Monthly Archives: June 2016

What the Mainstream Media Won’t Tell You(and Why) Part 3

Hello, again Insights.

I’m sure you have heard about the Ataturk Aiport attack in Istanbul, Turkey. Two suicide bombers killed over 40 and injured over 100 others. There were also attacks in Bangladesh and Baghdad in which the death toll in Baghdad is now over 200. When something like this happens, it’s major news for a week. The mass media often doesn’t tell the entire story.

Terrorist attacks occur frequently, and every major one seems shocking. They’re more publicized here if they happen in Europe or America. My last post in the media segment focused on fear mongering, which applies to this post. There will be calls by the media and our politicians to get “tough on terrorism” which is code to spend more on defense programs that have been proven not to work, and in some ways backfire by creating a hatred for the United States.

Going back to my first point, European and American terrorist attacks are more publicized because they occur in areas with low Muslim populations. As a result, the Paris and Belgium attacks received a lot of publicity, unlike the Beirut, Lebanon attack in November of 2015 which had similar consequences. Lebanon is close to Iraq and Syria, the home of ISIL caliphate. Attacks by the U.S. and other powers such as Israel often violate international law but is almost always called the counter-terror attacks. Presidential candidates such as Ted Cruz favor an increase of what the U.S. is doing. What isn’t frequently talked about on mainstream networks is that the United States ranks No. 1 in defense spending, which is almost four times as much as the No. 2 country, China, As you can see in this graph by the Washington Post. What is often overlooked is the effectiveness of defense programs. We bomb ISIL more than any other nation, yet nothing has changed. In fact, the United States is running out of bombs. Additionally, there are several environmental consequences of war. Examples include poorer air quality, increased oil use, as well as the dismantling of infrastructure which are obvious. As I have stated in previous posts, the MSM needs winners and losers in order to function. The media and Congress are corporate owned, and defense contractors will want to sell more war to increase their profit. That is why we need to get money out of politics to restore a government that is for the people, and by the people.

Read More: Environmental Impact of War

Part 1

Part 2

Police Shootings, Black Lives Matter and the Facts

The Government Doesn’t Care About What You Think Part 3

25 June 2016

Hello, again Readers.

In one of my recent posts, I talked about the House sit-in to try to get a vote on gun control. Today, I will continue the “Government doesn’t care about what you think” series. This about the reaction of House Republicans, notably Speaker Paul Ryan.

Democrats ended their sit-in on Thursday after 25 hours. House Speaker Paul Ryan(R-WI) called it a publicity stunt. On his Twitter account(@SpeakerRyan), he encouraged people to retweet his tweet saying that it was a publicity stunt and nothing more. The sit-in was for publicity, but it was also to get House Republicans on board for a vote, but Ryan’s tone implied that it wasn’t the case in his opinion. Another Republican representative Louie Gohmert(R-TX),  screamed that Radical Islam was the problem and killed those in Orlando. Republicans tried to move away from the topic of guns by trying to get votes on other measures such as a financial deregulation bill. Another measure was a  $1.1 billion spending bill to combat the Zika virus. There’s a reason why the government doesn’t care what you think. It’s money in the system. As Cenk Uygur from the Young Turks would say “of course!” There’s another example of how the government sneaks Zika virus funding to please their donors.

In a dangerous move for those who use the roads, Congress passed a bill that would deregulate the trucking industry. Truckers would be allowed to drive up to 73 hours a week plus another 8.5 hours for related activities. The money in the system is what allows this. A measure to add Zika virus funding was a part of this bill, trying to make politicians feel guilty if they were to vote against Zika virus funding. Here’s the thing: They’re not concerned with your safety. They’re concerned about money. Sure, there will be accidents and some lawsuits in which they will lose. But this will pay off with the deregulation designed to make the trucking industry more money.

The message that Global Insight is trying to convey is that money is corrupting the political system and our daily lives. You should hear it so many times that it would make you hurl. We need to fight to get the money out of politics and get back our democracy.

Video: Louie Gohmert’s Reaction

Video:  Analysis to trucking deregulation/Zika bill

Article: Article of the same bill

Part 1

Part 2

 

Brexit: What Does It Mean?

