Article 43

 

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Welcome

Welcome to article43.com - a memorial to the layed off workers of (PRE SBC MERGER) AT&T, and the disappearing MIDDLE CLASS citizens of America.  It is NOT endorsed or affiliated with AT&T or the CWA in any way.

This sticky post was written the day we appeared on the internet in 2004.

In addition to INFORMATION, resources and opinion for former AT&T workers DEALING WITH the EFFECTS OF LAYOFF and looking for meaningful employment, some articles here are meant to bring into awareness the LARGER PICTURE of corporate dominance of the UNITED STATES’ political and economic policies which brazenly DISREGARDS, disrespects and EXPLOITS worker, citizen and HUMAN RIGHTS under masks like FREE TRADE and the PATRIOT ACT - resulting in a return to a society of very rich and very poor dominated by a few very rich and powerful - whose voices are anything but - for the people. If left UNCHALLENGED, the self-serving interests of those in control may result in the end of DEMOCRACY, the end of the middle class, irreversible ENVIRONMENTAL damage to the planet, and widespread global poverty brought on by exploitation and supression of the voices of common people EVERYWHERE, while the United States turns into a REINCARNATION of the ROMAN EMPIRE.  Author Thom Hartmann shares some history and outlines some basic steps to return our country to “The People” in his two articles TEN STEPS TO RETURN TO DEMOCRACY and SAVING THE MIDDLE CLASS. I support CERNIG’S idea for a new POLITICAL MOVEMENT - if not a revolution to cleanse our country of the filth ruling it - as we EVOLVE into a GLOBAL community - assuming we learn the THE LESSONS OF OUR TIME and don’t DESTROY CIVILIZATION first.

Everything here can be viewed anonymously.  Inserting or commenting on articles requires a free user account (for former AT&T employees with a real, non throw-away, email address.) Requests to the new user registration page are redirected to BLOGGED DOT COM’S site because most new signups I get are from COMMENT SPAMMERS and their ilk, so if you want to contribute, contact me through email, phone, or some other way.

There’s no third-party scripts here like privacy-eroding WEB COUNTERS, hidden datamining widgets like Pay-Pal donation boxes, or AMAZON DOT COM tracking stuff.  The RSS feeds are pulled by the server, and have no relation to anything you may be doing here.  Standard Apache WEB LOGS of info like IP, and pages visited are rotated every few days, and used internally to check the web server’s performance.  Logs of suspicious activity may be shared with law enforcement, or other ISPs, to deal with troublemakers.  Nothing here is for sale, and donations are not solicited.

If you get an email that claims to be from somebody here that’s anything but a request to post your article, or report suspicious activity (like logs sent to an ISP to report an attack) - it’s SPAM. I do not, and will not - ever - join the junk mail sender community. There are no mechanisms to prevent anyone from forging anyone elses email address in a “from” or “reply-to” mail header. For those of us whose email addresses are fraudently used, the best we can do is filter out NDR REPORTS.

Per U.S.C. COPYRIGHT LAW - TITLE 17, SECTION 107, this not-for-profit site may reproduce copyrighted material not specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such articles will either have a web link to the source, home page, and/or show credit to the author.  If yours is here and you have a problem with that, send me an EMAIL, and I’ll take it off. Stuff I wrote carries a CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE permitting non-commercial sharing. In addition, this site’s owner forbids insertion and injecting data of any kind - especially advertisements - into ours by any person or entity.  Should you see a commercial ad that looks like it’s from here, please report it by sending me a tcpdump and/or screenshot in an EMAIL, then READ UP about how the PARTNERING OF INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS and companies like NEBUAD are DESTROYING INTERNET PRIVACY

Resumes of layed off AT&T workers are posted for free HERE.

Information on the Pension Class Action Lawsuit against AT&T is HERE.  More pension-related articles are HERE.

Links to some Telecom companies’ career pages are HERE.

Click HERE to learn a little about Article 43 and why I loathe the CWA.
Click HERE or HERE to learn what the CWA did when given a chance to do the right thing.
Click HERE for a glimpse of undemocratic and hypocritical CWA practices.
Click HERE for an article on Corporate Unionism.
Click HERE for an article of AFL-CIO’s undemocratic history.

If you’re looking for telco nostalgia, you won’t find it here.  Check out THE CENTRAL OFFICE, BELL SYSTEM MEMORIAL, MUSEUM OF COMMUNICATIONS, TELEPHONE TRIBUTE, and THE READING WORKS websites instead.

This site can disappear anytime if I run out of money to pay for luxuries like food, health care, or internet service.

Discernment of truth is left to the reader - whose encouraged to seek as much information as possible, from as many different sources as possible - and pass them through his/her own filters - before believing anything.

