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Archive for May, 2014

In the early development of Western European governments, say around 1100 AD, kings loosely ruled over kingdoms, and the members of the aristocracy liked that because having a king meant political and economic stability, more or less. If a king died without a successor, then anarchy reigned during the process to replace the monarch. If a king ruled who was weak, and or cruel to the nobility, such as Edward II of England, they were replaced via revolution, poison, or some other form of aristocratic treachery. The nobility preferred a king who taxed them little (unless high taxation was necessary to maintain their status) and kept the peasant class under their thumb, and working for the nobility for the most minimum of subsistence.

Western governments slowly changed in form, but not necessarily in substance, always favoring the rich and powerful, until the Great Depression. That’s when the little people got government working for them, as well as for the rich and powerful. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt raised the marginal top tax rate to 91 percent, which for him, acted as a maximum wage and suppressed the political power of the corporate class, whose policies of redistributing income from the 99 percent to themselves via government had led the USA into the worst economic crisis in its history. That doesn’t mean any of the rich actually paid 91 percent at even the highest portion of their income because they had many deductions.

The Reagan tax cuts and subsequent tax cuts unleashed the power of the modern rich to manipulate government at all levels, and especially the federal level, to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent via legislation, such as free trade treaties, more tax cuts for the rich, privatization scams, etc….

In the video above, economist Thomas Piketty discusses his new book about how the economic power the 1 percent has robbed the 99 percent of their livelihoods and their democracy.

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Executives at the testing giant corporation known as Pearson want to increase their profits by testing student teachers, which is utterly stupid since student teachers already need to pass a battery of education classes, a three month or longer apprenticeship as a student teacher under the guidance of at least one experienced teacher. In addition, to obtain their teacher’s licenses, they already need to pass at least two national examinations. One education professor had enough of Pearson’s garbage.

Labor Notes now reports, “The new statewide president of the 110,000-member Massachusetts teachers’ union made her name leading a boycott of standardized tests.

She’s calling for a three-year moratorium on high-stakes testing, meaning tests that carry heavy consequences under the guise of “accountability”—for instance, holding students’ graduation, school funding, or teachers’ compensation for ransom.

Barbara Madeloni was running the teacher education program at the University of Massachusetts in 2012 when she led her student teachers to boycott a pilot standardized assessment for teachers-in-training. The boycotters opposed outsourcing teacher evaluation to the testing giant Pearson, preferring that experienced educators observe student teachers.

The current mania to test, test and more test students is driven by the need to redistribute income from taxpayers to the rich shareholders of such testing giants as Pearson and McGraw-Hill. It’s all about profits, and has nothing to do with education reform or improving the the education of students. In fact, it was McGraw-Hills business plan that was adopted by the Bush administration, and became No Child Left Behind. This was the result of over 70 years of friendship between the Bush and McGraw families, and had nothing to do with improving education. It seems the testing mania has ruined public education.

Check out the complete story below.

Teachers Elect Foes of Corporate Reform in Massachusetts and L.A. – See more at: http://www.labornotes.org/2014/05/teachers-elect-foes-corporate-reform-massachusetts-and-Los Angeles–Labor Notes

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President Obama continues to use large sums of taxpayer money to push negotiations to obtain a free trade treaty favored by the super rich at the expense of the 99 percent. Luckily, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) remains stalled in the face of growing opposition in the United States and throughout TPP countries. There are 11 Pacific rim nations involved in the negotiations. The TPP has been called “Nafta on Steroids,” and “the biggest income and political power redistribution scam from the 99 to the 1 percent in history.” That’s why some of the biggest hitters in the Democratic and Republican parties support the treaty. It benefits Wall Street and the 1 percent at the expense of everyone else. For example, the treaty has been negotiated to artificially raise the price of pharmaceutical medicines. That’s why President Obama, Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden and Wall Street Congressman John Boehner want to push the treaty through congress without debate.

