Posts tagged corporatism
Posts tagged corporatism
The backdrop to Kanye West’s “Saturday Night Live” performance was a lie. Projected behind the rapper, as he let loose with two rage-filled and politically fueled tracks, were the words “Not For Sale.”
Yeezy wouldn’t have graced the set if he wasn’t hawking a soon-to-be released LP. But his incendiary performance was peppered with damning truths: Angry and pointed condemnations of institutional racism and the prison industrial complex, which disproportionately jails young men of color to fill state budget holes and enrich private corporations.
In the final verse of “New Slaves,” a track released Friday with the coordinated projection of a video on 66 buildings worldwide, and the second performance in his “SNL” set, West raps:
Meanwhile the DEA
Teamed up with the CCA
They tryn’a lock niggas up
They tryn’a make new slaves
See that’s that private owned prison
Get your piece today
Condensed and reduced to flow in rhyming verse, West’s lyrics smack of the conspiratorial. But he is correct: The War on Drugs, abetted by and fueling the private prison industry, currently serves to incarcerate hundreds of thousands of black men in the United States, who provide dirt-cheap labor. Various industries — from call centers to weapons manufacturers to retail companies — rely on prison labor. Private prisons pay inmate workers as little as 25 cents an hour; prisoners who refuse to work are regularly held in isolation. These are the de facto “new slaves” of the prison industrial complex. The CCA (the Corrections Corp of America) is one of two major private prison corporations (along with the GEO Group) that share in a market worth $70 billion.
And West’s implication that the CCA and the DEA are “tryn’a” lock up black people, leaving racist intentionality aside, is supported by troubling statistics. While the entire U.S. population is only 13.6 percent black, 40 percent of its vast prison population (over 2.5 million) is black. In 2010, black males were incarcerated at the rate of 4,347 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents of the same race and gender, compared to 678 inmates per 100,000 for white males. The disparities are striking, especially when the majority of those held in U.S. prisons are guilty of minor drug offenses. This brings us to Kanye’s reference to the DEA.
As attorney and author John W. Whitehead pointed out in a HuffPo comment piece last year, states specifically opted to make sentencing laws for minor drug offenses harsh in order to fill private prisons — prisons which promised to fill gaping holes in state budgets:
[W]ith an eye toward increasing its bottom line, CCA has floated a proposal to prison officials in 48 states offering to buy and manage public prisons at a substantial cost savings to the states. In exchange, and here’s the kicker, the prisons would have to contain at least 1,000 beds and states would have agree to maintain a 90 percent occupancy rate in the privately run prisons for at least 20 years. The problem with this scenario, as Roger Werholtz, former Kansas secretary of corrections, recognizes is that while states may be tempted by the quick infusion of cash, they “would be obligated to maintain these (occupancy) rates and subtle pressure would be applied to make sentencing laws more severe with a clear intent to drive up the population.” Unfortunately, that’s exactly what has happened. Among the laws aimed at increasing the prison population and growing the profit margins of special interest corporations like CCA are three-strike laws (mandating sentences of 25 years to life for multiple felony convictions) and “truth-in-sentencing” legislation (mandating that those sentenced to prison serve most or all of their time).
As has been well-documented, young black men are disproportionately targeted by police for marijuana arrests. In New York City, for example, nearly 90 percent of the people arrested for marijuana possession are blacks and Latinos. The logic is simple: If states rely on minor drug arrests to fill privately run prisons, and young black men are targeted in minor drug arrests, then states rely on young black men to fill private prisons.
Or, as Yeezy put it: “See that’s that private owned prison/Get your piece today.”
For those of my followers who have not signed the petition: Perhaps this gives you a much more clearer perspective. If you still choose not to care, then unfollow me.
(This is a really long post, so I’m editing it to make it shorter)
“The State Department of Agriculture came in and inspected our hives 4 times, 3 times when we were not home, and without due process. I have never received or found a Search Warrant. I own four businesses. I am here all the time. Yet they took our bees and hives when we were not home. What did they do, sit up on the hill and watch until we left? We had not yet had our day in court to prove that our hives did not have foulbrood!”
Here’s the gist of this story … a beekeeper has his bees stolen from him by the Illinois Department of Agriculture without a warrant claiming his bee hives were infected with “foulbrood” a bee disease. He was able to go to court regarding this incident 3 weeks after all of his bees were taken. One of the bee hives that was taken was the main hive that Terrence Ingram used for his research of the impacts of Monsanto pesticides on bees. Love the part in the video where Mr. Ingram talks about the supervisor from the Illinois Department of Agriculture “going ballistic” any time someone says they won’t use chemicals to manage their bee hives. Lovely.
Bottom line – this man’s property was stolen and the evidence that his bees were infected was stolen and perhaps destroyed. The state has violated this man’s constitutional rights in numerous ways and they have yet to give him access to his bees to prove they were incorrect. They did this without a warrant and it’s completely unacceptable. The relationship between the Agriculture Department and Monsanto is too comfy … but it’s undeniable that there is a dwindling population of bees all of a sudden and for some reason … we can’t seem to figure out why.
You can start reading part 1 of this story HERE:
Monsanto is scum
You can’t fight city hall, you can’t fight corporate America.
The Debate- written and directed by Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler is amazing.
The Vermont State Senate voted today calling for an amendment to the Constitution that would make clear that corporations are not people and money is not speech and can be regulated in political campaigns. The vote was 26-3. State Senator Virginia Lyons (D) spearheaded the effort, working with Move to Amend in 2011 to introduce a resolution that came back this year.
