Thursday, July 30, 2015
The latest scandal surrounding a video of an undercover video of Planned Parenthood discussing selling of aborted body parts or fetuses raises major questions about the ethics of how research is funded and whether or not the benefits are disclosed to the public or not, and many other issues surrounding research on fetuses as well as people, since there is much more of this going on than most people realize.
The vast majority of the benefits from research is provided to the wealthiest while, like many other issues, the vast majority of the burden is put on the poor and they rarely if ever fully understand what is going on so they're unable to stand up for their rights or expose what is going on.
Abortion is one of the more popular single issue subjects that divide people into two positions that never get resolved; and like most if not all others both sides follow the leaders from the ruling class that ignore inconvenient issues and help preserve the duopoly system that suppresses grass roots movements.
By refusing to call for full disclosure both sides are enabling the ruling class to control any benefits that might come from this research but if the abortion opponents succeed in cutting funding to Planned Parenthood then it will only give multinational corporations even more control of the health care or lack of health care available for the poor.
Both sides claim they're looking out for the best interest of the poor but neither call for full disclosure of how research is funded or protecting the poor from being used as research subjects without making sure they understand what the risks are. Nor are either sides calling for the benefits of the research to be available for everyone by reviewing and reforming intellectual property or propriety information laws that enable those that do the research to declare ownership of the information gained by it and charge high prices for medical procedures that the poor who contribute to research often can't afford. Furthermore by keeping research information secret it make it more difficult for researchers to share information and improve their own research.
One important thing that is rarely if ever discussed is that even though Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit organization they deal with for profit organizations that often do the medical research and are enabling their large profits without necessarily requiring that they make health care affordable to the majority. These profits are increased thanks to donations from people with good intentions that don't realize the public is not necessarily going to be the primary beneficiaries of the research. These multinational health care corporations are making enormous profits but they're not being discussed at all. The benefits from this research are often patented so that they can gouge consumers and withhold affordable care while Planned Parenthood takes all the blame for research that is done.
The claim that they need these patents to fund research doesn't stand up to scrutiny when considering that tehy spend much more on advertising than they do on research and they don't provide full disclosure.
Ironically there is a common alliance with the business community with both Planned Parenthood, which provides them with research opportunities, and right wing organizations, including the antiabortion movement, that often enables them to advance their political agenda.
Yet this isn't being mentioned at all by either side, at least not in any high profile manner.
Many of these poor people donate their tissue based on the assumption that it will be done for everyone's benefit; however the multinational corporations that control the research, often done with little scrutiny by the majority of the public routinely put profit ahead of the health of the majority of the public. Somehow they manage to avoid much if any criticism for their activities, and this debate is being used to threaten their funding of health care for the poor even more.
Like many other debates it is narrowly defined and the majority of the public is expected to jump on one band wagon or another even though neither bandwagons often discuss some of the most important issues.
Another major issue that is almost never discussed in a high profile manner is why the antiabortion movement is often so fanatical. This is highly unfortunate because Planned Parenthood is in a good positions to improve this in the long term by counseling parents against child abuse which often leads to escalating violence and indoctrination. In fact they already do this but they rarely discuss this in a high profile manner.
The majority of abortion opponents, especially high profile one, claim to be concerned about protecting life yet many of them oppose programs that enable parents to do a good job providing for their children after they're born; Planned Parenthood does much better that that. They also oppose efforts to protect the environment, which will protect much more lives than their opposition to abortion. And they're often among the strongest supporters of many wars based on lies that are handed to them by their political and religious leaders.
There are some exceptions but they tend to be much lower profile; but the people that do take these positions, often with an enormous amount of emotional outrage, and without listening to any contradictions aren't really pro-life.
They're essentially an antiabortion cult.
The rush to jump on one bandwagon or another without considering many related issues prevents any resolution of their disagreements from occurring indefinitely and enables this dispute to be used for political purposes for decades without resolving anything.
