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Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 03:39 PM
Number of posts: 17,418
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Capitalism, Slavery, Racism and Imprisonment of People of Color Cannot Be Separated
By Mark Karlin * Sunday, 07 February 2016 * Truthout | Interview
Slavery didn't end; it evolved. That's the powerful argument made in Slaves of the State by Dennis Childs. Ever since a clause in the 13th Amendment allowed for enslavement as "punishment for crime," the groundwork has been laid for the prison industrial complex to function as the 21st century equivalent of chattel slavery. Order your copy of this eye-opening book by making a donation to Truthout today!
The following is an interview with Dr. Dennis Childs, author of Slaves of the State: Black Incarceration From the Chain Gang to the Penitentiary.
Mark Karlin: Can you summarize the tragic irony of the 13th Amendment's "exception clause"?
Dennis Childs: Yes, what I describe in the book along these lines is something that prisoners, activists and scholars from Angela Davis to Assata Shakur have spoken about for years - the fact that what is indisputably the most progressive document in US legal history, the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution that freed African slaves, actually reinstituted enslavement through racial, capitalist, misogynist imprisonment. The language of the amendment states, "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist in the United States."
This punitive exception represented legal cover for what, in Slaves of the State, I describe as an overall system of public-private neoslavery from the chain gang, to the prison plantation, peonage and the convict-lease system - the last of which represented an outright genocidal system where private corporations such as US Steel would work prisoners in industries ranging from turpentining, to coal and iron mining, to agricultural production. The death rates at convict-lease camps were absolutely staggering, reaching as high as 50 percent per annum. But, as I argue in the book, the exception clause ushered in a system of neoslavery that continues to submit prisoners to conditions that amount to a collectivized situation of "living death," or what Mumia Abu-Jamal defines as "slow death" under the prison industrial complex (PIC).
Mark Karlin: Let's start historically. How did the "exception clause" allow for the reinstitution of many Black people into slavery through incarceration in the years after the Civil War was over?
Dennis Childs: Speaking historically, it is actually improper to speak of a single exception clause since the punitive exception goes at least as far back as the Northwest Ordinance in 1787 (and since prison slavery itself, going as far back as Roman antiquity). Specifically, the Northwest Ordinance contained a provision outlawing slavery in the territories of modern-day Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota, but also contained a provision allowing for the enslavement of a person upon "due conviction" by law. This punitive exception then extended right up to the eve of the Civil War through various "Black Codes" and "Black Laws" in Northern and border states from Maryland to Indiana to Ohio, all of which allowed for the public auctioning of Africans (both free and slave) for "crimes" such as simply stepping foot in one of these "racially restrictionist" states, fleeing from a master or burning down a jail.
Much Much More: http://www.truth-out.org/progressivepicks/item/34726-capitalism-slavery-racism-and-imprisonment-of-people-of-color-cannot-be-separated
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Sun Feb 7, 2016, 07:19 PM (0 replies)
Hillary Clinton Says the Best Way to Rein in Lobbyists Is to Shame Them
Yet no other candidate has received more money from lobbyist bundlers than the former SoS.
by Russ Choma * Sat Feb. 6, 2016 * Mother Jones
Asked at a town hall meeting at New Hampshire's Henniker College how to handle the increasing role of moneyed interests in Washington, Hillary Clinton told supporters that lobbyists should be exposed and publicly called out.
"Maybe use social media? Maybe make a concerted effort to really call these people out all the time, get some social pressure on them, get people to know their names," ... "We've got to try new tactics, we've got to go after them and we have got to have tougher laws," Clinton said.
But Clinton is not entirely clear of ties with lobbyists. Presidential campaigns are required to report how much money they have raised with the assistance of bundlers—supporters who fundraise on behalf of a candidate—who are also registered lobbyists. Out of all the presidential candidates, Republican or Democrat, Clinton has raised the MOST money—$717,000—from lobbyist bundlers. The next closest is Marco Rubio, who has raised $676,000 with the help of lobbyists.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Sun Feb 7, 2016, 06:37 PM (27 replies)
The Vampire Squid Tells Us How to Vote
Lloyd Blankfein charges for investment advice — but his political wisdom is free
By Matt Taibbi * Rolling Stone * February 5, 2016
Lloyd Blankfein, Chief Executive Cephalopod of Goldman Sachs, issued a warning about the Bernie Sanders campaign this week.
