REAL left social progressives do not discuss the rise in people on disability because we think people on disability are BAD. Global banking 1% and their 5% freemason/Greek players are deliberately creating ECONOMIC and DEVELOPMENT policies geared to throw all US 99% black, white, and brown citizens into a deep impoverishment status.
So, we educate often our 99% of young and mid-age adults being pushed to these DISABILITY programs in order to have an income----please work to get off these programs and back to employment. Left social progressives work to install FUNCTIONING ECONOMIES------with goals of REAL FULL EMPLOYMENT.
THAT IS THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT IS MOVING FORWARD.
We want to remind people that UNEMPLOYMENT stats also do not include a tremendous number of citizens being rotated through constant JOB TRAINING classes-----our global labor pool 99% getting many of those jobs actually created are not reported as UNEMPLOYED when they lose a job.
Medicare solvent until 2030, Social Security until 2033
Published 12:15 PM ET Mon, 28 July 2014 Updated 1:33 PM ET Mon, 28 July 2014 Reuters
Slower growth in U.S. healthcare spending and expected savings from Obamacare are shoring up the funding outlook for the federal Medicare program that covers the hospital bills of the elderly, trustees of the program said on Monday.
The program's trust fund for hospital care will run out of money in 2030, four years later than previously estimated, the trustees said in a report. When the fund runs dry, Washington would only be able to partially cover its obligations.
THERE IS NO INTENT OF MAKING PARTIAL PAYMENTS IN THESE PROGRAMS---THESE PROGRAMS WILL END IN 2030S.
The trustees said the fund would last longer than previously thought because ``expenditures in 2013 were significantly lower than the previous estimate.'' They said changes to Medicare under President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul appeared to be creating "substantial savings.''
At the same time, trustees for the country's Social Security program repeated their warning that Washington would run out of the money needed to fully pay disability benefits by 2016.
At a news conference, the trustees called for congressional action to address both Medicare and Social Security.
"Both of these vitally important programs are fiscally unsustainable over the long run and will require legislative intervention to correct,'' said trustee Robert Reischauer.
"The sooner the policymakers address these challenges, the less disruptive the unavoidable adjustments will be ... The sooner the lawmakers act, the broader will be the array of policy options that they can consider.''
Added sole Republican trustee Charles Blahous: "It's getting very late in the game to forge a bipartisan compromise to sustain Social Security's finances.''
LET'S SEE----A FAR-RIGHT WING GLOBAL BANKING 1% CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA SS TRUSTEE-----WORRIED ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY?
Charles Paul "Chuck" Blahous III is a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution,
OH, REALLY??? STANFORD AND HOOVER INSTITUTION HAS WANTED TO END THESE TRUSTS ALL LAST CENTURY.
The report's conclusions largely mirrored those made earlier this month by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which also pushed back to 2030 its projection of when Medicare's main trust fund would be exhausted.
Depletion of the Medicare and Social Security trust funds does not mean that all benefits would stop. At the current rate of payroll tax collections, Medicare would be able to pay about 85 percent of costs in 2030, declining to 75 percent by 2050.
Social Security would be able to pay about 80 percent of disability benefits starting in "late 2016,'' the Treasury Department said in a statement. In 2033, the Social Security program would only have money to cover about three-quarters of the pensions that it pays, Treasury said.
GLOBAL BANKING 1% WILL NOT BE PAYING 80% OR 75% OR 60% ----
The second condition fueling safety and crime tied to global banking 1% MASTER PLAN of US CITIES AS FAILED STATES these few decades of CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA----is what we discuss often----hundreds of thousands of people forced into a black market economy because they cannot get a job----they cannot get a job paying a LIVING WAGE---or offering a QUALITY OF LIFE. Let's face it----most people DO NOT want to be charity cases. Baltimore City has seen these crime stats around SHOOTING/DEATHS FROM VIOLENCE for several decades-----we see the same level of violence today -----300 deaths from violence------hundreds wounded. How do we FIX BALTIMORE and its crime?
