eilen's Journal - Archives
A new economy is one that not only adheres to a sustainable model, but one that also supports communities, environment and the people that work in it. Currently corporations are beholden to Wall Street to continuously grow, show increasing profits or their stock is downgraded. To achieve this, they grow to achieve near monopolies, purchasing government favors such as legislation that favors their industry, their company, and tax benefits their competitors do not enjoy; they move jobs to more and more unregulated areas where they can get labor cheap and pollute at will. Their charter is to produce profits for their stockholders and yet, are considered people under the law, as if people could be such 2 dimensional greedheads without conscience. How do we change this?
There is an alternative:
"In certain states, companies that want to brandish their new-economy values can now also register as B Corporations. B Corp registration (the “B” stands for “benefit”) allows a company to subordinate profits to social and environmental goals. Without this legal authorization, a CEO could in theory be sued by stockholders if profit-making is not his sole objective. Such status ensures that specific goals are met by different companies (manufacturers have different requirements from retail stores). It also helps with social marketing and branding. Thus, King Arthur Flour, a highly successful Vermont-based, 100 percent employee-owned ESOP, can be explicit, stating that “making money in itself is not our highest priority.” Four states—Maryland, Vermont, New Jersey and Virginia—have passed legislation that permits B Corp chartering, with many others likely to follow."
This is but one idea of many that's time has come. Please follow and get more information on the New Economy Movement. While I don't care for corporate rule, I also don't wish to have monolithic government rule either.
There are some pointing fingers at the protesters at OWS stating they have no articulated goals. That is false, They do not know how to articulate the goals in meaningful way after decades of crony patriotic/ capitalistic brainwashing. It is clear that the demands are that these current economic conditions cannot be allowed to continue. There is however, a lack of proposed solutions. I tender the New Economy movement. It is not capitalism, it is not socialism. It is local enough for political affiliations not to matter.
"Are you drowning in debt that never goes away? Are you facing the real possibility of eviction and homelessness? Are you worried that the social programs you depend on will get cut in the name of austerity? Let the 1 percent know by taking part in the 99 Percent Project. Make a sign. Write your circumstance at the top, no longer than a single sentence. Examples:
“I am a student with $25,000 in debt.”
“I need surgery and I’m more worried about the expense than my health.”
“I’m a homeowner who’s about to face foreclosure.”
Below that, write “I am the 99 percent.”
Below that, write “occupywallst.org”
Then, take a picture of yourself holding the sign and submit it to us. The 99 percent have been set against each other, fighting over the crumbs the 1 percent leaves behind. But we’re all struggling. We’re all fighting. It’s time we recognize our common struggles, our common cause. Be part of the 99 percent and let the 1 percent know you’re out there."
Over 18 pages of people.
I think people have lost hope. I don't blame them. I wish everyone else would stop. These people have felt little of what are touted as "accomplishments" on The List. Tweedle Dum or Tweedle Dee is not a choice. We want a better life and the current system does not work for the 99%, only the 1%.
First, the December 2010 tax cut deal is where Obama started really parroting the Right's Doomsday Deficit fairy tale trope. Soon after, more and more cuts were made by states to decrease the time that the unemployed could receive unemployment benefits. Because of austerity measures more aid to the poor was cut (heating assistance and medical care for example). Since then there have been more cuts made to states. If we had not kept the tax cuts, we would have had more revenue to fund programs for the ranks of "the poor" which eventually many of the unemployed and by then many of the unemployed (99ers) had joined. Because without a solid jobs, education and training program, we are just continuing to bleed jobs and to have excess worker capacity and the problem just gets worse and worse.
Second, a jobs/unemployment extension/fund/education legislation plan should have been out there front and center as part of the campaign --probably introduced last Spring but likely to have been held up by Repubs. However, the democrats were given their marching orders that History was to be Made on Obama's signature Healthcare Legislation and that monopolized much of their business after they passed a very lackluster stimulus which was already noted to be inadequate by May of 2010.
