Recent Posts

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 ... 10
Arizona Teacher Talks About Education and the Recent Strike.

These comments from an Arizona teacher are from the same forum that I attended on June 10th 2018 that was organized by the Oakland Education Association. On the same panel were teachers from Kentucky and West Virginia, fresh from the recent struggles in what are now known as the Red State struggles.

Click this link for some video of the Kentucky teachers Click this one for video of the West Virginia teacher's comments. They are both good and inspiring.

When you listen to this report from the Arizona teacher it becomes very clear that the problem in that state and what we do not have to fear or waste spending money protecting ourselves against, is murdering hordes of Mexican and Central American workers. The enemy is a domestic one, a rogue state with a violent history led by a violent clique intent on convincing its own people that are suffering under its rule that others are to blame for our predicament. Workers like ourselves who's goals are the same, feed their families, feel secure, live a decent life.

Source: Arizona Teacher Talks About Education and the Recent Strike.
Even Bill O'Reilly Knows 'Trump Will Not Win' if He Continues Taking Immigrant Kids Hostage


The right-wing talking head knows these blatant human rights abuses are indefensible.


Former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly came out against President Donald Trump's policy of separating immigrant families at the border on Monday.

"The government should know how bad this looks and how innocent children are actually suffering," he tweeted. "That kind of scenario is unacceptable to most Americans as exemplified by former First Lady Laura Bush?s withering criticism.

O'Reilly joins a chorus of prominent Republicans, including Laura Bush, in condemning the Trump administration's policy.

The administration is falsely claiming existing law and the Democrats are to blame for the policy it enacted.



Related Stories

Source: Even Bill O'Reilly Knows 'Trump Will Not Win' if He Continues Taking Immigrant Kids Hostage
'You Are Lying. Period': Trump DHS Secretary Blasted for Denying Existence of Family Separation Policy

"This is a policy made solely by this administration, and you can stop it right now. And every second you don't you are directly responsible for unimaginable amounts of misery. Period."

In a "heinous lie" aimed at distorting the historical record and avoiding responsibility for the mass cruelty perpetuated on her watch, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen falsely claimed in a series of tweets late Sunday that the Trump administration does "not have a policy of separating families at the border."

"This misreporting by members [of Congress], press, and advocacy groups must stop. It is irresponsible and unproductive," Nielsen wrote, neglecting to mention data from her own department showing that nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their families in just six weeks due to the Trump adminstration's so-called "zero tolerance" immigration policy.

Lawmakers, activists, and reporters who have persistently highlighted and denouncedthe Trump administration's family separation policy?which was officially unveiled byAttorney General Jeff Sessions in May?were quick to call out Nielsen's blatant lie on Sunday, pointing out that a quick look at her department's website is enough to expose the falsehood.

Prominently featured on the DHS's "fact sheet" for its zero tolerance policy, dated June 15, is the question: "Why Are Parents Being Separated From Their Children?"

DHS "may separate a parent or legal guardian from his or her child for several reasons, including situations where DHS cannot ascertain the parental relationship, when DHS determines that a child may be at risk with the presumed parent or legal guardian, or if a parent or legal guardian is referred for criminal prosecution, including for illegal entry," the website notes.



Todd Schulte, president of the advocacy group, added that the DHS website also contains a flyer outlining "the steps a parent in Border Patrol or ICE custody can take to locate their child, once said child has been separated from them."

"This is a lie," Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) concluded in response to Nielsen's tweet on Sunday. "There is no law. There is no court mandate. This is a policy made solely by this administration, and you can stop it right now. And every second you don't you are directly responsible for unimaginable amounts of misery. Period."

By attempting to deny the very existence of the Trump administration's family separation policy, Nielsen flatly contradicted statements from other White House officials like Chief of Staff John Kelly and senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, who have celebrated the practice of ripping kids from their parents' arms as a strong "deterrent" against border crossings.

And as many were quick to point out following her tweet on Sunday, Nielsen herself acknowledged the policy that she now claims doesn't exist in an interview with NPR just days after Sessions announced the White House's "zero tolerance" plan.

"Operationally what that means is we will have to separate your family," Nielsen said, referring to the Trump administration's decision to refer for criminal prosecution all immigrants who cross the border illegally.

