What is the Election Boycott Advocates Group?

Election Boycott purpose image

 

To best answer this question, I will present our latest statement of purpose and intent in the Manifesto just finally completed.  Here it is and read the Manifesto carefully to gain a quick perspective:

http://electionboycott.weebly.com/manifesto.html

 

 

ELECTION BOYCOTT ADVOCATES MANIFESTO

From the Manifesto:

“The Election Boycott is the first step in a struggle for democracy, for alternative democratic government to replace the plutocratic imperialist police state, for Working Class liberation and for democratic-cooperative ownership and management of all commercial enterprises and public democratic ownership and management of all utilities and banks. ” continued at this link:  http://electionboycott.weebly.com/manifesto.html

If anyone would like to join with us please consult these websites and Facebook pages:

Election Boycott Advocates Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/electionboycottadvocates/

Election Boycott Advocates webpage:

http://electionboycott.weebly.com/

Also consult this blog site for periodic updates on the Election Boycott Updates on Carson’s corner blog talk radio:

https://proactvoice.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/election-boycott-advocates-on-carsons-corner/

An excellent site to refer to blog talk radio specifically by Bob Carson and Brad Holhut including shows on the Election Boycott Advocates is here:

http://www.thecommonsprojectnetwork.com/

You will be learning much more about us in the days ahead.  Join the Election Boycott Advocates to receive updates and stay informed.

Thomas Baldwin, Election Boycott Advocates member.

 

 

 

Is Our Society Becoming Addicted to Technocratic Insanity?

Technocrats in 1933I just saw an advertisement for an i-Phone with 30 GB of data per month for only $160 per month after you own the i-Phone, of course.  Aren’t you impressed?  Considering we used to have a phone for a few dollars a month you definitely should be!!

The marketing dollars for competition in today’s communication market is unbelievable.  Why?  Because billions of dollars are at stake.  It’s called the extreme capitalistic society that has been created in America.  We’re being reduced to robots to respond and sure enough, the robots are being prepared to take over from us humans.

Last night a group of us political activists earnestly tried to produce an internet blog talk radio show to debate some important political issues.  About half way through we were cut off from an internet failure from the host who had cautioned us that might occur.  But we continued to have a conversation over the telephones!  My colleague remarked, maybe we’re not ready for “prime time” yet.  Since another colleague and I have been considering another blog talk radio show, it definitely gave me pause for thought!

Though there has often been frequent criticism of the internet social media,  including Facebook as the prime example, still seems to work and the founder has become incredibly wealthy.  The point that we might want to consider is that communications between humans are extremely important and those are usually personal, telephonic and pictorial or video.  In other words, we have to communicate with one other with sight, sound and face to face and perhaps touch.  Making use of all of the methods humans have to relate to one another seems radical, doesn’t it?

Is that a difficult lesson for us humans to learn?  That should be our priority and not buying the latest “technological device” to make that happen!!  I suggest one not become a slave to technocratic  addiction but use the communication method that is best for you!

_______________________________________________________________________

Note added in post publication:  Rocket Kirchner posted an interesting article on this subject in 2009 in Dandelion Salad regarding human communications in a “Technoautism” environment.

Election Boycott Advocates on Carson’s Corner–Updated Regularly

Election Boycott Advocate

THIS IS A DYNAMIC BLOG AND WILL BE REGULARLY UPDATED:  The Election Boycott Advocates is a newly formed organization composed of those who live around the country, in states like Florida, New Jersey,  New York, Iowa, Illnois, Oregon, Mississippi, etc.  These individuals are committed to advocating and promoting a boycott of federal elections because they have been shown to be totally corrupt and completely controlled by a corporatist political duopoly.  The duopoly does everything in its power to cater to the corporate sector and the wealthy elite and has no intentions of representing the people despite their rhetoric to the contrary.  The duopoly works diligently to crush any “third party efforts” and eliminate competition.

This will be a dynamic blog and periodically updated with the Manifesto which is represented below in a site.  In this edition, we present segments from blog talk radio, specifically “Carson’s Corner” with Bob Carson and one from Brad Holbut on the Pinko the Bear show .  The segments included are from those podcasts produced in September and October 2014.  Other relevant media examples and references may be added.

WHAT IS THE ELECTION BOYCOTT ADVOCATES GROUP :  MANIFESTO

htttp://proactvoice.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/what-is-the-election-boycott-advocates-group/

From the Manifesto:

“The Election Boycott is the first step in a struggle for democracy, for alternative democratic government to replace the plutocratic imperialist police state, for Working Class liberation and for democratic-cooperative ownership and management of all commercial enterprises and public democratic ownership and management of all utilities and banks. ” continued at this link above:  http://electionboycott.weebly.com/manifesto.html

_____________________________________________________________________

Relevant websites and Facebook pages are:

http://electionboycott.weebly.com/

Election Boycott (Facebook page”  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Election-Boycott/322877701195766)

Election Boycott Advocates (Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/electionboycottadvocates/)

Election Boycott Organizing Alliance (private group)

 

Evil and Corrupt Duopoly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

___________________________________________________________________

CARSON’S CORNER OCTOBER 5, 2014

“On this episode of Carson’s Corner, join the Election Boycott Advocates as they host a provocative 2 hour discussion that seeks to challenge the movement as well as the entire system. Hosts Bob Carson, Christopher Driscoll, and Election Boycott Advocate member, Thomas Baldwin, welcome Harry Cason, member/supporter of the Zeitgeist Movement to the show. Although generally supportive of the movement, Harry has some concerns about the content and direction of the cause. Carson’s Corner also hopes to hear from long time Carson’s Corner friend, Jeff Howard. Jeff Howard, who is a veteran, occupier and activist, has some very strong convictions about elections in this country, and anybody who has listened to Jeff before on the show knows he is one of the most fiery individuals out there. Jeff has commented, “Bob…. I’m against boycotting the election ……we do they win.” Hopefully, our friend can join this ongoing discussion that we have been having on Carson’s Corner. All in all, this will be another great edition of Carson’s Corner.