"This has the potential to be a dangerous moment," he said on CNBC's Squawk Box.
The Lloyd was peeved that Sanders, whom he's never met, singled him out in a debate last week. "Another kid from Brooklyn, how about that," he lamented.
He ranted about how frightening it is that a candidate like Sanders, who seems to have no interest in "compromising" with Wall Street, could become so popular.
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-vampire-squid-tells-us-how-to-vote-20160205#ixzz3zVzVgR00
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Sun Feb 7, 2016, 03:17 PM (33 replies)
No ‘Artful Smear’: Clintons Were Paid $153 Million in Speaking Fees, Analysis Shows
By Lauren McCauley * Feb 7, 2016 * Common Dreams/TruthDig
There has been a lot of talk in recent weeks about the speaking fees paid to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and an analysis published Saturday sheds some light on exactly how much Wall Street and other major corporate powers ponied up for the former Secretary of State and her husband, President Bill Clinton.
$153 million, CNN concludes, is the amount the power couple raked in between February 2001 and the launch of Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid in May 2015. What’s more, the Clintons received an average pay of $210,795 for each of the 729 addresses given during that time period. ~snip~
According to the analysis, Clinton collected at least $1.8 million for at least eight speeches given to big banks, while the pair earned a total of roughly $7.7 million for at least 39 speeches to Wall Street. Clinton has glossed over the content of these speeches. When probed by the moderators during the MSNBC debate as to whether she’d release the transcripts, she said she’d “look into it.”
Meanwhile, over 11,000 people have signed a petition calling for the public release of the transcripts and videos of the speeches made to Goldman Sachs. Citing reports that Clinton “used those speeches to make clear that she would let bankers off the hook for their crimes and abuses,” the petition asserts the comments made behind closed doors “is at odds with what she publicly tells the rest of us.”
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Sun Feb 7, 2016, 03:11 PM (23 replies)
Bill Black: “Hillary, the Banksters Committed ‘Fraud,’ Not ‘Shenanigans’”
By bobswern * Saturday Feb 06, 2016 * Daily Kos
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in her debate with Senator Sanders minutes ago, said that she went to Wall Street and told them to stop their "shenanigans." The context was that she was being asked to respond to the complaint that she was too close to on Wall Street billionaires. She had every incentive, therefore, to demonstrate how tough she would be on Wall Street.
In that context, the best she could muster was the pusillanimous "shenanigans." Here is a typical definition of that word with examples.
Hillary cannot bring herself to use the "f" word in the context of Wall Street CEOs leading the largest and most destructive fraud epidemics in history - frauds that made them spectacularly wealthy. A few minutes later, Bernie said that "fraud" was Wall Street's business model.
There Is No "If" -- Systemically Dangerous Banks Pose a "Systemic Risk"
Hillary then said that we should end systemically dangerous institutions (SDIs) "if" they posed "systemic risk" and praised President Obama for supporting Dodd-Frank provisions that provide a convoluted process for doing so that a new president likely could not use effectively. There can be disputes on the margins as to whether the 25th largest U.S. bank is systemically dangerous, but there is no question but that the largest 20 banks in the U.S. pose a systemic risk. There is no question but that President Obama has not, and will not, force a single one of them to shrink to the point that they no longer pose a systemic risk.
I do not think that many people believe that Hillary will force even a single gargantuan bank to do so, but if that is her intent, the word she needs to use is "will" rather than "if." Hillary should say: "If I am elected President I will promptly require the roughly 20 largest banks to shrink to a size where they no longer pose a systemic risk."
Hillary Did Not Take on Wall Street in 2007 -- She Blamed the Victims for Being Defrauded
In the debate tonight, Hillary again claimed that in her 2007 speech to Wall Street she came down on them like a ton of bricks. Hillary's most pointed two sentences in her supposed takedown of the banksters were:
But finally, responsibility also belongs to Wall Street, which not only enabled but often encouraged reckless mortgage lending... Wall Street may not have created the foreclosure crisis, but Wall Street certainly had a hand in making it worse.
