Tag Archives: taxes

google-youtube censorship

It’s a full on attack!

URGENT!  There is a massive migration happening on the net due to new restriction rules on youtube and the law allowing ISPs to sell your personal information.

People are moving over to minds.com and vidme.com

You might want to secure your channel and space now.

ALSO Alt-Google

Sick of Twitter? GAB ($)

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in solidarity Vidme
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Congress Poised To Obliterate Broadband Privacy Rules

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more information coming soon,  watch for updates…
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The Great American Escape

inspired by

Here’s the problem:

Most Americans think that if they do not feed the wealthy, meaning, that if the wealthy have to cut back this cutting back will trickle down to them.

If you are already living on a shoe string you can’t afford to cut back any more. So the American People keep supporting the wealthy in order to save themselves.

I know this is not sound reasoning. Sound reasoning would say, with a limited supply of the earth’s resources, those using the most should be the first to cut back. However, to most Americans this is a form of socialism, and socialism is a very bad word to many Americans.

Americans are also clueless when it comes to the tax structure. During the greatest growth and perhaps the most equal distribution of wealth in US history was during the 1950’s under Republican President Eisenhower (Ike).

Taxes on the rich were at 91%. Even under Kennedy (JFK), who cut taxes for the wealthy down to 79%; still quite high compared to today’s standard of 35%.

note: Many right wing pundits praise Kennedy as a, “Democrat who cut taxes!” but they leave that little 91% detail out. It’s more than disingenuous.

Further, during the 1950’s and early 1960’s the US was still in a 1940’s WWII mindset. 10% of the population had served in some form during the ‘Big One.’ Not to mention all the women working in factories and industry, later giving up their jobs to the troops returning and going back home to have babies, the boomers. We loved the 50’s so much that the two most popular TV show in the 1970’s and 1980’s were Happy Days and M*A*S*H.

Ike, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, at the helm kept that memory alive and Kennedy, a war hero, kept that flame burning. We were still in this together, and outside of a few scoundrels everyone had given something up, from the top down they sacrificed.

The irony today is so many people, boomers mostly, long for the 1950s. Not the lynching or the civil unrest that was growing, but the economic stability, the tremendous expansion of our infrastructure, the growth in technology, and the unity that the American People aspired to under both Ike and JFK. This is what defined the American People, this is what gave them their Identity; we were a ‘can-do’ people.

Odd thing is, these are also the very same folks who do not want to go back to the 1950s or even the 1960’s tax structure, they think they can have and hoard it all. It’s fantasy.

Today, 60+ years later, we have no other choice, but to start cutting back our use of the earth’s resources, we need to take better care of each other, we need to unite, rebuild our infrastructure, expand once again our knowledge in technology for the betterment of all Americans or the US will end up like Mexico; without a clearly defined middle-class,  neglect for justice and the Rule of Law, fear and indifference aggregated.

Some already believe we are already there.

But, one has to wonder, with a minority population that will surpass current demographics perhaps, that’s the plan?

I never thought I’d say this, but I know I want out and I know other people who are either thinking about this or planning to leave the country, to escape.

Which makes me wonder, is there a new underground railroad forming, making its way out of the US, yet?

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Bring Your Gun To Obama’s Town Hall?

revolutionProtester Brings Gun To Town Hall
Hardball

After watching this clip I came to the conclusion that Mr. Kostric was absolutely right. Unfortunately, his ideals are long gone and out of fashion. Bush/Cheney sold us all out, that Administration along with the 109 and 110 Congress put the final nail in this nations coffin.
4th Amendment Gone

The banks now run the country and our lives. The surge from Bush41 through Obama makes that clear.
The Loudest
Indentured Slavery

The country this man dreams of  “a republic, if you can keep it” is lost forever, the most he can hope for is a coalition of 100,000 descending upon a small community and creating a new country/state, declaring a division or secession of land from the US Federal Government. I don’t think any republican or even a Ron Paul supporter would be willing to give up everything they own to do that, much less die for their cause.

Like all of us, this man is up against great power, money, influence and he is surrounded by more than a majority of people who are willing to go along to get along. Our Forefathers experienced the same, last time we battled King and Country, this time we battle Banks and Corporations.

Is there a real difference?

However, the last time the King was broke, a small Colonial Militia had formed fairly quickly and financial help came from the French. This time the Banks are wealthy, the French have been vilified, and there’s no militia on the horizon.

In this particular segment of Hardball William Kostric’s side arm display makes sure his role in the media is to be mocked. After interrogating the gentlemen on Obama’s birth and satisfied enough with his answer Matthews decided not to rail into him, however, in the end Matthews treated Mr. Kostric as no more than quaint.

Mr. Kostric may wish the best for his country, but he sounds like a practical man and deep down I suspect he would rather have his own state.  I also think he bit off more than he can chew and in keeping faithful to his cause the big and only question is whether he and like minds are willing to finish Jefferson’s quote?