Here is some more info on Harry Cason and why he joined the movement: Harry Cason has been teaching political science at the The City University of New York – College of Staten Island for over twenty years, and has been involved in the anti-war and social rights movement even longer.
Cason is presently writing a book on: U.S. Relations with Spain under Francisco Franco, and Spain’s Eventual Liberalization.
Cason is a member-supporter of the Zeitgeist Movement, because of its holistic-systemic response to the problems we presently face in the world, as opposed to the piecemeal and tweaking response that is typically offered-up these days”

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/carsonscorner/2014/10/06/carsons-corner-the-election-boycott-advocates

______________________________________________________________________

Insert added here from “The Pinko the Bear Show”: (October 1, 2014–special thanks to “Pinko”, Brad Holhut.)

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/tash/2014/10/01/the-pinko-the-bear-show–election-boycott-advocates–faqs-and-answers

 

The Pinko the Bear Show – Election Boycott Advocates – FAQ’s and Answers
Also see this link at The commonprojectsnetwork.com
carsonscorner

Carson’s Corner!!

 

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Stay in the know about new episodes and updates.
Carson’s Corner is a weekly progressive radio show which can be heard on Blogtalk Radio. Tune in to hear host Bob Carson give you the most honest, well-informed, and passionate commentary from the progressive point of view ANYWHERE on the dial. Carson’s Corner can also be heard on The Commons Project Network dot com. For more information, please visit their website at http://thecommonsprojectnetwork.com. Another place to catch Carson’s Corner is podomatic.com, where Carson’s Corner is one of the top progressive podcasts in the country. As if that isn’t enough, Carson’s Corner the award-winning MMA show can be heard on this channel. Working in conjunction with Cage Junkies dot com, Bob delivers the very best in MMA interviews. Tune in to find out why Carson’s Corner was voted 2009 “MMA Talkshow of The Year.” read more

On-Demand Episodes

Also see the blog talk radio shows at   http://www.thecommonsprojectnetwork.com/

Added on September 29:

Bob Carson

Last night, Election Boycott Advocates Christopher Driscoll, Thomas Baldwin, and Bob Carson, had a 2 hour discussion that is worthwhile on Carson’s Corner. Make sure to tune in. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/carsonscorner/2014/09/29/carsons-corner-the-election-boycott-advocates

Carson’s Corner: The Election Boycott Advocates!!
blogtalkradio.com
Three Election Boycotters discuss the sad state of affairs in the world and how the U.S. political system has brought us to the brink of disaster!

It’s Sunday, and you know what that means: It’s all things election boycott. On this 2 hour edition of Carson’s Corner, hosts Bob Carson and Christopher Alan Driscoll will discuss Obama’s talks at the United Nations on climate change, and the latest U.S. bombing campaign in Syria. It’s clear that the American people have no say in the aforementioned issues, or any issue for that matter. We are not a democracy, and pretending such, only strengthens the system. As the great Zack de la rocha says, “Raise your fist and resist!”

Also joining the show will be Thomas Baldwin, election boycott advocate member, blogger, and owner of the site http://proactvoice.wordpress.com/

Carson’s Corner with Bob Carson.

It’s the Election Boycott hour on Carson’s Corner this week! Join Bob Carson and cohost Christopher Alan Driscoll as they discuss the Election Boycott Advocates, and welcome members, supporters, and callers to the show. Last week, we… more

Carson’s Corner with Bob Carson.

On this edition of Carson’s Corner, it is all things Election Boycott, as the entire hour is dedicated to the Election Boycott Advocates. In this hour, we hear from members and supporters as the group advances and becomes more active…. more

 

Carson’s Corner with Bob Carson.

On the first hour of the program, Bob will have Christopher Alan Driscoll, member of the Election Boycott Organizing Alliance. We will discuss the progress being made within the group as well as the reasons for its existence. Each week,… more

Carson’s Corner with Bob Carson.

On this episode of Carson’s Corner, we will continue our analysis of the issues raised in Paul Street’s new book, “They Rule: The 1% vs Democracy.” We will discuss the dominance of the financial sector, and how we went from industrial… more

 

