Today I would like to review where a few of the important issues lie...one thing about the unfolding of what is a disaster for most is that as people stop holding on to the hope that Third Way corporate democrats are going to do the right thing....they will start working on corporate tax rate decrease now that they have austerity in place......the people will start shouting and protesting!
HERE'S WHERE WE LIE:
They are using a 196os model for poverty figures that give a poverty level at 17%. It fails to include Cost of Living today. The correct figures show Living Wage at $15 an hour or $58,000 for a family of four being poverty line and that pushes the numbers to 50% in poverty. What these corporate pols are doing is moving the US poverty figures from first world standards to second and third world standards.....
Economy AlterNet / By Paul Buchheit
The Real Numbers: Half of America in Poverty -- and It's Creeping Upward
The Census Bureau has reported that one out of six Americans lives in poverty. A shocking figure. But it's actually much, much worse. May 26, 2013 | The Census Bureau has reported that 15% of Americans live in poverty. A shocking figure. But it's actually much worse. Inequality is spreading like a shadowy disease through our country, infecting more and more households, and leaving a shrinking number of financially secure families to maintain the charade of prosperity.
1. Almost half of Americans had NO assets in 2009
Analysis of Economic Policy Institute data shows that Mitt Romney's famous 47 percent, the alleged 'takers,' have taken nothing. Their debt exceeded their assets in 2009.
2. It's Even Worse 3 Years Later
Since the recession, the disparities have continued to grow. An OECD report states that "inequality has increased by more over the past three years to the end of 2010 than in the previous twelve," with the U.S. experiencing one of the widest gaps among OECD countries. The 30-year decline in wages has worsened since the recession, as low-wage jobs have replaced formerly secure middle-income positions.
3. Based on wage figures, half of Americans are in or near poverty.
The IRS reports that the highest wage in the bottom half of earners is about $34,000. To be eligible for food assistance, a family can earn up to 130% of the federal poverty line, or about $30,000 for a family of four.
Even the Census Bureau recognizes that its own figures under-represent the number of people in poverty. Its Supplemental Poverty Measure increases, by 50%, the number of Americans who earn between one-half and two times the poverty threshold.
4. Based on household expense totals, poverty is creeping into the top half of America.
A family in the top half, making $60,000 per year, will have their income reduced by a total tax bill of about $15,000 ($3,000 for federal income tax and $12,000 for payroll, state, and local taxes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau agree that food, housing, and transportation expenses will deduct another $30,000, and that total household expenditures will be about $50,000. That leaves nothing.
Nothing, that is, except debt. The median debt level rose to $75,600 in 2009, while the median family net worth, according to the Federal Reserve, dropped from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010.
5. Putting it in Perspective
Inequality is at its ugliest for the hungriest people. While food support was being targeted for cuts, just 20 rich Americans made as much from their 2012 investments as the entire 2012 SNAP (food assistance) budget, which serves 47 million people.
And as Congress continues to cut life-sustaining programs, its members should note that their 400 friends on the Forbes list made more from their stock market gains last year than the total amount of the food, housing, and education budgets combined.
Arguments about poverty won't end. Neither should our efforts to uncover the awful truth.
Note: This is an updated, corrected version of the original article, approved by the author.
Paul Buchheit teaches economic inequality at DePaul University. He is the founder and developer of the Web sites UsAgainstGreed.org, PayUpNow.org and RappingHistory.org, and the editor and main author of "American Wars: Illusions and Realities" (Clarity Press). He can be reached at paul@UsAgainstGreed.org.
What we hear this Marketplace/APM reporter finally admit is that the plan is to move masses of disenfranchised youth and chronically unemployed out of the country into jobs abroad by funding language courses and one way plane fares. THIS IS THE NEW ECONOMY THAT HAS MANY PEOPLE AS EX-PATS IN ORDER TO GET JOBS. THAT IS WHY THEY ARE LEAVING THE ECONOMIES STAGNANT. They are afraid of the rising numbers of protests and civil disobedience the reporter says!!
In America there is a movement that has parents refusing to place their children in language classes knowing that is what future these pols are planning!!!
Germany and France launch 'New Deal' to combat youth unemployment
PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images Men sit on a couch and play guitar as protesters camp at the Puerta del Sol square in Madrid on May 27, 2011 during a demonstration against Spain's economic crisis and its sky-high jobless rate.
