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Archive for July, 2016

tpp-protest-oct-2015

A liberal met up with her conservative neighbor and discussed politics. Needless to say, they parted ways disgusted with each other. Here’s what I have to say to both of them.

“We’ve been divided sliced and diced by the major political parties, think tanks of the 1 percent, corporate propaganda machines, and the corporate news media for over thirty-five years. Your experience with your neighbor is the result. Bear in mind that if you think they’re boorish and completely wrong in their positions, that they many think the same about you. Find common ground in your political discussions instead of opposition.

I’ve seen people from the John Birch Society and Black Lives Matter find common ground in opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is heavily backed by the Republican Party and Corporate Democrats like Barack Obama. The TPP is Obama’s baby, but it’s what the Republicans want, because it will redistribute trillions of dollars from the 99 to the 1 percent on a yearly basis. Obama knows this too, and his connections to Wall Street are heavy, which is why he supports it. Hillary Clinton publicly stated her support for the TPP 45 times before Bernie Sanders began his run for the Democratic nomination, even going so far as to call the TPP “the gold standard” of trade agreements. Will the real Hillary please stand up?”

I’ve also talked with conservative Republicans who have voiced sympathy for Black Lives Matter because the police can be quick on the trigger. I’ve met Republicans who agree that Wall Street should be more heavily regulated, and have voiced support for the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall. A decade ago, a Republican Party member was opposed to the US occupation of Iraq. I’ve met a Tea Party member who believes income had become too unequal in favor of the rich, and that international trade agreements are the primary cause of this. Note that person knows the Democrats are a primary force behind these agreements.

I’ve met liberals who are New Deal Democrats and gun owners. I’ve met liberals who were against undocumented immigration, and lower government regulations on home builders. I’ve met liberals who stand together with conservatives in protests against the TPP. I’ve met liberals who are hunters and fishermen and environmentalists.

I’ve met conservatives and liberals who can drive you to frustration because they believe things they want to believe, even if they can’t cite their source of information, or even if they don’t make sense, except to themselves.

That frustration is precisely what the 1 percent and their corporate media want you to feel just to keep us divided. Don’t fall for it. Find common grounds in your political discussions with your neighbors. It’s easy.

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The Great Contraction, the last recession, which happened to be the worse recession since the Great Depression, left a lot of damage in its wake. Jobs, for example.

Since the recession ended, people have had to create their own jobs. More than ever before, we see people earning extra cash via Uber, Lyft, AirBnB, and starting their own coffee shops, or food carts, as their main means of income. Forty years ago, in my neighborhood in Portland Oregon, we didn’t have a single coffee shop within twenty blocks.

Now we have four within ten blocks, and that’s only to the East of me, and that doesn’t count the food carts that serve only coffee.

We didn’t have more than a few food carts operating in the area. Now we have quite a few. You need to do something for a living. These food cart folks, and most of the coffee shop owners, and the folks I know working as Uber drivers, aren’t making a lot of money.

That’s because these folks, along with the rest of us, are battling it out among themselves for fewer and fewer dollars. The 1 percent is now stealing 37 percent of all US income, compared to 8 percent back in 1980. That means the rest of us are battling it out to get a piece of that 63 percent of yearly income, compared to 92 percent back in 1980, back when the economy was producing way more jobs than nowadays, with rising real wages, and with an economy and population much smaller than today.

Where’d are jobs go? They’ve been exported to China, Pakistan, India, Mexico, Vietnam and elsewhere thanks to international income redistribution agreements, which are falsely marketed as international trade agreements. The difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower overseas wages goes straight into the already fat wallets of the rich via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices.

And that folks is precisely why the rich are now stealing 37 percent of all the yearly income produced in the United States, and why more and more people are thrust into poverty, and why thousands upon thousands of US citizens are now working for peanuts at coffee shops and for Uber and Lyft and other made up jobs.

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TOO BIG TO Fail: There Is No Such Thing

lehman-brothers-collapse

Lehman Brothers was allowed to fail. That’s all you need to know. Lehman was one of the largest investment banks in the world. And yet, when push came to shove, the government allowed the company to die. It didn’t impact me or you one bit, unless you were heavily invested in the company.

What would’ve happened if Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan/Chase had been allowed to die? Nothing, except several of their hedge funds and a lot of superrich people would’ve been allowed to fail with them. Tens of billions of dollars would’ve evaporated with the implosion of these corporations that  have gone to corrupting government and both major political parties. Had they been allowed to fail, that probably would’ve been a good thing for 99.9 percent of all American citizens. Democracy would’ve been a little less corrupted.

