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Richard Mellor / A Poem For World Food Day
« Last post by Richard Mellor on Today at 06:25:13 PM »
A Poem For World Food Day

SalimahValiani

a poem for World Food Day
 
All in a spoon
 
A small teaspoon,
 A teaspoon twice its size:
 What can one do
 which the other cannot?

 
A small teaspoon can train the mind to
 eat less                   eat slower
 A small teaspoon can stretch
 l  e  s  s     f  o  o  d     f  u  r  t  h  e  r
 A small teaspoon leads to a soup spoon,
 fork, and other utensils
 which narrow the gaps
 between adults, older people and children.
 
Imagine the majority of an entire country
 using the small teaspoon
 Imagine the majority of another country
 using the larger teaspoon
 Who provides the spoons on the market?
 What is the difference in relative price
 (almost none)

The difference is between two economies:
 One structured on supplying a minority with plenty
 at prices better than affordable
 (because everyone else?s wages are so low)
 One structured on milking a majority which
 is paid just enough to over-consume half-real products
 The difference is between
 Apartheid capitalism
 and
 American capitalism

Both of which are still with us today.

*from Letter Out : Letter In (Salimah Valiani, 2009, Inanna)
@SalimahValianiPoet
Salimah Valiani Blog
Source: A Poem For World Food Day
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AlterNet / Here's Why Ohio Might Be Slipping Away from Republicans
« Last post by AlterNet on Today at 06:25:07 PM »
Here's Why Ohio Might Be Slipping Away from Republicans



 
 
 



Ohio backed Trump by a generous margin in 2016. Now Republicans are suddenly on the defensive there.


One of the undercovered phenomena of the 2018 election cycle is how the Rust Belt states, which unexpectedly broke for Donald Trump in 2016, have swung sharply in the other direction and seem poised to give Democrats victories ? and possibly gains ? this year.

This is on full display in Ohio, where Trump won by over 8 points.

Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, who was once considered a possible target for the GOP, looks to be cruising to an easy re-election, with the RealClearPolitics aggregation giving him an average 16-point lead. His GOP challenger, Rep. Jim Renacci, never really caught fire, and is currently fighting a scandal in which he flew on a strip club owner's plane to meet with faith leaders.

The governor's race is closer, with Republican attorney general Mike DeWine still slightly ahead in the polling average. But Democratic former bank regulator Richard Cordray is holding his own, hammering DeWine hard over his decision to join the lawsuit to take down the Affordable Care Act's protection of pre-existing conditions.

At the level of House races, Republicans are finding themselves defending an increasing amount of turf. In Ohio's 1st District, Rep. Steve Chabot is in a tooth-and-nail race with Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval. In Ohio's 12th District, where Republicans only just managed to cling to control in a special election earlier this year between Republican state Sen. Troy Balderson and Democratic Franklin County Recorder Danny O'Connor, the candidates are squaring off for a rematch which the Cook Political Report considers a toss-up ? and while Balderson has an incumbency boost this time, he is handicapped by the fact that the liberal-arts school Dennison University is now in session, potentially injecting a couple thousand new voters into the race.

Even some deeply red seats in Ohio are no longer considered on solid ground. The Cook Political Report has downgraded GOP Reps. Mike Turner of the 10th District and Dave Joyce of the 14th District. In FiveThirtyEight's model, even one of Ohio's most notorious right-wing firebrands, Rep. Jim Jordan in the 4th District, is no longer rated safe. Jordan, who is running for Speaker of the House despite allegations he failed to report sexual assault of student athletes as a gym coach at Ohio State University, faces a quintessential underdog in former teacher and union leader Janet Garrett, but she has put herself on the map with spectacular fundraising and a hilarious series of ads starring a puppet version of Jordan.

In a key sign that Republicans are worried about their prospects in Ohio, the legislature there agreed to send voters a redistricting reform initiative earlier this year to curb their own gerrymandering ? which Daily Kos Elections' Stephen Wolf argues was a stealth compromise intended to head off more aggressive reform should Democrats take control of the state later.

Ohio is widely regarded as one of the nation's foremost bellwether states. Republicans' failure to maintain their Trump highs there should be a danger sign for them.






 

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Source: Here's Why Ohio Might Be Slipping Away from Republicans
3
Inter Press Service - Labour / Women & Youth Key to Achieving Agenda 2030 in South-South Cooperation
« Last post by Inter Press Service on Today at 06:25:06 PM »
Women & Youth Key to Achieving Agenda 2030 in South-South Cooperation

Siddharth Chatterjee is the United Nations Resident Coordinator to Kenya.

The post Women & Youth Key to Achieving Agenda 2030 in South-South Cooperation appeared first on Inter Press Service.


Source: Women & Youth Key to Achieving Agenda 2030 in South-South Cooperation
4
US Imperialism in Central America; A Legacy of Violence and Murder

Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

I sat next to a guy on the plane coming back from Ireland recently and he seemed nice enough and probably was had we continued to talk about superficial issues of little importance when it comes to living or dying on the earth.

I can?t recall how we touched on it but he made some comment about the problems they are having in Europe with immigrants trying to get it to Germany, Italy and other countries.  I discontinued the discussion but ended it informing him that these people were not ?immigrants? they were refugees fleeing US bombs and also colonialism and imperialism?s long legacy of plunder in Africa and the Middle East. He had mentioned how Ireland was unable to develop because the British never allowed them to but didn?t seem to see the same process outside of Ireland which I assume was the home of his ancestors. The last thing I recall him saying was he was from Texas and liked wide open spaces.

There was a woman sitting in between us, an urbanite, a New Yorker, but I gathered she was similar in her thinking as when I raised the issue of women and the recent movement against sexual abuse she didn?t disagree but she said something like ?It?s all about choices? and then proceeded to tell me how hard it has been for her and she fought basically. It's a bit of a red flag to me that view.

I figured both of them were at the very last conservative, professionals or comfortably off, and more likely Trumpists. I should add as an aside, that the meme?s I see on Facebook, particularly coming from Democratic sites or Democratic Party apologists often portray Trump supporters as the white working class exclusively but this is mistaken as a huge section of the petit bourgeois and middle class support him including those of color. It?s the Shekels baby as my old human resources nemesis used to say and I had a great deal of respect for him. The Democrats hate workers too so it?s useful to blame ?backward? white workers for everything as it also keeps the old ?divide and rule? magic alive.