Interview with Stephen Beard Marketplace Morning Report for Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Marketplace's Stephen Beard joins Morning Report host David Brancaccio from London with the details.
THEY ARE NOT ADDRESSING THE MAIN ISSUES AS REGARDS HEALTH CARE AFFORDABILITY.....CAPPING THE SIZE OF HEALTH SYSTEMS AND CAPPING THE PROFIT MARGIN. WE ALL KNEW FOR YEARS THAT THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT WAS ABOUT CONSOLIDATING HEALTH INSTITUTIONS TO CREATE GLOBAL CORPORATIONS FOR PROFITS.....NOT CARE AND ACCESS!
But on closer examination, California's new figures don't live up to these claims. As more Americans struggle with health care costs, arguing about Obamacare does or doesn't do is likely to backfire politically.
Health Care's Forgotten Crisis, Part 1: Families Can't Afford Medical Care. Posted: 05/28/2013 12:27 am
The real health care battle in this country isn't the one being fought over the bill everyone now calls "Obamacare." In fact, it's not a battle between Republicans and Democrats at all. The real battle is the one millions of Americans face every day as they struggle to pay medical bills that now average nearly $10,000 per year -- if they're "lucky."
The United States is now the only developed nation on Earth where the average family with insurance pays more for health care than it does for groceries. That includes both the family share of premiums and out-of-pocket costs for medical treatment. In fact, those out-of-pockets costs alone exceed a family's average yearly cost for gasoline, according to a new study.
That study found that the average household medical bill for a family of four with "good" PPO coverage is nearly now $9,144 per year. That's a crippling and unsustainable expense for most family budgets, a burden which is crippling the economy and ruining lives.
This struggle seems to have been forgotten in all the back-and-forth over Obamacare. Who's fighting for these American households as they wage their losing battle against health care costs?
The wrong argument.
Certainly not the Republicans. They've offered no alternative vision except that of unrestrained greed, a 'free-market' health care jungle red in tooth and claw.
For their part, too many Democrats and liberals have concentrated on defending the Affordable Care Act. Sure, that bill has some good features: It's a good thing that young people can now access their parents' health care coverage until they're twenty-six, and that people with pre-existing conditions are no longer excluded from coverage, and we should say so. And the ACA may help to slow the rate of health care cost increases.
But those costs are already unacceptably - and unsustainably - high. Medical costs are a heavy burden for many people. More attention must be paid to outlining the vision of a better health system which improves life for all Americans.
Many of the ACA bill's defenders took a victory lap over last week's rate announcement from California's health exchanges. "Obamacare Will Be A Debacle -- For Republicans," wrote Paul Krugman. California's rates were "very good news" for the law, wrote Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas. Matt Yglesias said California's results were "evidence" that "fundamentally (the bill's) implementation is going to work out great, and people are going to love it."
But on closer examination, California's new figures don't live up to these claims. As more Americans struggle with health care costs, arguing about Obamacare does or doesn't do is likely to backfire politically.
It will certainly leave our core problems unaddressed.
Our medical bills are too high - and rising.
How big is today's household tab? The Milliman actuarial firm has just releases its annual cost survey, the "Milliman index." It shows the average family of four with point-of-service (PPO) health coverage - coverage that's significantly better than the "gold" plan in California's health exchange - pays $9,144 in medical costs. That includes the family share of the premiums, plus copays and deductibles.
Milliman found that the family's cost for health care increased 6.3 percent in one year. That's a reduction in the rate of increases, which has been well over 7 percent for the last four years. But it's no reason for celebration, especially since real wages for all but the top 1 percent actually declined over the same period.
Our "Milliman family" is paying $2,000 more for health care this year than it did four years ago. Even if the ACA caused household medical costs to stop rising altogether - something nobody is predicting - we'd be frozen at today's household costs, a level which is indefensible and unsustainable.
It's indefensible because people are paying so much less for health care in other countries, and it's unsustainable because it's stifling economic growth.
Even the insured aren't really insured.
Milliman's figures are averages. Some families pay less and some pay much more. For those that pay more, medical costs can be devastating. That's one reason why a 2007 paper co-authored by Professor (now Senator) Elizabeth Warren showed that nearly half of the people who go bankrupt do so because of medical expenses, and that most of them had health insurance at the time.
Insurance is meant to protect people from catastrophic financial loss. That's its fundamental purpose, the test which shows whether or not It's doing its job. Health insurance in this country fails this fundamental test, leaving millions of Americans at risk for medically-caused bankruptcy.