I doubt it. Fighting for Freedom has become an accessory to fashion.

In the US The People Are Afraid of Their Government.
In France The Government is Afraid of The People.

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Filed under business, congress, Health, history, media, News, obama, politics, psychology, social epistemology, take back your country, updates, vigilance

Corporate Theft

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Filed under business, congress, international, just wrong, News, politics, social epistemology, video

Tax Breaks For Billionaires

had enough?

yet?

here, look up the general store and native americans

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Filed under business, congress, politics, SPREAD IT!

Amnesty

Can we all become illegal?

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Filed under business, congress, mccain, News, obama, politics

Food Riots

“…the world continue to protest the soaring prices of basic food items, the World Food Program has described the crisis as a silent tsunami.”

The U.S. Role in Haiti’s Food Riots: 30 Years Ago Haiti Grew All the Rice It Needed. What Happened?

Riots in Haiti over explosive rises in food costs have claimed the lives of six people. There have also been food riots world-wide in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivorie, Egypt, Guinea, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Senegal, Uzbekistan and Yemen.

The Economist, which calls the current crisis the silent tsunami, reports that last year wheat prices rose 77% and rice 16%, but since January rice prices have risen 141%. The reasons include rising fuel costs, weather problems, increased demand in China and India, as well as the push to create biofuels from cereal crops.

Hermite Joseph, a mother working in the markets of Port au Prince, told journalist Nick Whalen that her two kids are “like toothpicks” they’ re not getting enough nourishment. Before, if you had a dollar twenty-five cents, you could buy vegetables, some rice, 10 cents of charcoal and a little cooking oil. Right now, a little can of rice alone costs 65 cents, and is not good rice at all. Oil is 25 cents. Charcoal is 25 cents. With a dollar twenty-five, you can’t even make a plate of rice for one child.”

The St. Claire’s Church Food program, in the Tiplas Kazo neighborhood of Port au Prince, serves 1000 free meals a day, almost all to hungry children — five times a week in partnership with the What If Foundation. Children from Cite Soleil have been known to walk the five miles to the church for a meal. The cost of rice, beans, vegetables, a little meat, spices, cooking oil, propane for the stoves, have gone up dramatically. Because of the rise in the cost of food, the portions are now smaller. But hunger is on the rise and more and more children come for the free meal. Hungry adults used to be allowed to eat the leftovers once all the children were fed, but now there are few leftovers.

The New York Times lectured Haiti on April 18 that “Haiti, its agriculture industry in shambles, needs to better feed itself.” Unfortunately, the article did not talk at all about one of the main causes of the shortages — the fact that the U.S. and other international financial bodies destroyed Haitian rice farmers to create a major market for the heavily subsidized rice from U.S. farmers. This is not the only cause of hunger in Haiti and other poor countries, but it is a major force.
Thirty years ago, Haiti raised nearly all the rice it needed. What happened?

In 1986, after the expulsion of Haitian dictator Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loaned Haiti $24.6 million in desperately needed funds (Baby Doc had raided the treasury on the way out). But, in order to get the IMF loan, Haiti was required to reduce tariff protections for their Haitian rice and other agricultural products and some industries to open up the country’s markets to competition from outside countries. The U.S. has by far the largest voice in decisions of the IMF.

Doctor Paul Farmer was in Haiti then and saw what happened. “Within less than two years, it became impossible for Haitian farmers to compete with what they called ‘Miami rice.’ The whole local rice market in Haiti fell apart as cheap, U.S. subsidized rice, some of it in the form of ‘food aid,’ flooded the market. There was violence, ‘rice wars,’ and lives were lost.”
“American rice invaded the country,” recalled Charles Suffrard, a leading rice grower in Haiti in an interview with the Washington Post in 2000. By 1987 and 1988, there was so much rice coming into the country that many stopped working the land.

Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste, a Haitian priest who has been the pastor at St. Claire and an outspoken human rights advocate, agrees. “In the 1980s, imported rice poured into Haiti, below the cost of what our farmers could produce it. Farmers lost their businesses. People from the countryside started losing their jobs and moving to the cities. After a few years of cheap imported rice, local production went way down.”

Still the international business community was not satisfied. In 1994, as a condition for U.S. assistance in returning to Haiti to resume his elected Presidency, Jean-Bertrand Aristide was forced by the U.S., the IMF, and the World Bank to open up the markets in Haiti even more.

But, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, what reason could the U.S. have in destroying the rice market of this tiny country?

Haiti is definitely poor. The U.S. Agency for International Development reports the annual per capita income is less than $400. The United Nations reports life expectancy in Haiti is 59, while in the US it is 78. Over 78% of Haitians live on less than $2 a day, more than half live on less than $1 a day.

Yet Haiti has become one of the very top importers of rice from the U.S. The U.S. Department of Agriculture 2008 numbers show Haiti is the third largest importer of US rice – at over 240,000 metric tons of rice. (One metric ton is 2200 pounds).

