Posts Tagged Justice
Watch this: In today’s political world the majority of the tools needed for political change are all owned and controlled by the top 1% and of course corporations. The same group that is often causing and benefiting from the situation that we the people feel needs changing. Even voting is manipulated to minimize any real effectivity. The tools that are inviolate for the powerless are ideas and their bodies. The ideas will inevitably lead to some form of action and then even those with no political capital have the ability to use their bodies in defiance of situations or laws deemed unjust. In a democracy this marriage of ideas and civil disobedience should be practiced continuously and by the majority of those with little power or leverage, the bottom 90%.
The YouTube video below, created by the environmental group breakfree2016.org shows many examples of civil disobedience utilized by people around the world, with little or no power, as they fight the battle of Climate Change with very few tools except their ideas, their voices and their bodies. Read the rest of this entry »
Watch / Read: In the following Democracy Now interview, Juan Gonzalez and Amy Goodman interview journalist Greg Palast, exploring an example of what many would call a classic example of “Vulture Capitalism”. In this case longtime Republican fundraiser Paul Singer is the big winner, or maybe “vulture”, when “Argentina … reached an agreement to pay U.S. hedge funds that have sought for 14 years to profit off the country’s economic crisis.” As with many similar cases the obvious questions involve fairness, excessive profit and the victims (people of Argentina). “The deal would see the hedge funds take about 75 percent of what they demanded from Argentina—several times more than what they actually paid for the debt. Singer’s fund itself netted $2.4 billion—10 to 15 times its original investment.” Making things even more interesting is the fact that Singer is one of Republican Presidential candidate Marco Rubio’s biggest endorsers, calling into question what Republicans think about such “vulture like” activities. Similar actions are being attempted state by state in the USA, for example Michigan’s water catastrophe in Flint.
Read this: If we really don’t believe the famous saying on the Statue of Liberty maybe we should give it back to France, because they sure seem to believe the inscription. It is very troubling to see so much of the American dialogue (in the press and in person) saying we should not accept refugees from the various middle eastern crises. At the same time France, who gave us the Statue of Liberty and was just attacked sees no need to alter what they believe.
The base of our famous Statue of Liberty, on Ellis Island, professes a pledge that we (Americans) love to take credit for. It simply says:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!“
It looks like we don’t necessarily believe everything we say, or at least don’t think it should apply to us. At a time of crisis in France, immediately after they have were attacked, the French showed they mean what they say, while most of our leaders in the USA (particularly the tough guys in the Republican Party) immediately call for shutting down our refugee acceptance programs, state by state and even calling for a national shutdown. Many, if not most of these refugees are fleeing from the very conflicts started by the USA and yet it is “French President Francois Hollande (who) said on Wednesday at a meeting of French mayors that France will accept 30,000 refugees over the next two years, calling it his country’s ‘humanitarian duty’.” Comparatively, the US population is about 316 million while France has only about 67 million, but the USA accepts no responsibilities for these same refugees. What ever happened to American Exceptional-ism and some of the other cliche’s we love to describe ourselves with? Maybe it would be simplest if we removed the plaque from the Statue of Liberty or maybe the statue itself. We could just put signs that say KEEP OUT. Boy would Trump and many in the GOP be proud.
The link below points to a blog from Mother Jones, by Max J. Rosenthal, that tells more on the way the French are stepping up.
Watch this: AMY GOODMAN of Democracy Now devotes an hour with MIT professor, author, activist, political dissident, Noam Chomsky where he spoke to a packed audience at The New School here in New York City. As usual, Chomsky directly confronts the image of the U.S. that is so well orchestrated to ensure the our consensus that what the U.S. does is always right and just. Instead, this speech explains “why he believes the U.S. poses the greatest threat to world peace” and later he ” also explained why he believes the U.S. and its closest allies, namely Saudi Arabia and Israel, are undermining prospects for peace in the Middle East.” These are drastic deviations from the consensus provided by our government and national media and accordingly will shock the core of most Americans. Nonetheless, his arguments point to facts and the particular way those fact are conveyed, that we all need to hear. Maybe his different voice will open our eyes to the fact that we are a country controlled by people and organizations that don’t necessarily have ours’, much less the worlds’ best interests at heart. Rather than my further recapping his speech, please click on the link below and listen to Mr. Chomsky. If you are like me, you will want to hear more of what he has to say. And, we will all be better off for the time spent.
Watch this: In a recent episode of Democracy Now, Amy Goodman shared a video where Bernie Sanders gives one of the best explanations of the supposed “need for austerity” in Greece I have come upon. He beautifully details the fabrication of this crisis by the wealthy and powerful 1% (including Goldman Sachs) and how this basic plan is spreading globally (Puerto Rico and elsewhere), largely unchecked. As is so common, those in power attempt to increase privatization and gain control of every valuable Greek asset they can find, eventually leaving Greece totally unable to meet any of its’ obligations and with no assets, only insurmountable debts. They propose “an increase in the regressive VAT tax from 13 percent to 23 percent; automatic budget cuts if the Greek economy under performs; privatization of state assets, including the electricity grid; deregulation of the transportation, rail, pharmaceutical and other sectors in the economy; weakening of trade unions. In other words, the people of Greece are being told that their voices, which they cast in two elections, really do not matter, that their misery does not matter, that an entire generation of young people who are unemployed or underemployed does not matter, that the sick and the elderly do not matter, that democracy itself does not matter.” As Bernie continues he calls for an awakening, maybe a revolution, in every part of the human experience from economics to the environment and more. Please watch this approximately 13 minute video. It will be time well spent.
Read this: The article below, from The Daily KOS, by Walter Einenkel shows us that the rest of the world is not always blind to what we do. Many have noticed that the United States criminal justice system (particularly since 09/11) seems to have lost its’ way, no longer a model of justice, instead leading others to despise our actions, if not our entire system. The article recaps how an “Irish court has refused to extradite an alleged terror cell creator (Ali Charaf Damache) because U.S. prisons are inhumane”. Most of us have trouble accepting this image of the U.S. but we have no idea how bad our prisons really are. Things seldom make the news. As the article says “the reason the high court in Ireland has given is not whether or not Mr. Damache is guilty or innocent, it’s because the United States judicial system and more specifically their ‘supermax’ solitary-confinement prison system amounts to cruel and inhumane punishment”. Read more to see what you think.