Obama’s Demagogic UN Address By Stephen Lendman

Reproduced by permission.  First posted on September 25, 2014 at:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2014/09/obamas-demagogic-un-address.html
Flashpoint in Ukraine book by Lendman
Obama’s Demagogic UN Address
by Stephen Lendman
He didn’t surprise. His address lasted a mind-numbing 45 minutes. He made painful listening. All his speeches feature demagogic mumbo jumbo Big Lies. They drown out truth.
Two years ago, he lied about Libya. He claimed US-led NATO intervened to “cope with violent conflict, care for the wounded, and craft a vision for the future in which the rights of all Libyans would be respected.”
He “supported the birth of a new democracy…Libyans held elections…(They) built new institutions…(They) move(d) forward after decades of dictatorship.”
Truth is polar opposite Obama’s Big Lies. Libya was Africa’s most developed country. Most Libyans supported Gaddafi.
They did so for good reasons. Libya was a model social justice society.
Gaddafi used its oil wealth responsibly. He provided free healthcare, education and other vital benefits.
His Libya no longer exists. Obama transformed it. He made it a charnel house catastrophe. A dystopian wasteland. Tens of thousands were ruthlessly slaughtered. Many more were injured and/or displaced.
Libyans had benefits Americans can’t imagine. Obama replaced them with dystopian harshness. Mostly civilians were harmed. US-led NATO willfully targeted them. Obama destroyed Libyan sovereignty. He replaced it with instability, insecurity, and daily violence.
Last year, he ludicrously said “we come together to reaffirm the founding vision of this institution.”
“For most of recorded history, (the) idea that nations and peoples could come together in peace to solve their disputes and advance a common prosperity seemed unimaginable.”
It still does. America bears full responsibility. So does Obama. He deplores peace, stability and security. He wages permanent wars without end.
He abhors “common prosperity.” He spurns social justice. He serves monied interests only. He supports their divine rights.
He permits their grandest of grand theft larceny. He hands them America’s wealth. He gave bankers trillions of dollars. He lets war-profiteers benefit hugely. He supports government of, by, and for America’s privileged.
This year, he prioritized selling war. The New York Times shamelessly supports it.
It called Obama’s address “much-anticipated.” It made stomach-churning listening.
According to The Times, Obama “chartered a muscular new course.”   He “laid out a forceful new blueprint on Wednesday for deeper American engagement in the Middle East…”
He told UN members “that the Islamic State understood only ‘the language of force’ and that the United States would ‘work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death.’ “
He ignored America’s killing machine. His lawless aggression. His culpability for high crimes against peace.
So did The New York Times. It bashed Russia at the same time.  It did so irresponsibly.
It’s America’s lead disseminator of state/corporate Big Lies. It supports wealth, power and privilege.
It’s an unofficial propaganda ministry. It operates irresponsibly.
It features managed news misinformation garbage. It drowns out vital truths. It betrays its readers in the process.
Obama’s address featured beginning-to-end Big Lies. “(M)ore people live under governments they elected,” he claimed.
Most so-called elections are more shams than real. Entrenched power runs things. People have no say.
Obama lied suggesting otherwise. “Hundreds of millions of human beings have been freed from the prison of poverty,” he said.
Billions are ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed and ill-cared for. Human misery is unprecedented.
Since economic crisis conditions erupted in late 2007, poverty increased exponentially. So did deep poverty. Obama lied claiming otherwise.
He ludicrously said world economic conditions strengthened. Millions of Americans endure protracted Depression conditions.
America isn’t fit to live in. It no longer has a functioning economy. Paul Craig Roberts calls it a “house of cards.”
US-style casino capitalism failed. Most of its citizens struggle daily to get by. Welcome to the age of inequality. Poverty is a growth industry.
Over 23% of Americans wanting work can’t find it. Most jobs are rotten ones.
They’re temp or part-time low pay/poor or no benefit service ones with no futures. Conditions are getting worse, not better.
Monied interests run things. Ordinary people suffer. More than ever in modern times. Obama ludicrously claimed otherwise.
He lied accusing Russia of aggression. “Here are the facts,” he said. “After the people of Ukraine mobilized popular protests and calls for reform, their corrupt president fled.”
“Against the will of the government in Kiev, Crimea was annexed.  Russia poured arms into eastern Ukraine, fueling violent separatists and a conflict that has killed thousands.”
“When a civilian airliner was shot down from areas that these proxies controlled, they refused to allow access to the crash for days.”
“When Ukraine started to reassert control over its territory, Russia gave up the pretense of merely supporting the separatists, and moved troops across the border.”
Washington bears full responsibility for Ukrainian crisis conditions. Rogue EU partners share it.
Crimea wasn’t annexed. Its people voted near unanimously to join Russia. They did so in a referendum independent international monitors judged open, free and fair.
Putin responsibly accommodated them. Obama lied claiming otherwise.
No evidence suggests Russia poured arms into Southeastern Ukraine. Washington, its rogue Western partners, and Kiev’s putschist government bear full responsibility for months of violence, instability and lawlessness.
Fascist regimes operate this way. Kiev’s rogue government shot down MH17. Clear evidence proves it.
Self-defense forces and Russia had nothing to do with it. Or refusing access to its crash site for days.
Russia didn’t invade Ukraine. Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov abhor war, violence and instability. They go all-out for peaceful conflict resolution.
Obama deplores it. He pursues permanent wars against humanity. He wants unchallenged worldwide control.
US policies cause unspeakable human misery. No nation in world history caused more harm to more people at home and abroad over a longer duration than America.
None exceed its lawlessness. Its disdain for core human and civil rights. None more threaten world peace.
America isn’t beautiful. It never was. For sure not now. It threatens humanity’s survival.
Obama represents the worst of rogue leadership. He belongs in prison, not high office.
America’s “choice is clear,” he hyped. “We choose hope over fear.” His hyperbole was polar opposite reality.
“…(W)e come together to reject the cancer of violent extremism,” he claimed. US global state terrorism exceeds the worst of all other rogue states in world history.
It’s responsible for more genocidal mass slaughter, destruction, and human misery over a longer duration than history’s worst dictatorships.
Their crimes pale by comparison to America’s. They do so in terms of:
  • bullying other nations to comply with its diktats;
  • targeting them with regime change for refusing;
  • making the world safe for monied interests;
  • redrawing the world’s map to serve them;
  • letting them operate lawlessly;
  • handing them America’s wealth;
  • trashing social justice;
  • asserting might over right;
  • waging permanent wars on sovereign nations;
  • doing so for unchallenged global dominance;
  • causing irreparable harm to billions worldwide for generations;
  • violating core rule of law principles;
  • institutionalizing state terror;
  • spreading the scourge of fascism; and
  • making societies unsafe to live in.
Obama lied claiming America supports “freedom of nations and (the right of) peoples (able) to make their own decisions.”
He deplores this notion and others related to it. He spurns diplomacy and peace. He prioritizes violence, belligerence and permanent wars of aggression.
He ludicrously claimed America supports “mutual interest and mutual respect.” A commitment to work responsibly to solve modern-day problems.
A pledge “to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and pursue the peace and security of a world without them.”
A dedication to “eradicat(ting extreme poverty by 2030.” A promise “to help people feed themselves, power their economies, and care for their sick.”
A guarantee to “reduc(e) our carbon emissions (and increase) our investments in clean energy.”
America deplores mutual interest and respect. It’s responsible for egregious world problems.
Its policies create extreme poverty. They exploit world economies. They cause starvation, homelessness, health problems and unspeakable human misery.
Practically nothing is done to develop clean energy. To work toward replacing polluting fossil fuels and dangerous nuclear energy.
Obama lied claiming America “is not and never will be at war with Islam. (T)here is no us and them,” he said.
No “clash of civilizations” exists, he claimed. “(H)umanity’s future depends on us uniting against those who would divide us along the fault lines of tribe or sect, race or religion.”
America won’t “send US troops to occupy foreign lands,” he claimed. He ludicrously said it military might is used responsibly.
America is committed to “tak(e) action against immediate threats, while pursuing a world in which the need for such action is diminished.”
It “will never shy away from defending (its) interests, but we will also not shy away from the promise of this institution and its Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the notion that peace is not merely the absence of war, but the presence of a better life.”
“…America is a country that has steadily worked to address our problems, to make our union more perfect, to bridge the divides that existed at the founding of this nation.”
“(W)e hold our leaders accountable,” he claimed. We “insist on a free press and independent judiciary.”
“…(W)e address our differences in the open space of democracy – with respect for the rule of law; with a place for people of every race and every religion; and with an unyielding belief in the ability of individual men and women to change their communities and their circumstances and their countries for the better.”
Its “can help light the world…We are heirs to a proud legacy of freedom, and we’re prepared to do what is necessary to secure that legacy for generations to come.”
Obama’s address was beginning-to-end brazen bald-faced Big Lies. He elevated them to a higher level.
His presidency gives rogue leadership new meaning. Madness defines it.
Neocon extremists infest Washington. They hugely influence policies. They do so destructively.
Obama promised hope and change. He delivered permanent wars, domestic ruthlessness and betrayal.
He’s ideologically over-the-top. He presides over a homeland police state apparatus.
He recklessly advances America’s imperium. His quest for global dominance risks the unthinkable.
Impeaching him is a national imperative. He violated public trust from day one in office.
He did so throughout his tenure. He broke every major promise made.
He wages permanent war on humanity. He risks heading America for WW III. He’s guilty of high crimes against peace.
He trashed America’s social contract. His policies caused unprecedented levels of poverty, unemployment, underemployment, hunger, homelessness and human misery.
He’s beholden to powerful monied interests. They own him. He spurns fundamental civil and human rights.
He ignores rule of law principles. He mocks democratic values. He’s contemptuous of essential needs.
He institutionalized tyranny. It’s a hair’s breadth from full-blown. It’s one major homeland false flag away.
Humanity’s survival is uncertain. It’s up for grabs. So are fundamental freedoms.
US state terror threatens them. So do America’s permanent wars.
They rage without end. They do so lawlessly. They cause mass slaughter and destruction.
America’s killing machine is the world’s most ruthless. Survival hangs in the balance if it’s not stopped.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

