US Foodstamp Usage Rises To New Record High Reply

zerohedge.com

While the 0.4% perfectly unmanipulated and totally coincidental swing in the unemployment rate in an Obama favorable direction one month before the election came at a prime time moment for the market, one hour ahead of the open, setting the market mood for the rest of the day (which despite all best efforts still closed red, valiant efforts by Simon Potter and the FRBNY’s direct pipe to Citadel notwithstanding), there was one other, far more important data point released by the government’s department of agriculture, sufficiently late after the market close to impact no risk assets. That data point of course was foodstamps (or the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, aka SNAP), and we are confident that no readers will be surprised to learn that foodstamp usage for both persons and households, has jumped to a new all time record. More…

Private Prison Company to Demand 90% Occupancy Reply

Allgov.com

The nation’s largest private prison company is offering cash-strapped state governments to buy up their penitentiaries and manage convicted criminals at a cost-savings. But there’s a catch…the states must guarantee that are there are enough prisoners to ensure that the venture is profitable to the company.
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) has reached out to 48 states as part of a $250 million plan to own existing prisons and manage their operations. But in return CCA wants a 20-year contract and assurances that the state will keep the prisons at least 90% full.

American prison labor means longer unemployment lines Reply

FOX News

Two southeast companies that make U.S. military uniforms are shedding hundreds of jobs, as the government looks to federal inmates for the fatigues.

American Power Source makes military clothing in Fayette, Ala., but its government contract expires in October. Federal Prison Industries – which also operates under the name UNICOR will snag the work, and leave the task to inmates. FPI has the first right of refusal for U.S. Government contracts, under a 1930 federal law.

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The Ghost of Bertolt Brecht and the Balkanization of America 1

Bertolt Brecht’s name is now largely lost to history, but the idea expressed in the succinct question above remains as potent today as when he uttered it. Brecht, a self-made Marxist who was once investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) during the “Red Scare” era of the late 1940s and early 1950s, probably did not know a then-young Edward Kennedy or the other politicians who later devised the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act, and he did not live to see the eventual mass migration of immigrants, legal and illegal alike, into the U.S. after his death. We can only speculate on how Brecht would have viewed the rapidly-Balkanizing United States of the early 21st century, but it seems safe to conclude that the old Marxist would be astounded at its scope, scale and rapidity. More…

Walmart Workers Ask For Basic Rights, Walmart Calls Riot Police 4

By Jessica Testa

Photo by @daneyvilla.

About 650 people protested a major Walmart distribution center Monday in Elwood, Illinois, the Chicago Tribute reports.

At Walmart contractor Roadlink, workers have been on strike since mid-September, claiming unsafe working conditions and unfair wages. From the movement’s website:

No one should come to work and endure extreme temperatures, inhale dust and chemical residue, and lift thousands of boxes weighing up to 250lbs with no support. Workers never know how long the work day will be- sometimes its two hours, sometimes its 16 hours. Injuries are common, as is discrimination against women and illegal retaliation against workers who speak up for better treatment.

Reports from the protest vary, but photos show riot police restraining some protesters with zip-ties. The rally had apparently been declared an “unlawful assembly.”

Photo by @daneyvilla.

Photo by @daneyvilla.

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How Free Are Today’s “Free”Markets? with Dr. Sean Gabb 1

Listen to the interview.

On Thursday, the 9th August 2012, Sean Gabb spoke in Bratislava to the Institute of Economic and Social Studies (INESS) on the subject of “Libertarianism: Left or Right?”

He made the following points:

1. That libertarianism is a child of the Enlightenment, and is a champion of rationalism and humanity. As such, it was inevitably opposed to large elements of the European Old Order. This can be seen in the writings of John Locke, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, Frederic Bastiat, and in the speeches and writings of Cobden and Bright.

2. That, during the 1880s, libertarians in England became increasingly alarmed by the progress of state socialism in its various forms that they entered into an alliance with the landed aristocracy, which was itself worried about the tendencies of the age. The most obvious sign of this alliance was the Liberty and Property Defence League.

3. That the decline of the landed interest after 1914, and the global challenge of Soviet socialism required libertarians to go into a new alliance with corporate big business.

4. That this need has evaporated since 1989, and libertarians are free to choose their friends in ways that were not possible before.

5. That, while the English landed aristocracy was perhaps the most liberal ruling class in history, and that compromise with it was natural and even desirable for libertarians, corporate big business is little more than the commercial arm of an utterly malign ruling class that legitimises itself by cultural leftism and maintains its global hegemony via the military-industrial complex.