Global banking 1% want our US 99% WE THE PEOPLE whether in counties or cities to think getting rid of poor people is the solution to community crime and violence. For those US 99% black, white, and brown citizens still employed---being told they were not LEFT BEHIND ------if we allow the solution to these deep poverty issues become SENDING THOSE POOR AWAY-----then without a doubt it will become this family, that family, those families, OUR FAMILIES. The goals of MOVING FORWARD is taking down all US 99% WE THE PEOPLE---no population group will WIN.
The solution to Baltimore's crime and violence several decades ago was REBUILD A LOCAL DOMESTIC SMALL AND REGIONAL BUSINESS ECONOMY after those manufacturing and technology corporations were pushed to OVERSEAS FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES. That was the solution then---this is the solution NOW. PLEASE DO NOT FALL FOR THINKING THESE POLICING/SECURITY POLICIES WILL ONLY EFFECT THIS/THAT POPULATION GROUP.
So, Baltimore does have communities with SAFETY AND CRIME issues. Those are the same communities allowed to DECAY because the MASTER PLAN was always to rebuild after ROBBER BARON sacking and looting of America-----taking those communities to being GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUS/GLOBAL FACTORIES/INDUSTRIAL SITES. No 'communities' being built in MOVING FORWARD BALTIMORE.
CEASE FIRE is a fine slogan------but it is not backed by REAL 99% WE THE PEOPLE economic and development policies so, it will be unlikely a CEASE FIRE will occur.
It's easy to blame our poor citizens until all US 99% WE THE PEOPLE black, white, and brown citizens ARE those POOR PEOPLE.
police & fire
Three Wounded Friday In Two Baltimore Shootings: Police
Shootings occur Friday afternoon on the east and west sides of Baltimore, wounding three people, say police.
By Chris Gaudet, Patch Staff | Nov 24, 2018 2:38 pm ET
BALTIMORE, MD — Baltimore police detectives are investigating a pair of shootings on Friday afternoon that occurred within 20 minutes of each other. Three people were wounded in the two shootings, according to a police report.
At about 1:38 p.m. Friday, police officers heard gunshots while patrolling an area near East 20th Street, the report stated.
They began searching the area and found a woman in the 1000 block of East 20th Street, suffering from a gunshot wound to the arm. She was taken to a local hospital for treatment, the police said.
At about 1:54 p.m. Friday, in the other end of town, officers were dispatched to a shooting reported at the intersection of West Baltimore Street and Carey Street.
When they arrived, they spotted a man in the 1200 block of West Baltimore Street who was "suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound," the police said in a report. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Another shooting victim, also an unidentified man, walked into a local hospital seeking treatment for a gunshot wound to the leg. Police detectives "determined the second victim was shot at the Baltimore Street incident," the police said.
Anyone with information on these two shootings is urged to call the Baltimore Police Department's Citywide Shooting detectives at 410-396-2221.
Those who wish to remain anonymous can call the Metro Crime Stoppers tip line at 1-866-7LOCKUP (1-866-756-2587). You can also submit a tip by texting 443-902-4824.
When we establish a BALTIMORE CITY STAT -----which we discuss often as never having PUBLIC INTEREST as a goal-----and we look at a map like this -----please think about global banking 1% FAKE DATA------FAKE NEWS-----filling all of our US county/city media outlets and global NGOS ------we do not want to lessen the existence of REAL violent crime and death---we KNOW that what is being reported is being JUKED.......some call it FALSE FLAGS-----some call it global banking 5% freemason/Greek FAKE CIVIL UNREST CIVIL WAR players creating acts of riot and violence-----but the goals of MOVING FORWARD are to install a massive network of DEEP, DEEP, REALLY DEEP STATE surveillance and security and to install MARTIAL LAW-----far-right wing, authoritarian, militaristic, extreme wealth extreme poverty GLOBAL MILITARY JUNTA.
The goals are to end GUN OWNERSHIP--------whether folks think that is good or bad-----the goals are to create environments of fear, intimidation, making our US citizens paranoid of our neighbors, family members, friends. THAT IS WHAT FAR-RIGHT WING GLOBAL CORPORATE HITLER, STALIN, MAO FASCISM looks like.
