Hard Working, Left Leaning

R. J. Johnson:

This is a great solution to the question of how to take on Citizen’s United

Originally posted on MEAN democracy:

Brendan Hoffman/Public Citizen

We are approaching the three year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s January 2010 decision, Citizens United. Recall that Citizens United allows unlimited spending on political campaigns by outside groups, including corporations.

Despite two federal elections and 1,000 or so days passing since Citizens United was decided, the coalition determined to roll back the Court’s decision has thus far failed to stop corporate spending from poisoning our democracy.

In fact, from the legal perspective, things have gotten even worse. The Supreme Court doubled down on its Citizens United holding at least twice during the last thousand days.

Supreme Court Doubles Down on Citizens United

In 2011, the Court decided McCormish v. Bennett, ruling that an Arizona law, the Clean Elections Act, was unconstitutional. The Clean Elections Act established Arizona’s new campaign finance regime, creating a more level financial playing field for candidates so that they may fight…

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It’s simple, we kick the money out of politics

My thoughts are to make all elections from dog catcher to president 100% publicly funded, and when you burn through your war chest IT’S GONE! And you’re not going to get anymore. Equal funding. Equal time. Equal voice.

Wal-Mart Black Friday and Protests

R. J. Johnson:

I think is a testament to the cause of the workers that all the Wal-Mart brass can do is play down the size but cant refute the workers claims

Originally posted on San Diego News - Bowler's Desk:

Wal-Mart sent out a press release.

They say they had more than 10,000,000 transactions between 8PM and midnight yesterday.

Bill Simon CEO also tries to down play protest.

For more on these and other stories check bowlersdesk.com

And as always please feel free to post, re-post, and share.

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Local police disperse, arrest Black Friday protesters on behalf of Walmart

R. J. Johnson:

Thank you much for writing about this.

Originally posted on Dispatches from the Underclass:

The treatment of peaceful protesters compared to the unruly and sometimes violent crowds of stampeding Black Friday shoppers couldn’t be more different. While the former is ostracized and forcibly removed by police, the latter is encouraged to come out for a competitive brawl over marked off goods. Nowhere is this contrast more clearly defined than in the police treatment of Walmart protesters over the last 24 hours.

On Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, at least 1,000 Walmart employees throughout the country have walked off the job to protest Walmart’s poor labor practices. While these historic developments are exciting, local police departments have been happy to disperse and even arrest strikers and their supporters on behalf of the world’s largest retailer.

At a Walmart store in Paramount, just outside of Los Angeles, some 1,500 people rallied against Walmart. Josh Eidelson, who is live-blogging about the Walmart strikes…

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Black Friday, Black Heart

These are human beings goddamnit, their lives have value!

I’m most likely preaching to the choir and hope the my voice can add to the thousands literally starving for change here in the first world of the United States, and push the issue of labor rights just a bit further. Lets take a look at today’s Huffington Post Black Friday reports. Seriously go take a look I’ll wait… … … … So are you mad or disgusted yet? I hope so. There is a time for anger, righteous anger. That time is now.

Personally I have seen both sides. I worked those way before pre-dawn hours at a big box store for many years. And been a witness to appalling customer behavior, intentional stock shortages and staff pushed beyond levels of decency by management. It would easy to point the blame at retailers like Wal-Mart and say. “You’re an evil corporation that is ruining people’s lives and depriving your employees of a decent standard of living.” And why this is generally true. It’s much harder to stand in front of that dressing room mirror and say “My unconscious consumption is ruining people’s lives and depriving people around the world including Americans a decent standard of living.”

If Americans were more conscious about where and how their money was spent the tide of violence and aggression that has become the day after Thanksgiving could then and only then be stemmed. Private corporations are more democratic than we give them credit for. Your wallet casts a vote every time you exchange currency for goods and the cash register is the ballot box. Every time you purchase a product from a retailer or  manufacturer that mistreats its employees you are showing your explicit approval of that companies practices and give them the incentive and capital to not only continue but to expand their immoral practices.

I know its hard not to do this. Most of us work shit jobs that pay shit wages so in return the only places we can shop are places that treat people like shit. It’s a circle that is quickly destroying our nations middle class. I don’t have all the answers on how to break this cycle  but I know where we can start. Buy less things for a start. By doing this you can save money. So when it is time to make that purchase of something you need you can spend the extra money to buy something of quality and if possible buy something made in America. We didnt get to this sorry state overnight so it’s going to take time to get  us out of it. The only ones with the power to fix this is us, the consumer. The American worker and our very way of life is depending on us.

Look, I’m no hermit. To quote the  Dennis Leary song  Asshole  “I like football and porno and books about war” I like fatty foods and I don’t drive a hybrid and I don’t buy organic. Everyone has their cross to bear. Mine is video games. It’s hard for me to not pull the trigger on the newest murder simulator released every other week. But I have gotten to the point that before I buy that new game I’ll take a look at my shelf and on my computer hard drive and see all the games that have that have gone unfinished and come to the realization that whatever new virtual world that a company is pushing on me at the time is not going to enhance my experience in my actual physical reality. I imagine it’s like kicking an addiction. I still have the trigger to buy new games but I don’t follow through. Your burden might be shoes, clothes or electronics. But make no mistake by consuming these cheap poorly made goods you are consuming the very heart and soul of America.

Before you buy slow down. Think, “Do I need this?” and “what is the real cost of this item in human capital. Am I contributing to suffering or contributing to a living for another human being or a fellow American?”If you do what you know is right with your hard-earned dollars then you will change your life and others for the better.

The Church of Stop Shopping

R. J. Johnson:

I re-blogged this because I really like this blog. But this post is a prime example of how you can hear the sermon but miss the teaching completely. Push past the surface not only on a word press blog but with people in general find out who people are and why they think and act the way they do and they might shock you. Like Rev Billy.

Originally posted on The Brenner Brief:

20121123-105111.jpg

“Reverend Billy” wants you to stop shopping. Especially today. Your buying products that have been shipped from sweat shops in Asia caused Hurricane Sandy. Why do you continue to hurt the earth?

The Church Of Stop Shopping believes we are the problem, and that the 99% is somehow related to their overall message. Maybe it’s just an attention getter.

Billy even has a choir:

Don’t they emit a lot of carbon dioxide doing that?

Just as you were maybe taking him seriously, let’s watch Billy “preach” against the global economic system for none other than Occupy Wall Street:

At least Billy can grow the fruit for his fruitcake without having to emit Hurricane Sandy causing gasses.

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Contains adult language and universal logic

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