...the Devil is just one man with a plan, but evil, true evil, is a collaboration of men…
- Fox Mulder, X Files

No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.
- John F. Kennedy

Today my country, your country and the Earth face a corporate holocaust against human and Earthly rights. I call their efforts a holocaust because when giant corporations wield human rights backed by constitutions and the law (and therefore enforced by police, the courts, and armed forces) and sanctioned by cultural norms, the rights of people, other species and the Earth are annihilated.
- Richard L. Grossman

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
- Albert Einstein

He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust.
- Aquinas

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
- Bishop Desmond Tutu

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
- Martin Luther King Jr

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
- Benjamin Franklin

If we do not hang together, we will surely hang separately.
- Benjamin Franklin

We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war.
- Albert Einstein

Solidarity has always been key to political and economic advance by working families, and it is key to mastering the politics of globalization.
- Thomas Palley

As we head into the next depression, fueled by selfish corporate greed, and a corrupt, SOCIOPATHIC US government, MIKE WHITNEY wrote a solution in 2007 that makes a lot of sense to me :

The impending credit crisis cant be avoided, but it could be mitigated by taking radical steps to soften the blow. Emergency changes to the federal tax code could put more money in the hands of maxed-out consumers and keep the economy sputtering along while efforts are made to curtail the ruinous trade deficit. We should eliminate the Social Security tax for any couple making under $60, 000 per year and restore the 1953 tax-brackets for Americans highest earners so that the upper 1%-- who have benefited the most from the years of prosperity---will be required to pay 93% of all earnings above the first $1 million income. At the same time, corporate profits should be taxed at a flat 35%, while capital gains should be locked in at 35%. No loopholes. No exceptions.

Congress should initiate a program of incentives for reopening American factories and provide generous sufbsidies to rebuild US manufacturing. The emphasis should be on reestablishing a competitive market for US exports while developing the new technologies which will address the imminent problems of environmental degradation, global warming, peak oil, overpopulation, resource scarcity, disease and food production. Off-shoring of American jobs should be penalized by tariffs levied against the offending industries.

The oil and natural gas industries should be nationalized with the profits earmarked for vocational training, free college tuition, universal health care and improvements to then nations infrastructure.

Posted by Admin on 09/05/04 •

Printable viewLink to this article
Home

Monday, November 11, 2019

How Many Good Jobs

no jobs

53 Million Americans Drowning in Cycle of Low-Wage Work
Today’s artificial economy isn’t working for everyone.

By Tyler Durden
Zerohedge
November 9, 2019

It’s the “Greatest Economy Ever,” right? Well, it depends on who you ask.

For instance, a new report sheds light on 53 million Americans, or about 44% of all US workers, aged 18 to 64, are considered low-wage and low-skilled.

Many of these folks are stuck in THE GIG ECONOMY, making approximately $10.22 per hour, and they bring home less than $20,000 per year, according to a Brookings Institution report of these folks are stuck in the gig economy, making approximately $10.22 per hour, and they bring home less than $20,000 per year, ACCORDING TO a Brookings Institution report.

An overwhelmingly large percentage of these folks have insurmountable debts in that of student loans, auto loans, and or credit cards. Their wages don’t cover their debt servicing payments as their lives will be left in financial ruin after the next recession.

While the top 10% of Americans are partying like it’s 1999, most of whom own assets - like stocks, bonds, and real estate - are greatly prospering off the Federal Reserves serial asset bubble-blowing scheme and President Trump’s stock market pumping on Twitter.

Today’s artificial economy isn’t working for everyone as the wealth inequality gap swells to crisis levels.

The US is at the 11th hour, one hour till midnight, as the wealth inequality imbalance will correct itself by the eruption of protests on the streets of major metro areas, sort of like whats been happening across the world in Chile, Hong Kong, Lebanon, and Barcelona.

An uprising, a revolution, people are waking up to the fact that unelected officials and governments have ruined the economy and has resulted in their financial misery of low wages and insurmountable debts.

The report shows almost half of all low-wage workers are clustered in ten occupations, such as a retail salesperson, cooks and food preparation, building cleaners, and construction workers (these are some of the jobs that will get wiped out during the next recession).

10 biggest jobs

Shown below, most of these low-wage workers are centered in areas around the North East, Mid-Atlantic, and Rust Belt.

2019 11 jobs by state

As we’ve detailed in past articles, millions of these low-wage and low-skilled jobs will never be replaced after the next recession, that’s due in part to mega corporations swapping out these jobs with automation and artificial intelligence.

The solution by the government and the Federal Reserve, to avoid riots in the streets, will be the implementation of various forms of quantitative easing for the people.

There’s a reason why you already hear the debate of universal income, central banks starting to finance green investments, and other various forms of short/long term stimulus, that is because the global economy is grinding to a halt - and the only solution at the moment is to do more of the same.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 11/11/19 •
Section Dying America • Section Workplace
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one
Printable viewLink to this article
Home

Sunday, November 03, 2019

500 Hundred Resumes Later

image: the invisible long-term unemployed

[O]ut-of-work Americans have played a critical role in helping the richest one percent recover trillions in financial wealth.
- Why The Rich Love Unemployment

After saying that “the halls of Congress are no joke,” Ocasio-Cortez said that “standing up to corporate power, and established interests is no joke. It’s not just about standing up and saying these things, but behind closed doors, your arm is twisted, the vise pressure of political pressure gets put on you, every trick in the book, psychological, and otherwise is to get us to abandon the working class.”
- Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

[F]or years the government has been taking large numbers of people from the basket known as “officially unemployed” and dumping them into another basket known as “not in the labor force.” Since those that are “not in the labor force” do not count toward the official unemployment rate, they can make things look better than they actually are by moving people into that category.
- There’s no BS like the BLS

THERE’S NO OTHER WAY TO SAY THIS. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.

