The Robin Hood tax, a small tax of less than ½ of 1% on Wall Street transactions can generate hundreds of billions of dollars each year in the US alone. It is an idea whose impact can be felt globally as well.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande reiterated their support for the tax, announcing that they’d like to see the tax implemented before European Parliament elections in late May. And it is not just Germany and France. Nine other countries are also on board. Notably absent from supporting the Robin Hood Tax are the United States and the UK.
A star-studded video produced by the RobinHoodTax.org, imagines a future 10 years after the passage of the Robin Hood Tax. Robinhoodtax.org is made up of :
A Nobel Prize-winning economists, former US Vice Presidents and founders of Microsoft.
We are Ronald Reagan’s Budget Director, the UN’s Secretary General and the Archbishop of Capetown.
We are union members, nurses, small business owners, community organizers, faith leaders, AIDS activists, environmentalists, movie stars and musicians, and we are part of a global movement of more than 220 million people in 25 countries who are fighting for a Robin Hood Tax – a small tax on Wall Street trades.
We are a force to be reckoned with, and we are demanding justice.
Jeremy Hammond, speaking to Guardian reporter Ed Pilkington just one day before he was sentenced to the maximum sentence of 10 years for exposing the spying of StratFor, a private corporate spying firm that often works with US intelligence agencies said:
“I knew when I started out with Anonymous that being put in jail and having a lengthy sentence was a possibility. Given the nature of the targets I was going after I knew I would upset a lot of powerful people.”
The Federal Court for the Southern District of New York was packed on with supporters, journalists and activists who see Jeremy Hammond’s actions as a form of civil disobedience, motivated by a desire to protest and expose the secret activities of private intelligence corporations.
“The acts of civil disobedience and direct action that I am being sentenced for today are in line with the principles of community and equality that have guided my life. I hacked into dozens of high profile corporations and government institutions, understanding very clearly that what I was doing was against the law, and that my actions could land me back in federal prison. But I felt that I had an obligation to use my skills to expose and confront injustice—and to bring the truth to light.
Could I have achieved the same goals through legal means? I have tried everything from voting petitions to peaceful protest and have found that those in power do not want the truth to be exposed. When we speak truth to power we are ignored at best and brutally suppressed at worst. We are confronting a power structure that does not respect its own system of checks and balances, never mind the rights of it’s own citizens or the international community.”
Asher Platts, known to many of you through his work as the Punk Patriot, joins the Resistance Report team to give us the story behind the story of how grassroots – no pun- organizing helped bring legalized Marijuana to Maine.
Thanks in large part to the efforts of the Portland Green Independent Party Committee, and the Maine Green Independent Party, Portland Maine became the first city on the east coast to legalize marijuana for recreational use. It is now legal, in the city of Portland, for adults over the age of 21 to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for recreational use.
A report came over the AP wire last night that, if this were any other country in the world, would have been the top news story for days: “Multiple shots were fired inside a northern New Jersey mall shortly before closing time Monday night,” read the opening line of the report and Americans, having been through this drill before, found a cable TV talking head or pieced together facts from the ever reliable twitter and were able to learn, in short order, that a man, described by eyewitnesses as wearing “body armor, black leather pants and a motorcycle helmet,” was seen walking by Talbots in the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey shooting his rifle into the air.
A huge local and state police presence responded the mall went into lockdown and the incident ended when the gunman apparently took his own life in a Footlocker store. Incidents like this always bring out the defenders of our gun culture in force. “Guns don’t kill people, defenders of the homicidal gun culture are wont to say, people kill people. Except there is this: If I want to get from point A to B a car, bus or train will do the trick, because that is what they are designed to do. If I want to get in shape, a treadmill, (if I ever get on the treadmill – but enough about me) will do the trick because that is what a treadmill is designed to do. If I want to signal to the world I am sucker for branding and fashion and will pay more for an inferior products, DR. Dre’s BEATS headphones will signal this to the world. And while cars, when driven by drunk drivers; treadmills when run on by people with a heart condition, and fashion all can kill, the difference between all of those items and guns is simple: when guns kill, they have functioned as intended by their manufacture.
When car accident kills people, it is a horrible accident. When a gun kills someone, it is an example of the product functioning as intended.