6. That libertarians are perhaps mistaken when they worship actually existing capitalism as if it were a variety of a genuinely free market, and when they implicitly regard the poor as enemies and dismiss the complaints of the poor as hostility to free markets.

7. That libertarians should focus more on showing how the established order of things hurts the poor – by using the tax and regulatory structures to raise the minimum scale of output and stop the poor from starting micro-businesses that would free them from the oppresion of bad employers and the welfare authorities.

Much else is covered, including intellectual property and whether Britain and Slovakia should leave the European Union.

 

Modern drug cartels resemble corporate entities Reply

tennessean.com
Christopher Sherman , AP

Accountants, managers, security and more all part of criminal organizations

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS — When a regional manager for the Mexican Gulf cartel moved his operation to a more lucrative territory on the border, he took along not only his armored trucks and personal army, but also his department heads and a team of accountants.

In the grotesque violence that has enveloped Mexico, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that, ultimately, these criminal organizations are complex businesses that rely on careful accounting as much as assault rifles.

Rafael Cardenas Vela, a Gulf cartel member who ran three important “plazas,” or territories, testified last week about the organization’s structure and operations in such detail that it could compose a short course. More…

Human Sex Trafficking Is Now Affecting America’s Elite Communities Reply

businessinsider.com
Abby Rogers

Prostitution

Wikipedia

Long thought to be a problem only in America’s poorest cities or the world’s most impoverished nations, human trafficking is now making a move toward the upper fringes of society.

During a speech Thursday at the University of Mississippi School of Law, federal prosecutors said sex trafficking, both in terms of victims and suspects, has spread to wealthy suburbs as well as small rural towns, The Commercial Appeal reported. More…

Welfare Rights for Libertarians Reply

By Kevin Vallier

Libertarians have often opposed what philosophers sometimes call welfare rights, or rights to various goods and serves that promote or safeguard human well-being. These include rights to healthcare and education. Libertarians don’t like welfare rights because they appear to give some the moral permission to force others to provide them with goods and services. So welfare rights seem like they permit the subjugation of some to others. This is understandable, but I think it rests on a rather narrow conception of welfare rights. Let me explain.

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Why Libertarians Should Support a Land Value Tax 1

The case for Georgism.

By D. J. Webb

Libertarians support low taxation on principle, in order to free people and the economy from the burden of the state. If the writings of Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill are anything to go by, however, there is an important exception: land taxation. Land taxation is not just a necessary evil that affords the state some revenues with which to perform the very few necessary functions of government; it is a positive good, in that it tackles monopoly and speculation, and should ensure efficient use of land. If land taxation had remained the key source of government revenue in the UK, the current economic crisis would not have taken place.

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Secession and Money Reply

By Russell D. Longcore

Dump DC

I have an acquaintance in the Patriot Movement name of Sam Kerodin. Sam has a website at www.iiipercent.blogspot.com Sam is hardcore, to say the least. I respect him and his efforts.

The name of his blog is derived from the Three Percent. Historians state that about three percent of Colonials took up arms and challenged King George in the Secession of 1776.

Recently, Sam and some friends have brainstormed a terrific idea to start a new firearms manufacturing company named III Arms. www.iiiarms.blogspot.com. They will begin manufacturing the 1911 pistols and battle rifles on the AR platform.

They have also taken a decided step toward secession, as they intend to create a liberty community in the New American Redoubt. They have chosen Idaho as their new home. The weapons manufacturing facility will be at the center of their new Galt’s Gulch-like planned community, named The Citadel.

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Radical Small Nation Self-Determination in a Chaotic Meganation World Reply

By Thomas Naylor

Second Vermont Republic

A Meganation World

Much to the chagrin of Washington and Tel Aviv, a recent meeting of the so-called Non-Aligned Movement, a group formed during the Cold War that views itself as independent of the major powers, sent a clear signal to the US-Israeli cabal that they are visibly annoyed at the United States and Israel for continuing to portray Iran as the world’s foremost scapegoat. The meeting which took place in Tehran on August 26-31 proved to be a public relations coup for Iran in spite of UN Secretary General and American pawn Ban Ki-moon’s attempt to hijack the meeting.

The NAM represents nearly two-thirds of the nations of the world, most of whom are small and poor. However, their membership does include four meganations which have populations in excess of 100 million – Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Nigeria.