When the media, talking heads, the White House and Wall Street start reporting the truth - the percent of Americans in good jobs; jobs that are full time and real then we will quit wondering why Americans aren’t feeling something that doesn’t remotely reflect the reality in their lives. And we will also quit wondering what hollowed out the middle class.
- Gallup Head Says Unemployment Rate is “A Big Lie.”

This is VERY BAD. These are young men who have given up hope - men who saw no light at the end of the TUNNEL

That’s what happens when all you have is debt and no job prospects.

were all sort of just making time pass until the end. The antidepressants help, but on some level I can’t help feeling like Wellbutrin is only masking a very rational reaction to “modern” life.

Weve created a world so miserable that people prefer death over it.
- Reddit Post

Lots of Job Hunting, but No Job, Despite Low Unemployment
Even with the strongest labor market in half a century, getting work after losing it can still be a challenge.
Patricia Cohen

By Patricia Cohen
NY Times
October 31, 2019

RIVER VALE, N.J.  Laura Ward flipped through the small, lined notebook where she had neatly recorded every job posting she had answered, resume she had sent and application she had completed since being laid off in March 2016.

No. 28 was a job listing for a creative manager at Byre Group posted on the website Indeed.

No. 97 was about a brand marketing administrator job at Benjamin Moore.

No. 109 marketing operations at AMC.

No. 158 an associate project manager at Vitamin Shoppe.

Callbacks were circled in green. Rejections were marked with a red X. Most have neither, signaling no reply one way or the other. Bottled messages dropped in an ocean.

“I had to keep track somehow,” said Ms. Ward, who has maintained job-hunting diaries since the 1990s.

Even in some of the hottest labor markets in the country - let alone lagging rural regions and former industrial powerhouses - workers, including skilled ones like Ms. Ward, say they cannot find jobs that provide a middle-class income and don’t come with an expiration date.

After more than a decade as production manager at a small advertising agency, Ms. Ward was let go after the firm lost a major account. Over the last three and a half years, she has worked temporary stints, and bolstered her skills by taking a project-management course at a nearby college. But she has not been able to find a steady, full-time job.

So for her, the reports of low unemployment rates and employer complaints of labor shortages are puzzling.

I don’t know what all those jobs out there are, she said from her living room in River Vale, a New Jersey suburb within commuting distance of Manhattan.

The continuing strength of the labor market has been one of the most remarkable economic achievements since the recession petered out. A nine-year string of job gains has coaxed discouraged and disabled Americans back into the work force and raised wages and hours, particularly for those at low end of the pay scale.

Beneath the clear benefits of the economic expansion, however, there is an undertow of anxiety, heightened recently by fears of slowing growth around the globe and in the United States.

“We’re not focusing enough on the people who have continued to be left behind by this recovery,” said Martha Gimbel, a manager of economic research at Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative. “We have not talked enough about the workers who are still stuck even in a labor market that is this competitive.”

Most of these people do not show up in the stunningly low official unemployment rate, which was 3.6 percent in October. Working even one hour during the week when the Labor Department does its employment survey keeps you out of the jobless category.

Many more show up in a broader measure, which includes people who are working part time but would prefer full-time employment, and those who want to work but have given up an active job search. That rate in September was 6.9 percent, some 11 million people.

But there are also many others, like Ms. Ward, who work temporary jobs for months at a time and are not necessarily captured in either measure. And millions of contract workers freelancers, consultants, Lyft drivers ח lack benefits, regular schedules and job security. They have found a foothold, but it rests on loose rock.

A recent survey by Gallup found that a majority of Americans do not consider themselves to be in a good job.Ӕ

Appealing to Americans on the sidelinesӔ and those who had not benefited from the so-called recoveryӔ was a key element of Donald Trumps presidential campaign in 2016. Now, Democratic presidential contenders like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are arguing that American workers have barely shared in the economyҒs gains.

And they have bypassed benchmark statistics like the unemployment rate, and focused instead on the systems fundamental unfairness, highlighting stark income inequality and worker rights.

The political pressures have even registered in penthouse suites. The Business Roundtable, a group of chief executives of some of the nationҒs biggest corporations, issued a new mission statement in August, declaring that companies should promote the interests of their employees as well as their investors.

We know that many Americans are struggling,Ӕ the group said in a release. Too often hard work is not rewarded, and not enough is being done for workers to adjust to the rapid pace of change in the economy.Ӕ

Such pronouncements have yet to produce a tangible change in many Americans daily lives.

One in four workers say they have unpredictable work schedules, which can have insidious effects on family life. One in five adults who are employed say they want to work more hours. Annual wage growth has struggled to reach 3 percent. And nearly 40 percent of Americans, a Federal Reserve report found, are in such a financially precarious state that they say they would have trouble finding $400 for an unexpected expense like a car repair or a medical bill.

Keenan Harton, 45, juggles two jobs, one at a Biscuitville fast-food restaurant that pays $8 an hour, and another at a hospital laundry in Durham, N.C., that pays $10.50 an hour. Often he shows up for work at the fast-food job for an eight-hour shift, only to be sent home after a couple of hours if business is slow.