We won't solve that problem by providing more people with the same kind of insurance.
California's results aren't as significant as some may think.
That's one of the reasons why last week's celebrations seem misplaced. They were inspired by the premiums which private insurers offered to the California exchange, which came in at lower-than-expected rates. That's good news, but it's being oversold. Here's why:
- California is a rarity among health care markets. Most don't have the kind of competition which kept California's rates relatively low this year. Most health markets are highly concentrated, as either monopolies or duopolies. In Birmingham, Alabama, for example, Blue Cross of Alabama has a 90 percent market share - and that's not unusual. Competition won't help in most parts of the country the way it has in California.
- Out-of-pocket costs for Americans will still be extremely high. And the Affordable Care Act won't reduce them, merely (and hopefully) slow the rate of cost increases.
- Many states are refusing to even set up their exchanges for political reasons.
- The ACA was designed to limit the exchanges to a small number of Americans, most of whom will continue to struggle under the cost burdens outlined in the Milliman report.
How would our family would fare under the new rates? I went to the California exchange, "Covered California," to find out.
The median income for a family of four in California is $77,896. Plugging that figure into the California exchange's rate calculator, along with the ages of Milliman's sample family, yielded an estimated adjusted premium of $617 per month - or $7,404 per year - for a "silver" plan, the only option the calculator offered. That represents the share of the premium which our "Milliman family" would pay.
Our family's $7,404 goes to a for-profit entity with a financial incentive not to provide health care. So does the Federal tax credit (or "tax expenditure," in today's parlance) for our family's coverage, which the exchange estimates will be nearly four thousand dollars a year ($3,840).
That money, which comes from the pockets of struggling middle-class families and beleaguered taxpayers, goes directly into the coffers of Anthem, United, and other for-profit health corporations.
Out of pocket and out of luck.
Then the out-of-pocket expenses begin to add up. Remember, this calculation is for a "silver" plan. Milliman notes that all of the plans used in its calculations offer benefits that exceed the second-highest coverage level, the "gold" plan. (The exchange also offers a "platinum" plan.) This means that our California family will pay much more on average than the families in the Milliman study.
A California "silver" plan includes the following provisions, according to "Covered California":
A medical deductible of $2000 which must be met before benefits are paid.
By contrast, a Kaiser Foundation survey found average deductibles of $754 for HMO plans, $632 for PPOs (like the one our beleaguered "Milliman family" joined), $1,092 for point of service or "POS" plans. The Kaiser survey showed that 42 percent of the "Milliman families" are enrolled in plans with deductibles of $500 per less.
A $45 copay for each visit to a primary care doctor, and a $60 copay for each emergency or specialist visit.
More than one in four people with employer insurance had no doctor copayments at all. Among the 73 percent who did, those copayments averaged $23 for primary care visits and $33 for specialists - not much more than half of California's "silver" copayments.
A $250 copay for hospitalizations, surgeries, and other high-cost events.
This is essentially comparable to employer offerings.
A separate $250 deductible for brand-name medications, and a $50 copay per prescription.
Most people in employee plans do not have to meet a deductible before receiving prescription drug coverage - and the "silver" plan appears to require a separate deductible for medications.
Maximum out-of-pocket costs of $6,400 per individual and $12,800 per family.
By contrast, the Kaiser survey showed that average maximum out-of-pocket costs for families with employer coverage were $1,329 for HMOs, $1,770 for PPOs like the "Milliman family's" plan, $2,163 for POS plans, and $3,924 for high-cost deductible plans.
Obamacare will ask households to pay between 9 and 10 percent of their income for health insurance premiums. Then they'll have to pay the out-of-pockets costs - costs which, as this benefit comparison shows, will be much greater on average for a family of four than the Milliman figure of $3,600 per year.
That means there will be many more medically-cause bankruptcies among insured Americans in the years to come.
Costs won't be the only problem for "Covered California" enrollees. They'll face a shortage of providers, too. Blue Cross of California's plan, for example, will only provide access to slightly over one-third of its providers.
Passing the buck.
Most Americans - 153 million of us, according to the latest census - receive health insurance through our employers, who are in the business of making profits rather than providing social benefits. The Milliman Index shows that the total average cost of medical care for our insured family of four, including the employer's share, is now $22,000.
As these costs have soared, businesses have done exactly what you'd expect them to do: shift the cost back onto employees.
