From the lyrics:
Listen to the lies from the politician man
Saying that we live in a democratic land
One land for the rich, another for the poor
And if you try to change it, they'll nail you to the floor
For just under a decade, the GSCI remained a relatively static investment vehicle, as bankers remained more interested in risk and collateralized debt than in anything that could be literally sowed or reaped. Then, in 1999, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission deregulated futures markets. All of a sudden, bankers could take as large a position in grains as they liked, an opportunity that had, since the Great Depression, only been available to those who actually had something to do with the production of our food. ...
- Never Let 'Em See You Sweat
- Be Grateful It's Not Worse
- Fake It Til You Make It
- Be Thankful You Have A Job
These are how our cultural trends towards "individualism" are reinforced. To never rely on others, only yourself, and what you can accomplish.
The purpose of this is two-fold.
First of all, it helps to erase our history of solidarity, where we stood together against the forces that would bring us down, and overcame. It prevents us from remembering, that where we are now, is because of those who came before us. As has been so elegantly stated lately, those who control the past, control the present, and control the future.
Secondly, it prevents us from leaning on each other, from asking for help. It stops collective action, cold. It's why we as a culture, can look at a man holding a sign by the interstate, and feel nothing but scorn. Asking for help is a humbling experience, and we as a country, despise humility.
But in truth, asking for help is a radical act.
So let me be radical. And brave. And humble. Read more about Bootstrap Production Halted
It’s time we come up with a new handle for the Office of the Controller of the Currency. It is difficult to convey how shameless this regulatory-agency-turned-slut for the banking industry has become. It’s the Stage 4 disease version of where our government is heading at a rapid clip: officials masquerading as serving the public interest when they are uber lobbyists for the pet whims of their supposed charges.
[Originally posted at IndependentPoliticalReport.com, hence the somewhat dry tone about a campaign I actually have been slightly involved in. The Green Party of Philadelphia will also be nominating candidates for other offices this Thursday, and we've been keeping busy with fracking protests, a May Day event, a monthly dinner, among other things.] Read more about Update on Cheri Honkala's Green campaign for Sheriff of Philadelphia
Not having the intestinal fortitude to tolerate a "Facebook forum" with Obama, I missed this response. Comment by a blogger caught my eye;
"some people should just rent"? (When really, the outcome of ALL Versailles' policies is that ALL the "little" people will be renters, of everything.) Interesting that the truth slipped out, there. Gah. Read more about Obama's answer for struggling homeowners: "Just rent"
acceptance of students after graduation for higher learning, would YOU consider closing it? Of course not! Catherine Ferguson Academy in Detroit is the only school of its kind in the country, and has succeeded not only in giving teenage mothers their best chance to graduate from HS, but also provides day-care, parenting classes, and a host of support programs to give these young women the opportunity to learn and grow, and pursue self-actualization and post-HS learning. Read more about If there was a school in YOUR community with a 90% graduation rate, and 100%
(Author's Note: In December I posted a piece on Moody's threat to downgrade the US's Rating in International Bond markets. I argued that Moody's action was foolish. Today, Standard and Poor's actually revised the US ratings outlook from stable to negative, but continued its sovereign credit rating at ‘AAA/A-1+’. Read more about Standard and Poor's: Bring It On!
Before Tahrir Square happened almost nobody predicted that President Hosni Mubarak would be forced out of office by a movement that didn't pick up a gun. Had President Barack Obama expected that outcome, he might have publicly backed Mubarak's departure before, rather than after, Mubarak stepped down.
Obama can be seen as overcompensating for that performance in Libya, but there he is placing faith in weapons. Anybody can do that. Egypt still has a long way to go on its path to a just society. But the question of whether Tunisian-Egyptian movements will find success elsewhere is the question of whether people can take the far more challenging step of placing trust in nonviolence. Read more about If Cairo Came to Kabul
Over the past year, in an attempt to head off the austerity program gaining steam in Washington, DC, I've blogged the truth about the deficit/debt problem on many occasions. That truth is that there is no deficit/debt problem, and that deficits and debts, no matter how large they may be, don't affect the ability of the United States to create more money.
So, there is not and cannot be a solvency problem, unless Congress refuses to do its duty and appropriate dollars to pay the Government's bills. Of course, if the Government spends beyond what's necessary to add enough aggregate demand for the US to get to full employment, then demand-pull inflation will result from the excess spending. But 1) we've got a long way to go until we reach that point; and 2) the inflation issue not a debt/deficit/solvency issue.
So, the solvency issue needs to be taken off the table for discussion, and certainly as a basis for action, and austerity programs and long-term deficit reduction plans like those of Paul Ryan and the Administration. In addition, our erstwhile leaders need to all get off their high horses about fiscal responsibility, fiscal sustainability, "biting bullets," "having adult conversations," and other such nonsense, and face up to their real responsibility which is spending enough, in the right way, to give every American who wants to work a job at a living wage with decent fringe benefits. Until they do that, they are the ones who are being fiscally as well as morally irresponsible. Read more about Tell Obama, everyone: there is #nodeficitproblem because we are #sovereign in our own currency
While some progressives are happy with the President's speech on the budget; others are suspicious, recognizing the President's repeated pattern of offering words that are reassuring to progressives while later acting to work against the general principles he asserts in a major speech. As Bernie Sanders is saying: “the devil is in the details.”
It surely is. But also, the devil is in the framing of the issues and the negotiation to come. And if the framing is done in such a way that the definition of the problem already implies an unfavorable solution for the middle class, American workers, the poor and the vulnerable, then I'm afraid the outcome is a predetermined defeat. So let's look at the framing in the form of a number of assertions made by the President during his speech. Read more about It's All In the Framing and That's Terrible
(573 Obama-dumping days until 2012 election-Hugh's Obama's Scandals List)
Lawrence Davidson in his article “The Ghost of Joe McCarthy Walks the Land” writes of an indifferent public and the potential motivation on moderate conservatives to question their Republicanism:
Part III – The Indifferent Public
One of the most emotional issues in American politics is the sovereignty of the United States itself, and its independence from foreign powers, interests, other nations and their ruling elites, and emerging globalizing elites who place their own interests against the nation interest of America and its people. The issues of fiscal sustainability and fiscal responsibility should be discussed from the viewpoint of our national interest, not from the viewpoint of abstract financial ratios, or supposedly critical indicators that generate a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. Read more about Why Do “They” Want To Limit Our Sovereignty In Our Own Currency?