Factoid: The WALTON Family of Wal-Mart fame (infamy?) has a combined net worth greater than the lowest income 120 million Americans

Really? Did they work hard for it?

Are they more deserving than the poorest 120 million?

Why do we allow this to continue? Whether the Divine Right of Kings or the peculiar institution of Slavery we eventually recognize the absurdity of such myths legitimizing perverse inequality. When will we finally see the myth of the inherent right of the SuperRich to dominate the rest of the country as the folly it is. Even if we are content to be the peons of today should we not act to liberate our children and grandchildren.

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How About This as an Amendment to the Constitution?

Buffet Rule

At the Heart of Most of Our Problems

 

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This is not merely an interesting stat. This is the cause of many of our most serious economic and social problems. This is the answer to the questions “Why is there poverty?” “Why do millions of children go to bed hungry?” Why are 2 million people homeless in America?” Why do families break up?” “Why do governments serve the few at the disadvantage of the many?” “Why do low income children have a higher mortality rate than rich people over the age of 60?”. . . . 

Jimmy Carter: “America does not at the moment have a functioning democracy”

We think that the former President of the United States is right. From all appearances the CIA-NSA-Military-Industrial Complex has taken a page out of the Vietnam Victory Manual finding it necessary to destroy Democracy in order to “save it”, sort of. The Empire strikes back and when it identifies enemies of the NSA et alia they usually get even.

The former President is also wary of the NSA and its agents. JIMMY CARTER had this to say about NSA monitoring:

“I have felt that my own communications were probably monitored. And when I want to communicate with a foreign leader privately, I type or write the letter myself, put it in the post office and mail it,” Carter said, “because I believe if I sent an email, it will be monitored.”

Paul Douglas, born March 26, 1892

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When we think of Illinois politicians today we are reminded of those who are currently serving prison sentences — 4 of the last 7 Governors were residents of the old graybar hotel. And too many of those who aren’t in jail are flitting about in ecstatic confusion doing errands for Wall Street.

But there was a day not so very long ago when Illinois produced honest men who labored in the public’s interest. Adlai Stevenson was the name of three such public servants — a Vice President in 1893-1897 who was Adlai I, the Democratic nominee for President in 1952 and 1956 later Ambassador to the UN was Adlai II, and Adlai III who served as a U.S. Senator 1970-1981. Good men, honest and true.

Another servant of the people hailing from the State of Illinois was PAUL DOUGLAS who was born on this date in 1892 one-hundred twenty-two years ago. Douglas served his State and the Nation as a Senator for 18 years until retiring in 1967.

Paul Douglas became politically active in Chicago where he taught at the University of Chicago have earned a Ph.D. in economics. He helped the Legislature draft pioneering bills for old age pensions and unemployment compensation. He sought to build a new political party modeled on the British Labour Party and when that failed to transpire joined the Farmer-Labor Party in the 1930s.*

When the war broke out although he was 50 years old, Douglas joined the U.S. Marines as a private. Working his way up the ranks, he fought in the Pacific theater earning two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star (makes you wonder about the Republicans who continually disparage Democrats as soft and weak). Douglas left the service as a Lieutenant Colonel.

When Douglas returned to civilian life he renewed his commitment to politics and ran as the Democratic candidate for Senate in 1948. Although discounted by most, including pros in his own party, he gained 55% of the vote for an electoral victory. An early advocate for fair housing, environmental conservation and consumer protection, he was one of the Senators at the core of the Liberal Coalition which dominated Democratic politics through the 1960s.

Today, we honor a good man, a good Marine, a good Senator and a good Democrat.

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* The FARMER-LABOR PARTY was an active, and successful political party in the Twenties and Thirties. In 1946, the Party merged with the Democratic Party in Minnesota to become the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL). The DFL remains one of two State affiliates of the Democrats which were formed by uniting with local Socialist parties. The Democrats in North Dakota merged with the Nonpartisan League, a Socialist organization which also crossed the border into Canada becoming first the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and now the New Democratic Party of Canada.

NASA Study Forecasts the Collapse of Civilization

Think your day was bad now. Take a look at what the Goddard Center has forecast in a NASA-funded study [SOURCE: Nafeez Ahmed THE GUARDIAN, March 25, 2014]:

A new study sponsored by Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.

Noting that warnings of ‘collapse’ are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.” Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to “precipitous collapse – often lasting centuries – have been quite common.”

The research project is based on a new cross-disciplinary ‘Human And Nature DYnamical’ (HANDY) model, led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharrei of the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, in association with a team of natural and social scientists. The study based on the HANDY model has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Elsevier journal, Ecological Economics.

It finds that according to the historical record even advanced, complex civilisations are susceptible to collapse, raising questions about the sustainability of modern civilisation:

“The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent.”

What Does It Mean to Be a Democrat?

What does it mean to be a Democrat let alone a progressive one these days? The question was prompted by my recent op-ed in MinnPost where in response to an argument against the State of Minnesota granting the NFL tax exemptions to host the Super Bowl, one reader wrote that he supported public funding for the stadium along with the tax breaks, and that he was a Democrat and a “fairly far to the left one too.”

Since when does a progressive Democrat support tax subsidies and breaks for billionaires and hugely profitable private companies that generate few jobs for working people and provide entertainment (in person) that only a few can afford? I thought that was what the Republican Party did? With Democrats like this, who needs Republicans.

SOURCE: David Schultz http://schultzstake.blogspot.com/