Planned Obsolescence: Why products we buy suck

Scope this documentary The Light Bulb Conspiracy on the bluntly named International Energy Cartel. This group of industrialist asset holders got together and agreed to limit the life of products so they could sell us more crap. Internal documents are presented in this film or facts not fiction.

If your pissed at how crappy things are built from panty hose and hair ties to computer printers and light bulbs then watch this to learn more. This phenomena is responsible for escalating the degradation of the environment, pollution, mining, wasting resources and forcing people to waste more of their lives. 

Defense industry twice as lucrative than S&P 500

Despite S&P 500 having 30 percent in growth the past two years the defense industry is twice as lucrative, "Dow Jones U.S. Aerospace and Defense Total Stock Market Index has grown at double the rate of the S&P, increasing in value by 60 percent." With the continued spread of the War on Terror it is unlikely such booming business will stop. Certainly there must be some in that industry of "defense" who have no interest in peace.

Student loans to be the next subprime mortgages?

With the funding for education shriveling up while costs skyrocket, borrowing is a necessity to pursue a college education. The student loan debt bubble is at $1.2 trillion and growing. Just like before, "when Wall Street speculators wanted a market for subprime mortgages, they created high-risk derivative securities that bundled the mortgages to sell as investments. The speculators have done the same for student loans."

Most of the loans are subsidized by the government and are now being packaged as SLABS, student loan asset-backed securities. Even more troubling "The income stream is nearly guaranteed to pay off because the loans are next to impossible to discharge in bankruptcy.."

As was noted in a recent post, Dept of Ed. hounding borrowers for loans the admit are illegitimate, even bogus debts have no means of being discharged. So go get an education, ranked as a high school equivalent compared to other developed countries, and start off with a nice heavy set of debt slavery chains weigh you down in a cubi-kill or some other soul-draining employment.

JP Morgan Chase spent $9 Billion to silence whistleblower

Back in 2006 Alayne Fleischmann witnessed massive securities fraud in banks mortgage operations. JP Morgan Chase and even the US Justice Department made efforts to silence her. Here is a powerful excerpt from this Rolling Stone article:

She was blocked at every turn: by asleep-on-the-job regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission, by a court system that allowed Chase to use its billions to bury her evidence, and, finally, by officials like outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, the chief architect of the crazily elaborate government policy of surrender, secrecy and cover-up. "Every time I had a chance to talk, something always got in the way," Fleischmann says.

Recently big banks like Citigroup, Chase and Bank of America were able to give "cash for secrecy. The banks paid big fines, without trials or even judges – only secret negotiations that typically ended with the public shown nothing but vague, quasi-official papers called "statements of facts," which were conveniently devoid of anything like actual facts."

Fleischmann could be sued into oblivion by these financial juggernauts but refuses complicity in what she calls "the biggest financial cover-up in history." She had humbler ambitions in her early career but worked in Wall Street to pay off her student loan debt. Seems like corruption has forced her back to her roots. It is unlikely she will be able to work on Wall Street again with the backlash that haunts whistleblowers as she has experienced.

Attorney General Eric Holder gave civil immunity to Chase. Government "investigators" did not contact Fleishmann, the key witness. In 2010 Goldman Sachs paid $550 million to settle one case and get immunity from charges in other crooked mortgage deals where it misled investors about subprime mortgages.

Cases where Fleishmann would make a great witness include the Fort Worth Employees' Retirement Fund. They asked Chase to release documents to her but a Chase attorney told the judge she could not "testify to anything of importance." The Federal Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV took Chase's lawyers at their word and rejected access for Fleishmann. The Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh made similar request Chase stalled, then abruptly settled prevented Fleishmann from testifying.

While still hoping to be heard Fleishmann saw a speech by Holder that made her wince. The title "No Company is Too Big to Jail," sounded good in principle but "It was classic Holder: full of weird prevarication, distracting eye twitches and other facial contortions. It began with the bold rejection of the idea that overly large financial institutions would receive preferential treatment from his Justice Department." As the speech went on it evolved into saying generally that "regulators have to agree not to allow automatic penalties to kick in, so that bad banks can stay in business.." At a later speech Holder argued the institutional culture is the problem and responsibility is impossible to pin-point.