25 June 2016

Hello, readers.

The Brexit vote has happened. Britain has voted to leave the EU 51.9% to 48.1%.

Part 1:

The United Kingdom held a referendum if they want to leave the European Union. For the basics, more Conservative voters chant “Britain First” and want UK freedom. More liberal voters favor the UK to keep its EU membership. What are the effects?

Effects:

The UK does not use the Euro and has a permanent opt-out. They still use the Pound Sterling. With a Brexit, there wouldn’t be that much effect on the Euro. However, more economic effects are likely. Many reports show that this will be a global one since the UK ties to several nations’ economies with the rise of globalization. Globalization is the process where people, companies, and governments interact and integrate with one another.

The European Union is an economic union. With membership, one nation can have engagements with other members states to create economic agreements. Should a member such as the UK depart, that nation would be more isolated. History has shown that isolationist civilizations do not fare well. Even in today’s times, isolationism doesn’t fare well. Even though a few of the nations described are dictatorships, being sheltered from the rest of the world harms their economies. Additionally, there are development problems within these nations.

We already saw a dip in the value of the Pound Sterling from roughly 1.50 to 1.34 per USD in fear of the Brexit. It’s now back up to 1.37 per USD. Additionally, the London Stock Market lost 122 billion pounds.

Whether you already knew this or not, you should know the truth about the Brexit and its potential implications. The United Kingdom won’t be nearly as isolated as the countries below.

Full Top Ten: Ten Most Isolated Nations

 

House Democrats No Bill No Break Breakdown plus Possible Solution

22 June 2016

Hello, again Insights.

Today, House Democrats began a sit-in and demanded that Congress won’t go to summer recess until a common sense gun bill passes. Minority whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said that “We will be sitting in until the House is allowed an opportunity to vote.”On Monday, four measures were up for a vote, and all four failed in the Senate. There have been no votes in the house, where it is a tougher battle due to the NRA’s stronger influence there.

What would need to happen for a bill to pass:

For a bill to pass the Senate, 60 votes are required. In the House, only a simple majority or 218 votes are needed to pass. Currently, here’s the breakdown of the houses by party affiliation.

Senate:

54 Republican

44 Democrat

2 Independent(both caucus with the Democrats)

House of Representatives:

247 Republicans

188 Democrats.

Part 2: Potential Solution.

Susan Collins(R-ME) is leading a bipartisan solution that would notify the FBI if someone on the terrorist watch list was about to purchase a firearm. Co-sponsors of the bill include Tim Kaine(D-VA), Heidi Heitkamp(D-ND), Lindsey Graham(R-SC), Kelly Ayotte(R-NH), Jeff Flake(R-AZ), Angus King(I-ME), Martin Heinrich(D-NM), and Bill Nelson(D-FL). We know that 60 votes are needed to pass the Senate. Assuming that all 44 Democrats and 2 Independents support it, 14 Republicans would need to support it. Four are co-sponsoring the bill, and Pat Toomey(PA) says he’ll endorse the bill. Dianne Feinstein proposed a similar measure that failed on Monday. The provision that would hopefully get pro-gun conservatives on board is because the bill doesn’t ban those on the terrorist watch list from purchasing firearms. Additionally, American citizens would be allowed to appeal a denial of a gun sale. The measure also has some concerns with Democrats, notably Chuck Schumer of New York. He says that there are issues, though they are fixable. He did not give details. Chris Murphy,  however, called the bipartisan proposal “progress.” This measure again would be attached to a spending bill. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that it may be attached to a Commerce, Justice, and Science spending bill. According to Vanity Fair, the bill could see a vote as early as tomorrow.

The Government Doesn’t Care About What You Think Part 2

21 June 2016

Hello, again Insights.

So yesterday, four gun control measures that were voted on in the Senate. As expected, all four of them failed. Here are the backgrounds of bills and the voting outcomes.

