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tv   The Big Picture With Thom Hartmann  RT  February 11, 2013 10:00pm-11:00pm EST

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plans are going to washington d.c. and here's what's coming up tonight on the big picture. the cycles of history that led europe and the rest of the world into world war two eighty years ago are coming back around today how has a once great political group turn into a major political player in that nation now the devastating effects of austerity fuelling its growth also the manhunt for christopher dorner continued today as police and so the california continue their efforts to find the ex cop turned cop killer but what's the real motivation behind dorner his rampage there is claims of racism in the l.a.p.d. even remotely legitimate and while police are searching for dorner on the ground also using drones to try and spot him from the air. possible is this manhunt and
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acceptable reason to use drones drastically. you need to know this the cycles of history that led to europe and the rest of our planet going into war eighty years ago or coming back around today in greece several years of austerity of push the people to the brink and working people are thrown into the sort of economic disasters that austerity causes and typically extreme far right and far left political movements rise up it happened after world war one and the treaty of or saw a force in germany to massively cut spending and roll back social programs like their nationalized health care system or to pay for the damage that that nation and caused around europe during the world war during world war one treaty oversaw i by the way was essentially an austerity program noting the economic catastrophe this treaty would cause economist john john maynard keynes warned at the time those who
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signed this treaty will sign the death sentence of many millions of german men women and children. it turns out it was even worse than that a desperate population turned reactionary and allowed hitler in the nationalistic and anti-semitic nazis to rise to power this is how the cycle works whenever austerity goes so to those extreme political movements which brings us back to today this was the scene outside of athens last weekend thousands of the old golden dawn party supporters marched past the u.s. embassy and paid tribute to fallen heroes of the party golden dawn is today's version of the nazi party and austerity ravaged greece golden dawn is getting more and more popular in two thousand and nine the party which embraces nazi symbolism racism and xenophobia had zero seats in the national parliament after years of austerity in the reason two thousand and twelve election golden dawn picked up
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eighteen seats in parliament and as the guardian reports golden dawn is looking to expand its influence not just in greece but all around the european con germany and greek right wing extremists have been forging close contacts in germany in attempt to strengthen their power base in europe according to german officials last year the european union was awarded the nobel peace prize for its efforts over the last half century and preventing another continental war with fascism once again on the march in austerity ravaged europe did the nobel prize committee speak too soon is austerity bringing the world closer to war yet again joining me now is professor kostas. talk us associate professor of sociology at the new york city college of technology at c.u. n.y. and author of the book remaking scarcity capitalist inefficiency to economic democracy future and world capitalism professor welcome. good to be with you thank you for joining us is there any other way to explain the rise of the golden dawn
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party than the sauce terribly has been imposed on greece. well i think it was very he is a major reason like very correctly pointed out i would also add up their failure of their european immigration bill and you see that. has created some out problems in some of the neighbors would see not big cities they're all going with the immigration policy in europe is that it would serve a country and immigrant enters into europe even if the immigrant least this country you go somewhere else they if they are found out they have to return to the original country and as you can understand given the crisis in greece and the huge unemployment rate no immigrant really wants to come to greece they just enter greece from the middle east you know escaping not even wars or were at the war and so on and so forth because they want to go to some other european continent but
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because of immigration policy in europe the moment they are discovered each leader nor germany or eat the e.u. or wherever they are sent back to to greece but. had not been in detention camps for immigrants who do not even need want to be in greece off and to what extent is the golden dawn becoming at an european movement. well there is. there are strong and extreme right wing movements in other parts of europe and gordon don't certainly. put them there would. do you not see from the very artful words photographed with the leader of golden dawn in the greek parliament a couple of days ago but i think in some ways the golden don't go in don't stands out because it's not just an extreme right party told so it was a criminal gun because many of its members like to go around and oftentimes sit
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back immigrants and recently. come a sexual sin in not enough threats and some of the political leaders of our time to be completed over so robbery and terrorism and so on and so forth so it's not just an ideological it was that also true of the of the early followers of hitler. the beer hall gangs. yeah i mean it may very well you know have been the case i mean i'm not going to exploit or not you know that there are no the. sermon you are not to critique but i think that there is a point i'm trying to make is that difference between the us and that party because ideologically i'm the immigrant and race is problematic enough troops on the right but when a party crosses over it do basically a box and assaults and people saw people snipes you know i think the threat it