Planned Parenthood would be much more successful at getting their views across if they did more to educate both the public and their patrons about how early abuse in childhood leads to more abuse later in life and is also a major reason why their opposition is so thoroughly indoctrinated to believe what their leaders tell them to believe as I explained in several posts including Dobson’s Indoctrination Machine. It's actually the media that is more responsible for the incredibly bad job they do educating the public about this; they're in a much better job to conduct Public relation campaign for child abuse prevention. If more people understand how this leads people to be more susceptible to propaganda then it would be much more difficult for the mainstream media and political establishment to divide people into two camps on any one issue and prevent them from considering many of the most important issues that might be related.
As I indicated in a previous post Human Research Subjects being used without full disclosure is much more common than most people realize and it isn't always kept completely secret. In many cases they disclose some of the most important information, but they decline to put it in the full perspective. Often they do the research but simply decline to refer to it that way and don't share the educational information with most of the public or use it to base policy decisions, or at least not for the benefit of the public. My previous article on the subject refers to controlled research projects which is the typical laboratory study where they control as much as they can and study the rest; and field research where they study what happens without controlling it, although the academic community may not always use the same terms.
One of the simplest examples of a field research project is when energy companies pollute the environment in areas where the poorest live then researchers, often with good intentions and unrelated to energy companies, come in after the fact and study higher disease rates. The anti-abortion groups don't express much if any concern about this at all or how it threatens life. If anything they often support the bossiness leaders who often work with religious leaders, as discussed in the previous post about James Dobson. These business leaders get their share of Lamborghini's but the research is often ignored by the media and the political establishment.
Research using the poor to experiment on goes much farther than what Planned Parenthood is doing and most of it isn't being disclosed properly; which is all the more reason why it should be discussed more in public and full disclosure should be required from all institutions involved in it. In “Medical Apartheid” (PDF at Original People) Harriet Washington discusses how they often use those with the least political power, black people, while those with the most get the benefits of the research and a large portion of it isn't nearly as effective since it is done in secrecy with little peer review. A lot of what she reports on is old research and supposedly ethics have improved significantly since then.
If this is true then there should be no reason to keep it secret.
If they feel the need to keep it secret then it might raise doubts about whether ethics really have improved as much as they claim.
Relying on Planned Parenthood for their research volunteers continues the practice of using poor people for research subjects while the rich control the benefits.
If, on the other hand they disclosed their research and did a better job informing the public about how we benefit from it, then Planned Parenthood would actually enable themselves to make a case that they're pro-life, since they're contributing to improved science that saves lives. Also there have been some reports that indicate that by advising their patrons on how to plan for Parenthood then they can enable them to avoid getting pregnant in the first place reducing the need for abortion in the first place. I'm quite certain I have read studies saying this is the case, although it isn't mentioned often in the debate at all.
Fully discussing the issues would do much more to benefit Planned Parenthood and health care for everyone; but we can't rely on political appointees to do this for us. If they were willing to do so they would have already done it. Like most other supposedly non profit organizations Planned Parenthood is run by someone from the political establishment, Cecile Richards, daughter of Ann Richard. This is typical; other organizations controlled by politicians include Roger Goodall Commissioner of the National Football League; Elizabeth Dole once ran the National Red Cross and Christine MacDonald reported about how most if not all major environmental organizations are run by people from the political ruling class. I have no doubt that a more thorough search will show that most other supposedly non-profits are also run by people with connections to multinational corporations, as I indicated in previous posts about "The existence of a ruling class being undeniable" very few powerful institutions are controlled at the grass roots level and most of them are controlled by the same class of people.
This small percentage of the public has been supporting the duopoly for decades and rigging it so that candidates that truly do represent the public can't get much if any coverage. Bernie Sanders seems to be the exception right no, but only because there has been an enormous amount of grassroots pressure that the MSM can't ignore. Hillary Clinton has come out in support of Planned Parenthood but she also supports the multinational corporations that profit from these experiments and doesn't even talk about calling for disclosure or informing the public about better health care opportunities that might involve Single Payer or more reliable funding for fully disclosed research that doesn't enable health care corporations to gouge the public while providing inferior care.
The political leaders ask us to "stand with Planned Parenthood," without addressing some of the most important issues; however I doubt if many of their supporters are as likely to blindly believe everything their leaders tell them to as the supporters of the antiabortion movement who aren't concerned about protecting life from environmental destruction war or disease. This is just as well since if they did they would run the risk of becoming similar to a pro-choice cult opposing an antiabortion cult. Unfortunately even if most people at the grass roots level aren't cult followers the rhetoric supported by their leaders is encouraging people to fall into the usual partisan positions without discussing legitimate issues.
