Bernie Sanders’ dire warning: Billionaire Kochs will have more power than both Dems and GOP

Add in Bloomberg and Soros plus the Waltons and you have way too much power in the hands of way too few people.  When that happens Fascism rises.  Interestingly the urge to rebel is seen on both the left and the right.  Often  the two seem separated by what are mainly issues of distraction such as same sex marriage or gun ownership, not to mention race and now matters of “identity”.

Cui bono? Who Benefits?

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/02/bernie-sanders-dire-warning-billionaire-kochs-will-have-more-power-than-both-dems-and-gop/


22 Feb 2015

Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is warning Americans that two ultra-conservative billionaire brothers will soon hold more political power than both the Democratic and Republican Parties.

While speaking to a group of supporters in Iowa last week, Sanders explained why he was considering a run for the president of the United States in 2016.

“It is likely in a very short period of time that the Koch brothers themselves will have a stronger political presence than either the Democratic or the Republican Party,” the lawmaker noted. “I am prepared to take on the billionaire class.”

Sanders said that a lot of his supporters have pleaded with him to “stay out of the damn Democratic Party” if he decides to run for president.

“I don’t want to tilt at windmills,” he told ABC News in an interview that aired on Sunday. “But I just think that out there, there are so many people who are hurting, so many people who are disillusioned, so many people are really viscerally upset that they’re working longer hours for low wages and the billionaires are getting richer, and they need a voice.”

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Why We’re All Becoming Independent Contractors

From Robert Reich:  http://robertreich.org/post/111784272135

Robert Reich
Sunday, February 22, 2015

GM is worth around $60 billion, and has over 200,000 employees. Its front-line workers earn from $19 to $28.50 an hour, with benefits.

Uber is estimated to be worth some $40 billion, and has 850 employees. Uber also has over 163,000 drivers (as of December – the number is expected to double by June), who average $17 an hour in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., and $23 an hour in San Francisco and New York.

But Uber doesn’t count these drivers as employees. Uber says they’re “independent contractors.”

What difference does it make?

For one thing, GM workers don’t have to pay for the machines they use. But Uber drivers pay for their cars – not just buying them but also their maintenance, insurance, gas, oil changes, tires, and cleaning. Subtract these costs and Uber drivers’ hourly pay drops considerably.

For another, GM’s employees get all the nation’s labor protections.

These include Social Security, a 40-hour workweek with time-and-a-half for overtime, worker health and safety, worker’s compensation if  injured on the job, family and medical leave, minimum wage, pension protection, unemployment insurance, protection against racial or gender discrimination, and the right to bargain collectively.

Not to forget Obamacare’s mandate of employer-provided healthcare.

Uber workers don’t get any of these things. They’re outside the labor laws.

Uber workers aren’t alone. There are millions like just them, also outside the labor laws — and their ranks are growing. Most aren’t even part of the new Uberized “sharing” economy.

They’re franchisees, consultants, and free lancers.

Continue reading at:  http://robertreich.org/post/111784272135

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Guess Which “Liberal” State Has 500 Laws Aimed at Oppressing the Homeless?

Rhetoric aside if one is poor there isn’t that much difference between Red States and Blue States.  NYC, LA and SF are some of the worst places to be poor and struggling.

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/guess-which-liberal-state-has-500-laws-aimed-oppressing-homeless

On the heels of a damning new report, the Right to Rest campaign pushes for statewide legislation to stop discrimination against homeless people.

By Alyssa Figueroa
February 18, 2015

Cities in the United States have a long history of criminalizing the public presence of people they consider undesirable. In the late 1800s, Southern cities established “sundown towns,” laws that restricted black people from being outside after sunset. Throughout the 19th century, cities ratified “ugly laws,” banning people who were diseased or deformed from being outside. During the Great Depression, California cities passed an “anti-Okie” law, making it illegal to assist poor people entering the state.

Today, society’s target is homeless people. Beginning in the 1980s when the federal government slashed the affordable housing budget, cities have enacted thousands of laws to criminalize basic human needs such as resting, sleeping, standing, and sitting, as well as acts like panhandling and food sharing.

That’s why the Western Regional Advocacy Project, a network of homeless advocacy groups on the West Coast, is pushing to pass the Right to Rest Act in Oregon, Colorado and California this year. The act, the first of its kind, would protect all residents’ right to rest, allowing people to occupy and use public spaces without fear of discrimination. The legislation was written based off interviews with more than 1,400 homeless people. It would also serve as a model legislation that could be enacted in every state across the nation.

While representatives in Oregon and Colorado are sponsoring the bill, no one has yet been willing to sponsor the bill in California. February 27 is the last day for the bill to be introduced into the legislature for this session—meaning if no one puts their name on it, the act is out for this year. The final push to get the Right to Rest Act introduced in California comes on the heels of a new research report revealing the extent of the criminalization of homelessness.

