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marmar

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,621

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Escape from an L.A. Sweatshop: How Modern-Day Slaves Become Lobbyists


from YES! Magazine:


Escape from an L.A. Sweatshop: How Modern-Day Slaves Become Lobbyists
Lured from Mexico into forced labor at an American factory, Flor Molina’s human trafficking story was typical. What’s remarkable is what she did next.

by Christa Hillstrom
posted Sep 20, 2013


Flor Molina thought it was her lucky break. At 28, she had just lost her youngest child and was working two jobs in Puebla, Mexico, but not making enough money to feed and clothe her surviving children. At night, she took sewing classes, hoping to one day earn enough money to properly care for them . “I was so afraid that what happened to my baby would happen to my other three children,” she remembers.

So when her sewing teacher told her about a job in the United States that would pay enough money to support her family and maybe even start her own business, she accepted. She had never been out of the country, and the job meant leaving her children with her mother indefinitely.

Molina and her sewing teacher were flown to Tijuana, where a powerful woman known in Puebla as “la Senora” met them at the border. She confiscated Molina’s documents and clothing for “safekeeping.” “I thought it was strange,” Molina says, “but she had been living in the U.S. for so long so I thought, she knows how things are run.” A coyote took the two women to Los Angeles, where they were immediately put to work in a sewing factory.

Molina’s workday started at 4 a.m., sewing by the dim light on the machine. During the regular workday, she ironed, unloaded and reloaded delivery trucks, and stitched labels into dresses—some for major American stores. When the other workers went home, Molina cleaned the entire factory. She was subjected to physical abuse, and wasn’t allowed to leave the building unattended. She was, for all practical purposes, a slave. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/the-human-cost-of-stuff/breaking-free-from-an-american-sweatshop



Meatless in Munich: Oktoberfest Introduces Vegan Food Options





For some 200 years, Oktoberfest has been all about copious amounts of beer and meat. But, this year, organizers are breaking with tradition and reaching out to visitors with dietary restrictions by offering vegan dishes and even vegan wine.

With its dozens of oxen spit roasts, enough rotisserie chickens to feed an army and pork sausages as long as a forearm, Bavaria's Oktoberfest is a meat lover's nirvana. In fact, last year's festivities saw a total of half a million chickens, 116 whole oxen and 115,000 pork sausages being served up in Munich's beer tents over a period of three weeks.

But even in one of Germany's most rigidly traditional regions, times are changing. In an attempt to cater to the changing food preferences of visitors, beer tent owners have put vegan dishes -- and in one case, vegan wines -- on their menus.

"As the event becomes more international, people with special dietary requirements and different culinary tastes are becoming the norm," says Wolfgang Nickl of Munich's city council, which is responsible for organizing Oktoberfest. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/oktoberfest-organizers-introduce-vegan-food-options-a-924929.html



The Regressive Politics of Quantitative Easing


The Regressive Politics of Quantitative Easing

From Unconventional Economist, who has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs. Cross posted from MacroBusiness, originally published at The Conversation.


When financial markets stood on the verge of collapse in the summer of 2008, two of the world’s most important central banks, the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, began considering unorthodox policy measures. They turned to Quantitative Easing, or QE: injecting money into the economy by purchasing assets from the private sector, in the hope of boosting spending and staving off the threat of deflation. These were desperate measures for desperate times.

With signs of a fragile economic recovery gathering enough momentum to reassure policymakers in the US, the policy was expected to be wound down. But in a move that caught commentators off guard, the Fed instead committed to continue with its existing level of asset purchases. For the foreseeable future, at least, QE is here to stay. What began as a short-term crisis measure has now become a key component of Anglo-American growth strategies. It’s important, then, to take stock of QE and the central role it has played within the Anglo-American response to the financial crisis.

The way the Fed led the policy response to the financial crisis is important in two ways. First, it reflects the extent to which the Anglo-American economies have become financialised: credit-debt relations are pervasive throughout all facets of contemporary economic activity and there has been a deepening, extension and deregulation of financial markets commensurate with this development. In that context, with the increased competitiveness, scale and global integration of financial markets intensifying the risk of financial instability, the crisis management capacities of central banks have become increasingly important.