While watching Russell Brand’s BBC interview, it is not hard to imagine two families in Middle America, neighbors, watching separately in the comfort of their own homes as Russell Brand does his bit and each nod in lonely agreement. “Yes!” they are likely to say, “this Russell Brand fellow is right.” But Family A has to work hard at a job they are made to feel they are lucky to have buying something, selling something, or processing something when, like their inner Lloyd Dobler, they don’t want to buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, they don’t want to do that. And Family B is doing the same thing. Both are trying to keep up with the Joneses, as the expression goes. Family B is competing to send their kids to better schools and than Family A; and Family A is competing just as hard to beat out Family B. They are each other’s Jones.
But there is NO Jones.
“Jones” is a construct, a shackle. And don’t you know, Jones is like the show put on by the Wizard of OZ to scare you into submission. Time for us all to find our inner Dorothys, click our heels together and build a new world called home. A new world called home. Stop the machine and build a new world called home.
Are Ted Cruz and the Tea Party the only ones to blame? No. They are, however, a great place to start a discussion about the Tyranny of the minority.
The likelihood of a government shutdown morphing into a situation where Congress does not vote to raise the nation’s borrowing limit by some time in mid-October, and leaving the nation not having money pay its bills, grows more likely by the hour.
We need a Democracy Movement to fix this shit!
Tyranny of the minority, it could be argued, has a long tradition in how the United States governs. When we broke from the British and established the constitution, “We the people” rights extended to only 5% of the citizenry: white male property owners.” And while we do allow women the right to vote and black folks the right to drink out of the same water fountains now, the ruling elite have never let go of the three branches of our so called representative government.
The boldness with which the Koch Brother fueled power grab via the co-opted Tea Party and their Pirate lunatic fringe front men like Ted Cruz is frightening only because any serious view of our elected officials tells the same story, which is this: while they like to occupy opposing sides of a false narrative for the Sunday morning talk shows and opposite side of the MSNBC and FOX news pendulum, the ruling elite have always had a vise grip over the narrative of the collective imagination what was possible within our political and cultural sphere. They have held that vice grip by controlling who governs.
Think I am exaggerating? The candidate who spends the most money wins about 94% of all elections. End of story. Sure, occasionally people like Bernie Sanders or Alan Grayson launch a meme that takes the air out of the whole farce, but their influence is similar to that of a court jester in a Shakespearean tragedy- the audience can see their wisdom, but the main players cast them off to the wilderness.
On August 31, with the nation eking out the final hours of summer, President Obama took to the podium and, shockingly, did not announce that he was going to continue in the trend of the Imperial Presidency, wherein the Executive branch, in the words of Chris Hedges, “abrogates to itself the right to declare war, which is, of course, traditionally the role of Congress.” Rather, while maintaining that he believes he has the right to act without congressional approval, Obama announced that he would allow Congress to have a voice. His speech was also a direct pitch to the American people to win support for military intervention in Syria. While only 20% of the American people thought the US should take action in Syria when Obama spoke, that number was up from only 9% last week, indicating that while the march to war may have stumbled, it continues forward.
However, let’s be clear, the United States is not on a humanitarian mission. Neither is it taking sides in a Syrian civil war. As horrific a dictator as Assad is, some of the rebel forces have direct links to Al-Qaeda and so are not so likely to advance US interests in the region were they to topple Assad. With that in mind, we will take a detailed look at the lies, hubris, and lack of vision in Obama’s Syria deception speech of August 31 in this special expanded edition of Acronym TV.
“Good afternoon, everybody. Ten days ago, the world watched in horror as men, women and children were massacred in Syria in the worst chemical weapons attack of the 21st century. Yesterday the United States presented a powerful case that the Syrian government was responsible for this attack on its own people.
Our intelligence shows the Assad regime and its forces preparing to use chemical weapons, launching rockets in the highly populated suburbs of Damascus, and acknowledging that a chemical weapons attack took place. And all of this corroborates what the world can plainly see — hospitals overflowing with victims; terrible images of the dead. All told, well over 1,000 people were murdered. Several hundred of them were children — young girls and boys gassed to death by their own government.”