  1. Background check bill proposed by Chris Murphy(D-CT). This measure would expand background checks and all gun sales, including those online. Failed 44-56.
  2. Background check measure proposed by Chuck Grassley(R-IA). According to The Hill, this measure attempts to reauthorize funding for the National Criminal Instant Background Check System that was set up in the 90s.  States would also be encouraged to share mental health records with the federal government. The bill also would define who is mentally unstable to have a gun. Failed 53-47.
  3. John Cornyn’s(R-TX) terror gap proposal. Suspected terrorists would be allowed to purchase guns unless the Attorney General can prove in court that the suspect poses a threat.
  4. Dianne Feinstein’s proposal of banning those on the terrorist watch list or no-fly list from purchasing firearms. Bill failed 47-53, largely along party lines.

Guns are meant to kill. Background check expansions have over 90% support and over 85% support for banning suspected terrorists from buying weapons. These are very common sense, but measures have failed time and time again because of the NRA. How can we change this? To get money out of politics and a Constitutional Amendment taking money out of the political system.

Wolf PAC– Political Action Committee headed by Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks. The goal is to end corporate personhood and restore free and fair elections with a Constitutional Amendment.

TYT Live– Link to TYT. Live show Weekdays 6-8 PM ET

TYT YouTube– If you are unable to catch the live show, this is a link to their YouTube channel. They’ll post their segments from throughout their live show.

The Government doesn’t care about what you think part 1

Our Current Healthcare System vs. Single-Payer Healthcare

Hello, again Insights.

Healthcare has been an issue the last few years. In 2009, the Affordable Care Act(ACA) was passed. It was designed to reform the health care system. Many don’t know of the effects or know a little about it. A single-payer option has come up and has been proposed by Bernie Sanders. It polls well, as nearly 60 percent of Americans support replacing our current system with single-payer. What are in these systems? Let’s break it down.

Part 1: Pre-ACA and the ACA

The Democratic party for many decades has attempted to push for healthcare for all. Harry Truman tried in the 1950s, but the medical industry successfully lobbied against it. In 1993, President Bill Clinton tried again, but the measure couldn’t even come down to a vote. When Obama got elected, he promised to make health care reform a top priority. In 2009, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed. The goal was to reduce insurance costs and accessibility to health care.

The ACA’s Additional Provisions: In addition to expanding accessibility, the ACA had several new reforms. Some of them included:

  1. Staying on parent’s plan until age 26
  2. End discrimination of those with pre-existing conditions.
  3. End gender discrimination for raising rates.
  4. Prevents insurance companies from dropping your coverage of you get sick.

Part 2: The Current System and Single-Payer health care

A private health insurance system is the current system that we have. The ACA didn’t regulate them or put cost controls. Another part of the current system is that the health insurance industry remained for-profit which means they will work for a profit over providing insurance. Single-Payer healthcare refers to a system that has a single payer, the government to fund health insurance. Most industrialized nations have a single-payer system. In this system, there is no middleman of private insurance companies, saving money. Facts show that single-payer nations spend less per capita on health care than we do, and provide better results. According to the WHO, we rank 37th in health care.

Part 3: Money in politics

Money in politics affects just about everything. The pharmaceutical industry’s powerful lobbying has allowed the current system to stay in place. Both Republicans and Democrats receive campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical industry and naturally will work for them. The ACA has erroneously been called government-run healthcare often by Republicans. Private insurance companies had no cost controls placed on them in the bill.

Some top donors during 2010 to Pharmaceutical Industry: 

Part 4: Wrap-up

The ACA has drawn comparisons to government run health care that limits options. The fact of the matter is that the system isn’t government controlled or paid to by the government. The only exceptions would be Medicare and Medicaid. A single -payer system has one payer, the government to run a healthcare system. The system entails that all citizens are insured, and extra taxes fund the system.

 Senate Filibuster on Guns and Gun Control and What it Means

19 June 2016

Hello, again Insights.

Wednesday at around 11:21 ET, a filibuster on guns began led by Sen. Chris Murphy(D-CT). Representing Connecticut where the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting took place, he called out the Senate for not acting to pass common-sense gun regulations despite mass shootings happening almost every day. Over 30 Democratic Senators as well as one Republican Senator, Pat Toomey(PA) engaged in the filibuster. A simple measure that has widespread support among the American people has been in discussion. Banning suspected terrorists from purchasing guns. Over 85% of Americans support it and is quite common-sense. After the San Bernardino shooting, this measured was brought up and Republicans shut it down. It seems odd that they’re the “anti-terror” party, but they would allow those on the terrorist watch list to purchase guns.

