Brothers in Blood — Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump

Obama - Trump

Hold onto your phones people. The result of the Gallup Poll for the most admired man of 2019 has been announced. Obama and Trump tied for first place. Could any two leaders be more different —in style. Unfortunately, they display an eerie sameness when it comes to the business of governing. Both are war mongers, Obama five-upped the two wars he inherited from Bush to seven and Trump has set the Mideast on fire with his assassination of one of the leaders of a sovereign nation. Just America being America is the excuse. But for most of the rest of the world, the U.S. no longer invokes the respect and admiration Americans feel is their birthright. In the latest poll, almost 40% of respondents in 38 countries consider the U.S. a major threat to world peace. Only 31% feel the same about either Russia or China. Don’t be fooled by Democratic claims that everything will be hunky-dory if the voters dump Trump and elect one of them. It won’t be. Read “Brothers in Blood: Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump” and find out how in four decades “the shining city on a hill” has become a police state with permanent war and mass surveillance its guiding principles and wealth and privilege its trademark.

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Amazon Workers Get the Deal of a Lifetime: Starvation Wages and Prison Camp Working Conditions

Amazon Hurts Working-

The only way I can see to deploy this much financial resource is by converting my Amazon winnings into space travel.” That’s what Amazon’s founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, plans to do with his personal wealth. Is he kidding or blinded by a combination of greed and ego? You decide. With over 100,000 Amazon workers in the U.S. forced to operate in unheated (in winter) and un-air conditioned (in summer) factories working 12 hour shifts, surveilled by personal tracking devices they are forced to wear, fired for not keeping up with the inhuman quotas Amazon’s managers set for them, urinating in bottles to avoid taking time off to go to the bathroom, not one penny of the $11.2 billion Amazon made in profits in 2018 or the over one quarter of a million dollars it received in refunds from the IRS in 2017 and 2018 plus the zero dollars paid in income taxes in those two years will be spent making life easier for the workers responsible for Amazon’s success. Think of it, with $110 billion dollars in his personal treasure chest, Jeff Bezos is too greedy to spend even a couple of million to upgrade the conditions of servitude at Amazon warehouses. Instead he yearns to go to the moon. Some might say good riddance. In 2019 at Whole Foods, part of his empire, he eliminated health benefits for 1,900 part-time workers. Despite the fact that he, along with 180 other fat cat liars, signed a pledge, committing to Investing in our employees. This starts with compensating them fairly and providing important benefits.” It took Bezos one month to break that pledge. Just goes to show how worthless promises made by money-grubbers are. If you’re in the mood for a true Halloween horror story, don’t miss “Amazon Workers Get the Deal of a Lifetime: Starvation Wages and Prison Camp Working Conditions.

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What Makes Pete Buttigieg Run?

Con Artistry

Suspicious Angels one-upped the mainstream media and much of the alternate media by predicting on August 1 that with a campaign staff of Obama golden oldies and a personal career of water carrying for big money grifters, Mayor Pete, adding folksy charm to the Obama playbook of reassuring falsehoods and promises made to be broken, is determined to be the top dog in the scramble for the 2020 presidential sweepstakes. In the same way SA exposed the truth behind the onerous debt burden shadowing the lives of three-quarters of U.S. college graduates to the mind-numbing stupidity of our killer health care system, we chart the progress of the Buttigieg campaign from obscurity to stardom. In Part 2 of the Buttigieg story, we lay out shameless Pete’s version of the Obama swindle. Will his labors produce a four (or eight) year lease on the White House? Hop on the Suspicious Angels express, read “What Makes Pete Run” and see if the Democrats are doomed to be on the wrong side of history again. It’s a ride worth taking.

