Turning the tide against water privatization in Wisconsin

[Community]
Turning the tide against water privatization in Wisconsin
By John Stewart
Posted December 15, 2017

fighting privatization of waterThe pieces were in place for the water industry to take control of Wisconsin’s public water systems and reap a huge profit at the community’s expense.

Aqua America, one of the largest water corporations in the United States, had hired a former Wisconsin state legislator to push a bill that would make it easier for towns to sell or lease their water systems to out-of-state corporations by eliminating democratic safeguards.

The bill was close to becoming law. Neither the public nor the media had latched on to the issue. It seemed likely the bill would breeze through the state senate — that is, until the right people came together to stop it. More…

How to Stop ISP Throttling

[Media]
How to Stop ISP Throttling
by Bill Hess
Posted December 15, 2017

ISP speed throttling You’re in the 10th straight hour of a weekend House of Cards binge on Netflix, enjoying all of the 4K HDR goodness that is Frank Underwood on your new UHD Smart TV.

Suddenly, you notice the video isn’t quite as sharp as it had been. Is that pixelization? And why does Netflix indicate you’re watching their 1080p stream?

You pay for a 60 Mbps connection – and yet, you see speed numbers like this:
Internet screen shot

Later, you’re torrenting the latest episodes of your favorite comedy show – nothing illegal, of course. About halfway through your 3GB download, your formerly 56 Mbps download speed drops to 11 Mbps. What gives?

Welcome to the wonderful world of ISP throttling. More…

This City Hall, brought to you by Amazon

[Community]
This City Hall, brought to you by Amazon
By Danny Westneat
Posted December 14, 2017

corporate takeover of governmentThere’s rising worry that corporations are taking over America. But after reviewing a slew of the bids by cities and states wooing Amazon’s massive second headquarters, I don’t think “takeover” quite captures what’s going on.

More like “surrender.”

Last month Amazon announced it got 238 offers for its new, proposed 50,000-employee HQ2. I set out to see what’s in them, but only about 30 have been released so far under public-record acts.

Those 30, though, amply demonstrate our capitulation to corporate influence in politics. There’s a new wave, in which some City Halls seem willing to go beyond just throwing money at Amazon. They’re turning over the keys to the democracy. More…

America’s Enemies, Who’s On the List?

[Political]
America’s Enemies, Who’s On the List?
By Prof. James Petras
Posted December 14, 2017

US enemies listThe politicians and propagandists in Washington can blather about Russia’s interference in the US’s corrupt electoral theater and scuttle moves to improve diplomatic ties, but they cannot counter Russia’s growing influence in the Middle East and its expanding trade with Asia, especially China.

The US ‘priority’ targets are unattainable and invulnerable. In the midst of the on-going inter-elite dogfight within the US, it may be too much to hope for the emergence of any rational policymakers in Washington who could rethink strategic priorities and calibrate policies of mutual accommodation to fit in with global realities.

The US would regain some of its credibility if it operated within the contexts of global realities and pursued a win-win agenda instead of remaining a consistent loser in a zero-sum game. More…

How Corporate Power Killed Democracy

[Social]
How Corporate Power Killed Democracy
by Richard Moser
Posted December 14, 2017

fusion of corporation and stateSince the mid-1970s, when the corporations fused with the state, a new imperial order emerged that killed what remained of representative democracy. Not only would corporations exercise public authority as only government once had, but government would coordinate and serve corporate activity. Power and profits became one and the same. Corporate power has replaced democracy with oligarchy and justice with a vast militarized penal system. Instead of innovative production, they plunder people and planet.

To achieve this new order, elections and the economy had to be drained of any remaining democratic content. Both Democrats and Republicans were eager to have at it.

By the 1990s “Third Way” Democrats like Bill Clinton abandoned what was left of the New Deal to try to outdo the Republicans as the party of Wall Street. The Republicans pioneered election fraud on a national scale in 2000, 2004, and 2016; a lesson the Democrats learned all too well by the 2016 Primary. Neither major party wants election reform since free and fair elections would threaten the system itself. More…

Understanding How the Enemy of Your Enemy Is Not Your Friend

[Politics]
Understanding How the Enemy of Your Enemy Is Not Your Friend
by Eric Zuesse
Posted December 13, 2017

sheep marching off to warIn political matters, the public are taught to believe that some political Party is ‘good’, and that the others are “bad”; but the reality in recent times, at least in the United States, has instead been that both Parties are rotten to the core (as will be clear from the linked documentation provided here).

Belief in this myth (that the opposition between Parties is between ‘good’ ‘friend’ versus ‘bad’ ‘enemy’) is based upon the common adage that “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” One side is believed, and ones that contradict it are disbelieved — considered to be lying, distorting: bad. But, maybe, both (or all) Parties are deceiving; maybe all of them are enemies of the public, but just in different ways; maybe each of them is trying to control the country in the interests of (and so to obtain the most financial support from) the aristocracy, while all of them are actually against the public. More…

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Great story on why we need to remove ALL of our elected government representatives

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