Tag Archive: America

Nov 09 2015

Where America’s Foreign Aid Really Goes

  I’ve noticed over the years how Republicans like to complain about American foreign aid programs. ¬†Yet, if you look at the map you’ll notice one very interesting fact: The top two recipients of American largess aren’t exactly poor countries and the next three Afghanistan, Jordan and Pakistan receive aid not to help their poorer …

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Dec 22 2014

TBC: Morning Musing 12.22.14

So, I have 2 articles for you this morning and then a quiz my sister and I put together last night!

First, a sliver of hope for justice:

A Startling Admission By The Ferguson Prosecutor Could Restart The Case Against Darren Wilson

In intentionally presenting false testimony to the grand jury, McCulloch may have committed a serious ethical breach. Under the Missouri Rules of Professional Conduct, lawyers are prohibited from offering “evidence that the lawyer knows to be false.”

McCulloch justified his actions by asserting that the grand jury gave no credence at all to McElroy’s testimony. But this is speculation. Under Missouri law, the grand jury deliberations are secret and McCulloch is not allowed to be present.

A Missouri lawmaker, Karla May, called Friday for a legislative investigation of McCulloch’s conduct. May said that there is evidence to suggest that McCulloch “manipulated the grand jury process from the beginning to ensure that Officer Wilson would not be indicted.”

Even before Friday’s interview, many legal experts were highly critical McCulloch’s use of the grand jury. Marjorie Cohn, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, said she believed McCulloch “did not want an indictment” of Darren Wilson and turned the grand jury process on its head, acting as an advocate for the defense.

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Aug 30 2013

Where the F*** are our priorities?

Apparently they’re somewhere up Miley Cyrus’s ass, which is where I wouldn’t mind being right now.  Yes, I’m a pig.  Sue me for having a penis and a hetero orientation.

But seriously, where the FUCK are our priorities?  Barry Obama — the fascist who by most honest accounts is even crazier, more totalitarian, more pro-corporate, and demonstrably worse than Dick Cheney — is preparing to wage an unauthorized war against Syria, repeating what he did to Libya (itself carried out in violation of the Constitution).  Our own government is spying on, literally, every single communication it can vacuum up into its databases without so much as a shred of due process.  The dictator of the United States executes American citizens who haven’t even been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crime at all, nothing warranting the death penalty.  Those who expose crimes by our government are imprisoned, tortured, prosecuted in kangaroo trials, forced into hiding in foreign countries, or some combination thereof.  The planet is heating up.  Corporations have uncontested control over our daily lives.  People are starving, dying of thirst, forced to endure extreme poverty while the wealthy get fatter and fatter.

But our overwhelming obsession right now is some twenty-year-old hottie grinding up against a no-talent male diva dressed up like he raided Michael Keaton’s wardrobe from the film Beetlejuice.  That same no-talent male diva, by the way, sang a song about “blurred lines” of sexual consent, which was also released to a video featuring naked women prancing around acting like mere sex objects.  No wonder Matt Walsh was going apeshit.  While most critics were bashing some dumb kid barely out of high school, they were ignoring the supposedly grown man (who’s married with kids of his own, by the way) whose own antics really were a lot worse than anything Miley Cyrus could do on her most Lady Gaga-esque day.

What the FUCK, people?

Are people’s priorities really this skewed?  Is there nothing left of American culture but vapid, shallow obsessions with matters that, in a sane world, wouldn’t even merit mention on the nightly news?  Chris Matthews bitches about how unqualified he thinks Anthony Weiner is to be mayor of New York City for trading dirty pictures with his mistress over the cellular phone, even as he ignores the likes of Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, David Vitter, and Larry Craig, all of whom have been caught cheating on their wives, and yet never do I hear Matthews declaring that for this they ought to drop out of politics altogether.  Then again, Matthews embodies everything that is wrong with American journalism today: shallow, vapid, craven, and sucking up to power regardless of how criminal those in power are.

While the world goes to hell in a hand basket, more people are talking about Miley Cyrus, the no-talent daughter of a no-talent country singer whose sole claim to fame was standing around in an open flannel shirt twanging a guitar repeating “achy breaky heart” as though that qualifies as music.

Am I the only goddamned grownup left in this country?  No.  But days like today, I feel like I am.

 

Mar 04 2013

Extreme wealth inequality in America illustrated. A must see.

This video/infographic was published on YouTube last November.  I hadn’t seen it before today.  I think it’s incredibly well done and a must watch. I recommend maximizing the size (the bracket/square in the bottom right corner of the video) to get the full effect.  At the end of the video, the creator, politizane,  states that the work is being placed in the public domain.

Wealth Inequality in America

Published on Nov 20, 2012

Infographics on the distribution of wealth in America, highlighting both the inequality and the difference between our perception of inequality and the actual numbers. The reality is often not what we think it is.

Nov 11 2012

Educating Black Boys

Tony Harris takes a personal look at Baltimore’s inner city and an education system failing black Americans.

 Baltimore, Maryland has come to be known as ‘Charm City’ because of its harbour, which attracts a vibrant nightlife and thriving tourism business.

