Town Hall Meeting

24 Sep 2010

Of/By/4

Filed under: — Al @ 4:35 pm

Check out Larry Lessig’s TED talk about American problems and a solution. One such example is obesity, and one of it’s main causes: the artist formerly known as high fructose corn syrup. He talks about how corruption and the flood of money in politics have directly led to the corn abundance in America. Prices of vegetables between 1997 and 2000, went up 17%, while a coke has gone down 35%! He then moves into the financial collapse and the BP oil disaster. He goes on to explain how, why, and what we can do about all of it.

A video used to be embedded here but the service that it was hosted on has shut down.

He includes a quote from President Abraham Lincoln in 1864:

“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”

15 Sep 2010

Another Sign We Live in 1984

Filed under: — Al @ 10:52 am

Doublespeak lives and it’s as strong as ever…

(emphasis added)
“The makers of high fructose corn syrup want to sweeten its image with a new name: corn sugar. The Corn Refiners Association applied Tuesday to the federal government for permission to use the name on food labels.”

“Renaming products has succeeded before. For example, low eurcic acid rapeseed oil became much more popular after becoming “canola oil” in 1988. Prunes tried to shed a stodgy image by becoming “dried plums” in 2000.”

“”I found (high fructose corn syrup) in things that you would never think needed it, or should have it,” said Leib, 36. “I found it in jars of pickles, in English muffins and bread. Why do we need extra sweeteners?””

“The average American ate 35.7 pounds of high fructose corn syrup last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s down 21 percent from 45.4 pounds 10 years before.”

“They’re not saying this is a healthy vitamin, or health product,” he said. “They’re just trying to move away from the negative associations.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100914/ap_on_bi_ge/us_corn_syrup_image

08 Sep 2010

General Strike in France

Filed under: — Al @ 5:47 pm

Yesterday, September 7, the French had a general strike and shutdown large parts of the French system. The result is the French President is now willing to concede to some of their demands and start to negotiate. Ironically, this occurred one day after America’s “Labor Day.” However, American labor is at the end of a 50 year decline and is in such a weak state that Wall Street can take all our private and public money and very little has been done. Although that one sit down strike at Republic Windows and Doors in Chicago was a shining moment during the 2008 crash. Labor has been beaten down in America for a long time, perhaps getting its biggest defeat when the Taft-Hartley Act was passed in 1947 over Harry Truman’s veto, making among other things, general strikes like yesterday’s French one, illegal. The only way I see to balance the power in America is for workers to organize and coordinate. Workers have been thrown under the bus for 50+ years and today’s terrible wealth gap, shrinking middle class, and no power to stop it, is the result.

Check out this discussion on the American system and comments on the French strike. The segment is about 20 minutes.
Letters to Washington
September 8, 2010 at 10:00am

Click to listen or download

French general strike September 7, 2010

Here is one photo of the strike. From my brief research, size estimates of the protests range from a low of 800,000 (from police) to 2,500,000 (from organizers). This of course is on top of all those that participated in the general strike.

Headlines
Democracy Now!
August 18, 2017

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