We are not GUN people but we KNOW the crime and violence stats.......if someone wants to kill another person ----they will do it whether they have a gun or not. So, the problem is the attack upon our strong US civil society-----not people owning guns.
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What is happening in those US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES made FAILED STATES? Well, decades of gang freemasonry tied to drugs and guns still existing today are still at it-------AND there is a whole lot of FAKE CIVIL UNREST CIVIL WAR led by 5% freemason/Greek players happening.
REAL LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVES ARE SHOUTING TO OUR US CITY GANG-BANGERS-------CEASE FIRE IS NOT A BAD SLOGAN. WORSE TIMES ARE MOVING FORWARD. MAKE A CHANGE.
Chicago violence: At least 21 people were shot Monday in the
On Monday, at least 21 people were shot in Chicago. Two of them -- including a teenager -- were killed.
Chicago shootings in one weekend: 66 shot, 12 fatally, police
Chicago police records show 44 people were shot on Sunday, including five who were killed. In three hours beginning at 1:30 a.m., records show, 30 were shot and two killed in 10 incidents.
Craig vows response to bloody holiday weekend
James David Dickson and George Hunter, The Detroit News Published 9:33 a.m. ET May 29, 2018 | Updated 12:05 a.m. ET May 30, 2018
Detroit — Police Chief James Craig vowed to respond Tuesday after a wave of mostly gun-related violence left nine people dead over the Memorial Day weekend.
Eight people were fatally shot during the holiday weekend, while a ninth person died of blunt-force trauma.
Craig said he's mapping out a strategy to prevent such an outbreak from reoccurring.
"We've seen an overall decline in violent crime, but this weekend was clearly troubling," he said. "We are developing another strategy to combat this. If anybody wants to come downtown and create problems, we will respond."
Six of the eight shootings took place on the city's west side; two of the shootings and the blunt force trauma death happened on the east side. In only one of the nine deaths was a suspect immediately detained.
While there were more killings during the four-day period than most weekends in Detroit, it wasn't markedly higher than previous Memorial Day periods. During last year's four-day weekend from Friday to Memorial Day, there were six homicides; there were three during the 2016 holiday period, and seven in 2015.
By comparison, the Chicago Tribune reported that 39 people were shot over the long Memorial Day holiday there — seven fatally.
Although some studies have suggested warmer weather makes people more violent, higher temperatures don’t appear to have had a marked impact on homicides in Detroit last year. In 2017, the highest number of killings occurred in March, when there were 32. The second-highest number of homicides was in August, when there were 30.
Of the six warm-weather months last year, May through October, there were 152 homicides, which was 56 percent of the 267 total — not a dramatic difference from the colder months.
Homicides are still down year-over-year in Detroit. To this point in 2018, 98 people have been killed in Detroit, compared with 107 in 2017 and 116 in 2016, said Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood, head of the public information office.
Still, the number of killings during the four-day 2018 Memorial Day period represent a huge jump over last weekend, when there were only two homicides from May 18 through May 21, according to online Detroit police crime data.
Just after midnight Tuesday, four people were hit in a shootout in Greektown, and three of them were left in critical condition.
Craig said part of his strategy to address crime downtown will be to meet with business owners.
"There have been some businesses that have been troubled locations, and we'll sit down with them," he said. "Basically, we want to set a tone of not tolerating this kind of violent behavior."
Detroit police recently addressed crime near three "problem spots" downtown: The Bleu Club, the Annex and St. Brigids Bathtub Pub, all of which were sanctioned last month for various violations, including selling alcohol to minors and operating without a license. From January through April, police had been called 49 times to address problems at the three clubs.
Craig said he was satisfied with the number of officers deployed downtown during the holiday weekend.
"There was no problem with the staffing," he said. "It wasn't a matter of us not responding quickly to these incidents; in both cases, our officers were on the scene within seconds. I think we just need a more focused approach so that people who create problems will be addressed sooner instead of later."
