Little Red Schoolhouse:
Rouge Forum Poster and Flyer for National Strike and Day of Action 10/7
Reports from the NEA and AFT Summer Assemblies are in Substance News:
The Faces of popular US Fascist Unionism and the Resistance are above.
Perpetual War Front:
Highest Rate of Army Suicides in June: Thirty-two soldiers took their own lives last month, the most Army suicides in a single month since the Vietnam era. Eleven of the soldiers were not on active duty. Of the 21 who were, seven were serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, the Department of Defense said. http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20100716/us_yblog_upshot/record-number-of-u-s-soldiers-commited-suicide-last-month
Hillbillary off to Gush Over Gangster Karzai and Win War: “But Holbrooke acknowledges concerns that the war and the reconstruction effort are not proceeding as hoped or planned.”
China and Afghanistan: When Chinese officials consider their international economic interests, Afghanistan and Central Asia (sometimes referred to as “Greater Central Asia”) naturally come to mind. These countries possess an abundant supply of untapped natural resources, and they offer potential export markets as well as investment opportunities for the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Moreover, these territories can provide the conduit through which the PRC imports and exports goods from and to other economically important regions of the world. Increasing the volume and types of goods available from/to China requires improving the region’s means of transportation, with railroads representing an important element along with surface roads, energy pipelines, and shipping by sea and air.
NYTImes’ Burns’ Attacks Rolling Stone Article on McChrystal, Promises Fealty to Militarists:
Burns and other Hastings critics talk up the need to build trust between journalists and military officials–a questionable goal in itself, but all the more so when the resulting “trust” really just means journalists will continue to believe military officials who have repeatedly misled them.
There Goes the Economy Front:
The Dodd-Frank Dodge: The Dodd-Frank bill does nothing to deal with Wall Street’s central problem: systemic non-disclosure.So long Glass-Steagall. Hello Dodd-Frank–the most comprehensive rewrite of financial rules since 1933. This 2,319-page colossus–10 times the length of Glass-Steagall–took 1.5 years to produce and will cost $30 billion and many more years to implement. Will all this time and treasure make Wall Street safe for Main Street?
Government Sachs’ Wrist Slapped as Billions Pour In: Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $550 million to settle federal claims that it misled investors in a subprime mortgage product as the housing market began to collapse, officials said Thursday. If approved by a federal judge in Manhattan, the settlement would rank among the largest in the 76-year history of the Securities and Exchange Commission, but it would represent only a small financial dent for Goldman, which reported $13.39 billion in profit last year.News of the settlement sent Goldman’s shares 5 percent higher in after-hours trading, adding far more to the firm’s market value than the amount it will have to pay in the settlement.
Trade Gap Yawns: The United States trade deficit grew in May to more than $42 billion, its widest gap in nearly two years, mostly because of a rise in imports of consumer goods, according to government figures. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/14/business/economy/14econ.html?ref=todayspaper
One Size Fits All Tarp Hurts Little Banksters: The report argues that TARP called for a “one-size-fits-all” formula for all bank bailouts. That was a bad fit for small banks, which lack the same access to capital markets and the implicit guarantee that the government won’t let them fail. Small banks are also disproportionately exposed to commercial real estate losses.
Shocker–Capitalism Made Rich Richer, Poor Poorer: Prof Rajan notes that “of every dollar of real income growth that was generated between 1976 and 2007, 58 cents went to the top 1 per cent of households”.
Jamie Dimon’s JpMorgan Does a WooHoo and Thanks, Patriots! “The bank reported net income of $4.8 billion in the quarter.After powering ahead for the last year on the strength of its Wall Street trading operations, JPMorgan said its net income rose 76 percent, to $4.8 billion, from $2.7 billion in the period a year earlier. Earnings rose to $1.09 a share, from 28 cents.”
Jamie Dimon’s Famous Patriotic Quote: “I would do anything for this country, but not if it would jeopardize JP Morgan” (Sorkin, Too Big To Fail, p478).