The slogan “Too Big to Fail” should be changed to “Too Big to Exist.” If anybody thinks they’re too big to be allowed to fail, then the logical thing is that they should be broken up into more competitive pieces, which is what the Sherman Anti-Trust Act is supposed to do, if it were seriously enforced by the US government, which won’t do this because the politicians have been under the intoxicating influence of the billions of dollars of the big banks give them.

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The Democratic Party has been under control of Wall Street investment bankers since the Bill Clinton presidency. They also control the current Democratic presidential candidate.

Bernie Sanders has created a movement that will likely take over the helm of the Democratic Party within the next four years. In other words, a movement is being built for FDR Democrats to retake the party from the investment bankers.

“We have a political revolution to transform America,” Bernie said during his Democratic National Convention last night. The time is close at hand for this revolution to succeed. We have a Great Depression rumbling down the road at full throttle (See The Coming Recession: It’s Going to be a BIG ONE–JohnHively.wordpress.com.

The Republican Party leadership will, quite naturally, insist on more trickle-down economics as a means to remedy the disastrous Depression that trickle-down economics got us in to in the first place. Trickle-down has produced the greatest income and wealth inequality of any major industrialized nation of the last two hundred years. It’s created the most corrupt government in modern US history.

This Depression will hit the United States somewhere between October 2016 and June 2017. And when it arrives, a vast political change will occur over a period of many months that has not been seen since Franklin Delano Roosevelt became president by becoming a traitor to his class. And it will be through the Democratic Party that this political revolution will bare fruit, just as it happened in 1932-33.

It is “not sustainable,” Bernie said last night, “that the top 1/10th of 1 percent own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent.” He is correct. It is not sustainable. Let’s be correct about one thing.

The idle rich will not give up their political and economic power easily. It’ll be a fight to the finish, but a growing movement has formed around Bernie Sanders that will reestablish the tradition that the power of the US government, and the gains from the US economy, are going to go to those who earn it. This battle will not be won overnight, but it will be won.

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On Friday July 22, Wikileaks released leaked emails showing how the Wall Street Democratic National Convention attempted to discredit and lie about the presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders.

DNC Chairperson Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, a tried and true patriot of Wall Street, announced today that she is stepping down as DNC Chair, no doubt because the emails made it all too obvious that she and the Democratic Party leadership are political pawns of Wall Street investment banks, at least as much as their
Republican Party counterparts; and that they did every thing in their power to derail the Sanders campaign, while doing everything they could to bolster the presidential ambitions of Wall Street presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The emails made what was obvious a little more clear; the political game was rigged against the candidate of the people, Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton’s campaign announced today that Wasserman-Schultz will not be allowed to speak at the Democratic National Convention today. Perhaps it’s likely Bernie Sanders and his supporters insisted on this under certain favorable conditions.

Needless to say, Clinton defeated Sanders partly due to the shenanigans of the DNC and massive voter fraud.

For more on the story click NBC News-Wasserman-Schultz Gets the Boot

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Wall Street Senator Tim Kaine is a supporter of the Wall Street agenda, which means redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent. So in picking Kaine as her running mate, Hillary Clinton made certain Wall Street understood where she stands on the issues, no matter what she is forced to say in public. Today, Saturday 7/23/2016, Kaine came out against the TPP, after saying as late as two days ago (Thursday) that he was for it. Anybody believe he’s against it?

Before Bernie Sanders entered the Democratic primary race last summer, Hillary had publicly voiced support for the Trans Pacific Partnership 45 times (TPP), and she never expressed a doubt about it, going so far as to call it “the gold standard” of trade agreements. Bernie Sanders entered the race, mentioned how it would result in the loss of millions of jobs, just like NAFTA (which Hillary supported), and Wall Street’s candidate was forced to say she was against the TPP, even though she never was against it, and likely still isn’t. She’s just making stuff up to get elected.

But Mrs. Clinton had to give Wall Street a clear signal that she was still their political pawn, regardless of what lies she felt she needed to say on the campaign trail, so she made another Wall Street politician her running mate. Wall Street Senator Kaine is as much a pawn of Wall Street in the investment bankers war against the 99 percent, as is Hillary Clinton.

One has to wonder why Hillary felt so strongly about Kaine that she likely lost most of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Those are the Democrats that Donald Trump began wooing with his opposition to the TPP, and his vow that he will renegotiate NAFTA or exit it.

Obviously, Clinton felt she needed Wall Street money more than progressive votes. Sure Donald Trump has lied and exaggerated during the campaign, but Hillary has lied throughout her career. Most recently she knowingly gave many false statements to FBI agents in the email scandal, and each lie is a criminal offence. So Hillary can’t be trusted any more than Trump.