“Following are the top 10 indicators of why the United States trade representative (USTR) has decided to tamp down expectations once again for a negotiation that has supposedly been in an “end game” since last year:

1) U.S. and Japanese officials have offered conflicting versions of the outcomes of their bilateral “breakthrough”-but-not-a-deal non-deal from Obama’s Japan visit when briefing their TPP colleagues. Indeed, Japan was among the countries arguing that the state of U.S.-Japan market access negotiations was not sufficiently advanced to merit another TPP ministerial meeting.

2) An LDP bloc in Japan’s Diet adopted another resolution last week, while TPP chief negotiators met in Vietnam, reiterating the ruling party’s requirement that the TPP must protect a list of “sacred” agricultural commodities. The Japanese parliamentary action by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s own political party, making clear it will not support a TPP that zeroes out agricultural tariffs, is seen as a direct response to U.S. congressional and agribusinessstatements that only a TPP that does so is politically acceptable.

3) Vietnam’s former trade minister, who is a current senior advisor on TPP negotiations, recently declared that Vietnam would not accept a TPP requirement that workers be allowed to establish independent labor unions. Former Minister Truong Dinh Tuyen said Vietnam instead would accept a compromise that devolved some power to local unions.

A protest against the TPP in Washington D.C. on May 21, 2014.

4) U.S. trade officials announced that Japan would advance market access talks with other TPP nations at the Vietnam lead negotiators meeting and that this was a sign of a new stage in negotiations – except that is not what Japan intended or did. Other countries are unlikely to even consider high-stakes tradeoffs relating to U.S. demands that could raise drug prices, extend the scope of investor-state dispute liability, limit financial regulation, discipline state-owned enterprises, and enforce labor and environmental standards without knowing what prospective market access opportunities might be forthcoming.

5) On May 1, the Sultan of Brunei implemented a new Sharia-law-based penal code that calls for jail terms for the wearing of immodest clothing, pregnancies outside marriage and abortion, with death by stoning for adulterers, gays and lesbians to be phased in later. The move prompted new U.S. constituencies to join the anti-TPP effort.

6) The USTR’s concern that the optics of not having a TPP ministerial when all of the countries’ trade ministers are together for a pre-scheduled APEC meeting overcomes opposition by other TPP nations to meeting when there is nothing ready for ministers to decide. Thus, the announcement of a “check-in” ministerial, which ministers from at least three TPP nations do not plan to attend.

7) Japanese officials or press are creating a series of red herring stories. Reports of near-deals on intellectual property, new U.S. proposals and more do not relateto what happened on the ground in Vietnam. Indeed, the Japanese press has run a series of follow-up stories speculating about who is generating the misdirects and why. There is no indication that key areas of controversy that existed in previous ministerials in the areas of intellectual property, investment, environment, labor, state-owned enterprises and more are much closer to resolution, even after the expense of the past months of negotiations. The U.S. ambassador to Malaysia recently expressed hope that the deal might be concluded by 2017.

8) The USTR continues to avoid raising currency issues at chiefs or ministerial levels, even though it is increasingly clear that a TPP without enforceable currency rules is dead on arrival in the U.S. Congress. If negotiations were nearing a final deal, this issue would have to be raised; Congress’ outspoken position has made clear to the other TPP nations that either this issue will be raised in negotiations or it will be raised later as an additional demand after ‘final’ concessions have been made, as was seen in the Korea Free Trade Agreement renegotiation four years after signing.

9) The prospect of passage of any form of trade authority in 2014 is dimming. Indeed, some congressional Fast Track proponents are already talking about the prospect that President Barack Obama may never obtain trade authority, so they are setting their sights on 2017. As the other TPP countries recognize the lack of congressional support for Fast Track and TPP, their willingness to make U.S.-negotiator-demanded concessions on issues with high political costs at home also dims.