What made me think of them is the ignorance that exists in US society when it comes to the global role US capitalism has played historically. It exists in other countries too but the capitalist mass media in the US is very powerful, controlled or outright censored and this and its powerful economy and ability to feed its population in the main (even if it?s stuff that fills the belly but isn?t food) has left the US population very much isolated with regards to the rest of the world and knowledge of its role in history.

As my fellow passenger correctly sees with regard to Ireland, the poorer countries of Central and Latin America will never really develop, will always remain poor as US capitalism to the north guarantees it. Like Africa to British colonialism, the US has traditionally seen Latin America as its own back yard. The US has invaded Mexico alone many times. The US encouraged Panama, which was a part of Colombia, to secede in 1903 so that US capitalism could build a canal across the isthmus. The French had tried before the US but the death toll was staggering. Some 26,000 workers died building the canal. When the US took over in 1903 it was mostly Afro-Caribbean workers that built it.

See: ?White employees of the Canal Commission were given comfortable housing, while many black workers lived in railway boxcars or shacks in the forests bordering the work site. In the early years, malaria and yellow fever were rife and accidents were frequent. Records at the wooden museum show that of 5,600 employees killed by disease and accidents between 1904 and the project's completion 10 years later, 4,500 were black.? http://usslave.blogspot.com/2011/07/panama-canal.html

US capitalism?s dominant economic and military power ensures that the canal, although managed by Panama, is defended by the US military. See Panama Canal

I see now that the Trump administration is concerned about the rise in Guatemalan immigration in to the US and a top border official has been sent to Guatemala to investigate. Trump has even threatened sanctions against the Guatemalan government if it doesn?t stop people heading north. The migration ?confounds officials? the Wall Street Journal reports today. I don?t know the level of reporting on this in the mass consumption dailies if it?s mentioned at all, but the WSJ also cannot expose the true nature of history.  The Journal talks of the history of ?unrelenting violence? that forced northward, ??.roughly 70,000 immigrant families and nearly as many unaccompanied children in 2014.? But is the historic the source of this violence?

But more recently, ?The causes have become more elusive?, the Journal adds as 42,000 Guatemalans were arrested at the US border between October last year and this August. The US official has been visiting ?US government funded or supported projects?? that are designed to help the local economies such as job training and such. Now considering the US government cannot provide such things for US citizens, it doesn?t take rocket science to figure out that a visit from US government officials is a kiss of death. An indigenous rights activist points out that malnutrition is widespread and access to land for agriculture is very limited and if they can?t grow food they can?t eat.  The situation according to the US representative is ?not acceptable.?

US capitalism will never permit, Guatemala or any of the former colonial countries in Latin America to develop independently just as the man on the plane I described above suggested about Ireland. Haiti will always be a basket case, US imperialism cannot have an independent nation, free of US influence near its borders or anywhere in Central America. The history of US capitalism?s intervention in this part of the world is well known; assassinations, occupations, intervention covert and overt, coups, right wing death squads, this is the US legacy in all of Latin and Central America.

In 1954 a CIA sponsored coup overthrew Guatemala?s democratically elected government of Jacobo Arbenz on behalf of the United Fruit Co. and other big landowners. Arbenz had introduced land reforms that threatened the domination of the United Fruit Company over Guatemalan society. Only 2% of landowners owned 72% of the arable land, much of it unused. United fruit alone held 600,000 acres of mostly unused land. The Guatemalan colonel that the CIA selected to replace Arbenz immediately outlawed hundreds of trade unions and returned more than 1.5 million acres to United fruit Co.

Instrumental in planning the coup were the Dulles brothers, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and his brother, Allen Dulles who was director of the CIA. These two also helped orchestrate the CIA coup that overthrew the secular democratic government of Mossadegh in Iran in 1953 and replaced him with the murderous Shah. They were former partners of United Fruit?s main law firm in Washington. By 1985 some 75,000 people were dead or had disappeared at the hands of the Guatemalan dictatorship; a huge amount in this tiny country. Some 150,000 Indians fled to Mexico and beyond. Many of the brothers and sisters we see on the streets as day laborers are from this area.

This is the backdrop to why people from Central America risk life and limb, face violence and rape, to come to the US.  Guatemalans don?t leave their homes, Mexicans don?t leave theirs, because they want to. As I responded to the woman on the plane I refer to above, people do make individual choices but we rarely if ever, choose the circumstance under which this free will is expressed so it?s not so free.

I am a socialist and do not believe this situation will ever change if capitalism is not eradicated. As workers we know that in the US, the education system does not teach working class history. Their mass media does not report on the heroic struggles of the working class and all oppressed people in an honest unbiased way----it can?t. It doesn?t report on a strike or a labor dispute from our point of view.

It is even more biased when it comes to US capitalism/imperialism?s role abroad. The US bought the Philippines off of Spain for $20 million. The British queen Victoria was the Empress of India. She was declared so by the British Parliament; the Indian people had no say in it, especially the workers and poor people. Is this a history of a civilized world? It is not.

Just like we do, the workers and poor people of the world rise up against this oppression, at least try to escape the consequences of it and more often than not by emigration. This is why there are so many Irish and other Europeans here, their ancestors fled poverty, prejudice and discrimination.

Knowing as we do that in the US we are lied to and victimized by the wealthy and those in power, I want to appeal to my fellow working class sisters and brothers to look beyond out borders, to reject the xenophobic and racist lies that are used to explain immigration and mass migrations of people. To reject the false idea that US capitalism is some egalitarian force in the world. We can reject the history of the powerful, of the ruling classes. The Internet gives us the opportunity to seek knowledge and information about history and global relations. I can sit here in my living room and write my thoughts and with the click of a mouse massive amounts of information not shared in the biased capitalist media are available to me.

We are close to another slump or economic crisis as bad or worse than 2008.  It is in our interests as workers to recognize that other workers within the US and outside of it are class allies, not our enemies.

One immediate example. United Parcel Service is a global corporation, employs workers throughout the world. The Teamster hierarchy in the US has just imposed a contract on the workers there that they rejected by majority vote. The Teamster leadership is supporting the employers as they all do. The rank and file teamsters at UPS can win this battle against our own leaders atop organized labor and they can certainly do it with support from workers internationally. All workers throughout the world have the same interests; we are class sisters and brothers. Seeing foreign workers as enemies and competitors or attacking immigrants and not rejecting the capitalist media's lies about why they migrate is against our self interest.

Source: US Imperialism in Central America; A Legacy of Violence and Murder
5
AlterNet / Republicans Are Coming for Your Social Security and Medicare
« Last post by AlterNet on Today at 06:00:47 AM »
Republicans Are Coming for Your Social Security and Medicare


The warning signs are already here.


