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1969-70 FOL



Commentary

Commentary
A Stock Market Boom Is Not the Basis of Shared Prosperity
Thomas Palley : The US is currently enjoying another stock market boom which, if history is any guide, also stands to end in a bust. In the meantime, the boom is having a politically toxic effect by lending support to Donald Trump and obscuring the case for reversing the neoliberal economic paradigm. ... In addition to directly impacting asset pricing, the Federal Reserve has given a green flag for speculative buying and strengthened beliefs that it stands ready to guarantee stock prices via the so-called “Powell put”. That put is an amplification of the prior “Bernanke put”, which was in turn an amplification of the “Greenspan put” which launched the Federal Reserve’s commitment to stock prices ... our addiction to stock price inflation is politically and economically toxic.... Visit Website ]
Jan 23, 2020, 3:46pm

Commentary
We Work, They Scam: The Art of the Con in Terminal-Stage Capitalism
William Hawes: Recently, the ridiculous real estate company WeWork has faced intense scrutiny after their business model was absurdly overvalued and their CEO, one Adam Neumann, was exposed as an abusive boss as well as an overall crazy person. ... The bare truth of the matter is that various forms of fraud and cons are the rule for the vast majority of large corporations. ... For instance, the spurious idea that 1.5 trillion in tax cuts will help grow our economy through job creation, or new business ventures, is a fraud on its face, but represents an exquisite example of capitalist propaganda. ... John Maynard Keynes pointed out: “Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men for the nastiest of motives will somehow work for the benefit of all.”... Visit Website ]
Jan 22, 2020, 2:44pm

Commentary
Corporations Would Literally Kill You to Turn a Profit
Nicole M. Aschof: Coca-Cola killed trade unionists in Latin America. General Motors built vehicles known to catch fire. Tobacco companies suppressed cancer research. And Boeing knew that its planes were dangerous. Corporations don't care if they kill people — as long as it's profitable. ... Every day we’re implicitly and explicitly asked to keep quiet in the face of accounting malfeasance, health and safety violations, harassment and abuse of coworkers, and wage theft. The effects are corrosive, destroying trust and solidarity, and strengthening the power that corporations have to pursue profits with impunity. ... Instead of allowing capital to shape society according to its values, we should create institutions that force companies to operate according to our values... Visit Website ]
Jan 21, 2020, 2:06pm

Commentary
MLK and the Ghost of an Untrue Dream
Ipek S. Burnett: It is a hard thing to live haunted by the ghost of an untrue dream. - W.E.B. Du Bois ... King soon realized, the Civil Rights Act mattered little unless economic conditions in America changed. He agonized that he had integrated blacks into the wrong value structure. ... King’s dream of economic justice and equality required America’s power structures to change. It required America to take a critical look at the unbridled capitalist system that gave way to perpetual injustice. ... It required a radical and deep reconstruction of both politics and society, where the tangled roots of racism, poverty, militarism, and materialism would be exposed and eliminated. ... Black capitalism was not the answer to King’s dream of social and economic equality and justice.... Visit Website ]
Jan 20, 2020, 2:22pm

Commentary
Why Advocates for the Homeless Are Forced to Repeat Themselves Again and Again
Pat LaMarche : (Because) ... there’s an enormous disconnect between people who understand the root causes of homelessness and the powers-that-be in the U.S. federal government. ... “the environment for homelessness is poverty” and when poverty is out of control, homelessness is unavoidable. ... “Community residences… day care programs… after school programs. It isn’t housing we need—it’s housing stability,” ... “It’s an education issue, an employment issue. Build new housing, [fund] education, put the services into the poor communities. Build community centers with residential programs and allocate all the resources necessary” for success... Visit Website ]
Jan 18, 2020, 12:33pm

Commentary
Education: Expanding Purpose
Graham Peebles : As the world stumbles from one crisis to another it is increasingly apparent that existing systems and institutions are incapable of responding to the challenges of the time and the growing demands of the people. ... At the heart of the required changes – which need to be both gradual and radical – must be education. .... It is time this system of conditioning, indoctrination and manipulation was abandoned in favour of a new, creative approach that expands the individual’s awareness and cultivates a sense of oneness. ... Krishnamurti states in Education and The Significance of Life, ... “education is not merely acquiring knowledge, gathering and correlating facts; it is to see the significance of life as a whole.”... Visit Website ]
Jan 17, 2020, 4:21pm

Commentary
Combat Veterans Tell Us What We Need to Know About War
Nancy Hill: War is the greatest evil in the world. It contains all other evils within it. The fact it is left to our youth is obscene. ... You become part of a killing machine and are complicit in the killing of innocent civilians, the destruction of cities, the devastation of the environment even if you never pull a trigger or drop a bomb. ... People think that if you never engaged in combat that you didn’t suffer, but if you lived with or worked with buddies, friends, or comrades, or loved ones, you will feel a lot of pain even though you were never engaged in a combat zone. War affects everybody.... War breaks us. It detaches us from our core humanity. ... War is not the answer to peace or happiness... War is man-made hell, regardless of the intention... Visit Website ]
Jan 10, 2020, 3:07pm