No, the banksters made millions of deliberately fraudulent, not "reckless" loans and they most assuredly "created the foreclosure crisis." Hillary went on to throw the victims of these frauds under the bus -- blaming the foreclosure victims for not understanding the loans the brokers pushed on them.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Sat Feb 6, 2016, 02:49 PM (9 replies)
Definition of bribe
1: money or favor given or promised in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a
legal Definition of Bribery
Now as long as we call it "Speaker Fees", no one is supposed to notice, no one is supposed to care..
But let's at least not engage in collective amnesia, forgetting what we're actually talking about here.
I posted the excerpted article below, several days ago. The title speaks for itself,
as does this brief excerpt:
Clinton Last Night: "Name Anything (Wall Street Has) Influenced Me On" -- OK, I Will
Because Wall Street executives were the biggest donors to her 2006 Senate campaign and her 2008 presidential campaign. Clinton got millions from the financial industry while also protecting them — she is most assuredly influenced by her Wall Street donors.
That’s one thing right there, per Clinton’s request — but here’s even more.
In 2007 and 2008, Clinton did not work with the other senators in Congress to pass a housing bill to stop individual financial players from destroying the economy.
As ProPublica reports,
When a broad housing bill finally became law in 2008, Clinton was not among the more than dozen senators credited by party leaders as playing a key role.
She was not a leader in the Senate to stop Wall Street’s reckless behavior.
In fact, she was barely even a follower.
Additionally, as Politico reports:
Clinton also has some history with the shadow-banking world she says is a continuing risk to the financial system. While in the Senate, she made a little-noticed overture to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who was involved in talks to rescue giant insurer AIG with government funds. She was calling on behalf of wealthy investors who stood to lose millions and had hired two longtime Clinton associates to represent them.
So not only did she not battle for the American people against Wall Street, or even follow those who were fighting for the citizens, she actually fought on Wall Street’s behalf.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Sat Feb 6, 2016, 01:44 PM (72 replies)
The Clinton argument goes: No way could Bernie break up the banks. Only a pragmatic, moderate insider can get anywhere.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Sat Feb 6, 2016, 12:12 AM (7 replies)
Henry Kissinger, Hillary Clinton’s Tutor in War and Peace
Last night, Clinton once again praised a man with a lot of blood on his hands.
By Greg Grandin * Feb 5, 2016 * The Nation
Clinton just can’t quit him. Even as she is trying to outflank Bernie on his left, Hillary Clinton can’t help but stutter the name of Henry Kissinger. Last night in the New Hampshire debate, Clinton thought to close her argument that she is the true progressive with this: “I was very flattered when Henry Kissinger said I ran the State Department better than anybody had run it in a long time.”
Let’s consider some of Kissinger’s achievements during his tenure as Richard Nixon’s top foreign policy–maker. He (1) prolonged the Vietnam War for five pointless years; (2) illegally bombed Cambodia and Laos; (3) goaded Nixon to wiretap staffers and journalists; (4) bore responsibility for three genocides in Cambodia, East Timor, and Bangladesh; (5) urged Nixon to go after Daniel Ellsberg for having released the Pentagon Papers, which set off a chain of events that brought down the Nixon White House; (6) pumped up Pakistan’s ISI, and encouraged it to use political Islam to destabilize Afghanistan; (7) began the US’s arms-for-petrodollars dependency with Saudi Arabia and pre-revolutionary Iran; (8) accelerated needless civil wars in southern Africa that, in the name of supporting white supremacy, left millions dead; (9) supported coups and death squads throughout Latin America; and (10) ingratiated himself with the first-generation neocons, such as Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz, who would take American militarism to its next calamitous level. Read all about it in Kissinger’s Shadow!