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poses. it's been great there were answered i'm sorry we're we're out of time but just a very very quick question do you see the gold nonparty as growing or diminishing as their time finished or is there more to come. well it's it's hard to you nic time of crisis like these the political system is very short lived out so anything is possible ok professor thank you so much for being with us tonight thank you. now for more on the economic side of all this and what solutions might be possible i'm joined by richard wolffe economist and author of numerous books including his latest democracy at work a cure for capitalism fessor wealth welcome. thank you tom do you see similarities between the treaty of her side which led to hitler and today's austerity demands leading to political extremism in europe. yes i do in fact quite a few the tree of for his side was the effort of the countries that won world war
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one to force the country that lost to pay the parallel with today is that the forces that brought a crisis to world capitalism and that turned to the governments of world capitalism to bail out the corporations particularly the finance ears who brought the crisis have now turned to a mass austerity problem program cutting social spending raising taxes to pay for the costs of the crisis and the costs for the government bailing out corporations that leave the mass of people three times burned first by the crisis which cost their jobs and their futures second by the bailouts which bypassed most people and help those at the top and then finally an austerity program that hurts them to pay for all of that we shouldn't be surprised that the political center does not hold that people who are progressive gather around for fundamental change and they have
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a very successful party in greece series it's call but that's not acceptable to the right wing the business community the wealthy are very afraid that the anger at the austerity will go to the left which is what syriza represents so they begin to support and to fund the extreme right as the only option they see to the rising left criticism that's what the business community in germany did supporting hitler against the socialists and communists who were the strong left back in the one nine hundred thirty s. are we seeing as you know using your metaphor of only in this case your place in world war one with the. the crash. but the triple assault in on the rise are we seeing the this mistake being repeated eighty years later because as i think was twenty pointed out when when the last man dies who remembers the horrors of the
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last war the next war becomes inevitable. yes i think very little has been learned the conditions are always different from one here historical period to another but the thing that's frightening now is the kind of mano maniacal drive regardless of consequences in the case of world war one it was to make the losing countries pay the costs of a war that everybody was responsible for without worrying that putting that burden on germany could worsen the whole situation for europe as it did the parallel today is corporations in the rich in their drive to proceed with accumulating their own wealth notwithstanding the crisis notwithstanding the bailouts they took for themselves now to make the mass of people pay in an endless source thirty four at all in order to hold on to their wealth to not be taxed this is driving the mass of people the whale the verse side treaty did in
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a way that will explode because it's not sustainable and it's not tolerable and the move to the left and now the move to the right which is in part reaction to it are the predictable disintegrations when the drive to control the situation by the minority on top loses all of its rationality and becomes self destructive as as we just have a minute left as all these european countries have given up their economic sovereignty by giving up their currency do you think it's possible the that which you think is more probable that the e.u. will collapse of the euro will collapse or the you know europe itself might end up being taken over by by by fascists we might syrup in a world war two while the people who run europe right now are making a fortune of money off the unity they want to hold on to the unity they want to hold on to the currency and they want the mass of people to pay in losing their social welfare benefits in lowered wages and lost jobs and all the rest. they think
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they can pull that off they can read craft europe continental europe to look more like united states and england with polarized rich and poor and no social safety net the question is whether the mass of people in europe will permit it and what you're seeing now is a strong left a weak but rising right wing that have one thing in common the status quo is unacceptable and they're becoming strong enough to challenge for power europe is in for a very rough ride in the months and years ahead i think you're absolutely right dr ritual thanks so much for being with us tonight thank you after the break the manhunt for former l.a.p.d. officer christopher dorner continues in california as authorities offer a million dollars for information leading to his arrest what role might racism have played indoors decision to go on this cop killing rampage.
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is trying to get. the treasure. we're fighting. and the trap was no way. wealthy british style. market. find out what's really happening to the global economy.
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manx cars are for a no holds barred look about lobel financial headlines tune in to kaiser report on . me believe me to. be. true to my. six.
