High-res socialismartnature:

Happening NOW: 30,000 Chinese workers strike at the world’s largest producer of athletic shoes such as Nike and Adidas over pay, benefits, and the right to choose a union. The strike, China’s largest in decades, has shutdown production for two weeks and caused the company’s stock price to plummet.

Bloomberg News reports:
"Workers have disrupted production in Yue Yuen’s Dongguan factory complex, which employs more than 40,000 people, since April 14 in a dispute over pay, benefits and the right to pick their own union. More than 50 percent of the workers were on strike today, Liu said. China Labour Watch, which estimated the striking workers at about 30,000, said a small number had returned to work, without quantifying it.”

socialismartnature:

Happening NOW: 30,000 Chinese workers strike at the world’s largest producer of athletic shoes such as Nike and Adidas over pay, benefits, and the right to choose a union. The strike, China’s largest in decades, has shutdown production for two weeks and caused the company’s stock price to plummet.

Bloomberg News reports:

"Workers have disrupted production in Yue Yuen’s Dongguan factory complex, which employs more than 40,000 people, since April 14 in a dispute over pay, benefits and the right to pick their own union. More than 50 percent of the workers were on strike today, Liu said. China Labour Watch, which estimated the striking workers at about 30,000, said a small number had returned to work, without quantifying it.”

(via cultureofresistance)

In March, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) awarded a $145 million contract to [Elbit Systems, an] Israeli company, through its US division. Elbit Systems prides itself on having spent ‘10+ years securing the world’s most challenging borders,’ above all deploying similar ‘border protection systems’ to the separation wall between Israel and Palestine. It is now poised to enter US indigenous lands. …

Americans may increasingly wonder whether NSA agents are scouring their meta-data, reading their personal e-mails and the like. In the borderlands no imagination is necessary. The surveillance apparatus is in your face. The high-powered cameras are pointed at you; the drones are above you; you’re stopped regularly at checkpoints and interrogated. Too bad if you’re late for school, a meeting or an appointment. And even worse, if your skin complexion, or the way you’re dressed, or anything about you sets off alarm bells, or there’s something that doesn’t smell quite right to the CBP’s dogs—and such dogs are a commonplace in the region—being a little late will be the least of your problems.

As Rivas told me, a typical exchange on the reservation might involve an agent at a checkpoint asking an O’odham woman whether, as she claimed, she was really going to the grocery store—and then demanding that she show him her grocery list.

People on the reservation now often refer to what is happening as an armed ‘occupation.’ Mike Wilson, an O’odham member who has tried to put gallon jugs of water along routes Mexican migrants might take through the reservation, speaks of the Border Patrol as an ‘occupying army.’ It’s hardly surprising. Never before in the Nation’s history under Spain, Mexico or the United States have so many armed agents been present on their land.

Tracking a Marked Population in the US Borderlands (via nezua)

(via cultureofresistance)

Georgia Governor Signs Bill Allowing Guns In Bars, Churches, Libraries And Schools

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) just signed a law former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ (D-AZ) organization described as “the most extreme gun bill in America.” The new law allows guns in bars, churches, nightclubs and libraries. It eliminates criminal charges against people who accidentally bring guns into airports or other buildings where guns are prohibited. It expands Georgia’s Stand Your Ground law so that felons may invoke this defense. And it permits certain schoolteachers and administrators to carry firearms inside their schools.

The new law is actually more moderate than an earlier draft of the legislation, which would have limited the punishment for carrying a gun on college campuses and which did not include a provision requiring people who want to bring a gun to worship services to obtain permission to do so. Nevertheless, the bill demonstrates how rapidly gun politics shifted to the right in Georgia. Last year, a less comprehensive bill allowing guns in bars and places of worship passed the Georgia house but failed to clear the state senate.

The provision authorizing guns in bars is especially likely to result in an uptick of violence. According to Washington State University Sociology Professor Jennifer Schwartz, “40% of male [homicide] offenders were drinking alcohol at the time” of their offense, and about one in three female offenders were also drinking.

High-res cartoonpolitics:

How low can they go ? .. “The Koch brothers have a new ploy to protect the traditional energy business that helped make them the planet’s fifth- and sixth-richest humans. They are funding a campaign to shackle solar energy consumers who have escaped the grip of big electric utilities.” .. (from this article)

cartoonpolitics:

How low can they go ? .. “The Koch brothers have a new ploy to protect the traditional energy business that helped make them the planet’s fifth- and sixth-richest humans. They are funding a campaign to shackle solar energy consumers who have escaped the grip of big electric utilities.” .. (from this article)


High-res theatlantic:

Why the LBJ of 1964 Wouldn’t Succeed In Washington Today

The LBJ Library recently held a multiday program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and by all accounts, the program was stirring and stimulating, up to and including President Obama’s speech.
But there was one downside: the reactivation of one of the most enduring memes and myths about the presidency, and especially the Obama presidency. Like Rasputin (or Whac-A-Mole,) it keeps coming back even after it has been bludgeoned and obliterated by facts and logic. I feel compelled to whack this mole once more.
The meme is what Matthew Yglesias, writing in 2006, referred to as "the Green Lantern Theory of Geopolitics," and has been refined by Greg Sargent and Brendan Nyhan into the Green Lantern Theory of the presidency. In a nutshell, it attributes heroic powers to a president—if only he would use them. And the holders of this theory have turned it into the meme that if only Obama used his power of persuasion, he could have the kind of success that LBJ enjoyed with the Great Society, that Bill Clinton enjoyed in his alliance with Newt Gingrich that gave us welfare reform and fiscal success, that Ronald Reagan had with Dan Rostenkowski and Bill Bradley to get tax reform, and so on.
If only Obama had dealt with Congress the way LBJ did—persuading, cajoling, threatening, and sweet-talking members to attain his goals—his presidency would not be on the ropes and he would be a hero. If only Obama would schmooze with lawmakers the way Bill Clinton did, he would have much greater success. If only Obama would work with Republicans and not try to steamroll them, he could be a hero and have a fiscal deal that would solve the long-term debt problem.
If only the proponents of this theory would step back and look at the realities of all these presidencies (or would read or reread the Richard Neustadt classic, Presidential Power.)
Read more. [Image: JD Hancock/Flickr]

theatlantic:

Why the LBJ of 1964 Wouldn’t Succeed In Washington Today

The LBJ Library recently held a multiday program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and by all accounts, the program was stirring and stimulating, up to and including President Obama’s speech.

But there was one downside: the reactivation of one of the most enduring memes and myths about the presidency, and especially the Obama presidency. Like Rasputin (or Whac-A-Mole,) it keeps coming back even after it has been bludgeoned and obliterated by facts and logic. I feel compelled to whack this mole once more.

The meme is what Matthew Yglesias, writing in 2006, referred to as "the Green Lantern Theory of Geopolitics," and has been refined by Greg Sargent and Brendan Nyhan into the Green Lantern Theory of the presidency. In a nutshell, it attributes heroic powers to a president—if only he would use them. And the holders of this theory have turned it into the meme that if only Obama used his power of persuasion, he could have the kind of success that LBJ enjoyed with the Great Society, that Bill Clinton enjoyed in his alliance with Newt Gingrich that gave us welfare reform and fiscal success, that Ronald Reagan had with Dan Rostenkowski and Bill Bradley to get tax reform, and so on.

If only Obama had dealt with Congress the way LBJ did—persuading, cajoling, threatening, and sweet-talking members to attain his goals—his presidency would not be on the ropes and he would be a hero. If only Obama would schmooze with lawmakers the way Bill Clinton did, he would have much greater success. If only Obama would work with Republicans and not try to steamroll them, he could be a hero and have a fiscal deal that would solve the long-term debt problem.

If only the proponents of this theory would step back and look at the realities of all these presidencies (or would read or reread the Richard Neustadt classic, Presidential Power.)

Read more. [Image: JD Hancock/Flickr]

We’re pleased to see this vote in confidence for these five offshore wind projects, which will make an important contribution to keeping the lights on, and create much-needed growth in coastal areas.

However, we need far more onshore and offshore wind projects over the next decade if we’re not to find our energy security threatened, and the UK further exposed to price shocks from imported fossil fuels, so it’s important that the CfD regime works for all renewable energy projects, not just those that have secured early contracts.

Maf Smith, RenewableUK’s deputy chief executive (via Business Green)

High-res sustainableprosperity:




Published on Thursday, April 17, 2014 by Common Dreams

Hillary Clinton and the Future Failure of Progressive Hope and Change

Why a run by the undeclared frontrunner demands upending the corporate wing of the Democratic Party
by John Atcheson