The NRA is one of the many special interests that control  Congress. Their campaign contributions to mainly Republican politicians allow for them to have their agenda which is less gun control and more gun rights. Additionally, their money is used for lobbying against gun control.

Part 2: Democrats and Republicans bill

There are two different bills proposed by Democrats and Republicans each. Dianne Feinstein(D-CA) introduced a measure that if you are on the terrorist watch list or no-fly list, you cannot purchase a firearm. The list has a million or so people, according to the NCTC in December of 2013. An overwhelming majority of them, aren’t even American citizens. Estimates say that around 10,000 of them are American citizens which are still quite a lot. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn(R-TX) had a slightly different approach to the issue. (It should be noted that he has taken contributions from the NRA). The question that has come up is what if someone is placed on the terrorist watch list by mistake or unlawfully. There would be due process for those on the list to potentially get off the list and have freedom to exercise their 2nd Amendment right. Some opposed to the Feinstein proposal would say that these measures wouldn’t have stopped the Orlando attack and would impede on those trying to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights.

Around 2 am ET on Thursday, the filibuster ended. The good news is that tomorrow, the Senate will vote on four gun control measures as part of a spending measure.

Link:  Open Secrets A site dedicated to tracking money in politics.

What the Mainstream Media Won’t Tell You(and why) Part 2

In my inaugural post, I talked about what the mainstream media won’t tell you. Since they’re all corporate owned, they’ll report on behalf of corporate interests. Today’s post will focus on fear-mongering by the MSM.

Part 1: The MSM’s fear-mongering agenda

The mainstream media frequently fearmongers, especially after terrorist attacks. Now that we’re in a presidential election, they’ll turn to them and their responses. They’ll be several guests who have experience in U.S. national security and attempt to make terrorism a bigger deal than it actually is. The thing is that terrorism is focused primarily on Islamic terrorism, specifically ISIL.

The Islamophobic Fearmongering Rhetoric

Part 2: What the MSM Won’t Tell You

The MSM has an obvious establishment bias. You hear the stories from them about ISIL attacks and how we need to get tough on terrorism. This is because defense contractors are part of the establishment. What they won’t tell you is the work that the U.S. military does. An example being, U.S. drone forces bomb in Syria, killing a top ISIL official. The background and gruesomeness and corruption did by the U.S. aren’t covered. It’s always they’re the bad guys, we’re the good guys. The media has to have sides and labels.

Take for example the Iraq war. The MSM beat the war drums trying to get the people on board with the war. As the media is corporate owned and works for interests, there are tie-ins with defense contractors who profit when there are wars. We seem to be at war constantly, and our defense spending is No. 1 in the world by a long shot. It’s no accident that this happens. The corporations work together to get what they want, not what ordinary citizens want.

Read More: American Weapons-Makers Profiting From War

Part 1

Part 3

 

 

Money In Politics Part 1

25 June 2016

Hello, again Insights.

One of my main points is the money in politics issue. I’ve talked about it in several of my posts, but it hasn’t gone in depth. I stated that big money influences politicians to work for their interests over the ordinary citizen. Today, I’ll give a background and how the money in the system works.

Part 1: The Issue

Money in politics has been more at the forefront for Americans in this election. The Citizens United v. FEC court case has been talked about frequently. People know that this money in politics became a larger issue. Despite this, many do not know that this wasn’t the beginning of the problem of money corrupting our political system.

Part 2: Court cases expanding money in politics

In 1976, the Supreme Court had two decisions in Buckley v. Valeo. One was that restrictions on campaign contributions were constitutional and didn’t violate the First Amendment. The second decision, however, stated that the government couldn’t make restrictions on independent expenditures.

Buckley v Valeo Case Brief

There have been several campaign finance cases heard before SCOTUS. Other examples are the 1996 case Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee v. FEC and the 2008 Davis v. FEC as well as. Not all cases allowed more money in politics. McConnell v. FEC(2003) upheld a donation limit.