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manhunt for former l.a.p.d. officer christopher dorner intern continues in california on february fourth it's alleged that dorner gunned down two people in a parking lot in los angeles and those people was monica quan daughter a retired police officer who represented dorner in a disciplinary hearing that eventually led to dorner is terminations from the l.a.p.d. it's believed that terminations is what has now sparked this killing spree is after the first round of shootings dorner allegedly attacked two l.a.p.d. officers injuring one and twenty minutes later he fired on two more l.a.p.d. officers injuring wanting killing another since then dorner has eluded authorities and on sunday the l.a.p.d. issued a one million dollar reward for his capture or left behind a manifesto explaining why he decided to go on his rampage and appears that his actions at least by his own words may be the result of racism joining me now to explain more about this is maria lloyd
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a journalist and business manager your black world network a real welcome. thank you thank you no thanks for joining us you know i think you know first we have to stipulate anybody who runs around killing people. has a hard time claiming any kind of rationale for for that or or is alleged to have done so. but that said what clues can we find in dorner his manifesto to suggest this alleged killing spree is related to racism in the l.a.p.d. . well he makes it very clear that he has experienced racism ever since he was in elementary school he says you know he was one of two african-americans in this class and his first encounter with racism was in first grade so you know him going all the way back to his life as a six or seven year old to make it a point to say that he was discriminated against because of his race is the first indicator and then as you go on you know of course the manifesto is very lengthy
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but when you read throughout the rest of it he gets into the altercation with two officers who used the n. word while they were you know in a van going back to the precinct and then he goes on to saying how the officers would intentionally go down to the south of l.a. and you know discriminate against minorities so he makes it very clear that you know racism i mean my opinion i think he makes it very clear that racism may be one of the primary factors for his actions do you think this is. to what extent do you think that his. overreaction assuming that these allegations are true has hurt the cause of solving that problem versus his this reaction might have actually brought some of this stuff to the fore in a way that will cause. yeah a reevaluation or perhaps a solutions. obviously killing innocent people i mean i know that he killed you know former captain stuart her and her fiance. that obviously was very extreme
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would not recommend doing that so i do think in a way his murders are not have helping the situation but at the same token if you flip it around in a way it is because now we're talking about ever since i've written article everyone has been contacting me wanting to kind of understand how this racism thing can build up to this point and especially with the release of django the movie django last year in december racism has been kind of running rampant the conversation about racism has been running a little bit because of the premise about him so. i think that the murders have certainly heard it in a way but then again i do think it's kind of bringing it to the fore right now and . what are you i know that there are like websites that are supportive of him. is this just a fringe phenomenon or is this is this a more systemic response to hey you know so many of us have experienced racism. at
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least well i don't to put words in your what's your thought what are your thoughts about. i do think that that is the response of people just you know kind of saying look we've been experiencing this for a while i don't support you know rooting rooting have on or cheering him on for again children innocent people i don't or even killing in general i'm just not a fan of taking another person's life no matter what you know they've done to you but i do think that it is a response to the systemic racism i mean if you look around just in new york they said at least or more than half of the the people that were stopped in or part of that stop and frisk were african-americans you know and then in new york again you have a situation where the four and five year olds at least half of those were african-american students so there are clear indicators that you know we're still being discriminated against solely because of our race. and i think that people are just kind of responding to that kind of like the o.j.
