Archive for November 2011

 
 

and hope for better days

MEMO TO A NATION’S HEART

There is such a thing as healthy community. It is clear that the people’s viability requires a network of effectiveness. Informed progress is imperative. It must step from answering need –the key to both survival and prosperity.

The desire to fulfill is a strong human force. Participation in tangible efforts toward success is not a burden. It is, in a healthy culture, a remarkable opportunity of privilege, creating a vibrant common wealth, not merely in market economies, but where it matters the most, in the fabric of society.

The world is dynamic. Its legacy and primary resource: our ingenuity. There are those that pierce inhibition to challenge habit and shape wisdom. Problems can be severe; hopeless when viewed from the peaks of yesterday, and change may seem as chaotic as crisis.

But we will embrace a positive vision of our future and work toward an America that survives her dream. Vision is required. Wit is required. Action is required. The unforeseen is our beacon. Compassion is our only restraint.

We can inform the centuries there are vistas of our welfare yet discovered. We can prove diligence again, demonstrate our skills, and dispel the cathartic for the healing itself.

supercommittee is betrayal

supercommittee-is-stupid

how to know less

Some News Leaves People Knowing Less [pdf]

According to the latest results from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind Poll, some news sources make us less likely to know what’s going on in the world.

Sunday morning news shows do the most to help people learn about current events, while some outlets, especially Fox News, lead people to be even less informed than those who they don’t watch any news at all.

world’s #1 debtor

BBC’s Robert Peston: UK’s debt ‘biggest in the world’

The indebtedness of the UK – that’s the sum of household debts, company debts, government debts and bank debts – had risen to 492% of GDP, or almost five times the value of everything we produce in a single year.

…and is still the biggest relative to GDP of any of the big economies.

Japan’s debts were also 492% of GDP. US indebtedness is less, at 282% of GDP.

So what’s going on?

Well partly it’s to do with a phenomenon, that debt has been shuffled from the private sector to the public sector.

When banks stopped lending, and private-sector spending and investing collapsed, governments continued to spend, even though tax revenues were falling. So public-sector borrowing exploded.

To be clear, if governments had not continued to spend, our recession might well have become something much worse, a 1930s-style depression.

But it is fair to say that a consequence of banks, households and businesses trying to repay their debts has been a big increase in government borrowing.

What it means is that we must brace ourselves for many years of relatively low growth, perhaps 1% versus the 3% of the 16 boom years before the crash, because we no longer have the fuel of borrowing more and more every year.

The Divine Right of Capital, by Marjorie Kelly [link to .pdf]

In an era when stock market wealth has seemed to grow on trees—and trillions have vanished as quickly as falling leaves—it’s an apt time to ask ourselves, where does wealth come from?

More precisely, where does the wealth of public corporations come from? Who creates it?

To judge by the current arrangement in corporate America, one might suppose capital creates wealth—which is strange, because a pile of capital sitting there creates nothing.

Bernie Sanders For President

gagging on goofy

When Did the GOP Lose Touch With Reality?

“Some call this the closing of the conservative mind. Alas, the conservative mind has proved itself only too open, these past years, to all manner of intellectual pollen.

“This is, unfortunately, not merely a concern for Republican voters. The conservative shift to ever more extreme, ever more fantasy-based ideology has ominous real-world consequences for American society. “

→ Fox News Viewers are the Most Misinformed: A Seventh Study Arrives to Prove It

There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.

Dave Winer tweets on Gingrich,

“He’s a stupid man’s idea of what a smart person sounds like.”

Paul Krugman says ‘Only fools and clowns believe Republican ideology’. Newt Gingrich is just the latest of the “fools and clowns”

“I have a structural hypothesis here. You have a Republican ideology, which Mitt Romney obviously doesn’t believe in. He just oozes insincerity, that’s just so obvious. But all of the others are fools and clowns. And there is a question here, my hypothesis is that maybe this is an ideology that only fools and clowns can believe in. And that’s the Republican problem.”

→ The Top 0.1% Of The Nation Earn Half Of All Capital Gains

Justice Louis Brandeis warning to the nation: “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

→ …the story of a memo on how lobbyists to the American Bankers Association go about discrediting the Occupy Wall Street movement. Here’s more, and here is the PDF of the actual memo.