If Grassroots people controlled the discussion they could use this as an opportunity to call for major reforms that hold these corporations accountable instead of letting Planned Parenthood be used as a scapegoat.
Edit: Since I first posted this Rep. Jason Chaffetz Took Issue With Planned Parenthood Chief Cecile Richards' Salary (09/29/2015) which rose from $353,000 in 2009 to $590,928 in 2013. Democrats were outraged that he complained about this salary which most people would consider enormous, since he had no objections to private sector salaries which were much higher even when they were implicated in corrupt activity. The outrage by Democrats might seem partially justified but many people that have no opportunity to get political appointments with huge salaries might think that compensation for those that do is unjustifiable and not based on merit at all.
This is a common problem which Christine MacDonald wrote about in "Green Inc." where heads of environmental organizations were paid enormous amounts of money and got their jobs because of their political connections; then they provided propaganda for corporations that were polluting the environment while doing little to protect it. The same thing clearly seems to be happening in other non-profit organizations including Planned Parenthood where Cecile Richards is making an enormous amount of money at a job she got thanks to political connections. She is being portrayed as a defender of the poor but a lot of the money that could be used to help poor is going to her salary even if CEOs get more than they deserve as well; and she remains silent about the enormous profits that corporations that buy fetal tissue for research make.
Even though Planned Parenthood is supposedly not making profits off the research they are and she covers for them.
The following are related articles including some about the Planned Parenthood scandal as well as more about other research experiments that get very little attention from the mainstream media.
Kirsten Powers: Crush Planned Parenthood 07/22/2015
Shock Video Catches Another Top Planned Parenthood Doctor Selling Body Parts of Aborted Babies
Planned Parenthood Sexual Health Evaluation Study
Wikipedia: Unethical human experimentation in the United States
Top 10 Evil Human Experiments
The 30 Most Disturbing Human Experiments in History
A History Of US Secret Human Experimentation
CIA torture appears to have broken spy agency rule on human experimentation
Christian Family Life Education: A Guide for Teaching about Adolescent Sexuality and Reproductive Health
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Amazingly even a clown like Donald Trump can't get everything wrong; and somehow he managed to get it right about John McCain not being a war hero. However he managed to get this right for all the wrong reasons and a close look indicates that he made statements supporting and opposing the Vietnam war at the same time.
One of the biggest open secrets in this country that is almost without dispute, although the media never mentions it, is that the Vietnam war was based on one lie after another and it had absolutely nothing to do with defending freedom or democracy.
This means that our troops in Vietnam weren't fighting for a noble cause; they were obeying unethical orders that involved invading a sovereign country; and it is only an enormous amount of propaganda that makes it seem like most of the troops were heroes.
However most of them were victims of the politicians that lied to them; but that doesn't include John McCain since he was a son of an admiral that supported the military industrial complex and went on to become one of the politicians that supported one deceptive war after another.
Two Hundred and forty years ago our country signed a Declaration of Independence and fought a war for independence from a colonial country that ruled over us without representation. This was justified, and it would have been even more justified if the people that controlled the new government hadn't excluded women and minorities including blacks and Native Americans from those that were allowed to participate in the government.
Seventy years ago Vietnam did the same thing with just as much justification, demanding Independence from France as indicated in the following excerpt:
After the French decided they weren't willing to continue fighting to suppress the freedom of the Vietnamese the US gradually picked up where they left off giving their own people a different version of the news than the one that people in Vietnam heard and lived through.
The Vietnam war wasn't about fighting against Communism or defending democracy; it was about maintaining control over countries around the world. The Pentagon Papers and numerous other well researched reports have exposed the lies that the government used to justify the war but the government and traditional media refuses to provide much if any coverage of this while repeating deceptive propaganda over and over again.
A famous quote often ironically attributed to Vladimir Lenin says, "A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth," or at least it seems to be the truth, and the myth of Vietnam war heroes has proven how effective this propaganda tactic has been, especially when the real truth is almost completely suppressed from the mainstream media.