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simpson case people are rooting for o.j. sense of us think most people knew that he committed those murders but it was just the principle of the matter knowing how the judicial system is kind of railroad african-americans and people are just hoping that somebody can kind of beat the system so to speak for it's it's a fascinating phenomenon real lloyd thanks so much for being with us tonight thank you. a new angle to the story opened up on sunday when the u.k. published the publication express reported the drones are being used to track dorner there since been some question about that report for the last week or news media has finally focused in on our drone war in the middle east in the targeted killing of american citizens abroad but here in the united states we have a slightly different issue we have the issue of drones possibly being used domestically to track fugitives should we be just as troubled by this use of robotic flyers as we are by their use of the so-called war on terror as my next guest in just part of it so sit litigation counsel of epic electronic privacy
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information center epic you need welcome back and thanks for having me back great to have you with us this first of all to how what do we know about whether or not this is being stalked by a drone or drones are being used there are a lot of reports yesterday following the express report that you touched on that drones are being used but it seems now as we're looking back in combing through the facts that was mr porting that drones are not actually being used however it wasn't the reason so many people picked up on it it was so it wasn't a stretch of the imagination to believe that c.b.p. would step in they've done this before they have a routine practice of using drones to help local law enforcement agencies so they have the drones as they have the drones isn't this in a way just a logical next step from helicopters i mean they're cheaper and they go up in the sky. it is a kind of a jump in technology if so whereas it's an evolution of technology it also is a huge leap forward so as helicopters can be redesigned and repurposed and can
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conduct surveillance drones are designed with surveillance in mind so they're incredibly effective they have some of the most invasive equipment sophisticated equipment on the market that outfit them and this is like they're driving purpose behind their existence to when when helicopters first started being used or the even. where that aircraft for surveillance did we put into place rules that would prevent them from being overly intrusive i realize you know with all that noise that a helicopter makes it's a whole lot more difficult to be super intrusive words you know maintain surveillance on somebody in a way that might. bridge or cross over them or the moment relative to a drone but did we did we put into place anything or are there like no rules i mean what's the situation where is that transition there are no rules and i think in many areas some privacy not just this area we've relied on the practical. realistic
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. characteristics of technology to protect their privacy like you said their helicopters and airplanes are allowed they can only get so close there are other factors that weigh in that maybe didn't need the same number of rules do we are there any states that are trying to put into place rules to regulate their drones there are quite a few actually just recently virginia passed a two year moratorium on drone technology being used charlottesville virginia so they could further study the technology oregon is pursuing drone legislation the state of florida the state of massachusetts and many others. and many of these cases that won't prevent federal drones so the customs and border turns from being used within the state boundaries but it would put a limit on state and local journalists but then do you get a situation where the feds simply fly their drones at the request of state and local folks to have the data off to them that could be exactly what we're looking at here and with no transparency on c.b.s.
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program we don't know who they have agreements with we don't know what these agreements look like they haven't been made public and it's not only law enforcement it's also the f.b.i. and other groups so there's a huge swath of where these ten reaper drones can be used in the united states and there's no federal protection there's no protection against it what is the reproduce the reaper drone is the drone that's owned by ten of them california customs and border protection bureau border protection so these are federal these are federal the same drones that are being used overseas in the war on terror except they're on armed so you don't have the hellfire missiles you don't have the the same weapons that you have on those drones but they're the exact almost the exact same model. being used in the united states are these drones hackable they are unlike the military drones that are being used overseas which are used on encrypted band with these are on an encrypted band with they can get spooked this
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has been brought to the. the f.a.a. it's been brought to the attention of congress supposedly there's a two year span where they expect to have this issue addressed encryption is not that sophisticated i mean people have it on their you can do v.p.n. on your cell phone and exactly so it's a it's a two year time waiting period before all drone signals should be encrypted in the united states as well and that really raises two issues of their hackable one is could somebody gain control of the drone and secondly could somebody simply say from now on the data stream like people used to listening on cell phone overspend right now both of those things are possible it's been shown to be possible we've had intercept. transmissions intercepted overseas on the encrypted bandwidth supposedly encrypted bandwidth using back doors and weaknesses in the technology and professor todd humphreys at the university of texas in austin showed how to take control of a drone and kind of take over its movements and. so it's out there it's there amy thank you so much for being with us as always.
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thank. you. crazy alert freezing their butts off what would you do for twenty thousand swedish kronor as a roughly thirty one hundred dollars you sit on a giant ice pole for two days in bone chilling temperatures with nothing to do with where we are thumbs that is if they're not yet frost bitten well over the weekend six swedes did just that braving frigid temperatures and freezing to win and speak at the prize annual whole but sitting contest has been held for over a dozen years in the swedish town of villa helm in. sweden surprisingly the competitors so that the but numbing cold was not the worst part of the whole experience and the boredom is what made the very unique contest a real challenge so. you're brought up just think of course we. as we were we did
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just that. coming up watch out superman lawmakers in vermont have found kryptonite for republican white right to work for last laws vermont's efforts to avoid becoming the next michigan influence any organized labor protections on the national level. this is is trash to get rid of. but it's also
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a treasure. worth fighting for. and a trap was no way out. wealthy british soil. markets. can. find out what's really happening to the global economy with. for a no holds barred look at the global financial headlines tune into kinds a report on.