ғIts real hard to find a full-time job thatҒs actually going to pay over $10 an hour, said Mr. Harton, who has a high school diploma.

Four hundred fifty miles north, in New Jersey, Sonia JohnsonԒs last job was in August, a four-week assignment. But my last full-time direct hire was back in 2009,Ӕ said Ms. Johnson, who worked in the human resources department of a pharmaceutical company until she was laid off. For me, itӒs been all through an agency, working as a contractor.

Ms. Johnson, 55, who has a college degree, said she had kept her skills up to date by using grant money from the stateԒs labor department to take courses. I have really good technical skills,Ӕ she said.

Asked how many jobs she had applied for, Ms. Johnson hesitated. “It’s almost embarrassing,” she said. “At least 500.”

Her impression is that the contract work that enables her to pay the bills may at times hinder her ability to get a full-time job. ԓEmployers are not happy with people with a contract working background, Ms. Johnson said, adding that they are also suspicious of any gaps in a rԩsum.

National averages, of course, can mask distinct geographical differences. Workers may not have the specific skills a particular employer needs, or live where a job opening is. But research also shows that some employers have a negative view of people who have been unemployed for long stretches at a time.

“The longer you are unemployed, the more stigma is attached,” said Carl Van Horn, the founding director of the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.

African-Americans and older Americans are more likely to find themselves among the long-term unemployed, he said, a group that includes people out of work for more than six months. And age discrimination, particularly against women over 40, has been documented in several studies.

“There are very limited remedies in this country to deal with these issues,” Mr. Van Horn said. Cash assistance runs out, and there are few retraining opportunities. He noted that a lot of higher education assistance, like Pell Grants, do not pay for short-term training, which is what many people lacking a particular skill could benefit from.

The Heldrich Center runs the New Start Career Network, a program for the long-term unemployed that provides online job-search resources, job fairs and career coaching.

Both Ms. Ward and Ms. Johnson are members, and that is where they learned about the states grants for training.

“Every morning, I wake up and there’s that one second when I realize I don’t have a job, and its scary and awful,” Ms. Ward said.

Holding her notebook in her lap, Ms. Ward slowly ran her finger along the pages of color-coded entries of job leads.

It’s interesting to watch as time went on, she said. As the weeks, and then months went by, her search criteria shifted. “O.K., a little further away, 35 miles instead of 25,” she recalled. “Maybe a little less money, maybe this title instead of that.”

Her cellphone rang, and she excused herself to answer it.

“I applied to these three jobs yesterday, and I thought maybe they’ll call me,” she said when she did not recognize the number. It turned out to be a nuisance call.

Now that three years have passed since her last training, Ms. Ward is again eligible to receive unemployment insurance while taking up to $4,000 worth of classes. She has signed up for a social-media marketing class and an introductory design course.

“That should buy me till the end of the year,” she said.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 11/03/19 •
Section Dying America • Section Workplace
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one
Printable viewLink to this article
Home

Friday, November 01, 2019

Bernie

image: bernie sanders 2019

The Movement Bernie Started Is Bigger Than Any One Person. Have Faith in That Movement, Not Just the Man

By Emily Kirklin
Common Dreams
October 6, 2019

Senator Bernie Sanders is not just one man. He is a movement. What he represents is a set of ideals that will pull this nation out of the soul-sucking quicksand in which we currently find ourselves.

After the news of the senators recent health setbacks, many people are worried about the future of the Sanders campaign. I was one of them. I found myself thinking, “Will the voters confidence be shaken? Will the people vote for someone who may not be able to weather the stress of the presidency? How can we keep asking him to sacrifice his health for the good of the nation?”

I wasn’t sure. I’m still not. My father had a heart attack, stents, and more a few years back. I cant honestly say that I would want my dad to put himself through such grueling work. I want him for myself, and I want to make each moment we have last as long as possible. These should be happy days of enjoying life’s simple pleasures and each others company. Can I really ask so much of someone when I’m not willing to give it up myself? So, I spent some moments in introspection, imagining the various scenarios and what ifs of a future without Bernie. They all seemed a bit lackluster. But I thought, maybe its time. He has already given the Democratic Party and this country so much. The issues at the forefront today, like HEALTHCARE and STUDENT DEBT, are so dramatically different from what they were four years ago, and we have Senator Sanders to thank for that. Without his voice, representing the millions of disenfranchised voters across this land, we would still be in that sandpit, slowly sinking to the bottom. He has thrown us a lifeline. We can’t let that go.

Is it time for him to hand the rope to someone else to struggle onward? To let the man rest and enjoy life with his family? But who could take on the struggle? Is any single person up to the task? Perhaps not. But then I realized, that isn’t really the point of Bernie’s campaign: “Not me, us.” Not one single person, but all of us pulling together. This movement is so much bigger than one person.

The movement does not begin and end with Sanders. From the first day he steps into the Oval Office, the change begins, like a pebble thrown into the water, reverberating through the depths, rippling across the surface. Every individual within his administration will be a part of the revolution. Every person who chooses to stand at his side represents the ideals of integrity, honesty, humility, transparency, and responsibility to our environment, responsibility to those who are voiceless.