Are You Ready to ‘Disrupt’? Climate Movement Readies Global Mobilization

“The next act will be written in the streets on September 21st, when the People’s Climate March takes over New York (and cities across the globe).”

Reproduced from Common Dreams with attribution by Thomas Baldwin.  See complete link here:

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2014/09/08/are-you-ready-disrupt-climate-movement-readies-global-mobilization

 Published on
by

Are You Ready to ‘Disrupt’? Climate Movement Readies Global Mobilization

In less than two weeks, the ‘Climate People’s March & Mobilization’ is set to make its mark on history. A new film explains helps explain where movement came from and where it’s going.

A still image from the film, Disruption, which seeks to galvanize the global justice movement at just the right moment. (Credit: watchdisruption.com)

On Sunday night, a new documentary film highlighting the intertwined story of  the climate crisis and the growing social movement which has grown in response to it was released online for national screenings that took place in people’s home and public meeting spaces.

At just under an hour long, the film—titled ‘Disruption’—was produced with a stated goal to “galvanize a new wave of climate action and climate leadership” across the globe and comes just weeks before the ‘People’s Climate March‘ being organized for New York City that will take place on Sunday, September 21.

As Jamie Henn, a co-founder of 350.org—which is leading the organizing effort for the march and also produced the film—said to his organization’s members in an email:

Here’s the most exciting part of this story: it’s not finished yet. The next act will be written in the streets on September 21st, when the People’s Climate March takes over New York (and cities across the globe).

This is the history we’ll tell the next generation — about the end of fossil fuels, about how the world was in crisis, about how we started to turn it around together.

 

See film at link:

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2014/09/08/are-you-ready-disrupt-climate-movement-readies-global-mobilization

 

Taking America Back (to its good old days) by Matt Reedy

 Blog 1Guest Opinion by Matt Reedy*

September 7, 2014

“…on its own, without a social compact, raw capitalism is destined to serve the few at the expense of the many.” –David Simon, creator of the The Wire.

Part 1

America is no longer a democracy. You could argue it’s an oligarchy, a plutocracy, a polyarchy, a corporatcracy, an aristocracy, kleptocracy, or that it is well on its way to fascism, but you can’t argue that it’s a democracy. We all yearn for those glorious days when democracy and America thrived. We romanticize the days after World War II when America was at the height of its glory. Dad put in an honest day’s work and came home to his loving wife. Mom kept the house and carried the emotional weight of the family. The children played ball in the sandlots and respected their elders. There were paper boys, milk men, apple pies, hopscotch and Main Streets. To put it simply, we all want a return to the good old days. So how can we accomplish that?

