Contrary to the popular narrative, Americans overwhelmingly agree on a startling range of issues. So why is there such a disconnect between what Americans want and what Americans get? Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen, and co-author of the book “The Corporate Sabotage of America” identifies the culprits and outlines what we, the people, can do about it. Then, Ralph welcomes Ambassador Chas Freeman, who brings his vast diplomatic experience and historical insight to bear on the ongoing collective punishment raining down on the people of Gaza.
Unfortunately though, Ralph doesn’t seem to understand that without a literal revolution, we are powerless to change anything at all.
But I certainly admire your dogged determination and all the good that you’ve done though.
As a poor person, I have finally SEEN that I have zero agency in this society.
I certainly appreciate the views offered here in contrast to those of CNN, and MSNBC for instance. Ambassador Freeman especially seems reasonable, and wise. The Capital Hill Citizen newspaper is excellent, too IMO.
Is the fellow in a Rip Van WInkle time lock?
Ambassador Chas Freeman
It (the bombing of Gaza) is a gross violation of any standard of human rights. And the fact that we support it is discrediting us. We started out claiming that the eyes of the world were upon us, and we should shine like a city on the hill. I think much of the world looks at us now and they see dead babies in rubble, not a shining city on the hill.
Heartless, too this overripe "ambassador" --" I think one of the great pieces of collateral damage from this (Israeli/Gaza conflict) is the United Nations Charter, international law, and the credibility of these institutions at the UN. But more particularly, I think the next time Americans lecture foreigners about human rights, they're not going to laugh at us—they're going to sneer. Because this is such a tremendous demonstration of hypocrisy on our part."
Get real people on your show, once in a while.
Britain Rises for Gaza: Lowkey Exposes Israel's Waning Grip on Politics
Yes, he is Lowkey, and he is a journalist and researcher and Arab, and he is, alas, way ahead of the curve on what is happening with UK-USA-Israel.
Do these East Coast "international" AmeriKKKans get out of the curated Poison Ivy League house?
The worst thing murdering 50K or more Palestinians, just this time around, is what? UN Charter?
Man oh man: A short list, but looks at the killings that occurred after UN Charter!!!
People outside the Beltway and the Professional Managerial and NGO and Diplomatic Class remember, man.
How about Abby Martin, then? Get her on. Working class Roger Waters, then?
Roger Waters & Abby Martin on Gaza Genocide = https://youtu.be/ScNHE78Lye0?si=uww8rcWy8anFYWtM
A list of wars (italic) and of military combat that for some reason isn’t called a war (non-italic) that does not attempt to include every war and combat against Native Americans:
1774-1883 Shawnee, Delaware
1777-1781 Iroquois Confederacy (Haudenosaunee)
1790-1795 Miami Confederacy
1792-1793 Muskogee (Creek)
1806-1810 Spanish, French privateers
1810 Spanish West Florida
1810-1813 Shawnee Confederacy
1812 Spanish Florida
1812-1815 Canada (Great Britain)
1812-1815 Dakota Sioux
1812-1815 Iroquois Confederacy (Haudenosaunee)
1813 Spanish West Florida
1813-1814 Marquesas Islands
1813-1814 Muskogee (Creek) Confederacy
1814 Spanish Florida
1816 Spanish Florida
1817 Spanish Florida
1818 Oregon (Russia, Spain)
1820-1861 African Slave Trade Patrol
1822-1825 Cuba (Spain
1824 Puerto Rico (Spain)
1831-1832 Falkland Islands
1836-1837 Muskogee (Creek)
1840 Fiji Islands
1851 Johanna Island
1853-1854 Ryukyu, Ogasawara islands
1855 Fiji Islands
1855-1856 Rogue River Indigenous Peoples
1855-1856 Yakima, Walla Walla, Cayuse
1856 Panama (Colombia)
1858 Coeur d’Alene Alliance
1858 Fiji Islands
1865 Panama (Colombia)
1866-1868 Lakota Siouw, Northern Cheyenne, Northern Arapaho
1867 Formosa (Taiwan)
1873 Colombia (Panama)
1874-1875 Comanche, Apache, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Kiowa
1877 Nez Perce
1878 Bannock (Banna’kwut)
1885 Panama (Colombia)
1890 Lakota Sioux
1891 Bering Straight
1895 Panama (Colombia)
1898 Cuba (Spain)
1898 Philippines (Spain)
1898 Puerto Rico (Spain)
1903 Dominican Republic
1903-1904 Abyssinia (Ethiopia)
1904 Dominican Republic
1914 Dominican Republic
1916-1924 Dominican Republic
1917-1918 World War I (Europe)
1932 El Salvador
1941-1945 World War II (Europe, North Africa, Asia/Pacific)
1948-1949 Berlin, Germany
1950 Formosa (Taiwan)
1953-1954 Formosa (Taiwan)
1964 Congo (Zaire)
1965 Dominican Republic
1967 Congo (Zaire)
1978 Congo (Zaire)
1981 El Salvador
1990 Saudi Arabia
1991 Congo (Zaire)
2000-2002 East Timor
2001 – Afghanistan
2011 Democratic Republic of the Congo
c2012- Central African Republic
c2013-2016 South Sudan
c2013- Burkina Faso
2014 Democratic Republic of the Congo
2015 Democratic Republic of the Congo
2016 Democratic Republic of the Congo
2017- Saudi Arabia
The comment that the last presidential election was fair is often stated but never true. The choice was between two extremely broken and corrupt men. The Democrats stabbed Bernie Sanders and his Progressive followers in the back. That was not a legitimate primary. Hence Biden was NOT a legitimate candidate. In other words: IT WAS NOT A FAIR ELECTION!
