By Michael Collins
So, now it's an imperative to "promote growth."
The joint statement (full text after the jump) from the G-8 meeting in Chicago documents the utter failure of the very leaders who issued it. Were they capable leaders with the least knowledge of economic downturns, the statement would not be necessary. Nevertheless, they deserve some credit for admitting their deficiencies. Unfortunately, they have no serious solutions. (Image Banksy)
The joint statement has some weasel words like "We commit to fiscal responsibility" to balance the urgent words about growth and jobs". That reflects the atavistic positions of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron. Merkel suffered a huge set back in the Westphalia state elections with her Christian Democratic Party losing 25% to 50%. Corporate media maintains that her popularity as a leader is higher than ever.
Her Scrooge faction comrade, PM Cameron is also pushing austerity. Nobody can pretend that his polling is any better than his party. The Conservatives were wiped out in local elections and Cameron is going down without a life jacket.
The closing paragraph is the give away. The urgent need for growth must accommodate "the importance of intellectual property rights (IPR) to stimulating job and economic growth" We will regulate our way out of this crisis by taking the Yellow Brick Road to oppressive copyright laws. What a relief! They're serious.
A recent study by the Columbia Human Rights Law Review suggests that Carlos DeLuna, who was executed by the state of Texas in 1989 for the murder of Wanda Lopez, was actually innocent. The study concluded that a man named Carlos Hernandez actually committed the murder. In other words, the so-called justice system had convicted the wrong Carlos.
According to the report, Hernandez "was well-known to police and prosecutors at the time and had a long history of violent crimes." In fact, Hernandez was arrested for another murder while DeLuna was on death row, and died in prison in 1999, after having admitted that he killed Lopez.
by Ellen Brown
“You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out. You will not be able to skip out for beer during commercials. Because the revolution will not be televised. . . . The revolution will be live.” –From the 1970 hit song by Gil Scott-Heron
Last week, the city of Philadelphia’s school system announced that it expects to close 40 public schools next year, and 64 schools by 2017. The school district expects to lose 40% of its current enrollment, and thousands of experienced, qualified teachers.
But corporate media in other cities made no mention of these massive school closings – nor of those in Chicago, Atlanta, or New York City. Even in the Philadelphia media, the voices of the parents, students and teachers who will suffer were omitted from most accounts.
Capitalism and its defenders maintain dominance through the ‘material resources’ at their command, especially the state apparatus, and their productive, financial and commercial enterprises, as well as through the manipulation of popular consciousness via ideologues, journalists, academics and publicists who fabricate the arguments and the language to frame the issues of the day.
Today material conditions for the vast majority of working people have sharply deteriorated as the capitalist class shifts the entire burden of the crisis and the recovery of their profits onto the backs of wage and salaried classes. One of the striking aspects of this sustained and on-going roll-back of living standards is the absence of a major social upheaval so far. Greece and Spain, with over 50% unemployment among its 16-24 year olds and nearly 25% general unemployment, have experienced a dozen general strikes and numerous multi-million person national protests; but these have failed to produce any real change in regime or policies. The mass firings and painful salary, wage, pension and social services cuts continue. In other countries, like Italy, France and England, protests and discontent find expression in the electoral arena, with incumbents voted out and replaced by the traditional opposition. Yet throughout the social turmoil and profound socio-economic erosion of living and working conditions, the dominant ideology informing the movements, trade unions and political opposition is reformist: Issuing calls to defend existing social benefits, increase public spending and investments and expand the role of the state where private sector activity has failed to invest or employ. In other words, the left proposes to conserve a past when capitalism was harnessed to the welfare state.
These days you can’t swing a cat or open your mailbox without being hit by a flood of emails about the memorials, tributes, condolences, and donation sites for the victims of these tragedies that the conspiracy theorists say were created -- not right after the event, but right before the event.
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