First we have to find out when and how it all went wrong. Conservatives seem to place the blame at the feet of atheists, the lazy food stamp recipients, meddlesome intellectuals, undocumented workers, Muslims and the progressive policies of liberals. After all, wasn’t America much more conservative in the fifties when everything was perfect and we were at the height of our economic strength as a nation? And if it hadn’t been for those dirty hippies and their counter-culture “revolution” none of this would have happened, right? Everything was great until they came along, wasn’t it? It makes sense to me on the surface. But let’s dig just a tiny bit deeper.

While the sixties saw radical progress in social reform, they saw regressive fiscal reforms that have continued and accelerated right up to today. As popular movements forced the power-elite to make concessions to women, minorities and workers in social terms, the powerful began to launch a class war intended to rob the poor and middle class. This looting of America has been going on since the seventies and reached fever pitch in 2007. From 1820 to 1978 wages rose as worker productivity rose, which meant if you worked harder you were paid more. Then in the late 70’s and early 80’s worker productivity began to soar with the help of new technologies such as the computer. But, for the first time in 150 years the wage of the average worker stagnated and then eventually declined[i].

How were power-elite able to lower wages? Didn’t the unions that fought tenaciously for their rights help ensure a living wage for the majority of Americans? They certainly did. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 1955 33.2% of workers were part of a union. In 2013 only 11.3% of Americans are members of organized labor[ii]. The violent struggles of the labor movement in the late 19th early 20th centuries lead to collective bargaining which led to a strong and vibrant working class which led to the best economy the nation has ever seen. High wages for union workers helped provide living wages for “unskilled” workers. Everyone was making money and that money went back into the economy and everyone made more money. And on and on it went, until 1978.

Once wages ceased to correlate with productivity and the ever rising cost of living, the middle class began to suffer while the ruling class began to see “dazzling” returns. Because the owners were making astronomical sums of capital and the worker’s wages were stagnating, the worker could no longer sustain his standard of living. So what did they do? The first thing they did was to work more hours. Today the average America worker puts in more hours per year than the Japanese. The second thing they did was send mom into the work force. She got a part-time or full-time job. But this didn’t help the family or the economy. In fact, it hurt both. To maintain a second income the woman had to buy a car to get to work. She had to buy new clothes. She was too tired to cook after a hard day’s work so she bought prepared food. And worst of all she was no longer able to hold together the emotional fabric of the family. In the 1970’s the divorce rate skyrocketed. This also had the unintended consequence of flooding the workforce with applicants that it accelerated wage reduction for the average worker.

So when that failed, how did the family attempt to bridge the ever increasing gap between the rising cost of living and the decline in wages? They borrowed. Who did they borrow from? They borrowed from the very people that stopped raising their wages. Do you understand? Since corporations were making record profits by not paying their employees more, the money went to the richest people in the country (while wages for average Americans have been declining C.E.0. compensation has risen 937% since 1977)[iii]. The rich, not being anyone’s fool, decided to make the most of this new capital. Instead of giving their workers a wage increase as the workers worked harder and better for them, they didn’t. Instead, they gave them loans, which the workers then had to pay back them with interest. (This concept is beautifully and articulately detailed in economist Richard Wolff’s book Capitalism Hits the Fan).

In the 1950’s, the largest employer of Americans was G.M. Adjusted for inflation the average wage of a G.M. employee in 1955 was over 20 dollars an hour[iv]. Today, Wal-Mart is American’s largest employer and their sales associates make an average of $8.81 an hour[v]. In 1968 the minimum wage was $1.60 an hour. Adjusted for inflation and keeping with the rising worker productivity, the minimum should be $21.16[vi]. However, today it stands at $7.25 and due to the decline of the dollar the actual purchasing power of that wage is even less. In the 1950’s the average C.E.O. made 30 times that of his average employee. Today he makes over 500 times more[vii]. I’m not saying the people who work harder and smarter shouldn’t make more, but how is it possible to work 500 times harder than someone else?

In the 1950’s, under Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower the top marginal tax rate was 91%. Today under Democrat Barack Obama it is 39.6%. But the rich don’t even pay that thanks to carried interest, municipal bonds (which aren’t taxed at all) and capital gains (something even Reagan was against and didn’t allow). But some don’t even pay that thanks to offshore accounts. As if that is not bad enough in 2013 General Electric made 19.6 billion in profit and paid an effective tax rate of negative 18.9%[viii]. Yes, that’s right; they made 19.6 billion and actually received tax payer money on top of it. And if you’re not mad enough remember they’re only one of twenty-six corporations to receive that treatment last year.

But the power-elite didn’t stop there. They went on to gut the heart of American industry by Wilkes-Barreshipping factories overseas in favor of cheaper labor. I grew up in Lebanon, PA a once renowned steel town. My wife grew up in Wilkes-Barre, PA a once prosperous coal mining town. Those industries were heavily subsidized by the government and instead of reinvesting in the plants or towns; the owners exploited the resources and communities, then packed up their profits and moved, leaving what author, activist and former war correspondent Chris Hedges calls “Sacrifice Zones”. My town and my wife’s town, once the heart of American industry are now pockets of poverty and despair, ghettos without cities. Thanks in large part to N.A.F.T.A., courtesy of Bill Clinton and a majority of congressional republicans, corporations no longer have to pay tariffs on imported goods which forces American workers to compete with global slave labor, which again, raises the supply of the work force and lowers its demand. And who benefits from all this? The rich do because they are able to pay workers lower wages and reduce benefits.