While the United States has presented a powerful case, to borrow the phrase from President Obama, that the Syrian government is responsible for gassing their own people to death, the power in its case does not lie in truth and transparency, but in arm-twisting, deceit and obfuscation. The administration also stands at the ready to flout international law in its open disregard for UN authorization for force and the US constitution, for Obama, while prepared to give congress a voice, is also prepared to wage war on his own.
For everything you think you know about Syria, know this there is only one indisputable fact, according to William Polk, a long time foreign policy consultant who served in multiple Presidential administrations and as a member of the Policy Planning Council, was “cleared” for all the information the US Government had on weapons of mass destruction, including poison gas, and special intelligence. That one single indisputable fact is this:
On Wednesday, August 21 canisters of gas opened in several suburbs of the Syrian capital Damascus and within a short time approximately a thousand people were dead.
That, on September 3, 2013, is the only indisputable fact we know.
It is growing increasingly possible that public outcry might make the Imperial force of American Exceptionalism, with its humanitarian war sights set on Syria, back down.
New evidence is surfacing about just who might be behind the chemical attacks, with a credible view published by a journalist with 20 years middle East pointing to evidence that the Saudis could have supplied the Rebel forces with chemical weapons and, in the untrained hands of the rebels, the Chemical Weapons detonated in a tragic accident. This, of course, flies in the face of the thesis put forward by Obama, who claims that the Assad regime was so brazenly violating international norms that he needed to be dethroned, or at the very least, sent a very strong message visa vie hellfire missiles reigning down from a US lead coalition of the willing. That the drone commander in chief does not see drone strikes in countries that have not declared war on US to be something within the set of acceptable international norms should be an impeachable offense in and of itself. Now that the U.S. has lost the leading lap-dog (the U.K.) in it’s coalition of the willing standing at the ready to march in lock step with whatever our next move on the Armageddon chessboard that is the Middle East might be, what will congress do when they reconvene on September 9th?
OBAMA TERROR ALERT
Even a former CIA analyst who was part of the team that hunted Osama bin Laden for years, Nada Bakos said- “We just showed our hand, so now they’re obviously going to change their position on when and where”. And Will McCants, a former State Department adviser on counterterrorism said -“It’s crazy pants – you can quote me.”
DETROIT, ROCK BOTTOM
So what’s happening in Detroit? It seems like every time we hear about the motor city we hear about its economic struggles and everything in between, from the blighted neighborhoods, thousands of boarded up homes, abandoned local businesses, rampant crime, and a more than 50% decline in the cities population since 2008. What we don’t hear about is the new game that our friends in the banking department of the bourgeoisie are playing with the livelihoods of Detroit’s residents. As we know, Wall Street has a tendency to bundle, repackage and gamble on the market anything from Margaretville Mixers to Credit Default Swaps, and it just so happens that they’ve added Interest Rate Swaps to the same category. Joel Northam reports.
PROTESTORS SPOIL ALEC’s 40th BIRTHDAY
One of the organizers of the protest, Greg Goodman said: “ALEC promotes the interests of Big Business and the 1% while actively working to disenfranchise ordinary people, erode workers rights, gut the social safety net, destroy the environment, eliminate corporate liability, criminalize poverty and immigration, privatize the public goods and inject even more money into our political system, drowning out the voices and rights of the people.”
GLOBAL TEMPERATURES RISING, WHAT TO DO?
Human behavior is causing climate change, and unless we can reverse our current course no amount of clean canteen usage over Styrofoam cups will save us. But you and I are just individuals- what can we do about? Lee Camp joins the Resistance Report team to remind us one of the most obvious, if most difficult things we can do to fight Global warming.
STOP THE MACHINE!
Last week, environmental activists blockaded and shut down road construction that seeks to pave the way for companies like US Oil Sands to start working on the first industrial sized tar sands mine in the United States. Activists from Rising Tide Canyon Country and Peaceful Uprising engaged in a weeklong non-violent resistance training- the Canyon County action Camp- whose culminating action was the blockade.
THE GREAT GAS GALA- UK
The community in Balcombe, Sussex has been resisting attempts by fracking company Cuadrilla Resources to start drilling in their village since July 25. According to their website (greatgasgala.org.uk): “The camp outside the site is still going strong though, with people refusing to be intimidated by this police thuggery. People are staying overnight but more support is needed. Carloads of people arriving from all over UK. “
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