10) In April, Chile’s Trade Ministry under recently elected President Michelle Bachelet confirmed that it is conducting a comprehensive review of the scope of the TPP and what its impact could be for Chile, noting that it is initiating a process of transparency and openness in the negotiations to include civil society input into their review. The website states, “We consider that there are many issues that are still open, the negotiation still has a ways to go.”

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The difference between Denmark and the USA is simple. In Denmark, the government is relatively honest; in the USA government is corrupt to the max at nearly all levels.

The Reagan tax cuts gave the rich enough money to spend on buying more and more politicians. Legislators began passing bills in the halls of congress to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1  percent, such as deregulation of energy markets, deregulation of the banking industry, privatization scams, the repeal of Glass-Steagal which allowed investment and commercial banks to merge, free trade treaties, and much more, and all of which redistributed massive amounts of income from the 99 to the 1 percent. The corrupt US corporate press continuously lied to the 99 percent about the effects of these things. Additional tax cuts increased the purchasing power of the 1 percent in the political markets on all levels of government, thereby increasing corruption.

And there is not one morsel of evidence to suggest tax cuts for the rich created a single net job during the last thirty years. However, all the evidence shows these tax cuts were used to cut jobs and wages via the corruption outlined above. In other words, all the evidence shows that tax cuts for the rich destroys jobs and corrupts government.

Also see how the rich maintain their riches via the Federal Reserve and a corrupt US government and a corrupt US corporate press via the link below.

breakdown-of-the-26-trillion-the-federal-reserve-handed-out-to-save-rich-incompetent-investors-but-who-purchase-political-power–JohnHively.wordpress.com

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ABC News recently reported, “Though genetically engineered crops are common and no mainstream science has shown they are unsafe, opponents contend GMOs are still experimental and promote the use of pesticides. They say more testing is needed.”

The Oregonian newspaper and numerous other major corporate propaganda machines continue to echo the same lie.

Numerous university and government studies show the harmful effects of GMOs, but apparently, university and government studies are not “mainstream” enough to qualify as legitimate for the censors of the corporate propaganda machines, which are most often falsely called the mainstream media.

On face value, it would appear only studies on the safety of GMOs will qualify as mainstream if they’re funded by the GMO giants, such as Monsanto and Syngenta of Switzerland.

However, even that’s not the case. It appears that any studies on the safety of GMOs have to show that GMOs are completely safe to human health because a study by the folks at Syngenta show how unsafe GMOs really are.

Back in the 1990s the folks at Syngenta tested one of their GMO grains for cows and discovered it quickly killed its test subjects. It hid the results of its test and promptly began selling the killer grain. In Germany, the cows of a farmer who bought the grain died. The farmer sued Syngenta and its representatives denied under oath that its grain was harmful. After Syngenta was found innocent, a leaked document exposing the test results on cows and cattle performed by the folks at Syngenta made its way to the farmer, who promptly sued again. That case is still bending, but all of this information is available, but the folks at ABC News, like the rest of the US corporate news and propaganda machines, were willing to tell the truth to the public, and there are lots of independent tests that tell the whole story about the dangers of GMOs to public health. This story all over the world, including in major news media, such as the Guardian UK, but there was a complete blackout on the story by the US corporate press.

Certain studies don’t count as mainstream, such as a study by Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, at the University of Sherbrooke Hospital Centre in Quebec, Canada, which showed that 93 percent of all newborn babies are contaminated with the Bt toxin which is product of the GMO crops. In England, this study was reported by the mainstream press, such as the Daily Mail. This story was reported by major news media all over the Earth, except in the US.

There are plenty of other mainstream studies that show the health hazards of GMOs.

It appears the only so-called studies on the health impacts of GMOs the mainstream corporate propaganda machine, such as ABC News and the failing Oregonian newspaper, want you to see are those that only show how safe GMOs are, and those are all funded by the GMO giants.

Check out the links below.

Syngenta Coverup–Natural News

The Daily Mail–UK

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What is an Act of Kindness?

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