Monthly Archives: June 2014

The Declaration for the Right to Libraries

From ilovelibraries.org

School Library Declaration

School Libraries and certified School Librarians are critical for student success today more than ever! Download the Declaration for the Right to School Libraries here!

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The Declaration for the Right to Libraries is the cornerstone document of ALA President Barbara Stripling’s presidential initiative, Libraries Change Lives, which is designed to build the public will and sustained support for America’s right to libraries of all types – academic, special, school, and public.

In the next year, libraries of all types will hold signing ceremonies, during which community members can visibly declare their right to have vibrant libraries in their community. The signing ceremony is intended to serve as the launching point for continued and vibrant community engagement to:

  • Increase public and media awareness about the critical role of libraries in communities around the country
  • Inspire ongoing conversations about the role of the library in the community
  • Cultivate a network of community allies and advocates for the library
  • Position the library as a trusted convener to help in the response to community issues

Continue reading The Declaration for the Right to Libraries

Tool libraries equip local do-it-yourselfers

Reprinted courtesy of:   The Seattle Times   and  ilovelibraries.org

By: Tom Watson

An environmental movement needs a little extra oomph to make a big impact.

n seattle tool libraryThe farmers market movement, for example, offers great food, brings people together and supports local farmers. The alternative-vehicle movement, steadily driving interest in electric and hybrid cars, keeps us out of the gas station and gives us fun new toys to drive.

Tool-lending libraries might seem too unusual to become a full-fledged environmental movement. But they already have a foothold in Seattle, and they do more than just help the environment and reduce climate change.

Eminently practical, tool libraries save the average Joe or Jane real money. Most important, they build community.

Check it out

The new “sharing economy” — car sharing, bike sharing, clothing swaps and more — has gotten lots of media attention. Tool sharing has been less visible, but tool libraries have quietly reinvented the traditional library model.

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Frances Perkins’ Speech: The Roots of Social Security

From Senior Women Web   

(Note: the link to the audio files of Frances Perkins’ speech is near the bottom of this article; the entire speech is about 78 minutes long in 4 parts)

I must say I feel very much at home even though I just arrived. I feel at home because the Social Security Administration has, ever since it was established, been a sort of special concern of mine, although by the chicanery of politics it was not placed in the Department of Labor. I, of course, thought it should be.

FcperkinsAs a matter of fact, one of the reasons I feel so deeply involved with the Social Security Administration is that even though it was not in the Department of Labor when it was first established, the Department of Labor had to carry it the way you carry a dependent child. It didn’t have any money. That was so unfortunate. And we didn’t have very much either. But [what] we did, however, was to provide the Social Security Administration with offices in the Department of Labor Building. I even gave to the Chairman of the Social Security Board (as it was called in those days) the large, handsome, red-upholstered, high-back chair out of my own office so that he could look like a king. I didn’t have to keep on looking like a queen. I found the chair somewhat uncomfortable so I made the sacrifice.

The whole Department did the same kind of thing. We gave them our best statisticians. We gave them the best of everything including Arthur Altmeyer, who was the Assistant Secretary of Labor and my real right hand, and without whom I felt very lost. It showed that we put our best people in there on loan, and we carried it for the first year and made it look like a going concern. In fact, it became a going concern in an extraordinarily short time.

Continue reading Frances Perkins’ Speech: The Roots of Social Security

FDR FIRESIDE CHAT #4: ON THE CURRENCY SITUATION

Delivered October 22, 1933

listen_to_radio_10It is three months since I have talked with the people of this country about our national problems; but during this period many things have happened, and I am glad to say that the major part of them have greatly helped the well-being of the average citizens. Because, in every step which your Government is taking we are thinking in terms of the average of you — in the old words, “the greatest good to the greatest number” — we, as reasonable people, cannot expect to bring definite benefits to every person or to every occupation or business, or industry or agriculture. In the same way, no reasonable person can expect that in this short space of time, during which new machinery had to be not only put to work, but first set up, that every locality in every one of the 48 states of the country could share equally and simultaneously in the trend to better times.