The billionaire fascists are coming for your Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. And they?re openly bragging about it.

Right after Trump?s election, back in December of 2016, Newt Gingrich openly bragged at the Heritage Foundation that the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress were going to ?break out of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt model.? That ?model,? of course, created what we today refer to as ?the middle class.?

This week Mitch McConnell confirmed Gingrich?s prophecy, using the huge deficits created by Trump?s billionaire tax cuts as an excuse to destroy ?entitlement? programs.

?I think it would be safe to say that the single biggest disappointment of my time in Congress has been our failure to address the entitlement issue, and it?s a shame, because now the Democrats are promising Medicare for All,? McConnell told Bloomberg. He added, ?[W]e?re talking about Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.?

These programs, along with free public education and progressive taxation, are the core drivers and maintainers of the American middle class. History shows that without a strong middle class, democracy itself collapses, and fascism is the next step down a long and terrible road.

Ever since the election of Ronald Reagan, Republicans have been working overtime to kneecap institutions that support the American middle class. And, as any working-class family can tell you, the GOP has had some substantial successes, particularly in shifting both income and political power away from voters and toward billionaires and transnational corporations.

In July of 2015, discussing SCOTUS?s 5 to 4 conservative vote on Citizens United, President Jimmy Carter told me: ?It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it?s just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery?? He added: ?[W]e?ve just seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors??

As Princeton researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page demonstrated in an exhaustive analysis of the difference between what most Americans want their politicians to do legislatively, versus what American politicians actually do, it?s pretty clear that President Carter was right.

They found that while the legislative priorities of the top 10 percent of Americans are consistently made into law, things the bottom 90 percent want are ignored. In other words, today in America, democracy only ?works? for the top 10 percent of Americans.

For thousands of years, economists and economic observers from Aristotle to Adam Smith to Thomas Piketty have told us that a ?middle class? is not a normal byproduct of raw, unregulated capitalism?what right-wing ideologues call ?the free market.?

Instead, unregulated markets?particularly markets not regulated by significant taxation on predatory incomes?invariably lead to the opposite of a healthy middle class: they produce extremes of inequality, which are as dangerous to democracy as cancer is to a living being.

With so-called ?unregulated free markets,? the rich become super-rich, while grinding poverty spreads among working people like a heroin epidemic. This further polarizes the nation, both economically and politically, which, perversely, further cements the power of the oligarchs.

While there?s a clear moral dimension to this?pointed out by Adam Smith in his classic Theory of Moral Sentiments?there?s also a vital political dimension.

Smith noted, in 1759, that, ?All constitutions of government are valued only in proportion as they tend to promote the happiness of those who live under them. This is their sole use and end.?

Smith added a cautionary note, however: ?[The] disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich and the powerful, and to despise, or, at least, to neglect persons of poor and mean condition? is the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments.?

Jefferson was acutely aware of this: the Declaration of Independence was the first founding document of any nation in the history of the world that explicitly declared ?happiness? as a ?right? that should be protected and promoted by government against predations by the very wealthy.

That was not at all, however, a consideration for the architects of supply-side Reaganomics, although they appropriated JFK?s ?rising tide lifts all boats? metaphor to sell their hustle to (boatless) working people.

Far more troubling (and well-known to both Smith and virtually all of our nation?s founders), however, was Aristotle?s observation that when a nation pursues economic/political activities that destroy its middle class, it will inevitably devolve either into mob rule or oligarchy. As he noted in Politics:

?Now in all states there are three elements: one class is very rich, another very poor, and a third in a mean. ? But a [government] ought to be composed, as far as possible, of equals and similars; and these are generally the middle classes. ?

?Thus it is manifest that the best political community is formed by citizens of the middle class, and that those states are likely to be well-administered in which the middle class is large, and stronger if possible than both the other classes, or at any rate than either singly; for the addition of the middle class turns the scale, and prevents either of the extremes from being dominant.?

This is how America was for the Boomer generation until about two decades ago: a 30-year-old in the 1970s had a 90 percent chance of having or attaining a higher standard of living than his or her parents. But, since the 1980s introduction of Reaganomics, there?s been more than a 70 percent drop in ?social mobility??the ability to move from one economic station of life into a better one.

So, if our democratic republic is to return to democracy and what?s left of our middle class is to survive (or even grow), how do we do that?

History shows that the two primary regulators within a capitalist system that provide for the emergence of a middle class are progressive taxation and a healthy social safety net.

As Jefferson noted in a 1785 letter to Madison, ?Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise.?

Similarly, Thomas Paine, proposing in Agrarian Justice (1797) what we today call Social Security, said that a democracy can only survive when its people ?[S]ee before them the certainty of escaping the miseries that under other governments accompany old age?? Such a strong social safety net, Paine argued, ?will have an advocate and an ally in the heart of all nations.?

Tragically, Republicans are today planning to destroy both our nation?s progressive taxation system and our social safety net, in obsequious service to their billionaire paymasters.

Flipping Jefferson and FDR on their heads, Republicans last year passed a multi-trillion-dollar tax break for the rich, with a few-hundred-dollars bone tossed in for working people.

Meanwhile, Republicans are already hard at work dismantling the last remnants of the New Deal and the Great Society.

As Ian Milhiser notes, ?Republicans in the House hope to cut Social Security benefits by 20?50 percent. Speaker Paul Ryan?s plan to voucherize Medicare would drive up out-of-pocket costs for seniors by about 40 percent. Then he?d cut Medicaid by between a third and a half.?

This is not, of course, the first time Republicans have tried this. They?ve been trying to dismantle Social Security since 1936, and Reagan himself even recorded a 33 RPM LP calling LBJ?s Great Society proposal for a program called ?Medicare? as ?socialism,? saying that if it passed then one day we?d all look back ?remembering the time when men were free.?

And it?s always been in service to the same agenda?handing political and economic power over the morbidly rich and the corporations that got them there.

In earlier times, we had a word for this takeover of democracy by the morbidly rich and the corporations: fascism.

As I?ve written before, in early 1944, the New York Times asked Vice President Henry Wallace to, as Wallace noted, ?write a piece answering the following questions: What is a fascist? How many fascists have we? How dangerous are they??

Vice President Wallace?s answer to those questions was published in the New York Times on April 9, 1944, at the height of the war against the Axis powers of Germany and Japan.

?The really dangerous American fascists,? Wallace wrote, ?are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. ... The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information.