There are plenty of history reports that show the real truth and provide sources that stand up to scrutiny assuming people check them, although they aren't in the traditional media and there are also plenty of propaganda books also in libraries mixed up with the good books, so the majority of material available in this country isn't necessarily the best but people who take the time to check facts can sort them out. The more reliable books include the Pentagon Papers, a lot of writing by both Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky and many other good authors, and JFK and the Unspeakable by James W. Douglass and more from alternative media outlets and history books that the establishment media completely ignore. One of the things that Douglass reported was that JFK negotiated a neutrality compromise for Laos which prevented them from joining the Soviet Union and he intended to do the same with Vietnam.
Unfortunately when the establishment media isn't repeating the same propaganda about war they're also doing everything they can to distract people with celebrity and sports worship turning a large segment of the public into a bunch of mindless zombies that hardly hear any real news or pay attention to it when they do hear it.
Environmentalists against War provided a long list of the invasions the USA has been involved in, 'Fighting for Freedom' -- America's Abiding Myth including many coups where the USA has overthrown democratically elected governments, or at least governments that had much more popular support than thee ones they installed. The benefits of these wars have primarily gone to the few people that have profited off of them while they rarely ever share more with the rest unless there are enormous protests.
Martha Raddatz asked Donald Trump if there was anything John McCain could have done to avoid being captured; a good answer could have been simply to abstain from attacking countries that want to control their own politics. He was on his twenty third bombing mission in a war that killed two million people by the more moderate estimates. Most of these people were civilians but even the soldiers were fighting for their own freedom would have been considered justified if it was reported more reliably. When pilots drop bombs from planes it is much easier for them to deny to themselves how much damage they're doing.
It is virtually guaranteed that he killed civilians and if our enemies did that to us in our country then we would be outraged. People were tortured and killed on both sides but only one was actually defending their own freedom, although people rarely hear that from mainstream media.
On top of that he became one of the political leaders that keeps us in a permanent state of war.
And part of the reason they're still able to recruit many people for these wars is because they shipped most manufacturing jobs overseas so that lower paid people would have few if any opportunities here, and McCain is part of the political system that arranged that as well.
Amazingly politicians from both parties routinely take credit for supporting troops and calling them war heroes when they fight wars based on their lies and use it as selective attacks against the other parties as indicated in numerous articles including, To Every Republican Feigning Outrage Over Donald Trump's Attack on John McCain.
Politicians use their fake Patriotism to claim they support the troops while they cut funds to them, deprive them of economic opportunities, send them to war based on lies; then they demonize those who point out inconvenient facts as unpatriotic.
Some of the most important facts are almost completely absent from the commercial media or the political discussion.
John McCain has a long history of supporting one war after another based on lies and often switches positions making it hard to claim he was right both times like when he praised Muammar Gaddafi one year and began demonizing him two years later, Rachel Maddow 2009/2011: McCain said Libya's relationship with the US had taken a "remarkable and positive turn in recent years." This is just one example of his selective ackowledgement of facts.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
If you want to know the most important news about the Greek financial collapse you won't find it in the traditional commercial media. They follow almost exactly the same pattern of behavior, although they find many ways of saying the same things without mentioning many of the most important facts.
Fortunately there are alternative media outlets available for people, that aren't keeping their heads in the sand, that do a much better job reporting the news.
This should be important to everyone including those in other parts of Europe like Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and the United States as well as many third world countries that have already learned some of the lessons Greece is now learning. And many of those that are waking up are starting to check alternative media outlets to find the truth, instead of trusting the traditional media.
The simple explanation for a lot of the problems we face that you never hear from the commercial media is that people with jobs that are at least partially designed to shift wealth from the majority to those that control powerful institutions get paid much better than those that do work that improves the quality of life for the majority; and most if not all of them have almost certainly been getting raises above the rate of inflation while working people have seen their wages decline.
In other words centralized corporate bureaucracy is skyrocketing as much as centralized Soviet bureaucracy did before their collapse.
Advertisers, lobbyists, economists, union busters, lawyers, pundits, consultants and many other jobs that make the rich richer at the expense of the rest of us all pay much better and they're only available to people from the ruling class or those that go along with the program to create the appearance of upward mobility for some that escape from poverty.