Fleishmann is confident in helping facilitate justice and that "the proof is easily there for all the elements of the crime as defined by federal law – the bank made material misrepresentations, it made material omissions, and it did so willfully and with specific intent, consciously ignoring warnings from inside the firm and out." Another investigation is under way but if you can see the trend and if the Holder's will is done, nothing will come of it.

The article concludes grimly:

The people who stole all those billions are still in place. And the bank is more untouchable than ever – former Debevoise & Plimpton hotshots Mary Jo White and Andrew Ceresny, who represented Chase for some of this case, have since been named to the two top jobs at the SEC. As for the bank itself, its stock price has gone up since the settlement and flirts weekly with five-year highs. They may lose the odd battle, but the markets clearly believe the banks won the war. Truth is one thing, and if the right people fight hard enough, you might get to hear it from time to time. But justice is different, and still far enough away.

 

Dept. of Ed hounding borrowers for loans they admit are illegitimate

This is not the first time the Department of Education has discredited an educational institution but kept borrowers on the hook for debts that should be discharged. The article discusses the recent bailout and dismantling of Corinthian College and compares it to Wilfred American Educational Corporation. The bogus beauty schools that were WAEC resulted in a remaining 60,000 in loans the Dept. of Ed is still enforcing as legitimate.

Lesson from these aspiring students, the chains of debt slavery are a priority, not your education or freedom.

I personally analyzed the student loan system in 2006 while experiencing skyrocketing education costs at Humboldt State University, part of the California State University system. I figured it creates more profits and more life-long debt slaves for the lenders while education and access suffered. Major education lender Sallie Mae was a government entity floated into the private sector that soon after my research was in the midst of a scandal in the mainstream news. Here is a good article on that, Leading Lady: Sallie Mae and the Origins of Today's Student Loan Controversy.

30 ways to not be penalized for failing to sign up for health insurance

Though there is a penalty for the slave-like "Affordable Healthcare Act" requirement to sign up for health insurance, 20 million people qualify for an exemption. Here is a direct excerpt from the article on ducking the bailout for the health insurance industry:

  • Affordability . The lowest-priced health insurance available would cost more than 8 percent of your household income.
  • Medical expenses . You had medical expenses you couldn’t afford to pay in the last 24 months, which resulted in significant debt.
  • Cancellation . You had insurance that was canceled, and the other plans were unaffordable.
  • Utility shut-off . You received a notice for shut-off from a utility company.
  • Difficulty signing up . You had issues signing up through your state or federal marketplace.

There are several other reasons you may be exempt from the tax penalty. According to Intuit:

Exemptions are also available because of homelessness, eviction, foreclosure, bankruptcy, the death of a close family member or an experience with domestic violence. Members of Native American tribes also are not required to sign up for health insurance.

Feeding the homeless illegal in Ft. Lauderdale, 90-yr old veteran arrested

A 90-year old veteran was and two priests were cited for defying a recent measure passed to counter the growing numbers of homeless in Fort. Lauderdale Florida. What better to combat homelessness than to kill them with starvation! That will prevent those victims of the housing crisis or mostly drug addicted and mentally ill scumbags from existing! No need for anything logical like actually helping those with human decency who provide services nowhere to be found in the operations of government. The video of the veteran's arrest is below showing police impervious to legitimate ridicule from the crowd.

Arnold Abbott was arrested and is facing up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine for helping to feed the needy in Florida. The veteran has done so for decades, and continues to help the homeless in memory of his late wife who helped him make and share food with the poor.

This new law follows a slew of other laws prohibiting the regular activities of homeless such as panhandling, sleeping on public property, harsher penalties for defecating in public and illegal to keep personal belongings in public areas. The article notes a similar backlash around the country, "A report released by the National Coalition for the Homeless last month found that 21 cities have restricted sharing food with the homeless, and 10 other cities are in the process of doing so."

Good thing American tax money was robbed to pay off the bankers in the housing crisis instead of keeping people housed.

UCSD study: Min Wage increase led to 1.4 million jobs lost

Of course any perceived step forward is two steps back in this greedy and corrupt construct. Youth and unskilled workers took the biggest hit from this. I once covered that in 1978: Minimum wage summer job could fund college. With money increasing worth-less things are not getting any better. Many people who try to get an education also end up unemployed with tons of student debt. The more dependent slaves on welfare and living check-to-check are less likely to rise up.