I received this in my email box this morning from my local permaculture group. If you are anywhere close to central NY, I hope you can come. While it seems like we have little effect on the ground when it comes to national politics with our electoral system and legislative system in general, I think that targeted grassroots action on issues are effective. Here is the posting:
This Sunday, August 14th, come out to ArtRage for a forum on “Creating Democracy and Challenging Corporate Rule” with guest speaker David Cobb of the Move to Amend campaign hosted by the Onondaga County Green Party. Part history lesson and part heart-felt call to action, the event will be at the ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Avenue, Syracuse, NY from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, this Sunday.
The recent U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC opened the floodgates tounlimited corporate spending on elections. Cobb, an attorney and organizer for the Move to Amend coalition, will help explain the history behind the recent decision and how we can work to abolish "Corporate Personhood" and reestablish a government of, by, and for the people.
“Corporate Personhood” commonly refers to court-created precedent that gives corporations constitutional rights intended solely for human beings. “Corporate personhood is not an inconsequential legal technicality. The Supreme Court ruled that a
corporation was a ‘legal person’ with 14th Amendment protections before they granted full personhood to African-Americans, immigrants, natives, or women”, states David Cobb, a spokesperson for Move to Amend and an attorney helping to
lead the coalition.
“We are inspired by historic social movements that recognized the necessity of altering fundamental power relationships,” said Cobb. “America has progressed through ordinary people joining together—from the Revolutionaries to Abolitionists, Suffragists, Trade Unionists, and Civil Rights activists through to today. Move to Amend is a long-term effort to make the U.S. Constitution more democratic.”
The forum will focus on how central New York can join the national movement against Corporate Personhood. Cobb will provide information about the issue and facilitate a discussion about local action in central New York and in communities across the United States to win the amendment campaign through grassroots mobilization.
“We are a diverse coalition with deep roots in communities nationwide. We recognize that amending the Constitution to restore the power of the people over corporations will not be easy, but we know correcting the Supreme Court is imperative to the progress of our nation,” stated Cobb.
Over twenty thousand people have signed an online petition supporting a constitutional amendment at www.MoveToAmend.org .
The local forum will take place on August 14 at 6:30pm at the Art Rage Gallery. There is no admission fee however, donations will be cheerfully accepted. For more information call446-5024.
Can Ron Paul actually get elected with a third rail stomping incumbant and a crazy Bachman on the ticket?
I think the WH needs to seriously consider that they will be killing the Democratic Party for at least 8-16 years if they mess with SS and Medicare while lowering taxes for the rich and not touching defense.
Last week, I caught some of the grilling of Elizabeth Warren by GOP Congressmen during the House Oversight Reform Hearing. At one point, a Republican Congressmen asked Warren if she was “running a campaign” to convince people of the validity of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau she is in the midst of setting up. The two of them went back and forth, because she didn’t really understand the question. He was trying to peg her as overtly political, using government resources to travel the country and do advocacy. Suddenly, she got the nature of the question, and turned to him and said, pointedly, “I always try to convince people that I’m right.”
There was some laughter in the room, but she wasn’t kidding. Warren believes that consumer protection is necessary for a just society, and spends a great deal of time trying to persuade the public of the necessity and legitimacy of government. Imagine that – a public servant who thinks that communicating with and persuading the public of the merits of their ideas.
I’ve seen Warren in crowds before; they love her, they feel like finally, here’s a person who is stronger and smarter and better than the bankers. They crowd around her, tell her their stories, of bankruptcy, of joblessness, of sick kid or parent, as if to say “finally someone is listening”, someone who understands. It’s who she is. It’s real leadership. And it’s why she’s been able to coherently assemble a bureaucracy that has already won accolades for its attempts to simplify lending regulations, and why the Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel served as a remarkable oasis of intellectual honesty in Washington during the bailouts.
The news that Elizabeth Warren won’t be leading the CFPB isn’t good news, but it isn’t surprising. It’s more of a clarification, in fact, that Obama has illiberal beliefs. And where Warren goes from here is a good guessing game. Many Democrats are trying to distract from Obama’s choice by pretending that a risky Senate run in Massachusetts for a freshman seat in a broken institution is a step up for Warren. It may be. I suspect it could be tough for her to run for the Senate in a party in which the party leader has already shown he simply cuts against your core beliefs; inherently a Senate Democratic candidate will have to defend the administration’s record of the last few years. Regardless, I hope she continues to project her views widely in the broadest platform possible.
