Social Articles from 2017

On Criminalizing Homelessness and Feeding the Hungry, the State Is Indeed the Bad Guy

[Social]
On Criminalizing Homelessness and Feeding the Hungry, the State Is Indeed the Bad Guy
by Claire S Bernish
Posted March 13, 2018

police acting as enablers for the stateAtlanta and other cities have added to obstacles between houseless people and those who would provide them nourishment, predicating any immediate assistance on their entrée into the impoverishment assistance complex — while simultaneously frustrating activists and advocates with a deluge of impossible red tape making the act of sharing food a laborious chore for those attempting to work within its confines.

The Nation painted a more appropriately dismal if albeit embarrassing picture on the status of feeding houseless people — nearly three years ago, in February 2015 — reporting,

“According to a survey of more than 180 cities by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, anti-homeless laws pervade urban spaces nationwide. Roughly a third of cities barred public ‘camping,’ for example, up 60 percent since 2011. Restrictions range from prohibiting sitting on sidewalks to imposing steep fees or regulations that effectively criminalize actions of charity groups, often using antiseptic ‘quality of life’ terms (a tent pitched under a bridge becomes an unauthorized ‘camp’). Palo Alto has banned sleeping in parked cars. Mobile has imposed zero-tolerance on ‘aggressive panhandling,’ which could involve just ‘request[ing] a donation from a person standing in line…no matter how mildly the request was made.’ Last year, ThinkProgress reported, Fort Lauderdale authorized police to bust people who ‘store possessions’ on public property — suggesting that homeless people don’t deserve to have what little they carry with them, let alone ‘quality of life.’” More…

There are more vacant foreclosed  homes than there are homeless. Evidence of the abject failure of capitalism.

The Coming Financial Crisis

[Economic]
The Coming Financial Crisis
Interview by Doug Casey
Posted January 27, 2018

economic storm comingEarlier this year, Fed Chair Janet Yellen explained how she doesn’t think we’ll have another financial crisis “in our lifetimes.” It’s a crazy idea. After all, it feels like the U.S. is long overdue for a major crisis.

Listening to the silly woman say that made me think we’re truly living in Bizarro World. It’s identical in tone to what stock junkies said in 1999 just before the tech bubble burst. She’s going to go down in history as the modern equivalent of Irving Fisher, who said “we’ve reached a permanent plateau of prosperity,” in 1929, just before the Great Depression started.

I don’t care that some university gave her a Ph.D., and some politicians made her Fed Chair, possibly the second most powerful person in the world. She’s ignorant of economics, ignorant of history, and clearly has no judgment about what she says for the record. More…

The Dumbing Down of America – By Design

[Social]
The Dumbing Down of America – By Design
By Joachim Hagopian
Posted December 31, 2017

dumbing down of AmericaThe last thing the elite wants is an informed, empowered public mobilizing any grassroots movement to oppose government tyranny.

Prior to delving into the many ways we’ve been duped and dumbed down through the years, a cold hard look at the devastating result seems very much in order here. With doom and gloom warnings of impending collapse, the US economy is floundering still mired in recession, emaciated and cut off from life support, as a consequence of waging too many wars around the world (be they the longest running costly defeats in US history or the fast rising dirty little Special Ops wars secretly raging on every corner of the globe or Obama’s personal favorite, state sponsored terrorism from drone-filled skies).

As a pawn to the military industrial complex, the US government has chosen permanent war over its own people. This treasonous decision has decimated the middle class and created a college educated indentured class struggling in heavy debt to find any means to stay afloat. With an outsourced, now vanished manufacturing base, upward mobility and the American dream have become tragic casualties of modern life, now a sad, nostalgic bygone reminder of the once greatness of America. More…

Arizona Citizens Tracked In Facial Recognition Database In First Step For REAL ID

[Justice]
Arizona Citizens Tracked In Facial Recognition Database In First Step For REAL ID Implementation
By Aaron Kesel
Posted December 30 2017

perpetual lineupThe program is an effort that is part of a nationwide initiative called the REAL ID Act that was created by Congress in 2005 as a response to the September 11th terror attacks. The system allows the state to comply with the federal act, which increased standards for identification documents. Although the REAL ID Act does not explicitly call for facial recognition, it does maintain that states need to take measures to reduce fraud.

