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Elena Steier | TPP Trickles Down on America / editorialcartoonists.com

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Obama says "We are writing the rules." Who's "we"?

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  • Gosh, Americans don't need enemies like China when we've got "protectors" like Obama.
  • It's a disgrace that Obama is fronting and even lying for these self-serving kleptocratic corporate powers.
  • Obama's entire TPP charade
  • The high price we'll pay for their "free" trade

Jim Hightower, Hightower Lowdown

http://peoplesworld.org/assets/Uploads/stopp-tppa.jpg Monday, October 12, 2015 |  Gosh, Americans don't need enemies like China when we've got "protectors" like Obama.

In his pitch to get us to swallow that glob of global corporate greed known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, President Obama has resorted to a tacky bit of China bashing. He recently crowed that, "Under this agreement we, rather than countries like China, are writing the rules for the global economy." This backhanded slap at a major trading partner is meant to tell us that Big Bad China would've written global trade rules to hurt the American people.

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of Thieves In High Places: They've Stolen Our Country And It's Time to Take It Back, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be - consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks.

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The high price we'll pay for their "free" trade, Nolan Rampy, SocialistWorker.org 

Nolan Rampy looks at the newly published--and frightening--details of the Obama administration's cherished Pacific trade deal as it heads toward a congressional battle.

 

The high price we'll pay for their "free" trade

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Nolan Rampy looks at the newly published--and frightening--details of the Obama administration's cherished Pacific trade deal as it heads toward a congressional battle.

Nolan Rampy, SocialistWorker.org

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor John Stoltenburg

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http://peoplesworld.org/assets/Uploads/stopp-tppa.jpg November 17, 2015 | On November 5, the White House finally published the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Administration officials say that after the 90-day period of Congressional review, President Obama will sign the agreement and send it to Capitol Hill for what will likely be a contentious battle to push the deal through Congress.

But the battle in Washington will barely focus on the broader reasons why this agreement is a bad deal for working people, both in the U.S. and other countries that are party to it.

Nolan Rampy is a PhD candidate in social psychology at the University of Vermont and a member of the International Socialist Organization.

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Retailers That Forced Employees To Work Thanksgiving Experienced Disappointing Sales

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The data confirms that brands don’t need to have employees show up to stores to generate holiday sales on Thanksgiving Day — they can simply offer discounts online. Stores can also generate good will by staying closed on the holiday, preserving their employees’ ability to spend it with family and friends.

Bryce Covert, Think Progress

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http://cdn.thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/30100749/AP_544443124445-1024x683.jpg Customers lined up outside a Chicago Kmart on Thanksgiving

Nov 30, 2015 | Eleven brands opened their doors on Thanksgiving Day this year, requiring millions of employees to report to work on the national holiday. Many businesses believe that opening on Thanksgiving will boost overall holiday sales by getting shoppers in ahead of the official start to Black Friday.

 

But this year’s sales data show it was mostly a dud. The number of customers in stores on Thanksgiving stayed flat as compared to last year, when shoppers who went to stores on the holiday didn’t show up on Black Friday. Meanwhile, sales data from ShopperTrak showed that Thanksgiving itself only generated $1.8 billion, compared to $10.4 billion on Black Friday. Even more disappointing was that the total for both days was depressed compared to last year: RetailNext data showed overall sales for the two days fell 1.5 percent and average spending per shopper also declined 1.4 percent.

Bryce Covert is the Economic Policy Editor for ThinkProgress. She was previously editor of the Roosevelt Institute’s Next New Deal blog and a senior communications officer. She is also a contributor for the Nation.

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Read the CIA’s Simple Sabotage Field Manual: A Timeless, Kafkaesque Guide to Subverting Any Organization with “Purposeful Stupidity” (1944)

You can read and download the full document here. To get a sense of just how “timeless”—according to the CIA itselfsuch instructions remain, see the abridged list below, courtesy of Business Insider. You will laugh ruefully, then maybe shudder a little as you recognize how much your own workplace, and many others, resemble the kind of dysfunctional mess the OSS meticulously planned during World War II.

Josh Jones, Open Culture

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor James Fuller.

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http://cdn8.openculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/01000328/Simple-Sabotage-Manual.pngDecember 1st, 2015 | I’ve always admired people who can successfully navigate what I refer to as “Kafka’s Castle,” a term of dread for the many government and corporate agencies that have an inordinate amount of power over our permanent records, and that seem as inscrutable and chillingly absurd as the labyrinth the character K navigates in Kafka’s last allegorical novel. Even if you haven’t read The Castle, if you work for such an entity—or like all of us have regular dealings with the IRS, the healthcare and banking system, etc.—you’re well aware of the devilish incompetence that masquerades as due diligence and ties us all in knots. Why do multi-million and billion dollar agencies seem unable, or unwilling, to accomplish the simplest of tasks? Why do so many of us spend our lives in the real-life bureaucratic nightmares satirized in the The Office and Office Space?

