News and Noteworthy this Week

Here are articles, blog-posts, podcasts, and other material recently released about issues dear to us.

From the week of December 14th to December 20th

  1. If you missed Sunday’s presentation by former Alternative Banking member Hannah Appel and Laura Hanna about their work with Strike Debt & the Debt Collective, you can find our more at those web sites and this video with Tavis Smiley
  2. Elizabeth Warren gave a great speech calling out Citigroup and the general issue of the political power of mega corporations. It’s just 10 minutes and very worth listening to.
    The links between Citigroup and Government run deep.
    The derivatives rule isn’t the only bad stuff in the budget.
    – Elizabeth Warren allies march outside Citi: ‘Break big banks’ reported by CNN and ABC …. and supported by kids
  3. Another (better) article on scam of selling public housing (thanks Julia)
  4. - The 6-Step Process to Dispose of the Poor                                                  
    Ferguson’s way to close the budget gap          
    Profiting from poverty
  5. Why Germany has it so much better than the US …high-wage, unionized economy
  6. State looks to pull 1,000 employees out of Public Employees Federation… the Union had endorsed Zephyr Teachout…
  7. U.S. Wealth Gap Hits Record High. Reported by PEW Research Center and Huffington Post. Alas, we hit new records every year, but it is still worth noting — and doing something to reverse it. What about a guaranteed basic income?
  8. Drug War: a Pretense to Expand Transnational Capitalism Southward
  9. Who Benefits When Walmart Funds the Food Movement?

From the week of December 7th to December 13th

  1. We are very excited that former Alternative Banking member Hannah Appel and Laura Hanna will be joining us this Sunday to discuss their work with Strike Debt & the Debt Collective. You can get a preview here
  2. You’re Likely to Be a Lot Poorer Than You Were a Few Years Ago—And It’s All By Design by Les Leopold (past and maybe future Alternative Banking Speaker)
  3. NYCHA to Sell Stake in Public Housing to Private Developers. Rumor has it that Tamir will discuss this and similar travesties at Alternative Banking in January.
  4. Strong Voice in ‘Fight for 15’ Fast-Food Wage Campaign
  5. How Wall Street Bent Steel Not to over-glamorize the past, but companies once cared about their employees, customers, community and were not all about ‘shareholder value”.
  6. When Corporations Sue Governments. We expect there will be a push for dramatic expansion of corporate power with Fast Track and TPP in January.
  7. U.S. Lowers One Hurdle to Obtaining a Mortgage. This is good for realtors, not so clear they are doing home buyers any favors.
  8. While Dodd-Frank was woefully inadequate, it did do some good things. There is an effort to sneak through the rollback of that and defund the CFTC.
    1. Note that the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) is supposed to be overseeing the multi-trillion dollar swaps market. Its current budget already makes this impossible but Congress is working to reduce it further (see above). When they inevitably fail, it will of course be the CFTCs fault.
  9. Product of Mexico: Hardship on Mexico’s farms, a bounty for US tables. Thanks Natasha
  10. What I’ve Learned from Two Years Collecting Data on Police Killings A fascinating story I just discovered Thanks, Cathy
    1. Cop Mistakes Pill Bottle for Gun and Another Black Man Dies Press coverage of these atrocities seems to be improving. I guess that’s progress of a sort.
  11. Report from the Fortune Society Thanks Tamir

From the week of November 30th to December 6th

  1. Unsteady Incomes Keep Millions of Workers Behind on Bills
  2. Ferguson fallout: what it takes to turn street protests into real progress
  3. NFL player quits to farm and feed hungry people
  4. American Education Is Leaving Our Youth With a Debt Sentence
  5. Economic Anthropologist Hannah Appel on Tavis Smiley    Hannah Appel will be speaking at Alternative Banking on 12/14
  6. Billionaires’ Park
  7. Unsteady Incomes Keep Millions Behind on Bills
  8. Study Finds Violations of Wage Law in New York and California
  9. Poverty, Incarceration and Criminal Justice Debt (from Bill

From the week of November 23th to November 29nd

1. Last week we discussed White privilege. There was great diversity of opinions which made for a great discussion. But one thing we agreed on was that “White privilege” is a misnomer. it is not so much that Whites are privileged but that Blacks and others are consistently deprived of rights — such as the right to walk down the street without fearing being killed by the police. So, if anyone has ideas for a better terms for it, please comment below.

To inspire you, here are some articles or podcasts on this, and related topics.

2. Commentary about Senate hearing on NY Fed lack of oversight from Better Markets.
2a. Senator Sherrod Brown showing what Congressional oversight looks like.

