January 2012

Occupy Wall Street West

Shut Down The Financial District

This Friday, Occupy San Francisco will stage “Occupy Wall Street West,” a mass gathering to shut down the San Francisco financial district. Direct obstruction of corporate power is a far more effective tactic than any amount of “working within the system” could ever be. Those who enter the system to work within it are invariably and quickly corrupted by it. Like Oakland's Mayor Quan, they go from being protesters and activists to sending in the riot cops against protesters and activists, and they do it so quickly even their own heads are probably spinning.

Corporate Fascism

Not Just A Colorful Phrase

What exactly is corporate fascism? Is this term merely heated rhetoric, or does it represent a frightening new reality in the United States of America? Well, let's ask Fascist strongman Benito Mussolini. Here's what he had to say on the topic:

 

"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of State and corporate power."

SOPA Strike Today

Protect The Internet!

Much of the internet is on strike today, with big websites like Craigslist and Wikipedia blacked out completely, while other sites such as Google have symbolic statements of solidarity. The reason for this unprecedented internet strike is to try to stop two egregious assaults on civil liberty known as SOPA and PIPA.

Occupy the Courts

Overturn Citizens United

This upcoming Friday, Move to Amend and Occupy Wall Street will stage joint actions at more than 80 Federal courthouses around the country in support of a constitutional amendment stating that corporations are not people and money is not speech.

Occupy the Congress

Today In DC!

Occupy the Congress happens today, as Occupiers all over the country gather to confront the corrupt politicians in DC. If recent events are any indication, we can expect the corporate media to either ignore the story or misrepresent it as much as possible. They will underestimate the size of the crowds, report police violence against Occupiers as if it was mutual or even our fault entirely, and translate sophisticated political arguments into soundbites designed to make us seem incoherent. The truth will get out, though, via Livestream and other forms of alternative media.

SWAT Team Used To Intimidate Occupiers In Baltimore

That's Not Police Work, It's Hired Thuggery

If you think it's just hyperbole to say that the NDAA could result in the military being used against Americans just for exercising their free speech, have a look at the picture attached to this blog. When this completely unthreatening group of marchers from Occupy Baltimore showed up to protest the prison industry, they were met by a police SWAT team carrying firearms.

Holder Bashes Republican Voting Laws on MLK Day

In a speech made on Martin Luther King Day, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the voting rights of minorities are being restricted by some states.

 

Some states, Holder said, are suing to challenge parts of the voting rights law that Martin Luther King and other civil rights activists fought so hard for. These states have approved new laws will have the effect of making it difficult for minorities to vote. He further stated that while the new laws all claim that America has moved beyond 1965, discrimination against minorities is still all too common across the nation.

RIP Jon Hunstman

Another Republican Drops Out

I was saddened, but not surprised, by Jon Huntsman’s announcement today that he would suspend his campaign and support Mitt Romney, the candidate Huntsman claims is “best-equipped to defeat the president and return conservative leadership to the White House.”  Huntsman was the moderate Republican with common sense ideas and foreign policy experience that could have proven a win for the Republican party. 

Can Any Good Come from the Fukushima Daiichi Tragedy?

Global Anti-Nuclear Developments are on the Rise

Anti-nuclear voters, don’t forget Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi crisis is still ongoing. It’s gone from Western headlines, but it’s leading to changes all over the world! Japan is planning age limits and tougher tests for nuclear plants, but that’s really only the start. Japan and China are also both working hard to develop and implement new green tech. Check out that article: China’s just flipped the switch on its biggest offshore wind farm, and Japan is at the forefront of “wind lens” technology that could increase the power of existing wind turbines by up to three times.

Don't Buy into the Health Supplement Craze

Last fall, some major news hit the health supplement industry, and hit it hard.  All these years, we have faithfully taken our vitamins, knowing that we were doing a good thing for our bodies and helping to prevent diseases caused by deficiencies.  As it turns out, people who take vitamins are not only not doing their bodies much good, but they are also possibly shortening their lives.

Prescription Drug Ads Should Be Banned from Television

advertising prescription drugs is a mistake

Recent years have seen increased advertising for prescription drugs on television.  Pharmaceutical companies need to stop looking at the American public as "consumers," and place prescription drugs back in the hands of physicians.  While televised advertising may increase their sales, it is not in the general public's best interest. 

Debunking Some Prevalent Myths About Cancer

Cancer, one of the most feared and loathed words in the English language, is also one that’s associated with a lot of false information. Here are some conclusions, thoughts, and myth-debunking facts on cancer, which is known medically as malignant neoplasm.
 
First of all, many people have the notion that cancer is one big disease that can simply invade several different body parts. In reality, cancer is a large group of different diseases. If someone found the long-awaited “cure for cancer,” it would likely only be for one of these many different diseases, and the other types of cancer would have no cure. In fact, there have been cures developed for a few types of cancer. To find a blanket cure for all cancers would be like finding a cure for all infectious diseases at one time. That doesn’t mean that scientists should stop seeking a cure for each type of cancer, of course, but we shouldn’t be misinformed on the topic.

Is taxing the rich the solution?

"As hard as it is to say this, taxing the rich is really not the solution."

Most Americans are hurting right now and although I did say that we should focus on the 92 percent who have jobs rather than the 8 percent who are either without a job or underemployed, there is more to it. If you think about it, when a person is laid off it is not only that individual who suffers financial and emotional damage but also their family and people who depend on them.

Is taxing the rich the solution? The Republican candidates don’t seem to agree with that view and the free market principles also do not favor heavy taxes on the upper class. In looking at the history of the United States itself, when the taxes have been hiked it is usually the middle class that has picked up the tab. This means that increasing taxes is only going to erode the middle class because the rich will use loopholes and their savvy accountants to evade and keep their money. They may also simply just work less when faced with the tax burden.

The Cost of Energy Production

Government scientists and industry are constantly trying to find new ways to improve the quality and quantity of natural resources in the United States. There are stories of untapped oil and natural gas reserves that are too deep or too unstable for current drilling methods.

Recently, companies have turned to a new form of underground excavation called fracking in order to get to those untapped stores. The process involves shooting a high pressure liquid into the ground to create passageways and access to these stores.

Once the liquid is in and access is attained, then they can bring in the more standard drilling equipment to get out the stores. As far as energy self sufficiency, this method is a major boon because it allows us to get access to more local resources, but it carries with it risks.

Is Stakeholder Capitalism Right for America?

This week, Michael Lind, economic policy director of New America Foundation, theorized that in order for capitalism to thrive again America, the country must shift from shareholder capitalism to stakeholder capitalism.

I like the tenets of stakeholder capitalism, although I’m sure some conservative Americans will dismiss it as too socially conscious and utopian.

In a nutshell, stakeholder capitalism is when corporations seek to benefit not just themselves but everyone who has a stake in their business, from customers who buy services and products to vendors who supply necessities to communities at large. This clashes with how capitalism is currently practiced where companies are focused on reaping dividends for investors and profit for themselves with no thought about how workers, families and communities are affected.

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