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iraq. what about the big picture i'm tom arbonne coming up in this half hour legislators in vermont are standing up for organized labor while elsewhere across america
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republicans are continuing their efforts to break apart unions at a movement to protect organized labor be on the horizon nationwide also the department of energy is supposed to be protecting you and me from america's vast stockpiles of as it is deadly nuclear waste so why are they thinking about letting the radioactive material from nuclear weapons and waste sites be recycled into consumer goods and if you watch meet the press this weekend you heard david gregory talk about the crumbling state of the u.s. postal service but like virtually all the rest of the media in america he left out one pretty big detail about the post office its demise tell you what it is in tonight's to lead to. the most of the rest of the news it's going to rough few years for working people
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seen labor strongholds like michigan and indiana passed right to work for less laws republicans of missouri and pennsylvania are considering similar laws meanwhile republicans in congress are taking it a step further sen rand paul introduced a national right to work for less law this week and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell threw his support behind it it's well known the right to work for less laws screw workers typical worker and a right to work for less state earns about fifteen hundred dollars a year less along with fewer benefits and more workplace accidents and more workplace deaths but now there's some good news that's coming from the state of vermont which is setting the opposite example with the introduction of the fair. share bill think of it as kryptonite for right to work for less laws joining me now to explain more about this bill is and how it benefits organized labor is the bill's sponsor state senator philip roth author of the book the acts president senator birth walking to the program. good to be with you tom it's been
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a long time i've been listening to you both thank you it's great to great to meet you great to see it to begin with what is your bill do. this was a bill that was designed to bring all the communities in the state under the same regime which is to say. everyone who receives benefits from collective bargaining would pay a sheer of the costs to do that bargaining the way we had it for the last fifteen years was that some groups were grandfathered enjoy the benefits without paying any of the costs and then other groups had a bigger share proposal in their collective bargaining agreements other groups didn't so this was designed to level the playing field for everyone and to make sure that there was equity in all the corners of the state is that when you say grandfather do you mean preen one hundred thirty five wagner act national labor relations act or are you talking about a time when there was
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a certain category of civil servants who were simply treated differently under the law sorry that was sure and in one thousand ninety seven ninety ninety eight the state made the fair share were agency fee a subject of collective bargaining at that time the state employees. who are not part of the union were grandfathered out and so for the last fifteen years that category of employees has enjoyed the benefits without the costs so the idea was to not only bring everybody. who hadn't bargained for a fair share in but to also include these grandfathered state employees or. so this is especially the the polar opposite of right to work for less laws which say essentially that the union has to represent you bargains on your behalf and you get all the benefits of what the union does and yet you can tell the union that you'd rather not pay for the cost of that in fact you can you can force the union to
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represent you but you don't have to pay i mean the way that that's all right to work for less works and of course it devastates unions it would be like if we were to pass a national law that said that anybody can use any private golf club without you know a country club without having to pay any kind of membership fees or even usage fees frankly pretty soon you see country clubs going out of business which might not be such a bad thing but. an imperfect metaphor i understand that it is so you're basically bringing everybody in into the club has ever exactly to go along with it which is to state employees circulated and kind of mock at that so i called the chamber of commerce and told them that i wanted the benefits of their organization but i didn't want to put pay the dues and they hung up on me. and essentially no other professional organization would accept the situation that the unions have been
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forced to accept for at least the last fifteen years and so we just figured it was time to do what was right it so happens that it's occurring in the same moment that wisconsin another would midwestern states are moving in completely opposite direction i actually think that helped us because vermont some of the politicians in vermont wanted to define themselves against that tradition that trend. do you think that if rand paul and mitch mcconnell and and the republicans in the senate along with their colleagues in the house who actually control the house who not only are opposed to card check but probably in favor of this national right to work for less law do you think if that were to happen that that would put vermont and your proposed legislation passes that that would put vermont in opposition to federal law and what might be the result of that. you know it's hard to say with divided government at the federal level i don't worry all that much about them