The reason people support Bernie Sanders is not because of the man; it is because of THE IDEALS that he represents. He fights for the issues that are dear to us, and people trust him to fill his administration with those who will carry on in these fights. I have no doubt that his administration will be one of moral integrity. That every person appointed and hired will truly have these ideals at heart and will have the moral fortitude to stand up to corporate interests and lobbyists. A government for the people and by the people. And while I would love for Sanders to fill the role of president for four whole years, we would be blessed to have even one day because that’s all we truly need. For just a moment, someone to put their foot in the door, so the rest of us can gather the strength to get out of this sandpit, push open that door more fully, and allow in the integrity and compassion we’ve been missing.

Ultimately, the choice is his, but knowing Bernie, I believe that hell be fighting with every bit of his strength until his final days (may they be many years from now!), win or lose, rain or shine, because that is simply the type of person he is.

So, as selfish as it may be, I ask that he keep fighting for us. Just a little longer. I am willing to put my faith in the movement as a whole. I am putting my faith in every person that is a part of this. Keep pulling. Not me, us.

SOURCE

---

image: bernie sander and alexandria ocasioo-cortez

Why We Need Young People To Run the Country - And Why I’m Voting for Bernie Anyway
You cant trust anyone over 30 years in office. Except maybe one

By Dayton Martindale
In These Times
October 24, 2019

Young people are badly underrepresented in the U.S. government.  The average age of Senators is currently 63, a full 25 years older than the median U.S. resident. In the House, it’s 58. The four leading presidential contenders, including Trump, are all in their 70s. Joe Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1972 - he has been one of the planetגs most powerful people for nearly half a century, longer than most have been alive.

Politics is often construed as noble public service, but it is also a tremendous privilege. Federal officeholders wield POWER over not only U.S. voters but also many who have no say in our elections, including residents of other countries and those under 18. In fact, climate change, nuclear war and environmental pollution have the potential to affect all life on this planet for centuries if not millennia to come.

Probably no single government should have such power. At the least, a supposed democracy should share this power as widely as possible. In reality, most ordinary people never get near it.

Over time, this power corrupts. As Rep. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-N.Y.) reports:

Behind closed doors, your arm is twisted, the vise pressure of political pressure gets put on you, every trick in the book, psychological and otherwise, is used to get us to abandon the working class.

“As a consequence of my fundraising I became more like the wealthy donors I met,” wrote Barack Obama of his 2004 Senate campaign in The Audacity of Hope. “I spent more and more of my time above the fray, outside the world of immediate hunger, disappointment, fear, irrationality and frequent hardship of the other 99%. I suspect this is true for every senator: The longer you are a senator, the narrower the scope of your interactions.”

The youth counterculture of the 1960s used to claim that you can’t trust anyone over 30. Obama’s words suggest that you can’t trust anyone whos held federal office for over 30 years.

The ancient Athenians would have agreed. They believed elections favor the wealthy and influential, instead appointing (male, non-slave) citizens to political positions for one-year terms through random selection.

Despite high-profile successes such as the victory of Ocasio-Cortez (age 30) over Joe Crowley (age 57), most Congressional incumbents can rest relatively easy, with well above an 80% likelihood of reelection. What we get is an insulated class of professional politicians, propped up by a relatively wealthy and old donor class. As Astra Taylor ARGUES in the New York Times, structural obstacles from age limits to economic precarity to the Senate’s rural-state bias hinder young people (who disproportionately live in cities) from entering politics.

On the surface, this may seem only a modest injustice - can’t millennials just wait our turn? But the importance of youth representation becomes clear when you begin to consider climate change: The old folks in Congress will die before the worst impacts hit. (While the elderly poor are already getting slammed by heat waves and storms, the elderly poor are not who sit in Congress.) They can dismiss youth-led calls for “a Green New Deal as a green dream, or whatever” (Nancy Pelosi, 79), knowing they will be safely in the grave while future generations struggle to make a life among the wreckage. An aging elite is refusing to PASS THE TORCH and using that torch to set the planet alight. As GRETA THUNBERG asked: How dare they?

Of course, age should not be the only factor in making our presidential decisions. It is perhaps ironic that the oldest candidate, Bernie Sanders, has the most ambitious plan to rein in climate change, student debt and war, all issues disproportionately affecting the youth; he also eschews corporate fundraising and, according to Ocasio-Cortez, who recently endorsed him, has maintained consistent and nonstop advocacy for the 99% despite his 34 years in elected office. This is probably why the vast plurality of millennials planning to vote in the Democratic primary - this author included - back him.

It is probably not coincidence, however, that the long-tenured Sanders has been reluctant to embrace such institutional reforms as abolishing the filibuster or expanding the Supreme Court. Several younger candidates, such as Pete Buttigieg (37) and Kamala Harris (55), are much more open, as is Elizabeth Warren (70). Their relative youth and newness to politics may give them a fresher perspective on how government should be operated. (Warren, although just eight years younger than Sanders, has only held elected office since 2013.)

In fact, Buttigieg, the youngest candidate at 37, introduced “intergenerational justice” as a campaign theme and has voiced the strongest support for court packing. (Unfortunately, the details of his court-packing plan are needlessly convoluted and, like his whole campaign, leave much to be desired.)