What’s a workin’ stiff to do in this election?

According to Wikileaks, “Making false statements (18 U.S.C. § 1001) is the common name for the United States federal crime laid out in Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code, which generally prohibits knowingly and willfully making false or fraudulent statements, or concealing information, in “any matter within the jurisdiction” of the federal government of the United States, even by mere denial.”

With these two candidates, the US hasn’t sunk this low in quality in a presidential election perhaps in its history.

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From the Citizen’s Trade Campaign:

TPP - Investor State Dispute Settlement

TPP – Investor State Dispute Settlement

The TPP covers 40 percent of the global economy, yet it was negotiated in secret with hundreds of corporate advisors while the public was locked out. The key provision in TPP grants new rights to thousands of foreign corporations to sue the U.S. government before a panel of 3 corporate lawyers. These lawyers can award the corporations unlimited sums to be paid by America’s taxpayers, including for the loss of expected future profits. These foreign corporations need only convince the lawyers that a U.S. law or safety regulation violates their TPP rights. Their decisions are not subject to appeal and the amount awarded has no limit. This agreement is not good for American taxpayers. It means higher drug prices. It makes it easier to send jobs overseas, means fewer jobs and lower wages, and a government that doesn’t work for us. It’s also unconstitutional, and should not be upheld in a legal challenge. Italics mine

Shameless and valueless Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden supports this illegal international trade agreement because it will lower US wages by pitting Americans against workers making 65 cents an hour in countries like Vietnam. Wyden also wants us to import food that does not meet U.S. safety standards, limit policies to combat climate change, and raise drug prices. This TPP trade agreement is not good for American taxpayers and workers. That’s why Wyden, Obama, and the entire Republican leadership supports it. Mainly the TPP will redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent. Wyden and the rest of its supporters know this.

The TPP means that government will not work for working families and the middle class.

The most impactful arguments against the TPP in order of voter opposition generated:

FOOD SAFETY: The U.S. currently rejects a significant portion of food imports from TPP countries like Vietnam and Malaysia as unsafe, but TPP would require us to accept food imports that do not meet U.S. safety standards.

ISDS LAWYERS: TPP will allow foreign corporations to sue the U.S. government in private tribunals/ corporate courts run by three corporate lawyers who rotate between judging these cases and representing corporations, which is a conflict of interest, and there is no outside appeal

ISDS FUTURE PROFITS: Under TPP, the American taxpayers could be forced to pay foreign corporations compensation for any American law or safety rule. They can sue for their current losses but also future expected profits, and there is no limit to the amount they can win from U.S. taxpayers. This clause will likely eliminate your voting rights on state and local issues if it conflicts with foreign corporations, such as food labeling laws. I should point out that many of these foreign companies have US investors, which means they’re circumventing US laws using the TPP. Wall Street Ronnie Wyden knows this all too well.

LOWER WAGES/FEWER JOBS: TPP will pit American workers against workers in Vietnam making less than 65 cents an hour. Economists who have looked at this deal say it will lower wages for 90 percent of Americans and gives corporations more incentives to move American jobs overseas

ISDS CORPORATE RIGHTS: TPP gives foreign corporations that come to the U.S. even more rights and privileges than the American people and our businesses, and elevates foreign corporations to the status of the U.S. government by allowing them to sue our country in special tribunals/corporate courts.

SECRET CORPORATE NEGOTIATIONS: The terms of the new TPP trade agreement were negotiated in secret with over 500 corporate advisors, but the people, the press, and even the U.S. Congress were shut out so it favors corporations, not working families.

BIPARTISAN DISAPPROVAL: For the first time, the presidential nominees of both parties, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, oppose this new trade agreement because it does nothing to stop currency manipulation, will hurt U.S. wages and jobs, and means higher drug prices

BAD FOR CLIMATE: All of the countries in the world are working to combat climate change, but TPP would forbid many of the policies we need to stop the climate crisis.

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GMO labeling

Monsanto President Barack Obama is expected to sign the DARK Act (Deny Americans the Right to Know Act) this week. Democratic and Republican politicians voted this piece of legislative cover up through both the US house and senate this past week. This is a GMO labeling law that effectively makes it impossible to determine if a product has GMO poison in it without scanning every package.

The reason Wall Street Democrats like Obama and Wall Street Republicans want to protect the GMO industry, and allow it to continue poisoning US citizens is real simple. GMO crops are filled with pesticides and herbicides, making them less labor intensive, and therefore cheaper than non-GMO crops. Much of the milk you drink, the meat you eat, the corn and soy you snarf down, are all loaded with GMOs.

