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marmar

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 74,836

Journal Archives

Rock Bottom: Cory Booker's opponent resorts to homophobia


New Jersey GOP Senate candidate Steve Lonegan said on Tuesday he thinks it's "weird" that his opponent, Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D), won't put to rest rumors about his sexual orientation.

"It's kind of weird. As a guy, I personally like being a guy. I don't know if you saw the stories last year. They've been out for quite a bit about how he likes to go out at three o'clock in the morning for a manicure and a pedicure," Lonegan, the conservative former mayor of Bogota, N.J., told Newsmax.

Lonegan's comments imply that someone who is gay is not "a guy."

In a Washington Post profile published on Tuesday, Booker said that he is perfectly comfortable if people are unsure about his sexual orientation and that he wants to keep his romantic life private. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/28/steve-lonegan-cory-booker_n_3829053.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000037



No War with Syria


from the Detroit Metro Times:


No War with Syria
Can the United States avoid military action?

By Bob Dreyfuss
PUBLISHED: AUGUST 28, 2013


Here’s the core question now regarding Syria: If it’s true that President Bashar al-Assad’s government used poison gas in an incident that killed hundreds of people, at least, in the suburbs of Damascus, can the United States avoid military action in response? The answer is: yes. And it should.

That doesn’t mean that the United States ought to do nothing. The horrific incident, reported in detail by Doctors Without Borders, demands action. But the proper response by the United States is an all-out effort to achieve a cease-fire in the Syrian civil war. It’s late in the game, but it can be done. The first step would be for Washington to put intense pressure on Saudi Arabia, the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, and Turkey, to halt the flow of weapons to the Syrian rebels, while simultaneously getting Russia and Iran to do the same. A concerted, worldwide diplomatic effort along those lines could work, but there’s zero evidence that President Obama has even thought of that.

Indeed, it seems clear now that the United States is about to launch a series of cruise missile strikes against Syrian targets, including military command centers, airports, and other facilities. A U.S. naval buildup in the eastern Mediterranean, off the coast of Syria, is under way, including four destroyers carrying cruise missiles. Ominously, the United States rejected as “too late” a Syrian offer — which, indeed, may have been disingenuous — to allow United Nations inspectors to visit the site where the gas was reportedly used. Virtually the entire Obama administration national security team huddled in the White House yesterday to decide what to do about Syria.

Obama, meanwhile, is busy building a “coalition of the willing” to back an American attack on Syria, calling the leaders of Britain and France, rallying support in Eastern Europe, NATO and the Arab League, and of course getting strong support from Saudi Arabia and Israel. The latter two countries see an attack on Assad’s forces as a proxy for an attack on what they consider their main enemy, Iran. ........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://metrotimes.com/news/news-features/no-war-with-syria-1.1542629?parentPage=2.2253



Climate Change Frogs (cartoon)





http://www.truthdig.com/cartoon/item/climate_change_frogs_20130827/


Martin Luther King Jr. ...... 2013 (cartoon)




http://www.truthdig.com/cartoon/item/photo_id_20130827/



The Leveraged Buyout of America


The Leveraged Buyout of America

Monday, 26 August 2013 09:21
By Ellen Brown, Web of Debt Blog | News Analysis

In a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke dated June 27, 2013, US Representative Alan Grayson and three co-signers expressed concern about the expansion of large banks into what have traditionally been non-financial commercial spheres. Specifically:

We are concerned about how large banks have recently expanded their businesses into such fields as electric power production, oil refining and distribution, owning and operating of public assets such as ports and airports, and even uranium mining.


After listing some disturbing examples, they observed:

According to legal scholar Saule Omarova, over the past five years, there has been a “quiet transformation of U.S. financial holding companies.” These financial services companies have become global merchants that seek to extract rent from any commercial or financial business activity within their reach. They have used legal authority in Graham-Leach-Bliley to subvert the “foundational principle of separation of banking from commerce”. . . .

It seems like there is a significant macro-economic risk in having a massive entity like, say JP Morgan, both issuing credit cards and mortgages, managing municipal bond offerings, selling gasoline and electric power, running large oil tankers, trading derivatives, and owning and operating airports, in multiple countries.


A “macro” risk indeed – not just to our economy but to our democracy and our individual and national sovereignty. Giant banks are buying up our country’s infrastructure – the power and supply chains that are vital to the economy. Aren’t there rules against that? And where are the banks getting the money?