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Handcuffed, Tasered, Pepper Sprayed, Kicked, Choked and Beaten: Students Brutalized by Bullies Masquerading as Cops

Armed and Dangerous

What has the global war on terror wrought? A militarized justice system that has crept into every aspect of life in the U.S. Particularly affected are America’s school children? 80,000 school-based robocops, armed and carrying chemical sprays and tasers, have transformed our schools into military encampments. Their presence is a fact of life for two-thirds of high school students, 45% of middle schoolers, and 19% of elementary school children. It gets worse. Although only 6% of Americans are veterans, 20% of school cops have a military background. Evidence suggests that ex-military police react more combatively to even the most minor infractions. Veteran or not, the majority of school cops receive little or no training in the delicate business of de-escalating tense school situations. More often than not, the response is the taser, pepper spray, a well-aimed punch or kick, then off to the local lock-up in handcuffs. For those targeted, arrest and conviction is a life-changing event. If you want to know how bad school policing is, how excessive force, racial bias and reinforcement of the school-to-prison pipeline is the result, read “Handcuffed, Tasered, Pepper Sprayed, Kicked, Choked and Beaten — Students Brutalized by Bullies Masquerading as Cops.

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Corporate Democrats Using Insurance Industry Talking Points and Republican Fear Mongering to Defeat Medicare For All

No More Private Insurance

How often have democratic politicos from Obama to the current crop of “hold the line” democrats vying for the presidential nomination tried to convince democratic voters who should know better but sadly don’t that a national health insurance plan (aka single payer) would be a disaster especially for workers depriving them of the “joys” of employer-sponsored health insurance. That idiocy won’t work much longer. Scare tactics don’t hold a candle to evidence-based conclusions. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation report, all is not coming up roses in private insurance land. Workers are in desperate straits, the cost of health insurance rising faster than wages. Last year, half of covered workers (75 million) facing exorbitant out-of-pocket costs skipped doctors’ visits or failed to fill prescriptions. And those aren’t the only costs baked into their paychecks. Workers are responsible for almost one-third ($6,300) of the cost of premiums for family coverage plus $1,500–$5,000 to meet their deductibles on top of copays from $10-$40 for each doctor visit. A worker unlucky enough to land in the hospital faces additional outlays of hundreds of dollars. To complete the perfect storm, employer health care is not a shield against “surprise billing” which can tack on thousands to an employee health tab. Does that sound like irreplaceable health insurance to you? Just a little less crappy than other crappier options in the privatized U.S. health insurance system. Don’t believe the do-nothing democrats when they assure you that freedom and choice are the hallmarks of a private insurance industry. It’s no secret that the industry MO is ripping off customers in the name of profits. All the info is here in Corporate Democrats Using Insurance Industry Talking Points and Republican Fear Mongering to Defeat Medicare For All.

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The Verdict is in: Poor Women Aren’t Entitled to an Abortion

Keep Abortion Legal

Outrage is the emotion most Americans feel when they learn Medicaid, the federal insurance program for the poor, does not cover abortion. Actually no. Most Americans are dead set against “their” tax money being used for other peoples’ abortions. They have plenty of company in the three branches of government —legislative, executive and judicial. What’s going on? Americans celebrating themselves as paragons of generosity and kindness turning thumbs down on helping poor women who want to terminate a pregnancy. Want to have an abortion and can afford to pay for it? A June Marist poll found overwhelming support (77%). Yes to abortions for women who can afford them, but hell no to the government paying for them. How do we make sense of these seeming contradictions? The answer may lie in the widening income gap between the very rich and the rest of us. Read “The Verdict is in: Poor Women Aren’t Entitled to an Abortion and decide for yourself.

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Patients Lose When Corporate Looters Suck Billions of Your Dollars out of Healthcare — Is it Too Late to Stop Them?

Patients Over Profits

The corporate capture of Americans’ health care dollars is underway. Last year private equity firms spent a dizzying $63 billion gobbling up doctors’ practices, emergency rooms, surgical centers and more to corner the healthcare market. Patients, stuck with oversized premiums, unconscionable deductibles and rapacious copays, are subsidizing corporate larceny to the tune of $3.65 trillion (as of 2018). Free market bloodsuckers armed with $2.5 trillion of unspent cash from the ballooning stock market and Trump‘s tax cuts masquerading as tax policy, are licking their chops as they anticipate returns of 25% from the misery of Americans struggling to afford medical care. Why should you be concerned that free-market corporations and banksters are looking to monetize your health? For a possible answer, read “Patients Lose When Corporate Looters Suck Billions of Your Dollars Out of Healthcare.— Is It Too Late to Stop Them?