Responding to Nielsen's lie on Sunday, the ACLU explained, "You have a policy of criminally prosecuting any asylum seeker who crosses the border between ports of entry. Period. Parents go into custody and kids are shipped off to facilities?over a misdemeanor."

Source: 'You Are Lying. Period': Trump DHS Secretary Blasted for Denying Existence of Family Separation Policy
Inter Press Service - Labour / Sahel in the Throes of a Major Humanitarian Crisis
« Last post by Inter Press Service on Yesterday at 06:00:04 PM »
Sahel in the Throes of a Major Humanitarian Crisis

Mark Lowcock is UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator

The post Sahel in the Throes of a Major Humanitarian Crisis appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Source: Sahel in the Throes of a Major Humanitarian Crisis
Trump's Tariffs Could Hurt Millions of Americans, But Media Focuses Instead on Presidential Drama

News reports and experts say the tariffs will hurt Americans in a number of ways.

On May 31, CBS News reported on retaliatory tariffs from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union, targeting numerous products including American steel and aluminum, playing cards, motorcycles, and tobacco. European Commission president Jean-Paul Juncker said that Trump?s move ?leaves us with no choice but to proceed ? with the imposition of additional duties on a number of imports from the U.S.?

News reports and experts say the tariffs will hurt Americans in a number of ways. Though the steel and aluminum industries stand to benefit, ?almost every US industry? that uses these metals will be faced with higher manufacturing costs, which ?will likely get passed on to consumers.? These higher costs could ?kill hundreds of thousands of jobs? as companies scramble to offset artificially high prices. Retaliatory tariffs levied by other nations are threatening a wide range of businesses, from agriculture to commercial production. According to The New York Times, even Trump?s own Council of Economic Advisers concluded that the tariffs would hamper economic growth.  

But media coverage of U.S. allies? responses to Trump?s economic attack centered on  the sensationalism and drama of the moment. Though CNN interviewed or cited economists in a few segments on the tariffs? effects for American workers and business, the majority of the punditry  focused on the shock value of levying tariffs against U.S. allies. CNN also interviewed Stephen Moore, a Trump campaign economic advisor whom CNN hired as its in-house defender of the president who dodged policy questions to muddy the facts and obsequiously push the Trump agenda (which is how interviews with former or current Trump officials usually go); the network did not interview any workers who could potentially be hurt by the retaliatory tariffs.

Fox News, meanwhile, played up the personal drama Trump incited with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Fox personalities said that ?the public spat between these world leaders [Trump and Trudeau] is something to watch,? argued that Trudeau should ?maybe ? realize it?s not personal,? and generally attacked Trudeau for, among other things, ?trying to out-alpha President Trump.? Lou Dobbs hailed Trump?s defeat of our allies? ?globalist conspiracy,? and on Dobbs? show, sworn Nazi sympathizer Sebastian Gorka denounced Canada?s response to Trump because Canada ?started it.?  When Fox figures tried to analyze the tariffs, they usually didn?t get beyond spouting worn-out taglines such as the electorate wanted the ?disrupter-in-chief? to provide ?a complete change in direction.? Jesse Watters got creative, however, when he positively compared Trump?s tariffs to the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, a 1930 tariff commonly understood to have ?exacerbated the Great Depression.? (Fox & Friends did feature one dairy farmer who, predictably, supported Trump?s agenda.)

Much of the coverage on MSNBC also focused on the spectacle and/or provided a superficial analysis of Trump?s actions. But anchors Stephanie Ruhle and Ali Velshi, along with correspondent Vaughn Hillyard, did do substantial reporting on how the tariffs might impact American laborers, coverage which often included the workers themselves, during their combined three hours of hosting time., Velshi and Ruhle dedicated segments to explaining the far-reaching nature of the tariffs from U.S. allies (as well as an earlier round of tariffs from China) and how they might affect laborers and consumers alike.

On-site reporting focused on affected farmers, and several reports focused even further on specific industries -- pork products, potatoes, and bourbon among them -- targeted by the tariffs.


Ruhle, Velshi, and Hillyard notwithstanding, a common facet of tariff coverage was, as Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Pete Hegseth said, the ?unpredictability? of the situation, because it ?makes for good TV.? With Friday?s White House announcement of another $50 billion in tariffs against Chinese products, media need to move beyond the drama and focus on the substance and the potential devastation to some Americans.


