Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Whole Foods Market.....making the right move at the right time

      by Claude Chaney  

         I am usually very critical of US corporations because of their greed and their insensitivity towards the environment and the common man as well as their parasitic outlook on practically everything, so when I see a
US corporation promoting the public well being I feel they must be commended.
            There are very very few corporations that fit this mold. I have previously written about BMW (Bavarian Motor Works), and their program for inner city youth that results in full time employment with BMW upon satisfactorily completing the program, but BMW is not a US company, its German.
            Whole Foods Inc., is a US corporation that is a high end grocery chain that specializes in organic and pesticide-free nourishment. Whole Foods set up shop in a place where even moderately priced grocery franchises would not dare to go.......Detroit, Michigan. Before Whole Foods there were no grocery chains in Detroit, if fact most industry insiders felt the move to Detroit would be in a business sense suicidal.Well, Whole Foods is getting the last laugh.......because it's making a profit.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Clear Channel Cancels Randi Rhodes Show

 by Claude Chaney  

 The popular progressive radio program "The Randi Rhodes Show" has been cancelled by Mitt Romney's Bane Capital that owns near monopoly Clear Channel. Over the past year there has been a successful campaign to remove all those with a progressive perspective from "free" radio. It seems odd that with all the adverse publicity (not to mention low ratings) of the Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity Shows they continue unabashed. Revelations from Edward Snowden have made practically all progressive journalists in the United States fearful for their jobs and they have begun to self sensor themselves.
   Nothing or close to nothing has been said about this phenomenon. (I suggest that if you want to know more please read the 11/15/03 edition of Brad Blog). This means the next year, a crucial election year the US public will be exposed to an exclusively right wing perspective on "free"and it appears to me that this was all done by design. About three or four years ago "Air America" went off the air, earlier this year "Current" was eliminated from cable. The Pacifica anchor station WBAI had to lay off its paid staff in order to survive because of the effects of Hurricane Sandy. 
    In general the very malleable US radio and TV audience believes what it sees on television and hears on radio. If they are exposed to only one perspective in general that is what they will believe. The Fox "so called" News cable network still has the lion's share of cable news ratings. This network is notorious for "bending" the truth and has fired "news" correspondents for telling the truth. When you keep in mind the efforts to curtail internet access that is going completely under the radar of the mainstream media there is definitely cause for concern. Issues that will affect huge numbers of US citizens like the XL pipeline and 
Trans Pacific Partnership are conspicuously absent from mainstream news....this is no accident. Democracy as we know in the United States is slowly being eradicated.....and the general public is for the most part unaware.    

Thursday, November 07, 2013

DeBlasio wins in New York City......a new era?