Part 3: Citizens United v. FEC

In an earlier post, I talked about the Citizens United case and how it influenced money in politics and the mass media. The case started after the FEC called Citizens United’s documentary Hillary: The Movie unlawful electioneering. Citizens United sued and won, allowing for unlimited independent political expenditures. There is a problem with unlimited political expenditures. Wealthy and powerful interests can pour millions into campaigns, and we know the result. Those same politicians will listen to those interests because they’re finding their campaign. There was a key word back there. Independent. The FEC was supposed to have oversight over SuperPACs and campaign contributions. 

Part 4: Post-Citizens United and McCutcheon

SuperPACs rose in popularity after the Citizens United case. Money in politics became bigger, and virtually no regulations. In 2014, Shawn McCutcheon, an RNC donor sued against a donation limit claiming that it restricted the first amendment right to free speech. The FEC sued and again was unsuccessful. The Supreme Court ruled that it did violate the right to free speech in the First Amendment. As a result, more money was allowed to be brought into the political system.

McCutcheon v. FEC case brief

Part 5: Wrap-up

By nature, more money in the political system corrupts it. Politicians will work for special interests over ordinary citizens. This isn’t a recent issue, as shown here. The only way to fix our political system is to get the money out of politics by a Constitutional Amendment.

Wolf PAC– Political Action Committee devoted to getting money out of politics.

Could We Be Heading for another Economic Crash?(Part 1)

9 August 2016(updated)

Hello, again Insights.

From 2007-2009, there was the financial collapse of the global economy. It was called the Great Recession. Although it has taken many years, it appears that we are out of the recession even though the Global Economy still isn’t great. Some concerns have arisen that another, an even greater economic crash could hit. Could it happen? Let’s break it down.

The economies of nations are tied together even tighter due to the rise of globalization, which is the interaction of governments and companies of different nations. The “Information Age” started in the 1970s and over time, information technologies have allowed greater communication of different economies. The world’s nations are now like dominos. If one falls, a chain reaction will start.

Part 2: How did we get to this?

The financial sector faced minimal regulation.  For example, the United States Congress in 1999 passed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which deregulated  Wall St. and put commercial and investment banking back together. Glass-Steagall, a financial regulation bill in response to the Great Depression, was partially repealed. With this, banks can make riskier bets with depositor money. The firewall set by Glass-Steagall made sure banks could only make safe investments with depositor money. Bankers could now make higher-risk investments. A reduction in capital gains taxes was another factor into higher-risk investments. Lower taxes on upper income leads to higher speculation.

Part 3: The Aftermath

After the crash, austerity measures were passed in mainly European countries. Austerity is an economic process whose goal is to reduce budget deficits and thus cut debt. In a time of economic downturn, a government may pass stimulus measures to kickstart the economy again but results in higher budget deficits. The United Stats registered a budget deficit of over $1 trillion by the end of George W. Bush’s term and continued under Obama’s first term.

Part 4: What has happened since?

You may not hear this from mainstream outlets, but there hasn’t been much reform since. In 2010, the Dodd-Frank Wall St. Regulation Bill was passed and signed into law. It has been called the strongest Wall St. reform bill since the Great Depression. Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric, though. For starters, Glass-Steagall doesn’t return. To be fair, there was a section in the bill that was similar to Glass-Steagall, but not strong enough. It prohibited banks from making speculative investments where there could be a risk for depositors. Unfortunately, lobbyists were able to make amendments to it which weakened the Volcker rule.

Money in politics is the recurring theme. Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, the bill’s namesakes, have taken Wall St. money. Frank even bragged about taking the money and claimed that the Democrats have to “play ball” as well with Wall St. The bill was ineffective because of the money influencing the politicians.

Part 5: The Verdict.

Here at Global Insight, we get down to the facts. Big banks are increasing in size, and they failed at the same things that they are doing now. But here’s the thing: They know that they can get bailed out by the taxpayers because they would make an even greater dent in the economy should they fail and not get bailed out. There’s effectively no regulation on the banks. Dodd-Frank just appeared to be a good Wall St. reform bill. Low tax rates lead to more speculation. Enacting an updated version Glass-Steagall will help prevent another economic collapse of America.