STUDY: Minimum Wage Increase Cost Americans 1.4 Million Jobs. Low Skilled Workers and Youths Hardest Hit.

D.C. Is America’s Most Expensive City, Because It’s Where the Pig Trough Is Located

Great article subtitle, "People Will Pay a LOT of Money to Live Near the Money Spigot." DC is apparently the most expensive city in the US.

D.C. Is America’s Most Expensive City, Because It’s Where the Pig Trough Is Located

$80 million in gold coins seized by government from family, no compensation given

The family has a suit against the government that argues in a previous discovery of this rare coin, the government split the value of the coin. They are appealing a prior decision that gives nothing for bringing the coins in. The government argues the coins were not legally released from the mint. That is one hell of an up and down, going form rich to robbed by the man.

Judge Says 10 Rare Gold Coins Worth $80 Million Belong to Uncle Sam

Why Move to Amend will fall short of changing anything

The Move To Amend campaign started in response to the Citizens United court ruling that granted more unprecedented "rights" to corporate persons, even more so it seems than actual humans. The 14th amendment was supposed to make slaves, considered subhuman to be recognized, which clearly didn't happen for nearly hundreds of years and still is in question. The 14th was used to make corporations more people than dark-skinned folks. Check out the documentary The Corporation for this twisted history. I don't think we need to amend the constitution in so much as we need a constitutional convention to set these things straight. Corporations used to have to provide a public good, now they exist to exploit the environment and human life to fulfill the primary objective of seeking profit. 

Amending is an extremely difficult process. States should make declarations or something against this insanity. Local elections, campaign finance restrictions and pushing back the corrupt nexus of the increasingly fascist Federal government would be more tangible solutions. People should focus on their bio-region, independence and self-sufficiency, so they are not beholden to distant corrupt bureaucrats. 

Everyone should watch this documentary The Corporation! 

The Corporation is a 2003 Canadian documentary film written by University of British Columbia law professor Joel Bakan, and directed by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott. The documentary examines the modern-day corporation. This is explored through specific examples. Bakan wrote the book, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, during the filming of the documentary.


Why Ordinary People Bear Economic Risks and Donald Trump Doesn’t

Pretty legit breakdown about how the elite are above the law and exploit everyone below them as pee-ons. The trickle down effect is like the 1 percent drinking the whole keg and letting us drink their urine.

He dumped a company and let it fail leaving 1,000 jobless. The article cites how during the housing crisis the banks were bailed out and four million families left homeless! Criminal scum. Some examples given about bankruptcy used for big business to start over at the expense of the employees, and so on.

Why Ordinary People Bear Economic Risks and Donald Trump Doesn’t

 

Partisan BS is divide and conquer strategy

This is my response to an article on Reddit, How the GOP stopped caring about you:

Virtually none of either party care about any of us, these partisan articles are pretty stupid. For instance, the Young Turks break down how members of Congress can't even eat a normal lunch since they are obligated to raise money like whores from their corporate elite pimps by doing their dirty work. This commentary arose from Seth Rogan testifying before a virtually absent committee: 

"Actor Seth Rogen brought comedy to the distinctly unfunny subject of Alzheimer's at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing Wednesday on the disease. "Yes, I am aware that this has nothing to do with the legalization of marijuana," Rogen said after thanking the senators "for the opportunity for me to be called an 'expert' at something."

The GOP is just the bad side in a soap opera only if you want to pretend you enjoy freedom. Vice Versa if you want to pretend you only care about big business. Everyone has the same core desires and needs and it is a shame we are pitted against each other in an elusive duopoly.

Bill Hicks said it best "I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking": 

A Bill Hicks bit on politics that is as relevant now as when he delivered it.

Huey Long, the assassinated governor of Louisiana also put it great. Look this guy up if you haven't heard of him. The movie All The Kings Men was based on his character but I believe the crisis he rode a political wave on was the perceived deliberate flooding of poor neighborhoods to save rich white elite property in New Orleans: 

"The rich fat cats that are drowning you will do it again and again and again. They lead you into imperialist wars for profit, they take away your schools and your hope and when you complain, they blame Blacks and Jews and immigrants. Then they push your kids under. I say, Kick'm in the ass and take your rightful share!"

