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Put Pressure on the Media to Expose the TPP!

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Hope: its infinite value and why it changes you from the inside out

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Maybe this all seems self-evident to me because I worked with the CETA program in 1974 etc and saw many who had convinced themselves that sitting on the corner was what they wanted to do, instead sign up for subsidized training for real jobs that had a future. (Most had to sit on a waiting list for 6 months, then show up daily for another 6 months of training before job placement. And they did it.)

Too many programs were designed to fail, but CETA wasn’t one of them! Neither sentimentality nor mercilessness give people what they need, but those are the postures most often adopted by pundits. Ivan Illich  wrote that the means to end poverty were known by the middle of the 19th century, but that Capitalism chose to continue a profitable system powered by human misery.

I’m not suggesting that the answer is some great communist muddle without a range of outcomes. What I am saying is that endemic poverty with a crust of plutocrats is an artificial condition manufactured and maintained by a class of parasites, who just happen to run both of our political parties.

 

The Economist  May 12th 2012   Hope springs a trap

An absence of optimism plays a large role in keeping people trapped in poverty

THE idea that an infusion of hope can make a big difference to the lives of wretchedly poor people sounds like something dreamed up by a well-meaning activist or a tub-thumping politician. Yet this was the central thrust of a lecture at Harvard University on May 3rd by Esther Duflo, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology known for her data-driven analysis of poverty. Ms Duflo argued that the effects of some anti-poverty programmes go beyond the direct impact of the resources they provide. These programmes also make it possible for the very poor to hope for more than mere survival.

She and her colleagues evaluated a programme in the Indian state of West Bengal, where Bandhan, an Indian microfinance institution, worked with people who lived in extreme penury. They were reckoned to be unable to handle the demands of repaying a loan. Instead, Bandhan gave each of them a small productive asset—a cow, a couple of goats or some chickens. It also provided a small stipend to reduce the temptation to eat or sell the asset immediately, as well as weekly training sessions to teach them how to tend to animals and manage their households. Bandhan hoped that there would be a small increase in income from selling the products of the farm animals provided, and that people would become more adept at managing their own finances.

The results were far more dramatic. Well after the financial help and hand-holding had stopped, the families of those who had been randomly chosen for the Bandhan programme were eating 15% more, earning 20% more each month and skipping fewer meals than people in a comparison group. They were also saving a lot. The effects were so large and persistent that they could not be attributed to the direct effects of the grants: people could not have sold enough milk, eggs or meat to explain the income gains. Nor were they simply selling the assets (although some did).

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Neo-censorship: One-story-at-a-time onslaught submerges and exhausts

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The news media is into one-story-at-a-time mode these days with 24/7 speculation and mindless blather until all are sick and tired of the story du jour. Then it’s on to the next one!

While this is happening all other news is submerged or omitted (neo-censorship). And after they have moved on, there is little demand for updates or follow-up, even when the events are of major significance.

Here’s one example of news we need to know- but probably don’t:   (you may have your own examples- send them in and I’ll add them on)

TEPCO now confirms nuclear meltdown in Fukushima reactor No. 1

May 12, 2011  by Mike Adams (NaturalNews)
TEPCO has now publicly admitted it wasn’t telling the truth about the severity of the damage to Fukushima reactor No. 1. We’re now being told what we’ve suspected all along — that nuclear fuel rods in that reactor are totally exposed and have suffered a nuclear meltdown, releasing vast amounts of radiation comparable to Chernobyl. As Bloomberg now reports, the water level in reactor No. 4 is one meter below the fuel assembly itself. This means, of course, that the water isn’t high enough to cover the fuel rods, which is why those fuel rods have suffered a nuclear meltdown.

The Associated Press is also reporting that “other fuel has slumped to the bottom of the pressure vessel and is thought to be covered in water.” This statement is astonishing all by itself because it means the fuel rods were in a total meltdown hot enough to cause their metal containment cylinders to “slump” and melt their way down to the lower levels of the coolant pools. Notably, AP carefully avoids using the term “melt” and instead says the fuel rods “slumped.” This is all part of the AP’s determined downplaying of the Fukushima catastrophe (see below).