Are we smart enough to take our nation back?
While the solutions proposed by Robert Weissman may be good ideas, none will be accomplished until the important part of his first solution is accomplished.
His first solution was actually two separate solutions. Citizens United did not start the problem with big money controlling politics and it will not end it even if a constitutional amendment is passed and ratified in the next twenty or so years.
And we can't wait twenty years for an ineffective solution.
But we can demand small donor candidates for Congress in 2024 and enforce that demand with our votes in the primary and general elections. If there are no small donor candidates on the ballot citizens can use a write in vote to register a vote against the big money candidates and to create and demonstrate demand for small donor candidates in 2026.
Just 10% of the vote nationally in 2024 could inspire more citizens to participate in 2026 and could inspire candidates to run in 2026 as small donor candidates. This could be built on in 2028 making significant progress by 2028 as more citizens and candidates participate.
Much faster and more effective than any legislation promised but never delivered by the big money legislators because they work the the big money interests that have no interest in getting the big money out of politics.
All the letters, town halls and protest rallies will not persuade the big money legislators to go against the big money interests if we keep voting for them when they take big money.
We must take the protest into the voting booth if we want accomplish anything.
"Parasitic Capitalism and its Parasitic Capitalists, in time - literally Kill and Destroy ALL they touch and infest, for the Lust and Greed of the Authoritarian Parasitic Capitalist Fascist POS "Few" and their Evil “Vile Maxim!" ...
Parasitic Capitalism and its arrogance, corruption, abuse and insatiable evil greed is a disease, an addiction.
Parasitic Capitalism and the Authoritarian Parasitic Capitalist Fascist POS "Few" are the Real Evil Plague of and upon Nature, Wildlife, the Planet, "the People" (Humanity Globally) and All (biological) Life and (*both) Must be (completely) Abolished." - (aka) “PolarBear”
*Parasitic Capitalism and the Authoritarian Parasitic Capitalist Fascist POS "Few"
“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is cooperating with it.” - MLK
In the (True) words of Malcolm X: "Show me a Capitalist and I'll show you a Bloodsucker."
"Social murder is a term coined by Friedrich Engels in 1845 in one of his seminal works, 'The Conditions of the Working Class in England'.
“When one individual inflicts bodily injury upon another such that death results, we call the deed manslaughter; when the assailant knew in advance that the injury would be fatal, we call his deed murder. But when society places hundreds of proletarians in such a position that they inevitably meet a too early and an unnatural death, one which is quite as much a death by violence as that by the sword or bullet; when it deprives thousands of the necessaries of life, places them under conditions in which they cannot live – forces them, through the strong arm of the law, to remain in such conditions until that death ensues which is the inevitable consequence – knows that these thousands of victims must perish, and yet permits these conditions to remain, its deed is murder just as surely as the deed of the single individual; disguised, malicious murder, murder against which none can defend himself, which does not seem what it is, because no man sees the murderer, because the death of the victim seems a natural one, since the offence is more one of omission than of commission. But murder it remains.” Engels used the term social murder to describe how living and working conditions of English workers caused their premature death. Engels argued that since those responsible for these conditions – the ruling class or the bourgeoisie – were aware of the conditions that caused premature death, they were therefore committing social murder."
“You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil system never deserves such allegiance. Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil. A good person will resist an evil system with his or her whole soul.” - Mahatma Gandhi
"The Republican and Democratic parties, or, to be more exact, the Republican-Democratic party, represent the capitalist class in the class struggle. They are the political wings of the capitalist system and such differences as arise between them relate to spoils and not to principles." - Eugene V. Debs
"Capitalism’s concept of competitive man who seeks only to maximize wealth and power, who subjects himself to market relationships, to exploitation and external authority, is anti-human and intolerable in the deepest sense" - Noam Chomsky
"In the moral calculus of currently prevailing state capitalism, profits and bonuses in the next quarter greatly outweigh concern for the welfare of one’s grandchildren, and since these are institutional maladies, they will not be easy to overcome. While much remains uncertain, we can assure ourselves, with fair confidence, that future generations will not forgive us our silence and apathy." - Noam Chomsky
"A basic principle of modern state capitalism is that costs and risks are socialized to the extent possible, while profit is privatized." - Noam Chomsky
"Under capitalism, we can't have democracy by definition. Capitalism is a system in which the central institutions of society are in principle under autocratic control." - Noam Chomsky
"Capitalism is a system in which the central institutions of society are, in principle, under autocratic control. Thus, a corporation or an industry is, if we were to think of it in political terms, fascist, that is, it has tight control at the top and strict obedience has to be established at every level. [...] Just as I'm opposed to political fascism, I am opposed to economic fascism. I think that until the major institutions of society are under the popular control of participants and communities, it's pointless to talk about democracy." - Noam Chomsky
"The superior man does what is right; the inferior one, what is profitable" – Confucius
I’m glad that Public Citizen has made this book freely downloadable. I have downloaded it and I have already started to read it. There’s a lot I agree with in the book and in the interview with Mr. Weissman. We don’t need to spend much time discussing where we agree since that won’t get us very far. Thus, don’t be offended that I’ll spend the rest of this post discussing where I disagree with the narrative.
