Tag Archives | Justice

Piketty on National Debt: “Germany has never repaid.”

Via Daily Kos:

In a blistering interview with the German newspaper Die Zeit, Piketty [the famed French economist and author of the best-seller, Capital in the Twenty‑First Century] blasts Germany and it’s history of repayment of debt over the years, and it’s attitudes toward its fellow EU neighbor, Greece. In brief, he tells the interviewer in no uncertain terms that Germany never repaid their loans; yet they hold others to a higher standard of responsibility.

ZEIT: But shouldn’t they repay their debts?

Piketty: My book recounts the history of income and wealth, including that of nations. What struck me while I was writing is that Germany is really the single best example of a country that, throughout its history, has never repaid its external debt. Neither after the First nor the Second World War. However, it has frequently made other nations pay up, such as after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, when it demanded massive reparations from France and indeed received them.

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Proposals for a Freer and More Just Society

The unnamed (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The unnamed (CC BY-SA 2.0)

In case you haven’t noticed, the world is growing increasingly unfree and unjust. Just look around you.

As the revelations by Edward Snowden prove, surveillance of citizens’ private lives by government is at an all-time Orwellian high, with cameras becoming ubiquitous on street corners, drones patrolling the skies overhead, all forms of telecommunications regularly monitored and recorded. In general, there is massive intrusion by government into personal matters that would have been repelled by America’s founders. It was precisely such intrusion that inspired the writing of the Declaration of Independence, as well as the protections against such abuses supposedly enshrined in the Bill of Rights.

In addition to being constantly and suspiciously watched by a group having legal monopoly on both the creation and enforcement of its own rules, a group who seems ever more unaccountable for their own wrongdoing, it’s now taken for granted that cops everywhere carry military-grade hardware.… Read the rest

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Anarchist Social Justice

Travis Gray (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Travis Gray (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Edward Martin and Mateo Pimentel write at CounterPunch:

As a justifiable reaction to the problem of oligarchy in organizations and liberal democratic institutions, some theorists and activists have identified alternative political arrangements to liberal democratic organizations and institutions. Such anarchist examples include Chomsky’s recommendations of the Kibbutzim villages of Israel and the worker-owned cooperatives of Spain’s Mondragon experiments. Other anarchist examples are based on the New Social Movements (NSM) school, which for the most part have become an activist alternative means of self-governance through autonomous grass roots organizations (see Alan Scott’s Ideology and New Social Movements). Leading NSM theorists include Alain Touraine, Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, Claus Offe, Immanueal Wallerstein, Michel Foucalut, and Jurgen Habermas. These proponents base their anarchist tendencies on identity, politics, culture, and ideology, which for all intents and purposes has emerged in the women’s movement, ecological and environmental movements, LGBTQ rights, peace movement, and more.

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Why The New World Order Will Fail

Why-The-New-World-Order-Will-Fail- 600
Why The New World Order Will Fail!

When someone mentions “The New World Order,” it conjures up thoughts of conspiracy involving the Illuminati, the Freemasons, Skull and Bones, old privileged family wealth and royal lineage. Beneath that you think of the already bought and paid for world leaders and the secret agenda. And you might be right.

When I think of the New World Order, I’m thinking of an idea. It’s an idea that’s as old as war itself. How many times must we keep hearing this same ideology? Every single empire from the beginning of man had this same dream. You know the one, the dream of controlling everything beneath the sky from horizon to horizon.

Nothing has changed in thousands of years except the horizons and the dreamers. When all you could see was the Aztec Empire, then controlling that was good enough. When all anyone could see was the Roman Empire, then that was good enough.… Read the rest

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Remove the burden of family violence from the victims, to the courts

Michael D Beckwith (CC BY 2.0)

Michael D Beckwith (CC BY 2.0)

Rob Hulls, RMIT University

Family violence has finally come to attention as a systemic wrong in need of a national plan. A federal Senate Inquiry is examining it in detail and Victoria has appointed a dedicated minister for its prevention and a Royal Commission. The Queensland Special Taskforce has just handed down its comprehensive report, and a family violence prevention advocate, the incredible Rosie Batty, has been named Australian of the Year.

My team at RMIT’s Centre for Innovative Justice released a report today that aims to broaden this conversation. Despite increased awareness, a significant gap exists in our collective response. Yes, we need to support those who are subjected to family violence – mostly women and children – and this must remain our priority. But we must also intervene at the source of the problem.

Until we adjust the lens and bring those who use violence and coercion more clearly into view, victims will remain at risk and the cycle of this violence will simply roll on.… Read the rest

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Fear and Anger on Saturday Nights: What America’s Gun Fetish Probably says about our Collective State of Mind

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The Republic of Chad.