 

One answer comes via Laurence J. Peter’s 1969 satire The Peter Principle—which offers the theory that managers and executives get promoted to the level of their incompetence—then, David Brent-like, go on to ruin their respective departments. The Harvard Business Review summed up disturbing recent research confirming and supplementing Peter’s insights into the narcissism, overconfidence, or actual sociopathy of many a government and business leader. But in addition to human failings, there’s another possible reason for bureaucratic disorder; the conspiracy-minded among us may be forgiven for assuming that in many cases, institutional incompetence is the result of deliberate sabotage from both above and below. The ridiculous inner workings of most organizations certainly make a lot more sense when viewed in the light of one set of instructions for “purposeful stupidity,” namely the once top-secret Simple Sabotage Field Manual, written in 1944 by the CIA’s precursor, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC.

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WTF America? 2015 Black Friday Videos Show How the US Has Lost Its Humanity

  • Just as we started regaining faith in humanity, after last year's Black Friday idiocy, here it comes again.
  • If we take a step back to observe this downright insanity, it is getting difficult to differentiate between Frank Darabont’s Walking Dead and Black Friday shoppers.
  • The Rise Of The Inhumanes

Matt Agorist, Free Thought Project

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Black%20Friday%20Shopping%20Mob.jpgBlack Friday: police shut down Tesco after shopper scuffles - video

November 27, 2015 | Before their Thanksgiving dinners could settle, many Americans left their family atmospheres and descended upon department stores and big box retailers across the country to partake in rampant and apparently violent consumerism.

Mindless shoppers aren’t even getting the great discounts they cherish since retailers artificially inflate prices of goods in the months before the sales in order to make the subsequent discounts look good in comparison. Also, even if shoppers do manage to grab some genuine discounts, they will invariably buy another product that has a 98 percent markup value.

Matt Agorist is a contributor to Free Thought Project

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The Rise Of The Inhumanes, Paul Craig Roberts, paulcraigroberts.org 

  • Welcome to America today. It is a land in which facts have been redefined as enemy propaganda, a land in which legally protected whistleblowers are redefined as “fifth columns” or foreign agents subject to extermination, a land in which America is immune from criticism and all crimes are blamed on those whom Washington intends to rule.
  • Barron, Bybee, Yoo, and Bradford are members of a new species—the Inhumanes—that has risen from the poisonous American environment of arrogance, hubris, and paranoia.

In Arbitration, a 'Privatization of the Justice System'

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Over the last 10 years, thousands of businesses across the country -- from big corporations to storefront shops -- have used arbitration to create an alternate system of justice. There, rules tend to favor businesses, and judges and juries have been replaced by arbitrators who commonly consider the companies their clients, The Times found.

Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Michael Corkery, New York (NY) Times

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Debbie%20Brenner.jpgDebbie Brenner, whose fraud case against a for-profit school chain was forced into arbitration and left her nearly bankrupt.

November 1, 2015 | Deborah L. Pierce, an emergency room doctor in Philadelphia, was optimistic when she brought a sex discrimination claim against the medical group that had dismissed her. Respected by colleagues, she said she had a stack of glowing evaluations and evidence that the practice had a pattern of denying women partnerships.

She began to worry, though, once she was blocked from court and forced into private arbitration.

Presiding over the case was not a judge but a corporate lawyer, Vasilios J. Kalogredis, who also handled arbitrations. When Dr. Pierce showed up one day for a hearing, she said she noticed Mr. Kalogredis having a friendly coffee with the head of the medical group she was suing.

Jessica Silver-Greenberg is a reporter at the New York Times covering banking and consumer finance. 

Michael Corkery is a Reporter at The New York Times. covering banking and finance. 

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A Guide to Intelligent, Thoughtful Giving

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Part 1: Charity Navigator | Your Guide to Intelligent Giving

 

Charity Navigator works to guide intelligent giving.

 

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Jim Fuller

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http://www.charitynavigator.org/_gfx_/home/donor_advisories.gif November 11, 2015 | Charity Navigator works to guide intelligent giving. By guiding intelligent giving, we aim to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace, in which givers and the charities they support work in tandem to overcome our nation’s and the world’s most persistent challenges.

Charity Navigator is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization under the Internal Revenue Code and does not accept any contributions from any charities we evaluate.

Charity Navigator selected as Best Charity Review Site in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine’s “The Best List 2011.” 

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Part 2: Worst Charities

Notice how many of these FAKE "charities" are related to Veterans, Police, & Cancer

Jerry McGovern,  <jerrymcgovern@netzero.net>

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editors Jim Fuller and Lydia Howell <>

November 10, 2015 | The worst charities, ranked by money blown on soliciting costs.

Totals from the latest 10 years of available federal tax filings.

Data updated in December 2014.

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