No one grasps this tragic descent better than West, who did 65 campaign events for Obama, believed in the potential for change and was encouraged by the populist rhetoric of the Obama campaign. He now nurses, like many others who placed their faith in Obama, the anguish of the deceived, manipulated and betrayed. He bitterly describes Obama as “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats. And now he has become head of the American killing machine and is proud of it.”
“When you look at a society you look at it through the lens of the least of these, the weak and the vulnerable; you are committed to loving them first, not exclusively, but first, and therefore giving them priority,” says West, the Class of 1943 University Professor of African American Studies and Religion at Princeton University. “And even at this moment, when the empire is in deep decline, the culture is in deep decay, the political system is broken, where nearly everyone is up for sale, you say all I have is the subversive memory of those who came before, personal integrity, trying to live a decent life, and a willingness to live and die for the love of folk who are catching hell. This means civil disobedience, going to jail, supporting progressive forums of social unrest if they in fact awaken the conscience, whatever conscience is left, of the nation. And that’s where I find myself now.”
“I have to take some responsibility,” he admits of his support for Obama as we sit in his book-lined office. “I could have been reading into it more than was there.”
“I was thinking maybe he has at least some progressive populist instincts that could become more manifest after the cautious policies of being a senator and working with
For your morning chuckle:
A clear sign that perhaps you've gone off the deep end? When even the Ku Klux Klan tries to distance itself from your actions.
Klan leadership says:
"There are without doubt Islamic sects that teach extreme views of Islam but, going down to their level of hatred by burning their books is a dangerous and ignorant way to confront their teachings. The flames made by such unholy fires never die out! The Ku Klux Klan, LLC. opposes this most un-American thinking and activity."
"The Tea Party does not represent any but a shallow limited political agenda, which fails to serve our Nations interests. They are an extension of the Republican Party and seek to compromise it. We do NOT support any political party, all have betrayed the trust of the American people, and they have compromised their agenda to support the Progressive Socialist enslavement of the American people."
"Near shut-down of U.S. Gov't, cutting off jobs, pensions, ++, & recklessly endangering economy & social stability - Handmaid'sT looms closer"
By Dave Pollard
03 April, 2011
For an alternative, natural economy to work, we either have to wait for this amoral-capitalist economy to collapse (which it will, but probably not for a few decades), or we have to plant the seeds for this alternative economy in the cracks where the current one is already failing most badly — at the community level where the economy is most obviously failing to produce meaningful work, sucking resources, wealth and opportunity out, and dumping mass-produced and imported crap that ends up in the landfill, and pollutants in our air, water, soil and food that make us sick and contribute to climate change. But before we can plant these seeds we need to unlearn the nonsense we’re taught and told about economics, and learn how a healthy economy actually works.
As co-operatives of many different types have found, the hard part in doing all this is the re-learning of what collaborative enterprise is all about. It takes a lot of practice, but it’s a natural human endeavour. There are excellent facilitators who can help with enterprise formation, the basics of peer production, invitation (of people in the community to identify and explore unmet needs), consensus, and conflict resolution. Most lawyers, accountants, bankers and traditional consultants should be used as little as possible, since they tend to perpetrate the traditional economy myths and lack the information and experience to know what’s needed in cooperative, natural enterprises. In time a new school of professionals practiced in the natural economy will emerge — I’ve heard that Credit Unions in Germany, for example, now offer “turnkey” financing packages for local wind and solar energy co-ops, complete with training.
As we relearn how to make a living for ourselves, we will be able to help each other out, and establish networks and alliances to share skills, knowledge and resources. I can imagine the growth of a Gift Economy (or what I call a Generosity Economy) blossoming in the abundance of appreciation, know-how, saved time and strengthened relationships that a cooperative natural economy engenders. With time, a community might be able to wean itself off dependence on the amoral-capitalist economy entirely, so that when that economy collapses it will already have made the transition to a steady-state natural economy, and be in a position to help other, unprepared communities with the terrible struggles they will then face.