The quadruple shooting in Greektown also comes after a string of high-profile violent incidents in the neighborhood last year, including an April 16, 2017, brawl that was captured on video and a triple shooting in June outside a parked party bus.
This weekend's violence started early Saturday morning, less than an hour after midnight when a 38-year-old woman was killed on the 5400 block of Seneca, which is south of Gratiot and east of Van Dyke.
Saturday at 2:30 p.m., on the 1300 block of Ethel, a black male, believed to be in his mid-20s, was fatally shot in his head in a drive-by.
The victim was sitting in his gray Dodge Charger when a black vehicle pulled up alongside, and someone inside the vehicle fired multiple shots. The black vehicle was last seen headed south on Ethel toward Schaefer, said Dontae Freeman, a Detroit Police Department spokesman.
Saturday, just before 9 p.m. at El Capri Lounge on the 1600 block of East Grand Boulevard, police were called to the scene of a bar owner's death.
Surveillance video recovered from the bar shows a suspect enter the building, climb over the bar and toward the office, where the victim was found. The entry to the bar triggered its alarm, and the owner responded to that alarm.
By the time police reached the victim, he was dead. Authorities identified him as 60-year-old Michael Webb.
About 12:30 a.m. Sunday, a 38-year-old man was gunned down at a block party on the 2000 block of Dearing, which is south of East Davison and east of Dequindre.
The man had been at a party when shots were fired, hitting him multiple times. After being privately conveyed to an area hospital, the victim died.
Five more people were killed in separate shootings Monday.
At midnight, on the 9900 block of Freeland — south of Plymouth, west of Schaefer — a black male believed to be about 20 years old was found in the middle of the street, dead from multiple gunshot wounds.
At 8 a.m. on Memorial Day, an 18-year-old black male was shot in the head on the 15700 block of Mansfield, which is north of Fenkell and west of Greenfield.
A witness in the area reported hearing shots fired and saw someone trying to flee the area before police arrived.
When police arrived at the scene, they found the victim dead. An 18-year-old man was detained for questioning.
About 90 minutes later, on the 9600 block of the Southfield Freeway Service Drive just south of Interstate 96, a 30-year-old man was found with a gunshot wound to the chest. Medics arrived, but the man died at the scene.
Monday at 4:10 p.m., in the area of Greenfield and Schoolcraft, a 30-year-old black male was driving a passenger in a Chevy SUV. The two then got into an altercation with someone inside an unknown vehicle who fired multiple shots, hitting the driver multiple times.
The victim tried to drive away from the scene but had to stop on the 16000 block of Grand River. By the time medics arrived, the 30-year-old man was dead.
The witness has refused to cooperate.
The last fatal shooting of the three-day weekend happened about 10 minutes before midnight, on the 15700 block of Carlisle, which is south of East Eight Mile and east of Gratiot on the city's east side.
The victim is a 32-year-old man who was shot multiple times while sitting on his couch.
Police believe that the suspect, described only as a black male wearing dark-colored clothes, a red hat, and carrying an assault rifle, shot through the home's front door, fatally striking the victim, who was declared dead at the scene.
As global banking 1% try to completely kill our US civil society-------when we look a crime and violence----public safety we do not want to forget our FAMILY PETS. No doubt there are dogs tied to DRUG houses trained to attack. No doubt our police officers are indeed in danger or threatened. What we are seeing as global banking 1% installs global military/security policing ignoring CIVIL LIBERTIES AND CIVIL RIGHTS/PROPERTY RIGHTS and being trained to be AGGRESSIVE AND INTIMIDATING ----is the fact that MOST drug raids are left EMPTY. FALSE ALARMS ending with families frightened and as we see below ------pets as VICTIMS.
Somehow through last century we were able to have law enforcement take the time to handle these investigations with stake outs----waiting for evidence------respecting the rights of property owners when entering homes-----we are watching as MOVING FORWARD is dismantling these CIVIL LIBERTIES AND RIGHTS-----often with goals of intimidation and fear.