Paul Boden, executive director of WRAP, said, “The fact that we have the most in-depth research by far in California and we’re having the hardest time by far getting a sponsor for the bill is a really sad statement about the politics of business and gentrification in the state.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/guess-which-liberal-state-has-500-laws-aimed-oppressing-homeless

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Are America’s High Rates of Mental Illness Actually Based on Sham Science?

By the way it isn’t just the Pharmaceutical Industry that creates “mental illness categories” as a money making scam it is the entire Psychiatric Industrial Complex. The PIC operates more as a religion than as a science, with politically driven decisions as to whether or not things like homosexuality are mental illnesses or not.  In the Brave New World Order people who rebel or refuse to conform to the rigid dictates of social conformity are mentally ill.  In the Brave New World Order gender role conformity determines whether one is a man or a woman and actual physical sex is treated as a historical artifact.

When it comes to the worship of the Psychiatric Industrial Complex I am a skeptic if not a full-fledged atheist.  You see I don’t believe being a book worm or nerd or socially inept means you have Asperger’s syndrome and are sort of autistic. I actually believe some people are evil and do monstrous things.  I don’t believe they are mentally ill and deserve compassionate treatment which will redeem them.

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/personal-health/are-americas-high-rates-mental-illness-actually-based-sham-science

The real purpose behind many of these statistics is to change our attitudes and political positions.

By Rob Wipond
February 18, 2015

About one in five American adults (18.6%) has a mental illness in any given year, according to recent statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health. This statistic has been widely reported with alarm and concern. It’s been used to back up demands for more mental health screening in schools, more legislation to forcibly treat the unwilling, more workplace psychiatric interventions, and more funding for the mental health system. And of course, personally, whenever we or someone we know is having an emotional or psychological problem, we now wonder, is it a mental illness requiring treatment? If one in five of us have one….

But what NIMH quietly made disappear from its website is the fact that this number actually represented a dramatic drop. “An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year,” the NIMH website can still be found to say in Archive.org’s Wayback Machine. Way back, that is, in 2013.

A reduction in the prevalence of an illness by eight percent of America’s population—25 million fewer victims in one year—is extremely significant. So isn’t that the real story? And isn’t it also important that India recently reported that mental illnesses affect 6.5% of its population, a mere one-third the US rate?

And that would be the real story, if any of these statistics were even remotely scientifically accurate or valid. But they aren’t. They’re nothing more than manipulative political propaganda.

Pharmaceutical companies fund the tests

First, that 18.6% is comprised of a smaller group who have “serious” mental illness and are functionally impaired (4.1%), and a much larger group who are “mildly to moderately” mentally ill and not functionally impaired by it­. Already, we have to wonder how significant a lot of these “mental illnesses” are, if they don’t at all impair someone’s functioning.

NIMH also doesn’t say how long these illnesses last. We only know that, sometime in the year, 18.6% of us met criteria for a mental illness of some duration. But if some depressions or anxieties ­last only a week or month, then it’s possible that at any time as few as 1-2% of the population are mentally ill. That’s a much less eye-popping number that, critics like Australian psychiatrist Jon Jureidini argue, is more accurate.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/personal-health/are-americas-high-rates-mental-illness-actually-based-sham-science

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BU researchers find biological basis for transgender identity

From The Daily Free Press:  http://dailyfreepress.com/2015/02/18/bu-researchers-find-biological-basis-for-transgender-identity/

February 18, 2015

Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine published a review concluding that there is a biological basis for transgender identity, according to a Friday press release.

The review, published in the journal Endocrine Practice on Feb. 9, contests the notion that transgender people choose what gender they prefer. Evidence that gender has a biological basis may improve health care, including surgery and hormone treatment, for transgender patients, the release stated.

Joshua Safer, the lead researcher and a professor at BUSM, said doctors are often overwhelmed when dealing with transgender patients. Medical practitioners often prefer to direct such patients toward psychological counseling, he said.

“It is still the case that the largest barrier for transgender [individuals] getting medical care is the lack of access to physicians who are knowledgeable and comfortable providing that care,” he said. “What’s concerning these providers is a sense that [treating them] is too complicated, and that they think this is a mental health concern.”

Gender identity disorders affect as many as 1 in 100 people, the release stated.

Jamie Weinand, a second-year BUSM student who also worked on the study, said the most difficult part of the study is the current nature of the field.

“There is not enough research being done currently on the health of gender identity minorities, including those who identify as transgender, and hopefully we can see this change in the future,” he wrote in an email.

Weinand said he is openly transgender, and it has been a special experience to help guide the research on transgender health.

“We need to reverse this trend of transgender people receiving inadequate and uniformed care,” he said. “As a trans-guy, it means a lot to learn more about transgender health and to bring this topic more in the open among medical providers.”

Safer said this conclusion could alter the way physicians work with transgender patients or patients that are born with a gender they do not align with.

Continue reading at:  http://dailyfreepress.com/2015/02/18/bu-researchers-find-biological-basis-for-transgender-identity/

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