Rice is a heavily subsidized business in the U.S. Rice subsidies in the U.S. totaled $11 billion from 1995 to 2006. One producer alone, Riceland Foods Inc of Stuttgart Arkansas, received over $500 million dollars in rice subsidies between 1995 and 2006.

The Cato Institute recently reported that rice is one of the most heavily supported commodities in the U.S. — with three different subsidies together averaging over $1 billion a year since 1998 and projected to average over $700 million a year through 2015. The result? “Tens of millions of rice farmers in poor countries find it hard to lift their families out of poverty because of the lower, more volatile prices caused by the interventionist policies of other countries.”

In addition to three different subsidies for rice farmers in the U.S., there are also direct tariff barriers of 3 to 24 percent, reports Daniel Griswold of the Cato Institute — the exact same type of protections, though much higher, that the U.S. and the IMF required Haiti to eliminate in the 1980s and 1990s.

U.S. protection for rice farmers goes even further. A 2006 story in the Washington Post found that the federal government has paid at least $1.3 billion in subsidies for rice and other crops since 2000 to individuals who do no farming at all; including $490,000 to a Houston surgeon who owned land near Houston that once grew rice.

And it is not only the Haitian rice farmers who have been hurt.

Paul Farmer saw it happen to the sugar growers as well. “Haiti, once the world’s largest exporter of sugar and other tropical produce to Europe, began importing even sugar– from U.S. controlled sugar production in the Dominican Republic and Florida. It was terrible to see Haitian farmers put out of work. All this sped up the downward spiral that led to this month’s food riots.”

After the riots and protests, President Rene Preval of Haiti agreed to reduce the price of rice, which was selling for $51 for a 110 pound bag, to $43 dollars for the next month. No one thinks a one month fix will do anything but delay the severe hunger pains a few weeks.

Haiti is far from alone in this crisis. The Economist reports a billion people worldwide live on $1 a day. The US-backed Voice of America reports about 850 million people were suffering from hunger worldwide before the latest round of price increases.

Thirty three countries are at risk of social upheaval because of rising food prices, World Bank President Robert Zoellick told the Wall Street Journal. When countries have many people who spend half to three-quarters of their daily income on food, “there is no margin of survival.”

In the U.S., people are feeling the world-wide problems at the gas pump and in the grocery. Middle class people may cut back on extra trips or on high price cuts of meat. The number of people on food stamps in the US is at an all-time high. But in poor countries, where malnutrition and hunger were widespread before the rise in prices, there is nothing to cut back on except eating. That leads to hunger riots.

In the short term, the world community is sending bags of rice to Haiti. Venezuela sent 350 tons of food. The US just pledged $200 million extra for worldwide hunger relief. The UN is committed to distributing more food.

What can be done in the medium term? The US provides much of the world’s food aid, but does it in such a way that only half of the dollars spent actually reach hungry people. US law requires that food aid be purchased from US farmers, processed and bagged in the US and shipped on US vessels — which cost 50% of the money allocated. A simple change in US law to allow some local purchase of commodities would feed many more people and support local farm markets.

In the long run, what is to be done? The President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who visited Haiti last week, said “Rich countries need to reduce farms subsidies and trade barriers to allow poor countries to generate income with food exports. Either the world solves the unfair trade system, or every time there’s unrest like in Haiti, we adopt emergency measures and send a little bit of food to temporarily ease hunger.”

Citizens of the USA know very little about the role of their government in helping create the hunger problems in Haiti or other countries. But there is much that individuals can do. People can donate to help feed individual hungry people and participate with advocacy organizations like Bread for the World or Oxfam to help change the U.S. and global rules which favor the rich countries. This advocacy can help countries have a better chance to feed themselves.

Meanwhile, Merisma Jean-Claudel, a young high school graduate in Port-au-Prince told journalist Wadner Pierre “…people can’t buy food. Gasoline prices are going up. It is very hard for us over here. The cost of living is the biggest worry for us, no peace in stomach means no peace in the mind.¦I wonder if others will be able to survive the days ahead because things are very, very hard.”

“On the ground, people are very hungry,” reported Fr. Jean-Juste. “Our country must immediately open emergency canteens to feed the hungry until we can get them jobs. For the long run, we need to invest in irrigation, transportation, and other assistance for our farmers and workers.”

In Port au Prince, some rice arrived in the last few days. A school in Fr. Jean-Juste’s parish received several bags of rice. They had raw rice for 1000 children, but the principal still had to come to Father Jean-Juste asking for help. There was no money for charcoal, or oil.

Jervais Rodman, an unemployed carpenter with three children, stood in a long line Saturday in Port au Prince to get UN donated rice and beans. When Rodman got the small bags, he told Ben Fox of the Associated Press, “The beans might last four days. The rice will be gone as soon as I get home.”

from

Haiti

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