Ironically these jobs aren't subject to the "free market" system, as the media and economists keep telling us.
When was the last time you hired an economist, advertiser, union buster or lobbyist.
Wrong, sort of; when you buy from oligarchies you provide funds to indirectly hire all these people who work against your interests in a system that has consolidated to a relatively small number of multinational corporations that all follow the same pattern of behavior an no longer pass on the benefits of competition, even though this is used to reduce wages.
Fortunately there are a few exceptions like Juliet Schor or Yanis Varoufakis but they don't make nearly as much money as those with incentive to deceive the public and the public often doesn't pay attention to them until things get so bad that tehy start to wake up and seek alternative news.
These things are easy to figure out or confirm as long as people don't rely solely on the commercial media for their information; and so is the real news about Greece and the corruption of the IMF and commercial media as long as people sort through the right alternative media outlets.
The following are just a sample of the more reliable stories that aren't being covered by traditional media that expose some of the corrupt activities, and there are also plenty of books that go into more detail, although the media doesn't promote those either, starting with one that exposes how they train the media to spread propaganda.
Their debt was part of predatory lending practices that include requiring privatization of government services among other things. While some reports say that the IMF loans are low interest they also require multinationals to take over industries with deals that are as predatory as high interest loans, or loan sharking. This includes banks, which in some countries have been controlled by the government previously and may have provided better services to their people before they were privatized. This might mean that even though some of the IMF loans are low interest by allowing banks to be privatized or eliminating usury laws for banks that have already been privatized, the IMF may be enabling what should be called loansharking. Also the traditional media doesn't provide much if any information on how well regulated banks or nationalized banks provided services compared to private banks but this article provides more reliable information as far as it goes.
Some of the tactics are the same as those used in Latin America as well as other parts of the world; and a closer look at Latin America indicates that although they haven't completely reversed the process they have waken up and begun to stand up to the IMF. This information is available through a variety of sources and this particular article describes some of the tactics used by the IMF, comparing it to mafia tactics, with justification, perhaps the IMF should be considered a government sanctioned loansharking operation.
As I said previously Yanis Varoufakis appears to be one of the few economists that do a good job representing the public instead of corporations; however I suspect that he might have been able to do a better job if he hadn't resigned. But even though he did resign he is speaking out and according to the following article he hints that he might have been forced out and he is speaking out more. Perhaps this will help wake people up and stir them to action; especially since they appear to be trying to impose a slightly lighter version of Austerity, without acknowledging the deceptive tactics used by IMF, media, banks and other large corporations.
Another major possibility the IMF and multinational corporations might not want the public to consider is that the threat to force Greece into exiting the European Union might be at least partially a bluff!
A Greek exit or Grexit as it is being called could cause as much if not more problems for the multinationals than it does for Greece. What if they also had to force Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland among other countries from the European Union all at the same time? It would cause a total collapse of the union eventually if not immediately. This is why they can't possibly try to force them all out at once and might have negotiated deals so this wouldn't happen. But even if they force Greek out then they have to know that the next country will be defaulting soon, unless they're total ideological fanatics. Then a Grexit might only delay the inevitable, and they have to at least suspect this.
If those of us who will be sinking next join those that are sinking now then the oligarchies will have to stop stealing and may even have to give back their loot!
If the people of Greece along with other European countries and even the United States realize this then they can demand real reform and they would have the leverage to get it at least to some degree but only if they rely on alternative media outlets, at least until we have major media reform allowing for much more diverse views and less corporate censorship.
Many Latin American countries have already demonstrated that they can take major steps in the right direction if they stand up to multinationals and at least partially reverse the damage done by them. If grassroots efforts around the world join them then we can have major reform and hold the oligarchies accountable and force them to pay back what they stole!
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Sick of the media refusing to cover many of the most important news stories while providing an enormous amount of propaganda for corporations?
Wonder who is paying for all this propaganda?
Not just you of course, but all of us have been paying an enormous tax to finance propaganda that we have no influence over and it is being used to suppress democracy and replace accurate reporting on candidates with coverage for only the candidates that corporations support.