The whole picture, however — the average of the whole territory from coast to coast — the average of the whole population of 120,000,000 people — shows to any person willing to look, facts and action of which you and I can be proud.

In the early spring of this year there were actually and proportionately more people out of work in this country than in any other nation in the world. Fair estimates showed 12 or 13 millions unemployed last March. Among those there were, of course, several millions who could be classed as normally unemployed — people who worked occasionally when they felt like it, and others who preferred not to work at all. It seems, therefore, fair to say that there were about 10 millions of our citizens who earnestly, and in many cases hungrily, were seeking work and could not get it. Of these, in the short space of a few months, I am convinced that at least 4 millions have been given employment — or, saying it another way, 40% of those seeking work have found it.

That does not mean, my friends, that I am satisfied, or that you are satisfied that our work is ended. We have a long way to go but we are on the way.

Continue reading FDR FIRESIDE CHAT #4: ON THE CURRENCY SITUATION

Revisiting The Election of 1936

By Richard Walker, Director of the Living New Deal, published February 12, 2014

Harvey Smith recently dug up a copy of the Democratic Party platform from the campaign of the 1936, the guideline for Franklin Roosevelt’s record-breaking run for re-election. It is an eye-opener to consider the what FDR’s team hoped to accomplish and the pledges to serve the greater good of the nation by the New Deal team. We can only wish that such visionaries were at the helm of the Democratic Party today!

1936-Dem-Platform-1

 

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The Corporate Betrayal of America

by Paul Buchheit, published April 8, 2013, mirrored from Common Dreams

Multinational corporations have built their businesses on the backs of American taxpayers. They’ve depended on government research, national defense, the legal and educational systems, and our infrastructure.

Yet they’ve turned around and mocked us with declining tax payments. They’ve cut workers. They’ve refused to invest their massive profits in job-producing research and development. And they’ve insulted existing employees with low wages and dwindling retirement support.

corporations_democracy_0
(Photo: Lindsay/flickr)

As a final disdainful act, many of them have tried to convince us that they LOSE money in the U.S. while only making profits overseas.

Here are the facts.

Business Built on Our Backs

(a) Research

The most essential aspect of business growth is the long-term basic research that is largely conducted with government money. Starting in the 1950s, taxpayer-funded research at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (the Internet), the National Institute of Health (pharmaceuticals), and the National Science Foundation (the Digital Library Initiative) has laid a half-century foundation for corporate product development. Even today 60% of university research is government-supported.

The tech industry is a special case, with many computer and communications companies coming of age in the 1990s, when industry funding for computer research declined dramatically and government research funding continued to climb. As of 2009, universities were still receiving ten times more science & engineering funding from government than from industry.

(b) Infrastructure

Continue reading The Corporate Betrayal of America

Fomenting a Revolution: Extreme Acts of Greed Against the American People

by Paul Buchheit, mirrored from Common Dreams

broken
Photo: Light Brigading/cc/flickr

 

Examples of extreme inequality are becoming easier to find. Progressive leaders have us thinking about revolution. If a revolution is to take place, Americans — especially young Americans— need to know the facts, and they need to know how they’re getting cheated, and they need to get angry. The following should help.

1. $1,000,000,000,000,000 in Sales. Not One Cent for Sales Tax

The trading volume on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) reached an incomprehensible $1 quadrillion in notional value in 2012. That’s a thousand trillion dollars. In comparison, the entire U.S. GDP is $17 trillion.

On that quadrillion dollars of sales CME imposes transfer fees, contract fees, brokerage fees, Globex fees, clearing fees, and contract surcharges, many of them on both the buyer’s and seller’s side. As a result, the company had a profit margin higher than any of the top 100 companies in the nation from 2008 to 2010, and it’s gotten even higher since then.

But not a penny in sales tax for the taxpayers who provide publicly-funded infrastructure, technology, systems of law, and security to help them process billions of financial transactions.