And in this jobless 'recovery,' employees have very little choice but to do their best to bear this added burden - even as wage stagnation has cut into their real earnings and median incomes have fallen.
Obamacare does very little to help these already insured but under-insured Americans.
It's not evil. But it's not enough.
The Republicans are so eager to inflict defeat on Obama and the Democrats that they've labeled the Affordable Care Act "socialistic," even though the key elements of "Obamacare" were designed in a right-wing think tank and first implemented by a Republican Governor named Mitt Romney.
The Act's GOP origins don't make it sinister, of course. Its good features will help many families. We've also seen that the ACA can "bend the cost curve" in states like California, slowing the rate of cost increases as its supporters predicted.
The problem with the ACA isn't that it's evil. It's that it's inadequate. It doesn't offer the fundamental reform that should form at the heart of a new public vision and which should frame all future debate over health care.
Moving the battle lines.
California's results are good news - for California. But they should be placed in the right perspective. Health care costs will continue to be a huge burden for most Californians, inside and outside the exchange. 
Our energies would be better used focusing on the big problems, which remain unsolved, rather than trying to spin or exaggerate Obamacare's accomplishments. Fighting a defensive battle makes that Act, originally a right-wing creation, the leftmost front on the battle for health care reform. That serves the right but leaves America's households in the lurch.
What we need instead is a national conversation about truly transformative health care reform. Anything less is pre-emptive surrender to corporate America, and an abandonment of struggling families across the nation.
(The rest of this series will compare U.S. health care costs with those of other developed nations and discuss their implications for our entire economy; look at the short-term risks and pitfalls in our health care struggle; and review the practical, smart, humane solutions which should become the focus for future debate.)
LEWIS AND RAVITCH ARE THE TWO LEADERS IN PROTECTING AND STRENGTHENING PUBLIC EDUCATION THESE DAYS! THANKS FOR THE ACTIVISM AND PASSION!! WE MUST SEE THE NEED TO FIGHT BACK AGAINST THESE REFORM POLICIES AS #1 IN THE FIGHT TO BRING AMERICA BACK TO FIRST WORLD STATUS!!!
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Karen Lewis and the New, Shrewd Unionism This was a very bad week for Chicago's children.
On Wednesday evening, the unelected Chicago Board of Education approved the largest school closing plan in history. 50 schools will be shuttered in a pattern that is clearly racially biased: black students account for 40% of the CPS population, but 88% of the students who are being displaced are black. It obviously makes the elites who run CPS uncomfortable to point out such things, but it is the sad, ugly truth.
I'm not going to pretend that there is any upside to this. Many children - a good number of whom are homeless - are going to have their lives further upended in this senseless purge. The savings will be modest, if they materialize at all; CPS has already admitted its initial estimate of cost savings was a crock, calling into question the integrity of their projections. And the notion that schools were "under-utilized" is offensive in a district where the CPS administration thinks class size targets of 40 are acceptable.
If anything positive comes out of this, it's certainly not worth the pain Chicago's most vulnerable children will feel over the next few years. That said, there is at least one source of hope that has emerged over the course of this fight:
We are seeing the birth of a new, shrewd unionism.
It wasn't so long ago that the Chicago Teachers Union was being cast as the enemy of reform. Under its previous, dysfunctional leadership, the CTU was being steamrolled by the enemies of teachers at city hall and in the statehouse. CTU, like so many other teachers unions, was disengaged in the larger issues of "reform," and seemed only to care about workplace protections and pay.
It was easy to vilify CTU as a group of money-grubbers, especially in the middle of a weak economic recovery. And so CTU's members found themselves slipping backwards, watching their job protections and pensions get swept away, with no one willing to stand up for them.
Fortunately, there was a faction of CTU that understood what was happening: CORE, the Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators, led by the indomitable Karen Lewis. Even before she won election to the leadership of the CTU, Lewis's CORE was organizing events that spoke to the school closing issue. The hard work of organizing and grassroots activism gave CORE - and Lewis - some badly needed credibility within the community of parents and community activists.
Once Lewis won election to the CTU, she made four astute moves:
1) Lewis set up a battle of "Us vs. Them," with CTU on the side of the people, and the Chicago BOE and Mayor Rahm Emanuel on the side of the plutocracy. Yes, it's always nice find common ground - when possible. Unfortunately, when you're sitting across from the table from people like the odious Emanuel, the duplicitous Jonah Edelman, the morally bankrupt Penny Pritzker, or the just plain awful Bruce Rauner, there really isn't any chance of agreeing on policies where the needs of students, teachers, and taxpayers can be met.