Source: Trump's Tariffs Could Hurt Millions of Americans, But Media Focuses Instead on Presidential Drama
AlterNet / Andrew Cuomo Could Order Criminal Charges Against the Trump Family: But Will He?
« Last post by AlterNet on June 17, 2018, 06:01:33 PM »
Andrew Cuomo Could Order Criminal Charges Against the Trump Family: But Will He?

New York?s attorney general can?t indict the Trump family over misuse of foundation funds ? but Cuomo could

The civil lawsuit filed against Donald Trump, three of his children and the Trump Foundation has brought to light a major shortcoming in New York state law that enables criminal fraud conducted through private foundations to escape state prosecution.

Manhattan is a major center of private foundations.

Under New York state law, the attorney general lacks fundamental legal authority to bring criminal cases. Indictments can be sought only after another state agency makes a referral to the state attorney general. The state charities bureau could make such referrals, but because it is under the attorney general no indictments could be brought.

The state civil lawsuit alleges years ?of illegal conduct by the Foundation and its board members [that] includes improper and extensive political activity, repeated and willful self-dealing transactions, and failure to follow basic fiduciary obligations or to implement even elementary corporate formalities required by law.?

Trump personally used $258,000 of charity money to settle lawsuits, a clear violation of the law. There?s also the $12,000 of charity money Trump spent to buy himself a signed Tim Tebow football helmet, a story the Washington Post broke in July 2016.

Barbara Underwood, who became New York's attorney general after the resignation of Eric Scheiderman, referred criminal matters to the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Elections Commission.

There is one person who can persuade Underwood to indict Trump, his three oldest children and others: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He could direct the state's Department of Taxation and Finance to refer the matter as a tax crimes offense. Underwood could then seek indictments.

The Trump Foundation case meets every federal standard for criminal prosecution. The behavior is significant in terms of dollars, involved many actions over many years and was flagrant and multi-faceted with explanations that lack credibility. It also meets the Justice Department?s general deterrence standard, which includes bringing cases that will encourage broad compliance because they are high-profile prosecutions.

?There?s almost no way for the state attorney general to bring a criminal case? over the private foundation fraud, said Sean Delaney, executive director of the New York Lawyers Alliance, which serves nonprofits. Delaney is a former head of the State Charities Bureau.

Because that bureau is also part of the state attorney general?s office, when it finds evidence of criminal fraud those findings would not allow the attorney general to bring criminal charges.

Under current New York law, even if police in New York City uncovered the fraud, a prosecution for violating state law could only be initiated by Cyrus Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, who has shown a deep aversion to pursuing anything involving Trump.

Private foundation fraud is likely to go undetected because tax audits of private foundations are rare. This creates a low-risk opportunity for people like Trump to use charitable funds for personal benefit, which is a crime as well as a civil offense.

Contrast this with the audit of the Clinton Foundation, which raised money from despots and billionaires and used it for work that has saved at least 11 million lives. Auditors typically sample records, but in the Clinton Foundation's audit every single check going in and out was reviewed, along with the supporting documentation. The audit report turned up nothing amiss, only the kind sof minor discrepancies anyone will find in their check register.

The last time Congress looked deeply into private foundation abuse, in the late 1960s, it found extensive fraud, including thousands of foundations into which wealthy people made tax-deductible gifts and then traded scholarships between each other?s children.

The investigations by Rep. Wright Patman, a populist Texas Democrat, resulted in major reforms of foundation law. It also spurred foundations eager to protect their reputations to fund the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, which exists to serve as a watchdog to philanthropies, a subject I?ve written about for four decades.

Trump has tweeted that he would fight what he called ?this ridiculous case.? It was a typical Trumpian response, ignoring established facts and attacking law enforcement.

In this case, Trump has little to fear in terms of prosecution at the federal level. Only about 1,600 criminal tax cases are filed each year, most of them connected to drug trafficking and officials who take bribes. That?s roughly one prosecution for every 96,000 individual and corporate tax returns.

Further, Trump claims the power to stop any Justice Department investigation or criminal case, even though the Justice Department has previously prosecuted people for far less egregious conduct, said Marcus Owens, former head of the IRS tax-exempt organizations division.