A full tally hasn’t been done, but a back-of-the-envelope count would attribute 3, maybe 4 million deaths to Kissinger’s actions, but that number probably undercounts his victims in southern Africa. Pull but one string from the current tangle of today’s multiple foreign policy crises, and odds are it will lead back to something Kissinger did between 1968 and 1977. Over-reliance on Saudi oil? That’s Kissinger. Blowback from the instrumental use of radical Islam to destabilize Soviet allies? Again, Kissinger. An unstable arms race in the Middle East? Check, Kissinger. Sunni-Shia rivalry? Yup, Kissinger. The impasse in Israel-Palestine? Kissinger. Radicalization of Iran? “An act of folly” was how veteran diplomat George Ball described Kissinger’s relationship to the Shah. Militarization of the Persian Gulf? Kissinger, Kissinger, Kissinger.
And yet Clinton continues to call his name, hoping his light bathes her in wisdom.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Fri Feb 5, 2016, 03:28 PM (9 replies)
Bernie’s Army Is Running for Congress
Sanders Democrats like Nevada's Lucy Flores aim to amplify the Vermont senator's uncompromising message in Washington—and move the party in a populist direction.
BY DAVID DAYEN * February 3, 2016 * New Republic
Bernie Sanders’s political revolution is predicated in part on mobilizing the public to change the direction of the country. Naysayers carp, and not without reason, that this is impossible, with Republicans having a lock on the gerrymandered Congress for the near future. But to change that state of affairs, you need Sanders Democrats—progressive leaders willing to compete for marginal seats and battle from inside the Capitol Building.
The army is out there. This past week, I interviewed three candidates for Congress, all running in seats currently held by Republicans, who have endorsed Bernie Sanders. They may not all win—some might not even represent the Democrats in the general election—but they exemplify a new energy in the party, expressing pride in liberal ideas instead of fleeing from them, ready to work the levers of the system to achieve progress wherever possible. The greatest gift Sanders—the longtime independent—has given to the Democratic Party is to inspire a progressive revolution from within.
Zephyr Teachout went from an unassuming law professor to a political rock star when she challenged New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary in 2014, faring better than anyone expected. Now she’s running for Congress upstate in the 19th Congressional District, an open-seat swing district where she beat Cuomo in all but one county, typically by a wide margin. Within a week of announcing her candidacy on January 25, Teachout attracted more than 3,000 donors and took in close to $100,000 in contributions, a signal of her continuing grassroots strength.
The low-dollar surge isn’t just an election strategy, but a commitment: Removing big money from politics is one of Teachout’s top issues. In fact, she highlights corporate concentration of power as the primary economic and political problem. “In the conversations I’ve had, people don’t love big cable companies, they don’t love big banks,” Teachout says. “People know something is deeply wrong, and they’re open to all kinds of different solutions.”
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Fri Feb 5, 2016, 02:28 PM (2 replies)
Progressives Nationwide Seek to Take Bernie Sanders’ ‘Political Revolution’ Into Congress
by Alexander Reed Kelly * Feb 4, 2016 * TruthDig
Bernie Sanders’ call for a “political revolution” is inspiring progressives to mount bids for Congress nationwide. Together, they may be able to wrest control of the U.S. government from Wall Street, big oil and the military-industrial complex.
In late January, Truthdig reported on law professor Tim Canova’s bid to unseat Debbie Wasserman Schultz from her post in Florida. Add to his effort that of Zephyr Teachout in New York, John Fetterman in Pennsylvania and Lucy Flores in Nevada.
“Bernie Sanders’s political revolution is predicated in part on mobilizing the public to change the direction of the country,” writes David Dayen at The New Republic. “Naysayers carp, and not without reason, that this is impossible, with Republicans having a lock on the gerrymandered Congress for the near future. But to change that state of affairs, you need Sanders Democrats—progressive leaders willing to compete for marginal seats and battle from inside the Capitol Building”:
The army is out there. They may not all win—some might not even represent the Democrats in the general election—but they exemplify a new energy in the party, expressing pride in liberal ideas instead of fleeing from them, ready to work the levers of the system to achieve progress wherever possible. The greatest gift Sanders—the longtime independent—has given to the Democratic Party is to inspire a progressive revolution from within.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Fri Feb 5, 2016, 02:21 PM (2 replies)