For good long while, these plutocrats have been making a case to the people of Chicago (and, indeed, the nation): "Your problems can be traced back to the greedy, selfish public workers and their horrible unions." They've fomented an atmosphere of envy, where teachers are despised for having health insurance and cops are vilified for having pensions. They've used their media arms to publish some of the most disgusting junk imaginable, demanding that teachers acquiesce to the destruction of the public schools while ignoring the massive inequities that have created our cities' chronic poverty.
Well, at least in Chicago, it's not going to be so easy to get away with this mendacious crap any more. CTU has been at the forefront of fighting for a better curriculum, smaller class sizes, and keeping schools open. While the BOE literally drags protesting parents out of their meetings, CTU stands with those parents, side by side, in opposition to the pillaging of neighborhood schools, which are often the only refuge of stability in violent and underprivileged neighborhoods.
Thanks to Lewis, anyone in Chicago who says the teachers don't have the students' interests at heart and the BOE is on the side of working families now looks like a fool. Lewis has brought the public to the CTU's side, and Rahm Emanuel is becoming politically toxic. Every Chicago politician now knows there is a steep price to be paid for crossing the CTU. How many are now willing to pay that price?
2) Lewis has never been content to merely get "a seat at the table." Too often, the powers that be have patronized the teachers unions. They've acted as if teachers should consider themselves lucky to have a voice in "reform," rather than the ones who should be driving education policy.
Too often, the response of teachers unions has been to accommodate the corporate "reformers," rather than discrediting them. I suppose the argument is that this makes the unions politically viable, and improves their standing in the public's eye by appearing reasonable. But there's nothing "reasonable" about kowtowing to people who wants to see unions destroyed; it's a sign of weakness to give in to people who claim you're the source of the problems with America's schools.
When Emanuel exploded at Lewis in an obscenity-laced tirade, Lewis didn't blink. She didn't meekly nod her head when Emanuel told her: “25 percent of these kids are never going to be anything. They are never going to amount to anything. And I’m not going to throw resources at them." Lewis, instead, called the mayor out. She didn't fret for a second that the pearl-clutchers in the press might run for their fainting couches when she called Emanuel the "murder mayor," because she knew she had earned the right, by virtue of her work on behalf of Chicago's working families, to speak truth to power.
Folks, I'm a big boy, and I understand how the world works: there are times you've got to go along to get along. But there are also times when the principled stance is also the smart one. Karen Lewis, better than anyone in today's labor movement, understands this.
3) Lewis tied teacher working conditions to student learning conditions. Again, the standard argument elites use against public employee unions has been: "They're demanding raises while you're getting nothing!" Ignorant as this is, it works with well with a misinformed segment of the population that believes everything they hear out of the corporatized media. Simply arguing back that teachers are, in fact, not highly-compensated for what they do isn't a good enough answer; there has to be more to the case.
So while Emanuel was arguing for a longer school day, Lewis argued for a better school day. While Emanuel demanded test-based teacher evaluations, Lewis focused on how an expanded testing regime would hurt children. While Emanuel argued for closing "failing" schools, Lewis explained that the school closings were an admission of failure on the part of Emanuel and the CPS leadership.
Lewis has tied together the fortunes of teachers and students. That's actually not a very difficult case to make; unfortunately, the labor movement has often done a poor job making it.
4) Lewis worked her butt off. I've now had the pleasure of meeting Karen Lewis and seeing her in action. She has both boundless energy and a sharp wit, which is why she's treated like a rock star by so many teachers. She won her reelection in a landslide, at a time when too many teachers are disaffected with union leadership.
Reports out of Los Angeles this week do not speak well about the teachers union leadership there. Monica Ratliff, a teacher herself, got only lukewarm support from the UTLA: they actually supported both her and her opponent, Antonio Sanchez, a tool of the corporate reformers. This is not the sort of unionism that inspires confidence in the rank-and-file. If unions can't even get behind their own in an election, why would teachers believe unions have their best interests at heart in negotiations?
Lewis, in contrast, has shown Chicago's teachers she will not stop fighting for them. You may disagree with her tactics, and you may not like her style; what you can't argue with is her passion to do what she thinks is right. Teachers have been begging for champion who will not cave in at the first sign of trouble; they know they've got that in Lewis.