?With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public,? Wallace continued, ?but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.?

In this, Wallace was using the classic definition of the word ?fascist??the definition Mussolini had in mind when he claimed to have invented the word.

As the 1983 American Heritage Dictionary noted, fascism is: ?A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism.?

Vice President Wallace bluntly laid out in his 1944 Times article his concern about the same happening here in America: ?American fascism will not be really dangerous until there is a purposeful coalition among the cartelists, [and] the deliberate poisoners of public information...?

He could have been describing Fox, right-wing hate radio, and the billionaires who keep today?s GOP in power.

Noting that, ?Fascism is a worldwide disease,? Wallace further suggested that fascism?s ?greatest threat to the United States will come after the war? and will manifest ?within the United States itself.?

Watching the Republicans of his day work from the same anti-worker playbook they are today, Wallace added:

?Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion.?

As Wallace wrote, some in big business ?are willing to jeopardize the structure of American liberty to gain some temporary advantage.?

In a comment prescient of Donald Trump?s trashing of ?Mexican rapists? and ?gangs? in Chicago, Wallace wrote:

?The symptoms of fascist thinking are colored by environment and adapted to immediate circumstances. But always and everywhere they can be identified by their appeal to prejudice and by the desire to play upon the fears and vanities of different groups in order to gain power.

?It is no coincidence that the growth of modern tyrants has in every case been heralded by the growth of prejudice.?

And that prejudice would be exploited to win elections so that the fascists could rob the people and enhance their own power and wealthy.

But even at this, Wallace noted, American fascists would still have to lie to the people in order to gain power. And if the day ever came when a billionaire opened a ?news? network just to promote fascist thinking, they could promote their lies with ease.

?The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact,? Wallace wrote. ?Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism. They use every opportunity to impugn democracy.?

In his strongest indictment of the tide of fascism the vice president of the United States saw rising in America, he added:

?They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective, toward which all their deceit is directed, is to capture political power so that using the power of the State and the power of the market simultaneously they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.?

In the election of 2018, we stand at a crossroad that Roosevelt and Wallace only imagined.

Billionaire-funded fascism is rising in America, calling itself ?conservativism? and ?Trumpism.?

The Republican candidates? and their billionaire donors? behavior today eerily parallels that day in 1936 when Roosevelt said, ?In vain they seek to hide behind the flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the flag and the Constitution stand for.? President Roosevelt and Vice President Wallace?s warnings are more urgent now than ever before.

If Trump and the billionaire fascists who bankroll the Republicans succeed in destroying the last supports for America?s enfeebled middle class, including Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid?and succeed in blocking any possibility of Medicare for All or free college and trade school?not only will the bottom 90 percent of Americans suffer, but what little democracy we have left in this republic will evaporate. History, from Greek and Roman times through Europe in the first half of the 20th century, suggests it will probably be replaced by a violent, kleptocratic oligarchy that no longer shrinks from words like ?fascist.?

The warning signs are already here, and, in the face of nationwide election fraud based in Republican voter purges, we must turn out massive numbers if we?re to preserve the American Dream and finally make it available to all.

This article was produced by the Independent Media Institute.

 

 

 

 

 


 

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Source: Republicans Are Coming for Your Social Security and Medicare
6
Richard Mellor / Keynes: revolutionary or reactionary?
« Last post by Richard Mellor on Yesterday at 06:18:19 PM »
Keynes: revolutionary or reactionary?

John Maynard Keynes
by Michael Roberts

Keynes: revolutionary or reactionary? ? part one: the economics

Was Keynes a revolutionary in economic thought and policy?  Was  he at least radical in his ideas?  Or was he a reactionary opposed to  the interests of working people and a conservative in economic theory?   Ann Pettifor is a leading economic advisor to the British leftist Labour  leaders, Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.  She is director of Prime  Economics, a left-wing economics consultancy and author of several  books, in particular the recent The Production of Money.  And she has just won Germany?s Hannah Arendt prize for political thought ? for focusing on ?the  political and societal impact of the current money production system,  mainly operated by banks through digital lending? and as effective  critic of ?the global financial industry, which operates outside of the  scope of political influence and democratic control?.

So Ann Pettifor is an undoubted battler against the austerity  economics of the neoclassical school and a promoter of government  measures to restore public services and boost the economy.  But to  achieve that, she relies entirely on the theories and policies of JM  Keynes and ?Keynesianism?.  Recently she published a short article for  the prestigious Times Literary Supplement, entitled The indefatigable efforts of J. M. Keynes. This is part of Footnotes to Plato, a TLS Online series appraising the works and legacies of the great thinkers and philosophers.

In this article, Pettifor compares Keynes? theories as being as  game-changing in economics as the discovery of evolution by Charles  Darwin in biology.  In her view, Keynes ?invented? macroeconomics, the  study of trends in economies at the aggregate level, escaping the  stifling neoclassical obsession with microeconomics (the study of value  and markets at the level of the individual unit).  She concurs with  Keynes?s theory of money and his explanation of crises under capitalism  as being caused by ?hoarding? money rather than spending it; and she  praises his ?internationalism? in arguing for international financial  institutions to control financial speculation and avoid instability in  market capitalism.  She finishes with the concern that Keynes? ideas and  policies have been reneged on and rejected and there has been a return  to ?decadent? capitalism, far removed from the golden age of the  post-1945 period when Keynesian policies were applied to make capitalism  work effectively for all.  She concludes with the call that ?It is time to restore the revolutionary Keynes.?

Well, I beg to differ on this view of Keynes and Keynesian theories  and policies.  For a start, it is inflated to suggest that Keynes? ideas  are on a par with those of Darwin.  Yes, there may be a few  creationists who reckon that God designed the world and its living  beings in his own image and preserved it accordingly.  But no sane  person thinks this has any validity.  The evidence is overwhelming that  Darwin was broadly right on the evolution of life.  But can we say that  Keynes is broadly right about the laws of motion and trends in the  capitalist economy?  I don?t think so ? and I?ll briefly attempt to show  why.

For a start, Pettifor is wrong when she says that ?classical  economics? was microeconomics as we know it now.  The use of the term  ?classical? used by Keynes bunched all the great early 19th century  economists like Adam Smith, James Mill and David Ricardo and their grand  studies of economies with the reactionary marginalist, subjectivist,  equilibrium theories of the mid to late 19th century of Jevons, Senior,  Bohm-Bawerk, Walrus and Mises. Keynes rejected the former while  continuing to accept the microeconomics of the latter.  For the  classical economists of the early 19th century capitalism, there was no  distinction between the micro and the macro.  The task was to analyse  the motion and trends in ?economies? and for that a theory of value was a  necessary tool but not an end in itself.

