The Joe Blow Report 2

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Posts Tagged ‘Amy Goodman

Debt Crisis Flimflam

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Day before yesterday, actually Friday, July 22, 2011, I started out listening to Democracy Now. Halfway through the program I listened to an interview with economist Michael Hudson, Pushing Crisis: GOP Cries Wolf on Debt Ceiling in Order to Impose Radical Pro-Rich Agenda.

What caught my attention was this comment by Amy Goodman:

“Meanwhile, more details have emerged about the massive government bailout of the banking industry. On Thursday, the Government Accountability Office issued an audit of the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending programs. It revealed the Fed provided more than $16 trillion in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses.”

This is money the Federal Reserve simply printed then used. If you ever wondered why the dollar doesn’t buy as much as it used to, well – there’s your answer. The more they print the less valuable the dollar becomes. Remember, this is printed money on top of all the other bailout money and wars.

Read the complete interview. He details exactly what is going on with the current “crisis,” the so-called debt war between President Obama and the Republicans – what Obama is REALLY doing and what America and the World can expect. Here’s a taste:

“What’s happening across the world is an attempt by the financial sector to really make its move and say this is their opportunity for a power grab. And they’re creating this artificial crisis as an opportunity to carve up the public domain and to give themselves enough money. They’re taking the money and running, because they know that unemployment is going up. The game is over. They know that. And the only question is, how much can they take, how fast?”

Later that morning is picked up the Times-Standard newspaper and read, this masterful piece of invective written by eight brilliant and undaunted people: Progress or protest? We need to work together to move forward.” Their solution for “working together” will take your breath away. The implementation of the flimflam betrayal Michael Hudson explains is demonstrated locally by these eight individual and their class warfare. Classic sheep in wolves clothing.

To conclude, that afternoon I listened to Barack Obama as he spoke to the White House Press Core as he tried to explain why the talks on the debt crisis broke down. Of course, he accepted NO responsibility for what happened. Later, I listened to Speaker of the House John Boehner explain his conduct. He, however, said something rather interesting. He said Obama would say one thing to the public, but when he was in direct talks did something altogether different, putting Boehner in a difficult position. Since under those conditions he couldn’t negotiate in good-faith he had to accept the reality and act accordingly. Based upon my own life’s experience, I’d say John Boehner is the one most likely speaking the truth.

Amazingly, what Michael Hudson talked about earlier that morning was playing out right before my eyes. There’s a crisis alright, but not the one they want everybody to believe we’re facing.

If Michael Hudson has it right, and I’m inclined to believe he does, then this flimflam is about the Rich Elite’s finalizing their looting. They’re really only just fighting over the scraps.
[Source]

–Joe

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The Awakening – As Defined by Mildred Aristide

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[UPDATE Below: Article by Juan Cole]

One of the best definitions I’ve heard to date was expressed by Mildred Aristide in her interview with Amy Goodman March 22, 2011. You can hear the complete interview on Democracy Now website. Of interest was how Haiti was comparing to what was sweeping across North Africa and how that related to the Haitian people’s struggle for legitimacy as a free people. Here is what she said:

AMY GOODMAN: So, two U.S-backed coups, 1991 and 2004, and now the U.S.—well, President Obama calling President Zuma to say, “Do not fly the Aristides home to Haiti.”

MILDRED ARISTIDE: I think—again, I think it’s—it’s an inability, maybe, by the American political process to understand the kind of relation that Titide has with the Haitian people, and it doesn’t fit within the kind of policy frameworks that perhaps they have of—and so, it’s an unwillingness to see beyond that. I’ll attribute it to that. And, you know, in the meanwhile—

AMY GOODMAN: Explain a little more what you mean.

MILDRED ARISTIDE: Well, I think that—I think that the United States and a lot of those western European countries see politics a certain way, and I think that they have no right to impose that on other peoples. And, you know, if I’m rattling, I’ll rattle, I’ll continue.