And of course, if Trump were to become worried about prosecution at the federal level, he claims that the U.S. Constitution gives him the power to pardon himself.

Source: Andrew Cuomo Could Order Criminal Charges Against the Trump Family: But Will He?
AlterNet / Where?s That $4,000 Raise the GOP Promised Workers?
« Last post by AlterNet on June 17, 2018, 10:29:25 AM »
Where?s That $4,000 Raise the GOP Promised Workers?

Most of the money went to stock buybacks, which enrich corporate executives and wealthy stockholders.

When Republicans in Congress passed a big, fat tax break bill in December, they insisted it meant American workers would be singing ?Happy Days Are Here Again? all the way to the bank.

The payoff from the tax cut would be raises totaling $4,000 to $9,000, the President?s Council of Economic Advisers assured workers.

But something bad happened to workers on their way to the repository. They never got that money.

In fact, their real wages declined because of higher inflation. At the same time, the amount workers had to pay in interest on loans for cars and credit cards increased. And, to top it off, Republicans threatened to make workers pay for the tax break with cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

So now, workers across America are wondering, ?Where?s that raise??

It?s nowhere to be found.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this week that wages for production and nonsupervisory workers decreased by 0.1 percent from May 2017 to May 2018 when inflation is factored in. The compensation for all workers together, including supervisors, rose an underwhelming 0.1 percent from April 2018 to May 2018.

That?s not what congressional Republicans promised workers. They said corporations, which got the biggest, fattest tax cuts of all, would use that extra money to increase wages.

Some workers got one-time bonuses and an even smaller number received raises. But not many. The group Americans for Tax Fairness estimates it?s 4.3 percent of all U.S. workers.

Most of the money went to stock buybacks, which enrich corporate executives and wealthy stockholders because they have the effect of raising stock values. Corporations set an all-time record for buybacks in the first quarter of this year. They bought $178 billion of their own shares, up by more than 42 percent from the first quarter in 2017.

The New York Times story about this record breaker describes the phenomena this way: ?Companies buy back their shares when they believe they have nothing better to do with their money than to return capital to shareholders.? So despite promises from the GOP and the President?s Council of Economic Advisers, corporations believed further enriching their own executives and shareholders was a much better way to use the money than increasing workers? wages?wages that have been stagnant for decades.

From 1945 until 1982, worker pay rose in tandem with productivity. At that time, buybacks were rare, primarily because they were deemed a forbidden manipulation of stock prices. In 1981, S&P 500 companies spent about 2 percent of profits on buybacks.

But after 1982, when the Reagan administration legalized stock buybacks, the connection between wages and productivity ended as corporate executives focused all of their efforts on increasing share value. Last year, the S&P 500 companies spent 50 percent of profits on buybacks and 41 percent on dividends to stockholders. That left a pittance?9 percent. Corporations socked away some or all of that in overseas tax havens. Their workers, whose labor produced that profit, got virtually nothing.

CEOs? self-centered focus on stock buybacks is a big part of the reason Republicans? promised raise is illusory. But it?s not just the raise. The tax cut itself is a sham.

Workers can be excused for not noticing that big, fat tax cut in their paychecks. Those who earn less than $25,000 a year, that is those in the lowest fifth of income brackets, will get a tax cut this year totaling $60. That?s just about a dollar a week.

For those in the middle-income quintile earning between $49,000 and $86,000 a year, the average tax cut is $900. That?s $17 a week?the cost of a large pizza and a Coke. Hardly earth-shattering.

By contrast, the top 1 percent of taxpayers, those with incomes above $733,000 a year, will get a tax cut averaging $51,000. That?s $980 a week. So every week this year, Uncle Sam will hand the nation?s richest a tax benefit that is $80 more than the entire amount that the middle-income worker will get in a year.

Workers across America are wondering, ?Where?s that big, beautiful tax break??

While they?re searching, workers will have to pay more for cars and homes and credit card debt. That?s because the Federal Reserve increased the cost of borrowing this week for the second time this year and promised two more hikes before year?s end.

Fed officials said they did it because the tax break and additional federal spending have heated up the economy. It?s hot for corporations, alright, but not for workers.