 

Ah, Saturday nights. The refuge of the gods. For me there’s nothing quite like them. Don’t get it twisted, I’m a family man, so I don’t party. I don’t stay out late. I don’t drink much. I just enjoy the fuck out of the fact that THERE’S NOTHING GOING ON. Literally. Nothing matters because tomorrow’s Sunday and there’s no impending doom hanging over the day. It’s literally pure freedom. Not like Friday evenings, which have to be “earned” with work earlier in the day, or Sundays, whose bountiful charms are always tempered or suppressed by the imminent, grim phantom, not just of Monday mornings, but of the glum workweek as a whole, which hovers like a fart all over the entire scene. (Jesus—talk about mixing metaphors…) But Saturdays, on those most charitable of evenings, I can watch a movie. I can sleep. I can make a big dinner.… Read the rest

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Nobody’s Paying Us To Get Arrested: Low Wage Strikes Spread

via Common Dreams:

In a dismal week, a rare, under-reported shard of hope: Thursday’s strikes by thousands of low-wage workers spread to over 190 cities, jumped industrial divides – fast food to home care, convenience stores to airports – and merged issues of race and class, with many of the largely black and brown crowds demanding in the wake of Mike Brown and Eric Garner not just a living wage, but justice.

The often emotional Fight For $15campaign has already seen hourly wage successes around the country, with ten states passing higher wage bills, 22 establishing wage floors above the federal minimum, and Seattle passing a record-high $15 minimum wage. Fuelling the changes have been damning new reports from Walmart, the country’s biggest and most infamous employer, that its obscenely rich owners have ducked millions in taxes and given almost nothing away – except for Alice Walton’s hobby project of a $1.2 billion art museum holding a $500 million collection – while paying workers so little that taxpayers have to provide $6.2 billion a year in public assistance so they can survive.

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Billionaire S.C. Johnson Heir Gets Four Months In Jail For Sexually Assaulting Stepdaughter

PIC: totally unrelated picture of pond scum. Ahem. (NARA-PD)

PIC: totally unrelated picture of pond scum. (NARA-PD)

Does this sound familiar? You might be thinking of this totally different child molesting corporate heir escaping the consequences of his actions.

A Wisconsin billionaire pled guilty to sexual assault of his stepdaughter, but was only sentenced to four months in jail on Friday. Samuel Curtis Johnson III, heir to the SC Johnson cleaning supplies empire, will have to serve at least 60 days of his sentence and pay a fine up to $6,000.

Originally, Johnson was charged with felony sexual assault of a child for repeatedly targeting his stepdaughter for three years. His stepdaughter initially told police Johnson was “a sex addict” and touched her inappropriately 15 to 20 times starting when she was 12 years old. She told her mother about the abuse in order to protect her younger sister, and Johnson confessed when the mother confronted him.

The felony charge carries up to 40 years in prison.

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The Rise Of The Privatized For-Profit Probation Industry

probationHuman Rights Watch reports on the prison-industrial complex creeping further outside of the prison walls:

Every year, US courts sentence several hundred thousand misdemeanor offenders to probation overseen by private companies that charge their fees directly to the probationers. Often, the poorest people wind up paying the most in fees over time, in what amounts to a discriminatory penalty. And when they can’t pay, companies can and do secure their arrest.

The 72-page report, “Profiting from Probation: America’s ‘Offender-Funded’ Probation Industry,” describes how more than 1,000 courts in several US states delegate tremendous coercive power to companies that are often subject to little meaningful oversight or regulation. In many cases, the only reason people are put on probation is because they need time to pay off fines and court costs linked to minor crimes. In some of these cases, probation companies act more like abusive debt collectors than probation officers, charging the debtors for their services.

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Two Of The Last Victims Of The Satanic Abuse Panic Freed From Prison

pentagramThink that witch hunts ended several centuries ago? Slate on the “Satanic Panic” that engulfed parts of the United States in the 1980s and 90s:

Among the atrocities that Frances and Dan Keller were supposed to have committed while running a day care center: drowning and dismembering babies in front of the children; transporting the children to Mexico to be sexually abused by the Mexican army; putting the children into a pool with sharks that ate babies; putting blood in the children’s Kool-Aid; exhuming bodies at a cemetery, forcing children to carry the bones.

It was frankly unbelievable—except a Texas jury did believe the Kellers had committed at least some of these acts. In 1992, the Kellers were each sentenced to 48 years in prison.

After multiple appeal efforts and 21 years in prison, the Kellers are finally free. Their release may also finally mark the end to one of the strangest, widest-reaching, and most damaging moral panics in America’s history: the satanic ritual abuse panic of the 1980s and 1990s.

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