Yet, I hear a kind of forgiveness for corporations who have overseas factories and tax havens. After all, they’re just trying to make money, right? And while it sort of stinks, what do you expect? They’re going to do everything they can maximize profits. Well, if that’s the case, why do you hate the unemployed and welfare recipients so much? Aren’t they gaming the system the same as corporations? Why is it okay for a billionaire to scam the system but not a disabled widow with three children?

Part 2

Giving money to the rich doesn’t stimulate the economy because they hoard their wealth. Meanwhile, giving money to someone below the poverty does because they’re not saving it; they’re putting in right back in the economy. The amount of money the poor receive from tax payers is a pea next the mountain given to the rich. If its theft you despise, why don’t you condemn the rich? They do it on a much grander scale. According to the 2012 government tax receipt if you made 50,000 dollars $36.82 went to food stamps, $22.88 went to unemployment, $6.96 went to welfare while $247.75 went to defense and over $4,000 went to corporate subsidies[ix]. That’s 2 cents a day for welfare and 11 dollars a day for corporate welfare. Who are the welfare queens again?

You probably weren’t familiar with those figures because the media, which is owned by major corporations, deflects blame onto weak scapegoats. Notice how no one in the media ever talks about the corporate theft and the obscene amount of welfare for the rich, but the stories about poor black families, illegal immigrants and Muslims getting any type of government assistance, no matter how little, are always front and center. It’s sort of like there’s a well-funded, highly-organized heist happening where all the rich people are taking TV’s out the back door and loading them into a truck, as the guard they paid off looks the other way, while we argue over what to do about the poor kid from the ghetto who stole a stick of gum. It’s a neat little trick.

In January of 2014 congress voted to cut food stamps by 8 billion dollars and gave 83 billion more in tax payer subsidies to the banking industry[x]. Food stamps are not handouts. They’re a last resort for the poor, many of whom are children, elderly and veterans. Unemployment benefits are not handouts. They’re a last resort to people who are struggling because billionaires sent jobs overseas and Wall St. speculators robbed the country. Giving the rich and corporations billions of dollars in tax payer subsidies and allowing them to manufacture goods in other nations and hide their profits in the Cayman Islands is goddamned handout!

Over the last 35 years, virtually every policy has favored the rich at the expense of the poor and working class. Since the recent crash, 93% of all newly generated income has gone to the top 1%[xi]. In 2007, before the crash, the top 1% controlled 34.6% of the wealth while the bottom 80% controlled 15.1%. Today the top 1% control 43% of the wealth while the bottom 80% now only controls 7%[xii]. Go back to the top of this paragraph and re-read it because these numbers are a little baffling at first. The point is the rich didn’t earn this money. It was given to them, first by Bush with his tax cuts and bailout, then by Obama and his stimulus package which gave 253 billion to private enterprise who, instead of investing it to jump start the economy, kept it by giving themselves record bonuses[xiii].

Giving money away to private business instead of investing it in the public interest is the ultimate failure of the Obama administration. During the Great Depression the unemployment rate was double what it is today. Yet, that generation built the Hoover Damn, The Golden Gate Bridge, brought electricity to rural America and invested in all kinds of public infrastructure. Today we have a high unemployment rate and a crumbling infrastructure that desperately needs to be rebuilt. Does anyone else see the obvious solution? How the government is unable to solve these two problems in one swift motion should be baffling, but it’s not. This solution would benefit the poor and working class. Not the power-elite. Therefore, it is not pursued. Instead, in 2010 we spent millions subsidizing the privately owned Target Field in Minneapolis which opened the same year one of the city’s major bridges collapsed killing thirteen people and injuring one hundred forty-five. Why? Because a tiny percent of the population has such power and wealth that the rest of us no longer matter. What they say goes.

pie 2The power-elite are a vampire class. They produce nothing. Instead they feed off the work of others and suck the nation dry. Jason Read, a professor at The University of Southern Maine stated, “People who dismiss the unemployed and depended as parasites fail to understand economics and parasitism. A successful parasite is one that is not recognized by its host, one that can make its host work for it without appearing as a burden. Such is the ruling class in a capitalist society.” Economist Dean Baker specifically outlines the power-elite’s parasitism in his book The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer. But the power-elite would have you believe everyone except them is milking the system. Here’s a perfect example. In the 1990’s Newt Gingrich, the leader of the republican revolution condemned all who depend on government assistance. Yet, Cobb Country Georgia, the district he represented, received the third highest amount of federal subsidies next Washington D.C. (obviously) and Brevard County Fl. which is home to N.A.S.A[xiv].

The rich like to see themselves as job creators. But I think venture capitalist and multi-millionaire Nick Hanauer (who, in the film Inequality for All openly admitted the U.S. tax code only required him to pay 11.9% in taxes in 2012) best debunked the idea when he said, “Corporate profits are at a fifty year high while unemployment is also at a fifty year high. If it was true that rich were job creators, we’d be drowning in jobs today.” Yet conservatives insist that we shouldn’t raise the minimum wage but we should give the rich tax breaks. This is what I don’t understand. Their thought process seems to be that the wealthiest among us, who have never been richer, need more money to stay motivated while the most venerable among us who have never been poorer, need less money to be fully motivated.

The last time money was this highly concentrated was right before The Stock Market Crash and preceding  the Great Depression. With this dense wealth-consolidation comes power. And with that power comes privilege. Those who have and continue to acquire the perks of extreme wealth, while the rest of us suffer, use it to further their cause. They use their money to lobby congress to write legislation that ensures they will receive more money and they use that new money to lobby congress again and on and on it goes. This cycle will continue until government serves only the interests of the rich (which it nearly already does) and the voices of the citizens become completely mute.