Bush Strafes New Orleans Where is our Huey Long? [Greg Palast]

 

College Inc, the industrial debt slavery of higher ed documentary

I have already seen this and it does and excellent job at breaking down this scandalous nature of the exploitation of college students. When I was involved in student government I began to research the nature of student loans. I was particularly troubled with the combination of escalating costs of tuition, administration, inflation and the subsidizing of student debt. Within months a scandal broke out with Sallie Mae. I got a message from a professor noting that I called it. I also find it infuriating that there has to be a new book every semester. What the hell did these professors go to school for? To read from a manual with the answers? Doesn't 2+2 still equal 4?

There are tons of promises to get good jobs with a degree but some are now suing their schools as unemployed grads. Here is an article on that:

A Bunch of Young Lawyers are Suing Their Law Schools Because They Don't Have Jobs

 

John Hopkins U: Shitty life is hereditary

This conclusion is based on a sociological study on disadvantaged families in Baltimore. Starting as a three-year study, it turned into following 790 children for 25 years up until the late 20's.

Children's life trajectories largely determined by family they are born into

So much for the American Dream. Oh yea that requires being asleep. 

Paycheck to paycheck slavery rampant in U.S.

In this article "Many Americans Struggling Financially" they cite poll data implying 40% of people can't deal with even 3 months of not working. So much for the escape from the back-breaking brutish life in harmony with nature such as indigenous people live in, with a relative few working at all, nor very much. Check this out:

Bushman food collecting is more efficient than French farming in the period up to World War II, when more than 20 per cent of the population were engaged in feeding the rest. Confessedly, the comparison is misleading, but not as misleading as it is astonishing. In the total population of free-ranging Bushmen contacted by [Richard] Lee, 61.3 per cent (152 of 248) were effective food producers; the remainder were too young or too old to contribute importantly In the particular camp under scrutiny, 65 per cent were "effectives". Thus the ratio of food producers to the general population is actually 3 :5 or 2:3. But, these 65 per cent of the people "worked 36 per cent of the time, and 35 per cent of the people did not work at all"! (15)

For each adult worker, this comes to about two and one - half days labour per week. (In other words, each productive individual supported herself or himself and dependents and still had 3 to 5 days available for other activities.) A "day's work" was about six hours; hence the Dobe work week is approximately 15 hours, or an average of 2 hours 9 minutes per day. All things considered, Bushmen subsistence labours are probably very close to those of native Australians.

Also like the Australians, the time Bushmen do not work in subsistence they pass in leisure or leisurely activity. One detects again that characteristic palaeolithic rhythm of a day or two on, a day or two off- the latter passed desultorily in camp. Although food collecting is the primary productive activity, Lee writes, "the majority of the people's time (four to five days per week) is spent in other pursuits, such as resting in camp or visiting other camps"

1978: Minimum wage summer job could fund college.

Here is the article:

"In 1978, a student who worked a minimum-wage summer job could afford to pay a year's full tuition at the 4-year public university of their choice."

This analysis spawned from a meme that made the claim. Turns out it is mostly true. Also, FYI, a dime made of silver is what a gallon of gas is worth. The silver in it is worth about $3.50.

Wouldn't that make life easier. It almost isn't worth dealing with pocket change. When I was a community college student in 2000-ish, I could scrounge for change in my seat cushions to get around. That would get me nowhere fast, literally, today. 

Our relationship with currency of worth is similar to the hollow relationships based on Hallmark card style proclamations of love in a time where most people don't even write letters anymore. In that respect you cannot be happy with artificial currency that is practically monopoly money. 

US: 40% struggling financially

Of course, this country is being milked by multinational scum with no loyalty to this country, nor any ethics or morals beyond a degenerate dedication to profits at any "cost" so long as it doesn't effect the bottom line.  The insanity of Fed policy has further deflated the currency and there has been no justice for the housing bubble nor the looming student debt bubble (I will go into student debt more in my next post).

The money itself is made with debt coming with interest, not even real since we departed the gold standard and fractional reserve banking are part of the scheme controlled by foreign bankers, not our corrupt congress that outsourced their responsibility. 

Check out The Secret of Oz by Bill Still to learn about how money is our shackles, debt slavery 2.0.

The Secret of Oz What's the Movie About? It is well known in economics academia that The Wonderful Wizard of Oz written by L. Frank Baum in 1900 is loaded with powerful symbols of monetary reform which were the core of the Populist movement and the 1896 and 1900 president bid of Democrat William Jennings Bryan.