ellisbender said:

Sorry for being an idiot but I am kind of confused as to the whole situation in Scotland. I no that they just voted to remain part of the UK but what is going on now?? And who is doing all of the spray painting??? Once again sorry for being dumb.

Honestly, don’t worry, even people in the UK don’t know what’s happening because we have shocking media censorship over here. 

Okay, so for the last two years, Alex Salmond (now former first minister of Scotland) and the SNP and all the grassroots Yes campaigns, have been campaigning for the Independence of Scotland from the Union of Britain. Now this isn’t the first time this has happened, we had a referendum in the 70s, and it was swinging heavily towards a Yes vote for independence, but Margaret Thatcher and her cronies got their claws in and put in (now) illegal measures to ensure that didn’t happen. We got basic devolution powers later, which allowed us to form our own government with EXTREMELY limited powers. The Yes campaign did a brilliant job, but because the media in the UK is entirely right-wing biased, the fear mongering got to people and Independence was rejected 45-55. And while it’s not what I wanted, that is a very promising result, meaning people are getting more informed. 

This is were it gets weird.

So the No (or pro-union) campaign won the referendum, but because the vote was counted by area they “lost” the vote in certain areas. One of these areas was Glasgow in which a majority voted to leave the Union. Glasgow has a long history of violence, but it has done VERY well recently in remaining peaceful, and the Yes campaign has never once acted violently in their campaigning so it seemed like the result of this referendum should be reacted to peacefully.

In George Square (largely regarded as the unofficial HQ for the Yes campaign) which is right next door to the single busiest shopping street in Glasgow, a few Yes campaigners were out there today protesting/campaigning peacefully. 

The NO campaign has been constantly associated with notoriously violent groups. The Orange Order (A protestant extremist organisation, at their first rally they through a glass bottle at a twelve year old girl and have shoved and punched Yes voters) and the Rangers Football Club fans (incredibly religious and violent group). 

During the peaceful Yes Protest in George Square, hundreds of Unionists carrying Union Jacks and singing “God Save the Queen” and Rangers football club songs marched towards them, shoving and harassing passing innocent Yes voters. The majority of them are middle aged men, and have been seen spitting at women wearing Yes badges and calling them Scum. The police arrived to form a barrier, which antagonized the Unionist, and they charged at the Yes protesters. 

Usually I’m not the biggest fan of the police, but right now they are doing a top-notch job of at least not allowing this to break into a massacre. I have heard reports of Yes voters being stabbed, beaten up and attacked with hammers. Yes voters are being told not to wear their badges and to take their posters down to avoid harrassment and vandalism.

Here’s some eyewitness stuff

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This is what Britain is. 

I’m going to post this publicly, please reblog. To anyone in Glasgow tonight, please stay safe. 

Neal Cassady and friends, outside Charles Plymell’s 1403 Gough Street house, San Francisco,  where Allen had met Peter 9 years earlier when Robert LaVigne lived there. According to Plymell, the other people in the photo were a “Hollywood filmmaker & cronies who came to Gough St. to visit.  That was [Neal’s] Plymouth he had driven to NYC and back to see Kerouac. I had to go to Motor Vehicle to license it with him when he got back because it was unregistered.”    c. Allen Ginsberg Estate.

Yeah, but instead of signing away your voice for a dude, you’re signing away your your future paychecks for a piece of paper that theoretically qualifies you for said paycheck.

Of course, when you’re drowning in student loan debt, you have absolutely no right to speak up because you took out those loans dammit, and it’s not like credentialism and economic inequality, coupled with rising higher ed costs had anything to do with your choice because reasons and bootstraps. And a crippling recession that has you competing with a whole different class of older, experienced, more educated workers for entry level jobs, well, them’s the breaks, kid. Also, the depressed wages of the bottom 80% of Americans definitely didn’t influence your inability to pay on this debt with a higher interest rate than what the big banks pay for their bailouts. Nope. Not at all.

In a sick way, I suppose you’re signing away your voice in order to place a bet on a rigged roulette wheel overseen by plutocrats drunk on crony capitalism, who, while on an epic bender with the political class, managed to socialize the house’s risk and privatize its profits. Sorry, plebes.