Commentary
The Fed Protects Gamblers at the Expense of the Economy
Ellen Brown: Although the repo market is little known to most people, it is a $1-trillion-a-day credit machine, in which not just banks but hedge funds and other “shadow banks” borrow to finance their trades. ... but the Fed is now pouring billions of dollars into the repo (repurchase agreements) market, in effect making risk-free loans to speculators at less than 2%. ... we actually have two economies – the “real” (productive) economy and the “financialized” (profits accrue primarily through financial channels) economy. ... central bank policies intended to boost the real economy have had the effect only of boosting the financial economy ... The result is less productivity and less spending in the real economy... Visit Website ]
Jan 9, 2020, 3:04pm

Commentary
A Note on Carlos Ghosn and Global Capitalism
Charles Andrews: Ghosn rose up the managerial ladder at vehicle maker Renault in France by showing his mettle as a ruthless exploiter of labor. His nickname, Le Cost Killer, was well earned. ... he was arrested and charged with plundering Nissan of undeclared money, putting luxury mansions in Japan, France, and Brazil on the corporate tab, and hiding a murky deal with Saudi businessmen ... the Ghosn-Nissan-Renault affair is a clash among thieves over the profits sweated from hundreds of thousands of workers. ... The escape drama underlines that the globalization of corporations, production, and supply chains does not create a unified capitalist class. Just the opposite, the battle of capitalist interests becomes global, too... Visit Website ]
Jan 8, 2020, 3:54pm

Commentary
Some War Truth In A Single Photograph
Bill Willers: For anyone brought up with the carefully-crafted narratives that constitute “popular” history, a dive into details of the World Wars can shake one’s faith in the validity of all generally accepted history. ... If the Spanish-American War, the two World Wars, Vietnam and both invasions of Iraq have anything in common, it is that all six involved official lies used to bring We The People on board: Remember the Maine, the Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, the Gulf of Tonkin, Kuwaiti babies, Weapons of Mass Destruction. Lies. ... The two youths in the photo — not many years beyond childhood — could be any soldiers from any period of time, of any ethnicity, in any war. Like healthy people everywhere, they would have greatly preferred to be friends, and it shows... Visit Website ]
Jan 6, 2020, 12:41pm

Commentary
The USA’s Slavish Saudi Allegiance Against Iran
Craig Murray: For the United States to abandon proxy warfare and directly kill one of Iran’s most senior political figures has changed international politics in a fundamental way. It is a massive error. Its ramifications are profound and complex. ... While for ordinary people in all those countries there is only the certainty of more conflict, death and economic loss, for the political elite, the arms manufacturers, the military and security services and allied interests, the hedge funds, speculators and oil companies, there are the sweet smells of cash and power. .... Tehran will be pleased because the USA has just definitively lost Iraq. Iraq has a Shia majority and so naturally tends to ally with Iran... Visit Website ]
Jan 5, 2020, 11:43am

Commentary
Wars, Secrecy, and Lies
W.J. Astore: Wars, secrecy, and lies are three big enemies of democracy. Maybe the big three. War suppresses thought and supports authoritarianism. Secrecy prevents accountability. Lies mislead the people. And that’s what we have today. Constant warfare. Secrecy, e.g. reports on “progress” in the Afghan War are now classified and no longer shared. Lies are rampant; indeed, lies are policy. Just look at the Afghan Papers. ... Yet wars, secrecy, and lies have been incredibly successful. The Pentagon budget is booming! Weapons sales are exploding! No one is being held accountable for failures or war crimes... Visit Website ]
Jan 1, 2020, 3:37pm

Commentary
Onward, Christian Fascists
Chris Hedges: The greatest moral failing of the liberal Christian church was its refusal, justified in the name of tolerance and dialogue, to denounce the followers of the Christian right as heretics. By tolerating the intolerant it ceded religious legitimacy to an array of con artists, charlatans and demagogues and their cultish supporters. ... It stood by as the core Gospel message—concern for the poor and the oppressed—was perverted into a magical world where God and Jesus showered believers with material wealth and power. ... The white race, especially in the United States, became God’s chosen agent. Imperialism and war became divine instruments for purging the world of infidels and barbarians, evil itself. ... Capitalism, because God blessed the righteous with wealth and power and condemned the immoral to poverty and suffering... Visit Website ]
Dec 30, 2019, 12:41pm

Commentary
The Report Is "Don't Miss" Television
John Kiriakou: The Report, written and directed by Scott Z. Burns, on Senate Intelligence Committee investigator Daniel Jones and his investigation of the CIA’s torture program ... is a tale of cowardice ... Certainly Dan Jones is a hero, both in the film and in real life. The guy singlehandedly took on the CIA ... The cowardice, though, is on display everywhere else, from the CIA to the White House to the Justice Department to Capitol Hill. ... It extended deep into the Obama White House ... The cowardice is on display on Capitol Hill, where nearly every Republican senator on the Intelligence Committee voted against even investigating the torture program... Visit Website ]
Dec 30, 2019, 12:02pm

Commentary
The Pentagon Budget Still Rising, 40 Years Later
William D. Hartung: The 1991 Gulf War set the stage for nearly four decades of never-ending war (and operations just short of it) by U.S. forces across the greater Middle East and parts of Africa. That short-term victory against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, in fact, prompted a resurgence of imperial hubris that would have disastrous consequences for the greater Middle East and global security more broadly. ... Why has it been so hard to reduce the Pentagon budget, regardless of the global security environment? --- The power of the arms lobby, strengthened by the merger boom of the 1990s ... political fear of losing elections ... And the military itself has blindly adhered to a strategy of global dominance that’s essentially been on autopilot... Visit Website ]
Dec 28, 2019, 11:22am


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1969-70 FOL
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