There is a long battle ahead in Chicago - and this nation - about the fate of our pubic schools. Teachers unions are going to have to fight hard, but they also need to fight smart. Karen Lewis is showing us how to do both: her new, shrewd unionism is our best chance of stopping the destruction of both our public schools and public employee unions.
Great minds, thinking alike.
I am sure it is press like this that had Obama on TV saying he was reviewing drone policy.....it won't happen! Instead they are expanding the drone program domestically with police and FBI loading up with drones and state legislatures passing laws making drone surveillance legal.
WIDESPREAD GOVERNMENT/CORPORATE FRAUD AND CORRUPTION.......WIDESPREAD AND DEEPENING POVERTY FOR MOST AMERICANS.......SURVEILLANCE OF EVERY SECTOR OF SOCIETY.......EQUALS TOTALITARIANISM FOLKS!!!!!!
RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE NEXT ELECTIONS!!!!
Disgusted Drone Pilot Quits Air Force
- by Kevin Mathews
- May 27, 2013
- 6:00 am
According to an NPR report, Brandon Bryant joined the military fresh out of college in 2006 so that he could pay back his student loans. The U.S. Air Force assigned Bryant to its Predator program where he was a sensor operator. Rather than piloting traditional jets, however, Bryant captained drones.
Yes, you read that right: drones DO have pilots. While no one is actually inside a drone, the technology is not yet so advanced that it can carry out actions entirely by itself. As a result, Bryant found himself taking the helms – from a computer located in a trailer in Las Vegas.
During his first mission, Bryant witnessed American troops dying via the drone’s camera. He was helpless to do anything from his remote location, in part due to the combatants’ proximity to U.S. soldiers. Instead, he was instructed to fire a missile on a group of men away from the fighting.
“After the smoke clears, there’s a crater there and you can see body parts from the people,” explained Bryant. And as powerful as the drone’s weaponry is, death is not always instantaneous for its targets. “[One] guy… his left leg had been taken off above the knee, and I watched him bleed out.”
Worst still, Bryant suspected these deaths were unnecessary. Although the men were armed, their inactivity in the local fight led him to believe they had weapons to defend themselves while living in a warzone. “These guys had no hostile intent,” Bryant said. “In Montana, everyone has a gun. These guys could have been local people that had to protect themselves. I think we jumped the gun.” He noted that the official report later labeled these men as “enemy combatants.”
When Bryant attempted to talk about what he experienced, he was met with silence. In general, he reported, drone operators avoid discussing their work even with each other.
The second time Bryant manned a drone attack, he fired on a house with militants inside. As the missile cruised toward its target, Bryant watched a child run next to the house. After the impact, Bryant saw no sign of the child. This time, instead of getting emotional about his part in the casualties, he went numb.
This numbness persisted for his remaining years of service. Bryant detached himself from his work, adopting a perspective that, in warfare, “good guys can die, bad guys can die, and innocents can die.”
Finally recognizing his unhealthy attitude toward killing, Bryant opted to quit the Air Force. “I couldn’t do it anymore,” he said. “I stopped myself, and I said that’s not me. I was taught to respect life, even if in the realities of war we have to take it, it should be done with respect.”
Alas, the drone program has only grown since Bryant’s resignation. Obama’s onetime counterterrorism adviser Michael Boyle recently suggested that the administration may favor drone strikes over detention centers given the controversies surrounding places like Guantanamo Bay. Of course, the U.S. government has got to be kidding itself if it thinks critics’ objections to torturing and holding potential terrorists indefinitely without trial are assuaged by just outright killing suspects (and innocent bystanders) with no questions asked. The only reason drone usage has not turned into the full-scale scandal of Guantanamo Bay is due to the relative lack of information.
As for Bryant, he is now a member of a veterans’ group where he says he is finally experiencing the camaraderie he hoped the military would offer but was unattainable in a Las Vegas trailer. Like many veterans, Bryant is currently undergoing treatment for PTSD. Also like many veterans, Bryant is still waiting to receive his benefits to cover this treatment.
Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/disgusted-drone-pilot-quits-air-force.html#ixzz2Ub6NnIQK
Regarding NPR/APM coverage of 'the changing world/US:
We listened as NPR's journalists of change interviewed the Native American genocide being caused by Austerity. You hear a common thread in all of NPR/APM interviews.....we will have to get used to having no resources this interviewee said. It mirrors the working class family interviewed by Marketplace Money who are trying to get on their feet financially. They speak of the multiple cycles of economic boom and bust that have their wealth wiped out each time and the predation of banks and massive frauds.....but at the end they say it is their responsibility to get their accounts in order. Then you have the black urban family struggling in violence ravaged communities being completely defunded and surrounded by school to prison public policy who state firmly they will focus and surmount the odds. THIS IS ALL PROPAGANDA AND EVERYONE KNOWS IT. IT IS STATE MEDIA NOT PUBLIC MEDIA.
We are organizing across the country to send this NPR/APM format packing as it is commercial media not public media. Your public media station has a Board that decides programming and it is responsible for exposing us to propaganda rather than news. Here in Baltimore, WYPR has on its Board nothing but affluent business people. They speak of the need to have people of color on the Board but they have no thoughts of the economic makeup of the Board. When public media is public, the people trying to get public media off the ground are always struggling to find a few 'suits' to bring in funding as most of the Board are middle/lower class. This is the dynamic that needs to change and we need to be rid of the propaganda as we work to effect that change.
So, today we had to listen to Brancaccio tell us of the European scheme to get rid of the masses of angry, disaffected citizens by giving them language courses and sending them abroad. That is of course 'The New Economy' but this is the first time the media has spoken of it. The governments are scared because there is mass civil disobedience happening across Europe as it is across America.....only you don't hear about it in US media. This past week, and indeed all month of May has been a roll out of mass protest in Europe and America and not any of it is making the news. We see it online. From holding the banks accountable for tens of trillions of dollars in fraud.....to stopping foreclosures....to Monsanto's attempt to patent all food sources....to Fracking and XL Pipeline killing our environment....to education reform that kills public education and health care reform that kills health care for most people.....ALL FOR CORPORATE PROFIT...there are masses of people demonstrating against what NPR/APM propagandists paint as 'getting used to changing times'.
A poll recently placed 20-30% of right wing voters as ready for armed revolution and another 30-40% of the left wing is ready for mass civil disobedience. We know the numbers will be far higher once the revolution starts. That leaves about 5% of the population trying hard to squash the revolution....THESE ARE THE THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATS TRYING TO KEEP HOLD OF THE PEOPLE'S PARTY FOR CORPORATE INTERESTS....THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION OF GLOBAL INTITIATIVES GROUP THAT WRITES POLICY THAT HAS THE MASSES SHIPPED OUT OVERSEAS TO QUELL UPRISINGS!
Take a look at Storm Clouds Gathering on Facebook to hear what is a good state of the state with the citizens in Western nations. I'm not sure were this group is going, but they know where things are right now. Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone is late on the scene in telling people the existing government is corrupt and criminal but he is at least out there now. TruthOut is a good source for real news and is headed by lots of erudite world scholars who do not work for money. Unions are on the rise and are heading to communities in mass as the labor movement grows in leaps and bounds so check into their websites and FB pages....especially in the larger cities like NYC, Chicago, and Seattle as this is where organization is strongest!!!!!
The problem as we all know is massive corporate fraud has moved tens of trillions of dollars out of the US and European economy, wages and benefits are being slashed making the citizens unable to buy things....consumption is gone. Consumption fuels the economy are creates jobs. The Fed policies are keeping the economy stagnant while feeding money to the top earners making the stock market completely separate from the economy. Low interest rates take all methods of savings away from the people being impoverished and is meant to push people not wanting to enter a criminal market back into it as interest does not keep pace with Cost of Living.....IT IS ALL A SCAM!
The Corporate Dictatorship of PBS and NPR
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 14:53 By The Daily Take, The Thom Hartmann Program | Op-Ed
Why Obama's JOBS Act Couldn't Suck Worse | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone
Then the JOBS Act happened.
The "Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act" (in addition to everything else, the Act has an annoying, redundant title) will very nearly legalize fraud in the stock market.
In fact, one could say this law is not just a sweeping piece of deregulation that will have an increase in securities fraud as an accidental, ancillary consequence. No, this law actually appears to have been specifically written to encourage fraud in the stock markets.
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/why-obamas-jobs-act-couldnt-suck-worse-20120409#ixzz2UaatwpuP
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on FacebookWhy Obama's JOBS Act Couldn't Suck Worse | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone www.rollingstone.comThis law appears to have been specifically written to encourage fraud in the stock markets.