How Banks Launder Money Through the Repo Market

In an illuminating series of articles on Seeking Alpha titled “Repoed!”, Colin Lokey argues that the investment arms of large Wall Street banks are using their “excess” deposits – the excess of deposits over loans – as collateral for borrowing in the repo market. Repos, or “repurchase agreements,” are used to raise short-term capital. Securities are sold to investors overnight and repurchased the next day, usually day after day. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/news/item/18393-the-leveraged-buyout-of-america



Crisis of Humanity: Global Capitalism Breeds 21st Century Fascism

Crisis of Humanity: Global Capitalism Breeds 21st Century Fascism

Monday, 26 August 2013 09:19
By William I Robinson, Truthout | News Analysis


In "Policing the Crisis," the classic 1978 study conducted by noted socialist and cultural theorist Stuart Hall and several colleagues, the authors show how the restructuring of capitalism as a response to the crisis of the 1970s - which was the last major crisis of world capitalism until the current one hit in 2008 - led in the United Kingdom and elsewhere to an "exceptional state," by which they meant a situation in which there was an ongoing breakdown of consensual mechanisms of social control and a growing authoritarianism. They wrote:

This is an extremely important moment: the point where, the repertoire of hegemony through consent having been exhausted, the drift towards the routine use of the more repressive features of the state comes more and more prominently into play. Here the pendulum within the exercise of hegemony tilts, decisively, from that where consent overrides coercion, to that condition in which coercion becomes, as it were, the natural and routine form in which consent is secured. This shift in the internal balance of hegemony - consent to coercion - is a response, within the state, to increasing polarization of class forces (real and imagined). It is exactly how a 'crisis of hegemony' expresses itself … the slow development of a state of legitimate coercion, the birth of a 'law and order' society … the whole tenor of social and political life has been transformed by [this moment]. A distinctively new ideological climate has been precipitated (Policing the Crisis, pp. 320-321).


This is an accurate description of the current state of affairs. We are witnessing transitions from social-welfare states to social-control states around the world. We are facing a global crisis that is unprecedented, given its magnitude, its global reach, the extent of ecological degradation and social deterioration, and the sheer scale of the means of violence. We truly face a crisis of humanity; we have entered a period of great upheavals, of momentous changes and uncertainties. This systemwide crisis is distinct from earlier such episodes of world crisis in the 1930s or the 1970s precisely because world capitalism is fundamentally different in the early 21st century.

Among the qualitative shifts that have taken place in the capitalist system in the face of globalization in recent decades, there are four I want to underscore. First is the rise of truly transnational capital and the integration of every country into a new globalized production and financial system. Second is the appearance of a new transnational capitalist class (TCC). This is a class group grounded in new global circuits of accumulation rather than the older national circuits. Third is the rise of what I term transnational state apparatuses. And fourth is the appearance of novel relations of inequality and domination in global society, including an increasing importance of transnational social and class inequalities relative to North-South inequalities. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/news/item/18280-global-capitalism-and-the-crisis-of-humanity



Crisis of Humanity: Global Capitalism Breeds 21st Century Fascism


Crisis of Humanity: Global Capitalism Breeds 21st Century Fascism

Monday, 26 August 2013 09:19
By William I Robinson, Truthout | News Analysis


In "Policing the Crisis," the classic 1978 study conducted by noted socialist and cultural theorist Stuart Hall and several colleagues, the authors show how the restructuring of capitalism as a response to the crisis of the 1970s - which was the last major crisis of world capitalism until the current one hit in 2008 - led in the United Kingdom and elsewhere to an "exceptional state," by which they meant a situation in which there was an ongoing breakdown of consensual mechanisms of social control and a growing authoritarianism. They wrote:

This is an extremely important moment: the point where, the repertoire of hegemony through consent having been exhausted, the drift towards the routine use of the more repressive features of the state comes more and more prominently into play. Here the pendulum within the exercise of hegemony tilts, decisively, from that where consent overrides coercion, to that condition in which coercion becomes, as it were, the natural and routine form in which consent is secured. This shift in the internal balance of hegemony - consent to coercion - is a response, within the state, to increasing polarization of class forces (real and imagined). It is exactly how a 'crisis of hegemony' expresses itself … the slow development of a state of legitimate coercion, the birth of a 'law and order' society … the whole tenor of social and political life has been transformed by [this moment]. A distinctively new ideological climate has been precipitated (Policing the Crisis, pp. 320-321).


This is an accurate description of the current state of affairs. We are witnessing transitions from social-welfare states to social-control states around the world. We are facing a global crisis that is unprecedented, given its magnitude, its global reach, the extent of ecological degradation and social deterioration, and the sheer scale of the means of violence. We truly face a crisis of humanity; we have entered a period of great upheavals, of momentous changes and uncertainties. This systemwide crisis is distinct from earlier such episodes of world crisis in the 1930s or the 1970s precisely because world capitalism is fundamentally different in the early 21st century.