As our once great country quickly adopts the attributes of a third world nation, political and family dynasties are beginning to develop as their wealth becomes entrenched. If the trend continues we will no doubt see our anemic democracy reconfigured into a type of corporate neo-feudalism where a few wealthy families will retreat to their gated communities and enjoy resources and services that will be denied to America’s new peasants. The Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizen’s United decision (coupled with the McCutcheon ruling) which essentially ruled that money is speech, have pulled the proverbial plug of our democratic life support. Citizen’s United helped ensure that one person does not equal one vote. Instead, money equals votes. The will of the people can now fully submit to the will of opulent minority, the power-elite, the deep state, the 1% or whatever name you wish to call them. America is no longer a democracy. They are now officially our supreme overlords.

Do you want to take our country back, restore our democracy and transform America’s dismal present back to the glory days? I do. In order to achieve that lets reinstate the policies from the 1950’s that made this nation great. Tax the rich, raise the minimum wage, strengthen unions, reinstate trade tariffs, put an end to tax havens, repeal Citizen’s United, close the wealth gap, enforce regulations, pass campaign finance reforms, expand social programs, end corporate welfare and put a cap on C.E.O. pay (or at least tie to worker income). After all, those were all things we did in America’s good old days.

[i] http://rdwolff.com/sites/default/files/attachment/4/03Wolff.pdf

[ii] http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/union2.pdf

[iii] http://www.democracynow.org/2014/6/16/headlines

[iv] http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/why-wages-rise-2-productivity

[v] http://www.buzzle.com/articles/walmart-employee-average-salary.html

[vi] http://inequality.org/minimum-wage/

[vii] http://www.democracynow.org/2014/6/16/headlines

[viii] http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/04/top-tax-dodging-companies-politicians

[ix] http://www.whitehouse.gov/2012-taxreceipt

[x] http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2013-02-20/why-should-taxpayers-give-big-banks-83-billion-a-year-

[xi] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-02/top-1-got-93-of-income-growth-as-rich-poor-gap-widened.html

[xii] http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

[xiii] http://money.cnn.com/2011/09/08/news/economy/obama_stimulus_plan/

[xiv] http://www.chomsky.info/articles/199505–.htm

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*Author’s Bio:  Matt Reedy grew up in central Pennsylvania where he attended college at Penn State University. In 2005 he moved to New York City and began working in the film & television industry where he joined the D.G.A. (Directors Guild of America). Matt is a member of the Unitarian Church whose community and congregation are actively dedicated to matters of social justice. He currently lives in North Jersey with his wife, their daughter and their two dogs.

 

The Not-So-Liberal Media by Matt Reedy

CorporateThe Not-So-Liberal Media

Guest Opinion by Matt Reedy*

August 24, 2014

 

There is no liberal or conservative media. There is only corporate media and independent media. Independent media can be liberal, conservative, conspiracy oriented and can report factually accurate, uncomfortable truths (e.g. see Democracy Now!, Truthdig and The Real News). It is actively consumed on the internet and can shine a light into the darkest corridors of power. Independent media can say what it likes, explore unpopular ideas, and challenge conventional wisdom because it is not accountable to other interests. However, corporate media is mainstream, passively consumed, always serves power and privilege and, in one way or another, censors those who present a narrative that threatens it.

            In 2003, while almost every news program beat the drums of war, there was one cable news show that was openly opposed to invading Iraq. It was MSNBC’s The Phil Donahue Show and it was cancelled on February 25th, 2003. At the time of its cancelation the The Phil Donahue Show was the highest rated program on MSNBC. What possible reason could the liberal media have for cancelling its highest rated show that also condemned the war? There were corporate interests that didn’t want that point of view reaching the public— as if General Electric, the corporation that owned NBC, stood to make absurd profits by invading Iraq.

            G.E. is not alone. They are one of six companies responsible for virtually all of the news and information we receive. G.E. (owns Comcast, NBC, Universal Pictures etc.), News-Corp (owns Fox, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post etc.) , Disney (owns ABC, ESPN, Miramax), Viacom (owns MTV, Comedy Central, BET, CMT etc.), Time Warner (owns CNN, HBO, Time etc.) and CBS (owns 60 Minutes, Showtime, The Smithsonian Channel) effectively control about 90% of all media in the United States. While these six companies are different, they all have the same goal: to attract advertisers from other business. To do that, they make sure their information and programing portray a world conducive to their goal and goals of their advertisers. So which way would that programming and information slant?

            To find our answer first we have to ask ourselves, who are the media? We’ve already established they are corporations. So what are corporations? They are the zenith of large business and businesses are usually conservative, right? So why would enormous mega-businesses ever promote a “liberal” agenda thus subverting their own interests? And why would a media that had a liberal bias identify it? Wouldn’t they assert the opposite and call themselves the “Conservative Media”? By asserting the opposite they eliminate mountains of evidence against themselves. It would completely change the conversation. Suddenly people would be asking “Is the media too conservative” and “How conservative are they”? Operating under the guise of “being too conservative” would allow a liberal news media to implement their agenda with much less scrutiny. Why would they call themselves what they are and give away their game?

            As a response to Fox News, MSNBC implemented a faux-liberal stance with dismal results. This gives the illusion of debate, but in reality, it binds it. MSNBC, which is a mega-phone for the Democratic Party, sets the standard of how far you are allowed to go in your critique of power. The Hobby Lobby case is a perfect example. Fox framed it as a triumph for religious freedom and the rights of business owners while MSNBC framed it as religious encroachment on a secular nation and a war against women. Both outlets fulfilled their respective institutional roles by binding debate along those acceptable topics. But neither outlet addressed the real issue which is the ever expanding rights and power of corporations. Why? Because the media are corporations that sell audiences to other corporations. Think about that the next time you see an advertisement and remember the object being sold is not the product on TV; it’s you.