It’s entirely possible, if we have the will to do it. I see it starting to happen already in some progressive communities that have Transition Initiatives underway. But I have a sense that it will take a few more economic, energy and ecological seismic shocks before many will wake up to the need to find a better way to live and make a living. I’m not sure it won’t be too late by then, but, if we’re in time, we’ll have some models and communities to show us the way.
"I must confess to being surprised at the report by Shahien Nasiripour of Huffington Post, namely that the Administration is pushing for an even more aggressive-looking mortgage modification program than has been rumored. The reason I’m surprised is that this effort, even though it appears misguided on several fronts and falls far short of what is needed, represents an upping of the demands being made against banks. That is contrary to both the Obama Administration’s past behavior of making great sounding promises and walk them so far back as to wind up in a different country, and of inconveniencing the banks terribly much. But Shahien is an able reporter, so I’m sure he has the facts right.
The scorecard thus far appeared to be that the state attorneys general were the only group moving forward against the foreclosure fraud, but the bold promises of criminal prosecutions were quickly recanted. Instead, a 27 page outline of their settlement demands was leaked. As we discussed, it was a disappointment. Virtually all of it merely insisted that banks obey existing law. It has only two new requirements. One was ending dual track (if a bank is entering into a modification discussion or program with a borrower, it cannot keep moving forward in parallel with a foreclosure). The other was “single point of contact,” meaning having one person at the bank serve as case manager and be the interface with the borrower. We deemed that to be operationally unworkable even if the banks had their records and systems working well. And if they got those in order, borrowers would not need a designated person to make sure a modification request was handled properly.
There was also a rumor, which was connected to the AG negotiations, that the banks would be asked to make mortgage modifications at their own expense, and the number $20 billion was bandied about. The AGs and the Federal regulators seemed to be collaborating closely, which we also objected to; the state and Federal issues are very different. The idea that the banks would be pressured to make mods has gotten a huge amount of pushback in the media and from Republican legislators; there appears to be a full bore PR salvo underway.
Now notice all these ideas are being evaluated in a vacuum. We don’t know what liability the banks would be released from (the legal term is what form of release they would receive). Nor do we or the regulators have an even remotely adequate understanding of all the bad stuff the banks did. The media and anti-foreclosure attorneys have reported on various abuses, most importantly, servicer driven foreclosures, in which the borrower has either made all his payments, or perhaps been late on one or two, and impermissible application of payment, fee pyramiding and junk fees quickly drive a minor arrearage that most borrowers could correct into a foreclosure."
Read the whole thing, it is very interesting in regards to the role the WH feels it has regarding the banks and use of the rule of law to keep them in line. It also outlines the utter incapability of actual effectiveness that such often proudly trumpeted programs have that are initiated by the policy-makers therein. It's a defining characteristic of too little too late. And, gee-- you mind not bringing up such unpleasantness? It's breaking my concentration on looking forward and winning the future and stuff.
Here's the link;
NY GOP strategist gives his take on Tea Party 'screaming match' in Oneonta
Will you ever be allowed back in the Neptune Diner in Oneonta?
I’ve been to the Neptune Diner several times. During the Paladino effort, we would stop there intentionally because of the fine quality of the food. I would be upset if they would not let me back in. But it wasn’t me that was thrown out. It was the Tea Party, because they stiffed the waiters.
Yes, they stiffed the waiters. They left a less-than-10 percent tip and the manager went over and said, ‘We would appreciate it if you don’t come back.’ I saw the waitresses. They were visibly upset, because they had been working like crazy, and the Tea Party folks stiffed them.
..."For every 50 to 100 Tea Party folks who are there for Constitutional principles, one is there simply because we elected a black President. There are wonderful, incredible people in the movement. But when we were at a Tea Party event in Broome County, a leader of that local Tea Party got close in the bar and, to me, quietly made a threat to the President.