by Claude Chaney  

   Bill DeBlasio becomes the first elected Democrat to be mayor of New York City in twenty years. There should be no reason the people of New York City, a predominately Democratic city should have to endure 20 years of a Republican administration, the last of which was illegal when Mr. Bloomberg coerced the City Council to give him a third term completely disregarding term limits laws. The mayor probably holds the record for being the mayor who spent the most time on vacation away from New York City.  The Giuliani and Giuliani Light (Bloomberg) administrations were very popular with New York City landlords. The city experienced a construction boom that had no equal. Millions were spent hiring expensive consultants to do jobs that could have easily been done by qualified New York City residents. The construction boom only benefited the rich. We saw an explosion of luxury high rise apartment buildings while affordable housing became increasingly harder to find.
     The two previous administrations were extremely harsh, in fact downright racist towards minority communities with the implementation of "Stop and Frisk" where policemen were instructed to intentionally stop black and Hispanic youth looking for drugs and assumed criminal activity. Minority youth seemed to be intentionally directed toward the penal system. Over 90% of the time the minority youth stopped and frisked were found to be completely innocent of doing anything illegal. Most who were guilty of some infraction had relatively small amounts of marijuana.  Every time Mr. Giuliani lost a lawsuit the City of New York had to pay for it(and the fines were usually very high), during both the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations there were numerous complaints of minority directed police brutality. Outgoing Brooklyn (Democrat changed Republican) Charles Hynes was notorious for always deciding in favor of the accused
indicted police officer. I supported Mr. Bloomberg's efforts to bring about meaningful gun control and his efforts to curtail consumption of sugary soft drinks, but on the whole his administration was
narrowly focused on the interests of the wealthy and did practically nothing to improve the standard of living of the average New Yorker.
      I was amazed that during his second administration Mr. Bloomberg had the support of a majority of the African-American community. I remember endorsements by celebrities such as the model Iman and New York Mets baseball player Mo Vaughn. Many black people who supported Bloomberg suffered the humiliation of having their children become victims of "Stop and Frisk". This was a sobering experience. This mayor believed he could do whatever he wanted, including appointing the chancellor of Education (Ms. Black), a person who had neither qualifications nor experience in education. Bill DeBlasio's lopsided victory indicated the disgust that many New Yorkers had with the Bloomberg administration. The media led us to believe that City Council leader and Bloomberg ally
Christine Quinn was the overwhelming favorite to win, but Quinn was an ardent supporter of Bloomberg having a third term. The voters, especially minority voters remembered that and it cost her in the mayoral election. In the previous election between Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Thompson the media told us that Mr. Bloomberg had an overwhelming lead and that if you voted for Mr. Thompson you would be wasting you time as well as your vote. Mr. Bloomberg did eventually win but only by 4%.
    Now it is very unlikely that Ray Kelly will keep his job as Police Commissioner. Mr. Kelly, like Mr. Bloomberg was a strong advocate of "Stop and Frisk". Even though the high court has ruled "Stop and Frisk" is legal. The new mayor Bill DeBlasio vigorously campaigned against it, making it highly unlikely that Kelly will return.
   Mr. DeBlasio has promised to be the mayor of "all" residents of New York City. It will be hard for him to keep his promises because the media will not be an ally and even within the Democratic party there are forces who will be resistant to any type of progressive change. In time we will see, but for now I congratulate Mr. DeBlasio for his unexpected triumph and I wish him well.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

"Anonymous" Strikes Again !

       

by Claude Chaney
 Thanks to Anonymous and The Kansas City Star there will be further investigations into the rape case of  then 13 and 14 year old girls in Missouri. The alleged perpetrator is a teen-age football player who is related to a Mr. Barnett, a prominent Missouri politician. Initially the authorities weren't going to do anything, but now at least there is the promise of a thorough investigation. The 4,000 word Kansas City Star editorial and the involvement of justice motivation organization Anonymous has made all the difference. Anonymous emphasizes the importance of a responsible media. Many reporters across the United States are afraid to report the truth because it may cost them their jobs since the rich and powerful are even richer and more powerful and influential than ever before.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Manning, Assange and now Snowden; There are more questions than answers

   What George Orwell wrote about, the all powerful police state apparently seems to be in place and functioning satisfactorily for the powers that be. This has created a crisis of conscience the hypocrisy is blatant. The punishment of those who remotely want to reveal "The truth" is astounding. Bradley Manning will be given a 35 year sentence for exposing those responsible for killing journalists and their families, while those actually responsible for these murders not only go free but are treated like heroes. Julian Assange (an Australian native) is so vigorously pursued by the CIA that the plane of Bolivia President Evo Morales was stopped and searched, which is a violation of international law.
Mr. Assange is accused of publishing Mr.(or Ms.) Manning's evidence of murder and other so called
"sensitive" acts on Wikileaks, an online site dedicated to keeping transparency in government.
   Every US citizen should be concerned because total surveillence is a building block of PNAC (Project for New American Century). If nothing else this video should have you the United States citizens asking questions about the very fabric of our "Democracy".