Sanders’ other electoral weaknesses - his IMPROVED but RACE and GENDER - baggage and old grudges from 2016 (not totally his fault); concerns about his heart - also correlate with age and length of time in politics. All of this suggests that passing the torch to a younger, more diverse suite of left politicians will need to happen sooner than later.

It is to his credit that Sanders is doing this, both directly and indirectly. The organization that came out of his 2016 campaign, Our Revolution, is actively working to build up new progressive leadership at every level of government. And many of the young people mobilized by that campaign have gone on to hold office, from Ocasio-Cortez to socialist Chicago alderman Andre Vasquez (now 40). Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn., age 38), too, says she was inspired to run for Congress by the Sanders campaign.

We may have seen a glimpse of the future in New York this October, where Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez shared a stage before an audience of 26,000.

“Are you willing to fight for young people drowning in student debt, even if you are not?” Sanders asked to close his speech. “Are you willing to fight for a future for generations of people who have not yet even been born, but are entitled to live on a planet that is healthy and habitable? Because if you are willing to do that, if you are willing to love, if you are willing to fight for a government of compassion and justice and decency - [then] together we will transform this country.

Later, in a joint interview, Ocasio-Cortez was asked whether she would work in a Sanders administration. Bernie jumped in: “Yes, you would!”

This is part of a debate about whether age matters in a presidential candidate. Read the first entry, “Ageism Has No Place in a Presidential Election,” by Susan Douglas, HERE.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 11/01/19 •
Section American Solidarity
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one
Printable viewLink to this article
Home

Snowden

image: ed snowden

The Curious Case of Edward Snowden

By Makia Freeman
Freedom Articles
October 31, 2019

Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who rose to extraordinary fame in June 2013 when he facilitated classified documents from the NSA to be made fully open and public, is an intriguing case. Some (with blind allegiance the USG and MIC [Military Industrial Complex]) view him as a traitor who should be imprisoned for life or killed. Others view him as a hero, genuine activist and champion of the right to privacy. There are also some who view him with skepticism, finding his story and claims beyond the bounds of credibility. With the publication of his recent book Permanent Record, and to some extent his recent interview with Joe Rogan, he has again become a focus of attention. We have learnt much more about his background and story. Now is a good opportunity to ask: who is Edward Snowden, and can we fully trust his story?

Hacking the NSA

Permanent Record is an interesting read. Snowden does a good job of picking out key moments from his childhood that formed his character. He reveals how he grew up in the Beltway (the area surrounding Washington DC) in a military family and became fascinated with computers, video games and hacking. The idea of hackingђ is a central theme of the book. He talks about how he was always trying to find loopholes and ways around the rules at home, at school and beyond. He was always interested in systems how they operate, how the components work together and what their vulnerabilities were ֖ in other words, how systems could be hacked.

He obtained a TS/SCI (Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information) clearance after going through vigorous testing and became a Systems Administrator. As he worked his way up the ladder, he worked both on the private side as a contractor and on the public side as a government employee. By this point, the boy computer genius and teenage hacker had become a high-level systems expert with access to a massive amount of classified and secret data. He began to feel increasingly uncomfortable with the documents that came across his desk, as he started to see that the MIC, led by the NSA, had set up a network of mass surveillance across not just America but the entire world.

Snowden writes that they had hacked the Constitution by bypassing the checks and balances meant to protect the American public. The Executive Branch has actively hacked the system by using EOs (Executive Orders) to set new policy without needing approval from the Legislative Branch (Congress). Congress in turn had turned a blind eye to NSA spying and overreach by refusing to demand truthful answers and launch investigations. The Judicial Branch (the courts) had been hacked by the establishment of a special court under the 1978 act FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) which just rubber stamped virtually every (99%) request the NSA made. In response to this, Snowden decided to take matters into his own hands by hacking the NSA, in order to redress the balance of power.

Quotes from Permanent Record, First Book of Edward Snowden

Here are some great quotes from the book which sum up Snowdens realizations and principles. The first sums up the importance of the metadata as opposed to actual content of the communication:

“One major irony here is that the law, which always lags behind technological innovation by at least a generation, gives substantially more protections to a communications content than to its metadata - and yet intelligence agencies are far more interested in the metadata - the activity records that allow them both the “big picture” ability to analyze data at scale, and the “little picture” ability to make perfect maps, chronologies, and associative synopses of an individual person’s life, from which they presume to extrapolate predictions of behavior. In sum, metadata can tell your surveillant virtually everything they’d ever want or need to know about you, except what’s actually going on inside your head,”
- p. 180

In this quote, Snowden talks about his personal emotions of feeling used and violated. He had assisted the system without knowing it so many whistleblowers have felt the same. This is only possible due to the strict compartmentalization of information that takes place within the IC (Intelligence Community) and the Military in general:

“I felt far from home, but monitored. I felt more adult than ever, but cursed with the knowledge that all of us had been reduced to something like children, who’d be forced to live the rest of out lives under omniscient parental supervision. I felt like a fool, as someone of supposedly serious technical skills who’d somehow helped to build an essential component of this system without realizing its purpose. I felt used, as an employee of the IC who only now was realizing that all along I’d been protecting not my country but the state. I felt, above all, violated.