Regarding O'Malley's creation of a task force to look at Maryland prison corruption:
IT'S THE STAFFING AND FUNDING say everybody in the state for Pete's sake! The problem here is the same as the problem throughout all state function......there is such a level of defunding of government and dismissal of staffing that the government cannot operate effectively or provide oversight and safety to employees or citizens! We do not need a task force to tell us this!
Remember, Maryland is one of the richest in the nation and it is also ranked at the bottom for fraud, corruption, and lack of transparency. THAT IS THE PROBLEM and O'Malley and the people on this task force create this problem. THEY ARE THE PROBLEM! I watched the evening news that showed Chief of Police Batts meeting with the community of Roland Park telling them the inequities in the city are causing the rising crime and violence. The reason Batts went to Roland Park/Guilford is that is where all the fraud and money laundering occurs that sends all of the city revenue to a shadow system of private non-profits that dispense the money and write Baltimore's public policy. IT IS MEDIEVAL FOLKS....
Then we watch Chief Batts at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Now, Johns Hopkins controls public policy in Baltimore and they are responsible for the nearly 50% unemployment for blacks in the city.......they are responsible for the never-ending poverty wages......they are responsible for the housing crisis for blacks as fraud and corruption takes the city's housing/real estate market. They are responsible for the closing of schools and assets in poor communities and they are responsible for copious grants intended to help the poor and working class communities ending as funds for affluent and luxury development. So, Chief Batts is asking the very people who are causing the problems of crime and violence what to do the end it.
Then, we watch Chief Batts talk to Mayor Rawlings-Blake who as a long-term member of the City Council and now mayor is directly responsible for two decades of the most aggressive police harassment, intimidation, and brutality campaign in Baltimore's history.....17 people killed by police for no reason in just the few years of her time as mayor....which inflames people's anger at the level of injustice in the city. SO, WE SEE CHIEF BATTS TALKING TO ALL THE PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL THE CONDITIONS THAT CREATE BALTIMORE'S ENVIRONMENT OF CRIME AND VIOLENCE SEEKING A SOLUTION. Do you think his conversation included all of these issues?
O'Malley forms city task force to look into jail corruption Moves comes as governor has been under fire for his handling of indictment of correctional officers
A month after a federal indictment alleged widespread corruption at the Baltimore City Detention Center, Gov. Martin O'Malley on Monday announced a new task force charged with pushing the inquisition further.
O'Malley said in a statement "there is much more work to do" and called the new task force "a powerful new weapon in our arsenal."
The task force comes as O'Malley has been under fire for his handling of the April indictment of 13 correctional officers accused of helping a dozen members of the Black Guerrilla Family gang effectively take over the jail — allegations that span more than 18 months. The indictment accused the guards of helping smuggle drugs and cell phones to gang members behind bars.
"The governor should have had an aggressive response to this problem, but it's welcome news that he's finally taking it seriously," said House Minority Leader Nicholaus R. Kipke, an Anne Arundel County Republican.
The City Correctional Task Force, to be led by a city assistant state's attorney, was created to unearth gang activity in jails and corrupt corrections officers — first at the troubled Baltimore facility and then at other state prisons.
The governor initially hailed the indictment as a victory in the fight against gang activity, although within days Public Safety and Correctional Service Secretary Gary D. Maynard moved his office into the jail and began conducting polygraphs of employees. O'Malley, who was traveling in Israel when the indictments were unsealed, later released a list of reforms that did not quiet critics who called him slow to react and even slower to take responsibility.
O'Malley and his aides have pointed out that they asked federal officials to investigate gang activity in Maryland prisons.
Last week, corrections officials were investigating recent Facebook and Instagram posts that appeared to be taken with cell phones inside the Baltimore jail.
The new task force will be coordinated by Baltimore Assistant State's Attorney Dana Middleton, a member of the Correctional Reform Section of the Maryland State Bar Association, which works to get lawyers interested in improving prisons and jails.
The team will also have three Maryland State Police investigators and six investigators from the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.
Aides to O'Malley said the new task force will continue and build on the work of the federal task force that included the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Attorneys, the Drug Enforcement Agency and U.S. Marshals.
It was not immediately clear Monday whether the federal task force is still investigating gang activities in Maryland facilities.
State lawmakers have called a June 6 hearing to investigate what led to the corruption at the Baltimore jail.
Baltimore State's Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein said the new task force will unite resources and "have a serious impact and complement the progress already made."
Baltimore Sun reporter Ian Duncan contributed to this article.