Dean Baker on Bogus Finance Reform Bill: On the negative side, there is little in this legislation that will fundamentally change the way that Wall Street does business. The rules on derivative trading will still allow the bulk of derivatives to be traded directly out of banks rather than separately capitalized divisions of the holding company. The Volcker rule was substantially weakened by a provision that will still allow banks to risk substantial sums in proprietary trading. “More importantly, there is probably no economist who believes that this bill will end the risks of too-big-to-fail financial institutions. The six largest banks will still enjoy the enormous implicit subsidy that results from the expectation that the federal government will bail them out in the event of a crisis.”Also, the fact that no regulators, most obviously Ben Bernanke at the Fed, were fired for failing to prevent the crisis leaves in place serious doubts about the structure of incentives for regulators. Cracking down on reckless behavior by politically powerful financial institutions will always be difficult for regulators. On the other hand, if regulators know that failing to crack down carries no consequences, even when it leads to disastrous outcomes, we can expect that regulators will have a strong bias toward ignoring reckless behavior. http://www.cepr.net/index.php/press-releases/press-releases/statement-on-wall-street-reform-bill-july-2010
Companies Keep their Bucks/Won’t Hire: Nonfinancial companies are sitting on $1.8 trillion in cash, roughly one-quarter more than at the beginning of the recession. And as several major firms report impressive earnings this week, the money continues to flow into firms’ coffers. Yet all the good news from big business hasn’t translated into much promise for jobless Americans, leading many to wonder: If corporations are sitting on so much money, why aren’t they hiring more workers? http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/14/AR2010071405960.html?hpid=topnews
Bloomberg: Treasury Bills Hit Low as Economy Shrivels: “Treasury two-year note yields fell to a record low as reports showed that consumer confidence plunged to the lowest level in a year and retail sales declined, heightening concern the economic recovery is stalling. Yields on 10-year notes traded near a 14-month low this week after minutes of the Federal Reserve’s June meeting showed policy makers noted that risks to the recovery increased. Housing starts and sales of existing homes declined last month, reports next week are forecast to show….“The Fed is on record talking about deflation, which they haven’t in some time,” said Thomas Tucci, head of U.S. government bond trading in New York at primary dealer Royal Bank of Canada. “When the Fed starts to identify things by name, that means it is seriously on their minds.”
Where Low Wages Really Are: As everyone knows, China’s low wages make it an attractive place to setup factories for certain kinds of manufactured goods. Except so many factories have moved to China that the country’s not nearly as poor as it used to be. So the sweatshoppers of the world are moving to new horizons:
Emerging Fascism Front:
Reminder: Chalmers Johnson Reviews Wolin: To reduce a complex argument to its bare bones, since the Depression, the twin forces of managed democracy and Superpower have opened the way for something new under the sun: “inverted totalitarianism,” a form every bit as totalistic as the classical version but one based on internalized co-optation, the appearance of freedom, political disengagement rather than mass mobilization, and relying more on “private media” than on public agencies to disseminate propaganda that reinforces the official version of events. It is inverted because it does not require the use of coercion, police power and a messianic ideology as in the Nazi, Fascist and Stalinist versions (although note that the United States has the highest percentage of its citizens in prison—751 per 100,000 people—of any nation on Earth). According to Wolin, inverted totalitarianism has “emerged imperceptibly, unpremeditatedly, and in seeming unbroken continuity with the nation’s political traditions.” The genius of our inverted totalitarian system “lies in wielding total power without appearing to, without establishing concentration camps, or enforcing ideological uniformity, or forcibly suppressing dissident elements so long as they remain ineffectual. … A demotion in the status and stature of the ‘sovereign people’ to patient subjects is symptomatic of systemic change, from democracy as a method of ‘popularizing’ power to democracy as a brand name for a product marketable at home and marketable abroad. … The new system, inverted totalitarianism, is one that professes the opposite of what, in fact, it is. … The United States has become the showcase of how democracy can be managed without appearing to be suppressed.” http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/page2/20080515_chalmers_johnson_on_our_managed_democracy/
Story about Walt Riley and Susan Harman’s Bust:
Nazi Women and the Holocaust: …number of seemingly ordinary German women who willingly went out to the Nazi-occupied eastern territories as part of the war effort, to areas where genocide was openly occurring. “Thousands would be a conservative estimate,” Ms. Lower said in an interview in Jerusalem last week. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/18/world/europe/18holocaust.html?_r=1&hp
Nazis On Patrol in AZ: Minutemen groups, a surge in Border Patrol agents and a tough new immigration law are not enough for a reputed neo-Nazi who is now leading a militia in the Arizona desert. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/18/us/18militia.html?hp
Spy Versus Spy
ACLU Spies Everywhere! “Today the government is spying on Americans in ways the founders of our country never could have imagined. The FBI, federal intelligence agencies, the military, state and local police, private companies, and even firemen and emergency medical technicians are gathering incredible amounts of personal information about ordinary Americans that can be used to construct vast dossiers that can be widely shared with a simple mouse-click through new institutions like Joint Terrorism Task Forces, fusion centers, and public-private partnerships. The fear of terrorism has led to a new era of overzealous police intelligence activity directed, as in the past, against political activists, racial and religious minorities, and immigrants.This surveillance activity is not directed solely at suspected terrorists and criminals. It’s directed at all of us. Increasingly, the government is engaged in suspicionless surveillance that vacuums up and tracks sensitive information about innocent people. Even more disturbingly, as the government’s surveillance powers have grown more intrusive and more powerful, the restrictions on many of those powers have been weakened or eliminated. And this surveillance often takes place in secret, with little or no oversight by the courts, by legislatures, or by the public. ”
The Upside Down Iranian Defector Case: The United States and Iran have been locked in a covert “intelligence war” that has been raging for some time now. And, as in the Cold War, this war likely will involve the use of tactics ranging from assassinations and clandestine operations to propaganda, disinformation and the use of military proxies. Defectors and agents of influence also have been a feature of such wars in the past — which brings us back to the Asghari case.