Not surprisingly, as AP now reports, “The findings also indicate a greater-than-expected leak in that vessel.” But the laws of nuclear physics don’t care what you “expect,” you see. They don’t care about media spin or power company B.S. The laws of physics simply follow their natural course, regardless of what you hope they do.

And in the case of Fukushima, the laws of physics led directly to a core fuel meltdown that now even the mainstream media cannot deny (although they still aren’t calling it a “nuclear meltdown”). As AP reports:

Nuclear Industrial and Safety Agency officials said the new data indicates that it is likely that partially melted fuel had fallen to the bottom of the pressurized vessel that holds the reactor core together and possibly leached down into the drywell soon after the March 11 quake and tsunami that struck Japan’s northeastern coast.

Undeniable meltdown
What AP is describing, of course, is a nuclear meltdown. It doesn’t get any more obvious than this: The fuel reached melting temperature and melted down. Along with this, there would have had to be a massive release of radiation into the containment vessel, which just happens to have numerous holes in it that allow highly radioactive water to leak directly into the environment. No wonder TEPCO discovered its radiation detectors had all maxed out there and become non-functional. No wonder TEPCO had to selectively stop reporting radiation releases — it was in the middle of a Chernobyl-like core fuel meltdown!

The Telegraph in the UK is refreshingly printing the truth on this story: “One of the reactors at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant did suffer a nuclear meltdown, Japanese officials admitted for the first time today, describing a pool of molten fuel at the bottom of the reactor’s containment vessel.”

But the mainstream media in the U.S. has obviously been instructed by the White House to avoid using the term “nuclear meltdown” in describing what happened at Fukushima. There is a rather blatant downplaying of the facts going on behind the scenes at the media giants.

Some of this spin can only be called blatant lies, by the way. In the same story linked above, AP claims “Unit 4 contained no fuel rods at the time of the earthquake…”

Huh? No fuel rods in reactor No. 4? What on Earth is this video showing? 

I love how the media admits it has been misreporting the truth of the situation all along, and then it comes up with new fairytale spin stories in practically the same sentence. They might as well just report, “There was no nuclear fuel in Fukushima at the time of the tsunami, and that’s why governments have stopped monitoring radiation levels.”

TEPCO once again meets Murphy’s Law
In any case, this sudden revelation that reactor No. 4 has already experienced a nuclear fuel meltdown is, not surprisingly, causing considerable setbacks to TEPCO’s plan to have the whole facility deactivated by Christmas. Just as NaturalNews publicly predicted, the Christmas shutdown plan was little more than a combination of fantasyland thinking and industry spin.

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Going Public- to see that justice is served

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March 26, 2011

A news discussion on CNN  yesterday revealed the Army’s reversal of charges of dereliction of duty by superior officers  Army accused of covering up mistakes in Afghan battle evidently in the hallowed tradition of “protecting the institution” and blaming the dead……

I noted another article in The Scientist which discusses the same inclination in scientific circles:

Sometimes going public with an accusation is the only way to bring the truth to light……..the local commission investigating the case might delay, play down or even suppress incriminating evidence, perhaps going public was the only way to see that justice was served.

A South Carolina news item Ideology trumps health reports:

Dr. David Cull, a prominent vascular surgeon in Greenville, had invented a small valve system that, if it works, could spare 300,000 dialysis patients across the country enormous suffering and save U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars.

But Cull’s hometown senator, Jim DeMint, would not write a letter supporting the surgeon’s application for a federal grant under the landmark health care bill that President Barack Obama signed into law a year ago today….

DeMint vowed in 2009 to make health care Obama’s “Waterloo” and is leading Republican efforts in Congress to repeal or deny funding to the law.

All our institutions are prone to cover their butts, choose ideology over the public good and discard those who seek justice.