Also fed up with all the money being spent on campaigns to corrupt the political system?
Think you're not donating any money to campaigns?
Wrong you donate a fair amount of money to campaigns, although it isn't direct, and you probably don't have any influence over how it is used; or at least you haven't in the past. However if more people recognize that the money financing the incompetent media and political contributions is coming indirectly from consumers and speak out about it then they might start to have more influence on it and cut back on corruption.
The most common, and easiest to recognize, form of a Semi-Hidden Propaganda Tax is advertising which is a cost of business for all large corporations and like all other costs of bossiness it has to be passed on to customers of they're going to continue making a profit. Most businesses spend somewhere between 1% and 20% of their income on advertising which is how our media is financed. Consumers pay this indirectly but if anyone gains influence from it with the media it is the oligarchies that control the vast majority of the economic system, including the media themselves.
On top of that both retailers and manufacturers spend money on advertising so it is hard to tell what the total is and additional expenses beyond advertising are also passed on to consumers even though they don't benefit consumers and most of this is protected by trade secrecy laws so consumers aren't allowed to know what they're financing. One example is Procter & Gamble which spent over 9% of their earnings in 1996 on advertising (Marion Nestle "Food Politics" 2002 p.350-1), and this is probably typical to this day. Walmart supposedly only spends about 1% of their revenue on advertising but they also pressure their suppliers to spend more on ads so they don't have to, and they also spend an enormous amount of money on a large variety of "subcontractors" or "consultants" that do a variety of jobs which the public isn't fully informed of; although occasionally they disclose small expenses or jobs they do with minimal details so it is clear that it is happening.
When Walmart's bribery scandal broke it was consultants that were blamed for it; so were many other activities they've been caught at including spying on town hall meetings, union busting, they've even been exposed in the media for hiring consultants to walk the isles in plain clothes to check see if the shelves are stocked properly. This is clearly a job that is best done in house by official workers but Bloomberg News says consultants are doing it; it is virtually guaranteed that people are speculating that they might have additional duties like union busting or dealing with protesting customers, even child psychologists that study how to manipulate children with advertising, whether this expense is included in advertising disclosures isn't clear to most people but it is happening and our politicians protect secrecy instead of children.
All these activities are business expenses which are passed on to consumers, and more. When Mitt Romney made guard tower famous, where do you think the money to pay for the guards comes from if it isn't the money we pay for our good?
Where do you think the money for gangs that often attack protesting workers around the world comes from? Do you think they don't have a financial incentive?
Where do the record breaking amounts of money donated to campaigns come from if it isn't indirectly coming from consumers?
All these expenses can and are passed on to consumers in an oligarchy system.
These corporations aren't really competing against each other, much, if at all. They often have interlocking board members and all the claim that this is a "Free Market" where they compete for your business is no longer even close to the truth now that most businesses have consolidated into a small group of oligarchies. Department stores and Grocery stores all sell what they call "Slotting fees" to manufacturers and only large oligarchies can get their foot in the door. Reporters like Naomi Klein, author of "No Logo" have disclosed that many items like sneakers from competitors are often side by side in sweat shops. the form of competition they use doesn't involve quality of merchandise; instead it involves manipulative advertising to see who can compete for the most deceptive scam. The truth about quality is often a trade secret while the deceptive ads are protected speech.
Many of the largest corporations are also trying to influence the education system and turn it into an indoctrination system with their efforts to promote Charter Schools or increase advertising and make education systems dependent of corporations for their funds so they're reluctant to criticize them or teach about corporate corruption. Various reports have indicated that Walmart, Lowe's Department Store, Home Depot, Koch Industries, Coke, Microsoft, Kohl's and many other large corporations are trying to influence the education system and deprive parents and teachers of local control. Some of these disclosures are low profile virtually guaranteeing that more corporations are involved and many people may be financing efforts to privatize education without realizing it.
No matter which oligarchy people spend their money it can be used against their interests!