Microeconomics became an end in itself as a way of combating the  dangerous development in classical economy towards a theory of value  that implied the exploitation of labour and conflicting social  relations.  So the labour theory of value was replaced with the marginal  utility of purchase by the consumer as a result.  ?Political economy?  started as an analysis of the nature of capitalism on an ?objective?  basis by the great classical economists.  But once capitalism became the  dominant mode of production in the major economies and it became clear  that capitalism was another form of the exploitation of labour (this  time by capital), economics quickly moved to deny that reality.   Instead, mainstream economics became an apologia for capitalism, with  general equilibrium replacing real competition; marginal utility  replacing the labour theory of value; and Say?s law replacing crises.

Macroeconomics appears in the 20th century as a response to the failure of capitalist production ? in particular, the great depression of the 1930s.  Something had to  be done.  Keynes kept marginalist theory from his mentor, Alfred  Marshall, but dynamically moved it beyond supply and demand among  individual consumers and producers onto the aggregate. Mainstream  ?bourgeois? economics could no longer rely on the comforting theory that  marginal utility would equate with marginal productivity to deliver a  general equilibrium of supply and demand and thus a harmonious and  stable growth path for production, investment, incomes and employment.   The automatic equality of supply and demand, Say?s law, was now  questioned.  It had to be recognised that capitalism was subject to  booms and slumps, to (permanent?) disequilibria, and thus to regular  crises.  And these crises had to be dealt with ? to be ?managed?.  That  required macroeconomic analysis.  In a sense, bourgeois economics had to  put back the economic clock to classical economics ? the study of  aggregate trends ? but without returning to ?political economy?,  which recognised that economics was really about social structure and  relations (class exploitation) and not a theory of ?scarcity? and  ?market prices?.

Contrary to Pettifor?s account, it only appeared that Keynesian  macroeconomics had done the trick in saving capitalism.  In the ?golden  age? of post-1948 capitalism, economic growth was strong, employment was  full and incomes high.  So (macro) economics could appear to provide  policies to ?manage? capitalism successfully.  But this was just a  momentary illusion.  The golden age soon lost its glitter.  Keynesian  theory and policy was exposed with the first simultaneous international  recession of 1974-5 and was followed by the deep slump of 1980-2.   Remember these major collapses in production and investment  internationally took place during the supposed operation of Keynesian policies of macroeconomic management, in Pettifor?s account.

Pettifor says the crises of late 20th century were the result of ?the  decision by public authorities the world over to abandon the regulation  of credit creation and capital mobility after the 1960s and early 70s?, in other words, a lack of regulation over the reckless bankers.   But the question not answered is: why the strategists of capital  dropped Keynesian-style management and control and opted for  de-regulation etc if it was all working so well in the 1950s and 1960s?   The reason that pro-capitalist governments swung to monetarism and  neoliberal policies was that Keynesianism had failed.  And it failed in  the most important area for capitalism ? in sustaining the profitability  of capital.

The big change from the mid-1960s onwards up to the early 1980s was a  collapse in the profitability of capital in the major economies leading  to a succession of slumps in 1970, 1974 and then 1980-2.  This is what  provoked capitalist theorists and policy makers to break with Keynes.   Public services, the welfare state, good wages and full employment could  no longer be ?afforded? and, as Pettifor says, Keynesianism was seen to  be ?state interventionist, soft on government deficit spending.?  But all these policy reversals came after the slump of the 1970s before which finance capital was ?regulated?,  currencies were ?managed?, trade unions had rights, the government could  intervene fiscally, and there was little privatisation.  It was the  failure of capitalist production and the inability of Keynesian ideas to  work that caused the change in theory and policy, not vice versa.

Nevertheless, Pettifor argues, dropping Keynesianism was a mistake  for the ?powers that be? because Keynes had all the answers to avoid  crises and get capitalist economies going. You see Keynes had developed a  ?revolutionary theory? of money ? his Liquidity Preference  Theory.  This explained that crises occur when investors or holders of  money do not spend it, but hoard it.  They do this for some subjective  reasons ? a lack of ?animal spirits?, a loss of belief that any spending  or investing will deliver sufficient return.  So a surplus of money  builds up that is not spent.  The answer, claims Pettifor, is for the  monetary authorities to intervene and drive down the cost of borrowing  by ?printing? money, so that interest rates on borrowing fall below the  perceived return on investing.  This will encourage money hoarders to  invest.  Such policies are ?still considered too radical to be acceptable today?.

In her book, The Production of Money, Pettifor tells us that ?money is nothing more than a promise to pay? and that as ?we?re creating money all the time by making these promises?,  money is infinite and not limited in its production, so society can  print as much of it as it likes in order to invest in its social choices  without any detrimental economic consequences.  And through the  Keynesian multiplier effect, incomes and jobs can expand.  And ?it makes no difference where the government invests its money, if doing so creates employment?.   The only issue is to keep the cost of money, interest rates, as low as  possible, to ensure the expansion of money (or is it credit?) to drive  the capitalist economy forward.  Thus there is no need for any change in  the mode of production for profit; just take control of the money  machine to ensure an infinite flow of money and all will be well.

Well, capitalism is a monetary economy but it is not a money economy  (alone).  Money cannot make more money if no new value is created and  realized.  And that requires the employment and exploitation of labour  power.  Marx said it was a fetish to think that money can create more  money out of the air.  Yet this version of Keynesianism seems to think  it can.  When central banks expand the money supply through printing  ?fiat? money or creating bank reserves (deposits), more recently  so-called ?quantitative easing?, this does not expand value.  It would  only do so if this money is then put to productive use in increasing the  means of production or the workforce to increase output and so increase  value.

But, as Marx argued way back in the 1840s against the ?quantity  theory of money?, just expanding the supply of ?fiat? money will not  increase value and production but is more likely to inflate prices and  thus devalue the national currency, and/or inflate financial asset  prices.  It is the latter that has mostly happened in the recent period  of money printing.  Quantitative easing has not ended the current global  depression but merely sparked new financial speculation. This version  of Keynesian economics is thus hardly ?revolutionary? or ?radical? at  all, as it was adopted by all central banks after the Great Recession in  2008 and has failed to restore economic growth, productive investment  and average incomes.

