Human rights

Shockin n Rollin

 Once again, Digby nails it.

The fundamental purpose of the shock doctrine is to use crisis to push through unpopular and unjust "solutions" that favor the wealthy. We are seeing this battle take shape on several fronts. The right is working feverishly to discredit the New Deal at the same time that outside groups of so-called elder statesmen are lining up to screech about the deficit and entitlements. All of this obscures the real source of the current problem and obstructs the president's ability to do what's necessary to solve it.

If Obama were to succeed in fixing the economy, re-regulating the financial system, enacting health care and a modern environmental and energy policy, the right would be discredited for a couple of generations --- and the wealthy would lose many of their unfair advantages under a fair and equitable system. They not only do not want to take that chance, they also see this crisis as an opportunity to bury liberal economics and end the government programs that ensure a stable and prosperous society with a vast middle class. The stakes are huge for both sides.

This gets back to something we've touched on repeatedly over the years on the Abe and Joe show: the decades-long -- and largely successful -- endeavor by the monied class to undo the New Deal. As Digby notes, it's no accident that we're seeing an attempt in the news media to discredit the efficacy of the New Deal even as the President-elect and prominent economists like Paul Krugman call for a new, FDR-esque reinvestment in old and new infrastructure.

This has been going on for some time. The marginal personal and corporate income tax rate topped out in the World War II era at 94%, and with a few exceptions, has been in decline ever since. At the height of the Depression, in the late 1930s, the highest bracket was in the low 70% range. And during both crises -- depression and war -- we spent like drunken sailors and obtained solid results. And after the war, we kept on taxing and spending like the New Deal Democratic nation we were -- flaming leftists by today's standards. Hell, under Ike, the quintessential conservative of his age, the highest rate was over 90%.

But here's the thing. Consider what we did during that postwar era*.

We sent millions of ex-GIs to college. We built the interstate highway system. We rebuilt our conquered enemies. We built the most extensive public university system in the history of humanity. We put people on the moon. We saw sea changes in race and gender relations. We birthed history's first truly large-scale, educated middle class. We witnessed a riotous explosion of culture, as every imaginable tradition and heritage collided.

And people got rich. Lots of them. While paying high taxes.

But more importantly to the monied class -- and I think that these would-be assassins of the New Deal are oblivious to this, perhaps willfully so -- the middle class of the postwar era had money to spend on the products made by the monied class. Our ownership elite owes its exalted status to the fact that we and our parents and grandparents all spent money in the industrial economy.

So the attempt to bury the New Deal, organized labor, and the very notion of liberal Keynsian economics, is self-defeating. If you kill the middle class, there's no one to buy your useless crap. Now is the time to whip out that well-tuned sense of irony I've been urging you to develop.

Now is also the time to contact Obama and urge him to do the right thing with his economic policy. It's time to rebuild the middle class and invest in schools and solar power plants and high-speed trains and universal health care. It's time to bury conservative supply-side economic dogmatism for a good long time.

-A

* Yes, we also kept military spending at wartime levels. Yes, we started striking devil's bargains with brutal men in exchange for their nations' resources. Yes, we built an arsenal of doomsday weapons. Yes, we meddled ceaselessly all over the world. Yes, we presided over the maturation of the brutally exploitative global capitalist system. Yes, we waged cynical wars in far-flung places, both overt and covert. Yes, we perpetuated the global subjugation of the non-European peoples. Yes, we allowed the wholesale corporate acquisition of the wheels of government. Yes yes yes. I deny none of it. But we also did the stuff I said.

 

Cruel and Unusual

program: 
Prison Pipeline
program date: 
Sun, 01/11/2009

One of the producer/directors of the award winning film, “Cruel and Unusual”, Janet Baus gave Prison Pipeline a telephone interview. We discussed the problems that transgender prisoners must face. The conversation between Janet, Rebecca (our KBOO engineer) and Ruth (PP Host) as they shared information and insights about this issue was candid and informative.

CONTACT  INFORMATION:
Outcast Films
www.cruelandunusualfilm.com

28:45 minutes (26.32 MB)

Guests Diana Buttu and Bernard Sabella talk about the seige in Gaza and emigration of Christian Arabs from the Middle East.