If GMOs in the USA were not part of the human food chain, the price of food would go up considerably and all across the board. The primary economic policy of both major political parties is to consistently redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent, which is exemplified by the looming Trans Pacific Partnership, the largest international income redistribution agreement in US history, which is falsely being marketed by its supporters as a trade agreement.

In order to keep you eating and buying cheap plastic crap made in China, given the ever increasing inequality of income devised by both major political parties running the country, your political leaders and the rest of the 1 percent have decided they would rather feed you poison than give you a pay raise to purchase higher costing but healthy food. If they didn’t feed you poison, and then lie about your food’s toxicity, there’d probably be significant internal unrest in the USA.

In other words, GMO poison is supported by the government to keep people from rioting over the high cost of food as their income is repeatedly redistributed to the 1 percent. Such unrest might lead to a dramatic overhaul of the politicians representing the people, and people would be elected that don’t support the continuous redistribution of income from the 99 to the 1 percent. These new politicians might even want to reverse that 35 year old trend of the government redistributing your income to the 1 percent.

As for how poisonous GMOs are, take a look at the photo below. Those are rats fed GMO’s and they began getting those monstrous tumors after eating only GMO poisoned food for a mere three months. That’s what you get for eating herbicides and pesticides. For more information, click Vermont’s GMO Labeling Law About to Go Into Effect–JohnHIvely.wordpress.com

Just imagine, President Obama and the Republican Party leadership continue to claim GMOs are safe, but they know there are plenty of studies showing how unsafe they are.

As for how those rats got to look like that, and to understand the absolute corruption that the billionaires in the US will go to in order to ensure you continue to eat poison, see Professor Seralini’s-team-wins-defamation-and-forgery-court-cases-on-gmo-and-pesticide-research

rats-gmo-group

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NAFTA is not a treaty! The Trans Pacific Partnership is not a treaty. The 1 percent doesn’t want you to know this.

Section 2 of Article II of the US Constitution clearly states that the US president “….shall have the Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make treaties provided two thirds of the Senators present concur.” Only 61 of 100 senators voted for NAFTA. That means NAFTA is not a treaty under the US constitution. In addition, the TPP would require 67 yes votes, which makes it highly unlikely that it will pass treaty status.

The US constitution does not give any branch of the US government the power to negotiate international trade agreements (as opposed to treaties)  with other nations. It only gives the president the power to negotiate “treaties,” and only with the 2/3rds requirement. International agreements are not mentioned in the US constitution. All other powers not given the federal government redound to the individual states, which are prohibited from negotiating treaties with other nations. Therefore, such an agreement is only fiction, make-believe to fool us into believing the legality of such things.

A treaty is not required to pass through the House of Representatives. It must only pass through the US senate. NAFTA was forced to pass through the House because it is an illegal fictional agreement that could not probably resist a court challenge through honest judges.

In other words, these international income redistribution agreements, which are falsely marketed as international trade agreements, most likely cannot withstand a court challenge.

nafta

Now the US Supreme court has ruled that if your government is doing something illegal, you cannot challenge that law unless you can prove it has harmed you. In other words, the court has ruled the US government can illegally spy on you, burglarize your homes and businesses, and even kill you, but unless you can prove the US government is behind these things, you cannot challenge the law that allows this in court. That, of course, means the Supreme Court has ruled that the US government can do anything it wants outside of the law, just so long as it doesn’t get caught. There’s something corrupt there. Don’t ya think?

Now we have a special case coming up. TransCanada Corporation made its intention clear that it is going to sue the US government through an unconstitutional secret tribunal because President Obama refused to give the company a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. It is filing its claim for $15 billion in damages under North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) provisions, which is through an illegal secret tribunal.

A secret tribunal made up of corporate lawyers will determine if US taxpayers have to ante up $15 billion in order to not allow an environmentally hazardous pipeline to cut across the USA. Only corporations can use this secret tribunal to sue governments over alleged damages and the loss of alleged future profits.

Some of the biggest US investors in TransCanada include JP Morgan/Chase, Vanguard Corporation, and Prudential. You can bet there’s a bunch of rich US citizens cheering on TransCanada executives in this case. These companies are circumventing US law via the unconstitutional secret tribunal.

If the US government loses, there is no reason why we as taxpayers should not launch a class action lawsuit challenging these secret tribunals as unconstitutional, since they are. Since the US Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are people, a challenge can be issued under the equal protection clause of the US Constitution, which should render illegal the secret tribunal provision of NAFTA, depending on how corrupt the US courts are. In addition, of course, the US constitution says the establishment of any “tribunal” must originate in the US house of representatives, and NAFTA clearly did not. There are several other ways that provisions of NAFTA violate the constitution.

