The above video from Max Blumenthal is important for a number of reasons. In the first part, he talks about his travels in Germany, where he had to deal with being called an "anti-Semite" by the offspring of Nazis. Later in the presentation, he talks about the Weisenthal Center's opposition to a law which would have forbade American aid the neo-Nazi organizations.
Re-read the preceding sentence over and over until the full implications sink in.
You can read more about the matter on Alternet
. It all has to do with Ukraine, of course. Apparently, the New Cold War against Russia trumps all other concerns.
Why are Israelis fighting with the neo-Nazis?
There was a time when I would have considered the preceding sentence to be unthinkable, yet there it is in Ha'aretz...
Count me among the thirteen percent.
In a new Gallup poll, thirteen percent of Americans think that the United States of America is the world's biggest threat to peace
Thirty-seven percent of Mexicans and 17 percent of Canadians view their neighboring country with suspicion on the world stage. A surprising 13 percent of American respondents rated their own nation the biggest threat to world peace as well.
Ed Snowden's lawyer.
The lawyer's name is Wolfgang Kaleck, and he thinks Europe should embark on a new aggressive effort to prosecute US officials involved with torture
“If these people enter European territory, they need to know that they’ll run into severe trouble,” he told the Guardian.
“We have to talk about command responsibility. It’s not about the rotten apples, the Lynndie Englands and agents on the ground only,” he said, referring to the former US army reservist who was one of 11 – low-ranking service people convicted over abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
“Those who came back from interrogation sessions with blood on their hands have to be prosecuted, but if it’s only them, then it would be a late victory for the Bush government. We need to investigate the architects and planners of this systematic torture,” Kaleck said.
Here's an excellent piece
by Mark Bittman in the NYT on the conjunction of the income inequality movement and the black lives matter movement.
The root of the anger is inequality, about which statistics are mind-boggling: From 2009 to 2012 (that’s the most recent data), some 95 percent of new income has gone to the top 1 percent; the Walton family (owners of Walmart) have as much wealth as the bottom 42 percent of the country’s people combined; and “income mobility” now describes how the rich get richer while the poor ... actually get poorer.
The progress of the last 40 years has been mostly cultural, culminating, the last couple of years, in the broad legalization of same-sex marriage. But by many other measures, especially economic, things have gotten worse, thanks to the establishment of neo-liberal principles — anti-unionism, deregulation, market fundamentalism and intensified, unconscionable greed — that began with Richard Nixon and picked up steam under Ronald Reagan. Too many are suffering now because too few were fighting then.
I've made this last point many times. Whenever libertarians make their case to the younger generation, they always focus on the social and cultural issues. I call this GLIT -- the Great Libertarian Infiltration Tactic: Here's the deal, prole: You can have your pot and your gay marriage -- just let Jeff Bezos do whatever the hell he wants. He is GOD ON EARTH.
A growing number of people see GLIT as the gimmick it is. It's a way of distracting us from the simple fact that America worked better in the 1950s and 1960s, when we were less libertarian and more "socialist." (The "S" word was not used then, but that label is now routinely applied to anyone who wants to go back to the old system.)
Meanwhile, the credibility of those who argue that employers “can’t afford” to raise pay — McDonald’s paid its C.E.O. $9.5 million last year — is nil. For one thing, there are examples of profitable businesses that treat their employees decently, and even countries where fast-food workers can make ends meet. And for another, underpaying workers simply shifts the cost of supporting them onto public coffers. As Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont says, “In essence, taxpayers are subsidizing the wealthiest family in America.” That would be the Waltons. (Incredibly, many Republicans still want the working poor to pay more taxes.)
Those would be the libertarian wing. Libertarianism is the single most murderous, most brutalizing, most destructive force in the world today.
Ferguson opened the eyes of many to the systematic robbery being perpetrated by the cops in many parts of the country. And now they plan to step it up
For the current year, the city is budgeting for higher receipts from police-issued tickets.
“There are a number of things going on in 2014 and one is a revenue shortfall that we anticipate making up in 2015,” Blume said. “There’s about a million-dollar increase in public-safety fines to make up the difference.”
Revenue from violations, which already represents the city’s second-largest source of cash after sales taxes, will rise to 15.7 percent of receipts in fiscal 2015, from a projected 11.8 percent this year, he said.
This, too, is libertarianism in action.
The one percenters are coming up with plans to strip-mine, and ultimately dispose of, those annoying poor people
A study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition concluded that an average American renter would need to earn $18.92 per hour -- well over twice the minimum wage -- to afford a two-bedroom apartment. "In no state," their report says, "can a full-time minimum wage worker afford a one-bedroom or a two-bedroom rental unit at Fair Market Rent." Over one-eighth of the nation’s supply of low income housing has been permanently lost since 2001.
Little wonder that so many people are homeless: over 600,000 on any January night in the U.S., tens of thousands of children, tens of thousands of veterans, and one of every five suffering from mental illness.
The poor half of America is victimized by the banking industry, which takes an average of $2,412 each year from underserved households for interest and fees on alternative financial services; by rental centers that charge effective annual interest rates over 100 percent; by payday lenders whocharge effective annual interest rates of over 1,000 percent; and by the burgeoning prison industry, which charges prisoners for food and health care and phone calls and probation monitoring and anything else they can think of.
The U.S. court system is flooded with cases for minor infractions, including loitering charges reminiscent of the infamous Black Codes of post-slavery years. The buildup of arrests has added one out of every three U.S. adults to the FBI's criminal database.
Krugman on the end of Dodd-Frank. Krugman
The poor are criminalized for lying down or sleeping in public; for sharing food; for simply having nowhere to go.
argues the regulation of insured banks is not the real issue, since AIG and Lehman were not insured. But
After all, even if you believe (in defiance of the lessons of history) that financial institutions can be trusted to police themselves, even if you believe the grotesquely false narrative that bleeding-heart liberals caused the financial crisis by pressuring banks to lend to poor people, especially minority borrowers, you should be against letting Wall Street play games with government-guaranteed funds. What just went down isn’t about free-market economics; it’s pure crony capitalism.
And sure enough, Citigroup literally wrote the deregulation language that was inserted into the funding bill.