Our US 99% WE THE PEOPLE do not want LAWSUITS-----we want a rebuilding of our strong US public safety and justice agencies and courts.
Detroit Police Shot 54 Dogs Last Year—Twice as Many as Chicago
More than a third of those shootings were by a narcotics unit at the center of several civil rights lawsuits.
C.J. Ciaramella|Sep. 4, 2018 2:45 pm
Detroit police officers shot 54 dogs last year, according to public records obtained by Reason. That's a marked increase over the number reported by the department in 2016 and 2015, and more than twice as many as Chicago, a city with roughly 2 million more people.
The rise occurred at the same time Detroit is trying to fend off lawsuits from residents who say police wantonly killed their dogs during drug raids. Such incidents, given the grim moniker "puppycide," regularly make local and national headlines across the country, and in recent years they've cost cities hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal settlements.
In response, several states have passed laws mandating new training, and police departments have begun teaching officers how to properly read canine behavior. Chicago police, for instance, shot 24 dogs last year, according to the Chicago Tribune. The number of dogs shot by Chicago police has been steadily falling—67 percent over the past three years, the city says—and officials attribute it to better training.
Detroit, meanwhile, went from 25 dog shootings in 2015 to more than twice that in 2017, although several reports were missing from previous records provided by the city.
There are, of course, vast differences between cash-strapped Detroit and other major U.S. cities. In 23 of those shootings, Detroit police were responding to reports of aggressive dogs running loose on the street, sometimes menacing and attacking residents.
According to city data, Detroit's 911 service received 5,999 animal complaints and vicious animal reports in 2017. In one case, a police officer saved a child who was being mauled by two pit bulls. Officers sometimes tried to lure dogs with food and treats or use a control stick, according to police reports. In others, they waited in vain for animal control before taking the situation into their own hands.
But more than one-third of those dog shootings involved a Detroit narcotics unit that has been at the center of numerous media reports and costly lawsuits.
A 2016 Reason investigation found that the Detroit Police Department's Major Violators Unit, which conducts hundreds of drug raids a year in the city, had a nasty habit of leaving dead dogs in its wake.
One officer had killed 69 dogs over the course of his career, public records showed. That officer has now shot 80 dogs, according to "destruction of animal" reports filed by Detroit police officers in 2017 and obtained by Reason.
Of the 54 dogs destroyed by the department in 2017, 19 were killed during drug raids conducted by the Major Violators Unit. That's more animal shootings than the entire Los Angeles Police Department performed—14 total—in 2016, the latest year for which summary statistics of LAPD use-of-force incidents are available.
The Major Violators Unit was responsible for an April 26, 2017, narcotics raid on Detroit resident Renee Attles' house that ended with her pit bull being shot dead. Speaking to a local television news channel, Attles said the police stormed into her home and killed her dog during a wrong-house drug raid:
"I am so hurt," said Renee Attles. "You all you don't understand, I am so freaking hurt. That was my dog."
Renee Attles says she ran out to her sister's car to decide where they were going to celebrate their deceased mother's birthday. All of a sudden Detroit police stormed her Ryan Street home.
"I said what do you want," she said. "They handcuffed me and her sister at her car before we even got right there. All I heard was pop, pop, pow. Just like that. I told them let me get my dog."
The only drug confiscated from the scene was a small bottle of Attles' medical marijuana.
Another destruction of animal report shows that several hours earlier that same day, the same Major Violators Unit crew executed another narcotics search warrant on a house a mile and a half away and shot another pitbull. Again, the only drug recovered was marijuana.
This February, the Detroit City Council approved a $225,000 settlement to Kenneth Savage and Ashley Franklin. The couple filed a federal civil rights lawsuit last July against the city and several Detroit police officers, alleging the officers shot Savage and Franklin's three dogs while the animals were enclosed behind an 8-foot-tall fence—all so the officers could confiscate several potted marijuana plants in the backyard.
In 2015, the city of Detroit approved a $100,000 settlement to a man after police shot his dog while it was securely chained to a fence.
