“For protesting on the county steps against Santa Cruz laws that make it illegal for the homeless to sleep at night, homeless activists Gary Johnson and Attorney Ed Frey were sentenced to 6 months in jail on June 10th.”—
“Moreover, I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation. My Administration will interpret section 1021 in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law.”—Statement by the President on H.R. 1540
During his 2008 election campaign, President Obama proposed raising the minimum to $9.50 an hour by 2011. But even though that would merely adjust the minimum wage for inflation, Congress and the White House have done little to make it happen.
Some of Obama’s Republican opponents in Congress actually have called for the minimum wage to be abolished, largely because their big money backers in the restaurant business, who employ about 60 percent of all minimum wage workers, are against it, as are many other business and corporate interests.
“The National Defense Authorization Act (#NDAA). Here is what is at stake: Most critical are Sections 1031 and 1032 of the Act, which authorize detaining U.S. citizens indefinitely without charge or trial. The bill would allow federal officials to take these steps based on suspicions only, without having to demonstrate to any judicial official that there is solid evidence to justify their actions. Interestingly, it is now up to President Obama, a scholar of constitutional law, to make the decision as to whether the Bill of Rights he went to Harvard to study will be superceded by a law that abrogates it.”—
“We believe that people should not be targeted for surveillance via drones just because they’re engaged in First Amendment-protected activity.”—Catherine Crump, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union
“As usual in recent years, the 2004 electoral campaigns were run by the public relations industry, which in its regular vocation sells toothpaste, lifestyle drugs, automobiles, and other commodities. Its guiding principle is deceit. The task of advertising is to undermine the free markets we are taught to admire: mythical entities in which informed consumers make rational choices”—Failed States - Noam Chomsky (via noam-chomsky)
“Bush 41’s words of encouragement for the former Massachusetts governor also come at a time when the party establishment – of which Bush is the elder statesman – seems to be increasingly alarmed about the possibility that former Speaker Newt Gingrich might get the nomination.”—
The notion that what Wall Street firms did was merely unethical and not illegal is not just mistaken but preposterous: most everyone who works in the financial services industry understands that fraud right now is not just pervasive but epidemic, with many of the biggest banks committing entire departments to the routine commission of fraud and perjury – every single one of the major banks, for instance, devotes significant manpower to robosigning affidavits for foreclosures and credit card judgments, acts which are openly and inarguably criminal.
Banks and hedge funds routinely withhold derogatory information about the instruments they sell, they routinely trade on insider information or ahead of their own clients’ orders, and corrupt accounting is so rampant now that industry analysts have begun to figure in estimated levels of fraud in their examinations of the public disclosures of major financial companies.
After WWII, a new generation of economists emerged who worshiped the markets and detested any and all government interference. For these true believers, markets were infallible, blessed by what they called the “efficient markets” theory. Financial markets, they claimed, always got prices right. They always provided the best allocation of society’s scarce resources, and most importantly, they undermined bad government decisions. And all of this happened without any guidance and without anyone exercising any control whatsoever. These great autonomous and anonymous forces of modern economies ruled supreme and that was absolutely wonderful, according to these worshipers– praise the lord!
Led by economist Milton Friedman, these market apostles undermined any and all regulations that were put in place during the Great Depression to contain the diabolical impacts of markets run wild. “Let them run wild,” we were told, “and we’ll get an economic boom to make all boats rise.” Starting with President Carter, each and every president unleashed financial markets more and more until the financial sector towered over the global economy. Not only were the new financial market gods, bigger and more powerful than ever before, but the new high priests — our financial elites — earned millions of dollars, then hundreds of millions, and then billions as they collected modern-day tithes from all of us for tending to the financial gods. While markets were said to be intermediaries between our savings and needed investment, the financial elites became the intermediaries between our money and their own pockets.
Our financial high priests taught our political leaders how to appease the financial market gods: cut more taxes for the rich, gut more regulations and trim social programs. Not only didn’t the riches flow to all of us, but the markets again crashed in 2008 revealing as they did in 1929 to be nothing more than enormous casinos designed by and for the high priests.
When President Obama came into office, the market gods were in total disarray and the high priests were on their knees begging for help. That was the perfect time to unmask the false gods and the false profits. Instead, like the Bush administration, Obama turned over policy-making to the high priests – Geithner, Summers, Bernanke – who secretly provided up to $7.77 trillion in free loans and asset guarantees to help their fellow Wall Street priests become even more powerful. The market gods were resurrected again and given license to run wild.
“Another current [of the Civil Rights Movement], which many people are not fully aware of, is that after World War II and the Korean conflict you had a large number of black men who had been trained in the military and many of whom had actually fought in the theaters of war in Europe, in the Pacific, and in Korea, and who were returning home and would not take second class citizenship.”—Kalamu ya Salaam
“I really don’t believe that middle class America is anywhere near ready to confront the issues that face this country. I think people are uncomfortable. I think people, in many cases, are in some really tight situations. A large segment of the population is suffering economically. But that doesn’t mean they are ready to confront the seriousness of the issues.”—Kalamu ya Salaam
“#OWS is much more broad-based in terms of class than the anti-war and feminist movements were initially. In some ways it is, much like the Southern civil rights movement, a movement of the poor.”—Barbara Ehrenreich
“Ted Nugent is part of the cockroach crowd of conservatives. You know, those heartless morons who are obsessed with punishing people for something that isn’t their fault? Yeah, those conservatives. The extreme right wing, dumber than dirt rednecks who think they know everything and want to kill everyone. That’s Ted Nugent alright. Well, Ted Nugent wrote (Nugent knows how to write?) a column for the Washington Times. And in that column, Nugent called for punishing the poor and blamed them for being poor. He also called for killing social safety net programs such as unemployment benefits and Social Security.”—Stephen D. Foster Jr.
“The US military can bust down your door at any time, given the proper go ahead by the executive branch, take you away, never charge you with a crime, never give you a trial, and lock you up, torture you, or even kill you.”—
“#D17: Trinity Church is one of the city’s largest landowners and strongly tethered to the 1 percent: Five of the 20 members of its vestry, or church parliament, for example, hail from high-ranking roles at financial firms such as Citigroup and Merrill Lynch, and others come from the insurance behemoth AIG, a market research firm for energy investors, and even Brookfield. The church’s two wardens, the men directly below the rector who are responsible for its assets, run an investment bank and group of mutual funds.”—
“The White House quietly ordered a widespread review of government counterterrorism training materials last month, following Danger Room’s reports that officials at the FBI, military and Justice Department taught their colleagues that “mainstream” Muslims embrace violence and compared the Islamic religion to the Death Star.”—