When Is a Felony Not a Felony? When You Are a Bank – Alexis Goldstein

Good news, America: We can now get guilty pleas from banks! Bad news, America: That’s only because guilty pleas from banks are now absolutely meaningless. Last week, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Barclays, and Royal Bank of Scotland pled guilty to felony charges of conspiring to manipulate currency prices, and UBS pled guilty to manipulating benchmark interest rates. Regulators and prosecutors found …

The Extinction Survey – Dmitry Orlov

There is a survey currently running on the Doomstead Diner, which asks people to make specific, numerical estimates about the timing of human extinction. It is inspired by the work of Guy McPherson, who has amassed much scientific evidence that points to very major climate disruption occurring over the next 2-3 decades, caused by multiple runaway positive feedback effects, such …

Its More Than Monsanto – Shelly Caref

I am an organic farmer in Ecuador. My wife and I moved here almost five years ago from Chicago to retire. I knew almost nothing about agriculture and even less about nutrition. The process of working on the land to make a living has changed me from ignorant to informed, when I learned how money and profits dictate what we …

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The Organization Question in US Progressive Politics By: Jack Rasmus

Déjà vu All Over Again

So now the cycle has begun again. As the great American philosopher, Yogi Berra, once said: “It’s déjà vu all over again.” Among union leaders, leaders of various ethnic organizations, church leaders, liberal academics, and all the rest that consider themselves “progressives,” one today hears the same refrain: Elizabeth Warren, Senator from Massachusetts, is our preferred candidate. If Hillary implodes before November 2016 national elections, we have Elizabeth Warren in the wings. Hillary may be the only one who can win against a Republican. But Elizabeth will keep Hillary honest and ensure she, Hillary, adopts appropriate progressive positions during the 18 month campaign that lies ahead. Push the Democratic Party to the left and Hillary will have to follow.

And this year we are especially fortunate, progressives add. Now we have an even more progressive candidate, left of Warren, waiting to step up as well—the Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, who also announced his candidacy for president in recent weeks. If Warren pushes the party left, then Sanders, just outside the party (actually always with one foot in it) can pull her still further left. And who knows, if Hillary falters, Sanders might actually push Warren to finally enter the race, providing her ‘left cover’ for her candidacy, as they say.

The Economic Tsunami Gathering Momentum Off the Shores of America – Michael Payne

A massive tsunami, a mega-powerful financial tidal wave, is growing in intensity off the shores of America. This government senses its ominous presence but refuses to prepare for the force that it will unleash. This highly dangerous condition has been brought on by decades of reckless government spending, together with banking and corporate industry policies and actions that further enrich …

The Other One Percent – Ralph Nader

As a high school student, I came across an observation by Abraham Lincoln who said that “With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.” Today “public sentiment” would be called “public opinion.” Over the years, I have been astonished at how less than one percent of the citizenry, backed by the “public sentiment,” have changed our country …

OECD report: Global social inequality hits new record – Gabriel Black

Income inequality in many developed countries has reached an all-time high, according to a report released Thursday by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The report also notes that growth of social inequality has been accompanied by the growth of part-time and contingent labor, particularly for younger workers. The wealthiest tenth of the population in OECD member countries now earn …

Attention Span is Shortening Significantly by the Year – But Why? – Robert Harrington

A study from Microsoft involving more than 2,000 people has found that the average attention span has dipped to a low 8 seconds – down from 12 seconds in 2000. A goldfish has an attention span of 9 seconds. There are many effects from smartphones and the like on the human body which are never written about. Information technology (IT) is much …

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“First Strike” Attack against Iran? Washington’s “Missile Defense” Deal with the Gulf Monarchies – Bruce Gagnon

This is what it has all come down to…. the US and the corrupt, dictatorial Gulf monarchies meeting at Camp David Thursday and agreeing on a plan to flood the Middle East with ‘missile defense’ (MD) systems. These Gulf monarchies are the essential allies of the US in the world now (in addition to a few other fascist-leaning nations). Together …

US Economy Collapses Again – 4th Time in 4 years By: Jack Rasmus

Data released last week by the U.S. government showed the U.S. economy came to a near halt in the first three months of 2015, falling to nearly zero – i.e. a mere 0.2 percent annual growth rate for the January-March quarter. The collapse was the fourth time that the U.S. economy in the past four years either came to a virtual halt or actually declined. Four times in four years it has stalled out. So what’s going on?

In 2011, the U.S. economy collapsed to 0.1 percent in terms of annual growth rate. At the end of 2012, to a mere 0.2 percent initial decline. In early 2014, it actually declined by -2.2 percent.

And now in 2015, it is essentially flat once again at 0.2 percent. The numbers are actually even worse, if one discounts the redefinitions of GDP that were made by the US in 2013, counting new categories as contributing to growth, like R&D spending, that for decades were not considered contributors to growth – in effect creating economic growth by statistical manipulation. Those highly questionable 2013 definitional additions to growth added around US$500 billion a year to U.S. growth estimates, or about 0.3 percent of U.S. GDP. Back those redefinitions out, and the U.S. experienced negative GDP four times in the last four years. We get -0.2 percent in 2011, 0 percent in 2012, -2.5 percent in 2014 and -0.1 percent earlier this year.

It is therefore arguable that the U.S. has also experienced at least one mild ‘double dip’ recession, and perhaps two, since 2010.