Two other federal civil rights lawsuits stemming from Detroit drug raids are currently being considered by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. In one, Detroit resident Nikita Smith alleges that narcotics officers shot her three pitbulls, including one that was secured behind a bathroom door. Smith was initially charged with a marijuana offense, but the charges were dismissed when police failed to appear at her court hearing.
In the second lawsuit, Nicole Motyka and Joel Castro say narcotics officers raided their house and shot two of their pitbulls, despite the dogs being behind a barrier in the kitchen. The officers found 26 marijuana plants inside, which shouldn't have been a surprise. Castro was a state-licensed medical marijuana caregiver. Marijuana charges against the couple were later dropped.
"I don't want anything to do with the Detroit police anymore," Motyka told Reason in an interview. "You grow up being taught these are the people you're supposed to trust, and then they come in and kill your family. I have no love for them. None. They probably sleep well at night. We don't."
To try and combat these lawsuits, the city of Detroit has adopted the novel legal argument that, if a dog is unlicensed, as in Smith's case, it is considered "contraband" and not protected from unreasonable police seizure—read: killing—under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.
Two lower federal judges have come to opposite conclusions on the issue. One dismissed Smith's case, ruling that her unlicensed dogs amounted to contraband. The other federal judge rejected Detroit's argument in Motyka's lawsuit and ruled that the couple's unlicensed dog was still legitimate property.
The Sixth Circuit Court now has the unenviable task of determining whether a pet's property status lies in its owner's compliance with city regulations, and if that means a police officer can shoot it with impunity.
The Detroit Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, in an interview last March with a local news channel, Detroit Police Assistant Chief James White defended the department from charges that it is needlessly shooting dogs.
"This isn't Fluffy the family pet in many instances," White told the news station. "Door comes off the hinges. There's pandemonium. People are running. Perpetrator, in many instances, has a weapon himself, can start shooting. Sometimes the dog is used as a tactic to get the advantage over the officers, and I just don't think it would be acceptable to an officer to put their life at risk to try to stop a dog from attacking them during a drug raid."
Officers were found in compliance with department regulations in every single destruction of animal report reviewed by Reason.
As I've written several times, better police training on how to read dogs' body language would help in some cases, but these stories will inevitably continue as long as the Detroit police continue to perform aggressive drug raids on a daily basis.
The lawsuits will inevitably continue, too.
HUNGARY is of course that former USSR satellite and is indeed MOVING FORWARD ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE -----far-right wing, authoritarian, militaristic, extreme wealth extreme poverty LIBERTARIAN MARXISM as here in US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES-----that good old global banking 1% corporate HITLER/STALIN/MAO fascism........
AKA-----YOU 99% ARE ENSLAVED.
Now, last century's overseas FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES in Asia allowed for a merely rich small percentage of professional workers because they wanted people able to be CONSUMERS. MOVING FORWARD inside these Asian, Arabic, African as well as our Eastern/Western Europe/UK/THE AMERICAS ------has global banking 1% ENDING consumption by the 99% of people building a ONE WORLD ECONOMY for only the global 1% and their consumption.
There may be a global 2% able to capture some wealth these few decades ---but the goals of global 1% are to end consumption by ending the ability of all 99% to access MONEY.
So, what THE NATION is reporting here in HUNGARY is simply MOVING FORWARD bringing those Eastern block nations back to being USSR------under a PUTIN LIBERTARIAN MARXISM.
Oh, you mean MOVING FORWARD here in US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES!--------same thing.
YES, THAT MEANS THOSE 99% OF WE THE RUSSIAN CITIZENS AS WELL.
THE NATION is far-right wing global banking 1% CLINTON NEO-LIBERAL media outlet-----they are not LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE so these articles are not REAL INFORMATION...........
Who Could Have Predicted Trump? Poland, and Hungary, and Slovakia.
.........Well CITIZENS OVERSIGHT MARYLAND and REAL left social progressive Democrats have been writing about a coming TRUMP since 1990s. Predicting TRUMP/PENCE----was easy peasy.