In the nineties when Mark Whitacre was exposing Archer Daniels Midland one of the top executives was caught on tape saying, "The competitor is our friend and the customer is our enemy." This slogan was repeated often within the company. (The Dirty Tricks and Trials of Archer Daniels Midland By JAMES B. LIEBER) This has hardly been reported in mainstream media since then but consolidation of large corporations only escalated since then while reporting declined. There are plenty more disclosure that can be found with enough time since then but the strongest evidence of their collusion is their actions although the reporting from the consolidated media wouldn't give the public any hint of it.
However if anyone needs sources to cite a couple of the better ones include Bob Ortega author of "In Sam We Trust" and Stacy Mitchell author of "Big-Box Swindle both of whom reported on how retail outlets have consolidated into a small number of corporations dividing up the market. With centralized authoritarian control of the economic system masquerading as a "Free Market" consumers have to pay for the propaganda they can't influence or trust unless in a few examples they can by local, often for locally grown food.
Fortunately some of the scams that collect the most money to finance propaganda can simply be boycotted. Insurance finances an enormous amount of ads for the media and they spend an enormous amount of the money they collect in the form of premiums. In most cases this can be boycotted or minimized. Weight loss scams and just about anything that sounds too good to be true can be boycotted.
But there are a lot of things that people can't avoid buying. If people can get enough food from local suppliers and minimize their purchases then fine but if they have to pay for other peoples speech they shouldn't hesitate to speak up for themselves, including when they make their purchases.
If more consumer asked about funding for the media and demanded they covers grassroots candidates when they shopped and started discussions about it at shopping centers during busy hours they would put corporations in an awkward position, especially if they found a polite way to do it and had help from other people willing to discuss it. Store representatives would have to address the problem or find a way to avoid it, probably by saying those decisions are made far away in the corporate office behind closed doors, although they wouldn't phrase it that way.
They might try to find a way to suppress the speech of people while they shop so that the issues don't get discussed and perhaps ask them to leave. If that happens then consumers might say that if they can't have their own speech protected they're not going to give them their business.
Creative consumers could even offer their own "free consulting services" and inform the management that if they encourage grass roots organization instead of collecting money for political purposes, by selling Koch (who use part of proceeds for political purposes) products they will encourage consumers to seek alternative media outlets and vote for alternative candidates if it is in their best interests. As a volunteer "free consultant" consumers could spread the word and recommend businesses that act responsibly instead of lobbying against the interests of citizens.
Think they'll accept offers of "free consultants?" It would be cheaper than paid consultants that do union busting among other things that they ahve to keep secret.
But if the decision is made in the corporate office it is unlikely, especially since they want to control the government and think their customers should just buy their crap and shut up so they can maximize profits.
If they decline and insist that their customers should abandon their first amendment rights even though they're paying indirectly for corporate speech consumers could suggest they put signs on the door advising customers that the first amendment doesn't apply to them although they would be happy to use part of their proceeds for their purposes regardless of what the customer think.
Would they consider this disorderly conduct?
Is it as disorderly as trying to corrupt the political system and destroy democracy?
I recommended similar practices in Customer feedback for Wal-Mart and elsewhere and posts about reversing planned obsolescence. These practices have already had some good results although they're hard to recognize and usually only help at local level or when large numbers of people are speaking out.
It also helps when people come relatively well informed; here are a couple additional sources that might help in addition to sources cited in previous posts about "Customer feedback."
Do You Pay Enough For Advertising? One Big Corporation Spent A Jaw-Dropping $4.2 Billion Last Year (2010) large oligarchies varying from .6% to 3.5%
What Percentage of Gross Revenue Should Be Used for Marketing & Advertising? late 2014 The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending 7 to 8 percent of your gross revenue for marketing and advertising if .....
Advertising as a Percent of Net Revenue Wal-Mart spends approximately 1 percent of its revenue on marketing and advertising, but the liquor industry companies generally spend 5.5 to 7.5 percent.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Early in the month there was a brawl that went viral in an Indiana Walmart; and another bigger brawl took place in the last couple of days of the month. This was only a small fraction of the bizarre things at Walmart this month.
Shortly after the first one news came out that they had been discussing major problems with crime at that Walmart and another one in Indianapolis for a while, without informing the public how serious it was. This is typical of the high crime problems that Walmart's have across the country. It isn't uncommon for a police chief to speak out against Walmart after large problems only to back pedal shortly after with a politically correct statement saying they're working to correct the problem and Walmart is helping. Not too long ago that is exactly what happened and was disclosed it followed a meeting behind closed doors with Walmart executives.