But the use of the system to prevent identity theft isn’t what people are worried about; the problem is the lack of oversight in government programs that allows anyone with access to look into the database. As such, state-run facial recognition databases are dangerous and can lead down a slippery slope to allow other operations the technology wasn’t intended for. More…

Must be the Season of the Rich

[Social]
Must be the Season of the Rich
By Philip Farruggio
Posted December 30, 2017

must be the season of the richAs New Year 2018 is before us, we are truly in a “Season of the RICH”. One need not be an accountant or financial whiz to know that this so called ‘Tax Reform Bill’ is a super-rich man’s gift to the super-rich. Alas, all you suckers out there are, like this writer, a few paychecks away from financial uncertainty. The less than one thousand dollars extra per year that this bill will throw you is nothing compared to the mega million$ the super-rich and the large corporations will see added to their spreadsheets.

Some of you still hold steady to the hogwash that the Trump team and the mainstream presstitute media are selling: “The more the super-rich save in taxes the more that will be reinvested in our economy”. Remember the two phony Wall Street bailouts, one under Junior Bush, and the second under Obama? All they did was allow predators to give each other bonuses and more stock buybacks. More…

Preparing For The Coming Transformation

[Social]
Preparing For The Coming Transformation
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
Posted December 29, 2017

transformation is comingThe era of transformation has been developing over many decades. If we view it through presidential administrations, a frame of reference used commonly in the United States, we see that both major parties represent the interests of the wealthy and corporations, not the majority of the population, and that they effectively divide and weaken popular movements.

After Bill Clinton’s administration loosened regulations on finance, setting the stage for the 2008 crash, brought in trade agreements like NAFTA and weakened the social safety net, and George W. Bush’s administration expanded military aggression around the world and the domestic security state, as well as further enriching the wealthy, people were hungry for change.

Obama raised expectations, but he did not fulfill them. His cabinet was made up of Wall Streeters from Citigroup. He continued and expanded foreign wars, the wealth divide grew and tens of millions went without healthcare even after his private insurance-based Affordable Care Act became law. More…

How the U.S. Dictatorship Works

[Politics]
How the U.S. Dictatorship Works
by Eric Zuesse
Posted December 28, 2017

US capitalA recent article in the Washington Post described how the current US tax-‘reform’ bill is being shaped; and it describes, basically (at least as far as tax-law changes are concerned), the operation of a US dictatorship by the super-rich.

First of all, however: there is no longer any realistic question as regards whether the US in recent decades has been a dictatorship, or instead a democracy. According to the only scientific analysis of the relevant data, that has been done in order to determine whether the US is a dictatorship or a democracy, the US is definitely a dictatorship that’s perpetrated by the extremely richest, against the public-at-large; in other words: the US Government functions as an aristocracy, otherwise referred-to as an oligarchy, or a plutocracy, or a kleptocracy; but, in any case, and by whatever name, it’s ruled by a tiny number of the extremely wealthiest and their agents, on behalf of those few super-rich, against the concerns and interests and needs of the public (everyone else).

So: instead of being rule by the public (the “demos” is the Greek term for it), it’s rule on behalf of a tiny dictatorial class, of extreme wealth — by whatever name we might happen to label this ruling class. More…

Student Debt Slavery: Bankrolling Financiers on the Backs of the Young

[Economic]
Student Debt Slavery: Bankrolling Financiers on the Backs of the Young
by Ellen Brown
Posted December 27, 2017

debt is the new slaveryThe advantages of slavery by debt over “chattel” slavery—ownership of humans as a property right—were set out in an infamous document called the Hazard Circular, reportedly circulated by British banking interests among their American banking counterparts during the American Civil War.

Slaves had to be housed, fed and cared for. “Free” men housed and fed themselves. For the more dangerous jobs, such as mining, Irish immigrants were used rather than black slaves, because the Irish were expendable. Free men could be kept enslaved by debt, by paying wages insufficient to meet their costs of living. The Hazard Circular explained how to control wages:

“This can be done by controlling the money. The great debt that capitalists will see to it is made out of the war, must be used as a means to control the volume of money. … It will not do to allow the greenback, as it is called, to circulate as money any length of time, as we cannot control that.”
More…

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