            With the exception of Bill Moyers, host of Moyers & Company on PBS, true liberals have been essentially purged from the mainstream media. They cannot be found on corporate TV. Faux liberals, like Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews and Ed Schulz worship Obama and the Democratic Party and play their role as partisan hacks. They dedicate hours to Republican scandals but don’t challenge corporate power. This is acceptable as are liberal comedians like Stewart and Colbert who poke fun at the hiccups in the system but do not condemn it as a whole or allow radicals on their shows.

            Today’s leading left-wing dissidents like Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, Amy Goodman, Cornel West, Naomi Klein, Richard Wolff, Sheldon S. Wolin, Michelle Alexander, Heidi Baghosian and Dave Zirin, are completely anonymous in corporate news culture. Yet, right-wing radicals like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingram and Rush Limbaugh are household names and have their own shows. True liberals are seldom, if ever, invited as guests on cable news shows and the idea that a corporate news network would allow them to host their own program is downright absurd. Could you imagine The Chomsky Factor? Their critique of the system does not conform to an acceptable corporate narrative.

            This is the genius of the American propaganda system. Unlike something like the North Korean propaganda system, the information and opinions disseminated in the U.S. are not mandated by state power. Journalists do not get their copies spiked, as they say. Our system of indoctrination is much more subtle and sophisticated. The news industry appears to be intensely competitive. To obtain a position where one’s point of view can reach a mainstream audience a person must rise through the ranks. Those who internalize the values of their institution or, have a world view within the acceptable spectrum, are allowed to move up while those who don’t are weeded out. No one has to be told what they can and can’t say. Those who reach positions of power within these institutions understand what is acceptable and what is not.

            It’s a technical term called, “getting it”. Those who “get it” become stenographers of power. I suspect nearly all are conscious of their role. Do you think a reporter or anchor for NBC would ever run a story about how G.E., their parent company, made 19.6 billion dollars in profit in 2013 and “paid” an effective tax rate of negative 18.9% (according to Mother Jones)? The process is carefully designed to make sure the wrong ideas don’t get out. That is why liberal celebrities who voice their opinions are immediately condemned by the media. Because of their celebrity status, they have acquired a public platform without being vetted by the corporate filtering system and that is a threat.

            Luckily for corporate America, most celebrities subscribe to the same liberal bankruptcy as MSNBC and the Democratic Party. What they say is not threatening. For example, that is why in 2003 Michael Moore was booed off the stage during the Academy Awards after condemning President Bush and his lies that led to an illegal war of aggression in Iraq. Remember, back then the Democrats supported the war. A room full of so-called Hollywood liberals, who spent all night congratulating themselves for the courageous choices they made playing dress-up and make-believe, denounced Moore’s truly brave critique of the president’s actions. Moore’s scathing criticism had crossed the line of acceptable debate. The faux liberals did their job. Hollywood booed Moore and the news media, including even the likes of Keith Olbermann and Al Franken, denounced him.

            The truth is if the media had a liberal bias Michael Moore might have his own show on MSNBC or even CNN which is branded as “center.” Instead, when was the last time you saw Moore on TV? He demands that his appearances be aired in their entirety and unedited, except when regarding the obligatory commercial breaks. The corporate media knows Moore doesn’t “get it” and could say anything. Without the ability to edit his statements out of context or eliminate them altogether, he is too much of a risk and, therefore, essentially blacklisted from the mainstream.

            In fact, long form, in depth interviews have been all but abolished or severely edited. Even though there are twenty-four hours to fill, you have five minute segments where six “experts” yell slogans at each other. Three and four minute time periods do not allow alternative ideas to be expressed without sounding crazy. A long form interview format would permit voices outside the system to challenge conventional wisdom and that is something power does not allow. Instead of providing context and analysis, corporations have reduced news to sound bites comprised of emotionally potent oversimplifications.

            As Freud’s nephew Edward Bernays (who literally wrote the book onuniformity(1) propaganda) understood, people are not moved by fact or reason, but rather by the skillful manipulation of emotion. They will confuse information with how they are made to feel. The corporate media are well aware of this so they invent outrage and exploit it at every turn. They play on our fears, divide us and turn us against each other through race, religion, gender and sexuality while they carry out the power-elite’s agenda of ultra capitalism. The incident involving Paula Dean comes to mind. The corporate news organizations took their predictable stances. The left was outraged and hid behind their self-righteous, political correctness while the right came out in favor of free speech (as they always do unless it’s the Dixie Chicks or Alec Baldwin). If there was a true liberal outlet anywhere in the mainstream media I imagine the coverage might have gone something like this:

            “The rich own the corporations that control the 90% of the media and use meaningless events like this that have no impact on anyone’s lives to distract and divide us, thus silencing the majority and turning us against each other while the elite consolidate more power and control by enacting policies that serve the privileged few at the expense of the many. Instead of paying attention to, reporting on, or having an opinion about something as trivial as what a celebrity chef said, all Americans should immediately turn off their TV’s and take to the street against the opulent minority who have been systematically eliminating our freedoms and robbing our children of the American Dream while we’ve been watching shows about cooking.

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*Author’s Bio:  Matt Reedy grew up in central Pennsylvania where he attended college at Penn State University. In 2005 he moved to New York City and began working in the film & television industry where he joined the D.G.A. (Directors Guild of America). Matt is a member of the Unitarian Church whose community and congregation are actively dedicated to matters of social justice. He currently lives in North Jersey with his wife, their daughter and their two dogs.