Instead — incredibly — CME complained that its taxes were too high, and they demanded and received an $85 million tax break from the State of Illinois.

2. A Single Tax-Avoider Made More Money in 2013 Than ALL the Emergency Responders in the U.S.

Continue reading Fomenting a Revolution: Extreme Acts of Greed Against the American People

Where Does Money Come From?

currencyThat’s a good question.

The simple answer is that’s it’s made up.

By bankers of course.

From  the British Green Party’s “Banking Reform Motion – Background Paper“:

The fact that banks can literally make money out of nothing in this way is regularly acknowledged by experts in the field of money and banking. For example: In a speech on 23rd October 2012, Sir Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England said: “When banks extend loans to their customers, they create money by crediting their customer’s accounts”

And.

In an article, published in the Financial Times on 9th November 2010, Martin Wolf, the FT’s Chief Economics Commentator, wrote: “The essence of the contemporary monetary system is the creation of money, out of nothing, by private bank’s often foolish lending.”

Continue reading Where Does Money Come From?

Eleanor Roosevelt Interviewed by Bill Downs and Edward P. Morgan

1953. An Interview with Eleanor Roosevelt: What is a Liberal?
An Interview with Eleanor Roosevelt

This interview took place on the “Longines Chronoscope” broadcast at 11:00 PM on August 26, 1953.

Excerpt: Eleanor Roosevelt Explains the Meaning of the Word ‘Liberal’

BILL DOWNS: You have become known as the leader of what is loosely called the “liberal movement” in this country, or what used to be called the liberal movement in this country, and some people call them “do-gooders” and the rest of it–could you define a liberal for us in your own words?

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT: …I would feel that a liberal was a person who kept an open mind, was willing to meet new questions with new solutions, and felt that you could move forward; you didn’t have to always look backward and be afraid to look forward.

DOWNS: And that’s what this National Issues Committee* that you’re…

ROOSEVELT: The National Issues Committee is going to try to look at the issues, to put them in simple terms so that the people can understand them as objectively as possible and to feel that they can as the liberals do move forward.

Continue reading Eleanor Roosevelt Interviewed by Bill Downs and Edward P. Morgan

FDR in 1933: “There Must Be a Strict Supervision of All Banking and Credits and Investments. There Must Be an End to Speculation with Other People’s Money.”

Adam Cohen on Nothing to Fear, September 29, 2008, Democracy Now!

Note: segment starts at 34 minutes

 

We now move three-quarters of a century back in time to 1933. It was the middle of an era that our current moment is sometimes compared to: the Great Depression. When Franklin Delano Roosevelt took his oath of office in March of that year, over 10,000 banks had collapsed, following the stock market crash of 1929. One-quarter of American workers were unemployed, and people were fighting over scraps of food. We play an excerpt of FDR’s inaugural speech on March 4, 1933, and speak to Adam Cohen, author of the forthcoming book, Nothing to Fear: FDR’s Inner Circle and the Hundred Days that Created Modern America. 

JUAN GONZALEZ: We now move three-quarters of a century back in time to 1933. It was the middle of an era that our current moment is sometimes compared to: the Great Depression. When Franklin Delano Roosevelt took his oath of office in March of that year, over 10,000 banks had collapsed, following the stock market crash of 1929. One-quarter of American workers were unemployed, and people were fighting over scraps of food.

This is an excerpt of FDR’s inaugural speech on March 4, 1933.

PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT: First of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror, which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. […]

We face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material things. […] The withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side. Farmers find no markets for their produce. And the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone. More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment. […]

Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men. […]

Yes, the money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. […]

This nation is asking for action, and action now. […]

There must be a strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments. There must be an end to speculation with other people’s money. And there must be provision for an adequate but sound currency.

These, my friends, are the lines of attack. I shall presently urge upon a new Congress in special session detailed measures for their fulfillment, and I shall seek the immediate assistance of the forty-eight states.

Continue reading FDR in 1933: “There Must Be a Strict Supervision of All Banking and Credits and Investments. There Must Be an End to Speculation with Other People’s Money.”