Public Citizen. Public *Citizen*. Citizen is in the name! So, with that, why is ‘taxpayer’ used as a synonym for citizen?
From the interview and what I’ve read so far, it seems Mr. Weissman is entering the circle of failure which leads to increasing corporatism/neoliberalism: 1. The public needs increased tax revenue to fund social programs and regulation. → 2. The most wealthy then are biggest agent towards progressiveness since their tax revenue can fund the government if only their tax rate increases and they are made to pay their taxes. → 3. Since the wealthy are the biggest agents towards progressiveness, they are afforded more power in the political process. They’re job creators after all! → 4. Corporate interests have even increased power in the political process which leads to outcomes from lobbying such as privatization, deregulation, and tax cuts. Something must be done! → Repeat stages 1-4 in an infinite loop of doom.
Of course, all of this assumes that tax returns (revenue in less correct terms) fund the US federal government, but that is a false assumption. Any assumption that tax returns funds government is failed logic.
The correct way to free the citizens from the bondage of corporatism caused by the aforementioned cycle is to focus on the citizens and not the taxpayers. The federal government (though not state and local governments) is not restricted in their ability to fund appropriations. Funding for this does not come from tax returns, but taxation is still vitally important for a number of reasons. As Bill Mitchell recently eloquently pointed out in his criticism of the Patriotic Millionaires ( https://billmitchell.org/blog/?p=61142 ), the wealthy are not in a more powerful position since their wealth and business success does not fund government. Rather, one of the major benefits of taxation is to limit the ability of the wealthy to spend on influencing the political process. This supports pro-citizen policy instead of Public Citizen’s cockamamie ‘Public Taxpayer’ messaging.
The citizenry may agree on several things such as the need for healthcare reform, but we’re not going to get anywhere if the public is convinced that the country will ‘go broke’ trying to fund comprehensive reform. Even a cursory view of Republican and Democratic Party-leaning political forums will show this is the common narrative, but it is a false narrative reinforced by Public Taxpayer’s messaging. As Michael Hudson pointed out on the RNRH several months ago, the real cost to the citizens is the cost of corporatism/neoliberalism. The cost of medical debt, the cost of insurance which is unusable due to high deductibles, the cost of insurance which does not cover important procedures, the cost of in-network/out-of-network facilities, and so forth. This causes citizens to ‘go broke’ and be broken. The cost of fixing these problems for good through the federal government will not cause the government to ‘go broke’ and that doesn’t require the super-rich to save the citizens.
I tried to order copies but there is no option to add second address for delivery....finally gave up.
Capitalism is incapable of being done right. The racism/disenfranchisement of members is built in. The wealth of the wealthy is derived from the disenfranchised of select members, by race and by economic status. This evil process is also augmented thru imperial conflict. Overall there is no happy capitalism.
"In the (True) words of Malcolm X: "Show me a Capitalist and I'll show you a Bloodsucker."
"The corporation, like the psychopathic personality it resembles, is programmed to exploit others for profit." - Joel Bakan
"By leveraging their freedom from the bonds of location, corporations could now dictate the economic policy of governments." - Joel Bakan
"The corporation's legally defined mandate s to pursue, relentlessly and without exception, its own self interest, regardless of the often harmful consequences it might cause to others. As a result, I argue, the corporation is a pathological institution, a dangerous possessor of the great power it wields over people and societies." - Joel Bakan
"The notion that business and government are and should be partners is ubiquitous, unremarkable, and repeated like a mantra by leaders in both domains. It seems a compelling and innocuous idea - until you think about what it really means." - Joel Bakan
"A century and a half after its birth, the modern business corporation, an artificial person made in the image of a human psychopath, now is seeking to remake real people in its image." - Joel Bakan
“Man and fascism cannot co-exist. If fascism conquers, man will cease to exist and there will remain only man-like creatures that have undergone an internal transformation. But if man, man who is endowed with reason and kindness, should conquer, then Fascism must perish, and those who have submitted to it will once again become people.” ― Vasily Grossman (Life and Fate)
"The superior man does what is right; the inferior one, what is profitable" – Confucius "