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getting together to affect us either for good or for ill. so you know there are a lot of things that i would like to happen but they can't make it through the house of representatives similarly attic i can't see them managing to pass legislation that would take away this new fair share right that the unions have one thing i want to put out there though is in contrast to the national split between republicans and democrats on this issue this was a bipartisan effort the economic development committee which i've been i'm the vice chair but it sure is a republican from rutland which is the conservative end of our state and we had two votes on that committee from republicans and those people stuck with us on the floor so we do have a large democratic majority but we were able to get buy in from republicans who have at least a new england do believe in collective bargaining and thought that there was
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a certain amount of common sense to this so these are we have a about a half a minute these are kind of the the left over jim jeffords republicans before he left the party absolutely and they are they are few and far between nationally but there is a tradition here in vermont and you know partisanship is not at a real poisonous level in the state house here we work on many things we work together and i think mitch mcconnell would do well to take a look at it as a model for. although i frankly doubt that he's going to do that but i think your vices and your suggestions great state senator philip earth thank you so much for being with us tonight thank you tom i love your program and thanks for the put together this legislation get roland's absolutely great sure. moving south. now from vermont down dark and saw here's a tip don't be late on your rent if you live in arkansas because if you are well
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you could wind up behind bars according to a new report from human rights watch landlords and corrupt public officials of be used in arkansas a failure of vacated law to bring charges against more than twelve hundred tenants in two thousand and twelve alone almost states handle late payments and evictions of civil matters arkansas' new use of the failure to vacate law could put you in jail for being as little as ten days behind on your rent one woman interviewed by human rights watch said she was only three days behind when her order landlord order to move out and threaten to have her arrested as was clearly a revival of debtors prisons in america something that we outlawed in this country in one nine hundred thirty three thanks to the republican great recession more americans than ever are finding themselves struggling behind on bills behind in their mortgages and rather than providing help for these hard working americans republicans want to throw them in debtors prison why well because the private
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prison industry gives the republicans big bucks there write laws that lead to more people going to jail which then means more profits for private prisons this is predatory capitalism at work in america folks. it's the good the bad and the very very dips tisha slee ugly the good the american people nearly twenty six thousand people have signed a petition on the white house's we the people page to fire assistant u.s. attorney steve. heyman was the lead attorney in the prosecution of internet pioneer aaron ward's tragically took his own life last month. been accused of gross prosecute prosecutorial overreach and trying to turn schwartz's case into
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a career booster if convicted schwartz was looking at serving more time in jail and some drug dealers burglars and even murderers but this problem is bigger than just american justice system is broken and needs to be fixed and spoke with aaron didn't die in vain and that his death will be a catalyst for change that is desperately needed in our judicial system. about senator lindsey graham on c.b.s.'s face the nation yesterday the republican senator threaten to place a hold of the national security nominations of chuck hagel and john brennan until president obama explains how the white house reacted to the benghazi attacks you know what. i'm not sure i understand what do you plan to do if they don't give you an answer are you going to put a hold on the time i am in a yes yes yes i'm going to ask my colleagues just like they did with john bolton joe biden said no confirmation without information. but john bolton was crazy so
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anyhow rather put in place leaders that can help america prepare for the possibility of future terrorist attacks graham would rather continue to dwell on been ghazi. let's hope they say about beating a dead horse and the very. very ugly. wells but the n.r.a. speaking at the n.r.a. is wisconsin state convention this weekend bob welch a lobbyist for that organization so that the n.r.a. will wait until the quote connecticut effect has subsided to continue to push to block any and all reforms of gun control well she went on to say that quote we have a strong agenda coming up for next year but of course a lot of that's going to be delayed as the connecticut effect has to go through the process it's just goes to show how deluded the n.r.a. is a view that tragedy in connecticut is a national turning point in our discussion over gun control it simply is something like the common cold which comes on and eventually goes away. i don't think it's
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going to be the case and now is the time to act on gun control because if we don't the n.r.a. will continue spending millions of dollars to keep guns on our streets threatening the lives of americans everywhere raising the profits of the gun industry and that is very very. coming up it's time for the mainstream media to wake up and start telling the truth to the american people about the demise of the u.s. postal service i'll help them do that and i still retain.