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Reflections on July 4, 2013

     Tonight on television and radio and other varied forms of media everyone is extolling the virtues of Freedom in United States. Yes the United States is a great nation that has opened its doors to give
opportunity to millions, yet I find myself concerned about the creeping fascism that threatens Freedom. 
     A generally apolitical public continues to look the other way when it comes to our ever decreasing
civil rights. One man, Anton Scalia was able to nullify the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the endorsement of a do nothing, say nothing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who looks like me. Scalia's reasoning 
would be comical if it weren't so heartbreakingly sad. According to Mr. Scalia the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives continue to vote for the Civil Rights legislation because if they don't
they will be afraid of being seen as "racists". It is indeed amazing how Mr. Scalia is able to read the minds of
hundreds of legislators and tell us exactly what they are thinking. 
     ACORN, a political organization whose function was to increase participation of minority communities in 
the electoral process was attacked and dismantled. ALEC, a political organization that vigorously creates
blatantly right wing legislation (in several cases given to congresspersons without these congresspersons 
even reading it) is supported or at least tolerated by both houses and both major political parties. The
outrageous "Stand Your Ground" law,an ALEC sponsored piece of legislation  is responsible for the death of Trayvon Martin, an African-American teen stalked by a white vigilante George Zimmerman. Under "normal" circumstances thus far one could surmise based on Mr. Zimmerman's testimony that he is headed for conviction.......
                                    1) Mr. Zimmerman claimed the teen-aged Martin pummeled his head against 
                                        the concrete, but a medical examiner stated that this was not the case because
                                        "ALL"  of Mr. Zimmerman's wounds were described as minor and superficial. 
                                    2) Mr. Zimmerman claimed that he saw Trayvon Martin hiding in the bushes, but 
                                        the prosecution showed that there were not bushes, just slight vegetation.
                                    3) Mr. Zimmerman claimed Trayvon Martin fought with him, trying to take away 
                                        his gun, but the prosecution was able to prove that there was no evidence of
                                        Martin's DNA on the gun. 
                                    4) Mr. Zimmerman claimed on the Sean Hannity Show that he never took a 
                                        '"Stand Your Ground" class, but the teacher of that class said that no only 
                                       did he take the class: he received an "A"
       Because of these statements under "normal" circumstances one would conclude that things aren't 
going too well for Mr. Zimmerman and that it looks like he will be convicted of second degree murder.
It would be a mistake at this time to come to that conclusion when you consider the case of Oscar Grant,
another young African-American killed by a white BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) Police Officer.
                                    1) Oscar Grant was handcuffed with arms behind his back.
                                    2) Several witnesses saw the officer shot and kill Oscar Grant, some of them
                                        even took pictures with their cell phones. 
                                    3) It has been alleged that the officer in question received an 18 month sentence.
      A denial of the obvious could happen in the Trayvon Martin case just as it did in the Oscar Grant 
case. The media is filled with stories of people who say that the prosecution in the George Zimmerman 
case did not present strong convincing arguments when that is EXACTLY what the prosecution did. 
     The media also floods the press and the airwaves with predictions of violence from the black community if George Zimmerman evades prosecution. 
                                   The outrageously expensive and ineffective war on drugs has proven to really be
a war on African-American and Latino youth. Minority youth are spending many years of incarceration for marijuana, a drug that has just become practically legal in Colorado and Washington, yet
in states like New York the heinous and ineffective "Stop and Frisk" still exists and even some mayoral candidates are saying it has to be revised not eradicated.
                                  It is now virtually impossible to sue major corporations for wrong doing. In several
states Wal-Mart managers are eligible for food stamps. Because Wal-Mart doesn't provide adequate health care to their employees the rest of us have to pay for them. These issues just scratch the surface for why I am seriously concerned about the citizens of the United States. Dwight Eisenhower warned us about the military industrial complex. What he said then is coming to pass now and the tragedy is the most US citizens don't even have a clue.  As songwriter Laura Nyro once wrote in one of her songs the time has come to SAVE THE COUNTRY.