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Gender: Female
Hometown: Wisconsin
Current location: Tejas
Member since: Thu Jan 17, 2008, 01:44 PM
Number of posts: 31,861

About Me

The most violent element in society is ignorance. Emma Goldman

Journal Archives

Taking their marching orders from Washington -

Obama summit with Central American leaders plans “massive” deportation of immigrants
By Patrick Martin
26 July 2014

President Obama met Friday at the White House with the presidents of three Central American countries, Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras, Otto Pérez Molina of Guatemala and Salvador Sánchez Cerén of El Salvador, to discuss the political crisis in the US over the arrival of tens of thousands of immigrant children at the US-Mexico border. Three quarters of the children are from the three Central American countries, with the remainder from Mexico itself.

Pérez Molina said that US officials had told him to prepare for mass deportations in the coming months. Several flights have already brought dozens of mothers and children back from the US to Guatemala, and the flights would be greatly expanded in September, with what the Post called “a larger wave of unaccompanied minors.”

Hernández echoed this comment, telling Time magazine that he received a similar warning from US officials about a big wave of deportations. “They have said they want to send them on a massive scale,” he said.

Much more here: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/26/imm1-j26.html

Nationalism - an Infantile Disease (Einstein)

Peru Passes a Packet of Neoliberal Reforms

Peru Passes a Packet of Neoliberal Reforms, Erodes Environmental Protections and Labor Rights
Written by Lynda Sullivan ~ Friday, 25 July 2014 13:52

The Peruvian Congress approved a packet of laws on July 3 which critics say subjects the country to neoliberal reforms that threaten to undermine environmental and labor protections and is a gift to the extractive industry.

The Minister of Economy and Finance Luis Miguel Castilla first presented to Congress on this packet of laws on June 25 in order for them to be debated and approved. This has led to an outcry by civil society, as many have compared this law bundle to the neoliberal 'paquetazos' of the 1980s and 90s by the previous governments of Alan Garcia and Alberto Fujimori governments. President Ollanta Humala rejects this criticism.

The term ‘paquetazo’ refers to a large bundle of laws supposedly aimed at reinvigorating the economy. In the days of the Garcia and Fujimori governments, the introduction of these paquetazos usually lead to hyperinflation, currency devaluation, extreme price hikes, and an increase in social conflicts and police repression. President Humala’s current attempt to reinvigorate the economy centers round removing any obstacles for investing companies (mainly in the extractive industries), which critics say will irreversibly damage the environment and fuel more social unrest ...

More here: http://upsidedownworld.org/main/peru-archives-76/4956-peru-passes-a-packet-of-neoliberal-reforms-erodes-environmental-protections-and-labor-rights

"I'm stuck in an institutional trap."

You're not the only one, brother.

I think I've probably posted from "Humans of New York" previously. You can find it here: http://www.humansofnewyork.com/. Just in case he comes upon this post at some point I'd like to give kudos to Brandon for a job very well done. Humanizing people is the first step in understanding the concept of "other".

New York City, one story at a time.
Instagram / Twitter: @humansofny
The HONY Book: http://amzn.to/10sbtW5
Hey there. My name is Brandon and I began Humans of New York in the summer of 2010, shortly after leaving my job in Finance. (OK, I actually got fired.) I started HONY because I thought it would be really cool to create an exhaustive catalogue of New York City's inhabitants, so I set out to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers and plot their photos on a map. Somewhere along the way, I began to interview my subjects in addition to photographing them. And alongside their portraits, I'd include quotes and short stories from their lives.

Taken together, these portraits and captions became the subject of a vibrant blog. HONY now has over six million followers on social media, and provides a worldwide audience with daily glimpses into the lives of strangers on the streets of New York City.

Federal regulators complicit in gouging customers -

Despite obscene profits from monopoly power, government officials ignore evidence and squash challenges
July 25, 2014 6:00AM ET ~ by David Cay Johnston @DavidCayJ

The profit margins that federal regulators set for utilities should be decreasing, given the long downward drift of interest rates and the shrinking cost of capital.

Bizarrely, the opposite is happening: Utilities are raking in stunning profits at the expense of consumers.

Now the first in a raft of cases asserting that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is letting utilities gouge customers by setting egregiously high rates of return may finally get a hearing.

The commissioners

Since utilities are legal monopolies with no market to discipline their pricing, only the vigilance of regulators stops them from causing irreparable economic harm by stifling growth, draining wealth from customers and distorting investment. Court rulings say FERC commissioners must “guard the consumer against excessive rates.” ...

Much more here - http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/7/energy-utilitiesregulationspricesconsumersprotection.html

Building, Not Rebuilding, Public Education

Building, Not Rebuilding, Public Education
7.23.14 ~ by Lois Weiner

Fighting corporate education reform is less about restoring the old system to its former glory than building a just one for the first time.

In 1954, I was in the first grade at David W. Harlan Elementary School in Wilmington, Delaware. I could buy a hot lunch prepared by cafeteria workers who were employed by the Wilmington Public Schools. I took music lessons for free, using a violin the city schools lent me. We had a school library, chorus, and band. We had art classes three times a week.

Yet schools on Wilmington’s east side got the leftover musical instruments and much less money for books, supplies, and maintaining school facilities like the playground. Harlan was all white, intentionally segregated. Real estate developers and brokers in its attendance zone had homeowners sign racial covenants that prohibited the sale of homes to blacks.