The significance of Asghari’s disappearance stems entirely from his background. Not only did he serve as Iran’s deputy defense minister under former President Mohammed Khatami, but he also is a retired general who was a commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the 1980s and 1990s. “This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR” http://www.stratfor.com/asghari_case_defection_and_damage_control?fn=6216721243?utm_source=SWeekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=100715&utm_content=related2&elq=f0d6091ac3904f6a8b4deec1930c2541
Three Cups of Imperialism: The e-mail message was in response to a note of support from Mr. Mortenson. It reflected his broad and deepening relationship with the United States military, whose leaders have increasingly turned to Mr. Mortenson, once a shaggy mountaineer, to help translate the theory of counterinsurgency into tribal realities on the ground. (The Brits often used “the plight of women” to bolster empire in India).
Solidarity Forever Front:
NEA hacks sing Solidarity Forever, befouling a proud song. Reg Weaver, on the left, was busy eating a lot and taking home $686,949. Lily Eskelsen and Dennis Van Roekel will make a combined $700,000 plus this year. For that, they will tell students, education workers and community people to vote their way out of the Master/Slave relationship that is at the heart of exploitation.
The Lyrics that the NEA Piecards Could Not Sing:
- When the union’s inspiration through the workers’ blood shall run,
- There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun;
- Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one,
- But the union makes us strong.
- Solidarity forever,
- Solidarity forever,
- Solidarity forever,
- For the union makes us strong.
- Is there aught we hold in common with the greedy parasite,
- Who would lash us into serfdom and would crush us with his might?
- Is there anything left to us but to organize and fight?
- For the union makes us strong.
- It is we who plowed the prairies; built the cities where they trade;
- Dug the mines and built the workshops, endless miles of railroad laid;
- Now we stand outcast and starving midst the wonders we have made;
- But the union makes us strong.
- All the world that’s owned by idle drones is ours and ours alone.
- We have laid the wide foundations; built it skyward stone by stone.
- It is ours, not to slave in, but to master and to own.
- While the union makes us strong.
- They have taken untold millions that they never toiled to earn,
- But without our brain and muscle not a single wheel can turn.
- We can break their haughty power, gain our freedom when we learn
- That the union makes us strong.
- In our hands is placed a power greater than their hoarded gold,
- Greater than the might of armies, magnified a thousand-fold.
- We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old
- For the union makes us strong.
We Say Fightback Front:
The Second Battle For Blair Mountain
Great Video: Baby, You Got What it Takes!
Magical Mystery Tour Front:
Rapists Fear Women Priests: The Vatican issued revisions to its internal laws on Thursday making it easier to discipline sex-abuser priests, but caused confusion by also stating that ordaining women as priests was as grave an offense as pedophilia…The new rules do not, for example, hold bishops accountable for abuse by priests on their watch, nor do they require them to report sexual abuse to civil authorities
Worst Thing in History of World Front:
MOSCOW (???!!!!) — One woman said children as young as 10 working in the fields developed red rashes on their stoHuman Rights Watch researchers documented 72 instances of children working in the Kazakh tobacco fields, which employ about a thousand migrants each season.
Many are paid on a piecework basis, by the ton of harvested tobacco. The group said this was an inducement for parents to bring their children into the fields at harvest time. Even then, the report said, families made only a few hundred dollars for a half-year of farm work, after covering debts to farmers for board and travel. machs and necks as they harvested tobacco for use in cigarettes made by Philip Morris…. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/14/business/global/14smoke.html?src=me&ref=business
Best Thing in History of World:
More Time For KKKwame, the Racists’ Fave Mayor: Kwame Kilpatrick has been accused of sexual misconduct in prison for allegedly groping his wife during a July 4 visit to the Oaks Correctional Facility near Manistee. (Must be an Otis Mathis Trainee!) From The Detroit News:http://www.detnews.com/article/20100715/METRO01/7150455/Prison-officials-cite-Kilpatrick-for-misconduct-with-wife#ixzz0tmbFLx5b
Thanks to Lloyd, Sharon and George and Danny, Bob, Terry S and Ronna S, Crystal, Sherry, Arturo, Marisol, Dr P and Dr Bob, Michael, Gerry, Eve, Cary, Harry L, Holly, Donna, Bill and Bill, Greg, Mr J and Mr Z, Steve R, Susan and Susan, Perry, Kate, Giselle, Jack S, Tom H, Dana, Jesus, Jim W, Tony and Otis.
Good luck to us, every one.