Actually, during the Great Depression of the 1930s, as it worsened,  Keynes himself came to dispense with monetary solutions to the slumps  and opted for fiscal stimulus and even proposed the ?socialisation of  investment?, a much more radical policy than the production of more  money.  In his Treatise on Money,  written in 1930 at the start of the Great Depression, Keynes argued  that central banks would have to intervene with what we now call  ?unconventional monetary policies? designed to lower the cost of  borrowing and raise sufficient liquidity for investment. Just trying to  get the official interest rate down would not be enough.  But by 1936  after five more years of depression (similar to the time since the Great  Recession now), Keynes became less convinced that ?unconventional  monetary policies? would work.  In his famous General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, Keynes moved on.

Why did just the production of more money fail, according to Keynes?  The problem was that ??I  am now somewhat sceptical of the success of a merely monetary policy  directed towards influencing the rate of interest? since it seems likely  that the fluctuations in the market estimation of the marginal  efficiency of different types of capital, calculated on the principles I  have described above, will be too great to be offset by any practicable  changes in the rate of interest?.  And so Keynes moved on  to advocating fiscal spending and state intervention to complement or  pump-prime failing business investment.  Pettifor has latched onto that  part of Keynesian macro theory and policy, monetary easing, to the  neglect of fiscal stimulus, let alone the more radical policy of the  ?socialisation of investment? (not even mentioned by Pettifor).  Thus  Pettifor?s account of Keynes?s economics is at his least  ?revolutionary?.

Part Two: Was Keynes a revolutionary internationalist or reactionary nationalist?
Source: Keynes: revolutionary or reactionary?
7
'How Can You Be Moral?': Here Are 9 Questions You Don't Need to Ask an Atheist ? And Their Answers


"Why are atheists so angry?"


Asked of Hispanic-Americans: ?Are you in this country legally?? Asked of gays and lesbians and bisexuals: ?How do you have sex?? Asked of transgender people: ?Have you had the surgery?? Asked of African Americans: ?Can I touch your hair??

Every marginalized group has some question, or questions, that are routinely asked of them ? and that drive them up a tree; questions that have insult or bigotry or dehumanization woven into the very asking. Sometimes the questions are asked sincerely, with sincere ignorance of the offensive assumptions behind them. And sometimes they are asked in a hostile, passive-aggressive, ?I?m just asking questions? manner. But it?s still not okay to ask them. They?re not questions that open up genuine inquiry and discourse, they?re questions that close minds, much more than they open them. Even if that?s not the intention. And most people who care about bigotry and marginalization and social justice ? or who just care about good manners ? don?t ask them.

Here are nine questions you shouldn?t ask atheists. I?m going to answer them, just this once, and then I?ll explain why you shouldn?t be asking them, and why so many atheists will get ticked off if you do.

1: ?How can you be moral without believing in God??

The answer: Atheists are moral for the same reasons believers are moral: because we have compassion, and a sense of justice. Humans are social animals, and like other social animals, we evolved with some core moral values wired into our brains: caring about fairness, caring about loyalty, caring when others are harmed.

If you?re a religious believer, and you don?t believe these are the same reasons that believers are moral, ask yourself this: If I could persuade you today, with 100% certainty, that there were no gods and no afterlife? would you suddenly start stealing and murdering and setting fire to buildings? And if not ? why not? If you wouldn?t? whatever it is that would keep you from doing those things, that?s the same thing keeping atheists from doing them. (And if you would ? remind me not to move in next door to you.)

And ask yourself this as well: If you accept some parts of your holy book and reject others ? on what basis are you doing that? Whatever part of you says that stoning adulterers is wrong but helping poor people is good; that planting different crops in the same field is a non-issue but bearing false witness actually is pretty messed-up; that slavery is terrible but it?s a great idea to love your neighbor as yourself? that?s the same thing telling atheists what?s right and wrong. People are good ? even if we don?t articulate it this way ? because we have an innate grasp of the fundamental underpinnings of morality: the understanding that other people matter to themselves as much as we matter to ourselves, and that there is no objective reason to act as if any of us matters more than any other. And that?s true of atheists and believers alike.

Why you shouldn?t ask it: This is an unbelievably insulting question. Being moral, caring about others and having compassion for them, is a fundamental part of being human. To question whether atheists can be moral, to express bafflement at how we could possibly manage to care about others without believing in a supernatural creator, is to question whether we?re even fully human.

And you know what? This question is also hugely insulting to religious believers. It?s basically saying that the only reason believers are moral is fear of punishment and desire for reward. It?s saying that believers don?t act out of compassion, or a sense of justice. It?s saying that believers? morality is childish at best, self-serving at worst. I wouldn?t say that about religious believers? and you shouldn?t, either.

2: ?How do you have any meaning in your life?? Sometimes asked as, ?Don?t you feel sad or hopeless?? Or even, ?If you don?t believe in God or heaven, why don?t you just kill yourself??

The answer: Atheists find meaning and joy in the same things everyone does. We find it in the big things: family, friendship, work, nature, art, learning, love. We find it in the small things: cookies, World of Warcraft, playing with kittens. The only difference is that (a) believers add ?making my god or gods happy and getting a good deal in the afterlife? to those lists (often putting them at the top), and (b) believers think meaning is given to them by their god or gods, while atheists create our own meaning, and are willing and indeed happy to accept that responsibility.

In fact, for many atheists, the fact that life is finite invests it with more meaning ? not less. When we drop ?pleasing a god we have no good reason to think exists? from our ?meaning? list, we have that much more attention to give the rest of it. When we accept that life will really end, we become that much more motivated to make every moment of it matter.

Why you shouldn?t ask it: What was it that we were just saying about ?dehumanization?? Experiencing meaning and value in life is deeply ingrained in being human. When you treat atheists as if we were dead inside simply because we don?t believe in a supernatural creator or our own immortality? you?re treating us as if we weren?t fully human. Please don?t.

3: ?Doesn?t it take just as much/even more faith to be an atheist as it does to be a believer??

The answer: No.

The somewhat longer answer: This question assumes that ?atheism? means ?100% certainty that God does not exist, with no willingness to question and no room for doubt.? For the overwhelming majority of people who call ourselves atheists, this is not what ?atheism? means. For most atheists, ?atheism? means something along the lines of ?being reasonably certain that there are no gods,? or, ?having reached the provisional conclusion, based on the evidence we?ve seen and the arguments we?ve considered, that there are no gods.? No, we can?t be 100% certain that there are no gods. We can?t be 100% certain that there are no unicorns, either. But we?re certain enough. Not believing in unicorns doesn?t take ?faith.? And neither does not believing in God.