3. What should the next Alternative Banking Op Ed piece be about?

4. Kuroda Turns Up Heat on Japan fight against deflation: Turn Profits Into Wages

5. Was Frances Fox Piven right when suggesting Occupy inspired a new wave of transformative activism. Occupy meets Ferguson on Brown Friday.

6. To Prison for Poverty – Part One • BRAVE NEW FILMS: JUSTICE and Part Two
Small time offenders who wouldn’t be on probation if they had money, face continued incarceration and pay fees to probation companies. The unethical business of jailing the poor.
The kids in this film could be protected by the U.N.’s Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the U.S. refuses to ratify.

From the Week of November 16th to November 22nd

1. What does white privilege really mean? We did not have time to give this important topic justice last week. We will discuss at our regular meeting on Nov. 23rd.
   1a.The privilege of affluence, status and a Princeton degree: Trumped by race
   1b. The Racist Origins of Felon Disenfranchisement

2. At Thanksgiving, lets respect Native Americans (and not just by changing a football team’s name). Rosebud Sioux Tribe: House Vote On Keystone XL Pipeline An ‘Act Of War’

3. Never Mind ISIS, It’s ISDS That’s the Real Threat. Look for a renewed attempt to push the “trade” agenda that is more about corporate control and outlawing government regulation than trade. We need popular outcry to prevent this!

   3a. Short vIdeo about TPP. (Hat tips to Bruce on both links). Learn about it and speak out.
   3b. Treaties are the “supreme law of the land”. Overriding other laws. Radiolab: Sex, Ducks and Founding Fathers.

4. Four Sordid Tales of Selfishness of the Super-Rich
Perhaps delusion helps privileged people rationalize their greed.

5. ‘We got this, Bob Geldof, so back off’
Wasn’t a good idea back then but it’s definitely time to change the tune now. Africans comment on charity song ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ in response to African emergencies.

6. Honoring veterans while leaving them uninsured. Regular Alternative Banking members will recognize someone.

7. How Medical Care Is Being Corrupted

8. Republicans Sure Love to Hate Unions

9. Is Uber the worst company in Silicon Valley?
   9a. The horrific trickle down of Asshole culture: Why I’ve just deleted Uber from my phone.

10. Modern slavery affects more than 35 million people, report finds

11.Two dozen arrests after workers protest against Walmart treatment
   11a. Struggling workers take wage protest to upscale doorstep of Walmart heiress Alice Walton

12. Transition to a Sustainable Commons Society

13.  Lost in Rawlsland. This is the second article in George Yancey’s series on philosophy and race. (the first being item 1 above).  It is a really interesting account of how Philosophy’s standard race-blind take on ethics is effectively racist in ignoring the reality of current and historical social norms that discriminatorily afford degrees of (if any) moral status to people based on race.

14. It’s Crunch Time in Congress for Tax Breaks Be sure to contact your Congressman to get your tax break, too. What? You can’t afford to buy a Congressman. Then let’s work to make it so no one can buy them.

15. Attorneys General for sale

From the Week of November 9th to November 15th

1. What does white privilege really mean? We did not have time to give this important topic justice this week. We will discuss at our regular meeting on Nov. 16th.

2. How much does the 0.1% owns compared to the bottom 90%: about the same.

3. Celebrating some victories:

Award-winning film: The Hand that Feeds

Richmond voters reject Chevron

4. Lotteries don’t really fund education. Lotteries are redistribution from the poor to the rich.

5. Center for Popular Democracy meets with Janet Yellin and other Fed officials. Asks “What Recovery” and calls for more open process in naming regional Fed presidents.

6. The fundamental sources of hunger are poverty and inequality, not a lack of food.

7. A house is not a credit card

8. Florida Finds Tricky Balance Over Feeding of the Homeless. Why is feeding the homeless “tricky”?

9. From Linda: “In honor of workers in general, immigrant workers in particular, and people who do such dangerous things to earn a living.

10. The High Price of Materialism

11. Is Philanthropy bad for democracy?

Old and Noteworthy

We seem to have lost our sense of community and concern for all residents of the US.

From the Week of November 2nd to November 8th

0. If you like these posts, please send your suggestions to Alt.Banking.OWS at gmail dot com Volunteers to help edit and post are also very welcome.

1. JP Morgan’s Worst Nightmare Anyone who thinks there could not have been criminal prosecutions of megabankers should read this. Yes, Eric Holder, that includes you. The whistleblower and Matt Taibbi on Democracy Now! on the story.

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