Read the whole thing. It was entertaining but not long enough to settle with some popcorn.
Bwahh ha ha ha ha!!!!
Syracuse Solidarity with Wisconsin Workers!
Thursday, March 3, 5-6pm Syracuse China, 2801 Court Street Syracuse, NY
From Wisconsin to New York, it's open season on working and poor people. Collective bargaining rights, pensions, education, health care and basic social services are being attacked by the right. What is happening in Madison right now is a battleground for what is proving to be a nationwide trend. Big business and the media are trying to blame union workers for this economic crisis, in an effort to pit public workers against private workers, and students and parents against teachers. Join us in Syracuse as we stand in unity with all working and poor people and follow the lead of the workers in Wisconsin. The Peace Council is just one of the many local organizations whose members are organizing this rally.
Come help make signs Wednesday night, March 2nd at the Center for Peace and Social Justice, 2013 E. Genesee St. @ 8pm.
There will be a follow-up organizing meeting on Saturday, March 5, 3pm at Plymouth Church. Contact email@example.com for more information.
(Although I have to admit I had a momentary conflict on whether to show support at the Rally at Syracuse China or go across town and protest Michelle Malkin the RW Troll who is speaking at the Maxwell school.-- fighting for people won out, Karma will get Malkin)
Other Dates and Events of Note:
Winter Peace Outreach
Tuesday, March 1st, 4:15-5pm, Hancock Airbase, East Molloy Rd.
Contact Ed or An, 478-4571
SPC Radical Reading Group
Tuesday, March 1st, 7pm, 300 Berkeley Dr.
Contact Ursula, 472-5478.
SPC Table at Henninger High School
Thursday, March 3rd, 10:45-12:35
Contact Andy, 472-5478.
Women of the Shale: Many Routes to Activism (Free and Open to the Public)
Thursday, March 3, 4:30pm, SUNY Cortland Old Main G10
Jeanne Shenandoah, Onondaga Nation; Lindsay Speer, Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation, ShaleshockCNY; Lisa Wright, Shaleshock
Sponsored by the SUNY Cortland Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies, Native American Studies Committee
CLAC/CNY SOA Abolitionists Meeting
Sunday March 6th, 4-6pm, Syracuse Center, 2013 E. Genessee St. Ann
SPC Table at Corcoran High School
Tuesday, March 8th, 10:45-12:35
Contact Jess, 472-5478.
SPC Table at Nottingham High School
Wednesday, March 9th, 10:45-12:35
Contact Jess, 472-5478.
SPC Activist Orientation!
Wednesday March 9th, 7pm SPC Office, Center for Peace and Social Justice
Learn about the Peace Council's work, how we fit into Syracuse's progressive tradition and how you can be part of the movement for social change. If you're outraged by US policies at home and around the globe, if you've been reading the PNL, if you're ready to lend your voice to the movement for peace and social justice, this night's for you! We'll also be screening the film Educate. Agitate. Organize. Contact Ursula, 472-5478.
EVERY SATURDAY: Democracy Now!
Time Warner Cable Channel 98, 9-11am
-OTHER COMMUNITY EVENTS FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE-
New York Gas Development Update & Leasing Considerations (Free and Open to the Public)
Monday, February 28, Grange Auditorium, NYS Grange Headquarters, Cortland
Brett Chedzoy, Cornell Cooperative Extension: Update on the current status of gas development in NY and leasing recommendationsJoe Heath, GDACC: Terminating an Expired Lease
Sponsored by the Cortland County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD)
What Teachers Should Know About Hydrofracking (Free and Open to the Public)
Wednesday, March 2, 7pm, SUNY Cortland, Sperry 205
Chris and Bob Applegate, GDACC (Gas Drilling Awareness for Cortland County)
Sponsored by the SUNY Cortland Education Club and the Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies
Women of the Shale: Teaching and Activism (Free and Open to the Public)
Thursday, March 9, 2011, SUNY Cortland, Sperry 205
Chris Applegate, Sheila Cohen, MJ Uttech, Mary Menapace, GDACC
Sponsored by the SUNY Cortland Education Club, Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies, and GDACC
Eric Schlosser on Investigative Journalism
Tuesday, March 1st, 4 pm. Hendricks Chapel, Syracuse University
Partnership for Onondaga Creek Meeting
Tuesday, March 1st, 6 pm. Brady Faith Center, 404 South Ave.