At least the eternity part is 100% correct. Sallie Mae will follow you to the grave. Shit, they’d probably put a lien on your headstone and the plot in which you are buried.

I wonder how many people don’t know that long before he was appointed to the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts was a critic of the Voting Rights Act for 30 years. When he was in his late 20s, Roberts was a foot soldier in Ronald Reagan's crusade against the Voting Rights Act.

Having Roberts preside over any civil rights cases —like the Voting Rights Act and Affirmative Action— makes about as much sense as having Clarence Thomas being involved in cases with his former employer, Monsanto.

[…]

Moving on to crony capitalism and the  making of an oligarchy…the Roberts court has not only ruled decidedly against civil rights cases which are disproportionately detrimental to Black people, they have also reliably ruled in favor of big business more often than not.

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Even the average politico can’t be expected to remember the make up of SCOTUS from one chief justice to the next, but I can’t help believing that if there’s any modicum of true justice in the world, the Roberts court and Roberts himself will ultimately be remembered by history as having been uniquely harmful to America and democracy writ large.

Read More

(photos via msnbc.com and theusconstitution.org)

Despite a mainstream media blackout on the topic, the alternative media is abuzz with this week’s hearing on the constitutionality of the clearly unconstitutional NDAA.  In case you don’t remember, section 1021 of the NDAA, which Obama signed into law on December 31 of last year, allows the government to lock up U.S. citizens indefinitely without a trial.  At the time of signing, Obama penned a pathetic letter to many of his outraged supporters where he basically said he signed it but he won’t use it.  Thanks pal!

In any event, the Administration is showing its true colors by appealing an injunction that judge Katherine Forrest issued against it in May.  The injunction was in response to the lawsuit filed by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges and others.  While the NDAA clearly vaporizes the 5th and 6th Amendments of the Constitution, I believe the real target is the 1st Amendment.  By having a law on the books that allows the government to arbitrarily lock anyone up and throw away the key, the government is actually trying to instill enough fear in people that they self-censor speech and become too afraid to criticize the criminal elite political and economic oligarchy.

Fascinating graphics show who owns all the major brands in the world


All the biggest product brands in the world are owned by a handful of corporation. Food, cleaning products, banks, airlines, cars, media companies… everything is in the hands of these megacorporations. These graphics show how everything is connected.

Consumer goods

In the supermarket—as you can see in the graphic at the top—Mondelez, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, Pepsico, P&G, Johnson&Johnson, Mars, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg’s, and Unilever own everything.


This graphic is sightly outdated, but it shows Johnson&Johnson’s brand connections. The graphic on top is up to date.

Financial assets

It doesn’t stop in the supermarket, of course. Our money is all in the hands of a few megacorporations too. Here’s all the stuff that merged into Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo since 1996. Now, according to MotherJones, 54% of all the financial assets in the United States are owned by just 10 institutions.

Studios and media companies

TV channels

EXPAND Airlines

Cars

Your beer

Everything else

This graphic is from 2003 but it shows all the connections between all brands, from liquor to clothing to music labels.

Watch on leftish.tumblr.com

VIDEO: “Romney, you fucking piece of shit, you scumbag!”

Published on Oct 30, 2012 by Alexander Higgins (whose home was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.  His family lost everything.  He has a wife, a 7 yr old boy, a 3 yr old girl, and a dog.  They don’t have anywhere to go.)

Choice words for douche Romney who is holding campaign rallies branded as hurricane relief as millions lie devastated by Sandy and Romney touts cutting and outsourcing government disaster assistance.

[NOTE* from Leftish:  I feel your pain, brother!  I hope this video goes viral!].

Gotanda: A Tokyo Business District That’s Frozen in 1982

In 1982, things were looking up for Gotanda. It was the headquarters of Sony — the hottest electronics company on the planet. A building boom of office buildings, karaoke and capsule hotels hit the neighborhood. Today, Gotanda looks much like it did in 1982. 

Companies in Tokyo want their headquarters in the neighborhoods and buildings with the most status. It looks good on a website and a business card. Somewhere along the line Gotanda became unfashionable — that was it. The area hasn’t seen a lot of investment since. 

In 2006, Sony moved their headquarters to nearby Shinagawa, Minato Ward (they maintain a technology center in Gotanda). 

