Social Articles from 2018

America the Failed State

[Social]
America the Failed State
by Chris Hedges
Posted August 23, 2018

America, a failed stateThe two political parties are one party—the corporate party. They do not debate substantive issues. They each support the expansion of imperial wars, the bloated military budget, the dictates of global capitalism, the bailing out of Wall Street, punishing austerity measures, assaulting basic civil liberties through wholesale government surveillance and the abolition of due process, and an electoral process that has cemented into place a system of legalized bribery. They battle over cultural tropes such as abortion, gay rights and prayer in schools. We elect politicians based on how we are made to feel about them by the public relations industry. Politics is anti-politics.

All despotic regimes carry out their final battle for control by contending against public officials and government bureaucrats, the so-called deep state, which views the rise to power of demagogues and their sleazy enablers with alarm. More…

Military Parade Cancelled, How Does Peace Movement Build On This Victory?

[Social]
Military Parade Cancelled, How Does Peace Movement Build On This Victory?
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
Posted August 23, 2018

wars without endThis week, the Trump military parade, planned for November 10, was canceled for 2018. In February, a coalition of groups went public, announcing we would organize to stop the military parade and, if it went forward, to mobilize more people at the parade calling for peace and an end to war than supporting militarism. The coalition called for “ending the wars at home and abroad.”

The No Trump Military Parade coalition intended to show the world that the people of the United States do not support war. The coalition has been meeting regularly to build toward organized mass opposition to the proposed parade. People were working to make this protest a take-off for a renewed peace movement in a country exhausted by never-ending wars and massive military spending, but our first goal was to stop the parade from happening. More…

We Are All Hostages of Corporate Profits

[Economic]
We Are All Hostages of Corporate Profits
by Charles Hugh Smith
Posted August 21, 2018

hostages to corporate profitsWe’re in the endgame of financialization and globalization, and it won’t be pretty for all the hostages of corporate profits.Though you won’t read about it in the mainstream corporate media, the nation is now hostage to outsized corporate profits.

The economy and society at large are now totally dependent on soaring corporate profits and the speculative bubbles they fuel, and this renders us all hostages: “Make a move to limit corporate profits or speculative bubbles, and your pension fund gets a bullet in the head.”

Not just pension funds, of course; tax revenues will also be taken out and shot as most of the state and federal income taxes are paid by high-earners and those skimming capital gains from stock options and stock-based compensation packages. More…

The List of Products and Foods that Have Tested Positive for Monsanto’s Carcinogenic Glyphosate

[Community]
The List of Products and Foods that Have Tested Positive for Monsanto’s Carcinogenic Glyphosate
by Alex Pietrowski
Posted August 20, 2018

Monsantos RoundUp found in foodsMonsanto is receiving considerable global backlash after the agrochemical and seed giant was found guilty of malice and of covering the fact that their flagship product can cause cancer.

At issue is glyphosate, the active chemical ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup and Ranger herbicides. For years, evidence has been mounting that glyphosate is carcinogenic, which is quite alarming considering that it is the most widely used (and overused) agricultural chemical ever.

Glyphosate is so prevalent in our environment that trace amounts of it is now found in a wide variety of consumer products, including foods and personal hygiene products, in the human body, and in water supplies. More…

Monsanto was recently acquired by Bayer, another company with a sordid human rights history. 

Police State in Slo-Motion

[Social]
Police State in Slo-Motion
by Jeff Thomas
Posted August 20, 2018

travelers are particularly vulnerablePolice States have been implemented countless times throughout history. They tend to be most prominent where collectivism has already been instituted.

Wherever collectivism is already firmly established, new crackdowns are generally introduced suddenly. In Germany, in 1938, under existing Nazi rule, Kristallnacht took people by complete surprise. Later, in 1961, under existing Soviet rule, the Berlin Wall went up with no previous announcement. In both cases, the collectivist tyranny was already in place and the people had already successfully been subjugated. These events were merely further losses of freedom.

But what of a country that still enjoys a few of its former freedoms and is in the process of being transformed into a full-blown collectivist state? Well, in such cases, the loss of freedoms is often done in slo-motion. More…

Kidnappers: The Tyranny of Child Protective Services Across the Nation

[Justice]
Kidnappers: The Tyranny of Child Protective Services Across the Nation
By Joe Jarvis
Posted August 18, 2018

separating children from parentsSovereignman reports about a particularly tyrannical family court Judge, Lyris Younge of Pennsylvania.

First, she removed a baby from her parents in an attempt to force a confession. There was no evidence of abuse. But when neither parent would “cop to it,” as Judge Younge phrased it, she removed the baby from their custody. She refused to place the baby with a willing and fit grandmother, and eventually terminated parental rights altogether.

This went on for two years until last month, a higher court reversed all her decisions. The court issued a scathing rebuke of Judge Younge noting that she violated due process, failed to remain impartial, and had intentionally caused alienation of the family members in an attempt to force a confession.

Still, the Judge escaped punishment for her crimes. The appeals court simply suggested she recuse herself from the case. More…

Money and the Unflappable Economist

[Social]
Money and the Unflappable Economist
By Philip E. Mirowski
Posted August 16, 2018

Koch brothers corrupting educational intgegrityAt the beginning of May 2018, there was a brief furor over donations from Koch family-affiliated philanthropies to fund the Mercatus Institute and the newly-named Antonin Scalia School of Law at George Mason University (GMU).

Although articles concerning the admirable efforts of the GMU student organization UnKoch My Campus appeared in many of the prominent news outlets, the attention span of journalists seemed to barely outpace that of interest in one of Donald Trump’s tweets, with even less consequence. But more to the point, the silence of the economics profession concerning the revelations was pretty deafening.

Briefly, I would like to revisit why this was so and why it matters. More…

Amazon’s Fusion With the State Shows Neoliberalism’s Drift to Neo-Fascism

[Economic]
Amazon’s Fusion With the State Shows Neoliberalism’s Drift to Neo-Fascism
by Elliott Gabriel
Posted August 15, 2018

corporate invasion of privacyThis year may go down in history as a turning-point when the world finally woke up to the dark side of the ubiquitous presence of popular Silicon Valley companies in our daily lives. One can only hope so, at least.

From Amazon to Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft and PayPal – among others – revelations poured out confirming the ongoing abuse of user data by monopolistic corporations, as well as their growing role as vendors of surveillance technology to the U.S. police state, military, and migrant detention agencies.

In March, the lid was blown off of the violation of user data on Facebook, with Cambridge Analytica mining user information for the purpose of providing millions of detailed “psychological profiles” to the Trump campaign, among others. Scarcely two weeks later, the Google campus was in an uproar over the development of its “Project Maven,” which was building an AI-fueled platform to vastly upgrade the automatic targeting abilities of the U.S. military’s global drone fleet. Faced with public outrage and internal dissent, the company pulled out of bidding to renew its Pentagon contract, which ends next year. More…

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If you had a retirement fund and woke up one day in 2009 to see you’d lost 30 percent of your life savings, you were the mark. Ordinary Americans had their remaining cash in houses and retirement plans, and the subprime scheme was designed to suck the value out of both places, into the coffers of a few giant banks.

Matt Taibbi

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