Why you shouldn?t ask it: The assumption behind this question is that atheists haven?t actually bothered to think about our atheism. And this assumption is both ignorant and insulting. Most atheists have considered the question of God?s existence or non-existence very carefully. Most of us were brought up religious, and letting go of that religion took a great deal of searching of our hearts and our minds. Even those of us brought up as non-believers were (mostly) brought up in a society that?s steeped in religion. It takes a fair amount of questioning and thought to reject an idea that almost everyone else around you believes.

And when you ask this question, you?re also revealing the narrowness of your own mind. You?re showing that you can?t conceive of the possibility that someone might come to a conclusion about religion based on evidence, reason, and which ideas seem most likely to be true, instead of on ?faith.?

4: ?Isn?t atheism just a religion??

The answer: No.

The somewhat longer answer: Unless you?re defining ?religion? as ?any conclusion people come to about the world,? or as ?any community organized around a shared idea,? then no. If your definition of ?religion? includes atheism, it also has to include: Amnesty International, the Audubon Society, heliocentrism, the acceptance of the theory of evolution, the Justin Bieber Fan Club, and the Democratic Party. By any useful definition of the word ?religion,? atheism is not a religion.

Why you shouldn?t ask it: Pretty much the same reason as the one for #3. Calling atheism a religion assumes that it?s an axiom accepted on faith, not a conclusion based on thinking and evidence. And it shows that you?re not willing or able to consider the possibility that someone not only has a different opinion about religion than you do, but has come to that opinion in a different way.

5: ?What?s the point of atheist groups? How can you have a community and a movement for something you don?t believe in??

The answer: Atheists have groups and communities and movements for the same reasons anyone does. Remember what I said about atheists being human? Humans are social animals. We like to spend time with other people who share our interests and values. We like to work with other people on goals we have in common. What?s more, when atheists come out about our atheism, many of us lose our friends and families and communities, or have strained and painful relationships with them. Atheists create communities so we can be honest about who we are and what we think, and still not be alone.

Why you shouldn?t ask it: This is a total ?damned if we do, damned if we don?t? conundrum. Atheists get told all the time that people need religion for the community it provides: that persuading people out of religion is cruel or futile or both, since so much social support happens in religious institutions. Then, when atheists do create communities to replace the ones people so often lose when they leave religion, we get told how ridiculous this is. (Or else we?re told, ?See? Atheism is just another religion!? See #4 above.)

6: ?Why do you hate God?? Or, ?Aren?t you just angry at God??

The answer: Atheists aren?t angry at God. We don?t think God exists. We aren?t angry at God, any more than we?re angry at Santa Claus.

Why you shouldn?t ask it: This question doesn?t just deny our humanity. It denies our very existence. It assumes that atheists don?t really exist: that our non-belief isn?t sincere, that it?s some sort of emotional trauma or immature teenage rebellion, that it?s not even really non-belief.

And honestly? This question reveals how narrow your own mind is. It shows that you can?t even consider the possibility that you might be mistaken: that you can?t even conceive of somebody seeing the world differently from the way you do. This question doesn?t just make atheists mad. It makes you look like a dolt.

7: ?But have you [read the Bible or some other holy book; heard about some supposed miracle; heard my story about my personal religious experience]??

The answer: Probably. Or else we?ve read/heard about something pretty darned similar. Atheists are actually better-informed about religion than most religious believers. In fact, we?re better-informed about the tenets of most specific religions than the believers in those religions. For many atheists, sitting down and reading the Bible (or the holy text of whatever religion they were brought up in) is exactly what set them on the path to atheism ? or what put the final nail in the coffin.

Why you shouldn?t ask it: As my friend and colleague Heina put it: ??Have you heard of Jesus?? No, actually, I was born under a fucking rock.?

Are you really not aware of how dominating a force religion is in society? In most of the world, and certainly in the United States, religion is impossible to ignore. It permeates the social life, the economic life, the cultural life, the political life. We?re soaking in it. The idea that atheists might somehow have come to adulthood without being aware of the Bible, of stories about supposed miracles, of stories about personal religious experiences? it?s laughable. Or it would be laughable if it weren?t so annoying. Religious privilege is all over this question like a cheap suit.

8: ?What if you?re wrong?? Sometimes asked as, ?Doesn?t it make logical sense to believe in God? If you believe and you?re wrong, nothing terrible happens, but if you don?t believe and you?re wrong, you could go to Hell!?

The answer: What if you?re wrong about Allah? Or Vishnu? Or Zeus? What if you?re wrong about whether God is the wrathful jerk who hates gay people, or the loving god who hates homophobes? What if you?re wrong about whether God wants you to celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday or Sunday? What if you?re wrong about whether God really does care about whether you eat bacon? As Homer Simpson put it, ?What if we picked the wrong religion? Every week we?re just making God madder and madder!?

Why you shouldn?t ask it: There are so very many things wrong with this question. It even has a name ? Pascal?s Wager ? and I?ve actually written an entire piece on the many things that are wrong with it. But I?ll stick with two for today, the ones that aren?t just logically absurd but that insult the intelligence and integrity of both atheists and believers:

a) Are you really that ignorant of the existence of religions other than your own? Has it really never occurred to you that when you ?bet? on the existence of your god, there are thousands upon thousands of other gods whose existence you?re ?betting? against? Are you really that steeped, not only in the generic privilege of all religion, but in the particular privilege of your own?

b) Do you really think atheists have so little integrity? Do you really think we?re going to fake belief in God? not just to our families or communities in order to not be ostracized, but in our own hearts and minds? Do you really think we?re going to deliberately con ourselves into believing ? or pretending to believe ? something that we don?t actually think is true? Not just something trivial, but something this important? Do you really think we would pick what to think is true and not true about the world, based solely on which idea would be most convenient? How does that even constitute ?belief?? (And anyway, do you really think that God would be taken in by this con game? Do you really think that what God wants from his followers is an insincere, self-serving, ?wink wink, I?m covering my bases? version of ?belief??)

9: ?Why are you atheists so angry??

The answer: I?ve actually written an entire book answering this question (Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless). The short answer: Not all atheists are angry about religion ? and those of us who are angry aren?t in a constant state of rage. But yes, many atheists are angry about religion ? and we?re angry because we see terrible harm being done by religion. We?re angry about harm being done to atheists? and we?re angry about harm done to other believers. We don?t just think religion is mistaken ? we think it does significantly more harm than good. And it pisses us off.