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the. let me i want to know wouldn't let me ask you a question. here on this network as we're having the debate we have our knives out. to be true is the scientists staying there together here in the situation where the united states talk about the surveillance.
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though sometimes you know it you know and sometimes you know what you don't know and sometimes there's fire center says and everything you know is wrong. no you think you're wrong if you really are you're right. i'll just say that you're. being you know it is. the united states department of energy is tasked with among other things keeping america safe from our nation's vast stockpile of nuclear waste the deal is supposed to make sure that american citizens are never knowingly put in contact or online for them with radioactive materials and nuclear waste and
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apparently the deal is not doing its job because radioactive materials could soon be coming to consumer goods near you so if you think the federal government is doing everything it can to keep you safe from radioactive materials and everything you know is wrong joining me now is current sharman independent investigative environmental journalist and author of the article radioactive metal from nuclear weapons facilities may end up in your shopping bag and who what why dot com care and welcome thinking it's great to be here thanks for joining us what is going on here that we might have radioactive waste in your belt buckle. yeah well i think that it's important to view this in a larger context and that is that the entire history of the atomic age really is one that unfortunately. is defined by a real lack of care and concern about radioactivity and i'll give you just two
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quick examples back when the u.s. government was still doing above ground atomic bomb testing they actually sent soldiers who were stationed. about seven miles or so away from the bomb blast they sent them into ground zero without any protection whatsoever thirty minutes after the blast and then afterwards when these soldiers got sick they denied that there was any connection between the radiation exposure and the insane crazy illnesses that they developed and many of these soldiers died never seeing any compensation whatsoever the second example is three mile island which was much worse than was ever publicly disclosed and to this day people are told that no one was injured as a result of the t.m.i. accident because not enough radiation was released when in fact thousands were sick
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and joined a class action lawsuit against the government that went nowhere so i think that you have to view this latest proposal in the larger context of the entire tommy game change. do you think that there is i mean. perhaps just a sense of of fatalism or defeatism that's driving this we've got so much radioactive waste that has been dumped in the pacific ocean from fukushima now it seems that you know virtually all the fish coming in off the west coast if not now or soon will be you know of containing. some amounts of radioactive cesium and other elements you know hey it's in our fish it used to be in our milk from the above ground tommy the fifty's you know put a little in our in our metal what the hell. where i think i don't know i mean radiation is dangerous and it's not meant to be you know where
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it destroys the chemical barns in our cells and they can break up d.n.a. so is this isn't it do you think that this is the consequence of you know any i mean is there even an appearance of sound medical and or scientific oversight on this or is this you know is this an example of agency capture of an in an industry that's corrupted a regulatory agency and. the home up to date about radiation and i find really interesting and very much tomorrow that goes on and basically any scientist who has raised red flags about it. they get shot down they get vilified you know terribly so and certainly the nuclear industry slash government because after all the even the nuclear power
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industry has created. pretty much from the government from the whole weapons proposal it was meant to be. you know the public face peaceful face of the dark side of the atomic weapons and so it's kind of like a i don't know i think it's like a whole sort of thing on it sound in terms of. the level of privilege that surrounds and karen carey were but you know well so thank you very much for joining us tonight and thanks for a great article. thank you. last week the u.s. post office announced its ending saturday delivery of mail in an effort to save two
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billion dollars a year since then our news media has completely botched the story and given coverage to a republican party and its corporate donors for years they've been trying to destroy the us post office it's the largest unionized employer in the nation and now they're going to make it happen it looks like but almost nobody is reporting on that aspect of it wal-mart is the largest employer the second largest blur as opposed to i was only one of those who has a union one of the most egregious examples of this media malpractise occurred on sundays meet the press when david gregory reported on the post offices cut back by saying this. for many the decision to cut back to five days carries more symbolic consequences than practical in this information age of emails tweets and text messages what we have actually called snail mail seems somewhat impractical but the bigger question is this is the current model sustainable even with the most recent change but out once in the report to gregory bring up the real reason why the post