Second, central bank leadership of the policy response also reflects a key feature of neoliberal political economy in practice. Despite all the rhetoric of free markets, competition and deregulation that has been the mainstay of neoliberalism, there is a central contradiction at its heart: neoliberalism has been extremely reliant upon the active interventions of central banks within supposedly “free” markets. .........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/09/the-regressive-politics-of-quantitative-easing.html#eGmfvmvY2zgz8bLK.99



Apple Maps: The Easiest Way to Crash Into an Airplane


Apple Maps: The Easiest Way to Crash Into an Airplane
Posted on Sep 28, 2013


The iPhone and iPad app has been known to give erroneous directions, but this month it led drivers to near-death situations. On Sept. 6 and 20, Apple maps pointed two cars to cross a runway at Alaska’s Fairbanks International Airport. The directions were meant to culminate at a terminal, but rather than end up at a check-in counter, these passengers found themselves on the tarmac.

No one was injured in either incident and the airport notified Apple on Sept. 6 as soon as the first person ended up on the runway. Apple subsequently disabled the inaccurate instructions, but according to The Associated Press via The San Diego Union-Tribune:

To the chagrin and worry of Alaska transportation officials, Apple reactivated maps app directions Friday that guide drivers to the edge of a runway instead of a terminal at the Fairbanks airport….

Officials, though, noticed the app was back to giving the misguided directions on Friday and was also providing another route that leads to the taxiway.

They don’t know why the app was reactivated with more faulty directions. ...................(more)


The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/apple_maps_the_easiest_way_to_crash_into_an_airplane_20130929




Keiser Report: Trickle-Down Flamethrowers





Published on Sep 26, 2013

In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss flamethrowers and jihadis in the banking world. They also note that houses in London earn more per day than the average worker in London. In the second half, Max interviews Mitch Feierstein of PlanetPonzi.com about the Fed's balance sheet, housing bubbles around the world and putting lipstick on pigs.


Robert Parry: The Four Eras of the American Right


from Consortium News:


The Four Eras of the American Right
September 28, 2013

Exclusive: In the coming weeks, the Republican Party and its Tea Party extremists vow to create budgetary and fiscal crises if the Democrats don’t gut health-care reform and submit to a host of other right-wing demands. But a driving force in this craziness is an anti-historical view of the Constitution, writes Robert Parry.


By Robert Parry


As the world ponders why the American Right – through its Tea Party power in Congress – is threatening to shut down the federal government and precipitate a global economic crisis by defaulting on U.S. debt, the answer goes to the self-image of these rightists who insist they are the true defenders of the Founding Principles.

This conceit is reinforced by the vast right-wing media via talk radio, cable TV, well-funded Internet sites and a variety of books and print publications. Thus, the Tea Partiers and many Republicans have walled themselves off from the actual history, which would show the American Right to be arguably the opposite of true patriots, actually the faction of U.S. politics that has most disdained and disrupted the orderly constitutional process created in 1787.

Indeed, the history of the American Right can be roughly divided into four eras: the pre-Confederate period from 1787 to 1860 when slave owners first opposed and then sought to constrain the Constitution, viewing it as a threat to slavery; the actual Confederacy from 1861 to 1865 when the South took up arms against the Constitution in defense of slavery; the post-Confederate era from 1866 to the 1960s when white racists violently thwarted constitutional protections for blacks; and the neo-Confederate era from 1969 to today when these racists jumped to the Republican Party in an attempt to extend white supremacy behind various code words and subterfuges.

It is true that the racist Right has often moved in tandem with the wealthy-elite Right, which has regarded the regulatory powers of the federal government as a threat to the ability of rich industrialists to operate corporations and to control the economy without regard to the larger public good. ........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://consortiumnews.com/2013/09/28/the-four-eras-of-the-american-right/



Mt. Flushmore (cartoon)





http://www.truthdig.com/cartoon/item/mt_flushmore_20130927


Bill Moyers: Joblessness is Killing Us





Bill Moyers Essay: Joblessness is Killing Us
September 27, 2013


In an essay following his conversation with Greenpeace International’s Kumi Naidoo, Bill Moyers links Naidoo’s courage in speaking truth to power with an account of the recent visit by Pope Francis to Sardinia, the Mediterranean island known for its beautiful beaches and palatial homes owned by the richest of the rich. Sardinia is now blighted by widespread joblessness — 51 percent of its young people are out of work — and as the pope heard the stories of desperation and deprivation, he threw away his prepared speech and decried a global economic system “that does us so much harm.” The story leads Bill to conclude that unless we “dethrone our present system of financial capitalism that rewards those at the top” while everyone else is struggling, “it will consume us” and democracy will be finished.


http://billmoyers.com/segment/bill-moyers-essay-joblessness-is-killing-us-the-pope-says-so-%c2%a0/