Among the qualitative shifts that have taken place in the capitalist system in the face of globalization in recent decades, there are four I want to underscore. First is the rise of truly transnational capital and the integration of every country into a new globalized production and financial system. Second is the appearance of a new transnational capitalist class (TCC). This is a class group grounded in new global circuits of accumulation rather than the older national circuits. Third is the rise of what I term transnational state apparatuses. And fourth is the appearance of novel relations of inequality and domination in global society, including an increasing importance of transnational social and class inequalities relative to North-South inequalities. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/news/item/18280-global-capitalism-and-the-crisis-of-humanity



The Leveraged Buyout of America


The Leveraged Buyout of America

Monday, 26 August 2013 09:21
By Ellen Brown, Web of Debt Blog | News Analysis

In a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke dated June 27, 2013, US Representative Alan Grayson and three co-signers expressed concern about the expansion of large banks into what have traditionally been non-financial commercial spheres. Specifically:

We are concerned about how large banks have recently expanded their businesses into such fields as electric power production, oil refining and distribution, owning and operating of public assets such as ports and airports, and even uranium mining.


After listing some disturbing examples, they observed:

According to legal scholar Saule Omarova, over the past five years, there has been a “quiet transformation of U.S. financial holding companies.” These financial services companies have become global merchants that seek to extract rent from any commercial or financial business activity within their reach. They have used legal authority in Graham-Leach-Bliley to subvert the “foundational principle of separation of banking from commerce”. . . .

It seems like there is a significant macro-economic risk in having a massive entity like, say JP Morgan, both issuing credit cards and mortgages, managing municipal bond offerings, selling gasoline and electric power, running large oil tankers, trading derivatives, and owning and operating airports, in multiple countries.


A “macro” risk indeed – not just to our economy but to our democracy and our individual and national sovereignty. Giant banks are buying up our country’s infrastructure – the power and supply chains that are vital to the economy. Aren’t there rules against that? And where are the banks getting the money?

How Banks Launder Money Through the Repo Market

In an illuminating series of articles on Seeking Alpha titled “Repoed!”, Colin Lokey argues that the investment arms of large Wall Street banks are using their “excess” deposits – the excess of deposits over loans – as collateral for borrowing in the repo market. Repos, or “repurchase agreements,” are used to raise short-term capital. Securities are sold to investors overnight and repurchased the next day, usually day after day. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/news/item/18393-the-leveraged-buyout-of-america



Professor Richard Wolff's Economic Update: Economics and Health (audio link)


Listen: http://truth-out.org/news/item/18441-economic-update-economics-and-health


Update on intern's death in London, austerity and suicide, over-prescribing anti-depressants, cutting health benefits, and laying off mortgage workers at Wells Fargo. Major discussions of the economics of the richest 1% and their relation to the Democratic Party in the US. Continuing response to listeners on defining capitalism and Black Star workers coop (brewpub) in Austin, Texas.

On Economic Update with Professor Richard Wolff, Wolff and guests will discuss the current state of the economy, both locally and globally in relation to the economic crisis.

Wolff will focus on wages, jobs, taxes, and debts - and on interest rates, prices, and profits. We aim to explain why certain economic changes are happening and other changes get postponed or blocked and we will explore alternative ways to organize enterprises, markets, and government policies. Economic Update is a weekly show for people who want to understand and change not only their own financial situation but also the larger economy we all depend on.





Doubling The Minimum Wage May Seem Insane, But It Happened In 1949


Even as he’d confidently promised before television cameras in January that he would deliver an astounding increase in the minimum wage, the president knew it would be a difficult fight. Unprecedented federal debt and thorny unemployment weighed heavily on Washington, both cautioning against forcing businesses to give low-paid workers a raise.

The president's own top economic expert had told him the government shouldn’t further distort the dynamics of the free market. Big business was adamantly against the plan.

And Congress? That lot of obstructionist conservatives and their “do nothing” attitude would relish any chance to get in the administration’s way, especially if its members could call him a “socialist” and once again bring up his controversial universal health care plan.

So it was in 1949, when President Harry Truman (D) declared the federal minimum wage ought to be nearly doubled, from 40 cents an hour to 75 cents. Using a measure of what minimum-wage earners could purchase with that amount compared with the rest of society, the 1949 increase is roughly the equivalent of a wage today jumping to $10.70 from $5.70. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/28/minimum-wage-doubling_n_3819478.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000037&ir=Politics



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