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U.S. Colleges on the Dole While Students Wind up Debt Slaves: All in a Day’s Work in the Empire

Student Loan Burden

“The elite universities including Princeton and Yale admit more students from the top 1% of earners in America than from the bottom 60% combined.” (Equality of Opportunity Project) Shocked? Isn’t that business as usual in the empire where the rich, particularly the super-rich (aka politicians’ best friends) get to ride roughshod over the rest of us? If you’re a university whose annual cost to attend is $76,000 and climbing, doesn’t it follow that 70% of your students will come from the top-earning 20% of families. 20% will come from the top 1%. (“It’s a big club and you aint in it”- George Carlin)). It started over a hundred years ago when the sixteenth amendment gave Congress the power to levy taxes. Included in the new tax law was a provision allowing college and universities a free ride in the form of a tax exemption. The colleges cashed in. At the end of FY 2018, the four richest universities had endowments worth $119 billion (that’s Harvard, Yale Stanford, Princeton). What are the federal taxes due on $119 billion? If you’re a non-profit college: zero. On college-owned real estate. Once again zero. (Out of the goodness of their hard hearts, Yale agreed in 1990 to throw a few shekels into the city coffers, like the $8.5 million they coughed up one year for the 340 acres of prime real estate they own in downtown New Haven.) It wasn’t supposed to become a gigantic windfall. What it was supposed to be was a mutually beneficial arrangement — tax exemption from the government in return for these institutions providing a range of public services to their communities. If you think that’s what’s happening, you’re sorely mistaken. Find out why higher education has devolved into the playground of the super-wealthy by reading “U.S Colleges on the Dole While Students Wind up Debt Slaves: All in a Day’s Work in the Empire.

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The Empire Has It Both Ways: War on Women at Home. War on Everybody Else on the Planet

Patriarcy

What’s happened to the loyal opposition when it comes to poor women, many of them women of color? Their sisters, whose wealth and celebrity command the media spotlight, have successfully targeted sexual predators masquerading as movers and shakers in media, entertainment, politics, sports, and business. Their testimonies have incited public outrage and tanked the careers of their abusers. A comeuppance they richly deserve. But there are millions of women in life-threatening situations who aren’t so lucky. Their crime is poverty. The politicians and media gurus consider them non-persons. Occasionally a powerful woman or two (Oprah and Hillary) will pay lip service to their plight. What’s missing is outrage as both Democratic and Republican administrations in the name of “saving money” bring the budget axe down on the programs they depend upon. Saving money never seems to get in the way when there’s a trillion-dollar defense budget to be passed or tax cuts for the filthy rich that will leave the US treasury $2 trillion poorer. In the face of the ideals the richest country in the world touts but rarely practices, the question must be asked: Is the treatment of poor women the canary in the coal mine signaling the final downward spiral of America’s moral vision? Read “The Empire Has It Both Ways: War on Women at Home. War on Everyone Else on the Planet” and decide for yourself.

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A Country with More Guns Than People is a Recipe for Disaster

More Guns

In the U.S., it’s raining guns. 393 million of them. More guns than people in a country that has become a Hobbesian jungle of mass shootings with countless lives lost prematurely. In all three branches of government, legislative, executive, and judicial, our leaders sit on their hands preferring to be consolers rather than doers. Pleas to stop the slaughter from those grieving fallen loved ones don’t move the needle. We are a country eating itself up. 53 people lost their lives in mass shootings in August alone. The exceptional nation has an exceptional record for wars at home and abroad. Curbing gun violence at home is a long-term effort and to be successful needs an equal effort to end U.S violence abroad. SA takes a stab at uncovering the reasons the U.S. is now the most lawless nation in the world in “A Country with More Guns than People is a Recipe for Disaster.

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