Vermont is poised to become the first state to call for an amendment to abolish the doctrine known as “Corporate Personhood” which gives corporations constitutional rights meant to protect people.
Hawaii and New Mexico have passed resolutions against the Citizens United v. FEC ruling by the Supreme Court, but the Vermont resolution goes beyond simply overturning that case and aims to remove corporations from the constitution altogether and make clear that money is not speech and that campaign spending and political contributions can be regulated by the government.
“Citizens across the country are putting Congress and the Supreme Court on notice that an amendment is coming. Legislatures can either join the Movement to Amend or get out of the way,” stated Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap of Move to Amend. “Americans of all political persuasions are on board with an amendment to put We the People in charge of our government, not corporations. It is great to have the Vermont Senate step up to join the cause.”
Partners in the Vermont effort include Vermonters Say Corporations Are Not People; Public Citizen; Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; Vermont Peace & Justice Center; VPIRG; Common Cause Vermont; Occupy Burlington; Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, founders of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc.; Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility; Rural Vermont; Vermont Workers Center; and Vermont Action for Peace.
What was revealed in the audit was startling: $16,000,000,000,000.00 had been secretly given out to US banks and corporations and foreign banks everywhere from France to Scotland. From the period between December 2007 and June 2010, the Federal Reserve had secretly bailed out many of the world’s banks, corporations, and governments. The Federal Reserve likes to refer to these secret bailouts as an all-inclusive loan program, but virtually none of the money has been returned and it was loaned out at 0% interest.
Citigroup: $2.5 trillion ($2,500,000,000,000)
Morgan Stanley: $2.04 trillion ($2,040,000,000,000)
Merrill Lynch: $1.949 trillion ($1,949,000,000,000)
Bank of America: $1.344 trillion ($1,344,000,000,000)
Barclays PLC (United Kingdom): $868 billion ($868,000,000,000)
Bear Sterns: $853 billion ($853,000,000,000)
Goldman Sachs: $814 billion ($814,000,000,000)
Royal Bank of Scotland (UK): $541 billion ($541,000,000,000)
JP Morgan Chase: $391 billion ($391,000,000,000)
Deutsche Bank (Germany): $354 billion ($354,000,000,000)
UBS (Switzerland): $287 billion ($287,000,000,000)
Credit Suisse (Switzerland): $262 billion ($262,000,000,000)
Lehman Brothers: $183 billion ($183,000,000,000)
Bank of Scotland (United Kingdom): $181 billion ($181,000,000,000)
BNP Paribas (France): $175 billion ($175,000,000,000)
and many many more including banks in Belgium of all places
And here we have the evil of the Fed exposed. Unelected men bailing out huge corporations to benefit them. Corporatism at its finest. Hopefully the audit (brought up by Ron Paul and Alan Grayson) will push the idea forward that the institution is doing us no good. People should inspect this more and find that both parties are looking to monetize debt by the Fed and stay in the pockets of businesses; this central bank is what is keeping our economy in ruins for consumers and booming for rich businessmen.
If you ever doubted that the Federal Reserve is evil incarnated, well doubt no more
This is proof they are of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations.
The list of names is absolutely staggering. This is why Ron Paul is our only hope for a real future.
Michael Moore: Do you know that on the day of the Columbine massacre, the US dropped more bombs on Kosovo than any other day?
Marilyn Manson: I do know that, and I think that’s really ironic, that nobody said ‘Well maybe the President had an influence on this violent behavior’. Because that’s not the way the media wants to take it and spin it, and turn it into fear, because then you’re watching television, you’re watching the news, you’re being pumped full of fear, there’s floods, there’s AIDS, there’s murder, cut to commercial, buy the Acura, buy the Colgate, if you have bad breath they’re not going to talk to you, if you have pimples, the girl’s not going to fuck you, and it’s just this campaign of fear, and consumption, and that’s what I think it’s all based on, the whole idea of ‘keep everyone afraid, and they’ll consume.’
A Wikileaks post published on The Nation shows that the Obama Administration fought to keep Haitian wages at 31 cents an hour.
(This article was taken down by The Nation due to an embargo, but it was excerpted at Columbia Journalism Review.)
It started when Haiti passed a law two years ago raising its minimum wage to 61 cents an hour. According to an embassy cable:
This infuriated American corporations like Hanes and Levi Strauss that pay Haitians slave wages to sew their clothes. They said they would only fork over a seven-cent-an-hour increase, and they got the State Department involved. The U.S. ambassador put pressure on Haiti’s president, who duly carved out a $3 a day minimum wage for textile companies (the U.S. minimum wage, which itself is very low, works out to $58 a day).
Haiti has about 25,000 garment workers. If you paid each of them $2 a day more, it would cost their employers $50,000 per working day, or about $12.5 million a year … As of last year Hanes had 3,200 Haitians making t-shirts for it. Paying each of them two bucks a day more would cost it about $1.6 million a year. Hanesbrands Incorporated made $211 million on $4.3 billion in sales last year.
Thanks to U.S. intervention, the minimum was raised only to 31 cents.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/wikileaks-haiti-minimum-wage-the-nation-2011-6#ixzz1OHg99aUO
THIS is why we need WikiLeaks. To expose the terrible things this delusioned government of ours is doing discreetly.
Change is coming. 2012. Ron Paul. I can NOT say this enough.