In effect this delays institutional ability to learn from mistakes, and it used to go on for generations. New technology and recognition of the value of “transparency” (in word if not in action) are game changers.  Recent comments by Fouad Ajami about WikiLeaks in Foreign Policy magazine  included observations that nothing particularly new was revealed, just confirmation of what people already knew but was not officially acknowledged.

The powers-that-be are certain to push back in order to censor or punish those who reveal painful truths.  But those with the courage to go public today are challenging traditions of smirking hypocrisy, institutionalized corruption, and blaming the victim. I applaud them!

–Claudia

see also: Despite Reforms, Whistleblowers at Development Banks Face Retaliation
By Charles Davis

The Oily Billionaire Koch Bros’ Obscene Game of Monopoly

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AlterNet

Here’s an infographic from  friends at The Other 98%:

The Hypocrisy of ‘America’s’ Democracy: Keeping it Real

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By Larry Pinkney     

“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.” – Frantz Fanon

“Killing One Person Is MURDER–Killing 100,000 Is FOREIGN POLICY.”  – Anonymous

January 20, 2011″BlackCommentator” — The United States of America is, in reality, a one-party corporatist state whose very existence is, more than ever, perpetuated by a conscious deliberate denial of reality, even in the face of the obvious.

This nation’s internal and external political, economic, and military policies have nothing whatever to do with “democracy,” “justice,” or “human rights;” and everything to do with exploitation, hegemony, deceit, and control of the many–by the fewNo amount of rationalization can change or ameliorate this fact.

Everyday Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow people in this actual one-party U.S. corporatist state are the de facto cannon fodder of the corporate / military Democratic and Republican Party foxes and wolves respectively. Moreover, it is utterly absurd and delusionary to expect “hope” to bring about much-needed systemicchange.” The time is here for the people of this nation to dispense with myths, face reality, and change it.

Corporations are in constant covert (and often unabashed overt) control of the White House, the congress, and the judiciary, even as this nation’s infrastructure deteriorates and living standards plummet–along with decent living wages and opportunities for everyday people. The two Rs–Rhetoric and Repression–are what the masses of everyday people are the daily recipients. Meanwhile, the corporate elite of corporations including Honeywell, General Electic, Lockheed, Boeing, and so very many more– rake in billions upon billions of dollars in blood money as they develop and perfect ever more sinister and devastatingly hideous devices and killing machines–to the scourge of humankind and the entire planet.  There is no war (declared or undeclared) that the corporate / military elite do not support–for whether any war itself is won or lost–this avaricious corporate / military  elite wins. They smugly and arrogantly wrap themselves in apparent political expediency under the cover of grotesquely distorted patriotism–sanctimoniously financially enriching themselves–while bathing in the precious irreplaceable blood of everyday people of this nation and that of people around the globe. This is the corporate trough from which the politicians of this nation drink and to which they are beholden.

With over 800 U.S. military bases / installations throughout this planet–the amoral symbiotic relationship between corporations and politicans in this nation (including the judiciary and ever-compliant corporate-stream “news” media) reeks with the stench of hypocrisy, injustice, subterfuge, and death. As the present robotic, black-faced, corporate / military, nominal head of the U.S. empire shamelessly wages military wars abroad while facilitating repression against political dissenters and against any possibility of having informed, honest, and real dialouge at home; the hypocrisy of ‘America’s’ so called democracy is self evident whether or not people choose to see the obvious.

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Chris Hedges: ‘The Left Has Nowhere to Go’

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Jan 3, 2011           TruthDig

By Chris Hedges

Ralph Nader in a CNN poll a few days before the 2008 presidential election had an estimated 3 percent of the electorate, or about 4 million people, behind his candidacy. But once the votes were counted, his support dwindled to a little over 700,000. Nader believes that many of his supporters entered the polling booth and could not bring themselves to challenge the Democrats and Barack Obama. I suspect Nader is right. And this retreat is another example of the lack of nerve we must overcome if we are going to battle back against the corporate state. A vote for Nader or Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney in 2008 was an act of defiance. A vote for Obama and the Democrats was an act of submission. We cannot afford to be submissive anymore.