In other words, the secret tribunals of NAFTA cannot withstand a legal challenge the moment the US government spends a penny of our hard earned tax dollars on defending the US government in this unconstitutional tribunal.

Perhaps it’s time for some legal action? What do you think fellow citizens? Anybody want to join me?

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I received an email from Bernie Sanders. In it Sanders talks about this people’s political revolution as a movement. It is and our time is coming. A few of the things Bernie said in regard to his campaign, and to the future of our movement are below.

“Dear John

I am writing you today to express my deep pride in the movement – the political revolution – you and I have created together over the last 15 months….We showed that the American people support a bold, progressive agenda that takes on the billionaire class, that fights for racial, social, economic and environmental justice and that seeks to create a government that works for all of us and not just the big campaign donors.

We mobilized over 13 million voters across the country. We won 23 Democratic primary and caucus contests. We had literally hundreds of thousands of volunteers across the country. And we showed – in a way that can change politics in America forever – that you can run a competitive national grassroots campaign without begging millionaires and billionaires for campaign contributions.

Most importantly, we elevated the critical issues facing our country – issues the establishment has pushed under the rug for too long. We focused attention on the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality in this country and the importance of breaking up the large banks who brought our economy to the brink of collapse. We exposed our horrendous trade policies, our broken criminal justice system, and our people’s lack of access to affordable health care and higher education. We fought aggressively to address the crisis of climate change, the need for real comprehensive immigration reform, the importance of developing a foreign policy that values diplomacy over war, and so much more.

What we have accomplished so far is historic – but our work is far from over.

This movement of ours – this political revolution – must continue. We cannot let all of the momentum we have achieved in the fight to transform America be lost. We will never stop fighting for what is right.

It is true that in terms of winning the Democratic nomination, we did come up short. But this election was never about me or any candidate. It was about the powerful coming together of millions of people to take their country back from the billionaire class. That was the strength of our campaign and it will be the strength of our movement going forward in the months and years ahead.

In the coming weeks, I will be announcing the creation of successor organizations to carry on the struggle that we have been a part of these past 15 months. I hope you will continue to be involved in fighting to transform America. Our goal will be to advance the progressive agenda that we believe in and to elect like-minded candidates at the federal, state and local levels who are committed to accomplishing our goals.

You should know that in the weeks since the last primary, both campaigns (Bernie’s and the Democratic Wall Street candidate) have worked together in good faith to bridge some of the policy issues that divided us during the election. Did we come to agreement on everything? Of course not. But we made important steps forward.

 

During the Democratic platform proceedings in St. Louis and Orlando, we were victorious in including amendments to make it a clear priority of the Democratic Party to fight for a $15 an hour federal minimum wage, expand Social Security, abolish the death penalty, put a price on carbon, establish a path toward the legalization of marijuana, enact major criminal justice reforms, pass comprehensive immigration reform, end for-profit prisons and detention facilities, break up too-big-to-fail banks and create a 21st century Glass-Steagall Act, close loopholes that allow big companies to avoid taxes by stashing their cash in offshore tax havens and use that revenue to rebuild America, approve the most expansive agenda ever for protecting Native American rights and so much more.

All of these progressive policies were at the heart of our campaign. The truth is our movement is responsible for the most progressive Democratic platform in the history of our country. All of that is the direct result of the work that our members of the platform committee did in the meetings and that you have been doing over the last 15 months.

But none of these initiatives will happen if we do not elect a Democratic president in November. None! In fact, we will go backward. We must elect the Democratic nominee in November and progressive Democrats up and down the ballot so that we ensure that these policy commitments can advance.

It is extremely important that we keep our movement together, that we hold public officials accountable and that we elect progressive candidates to office at the federal, state, and local level who will stand with us.

You should know that I intend to be actively campaigning throughout this election season to elect candidates who will stand by our agenda. I hope to see many of you at events from coast to coast.

In conclusion, I again want to express my pride in what we have accomplished together over the last year. But so much more must be done to make our vision a reality. Now more than ever our country needs our movement – our political revolution. As you have throughout this historic campaign, I ask for your ongoing support as we continue through the fall and beyond.

On a personal note, I cannot say with words how appreciative Jane and I are of the kindness, dedication and love we experienced from so many people across the country. We are deeply touched by it and will never, ever forget it.

Forever committed, forever fighting, forever forward,

Bernie Sanders”

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