- pp. 180-1

In this quote, Snowden talks about his realization that the US had become the enemy it said it was fighting:

After 9/11, the ICOs orders had been “never again,” a mission that could never be accomplished. A decade later, it had become clear, to me at least, that the repeated evocations of terror by the political class were not a response to any specific threat or concern but a cynical attempt to turn terror into a permanent danger that required permanent vigilance enforced by unquestionable authority. After a decade of mass surveillance, the technology had proved itself to be a potent weapon less against terror and more against liberty itself. By continuing these programs, by continuing these lies, America was protecting little, winning nothing, and losing much until there would be few distinctions left between those post 9/11 polarities of ҖUs and ӔThem.Ӕ

pp. 204-5

Here he shows his understanding that privacy if intrinsic and fundamental to all people:

Because a citzenry’s freedoms are interdependent, to surrender your own privacy is really to surrender everyones. You might to choose to give it up out of convenience, or under the popular pretext that privacy is only required by those who have something to hide. By saying that you don’t need or want privacy because you have nothing to hide is to assume that no one should have, or could have, to hide anything - their immigration status, unemployment history, financial history, and health records, religious beliefs, political affiliations, and sexual activities.”

- pg. 208

Here he reveals the moment that the implications of the mass surveillance grid dawned on him:

The generations to come would have to get used to a world in which surveillance wasn’t something occasional and directed in legally justified circumstances, but a constant and indiscriminate presence once the ubiquity of collection was combined with the permanency of storage, all any government had to do was select a person or a group to scapegoat and go searching ԅ as Id gone searching through the agency֒s files for evidence of a suitable crime.Җ

- pg. 185

Some of the Surprising Things about Snowden

So, Snowden awoke to the reality of what the NSA was doing to people. He awoke to his unwitting role in assisting the creation of this sprawling surveillance system. He realized the War on Terror was a fraudulent piece of propaganda. He realized the IC had been using 9/11 as an excuse to consolidate tremendous power and control by constructing the most intrusive mass surveillance grid known to man in world history.

Ed Snowden is clearly an intelligent guy. So, it struck me as quite bizarre that he would still, after all these years, buy into the mainstream official version of events regarding the false flag operation of 9/11 and the death of Osama bin Laden. Here is a quote where he seems to buy hook, line and sinker that bin Laden was killed on May 1st, 2011 in Pakistan:

It was late at night on May 1, 2011, when I noticed the news alerton my phone: Osama bin Laden had been tracked down to Abbottabad, Pakistan, and killed by a team of Navy SEALs ԓ I was glad the motherfucker was dead.

- pg. 203

The idea of radical Islamic terrorists being killed 2, 3, 4 or more times has just come up again with President TrumpŔs recent announcement that something big has happenedғ and that the US Military found and killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi again. Well, the story this time is that he committed suicide and blew himself up after being trapped in a tunnel by US forces. Trump claims they DNA tested him right after he died him to make sure it was him! Sure they did. James Corbett offers this brief background to the multiple deaths of Osama bin Laden, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who seem to have more lives than a cat. That is, if you even believe some of them existed; the US Military didnԅt always think so. How is it that Snowden is unfamiliar with this, or indeed the general history and background to radical Islamic terrorism, including the creation and funding of Al-Qaeda and ISIS by the CIA and Israel? Also, why has Snowden apparently not questioned the official story of 9/11 in more depth?

Another red flag for me was this quote:

Few realize this, but the CIA has its own Internet and Web ғ the first things everyone looks up on the CIAs internal networks are aliens and 9/11, and thatŒs why, also you҅ll never get any meaningful search results for them. I looked them up anyway. The CIA-flavored Google didnt return anything interesting for either, but hey Ғ maybe the truth was out there on another network drive. For the record, as far as I could tell, aliens have never contacted Earth, or at least they havent contacted US intelligence ֒ In case you were wondering: Yes, man really did land on the moon. Climate change is real. Chemtrails are not a thing.

- pp.133-4

So we have some of the biggest topics of conspiracy here: aliens, 9/11, man on the moon, climate change and chemtrails. On each one, Snowden promotes the mainstream line. Why? Surely, in his position of access and in his time in exile since, he must have had the opportunity to investigate these topics and come across true information on them. The sheer amount of evidence exposing 9/11 as a blatant false flag operation is manifold, yet all Snowden says is that Ŕal-Qaeda did maintain unusually close ties with our allies the Saudis, a fact that the Bush White House worked suspiciously hard to suppress which shows he has barely entered the rabbit hole. Climate change may be real (as a natural cycle), but manmade global warming or manmade climate change is a giant scam based on scientific illiteracy and the demonization of carbon dioxide. Chemtrails are not a thing? Virtually every nation on earth has been bombarded with them for decades now. The photographic evidence alone is overwhelming. Researchers have exposed that chemtrail programs have been carried out by the CIA under names such as Project Cloverleaf. Man on the moon? Perhaps yes, but not in the way we were told Ӕ NASAs space videos and photos from the 1969 Apollo mission look completely fake. We have the excellent theory of Jay Weidner that Stanley Kubrick was recruited to do the cover-up. On the topic of aliens, I realize not all who are reading this will share my opinion, but I see yet more overwhelming evidence not only of their existence but also of their infiltration of society. A good place to start is with ALIEN CONTACTEES, WHISTLEBLOWERS and PARTICIPANTS IN THE SSP (Secret Space Program). Why is the US Military now going public with UAPs (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) in an attempt to rebrand UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects)?