→ http://peppersprayingcop.tumblr.com/

the style of losses

“I tasted a beer and tried a cigarette once, as a wayward teenager, and never did it again.” Mitt Romney

Whole sectors of the economy are dying.

Why is this happening?

Christensen retells the story of how Dell progressively lopped off low-value segments of its PC operation to the Taiwan-based firm ASUSTek —the motherboard, the assembly of the computer, the management of the supply chain and finally the design of the computer.

In each case Dell accepted the proposal because in each case its profitability improved: its costs declined and its revenues stayed the same. At the end of the process, however, Dell was little more than a brand, while ASUSTeK can—and does—now offer a cheaper, better computer to Best Buy at lower cost.

…the impact of foreign outsourcing on many other companies, including the steel companies, the automakers, the oil companies, the pharmaceuticals, and now even software development.

…steadily becoming primarily marketing agencies and brands: they are lopping off the expertise that is needed to make anything anymore.

George Monbiot on socialism for the rich:

For corporate welfare queens and their crystal baths, there is no benefit cap.

Limited liability, offshore secrecy regimes and state handouts ensure those at the top bear none of the costs they inflict on us.

the mess left behind

why fix roads?

…soon it will be impossible to actually arrive anywhere because everywhere will be full of people trying to get somewhere else…

Motor Car Madness,
written & produced in 1970 by Alan Wakeman.

…soon it will be impossible to actually arrive anywhere because everywhere will be full of people trying to get somewhere else…

it’s called pilfering

And it’s not just vegetables. Fruit has also been bastardized as just too much of a nuisance to eat, so enter the frankenfooders to simplify it for us. Fruit Roll-Ups? They have brainwashed us into believing the burden of hauling around an apple or a pear had become so daunting, we needed someone to mix up fruit with some corn syrup and “Roll It Up”.

the violence estate

“The world is a dangerous place. Not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”Albert Einstein

 

http://storify.com/adbusters/police-brutality

 

I see a portrait of violence. Violence of many different kinds–physical, economic, emotional–enshrined in a sociopathic compact.” —Umair Haque

 
“When you protect the things you believe in with your body, it changes you for good. It radicalizes you for good,” he said.

 
The transcript is “Shame on you!”

our big myth electorate

You will see why the right wing seeks to control email rumors…

The Ultimate Liberal Fact Sheet and Debate Aide – Pt. 1

    • Obama Created More Jobs in one year Than Bush in 8 years
    • Bush Cut the Tax Rate for the Rich and Created Only 3 Million Jobs
    • Tax cuts for the Rich Do Not Create Jobs
    • Spending Cuts Do Not Create Jobs

how blind are we?

Nations and their cities around the world suffering the fact that corporations have created damage rather than growth.

“The problem society faces, says Roger Martin, is that the best way to become rich is to trade value, not create value.”

finally: journalism

“!”

“Let us review for just a second how Newt Gingrich makes his money,” Maddow began.

“For starters, he hands out fake awards in exchange for cash.”

Video here: Getting to the Root of Newt’s Loot

follow corporate monarchy

150+ responses to “The US is Now a Corporate Monarchy

snippet:

One part of the story is that the vast majority of Americans see no connection between government actions and their daily lives. They don’t believe political action will have any effect. It’s not cynicism, it’s that they don’t think about the issues at all.

There’s also an incredible lack of information about issues. [Low Information Voters] It’s not clear whether this is due to people not paying attention or the coverage by mainstream media (FOX viewers are even less well informed than people who pay no attention).

snippet:

The funding mechanisms which enabled the current control must be thwarted.

snippet:

I prefer the term Corporate Kleptocracy…

snippet:

Americans do not take action because the corruption, greed, and loss of trust has happened at a very slow pace. We are burdened with our own form of confirmation bias of “that-can’t-be-happening” and we watch our liberties be taken away from us literally brick by brick.

people with integrity

Adam Smith also talks about a selfish passion, which is a desire for praise.

He argues that people instinctively desire praise, but that, as they mature, this feeling develops into a desire for praiseworthiness.

James Choi:

“I think this underlies how the economy works.

“We start out with selfish feelings, which are intermixed with feelings of empathy for others, and then we develop this mature desire to be praiseworthy.

“I think it is central to our civilization that people do that.”

brain reset

Space Station fly over video, August to October 2011

Earth | Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over | NASA, ISS