But I attended, just the week before we left South Africa, at UNISA—there is a very, very important African lawyer, economist and really a profound thinker from Uganda, Professor Dani Nabudere. And he—and I had met him when I first came to South Africa, and he spoke at UNISA just the week before we left. And he was talking about what was happening now in Egypt and what happened in Tunisia and talking about the people’s revolutions, he said. And one of things that he said, and it really struck me, and I wrote a note in my notebook, he said that, for him, in his perception, is that the people—and I think it was in response to a question. They were saying, you know, “What’s the next step in terms of organizing this resistance that has been happening in Tunisia and in Egypt, for example?” And he said, for him, what was evolving—and he described it as an evolution in what the people are demanding and are requesting of the state—it’s beyond “We want a democratically elected government.” It’s beyond “We want a transparent government. We want elections every four years.” It’s a demand for a new kind of relationship with the state, a human relationship with the state. And it’s a humification—and I think he even used that—or rendering the state as a human being and saying, “We want a state that understands us, that feels us, that has a heart.” And he used terms that one would use between two people. And he said, “That’s what the people are demanding.” So it goes beyond electoral democracy. It goes beyond notions of transparency, which are on paper. And that’s what the people are demanding. [Emphasis added]

And I thought—I said, “You know, that’s what Haitians have been asserting for a long time. It’s a changed notion of state.” And so, I think that that’s one of the elements that led to, you know, the repeated elections of Lavalas. So, it’s not—and that falls outside the rubric or the framework of what the U.S. sees as what is electoral democracy and what qualifies as electoral democracy. So I found a lot of resonance in his explanation of this new kind of human relationship with the state.

And I would—and taking that further, and what Haitians have been saying, especially since the earthquake, in terms of what—you know, this tragic situation that they face and what they were demanding—and I think acknowledging that, you know, the rebuilding—or the building, I should say—could not happen, will not happen, in, as we’ve seen, six months or a year, but it’s a sense of seeing across from you a human face that is understanding, that has a heart, that is empathetic in the most profound sense with what is being experienced, notwithstanding an inability to provide immediate services. And I think that that’s—we’re approaching our destination. And I think that that’s something that Titide has always offered in all of the roles that he’s played—as a priest, as an educator, when he was president, and now as he will return to education and continue to be a person that always [inaudible].

A “new notion of state.” The old notion has nearly destroyed this earth and seriously put in jeopardy the human race. The young people are stepping up and asserting their right to claim life and to inherit this earth. Will the Universe respect their claim?

[UPDATE :: Wednesday, March 23, 2011]

Informed Comment by Juan Cole also speaks about this “Awakening.”  Its the Popular Sovereignty, Stupid. He looks at this phenomena from a more American perspective – probably what this country is trying to impose on these people while their movement is still young and immature. Problem is, the older generation and those that support them are not going away peacefully. Just look at Egypt. Voting, modified Constitution, same kind of American-style Democracy retaining the Old Guard and their corrupt policies. A worthy read.

–Joe

[Source]

Lord Love a Republican

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[UPDATE Below] [UPDATE I :: We Can’t Afford War] [UPDATE II]

War on the Little People

When you’ve lost you job because of the Banks, Wall Street, Obama economy fix and you can’t collect any unemployment benefits and end up homeless and hungry look to your friends, relatives and neighbors that are Republican.

Senate Republicans Block Unemployment Benefits Bill

Senate Republicans have blocked another effort to extend unemployment benefits to millions of jobless workers. Emergency jobless benefits, which provide up to ninety-nine weeks of income support, expired June 2. More than 1.2 million people have already had their checks cut off, but that total is expected soon to rise to two million people.

This is from FireDogLake:

Republicans block unemployment bill

Associated Press:

Stymied by GOP, Democrats at loss on jobs agenda

These Republicans can spend trillions of borrowed dollars on made-up wars, but can’t do anything for the Americans forced to pay for their crass beliefs and looting. [Source]

[UPDATE :: Friday, June 25, 2010]

War on the little people started when? In the process of finding this picture I came across this blog article on Big Dan’s Big Blog posted March 2, 2010, that I think is still appropriate today.

[UPDATE II :: Tuesday, July 20, 2010]

FINALLY!  Senate Democrats set to leap hurdle on extending jobless benefits
Democrats are expected to overcome Republican opposition to the package of new aid for unemployed Americans.

–Joe

Black Hope Only a Storehouse of Phantom Expectations

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yes_magazineBack when I first entered the business world, nearly 45 years ago Joe Blow was full of “white” hope and a storehouse of expectations. My father, a “Gypo” logger in those days, bought property, built a modern home, raised his family, had a good reputation within the community, and was moderately properous. When he offered me the opportunity to become his equal partner I jumped at the chance. Some of my goals for the business were to make family and social (community and enviornment) interests as a priority objective. Financially, the goal was to operate from a sound base, never needing to operate or make payments or living from one paycheck to the next. It was obvious to me that the old ways were failing and a fundamentally new approach was required if we were to survive long term. My Father, however, had bought into this idea of “phantom money” as sound wealth. The rest of the story, of course, is history. 50 or more years of dark age thinking based upon the deceptive lies of medieval beliefs has taken America and the World to the point of no return.