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office is hemorrhaging cash and is now taking drastic measures to find savings post office was described as just the latest victim of the digital age rather than what it really is the latest victim of the conservative war on unions rewind back to two thousand and six things were going well for the post office they were making money they were even seriously considering replacing a large part of their fleet the largest fleet of vehicles in the nation with electric cars it would have been a huge boost for the electric car and a huge slap in the face of oil barons like the koch brothers post office had to be stopped and republican congressman john mchugh was the man to do it he'd been a member of the koch funded american legislative exchange council or alec it was deeply in the pocket of right wing interests in two thousand and six he succeeded in proposing and then watching pass the postal accountability and enhancement act it was passed by a voice vote in a republican congress and signed by republican president george w. bush what that law did was ram
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a poison pill down the throat of the post office it required the u.s.p.s. to prefund its retiring health benefits fund for more than seven decades out into the future and to do well at pretty funny within just ten years with this law congress force the post post office to set aside money for the health benefits of people seventy five years of future retirees who are not yet even born it's an obligation that no other private business or government agency has ever had to comply with before and it cost post office five billion dollars a year. so the news media thinks ending saturday delivery to save two billion dollars a year is worth reporting on but a congressional requirement that sucks five billion a year out of the post office doesn't even receive a mention the post office was regularly running surpluses prior to this poison pill legislation that every year since post office has lost more and more money to their
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retirement fund for people seventy five years from now so they're now ending saturday delivery looking to close offices around the nation and will likely layoff tens of thousands of unionized workers because the big winners in all this of the private mail carriers like fed ex and u.p.s. will eventually won't have to compete with the post office and their ability to send a letter from florida to alaska for less than fifty cents or the post office is ability to offer saturday service at no extra cost they're going have to compete with that either private mail carriers charge between fifty and one hundred times more than the us postal service when it comes to paper mail delivery the passage of the postal accountability and has been act in two thousand and six was the culmination of a relentless effort carried out by conservative koch funded think tanks like the american legislative exchange council alec cato institute the national taxpayers union that has spent years writing papers and lobbying congress to privatizing the post office
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a common misperception is that the post office is a governmental agency funded by taxpayer dollars it's simply not true in fact the photo post office has been largely self-sufficient since the one nine hundred eighty s. and only recently has been forced to appeal to congress for help since a swallowed that republican poison pill in two thousand and six. but the post office does have to fulfill a requirement to by the government to provide universal service postal service it also has given a monopoly over most paper be able to livery conservatives hate that government getting something right for over two hundred forty years that's something gogol call in the c.e.o.'s so we the consumers are going to get screwed when the price of mail will rise dramatically without a post office but hey it's going to make a bunch of stockholders and c.e.o.'s it for profit corporations like fed ex and u.p.s. really really rich and perhaps most importantly by breaking up the post office and
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its athlete millions strong unionized workforce conservatives have once again neutered organized labor in america and star of the democratic party of a primary fundraising base curiously alec which writes corporate friendly legislation and relies on the membership of republican lawmakers around the nation to pass this legislation at a model builder known as the unfunded pensions liability act which calls on state governments to account for exactly how they plan to fund future retiree benefits the law passed by republicans in two thousand and six that has crippled the post office today uses the same principle and then takes it a step further to require the post office to pre-fund those retiree benefits seventy five years out into the future now as billions are being siphoned out of the post office every year they can't reinvest they can't update their their equipment most of us can't even compete with the private marketplace in the first two years since the two thousand and six law kicked in messrs and fed ex enjoyed
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a twenty five percent increase in the value of their company so this plan to kill the post office has so far been executed flawlessly by the republican party and their corporate overlords but even they couldn't have expected all the help they've received in the years since then from a mainstream corporate media that fails over and over again to report on what's really happening with the post office whether it's lazy reporting. were an effort to give cover to the corporatists the news media is assisting in the demise of the post office and institutions started by ben franklin that's older than the united states. so that leaves it up to we the people to tell the real story of what's happening in the digital age isn't killing the post office instead the demise of the post office in the good old fashioned story of corporate corruption of politicians and a republican party that exists first and foremost to serve the c.e.o. class and screw the middle class and that's the way it is then i monday february
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eleventh two thousand and thirteen don't forget democracy begins you get out there get active occupy yourself with your it civil.
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more. discipline.
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