Economic inequality has been growing since 1980,and continues to grow. Inequality in wealth creates inequality in power. “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” Warren Buffett in 2006. What have been the power consequences of this inequality?
Question 1) Who Owns the Media?
Six massive corporations dominate the U.S. TV media landscape: Time Warner, Walt Disney, Viacom, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., CBS Corporation and NBC Universal. Together, they dominate news and entertainment. Then there’s Clear Channel which now owns over 1000 radio stations across the United States. Companies like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft increasingly dominate the Internet. These companies have concentrated their control over what we see, hear and read. Unless we are skeptical, they shape our thinking. New dangers loom: the proposed merger of Time-Warner and Comcast, and powerful threats to Internet neutrality.
During national election campaigns, these companies can easily dismiss, laugh off, or ignore any candidate who genuinely challenges their power or the power of their advertisers. By the time you and I enter the voting booth, we are choosing between two candidates who are acceptable to the multinational corporations.read more
On June 22, we paid a visit to Bill Foster (D) while he attended a private fundraiser outside of his district. Our Purpose? To remind him that the people of America OPPOSE the TPP and to send a clear message that he should not vote for this disastrous trade policy.
The ECC Board of Trustees has dropped plan to outsource the custodians. Instead, they passed a new plan to seek an outside company which will provide SUPERVISION for the custodians. They assured the audience that they will keep the present custodians as direct employees of the college, and that the custodians will keep their present benefits. But they plan to pay for the new supervisory management contract out of savings which will come from new efficiencies. They expected this announcement to be greeted with gratitude, and to some degree it was. But to many of us it appears that they new arrangement will mean that the custodians will have to work faster and harder and that their hours will be cut. I will be meeting with the head of the teachers union, some staff members and students and others to discuss how we can keep on top of this situation. Clearly the board and the president felt the heat of the anger that they had stirred up over the past several weeks, and clearly they dropped the outsourcing plan as a result of that heat. Mary
Friday, June 27th at 6:30 PM Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren 783 W. Highland Avenue Elgin, IL 60123 Sponsored by Elgin Green Groups Fox Valley Citizens for Peace & Justice & Occupy Elgin
Melting sea ice, glacier loss and rising sea levels. Severe droughts and wildfires. Increasingly severe tornadoes, hurricanes, and flooding. Record heat waves. Climate change is no longer a prediction for the future, but a startling reality of today. Yet, as evidence of our changing climate mounts and the scientific consensus proves human causation, there continues to be little political action to thwart the warming of our planet. “Greedy Lying Bastards” investigates the reason behind stalled efforts to tackle climate change despite consensus in the scientific community that it is not only a reality but also a growing problem placing us on the brink of disaster. The film details the people and organizations casting doubt on climate science and claims that greenhouse gases are not affected by human behavior. From the Koch Brothers to ExxonMobil, to oil industry front groups, to prominent politicians and Justices, this provocative exposé unravels the layers of deceit threatening democracy and the ability for future generations to survive on planet earth.read more
The Trans Pacific Partnership is a proposed new trade treaty which opponents call NAFTA on Steroids. NIJwJ believes that it will eliminate many thousands of jobs for US workers, create new obstacles to environmental protection, climate protection, food safety , and workers’ rights. It will also increase the cost of prescription drugs, and impose new, extremely restrictive rules on the exchange of information and “content” on the internet.
The Trans Pacific Partnership is a threat to democracy because it gives multinational corporations the right to sue nation states, including the US, which pass laws which interfere with a corporation’s “expected future profits.” So, if the US passes the Employee Free Choice Act, or a Carbon Tax, or even a “Buy American” law, the United States could be sued for doing that. The case would be tried before a three person panel, made up of corporate lawyers, who could impose substantial fines (to be paid out of taxpayer money) or possibly the law could be overturned. These tribunals would be held in secret and there would be no appeal.read more
Promoting peace, a stronger democracy, and social and economic justice through education, dialog, and action