Also, why would the CIA let its junior employees access top secret information on its internal internet? Why not keep the really sensitive information elsewhere? Or offline altogether?

Whistleblowers-in-Arms? Not Quite: Snowden and Assange

In the book, Snowden also reveals his complicated attitude towards Julian Assange, fellow hacker and founder of WikiLeaks. Snowden appears to “have a go” at fellow whistleblower and truth activist Assange. Patrick Anderson writes about this in his MintPress article:

“[I]n his memoir, Snowden uses rhetorical tricks to present Assange and WikiLeaks as his deceitful and irresponsible foils in a blatant and seemingly self-serving effort to highlight his own trustworthiness and accountability. The final name I chose for my correspondence,” Snowden explains, “was Verax, Latin for speaker of truth, in the hopes of proposing an alternative to the model of a hacker called Mendax (speaker of lies)the pseudonym of the young man who;d grow up to become WikiLeaks Julian Assange.” Snowden’s play on Assange’s youthful handle implies not only that Assange is deceitful but also that Assange intends to be deceitful. This insinuation is curious, given that WikiLeaks has published over 10 million documents, all of which have been authenticated.

Assange adapted one of Horace’s Latin catchphrases to create his online identity. “Every hacker has a handle,” Assange writes in Julian Assange: The Unauthorized Autobiography, “and I took mine from Horace’s splendide mendax nobly untruthful, or perhaps delightfully deceptive. I liked the idea that in hiding behind a false name, lying about who or where I was, a teenager in Melbourne, I could somehow speak more truthfully about my real identity.”

From his own perspective, Assange chose the handle “Mendax” not because he wished to “speak lies and deceive the public,” as Snowden’s interpretation suggests; rather, Assange chose the handle Mendax because it described what he conceived of himself doing, namely, disguising his identity to more effectively speak the truth. Untruthful applies not to the content of his speech but to his identity as the speaker.

Theories About Snowden

Some people take Snowden at face value. Others simply cannot believe a 29 year old could have stolen so many documents from the most advanced spying agency on Earth without getting caught or being secretly sanctioned to do so. Snowden reveals much of the way he did it (transferring files onto old computers, then using mini and micro SD cards to smuggle out the files). One theory is that Snowden did so knowingly and is still an Intelligence agent. I find this theory unlikely, given how much upheaval and disruption his decisions caused him. Others believe that Snowden did so unknowingly that he was used as a means of dispersing this information to the public. Why? The theory is that it was a NWO (New World Order) tactic to intimidate the public by letting them know they are surveilled slaves and that there’s nothing they can do about it. Then, after the initial shock and explosion, this became a drip-drip-drip disclosure of just how egregiously your privacy and rights are being violated, with the subliminal message that youd better be afraid, because youԒre being monitored 24/7. Some people also point to the fact that Snowden’s archive was shuttered in a disgraceful decision by Greenwald at The Intercept, despite only having released about 10% of it. Who owns The Intercept? First Look Media, owned by Pierre Omidyar, a rich oligarch who founded eBay. So now, the entire trove of leaked NSA documents are in the hands of a private billionaire, probably never to see the light of day again. Was this the plan from the start?

Conclusion

If we take it on face value, the Snowden story is one of incredible principle, courage and sacrifice. In his writing and interviews, he definitely comes across as sincere and genuine. He gave up his comfortable life, great income, career, family and friends - knowing he may never see them again, knowing he may get killed to make a decision based on valuing freedom. Such a devotion to freedom is exceedingly rare given how many people value convenience, comfortability and security over liberty. Such bravery is exceptional. Now, he is founder and president of Freedom of the Press Foundation, continuing the same line of work, standing up for freedom of the press and privacy. However, there are legitimate questions to be asked about him, and some things that just don’t quite make sense. I am left wondering is there more to the Edward Snowden story?

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 11/01/19 •
Section Dying America
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one
Printable viewLink to this article
Home
Page 1 of 641 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »

Statistics

Total page hits 9490567
Page rendered in 4.7090 seconds
41 queries executed
Debug mode is off
Total Entries: 3204
Total Comments: 337
Most Recent Entry: 11/11/2019 09:05 am
Most Recent Comment on: 01/02/2016 09:13 pm
Total Logged in members: 0
Total guests: 16
Total anonymous users: 0
The most visitors ever was 114 on 10/26/2017 04:23 am


Email Us

Home

Members:
Login | Register
Resumes | Members

In memory of the layed off workers of AT&T

Today's Diversion

We are reluctant to admit that we owe our liberties to men of a type that today we hate and fear -- unruly men, disturbers of the peace, men who resent and denounce what Whitman called 'the insolence of elected persons' -- in a word, free men. - Gerald W. Johnson

Search


Advanced Search

Sections

Calendar

November 2019
S M T W T F S
         1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Must Read

Most recent entries

RSS Feeds

Today's News

ARS Technica

External Links

Elvis Picks

BLS Pages

Favorites

All Posts

Archives

RSS


Creative Commons License


Support Bloggers' Rights