Recently, Hillary Clinton allowed as how she’s been “thinking” about running for President in 2016.
“Thinking” about it?  Even a six year old didn’t buy that.
When a politician says she (or he) is thinking about running, for an office, it’s like an addict saying they are “thinking,” about taking their next fix.  They want it with a lust that is all-consuming.
The crowd cheered when she said it; the party seems to be teeing up issues like gender equality to facilitate it; and with the McCutcheon decision, the way seems paved for a DLC Democrat like Hillary to waltz into the nomination. And yes, gender equality is a critical issue, but don’t hold your breath looking for progress from Hillary.  She’s likely to do as much for women, as Barack Obama has done for African Americans – which is to say damn little, other than a better brand of rhetoric.
So before we proceed with her coronation, maybe it’s time to think back to the 2004 campaign, and the early days of Barack Obama’s candidacy and Presidency.
Remember “hope and change?”  At the time, few thought to ask what exactly we were hoping for and what exactly we were changing to. 
And of course, what we got was a great slogan, better speeches, very little change and even less hope.
Here’s what Obama promised:
Shutting down Gitmo;
Ending warrantless wiretapping;
Ending foreign wars;
An end to trickle down economics;
Greater regulation of Wall Street and the financial sector;
A public option for health care;
Protecting social security, Medicaid and Medicare;
Serious action on climate change;
Greater equality in opportunity and more broadly shared prosperity …
 Here’s what we got: An administration that set up Goldman Sachs south in the Treasury, doubled down on domestic spying; expanded a drone policy that creates between 40 to 60 new terrorists for every one it kills; health care reform that is better than the status quo, but which rewards corporate insurers as much or more than it does citizens; international trade agreements that favor corporate interests, while eviscerating domestic wages, scuttling environmental performance, and crippling US industrial infrastructure. It’s so bad, they’re trying to negotiate it in secret  …
The list goes on and on, and so do the betrayals.
Apologists for the DLC branch of the Democratic Party will say Obama had no choice – he was constrained by Congress.  But he practiced a brand of preemptive capitulation that meant we always ended up carrying corporate water, and satisfying military imperialists while ignoring or discounting citizens’ civil rights and welfare.
So now enter Hillary Clinton and the deluded Democrats who jones for her Presidency.  Maybe it’s time to ask what, specifically, we will get; what we can hope for, and whether it will usher in changes Americans overwhelmingly want (more about this, in a bit). 
And here’s the answer – If we nominate Hillary Clinton we will get another DLC Democrat who mouths progressive values during the campaign, then shifts to the right when (and if) elected.  In short, citizens get no real choice.
The problem with this isn’t simply that it’s morally bankrupt; economically bad for 95% of Americans; bad for the economy in general; bad for the environment; bad for US competitiveness; and devastating for our children’s future climate – it’s ultimately bad politics, too.
Here’s the deal – the dirty little secret that plutocrats and corporatists in both Parties don’t want us to know:  The vast majority of Americans favor progressive policies. Consider:

— 90% of the citizens support legislation requiring background checks for gun purchase, but Congress can’t pass one.
— 74% of Americans want to end subsidies to big oil – but there’s no chance of it happening;
— The majority of citizens favored allowing tax cuts for those earning over $250,000 to expire, but the best we could do is compromise on $400,000
— 70% of Americans consider climate change to be a high priority issue, yet Congress has taken no action;
— Some 80% of Americans favor shoring up Social Security even if it means higher taxes and a similar number support retaining Medicare as is, but we’ve twice offered cuts to both programs as part of a “grand bargain”; 
— Or take this gem … more than 80% of Americans want to clamp down on Wall Street but the best we could get was weak-sister legislation that is being completely eviscerated as it is translated into regulations.

This list could be extended across a broad range of issues.  The fact is, the people’s interests aren’t being represented in Washington and they won’t be if Hillary Clinton is elected.  Her record is clear. She’s an ardent proponent of trade agreements; she’s consistently supported the interests of Wall Street over Main Street; she’s been hawkish on foreign policy; weak on civil protections; hawkish on the deficit (until very recently) and mum on many other issues that demand a progressive advocate. 
Yes, she’s beginning to veer to the left in preparation for the primaries, but haven’t we had enough of this? 
Wouldn’t it be interesting to see a candidate who actually represented the peoples’ interests tackle the usual corporatists who win the Democratic nominations? Not to mention the sycophantic Republicans who so obviously dance to the tunes of the likes of Addelson, the Koch Brothers and Wall Street?
The fact is we can wage and win a war for a progressive candidate, and we have potential candidates who speak for the people.  Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, the Progressive Congressional Caucus – each offers common sense and popular alternatives to the corrosive forces of corporatism that is eroding our Democracy.
Corporate money can trump everything but the vote.  In the age of the Internet, we can take over this Party.  We can raise our own money and turn out our own candidates. We can bypass the bought and paid for media and reach people directly with a message they are dying to hear.  
Doubt that? Think back to 2011, when income inequality was a non-issue, ignored by the media and candidates alike.  Between September 2011 and October 2011, the Occupy movement erupted, making income inequality one of the main issues in the 2012 election. 
We must occupy the Democratic Party.  Yes, as constructed, it’s little more than Republican lite – answerable to corporate overlords.  But we can change that.  We can insist on candidates who represent the people.
Take a look at those polling numbers again – if we used the tools of the Internet to raise money and advocate popular progressives, we just might be able to beat back the plutocrats.  It’s at least worth a try.
So let’s go for it.  Let’s occupy the Democratic Party.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.





John Atcheson is author of the novel, A Being Darkly Wise, an eco-thriller and Book One of a Trilogy centered on global warming. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the San Jose Mercury News and other major newspapers. Atcheson’s book reviews are featured on Climateprogess.org.

more John Atcheson







Article printed from www.CommonDreams.org
Source URL: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/04/17

sustainableprosperity:


Article printed from www.CommonDreams.org