Why you shouldn?t ask it: This question assumes that atheists are angry because there?s something wrong with us. It assumes that atheists are angry because we?re bitter, selfish, whiny, unhappy, because we lack joy and meaning in our lives, because we have a God-shaped hole in our hearts. The people asking it seem to have never even considered the possibility that atheists are angry because we have legitimate things to be angry about.

This reflexive dismissal of our anger?s legitimacy does two things. It treats atheists as flawed, broken, incomplete. And it defangs the power of our anger. (Or it tries to, anyway.) Anger is a hugely powerful motivating force ? it has been a major motivating force for every social change movement in history ? and when people try to dismiss or trivialize atheists? anger, they are, essentially, trying to take that power away.

And finally: The people asking this question never seem to notice just how much atheist anger is directed, not at harm done to atheists, but at harm done to believers. A huge amount of our anger about religion is aimed at the oppression and brutality and misery created by religion, not in the lives of atheists, but in the lives of believers. Our anger about religion comes from compassion, from a sense of justice, from a vivid awareness of terrible damage being done in the world and a driving motivation to do something about it. Atheists aren?t angry because there?s something wrong with us. Atheists are angry because there?s something right with us. And it is messed-up beyond recognition to treat one of our greatest strengths, one of our most powerful motivating forces and one of the clearest signs of our decency, as a sign that we?re flawed or broken.

*****

The list of questions you shouldn?t ask atheists doesn?t end here. It goes on, at length. ?How can you believe in nothing?? ?Doesn?t atheism take the mystery out of life?? ?Even though you don?t believe, shouldn?t you bring up your children with religion?? ?Can you prove there isn?t a god?? ?Did something terrible happen to you to turn you away from religion?? ?Are you just doing this to rebel?? ?Are you just doing this so you don?t have to obey God?s rules?? ?If you?re atheist, why do you celebrate Christmas/ say ?Bless you? when people sneeze/ spend money with ?In God We Trust? on it/ etc.?? ?Have you sincerely tried to believe?? ?Can?t you see God everywhere around you?? ?Do you worship Satan?? ?Isn?t atheism awfully arrogant?? ?Can you really not conceive of anything bigger than yourself?? ?Why do you care what other people believe??

But for now, I?ll leave these questions as an exercise for the reader. If you understand why all the questions I answered today are offensive and dehumanizing, I hope you?ll understand why these are as well.

If you want to understand more about atheists and atheism ? that is awesome. Many of us are more than happy to talk about our atheism with you: that?s how we change people?s minds about us, and overcome the widespread myths and misinformation about us. But maybe you could do a little Googling before you start asking us questions that we?ve not only fielded a hundred times before, but that have bigotry and dehumanization and religious privilege embedded in the very asking. And if you do want to know more about atheism, please stop and think about the questions you?re asking ? and the assumptions behind them ? before you do. Thanks.


Source: 'How Can You Be Moral?': Here Are 9 Questions You Don't Need to Ask an Atheist ? And Their Answers
8
Infoshop News / Few Democrats Offer Alternatives to War-Weary Voters
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on Yesterday at 06:00:20 AM »
Few Democrats Offer Alternatives to War-Weary Voters

Chants of ?No More War? from delegates at the 2016 Democratic National Convention gave voice to sentiments that still resonate through the base of the party and the broad U.S. public, notably in communities with higher rates of military sacrifice.


The post Few Democrats Offer Alternatives to War-Weary Voters appeared first on Infoshop News.


Source: Few Democrats Offer Alternatives to War-Weary Voters
9
Infoshop News / What if ? people could migrate freely?
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on Yesterday at 06:00:20 AM »
What if ? people could migrate freely?

Architect and illustrator Theo Deutinger has made a simple but telling set of graphics showing the number of countries you can travel to without a visa, depending on your nationality.


The post What if … people could migrate freely? appeared first on Infoshop News.


Source: What if ? people could migrate freely?
10
Michael Cohen's Now a Democrat ? And Is Urging Voters Hit the Polls in 'Most Important Vote in Our Lifetime'


Michael Cohen's lawyer announced his client returned to the Democratic Party in a statement released Sunday.


 

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney and "fixer," has switched back to being a member of the Democratic Party.

Cohen, who has turned on his former boss despite once saying that he would take a bullet for the billionaire real estate mogul, has additionally proclaimed to his fellow Americans that the upcoming elections "might be the most important in our lifetime."

That statement was made Sunday ? just three days after Cohen's attorney Lanny Davis had tweeted that his client was further demonstrating his separation from Trump by leaving the Republican Party and returning to his previous partisan affiliation as a Democrat.

"Today, [Michael Cohen] returning to the Democratic Party another step in his journey that began with the @ABC @GStephanopolous Cohen putting family and country first -distancing himself from the values of the current Admin - Can?t wait for his first interview!" Davis tweeted, teasing to stay tuned.

On Sunday, Cohen subsequently tweeted that "the #MidtermElections2018 might be the most important vote in our lifetime, adding a pair of get-out-the-vote hashtags.

The #MidtermElections2018 might be the most important vote in our lifetime. #GetOutAndVote #VoteNovember6th

? Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) October 14, 2018

In response, Davis tweeted that "no one knows better than [Michael Cohen] why the midterm stakes are so important to #America?s future as he is the holder of truth about [Trump] #MichaelCohenTruthFund."

Because Cohen is currently free on bail, and thus has not yet become an incarcerated felon, he will be able to vote in the New York midterm elections this November.

Since parting ways with Trump, Cohen has stated that he would not accept a pardon from the president if it was offered to him in exchange for not cooperating with the special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

His promise was challenged by Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing the adult film star and rumored Trump mistress Stormy Daniels, who also told Salon in July that Cohen should release all tapes of privately-recorded conversations that he might have had with the president. Avenatti declined to say, however, whether he would urge his own client to do the same.

"I'm not going to speculate what I would do. I've made my position very, very clear that Lanny Davis and Michael Cohen need to stop screwing around and release any and all tapes right now ? period," Avenatti told Salon.

"I'm not going to speculate. It doesn't matter. That's not the issue," he continued. "That's not what's going on here . . . I can't speculate as to what I would or would not do other than, if I was Lanny Davis and Michael Cohen I would do the right thing and release all of these tapes now."


Source: Michael Cohen's Now a Democrat ? And Is Urging Voters Hit the Polls in 'Most Important Vote in Our Lifetime'
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