Mr. Korton, however, still seems to think that there is a chance for America. Even though he plainly says its very “clear that we have a failed economic system”. Hand in hand with that reality also proven during the past 50 years is that we also have a failed political system. Both systems are an illusion. Hope in hope. Faith in faith. Belief in hope. Belief in faith. Belief in opinion. All are as illusory as smoke. They are the object of themselves, without substance or any basis. Nothing more than superstitious beliefs in the Hoper. It’s obvious Mr. Obama, even at this early stage, do not have the pedigree necessary to fix the failed systems even if he wanted to do so.

Real hope is defined by men like Mr. David Korten. Read what he has to say and why then compare that to Mr. Barack Obama, what he said and what he is currently doing and you just might come to understand the difference.

We encourage you to consider what David Korten offers as a better way, a way we could start or improve on right here in Humboldt County.

David Korten, co-founder of Positive Futures Network and publisher of the magazine YES!. He is also a former professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business and the author of several books, including When Corporations Rule the World and The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community. His newest book is just out, called Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth. In it, David Korten argues the nation faces a monumental economic challenge that goes far beyond anything being discussed in Congress. He writes that now is an opportune moment to move forward an agenda to replace the failed money-serving institutions of our present economy with the institutions of a new economy dedicated to serving life.

Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth

DAVID KORTEN: Well, it really starts with being clear that we have a failed economic system. And we’ve seen very dramatically the consequences of the financial failure. But what we’re not talking about is the connection to the environmental failure, the destruction of earth’s living systems, and the social failure of an economic system that by its very design, particularly as manifest on Wall Street, is designed to increase inequality. You know, having worked in international development for many years, I’m very familiar with the argument that the way to deal with poverty is, through economic growth, to bring up the bottom. But, of course, what we see—and we’ve seen this for decades—is that, in fact, economic growth tends to raise the top and depress the bottom.

Now, part of it’s coming to terms with the fact that we live on a finite planet. We’ve got finite resources. And the question is, what are our economic priorities? How do we allocate those resources? And it requires a fundamentally different approach to the economy: evaluating economic performance by the things that we really want, in terms of human and natural well-being, rather than a system that is purely designed to increase financial returns to the already very wealthy.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Your book’s subtitle, From a Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth—what is phantom wealth?

DAVID KORTEN: Yeah. This is part of understanding the current Wall Street system, which is built around an illusion, the illusion that money is wealth, which then translates into the idea that people who are creating—or who are making money are in fact creating wealth. And what Wall Street has become extremely expert at is creating money out of nothing through financial bubbles, through pyramiding lending to create fictitious assets that become collateral for more bank lending, and then combining that with the predatory aspects of usurious lending and deceptive lending and the use of credit cards as a substitute for a living wage—all the games that Wall Street is playing. And it’s actually based on a philosophy that says we don’t need to produce anything as a country, if we can—you know, if we can do all this financial innovation that allows us to create financial assets without producing anything of real value. I mean, it’s absolutely insane. And yet, it is the—it’s been the foundation of our economic policy in this country for decades now.

AMY GOODMAN: You have spent your life focusing on issues of sustainability. You talk about excess consumption. What is the model that you could see right now? What is the model that we have right now? And what is the one you want to see built?

DAVID KORTEN: Yeah, well, the amazing thing is that our system is built on driving increased consumption, but particularly it is driving the most destructive and wasteful forms of consumption, of course, starting with war, moving on to automobile dependence, and which is not just about the energy issue, but it’s about the fragmentation of society, as we move out into the suburbs. It’s about the breakdown of the family, as we put more and more stress on the family. So you have to have two or more people in the household working more than one job each just to keep the household together, which means the children are without caretakers and so forth.

You begin to put this all together, you say, well, if we began to really organize our economic activities around the things that really matter, we’d be looking at things—well, how do we organize our economy so that it actually builds human relationships, so it supports families, so it creates an environment in which our children can grow up both physically and psychologically healthy? And we begin to say, well, first of all, it would be a good idea to end war. And, of course, most of our wars are about competition for resources to maintain our wasteful lifestyle. So let’s really get serious about world peace. Then we’ve got to start reducing our dependence on automobiles and recognize that rather than reemploying autoworkers in making automobiles, we should be employing them in building bicycles, building public transportation and so forth, all the things we need. Instead of investing massively in advertising, you know, redirect those creative communications resources to education. You begin to see, in almost every aspect of our economy, the opportunity to redirect resources in ways that actually increase our well-being—they’re not about sacrifice, ultimately—and bringing ourselves into balance with one another and with earth.

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