Categories:
program date: 
Thu, 12/25/2008

In this program, hosts Hala Gores and William Seaman discuss the siege in Gaza, and other topics, with Palestinian-Canadian lawyer and former negotiator Diana Buttu. Further along in the program they discuss the issue of emigration of Christian Arabs from the Middle East with Professor of Sociology at Bethlehem University, Dr. Bernard Sabella.

58:28 minutes (20.08 MB)

Radiozine

Program: 
Radiozine
Air date: 
Tue, 01/13/2009 - 9:30am - 10:00am

Host Linda Olson Osterlund interviews Siddarth Kara, author of "Inside the Business of Modern Slavery." Sex slaves form the backbone for one of the world's most profitable illicit enterprises. Kara has investigated the mechanics of the global sex trafficking business across four continents and assesses its devastaing human toil.

Flashpoints

Program: 
Flashpoints
Air date: 
Fri, 01/09/2009 - 11:15am - 12:00pm

Coverage of conflict in Gaza with live reports from journalists within the area and an interview with Richard Becker from the Answer Coalition.

Flashpoints

Program: 
Flashpoints
Air date: 
Thu, 01/08/2009 - 11:15am - 12:00pm

Updates from Gaza and an interview with a journalist leading a protest at the Israeli Consulate in Toronto where several protesters were arrested.

Circle A Radio

Air date: 
Wed, 01/07/2009 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Short Description: 
we discuss Hawaiian Sovereignty with Portland Author Elinor Langer, and Dr. Kekuni Blazedell, conven

Queen Liliuokalani was the last reigning monarch of the Hawaiian islands. She was deposed by opposition forces who called themselves the Committee of Safety,  with the help of the U.S. Marines.
On January 17, 1893, Queen Liliuokalani yielded her authority:
. . . Now to avoid any collision of armed forces, and perhaps the loss of life, I do this under protest and impelled by said force yield my authority until such time as the Government of the United States shall, upon facts being presented to it, undo the action of its representatives and reinstate me in the authority which I claim as the Constitutional Sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands.

Flashpoints

Program: 
Flashpoints
Air date: 
Tue, 01/06/2009 - 11:15am - 12:00pm

Reports from Gaza and an interview with noted journalist and filmmaker John Pilger about Israel and Palestine.

Books to Prisoners

program: 
Prison Pipeline
program date: 
Sun, 01/04/2009

Jonathan Farbowitz and Alex Fish from Books for Prisoners gave us an update about the program.

Books to Prisoners

P.O. Box 11222

Portland, OR 97211

pdxbookstoprisoners@riseup.net

pdxbookstoprisoners.org

Volunteer Nights are Mondays & Tuesdays 5:30-8pm. at 1112 NE Morton St.


Prisoners should sent request books from:

Seattle Books to Prisoners

c/o Left Bank Books

92 Pike St. Box A

Seattle, WA 98101

Book Donation Drop Boxes are located:

In Other Words Books

Roccos Pizza

Hollywood Theatre

Laughing Horse Books

Red & Black Cafe

Blackrose Bookstore

28:17 minutes (25.89 MB)

Index of leading asshattery indicators

 I love Harper's Index.

For those of you not familiar with it, Harper's Index appears near the front of every edition of Harper's magazine. It presents a sort of snapshot of current affairs by way of assembling a bunch of seemingly obscure, but ultimately telling, statistics. The index can really help break an issue down to irrefutable numbers in a way that cuts through ideological trappings.

Take the current iteration of Harper's Index, for example. It's all about the legacy of the Bush years, the whole fucking war-ridden, corrupt, incompetent, greedy, murderous, filthy lot of them. Here's just a few choice nuggets:

 

Percentage of Bush’s first 189 appointees who also served in his father’s administration: 42

Minimum number of Bush appointees who have regulated industries they used to represent as lobbyists: 98

Date on which the GAO sued Dick Cheney to force the release of documents related to current U.S. energy policy: 2/22/02

Number of other officials the GAO has sued over access to federal records: 0

Number of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and North African men detained in the U.S. in the eight weeks after 9/11: 1,182

Number charged with an immigration violation: 762

Days since the federal government first placed the nation under an “elevated terror alert” that the level has been relaxed: 0

Percentage of the amendments in the Bill of Rights that are violated by the USA PATRIOT Act, according to the ACLU: 50

Minimum number of laws that Bush signing statements have exempted his administration from following: 1,069

 

... and on and on. It's an itemized chronicle of catastrophic mis-government. Read the whole thing, and then print it off and give it to your Republican co-workers.

-A

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