Jordan StancilDecember 21, 2018
Hungarians take part in a protest against the proposed new labor law in Budapest, December 16, 2018. (Reuters / Bernadett Szabo)
The first time I talked with Botond Doszpoly, in early April, he was running for a seat in the Hungarian parliament in the eastern city of Miskolc on the ticket of a small green party with the hopeful name Politics Can Be Different. Doszpoly, back then, was very sure of one thing: He wasn’t interested in cooperating with the Socialists, whom he called Hungary’s “biggest problem.”
But when I spoke with Doszpoly this week, his tune had changed. Now the biggest problem was getting people into the streets to protest Hungary’s authoritarian leader, Viktor Orbán. What’s happening in Hungary now, he said, shows that “guys can have a very different view of things but can go together to the street without wanting to eat each other.” And people have been in the street for the past week now—as many as 15,000 in Budapest, with smaller contingents in numerous cities all around Hungary.
A shift like Doszpoly’s is an example of why opposition leaders and activists are sensing new possibilities in Hungary, as a new protest movement seems to be building against Orbán and his Fidesz party. In Orbán’s “illiberal democracy,” as he proudly calls it, opposition parties are allowed to operate, but the system is transparently rigged against them. Building an illiberal democracy has been made easier for Orbán by infighting among the opposition parties, which is why any new sign of cooperation across parties makes observers of Hungary wonder if something big could be afoot.
The current protests erupted on December 12, when a group of parliamentarians from across the political spectrum tried to filibuster a legal change that opponents say would allow Fidesz to enhance its already-impressive manipulation of elections, as well as a bill that would increase from 250 to 400 the number of annual overtime hours businesses can “ask” their employees to work.
Who Could Have Predicted Trump? Poland, and Hungary, and Slovakia.John Feffer
Critics have termed this second bill “the slave law,” and it seems to have galvanized Orbán’s opponents in a way nothing else could so far, in part because the government tried to sell the law by arguing that it would help relieve purported labor shortages in Hungary’s big auto factories. These factories are, truth be told, German auto factories located in Hungary, where the going rate for labor just happens to be significantly lower than it is in places like Bavaria. This has allowed some protesters to turn Orbán’s nationalism against him: He claims to defend Hungary, but he’s really making you work overtime for the Germans. “Rumors are spreading all around the country that this is the reason for the law,” Andras Pulai, a pollster with Publicus Research in Budapest, told me.
László Andor, an economist close to the Socialist Party and a former European Commissioner, told me that the slave law, an attempt to deal with a labor shortage by getting the current labor force to work more hours, is the logical outcome of Orbán’s broken labor-market policies, which have featured anti-union measures that have “facilitated wage stagnation and boosted emigration.” Andor thinks the slave law runs afoul of the EU Working Time Directive anyway, but rather than waiting to get it overturned in court, “apparently for trade unions, like for many others in Hungary, this was the last drop in the glass, and anti-Orbán emotions have erupted.”
Those emotions have demonstrators feeling excited but also unsure that they can successfully keep the government under pressure. Ambrus Halász, an activist and former communications director for Politics Can Be Different, told me that “the most important thing” about the rallies he attended in Budapest was that the protesters “accepted all the speakers: There were liberals, greens, conservatives, socialists, and people were applauding for the [far-right] Jobbik speaker as well, which couldn’t have happened one or two years ago.” For the first time, the main thing was unity against Fidesz, but Halász said he was “afraid of the opposition parties’ ability to keep this topic alive.”
Keeping it alive might depend on drawing the previously apathetic into the streets. Whether that is happening is not clear yet. Doszpoly, in Miskolc, told me he doesn’t think he’s seeing anybody beyond the hard-core base of activists, the true believers who always show up. But many observers have noted their surprise that protests, after starting in Budapest, have also broken out in a number of provincial cities. Adam Sanyo, a data analyst and opposition activist based in Budapest, told me that even his conservative hometown, the eastern city of Debrecen, a Fidesz stronghold, had seen demonstrations and that some of his friends “who have never been ‘political’ have been getting in touch asking [him] for tips about protests, like how to deal with tear gas.” (Sanyo said he tells the novitiates “to stay in the back” their first few times on the street.)