And the real cost to workers hasn?t yet hit. The GOP?s tax cut will add $1 trillion to the national debt. Even before passing the tax cut legislation, Republican leaders like Speaker of the House Paul Ryan began saying that workers would have to pay those costs in the form of cuts to cherished safety net programs?that is, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

And they?re not kidding. They already tried to slash funding for food stamps, the program that feeds the poor.

And now, incredibly, Republicans are planning a second round of tax cuts. They say they want to make that $17-a-week tax break for the middle class permanent. As it is now, that tax cut disappears in 2025, while the massive break Republicans gave corporations is permanent. In addition, Republicans want to slash the capital gains tax. This, again, is a tax cut for the rich.

Now, it?s not as if workers haven?t benefited at all under the current administration. Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities and former chief economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, estimates that the real hourly pay of middle-class workers has risen 0.4 percent over the past 18 months of Republican control of Congress and the White House.

At that rate, Bernstein figures, it will take 28 years for a worker to get that promised $4,000 pay bump.

So before Republicans start trying to reward rich people again for being rich, they need to answer one question:

Where?s that $4,000 pay raise promised to the middle class?


Related Stories

Source: Where?s That $4,000 Raise the GOP Promised Workers?
AlterNet / The Media Should Stop Gifting Trump with Ego-Boosting 'Trump Said' Headlines and Tweets
« Last post by AlterNet on June 16, 2018, 11:04:54 PM »
The Media Should Stop Gifting Trump with Ego-Boosting 'Trump Said' Headlines and Tweets

Merely repeating the president just spreads his propaganda.

Writing the word ?lied? is apparently so time-consuming, that in their effort to get a headline out the door, it simply can?t be accommodated. Otherwise it?s difficult to excuse this breaking, big scoop headline from the Associated Press.

BREAKING: Trump says officials at FBI 'were plotting against my election'.

Or this tweet from the New York Times

President Trump said the IG report proved there had been FBI bias against him ahead of the 2016 presidential election, citing ?vicious? texts? between investigators and findings that he said illustrate ?criminal? behavior by James Comey

Or the Associated Press ? again.

The Latest: President Trump says the Justice Department watchdog report on the Clinton email probe shows the FBI was biased against him "at the top level" and was "plotting against my election."

Thanks guys. Just ? thanks. Because, yes, Donald Trump did say those things. But none of them was true. Not one. In fact, what the Inspector General?s report showed was that there was no political bias behind the actions taken by the FBI and it did not reveal any ?plot? against Trump. But by blasting Trump?s words out without bothering to mention that they are total fabrications, the media provides an echo chamber for Trump. It does not have to be this way. One moment?s thought, and ten seconds time, can result in a headline or tweet that relays the facts, rather than reinforcing the lie that Trump is trying to spread.

For many people, those headlines and tweets are all they will ever see of the story. For many people, the AP and New York Times just said that what Trump claimed is true.

Taking another example from this morning?s headlines at MSNBC

Trump calls IG report 'horror show', blames Dems for separations

Contrast with the headline for an article dealing with the exact same statement at CNN.

Trump again falsely blames the Democrats for his administration's family separations

Really. Is that so hard?



Related Stories

Source: The Media Should Stop Gifting Trump with Ego-Boosting 'Trump Said' Headlines and Tweets
Infoshop News / Bullshit Jobs: A Theory; Blue Collar Frayed: work in tomorrow?s economy
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on June 16, 2018, 06:02:09 AM »
Bullshit Jobs: A Theory; Blue Collar Frayed: work in tomorrow?s economy

In 2013 the essay On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs appeared in the radical ­London-based magazine Strike!. Its author, anthropologist and political activist David Graeber, sought an answer to a simple question: how is it that developed economies in thrall to ideals of efficiency and high ­productivity generate so many jobs that even the people who do them regard as pointless?
Source: Bullshit Jobs: A Theory; Blue Collar Frayed: work in tomorrow?s economy
Infoshop News / Prefigurative Politics, Catastrophe, and Hope
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on June 16, 2018, 06:02:09 AM »
Prefigurative Politics, Catastrophe, and Hope

Anarchists such as David Graeber and Cindy Milstein have used the term ?prefigurative politics? to describe the anarchist principle that the ways we organize in the present should reflect the sort of society we hope to create in the future.
Source: Prefigurative Politics, Catastrophe, and Hope
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 ... 10