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The Waning of the Modern Ages – Time to Abolish the American Dream Reply

By Morris Berman

Counterpunch

La longue durée —the long run—was an expression made popular by the Annales School of French historians led by Fernand Braudel, who coined the phrase in 1958. The basic argument of this school is that the proper concern of historians should be the analysis of structures that lie at the base of contemporary events. Underneath short-term events such as individual cycles of economic boom and bust, said Braudel, we can discern the persistence of “old attitudes of thought and action, resistant frameworks dying hard, at times against all logic.” An important derivative of the Annales research is the work of the World Systems Analysis school, including Immanuel Wallerstein and Christopher Chase-Dunn, which similarly focuses on long-term structures: capitalism, in particular.

The “arc” of capitalism, according to this school, is about 600 years long, from 1500 to 2100. It is our particular (mis)fortune to be living through the beginning of the end, the disintegration of capitalism as a world system. It was mostly commercial capital in the sixteenth century, evolving into industrial capital in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and then moving on to financial capital—money created by money itself, and by speculation in currency—in the twentieth and twenty-first. In dialectical fashion, it will be the very success of the system that eventually does it in.

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Secessionist Movements Grow Across U.S. Reply

From: American Free Press

By Victor Thorn

With dissent higher in this country than it has been in decades, a number of secessionist groups are asking the question: Would certain states or territories be better off if they seceded from the union?

On August 16 AMERICAN FREE PRESS interviewed Thomas Naylor, the founder of the Second Vermont Republic, which is at the forefront of America’s secessionist movement.

“There is no moral justification for this country to exist any longer,” said Naylor. “The U.S. has lost its moral authority. It’s corrupt to the core. Today, the U.S. is owned, operated and controlled by corporations, the military-industrial complex and the Israeli lobby. Ultimately, I’m calling for Vermont to become an independent entity and for the dissolution of this empire.”

Naylor’s views are radical and controversial, even to those who sympathize with his cause. He told this writer: “I lump Ron Paul, the tea party and Occupy Wall Street together because they all espouse variations of the same theme: that the system is fixable. I like a lot of what Paul says, but he thinks the system is fixable if we return to the Constitution. But it’s not. Gridlock in Congress epitomizes how ungovernable we’ve become. Right now, we can go down with the Titanic or seek other options.” More…

Pol Pot Revisited 1

By Israel Shamir

Now, in the monsoon season, Cambodia is verdant, cool and relaxed. The rice paddies on the low hill slopes are flooded, forests that hide old temples are almost impassable, rough seas deter swimmers. It’s a pleasant time to re-visit this modest country: Cambodia is not crowded, and Cambodians are not greedy, but rather peaceful and relaxed. They fish for shrimp, calamari and sea brim. They grow rice, unspoiled by herbicides, manually planted, cultivated and gathered. They produce enough for themselves and for export, too — definitely no paradise, but the country soldiers on.

Socialism is being dismantled fast:  Chinese-owned factories keep churning tee-shirts for the European and American market employing tens of thousands of young Cambodian girls earning $80 per month. They are being sacked at the first sign of unionising. Nouveau-riches live in palaces; there are plenty of Lexus cars, and an occasional Rolls-Royce. Huge black and red, hard and precious tree trunks are constantly ferried to the harbour for timber export, destroying forests but enriching traders. There are many new French restaurateurs in the capital; NGO reps earn in one minute the equivalent of a worker’s monthly salary.

Not much remains from the turbulent period when the Cambodians tried to radically change the order of things in the course of their unique traditionalist conservative peasant revolution under communist banner. That was the glorious time of Jean Luc Godard and his La Chinoise, of the Cultural Revolution in China sending party bonzes for re-education to remote farms, of Khmer Rouge marching on the corrupt capital. Socialist movement reached a bifurcation point: whether to advance to more socialism Mao-style, or retreat to less socialism the Moscow way. The Khmer Rouge experiment lasted only three years, from 1975 to 1978.

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QE3: The Beginning Of The End Reply

By Russell D. Longcore

Dump DC

The Federal Reserve flushed the toilet Thursday…and by extension Washington and the US economy are beginning to pick up speed as they circle the drain.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced Thursday September 13th that the Fed would be buying $40 Billion per month in mortgage-backed securities indefinitely into the future. The reason he gave was to “see more progress (in job growth)”. He said “the program should increase downward pressure on interest rates,” supposedly to encourage more home sales and refinancing.

When challenged about low interest rates hurting savers, Bernanke said the low rates help the value of homes. What he does not say is that the entire housing market is built upon a balloon of debt, and that home values are only where they are today because of inflation.

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