But just beyond the harbour’s calm waters is one of the toughest and most violent inner cities in the US.

Baltimore is also home to Al Jazeera presenter Tony Harris and in this episode of Al Jazeera Correspondent he takes us on an up close and personal journey to his old neighbourhood to witness the challenges facing black youth today as they struggle to get out of the dead end of life on inner city streets.

Most of the crime in Baltimore is committed by black males with other blacks as victims, making black males an easy target for the police.

And many believe that the stereotyping of black kids starts at an early age in the US – as early as grade school. In this film, Harris examines how the education system has failed black boys and reflects upon why he managed to make it out successfully while so many of his friends did not.

Apr 19 2011

Whither America?

Crossposted from Antemedius

The other day, on April 15, veteran journalist, war correspondent and truthdig.com columnist Chris Hedges was interviewed on RT News about the state of American society, repeating his oft stated warnings about the long corporate assault on and takeover of politics, the seeming death of reason and critical thinking in public discourse, and the development of a feudalistic “totalitarian democracy” in which the vast majority of the population is reduced through a media manufactured state of ignorance, inability to think clearly, and entertainment dazed complacence to a state of serfdom as a renewable ‘resource’ for a capitalism defined by American and multinational big business, and critiquing from this perspective the US budget developments of the past few days.

The budget is closing American schools and libraries across the country while firing teachers and taking away collective bargaining rights, Hedges notes, while banks and the largest corporations are not paying any taxes, including Bank of America, Exxon Mobil, and GE. Protesters gathered on Saturday April 17 at New York City’s Union Square for the Sound of Resistance protests, part of the US Uncut tax weekend protests challenging the banks, most notably Bank of America, for avoiding paying taxes.

usuncut.org’s about page states that:

US Uncut is a grassroots movement taking direct action against corporate tax cheats and unnecessary and unfair public service cuts across the U.S. Washington’s proposed budget for the coming year sends a clear message: The wrath of budget cuts will fall upon the shoulders of hard-working Americans. That’s unacceptable.

Obama seeks to trim $1.1 trillion from the budget in the next ten years by cutting or eliminating over 200 federal programs, many dedicated to social services and education. For instance, it cuts in half funding to subsidize heating for low-income Americans; limits an expansion of the Pell grant program for students; and decreases Environmental Protection Agency funding by over 12%.

Meanwhile, Republicans are using their new House majority to slash spending even more brutally. The GOP has made it clear that they are bent on raiding funds for Social Security, Medicare, education; determined to kill health care reform; and gut needed investments in infrastructure, climate change and job creation, at a time when America needs it most.

These cuts will come on top of very painful austerity measures made at the state-level across our nation–worth hundreds of billions–since the recession began.

In short, budget cuts demonstrate that Washington has abandoned ordinary Americans.

What is making the situation worse is the ignorance of politicians and others leaping around he fringes. Hedges also reminds that the US is the only industrialized nation in the world that argues over the existence of evolution. Magical thinking, combined with a military superpower, is frightening, he says. “We invest emotional energy on the ridiculous and the sublime… the liberal class has been decimated… what used to be unconstitutional is now legal“, he says, pointing to illegal searches under the Patriot Act and corporate bailouts under the health care legislation. The rights and needs of citizens are being ignored in favor of corporations.

Whither America?

While all across the blogosphere and in mainstream media I watch people argue about which faction of the ‘corporatist party’ to elect in 2012, I’m reminded strongly here of something Chris Floyd wrote nearly four years ago, in September 2007:

Oct 06 2010

People Power: European Activism & Constitutional Crises

All across Europe recently there have been wave after wave of co-ordinated general strikes and massive demonstrations showing a solidarity and a unity across unions representing different kinds of workers in different countries, different levels of skill, against austerity proposals by governments, that put to shame the levels of public street activism in the US and Canada.

Fresh off a summer lecturing in Greece and France, economist, author, and Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Richard D. Wolff, well-known for his work on Marxian economics, economic methodology and class analysis, Yale University Ph.D. in Economics, and Professor at The New School University in New York City, gives his analysis on the massive European mobilizations and strikes. He also compares the US movement to the European one, and find the European workers to be much more advanced in their struggle.

This extraordinary unity is all built around a central demand which can be conveyed by their chief slogan: we are the working people who produce the profits, the goods, and the service of the capitalist economy; we are not going to pay for its crisis. And that’s really the central demand, that if the banks and the corporations and the speculations produced a crisis that working people had no role in-and I want to remind viewers that in Europe they didn’t even have the mortgage kind of crisis in European countries that we had here; it was a crisis of the banking sector, the financial, large corporations, and so on-the demand of the people is, we are not going to be made to pay. You’re not going to solve this economic crisis by having the government borrow money, throw the money at the banks and the big corporations, bail them out, and then make the mass of people pay by cutting government payrolls, by cutting government services, all those things called austerity.



Real News Network – October 05, 2010

European Workers Distance from US Through Action

Richard Wolff: European workers say they won’t pay for crisis while US counterparts talk of ‘One Nation

(transcript below)