissed and they were not about to vote for more of the same. “Trade policies supported by the leaders of both parties had a devastating effect on the lives of millions of workers and their families...Denying this reality is not a promising path for winning back the support of these voters, although it may make the people who benefited from these trade policies feel better about themselves.”


1/24/17


UK Guardian: Capitalism As Species Destroyer


1/20/17


Waging Nonviolence: The History of Anti-Authoritarian Struggle Is Worth Repeating


PBS Independent Lens: Today Only 5 Corporations Own Most News Media - Down from 6 in 2012. When you start hearing a chorus of media all chanting the same phrase (such as ‘weapons of mass destruction,’ or ‘fake news,’ or ‘hacked the election,’ or ‘civil rights icon’), it’s called neuro-linguistic programming. MSM uses this technique all the time.


1/16/17


CNN: Nobel Economist: One-Percenters, Pay Your Taxes


1/15/17


OXFAM: Just 8 People Now Have The Same Wealth As The Poorest 3.6 Billion - A 2 minute read with some very interesting links.


“Capitalism has outlived its usefulness. It has brought about a system that takes necessities from the masses to give luxury to the classes. Call it what you may, call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all of God’s children.”

Martin Luther King


1/5/16


Washington Post: As Socialist Venezuela Collapses, Socialist Bolivia Thrives. Here’s Why. - Socialism doesn’t explain either situation. Only pure Keysnesian economic theory does.


1/1/17


Truthdig Chris Hedges: Defying Donald Trump’s Kleptocracy - If left uncontested, he will usher in the final stage of capitalism and the complete destruction of our society. He will fleece the government and the people. He is “impulsive, ignorant and inept.”


Corporate Domination 2016

Forget about income and wealth inequality, #CorporateWelfare, defunding public education, crumbling American infrastructure, the lack of difference between the only 2 major neo-liberal war parties that we’ll ever get a chance to vote for, the dysfunctional health care delivery system, drone murders, perpetual war. Just focus on what’s  

               REALLY SCARY RIGHT NOW!!!!!

Whether the concern is climate, labor, finance, war, food/water shortage, environmental destruction, lack of adequate/equal health care, or LGBT issues, the root cause is the same: unregulated, out of control corporate capitalism. It’s not working and it keeps getting worse by the day.