When decrying today’s corporate reform, too many gloss over the second experience and universalize my own, appealing to a past that was always deeply unequal.

Across the United States, there is a great struggle over the nation’s education system. But many working class parents of color see the current battle differently than do those from the white middle class. To be credible to the poor and working-class parents and community members who should be natural allies, labor must acknowledge its complicity in allowing the gross inequality in American education to persist ...

More here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/07/building-not-rebuilding-public-education/

The Heart of the Problem With Israel (labor tie in)

(Note: The thing I find most interesting about this story is the hatred of the Labor Party - that alone tells us what we're dealing with here imo):

The Heart of the Problem With Israel: The Mass Expulsion of the Palestinian People
by: Donna Nevel on July 21st, 2014

(Originally published on Alternet)

As Israeli government violence against the Palestinians in Gaza intensifies (the latest news being an aggressive ground invasion), I saw a discussion on-line about whether Israel has become more brutal or the brutality has simply become more visible to the public.

I remembered listening to Benjamin Netanyahu when he was at MIT in the 1970s. He called himself Bibi Nitai and said he was in self-exile until the Labor Party, which he despised, was out of power. He spoke contemptuously about Arabs, and predicted he would be the leader of Israel someday and would protect the Jewish state in the way it deserved. The immediate response many of us had was: “Heaven help us all if he ever gets into power in Israel.”

I also remember the many Israeli leaders I met in the 1970′s from Labor and Mapam and from smaller parties on the “Zionist left” who seemed kind and caring and markedly different from Benjamin Netanyahu – and in many ways they were, not just in their political rhetoric (they all said they were socialists) but as human beings, or so it seemed. But when I finally dug a little deeper and read my history, I learned how they, too, were participants – in fact, often leaders – in the plan to drive the Palestinians out of their homes and off their land. Nothing very kind or caring about that, to say the least.

The bottom line: Israel was created based on the expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinians from their land and from their homes (what Palestinians call the Nakba, the catastrophe). This is the heart of the problem ...

Much more here: http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/07/21/the-heart-of-the-problem-with-israel-the-mass-expulsion-of-the-palestinian-people/

Debunking Myths About Why Central American Children Are Migrating

Debunking 8 Myths About Why Central American Children Are Migrating

‘Lax enforcement’ is not the culprit—U.S. trade and immigration policies are.
BY David Bacon ~ July 8, 2014

The mass migration of children from Central America has been at the center of a political firestorm over the past few weeks. The mainstream media has run dozens of stories blaming families, especially mothers, for sending or bringing their children north. The president himself has lectured them, as though they were simply bad parents. “Do not send your children to the borders,” he said in a June 27 interview with George Stephanopoulos. “If they do make it, they'll get sent back. More importantly, they may not make it.”

< snip>

In truth, the United States’ meddling foreign policy and a history of the U.S.’s own harsh immigration measures are responsible for much of the pressure causing this flow of people from Central America. These eight facts, ignored by the mainstream press and the president, document that culpability and point out the need for change:

1. There is no “lax enforcement” on the U.S./Mexico border. There are over 20,000 Border Patrol Agents; that number was as low as 9,800 in 2001. We have walls and a system of large, centralized detention centers that didn't exist just 15 years ago. Now more than 350,000 people spend some time in an immigrant detention center every year. The U.S. spends more on immigration enforcement than all other enforcement activities of the federal government combined, including the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The growing numbers of people in detention—young people as well as families and adults— is being used as a pretext by the anti-immigrant lobby in Washington, including the Tea Party and the Border Patrol itself, for demanding increases in the budget for enforcement. The Obama administration has given way before this pressure.

< snip >

3. The recent increase in the numbers of child migrants is not just a response to gang violence, although this is the most-cited cause in U.S. media coverage. Migration is as much or more a consequence of the increasing economic crisis for rural people in Central America and Mexico, as well as the failure of those economies to produce jobs. People are leaving because they can't survive where they are ...

Much more here: http://inthesetimes.com/article/16919/8_reasons_u.s._trade_and_immigration_policies_have_caused_migration_from_ce

The arms trade and Israel’s attack on Gaza

The arms trade and Israel’s attack on Gaza
Translated Tuesday 22 July 2014 (Originally in the French version of the Guardian)

Seven Peace Nobel Prizes, intellectuals and artists from the whole world call for a military embargo toward Israël

Israel has once again unleashed the full force of its military against the captive Palestinian population, particularly in the besieged Gaza Strip, in an inhumane and illegal act of military aggression. Israel’s ability to launch such devastating attacks with impunity largely stems from the vast international military cooperation and trade that it maintains with complicit governments across the world. Over the period 2008-19, the US is set to provide military aid to Israel worth $30bn, while Israeli annual military exports to the world have reached billions of dollars.

In recent years, European countries have exported billions of euros’ worth of weapons to Israel, and the EU has furnished Israeli military companies with research grants worth hundreds of millions. Emerging economies such as India, Brazil and Chile are rapidly increasing their military trade and cooperation with Israel, despite their stated support for Palestinian rights. By importing and exporting arms to Israel and facilitating the development of Israeli military technology, governments are effectively sending a clear message of approval for Israel’s military aggression, including its war crimes and possible crimes against humanity ...

More here - http://www.humaniteinenglish.com/spip.php?article2505

Owning the Machinery

Source: Labor 411 on Facebook
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