Lewis Lapham: Memento Mori: The Death of American Exceptionalism -- and of Me


Memento Mori
The Death of American Exceptionalism -- and of Me

By Lewis H. Lapham


I admire the stoic fortitude, but at the age of 78 I know I won’t be skipping out on the appointment, and I notice that it gets harder to remember just why it is that I’m not afraid to die. My body routinely produces fresh and insistent signs of its mortality, and within the surrounding biosphere of the news and entertainment media it is the fear of death -- 24/7 in every shade of hospital white and doomsday black -- that sells the pharmaceutical, political, financial, film, and food products promising to make good the wish to live forever. The latest issue of my magazine, Lapham’s Quarterly, therefore comes with an admission of self-interest as well as an apology for the un-American activity, death, that is its topic. The taking time to resurrect the body of its thought in LQ offered a chance to remember that the leading cause of death is birth.

I count it a lucky break to have been born in a day and age when answers to the question “Why do I have to die?” were still looked for in the experimental laboratories of art and literature as well as in the teachings of religion. The problem hadn’t yet been referred to the drug and weapons industries, to the cosmetic surgeons and the neuroscientists, and as a grammar-school boy in San Francisco during the Second World War, I was fortunate to be placed in the custody of Mr. Charles Mulholland. A history teacher trained in the philosophies of classical antiquity, Mr. Mulholland was fond of posting on his blackboard long lists of noteworthy last words, among them those of Socrates, Marcus Aurelius, Thomas More, and Stonewall Jackson.

The messages furnished need-to-know background on the news bulletins from Guadalcanal and Omaha Beach, and they made a greater impression on me than probably was expected or intended. By the age of 10, raised in a family unincorporated into the body of Christ, it never once had occurred to me to entertain the prospect of an afterlife. Eternal life may have been granted to the Christian martyrs delivered to the lions in the Roman Colosseum, possibly also to the Muslim faithful butchered in Jerusalem by Richard the Lionheart, but without the favor of Allah or early admission to a Calvinist state of grace, how was one to formulate a closing remark worthy of Mr. Mulholland’s blackboard?

The question came up in the winter of 1953 during my freshman year at Yale College, when I contracted a rare and particularly virulent form of meningitis. The doctors in the emergency room at Grace-New Haven Hospital rated the odds of my survival at no better than a hundred to one. To the surprise of all present, I responded to the infusion of several new drugs never before tested in combination. For two days, drifting in and out of consciousness in a ward reserved for patients without hope of recovery, I had ample chance to think a great thought or turn a noble phrase, possibly to dream of the wizard Merlin in an oak tree or behold a vision of the Virgin Mary. Nothing came to mind. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175751/tomgram%3A_lewis_lapham%2C_selling_death/#more



Status of the Resistance Movement: Growing, Deepening, Succeeding


Status of the Resistance Movement: Growing, Deepening, Succeeding

Wednesday, 25 September 2013 11:55
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers , Truthout | News


So much has been accomplished by Occupy and other social justice movements in the past two years that it is incredible the corporate media and their pundits do not report on what is happening around them. Despite the lack of corporate media coverage, the movement is deepening, creating democratic institutions, stopping some of the worst policies from being pushed by the corporate duopoly and building a broad-based diverse movement.

This is not to say things are getting better for the 99%; in fact, quite the opposite is happening. Big business government continues to funnel money to the top while robbing most Americans of the little wealth they had. More Americans are being impacted by the unfair economy and realize that their struggle is not their fault but is the reality of living in a system with deep corruption and dysfunction. Economic injustice is the compost creating fertile ground for the movement to grow.

Too many commentators focus on the lack of encampments and think Occupy is dead. Camping out in public parks was a tactic - it was not the movement or the only tactic of the movement. Too many fail to look at what members of the Occupy community are doing along with other social justice, environmental and peace activists. We report on the movement every day at Popular Resistance so we see lots of activity all over the country on a wide range of issues and using a variety of tactics. And we see a growing movement having a bigger impact.

On the second anniversary of Occupy Wall Street (OWS), these writers captured the essence of Occupy. David Callahan, in Seven Ways Occupy Changed America And Is Still Changing It, correctly noted how we changed the debate, revived progressive populism, spurred worker revolts and challenged capitalism. Rebecca Solnit, who has been active in Occupy and other movements, also made important points. She writes, “Those who doubt that these moments matter should note how terrified the authorities and elites are when they erupt. That fear is a sign of their recognition that real power doesn’t only lie with them.” .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/19046-status-of-the-resistance-movement-growing-deepening-succeeding



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