Call to confirm with Angie, 478-4571
Film, Mumia: A Case for Reasonable Doubt
Tuesday, March 1st, 7 pm. Room 100, Law School Building, Syracuse University
Reel Queer Film Fest
Wednesday, March 2nd, 7:30 pm. 207 Hall of Language, Syracuse University
Protest Michelle Malkin at SU
Thursday March 3rd, 5:30 Schine Student Center
This protest is a response to Michelle Malkin's planned speech at the Maxwell Auditorium on Thursday. She has written a book advocating the Japanese Internment during World War II and espouses many radical and racists ideas about the role of race in law and national security.
Dar Williams in Concert
Friday, March 4th, 8 pm. May Memorial UU Society, 3800 E. Genesee St.
Tickets $25. Visit the Folkus Project on the web at folkus.org
100 Years of Women Rockin' the World:
A Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day
Saturday, March 5th, 7-9 pm, Opening reception. Artrage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave.
Exhibit through April 23rd. Visit artragegallery.org or call 218-5711.
Every Monday: GED Classes
SATURDAYS, 9am-12 pm. Westcott Community Center
RSVP to Paul Harvey, 247-4420
EVERY SATURDAY: SHARING THE EARTH
SATURDAYS, 10-11 pm. Time Warner Cable Channel 98
SHARING THE EARTH sponsored by People for Animal Rights (PAR), Time Warner public access Chan. 98, 10 p.m. - 11 p.m. New program not aired before by PAR is "Homestretch" about prisoners and horses in need of rehabilitation helping each other. Also a short - "Cruelty by Design" about the fur trade.
Sat. Jan. 29 and Feb. 5, 12 and 19. More info: LDESTEFANO3@twcny.rr.com
"....It's impossible to wind back the clock and see what would have happened if things had been different, but we can take a pretty good guess. Organized labor, for all its faults, acted as an effective countervailing power for decades, representing not just its own interests, but the interests of virtually the entire wage-earning class against the investor class. As veteran Washington Post reporter David Broder wrote a few years ago, labor in the postwar era "did not confine itself to bread-and-butter issues for its own members. It was at the forefront of battles for aid to education, civil rights, housing programs and a host of other social causes important to the whole community. And because it was muscular, it was heard and heeded." If unions had been as strong in the '80s and '90s as they were in the '50s and '60s, it's almost inconceivable that they would have sat by and accepted tax cuts and financial deregulation on the scale that we got. They would have demanded economic policies friendlier to middle-class interests, they would have pressed for the appointment of regulators less captured by the financial industry, and they would have had the muscle to get both.
And that means things would have been different during the first two years of the Obama era, too. Aside from the question of whether the crisis would have been so acute in the first place, a labor-oriented Democratic Party almost certainly would have demanded a bigger stimulus in 2009. It would have fought hard for "cramdown" legislation to help distressed homeowners, instead of caving in to the banks that wanted it killed. It would have resisted the reappointment of Ben Bernanke as Fed chairman. These and other choices would have helped the economic recovery and produced a surge of electoral energy far beyond Obama's first few months. And since elections are won and lost on economic performance, voter turnout, and legislative accomplishments, Democrats probably would have lost something like 10 or 20 seats last November, not 63. Instead of petering out after 18 months, the Obama era might still have several years to run."
Read the whole thing.
After reading it, please share your thoughts. How do you think we should address the lack of representation and responsiveness to the needs of the people? Is it truly realistic to expect results working within current frameworks? Do you agree with the author that labor unions are Over as a powerful political counterweight-- or do you think they can be revived-- if so how to revive them? Should people just start organizing Labor Councils in their localities not based on formal union membership?
I am hoping for some true discussion here.
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