Pulai, the pollster, argues that “what’s most important is that the public see unity and that Orbán has to respond, which might change the attitude of people watching,” even if they don’t participate. He tells me “the Hungarian opposition has reached a milestone because the voters are listening to them now, adding to the credibility of these leaders.”
FOLKS, THESE ARE NOT OPPOSITION LEADERS---THEY ARE MORE GLOBAL BANKING 5% PLAYERS AS FAKE 99% POPULIST LEADERS.
To understand why these protests could be a milestone, it’s important to know a bit about how Hungary got into this mess in the first place. In fact, the last time public anger really boiled over in the country was in 2006, but the object of that anger was the then-ruling Socialist Party, whose leader, Ferenc Gyurcsány, was recorded telling a party meeting in a rambling, unhinged, and profanity-laced speech that of course he had lied about the country’s real economic condition in order to stay in office. As protests have now broken out against “the slave law,” back then they broke out over what everyone in Hungary calls “the lie speech.” The lie speech destroyed the credibility of the left in Hungary, and the global financial crisis two years later, during the government of Gyurcsány’s successor, the charisma-poor technocrat Gordon Bajnai, didn’t exactly help.
Orbán’s Fidesz party was the beneficiary of all this, coming back into power after the 2010 elections. So far, so good—but from that point on, Fidesz slowly but surely chipped away at the institutional foundations of democracy to make it nearly impossible for it ever again to be voted out of office. Orbán’s project was made all the easier by the opposition’s very obliging tendency to remain both fractured and unstable, with no clear, strong leaders emerging anywhere else on the political spectrum. The current protest movement still hasn’t produced a charismatic single figure for opponents of Fidesz to rally around.
This recent history has been interlaced with a deeper skepticism in Hungary about democracy and a suspicion that maybe not much good really comes of it anyway. I asked Gergely Karácsony, the Dialogue party candidate for prime minister in the last national election, about this. Karácsony had just given an important address, one day before the election, but had not said anything about the threat Fidesz poses to democracy. I asked him why he hadn’t. Karácsony replied: “You will never win votes in Hungary campaigning on democracy. Democratic periods in Hungary were always very short and followed by problems. And by 2010, democracy was perceived as a failure here.” Karácsony argued that his campaign needed to focus on concrete issues and social justice instead. Indeed, the so-called slave law has seemed to motivate the protesters more than the other bills at issue. After all, technical judicial matters can’t focus the mind the way extra overtime work can, in Hungary or any other country. But the shallowness of democratic experience in Hungary is clearly an important backdrop to Orbán’s project, and it’s hard to imagine a top-of-the-ticket politician in countries further west making these kinds of comments about democracy.
But Bernadett Szél, an independent member of parliament who was the prime-minister candidate for Politics Can Be Different in the last election, told me that the popular mood in Hungary might now be changing, that maybe Orbán has overreached this time. “They have two-thirds of the seats, but without having two-thirds of the votes,” she said, alluding to the egregious gerrymandering that has benefited Fidesz. “And people are starting to see that the game is rigged.”
SORRY, SZEL IS A FAR-RIGHT WING GLOBAL BANKING PLAYER AS WELL-----NOT INDEPENDENT.
Szél’s optimism is supported by the most recent poll, released December 20 by Publicus Research for the newspaper Népszava. Sixty-six percent of the respondents—and even 38 percent of Fidesz voters—said they supported the protesters.
More rallies are planned in the upcoming days, including a demonstration in Budapest on New Year’s Eve and labor walkouts in mid-January. Clearly, the opposition isn’t finished yet; but this also isn’t the first time Orbán has faced a challenge from the street. The 2014 protests against a tax on Internet usage were successful in getting the tax repealed, but did nothing to stop Orbán’s consolidation of power. Orbán has shown that he knows how to lose a battle while still winning the war.