“The more outrageous the Republicans become, the weaker the left becomes,” Nader said when I reached him at his home in Connecticut on Sunday. “The more outrageous they become, the more the left has to accept the slightly less outrageous corporate Democrats.”

Nader fears a repeat of the left’s cowardice in the next election, a cowardice that has further empowered the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party, maintained the role of the Democratic Party as a lackey for corporations, and accelerated the reconfiguration of the country into a neo-feudalist state. Either we begin to practice a fierce moral autonomy and rise up in multiple acts of physical defiance that have no discernable short-term benefit, or we accept the inevitability of corporate slavery. The choice is that grim. The age of the practical is over. It is the impractical, those who stand fast around core moral imperatives, figures like Nader or groups such as Veterans for Peace, which organized the recent anti-war rally in Lafayette Park in Washington, which give us hope. If you were one of the millions who backed down in the voting booth in 2008, don’t do it again. If you were one of those who thought about joining the Washington protests against the war where 131 of us were arrested and did not, don’t fail us next time. The closure of the mechanisms within the power system that once made democratic reform possible means we stand together as the last thin line of defense between a civil society and its disintegration. If we do not engage in open acts of defiance, we will empower a radical right-wing opposition that will replicate the violence and paranoia of the state. To refuse to defy in every way possible the corporate state is to be complicit in our strangulation.

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Silent Majority Faces Sad End

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I keep seeing articles written as if Obama might waken from his actual self and become the dream-self many thought he was. Why is it so difficult for many to face the current reality?

There was never any intention or even feint move to fulfill his supposed campaign promises. If we can’t get beyond that, we can never effectively stand up to the onslaught against the people by the banks and the mega-corps. The polls tell us the people’s views are being ignored with impunity. Because they can! The Lone Ranger isn’t coming this time.

This article is interesting for its statistics about people’s stand on issues. If only it mattered!

RICHARD ESKOW
The New Silent Majority
“Today there’s a New Silent Majority, and it looks very different from Nixon’s. The polling results are undeniable: This Majority is looking for somebody to fight the big banks, protect Social Security, and tax the rich to fund government’s vital role in society … If the President can let go of his attachment to his postpartisan self-image and embrace the policies most Americans want and need, they can be his North Star.”

exerpt:

The American majority must be suffering from whiplash. It’s not just the sudden reversal on the deficit. Now the story of the day is taxes – which was a top priority for only one voter in fifty.

What else does the “new silent majority” stand for, besides jobs, protecting Social Security, and taxes for the rich?

  • 72% want the government to crack down on Wall Street more than it has.
  • 81% want the government to do more to reduce poverty.
  • Eight out of ten oppose cutting Medicare.

Despite the widespread support for these views by members of both parties (bipartisanship at last!), the political and media landscapes are dominated by journalists and politicians who keep telling us these positions are “extremist” and politically unrealistic.

–read entire article here

The TSA is out of control

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BrasscheckTV.com

The government is doing what it does best – it’s lying.

“There is no problem.”

The media is doing what it does best – it’s presenting the story in a fragmentary, dismissive way.

NO ONE is putting all the pieces together.

This is a much bigger story than just Nazi-like behavior at the airports.

Subscribe to BrasscheckTV.com to get updates.

Even this video just scratches the surface – and please share this page with your friends.

If we don’t protest, it will only get worse.

Also see this video:

Michael Chertoff ordered the full body x-ray scanners *before* the so-called “underwear bomber” scare.  Now he personally profits from selling them to the Department of Homeland Security


Written by laudyms

November 17, 2010 at 8:57 am

US Midterm Election: Battle of the Billionaires (either way, you lose)

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The ballots have been cast, the polls have closed and the Republicans have retaken the House. But the 2010 Midterm Elections were the most expensive in history, and the money isn’t going anywhere. On the right, billionaire David Koch and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation fuel the Tea Party. And on the left, General ElectricViacom gave President Barack Obama a commercial-free, hour-long town hall across its networks. And while Republicans and Democrats come and go in Congress, Wall Street’s interests are just too big to lose.

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