Gotanda has red light district that’s a much smaller version of Shinjuku’s Kabukicho

The area has plenty of cheap eateries and nightlife. The general 1980s feel of Gotanda is charming enough. 

The rise and fall of Japan’s 1980s economic bubble is a fascinating cautionary tale.

 Tuesday, 14 January 2014 08:55

Ten Examples of Welfare for the Rich and Corporations

BILL QUIGLEY FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Here are the top ten examples of corporate welfare and welfare for the rich. There are actually thousands of tax breaks and subsidies for the rich and corporations provided by federal, state and local governments but these ten will give a taste.

One: State and Local Subsidies to Corporations. An excellent New York Times study by Louise Story calculated that state and local government provide at least $80 billion in subsidies to corporations. Over 48 big corporations received over $100 million each. GM was the biggest at a total of $1.7 billion extracted from 16 different states but Shell, Ford and Chrysler all received over a billion dollars each. Amazon, Microsoft, Prudential, Boeing and casino companies in Colorado and New Jersey received well over $200 million each.

Two: Direct Federal Subsidies to Corporations. The Cato Institute estimates that federal subsidies to corporations costs taxpayers almost $100 billion every year.

Three: Federal Tax Breaks for Corporations. The tax code gives corporations special tax breaks which reduced what is supposed to be a 35 percent tax rate to an actual tax rate of 13 percent, saving these corporations an additional $200 billion annually, according to the US Government Accountability Office.

Four: Federal Tax Breaks for Wealthy Hedge Fund Managers. Special tax breaks for hedge fund managers allow them to pay only 15% rate while the people they earned the money for usually pay 35% rate. This is the break where the multimillionaire manager pays less of a percentage in taxes than her secretary. The National Priorities Project estimates this costs taxpayers $83 billion annually and 68% of those who receive this special tax break earn more than $462,500 per year (the top one percent of earners).

Five: Subsidy to Fast Food Industry. Research by the University of Illinois and UC Berkeley documents that taxpayers pay about $243 billion each year in indirect subsidies to the fast food industry because they pay wages so low that taxpayers must put up $243 billion to pay for public benefits for their workers.

Six: Mortgage Deduction. The home mortgage deduction, which costs taxpayers $70 billion per year, is a huge subsidy to the real estate, banking and construction industries. The Center of Budget and Policy Priorities estimated that 77 percent of the benefit goes to homeowners with incomes over $100,000 per year.

Seven: The billions above do not even count the government bailout of Wall Street which all parties have done their utmost to tell the public they did not need, they paid back, or it was a great investment. The Atlantic Monthly estimates that $7.6 trillion was made available by the Federal Reserve to banks, financial firms and investors. The Cato Institute estimates (using government figures) the final costs at $32 to $68 billion, not including the takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which alone cost more than $180 billion.

Eight: Each major piece of legislation contains new welfare for the rich and corporations. The Boston Globe analyzed the emergency tax legislation passed by Congress in early 2013 and found it contained 43 business and energy tax breaks worth $67 billion.

Nine: Huge corporations which engage in criminal or other wrongful activities protect their leaders from being prosecuted by paying huge fees or fines to the government. You and I would be prosecuted. These corporations protect their bosses by paying off the government. For example, Reuters reported that JPMorgan Chase, which made a preliminary $13 billion mortgage settlement with the US government, is allowed to write off a majority of the deal as tax deductible, saving the corporation $4 billion.

Ten: There are thousands of smaller special breaks for corporations and businesses out there. There is a special subsidy for corporate jets which cost taxpayers $3 billion a year. The tax deduction for second homes costs $8 billion a year. Fifty billionaires received taxpayer funded farm subsidies in the past twenty years.

If you want to look at the welfare for the rich and corporations start with the federal Internal Revenue Code. That is the King James Bible of welfare for the rich and corporations. Special breaks in tax code is the reason there are thousands of lobbyists in the halls of Congress, hundreds of lobbyists around each state legislature and tens of thousands of tax lawyers all over the country.

(Photo: Jonathunder)

—-

Bill is a law professor at Loyola University New Orleans and can be reached at quigley77@gmail.com

http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/item/18416-ten-examples-welfare-for-rich-and-corporations

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