On one occasion local management said he didn't have the authority to confirm or deny whether or not a bomb threat was a result of the confederate flag. Perhaps that decision has to be made in the corporate office where they almost certainly don't know the details as well, if they know them at all.
It is hard to imagine why anyone might doubt this is a political response that does little to address the real problem.
The investigation for brawl at the end of the month has only begun; but it appears as if it might be gang related and the perpetrators might be mostly if not all minorities. Even though it hasn't been investigated there is already a lot of activity on the internet indicating that it is racially related, and some think it is evidence of blacks being more violent and less trustworthy. A review of the abandoned inner cities and past problems in them and the root causes for this will almost certainly indicate that a bigger problem might be the leaders that don't provide economic or educational opportunities for them. There is enough evidence to indicate that when minorities are given better opportunities they're less likely to be involved in this type of activities. Also what white supremacists and many politicians are very reluctant to see are what the minorities live with every day. This isn't reported well in the media but if society wants to address it they need to consider contributing causes not just quick fixes.
There were no shortage of gun related incidents including at least four or five where shots were fired, and people were kidnapped or killed at Walmarts this month; and three that led to SWAT stand offs although two of those stand offs took place elsewhere after the suspects fled Walmart. One of those involved a shoplifter that invaded a home of uninvolved people and the police, not the suspect, wound up using explosives on that home doing an enormous amount of damage. another involved a former Walmart worker who kidnapped a current worker and he wound up dead before the standoff was over.
Several people died as a result of stab wounds or an exploding car at Walmart as well. Reports about the exploding care say that the bomb squad was there to investigate but they haven't reported on whether or not it was a bomb that caused the explosion or not. If it was it will be the first one that I heard of where someone was actually killed because of a bomb at Walmart; they get hundreds every year and almost all of them are empty threats, the majority of the rest are simple soda pop bombs that aren't much more dangerous than firecrackers, but one bomb could change those statistics fast.
One of the gun incidents was people using guns as part of open carry protests which led to panics. There were also a couple thefts that led to car chases and crashes. This isn't uncommon even for relatively minor thefts.
Walmart has been exposed for rampant mold, huge overseas tax havens, selling imports marked as "Made in the USA," and large amounts of climate pollution which it doesn't report. The vast majority of their activities are proprietary so the activities they've been exposed at are probably only a fraction and the politicians that pass trade secrecy laws that protect all corporations, not just Walmart, routinely collect enormous amount of campaign contributions which come indirectly from consumers, although they never say, "Thank you for your business, a portion of the money you spend here will be used to lobby for laws that benefit Walmart at the expense of consumers and workers."
I don't know why they never say that; they do it; but I suppose it wouldn't sound to good to admit it.
They held a protester accountable for trespassing in Ohio but didn't hold the police accountable for shooting someone with a BB gun from the store that wasn't threatening anyone or try to look into Walmart's policies about packaging of their guns that led to this problem. this implies that the courts and police will use taxpayers money to suppress speech from citizens even though the money they spend at Walmart is used to finance speech they don't control. They didn't arrest Neil Young for his new album criticizing Walmart and Monsanto, or at least not yet.
It took close to a week if not longer for the police to charge people for the brawl in Indiana but when black customers were shopping too slow to suit the purposes of Walmart workers they didn't hesitate call the police and they got arrested. I'm not quite sure what charges they came up with for that but I never heard of it happening elsewhere. Another women is suing police for false arrest where she lost her job and there was no probable cause.
They had someone take one of their bats from the shelf and start smashing TVs, another that decided to drink Walmart's beer, without paying for it in the toy department, a customer that found razor blades embedded in the shopping cart handle, someone bit by a rabid bat, a naked man running through the store and pouring milk on himself, and another naked man passing out in the bathroom and telling people he had a bomb in his back pack when they woke him.
I didn't make these things up.
There are plenty of sources.
Strange things happen at Wal-Mart, some times lots of strange things!
In 2006 Wake Up Wal-Mart did a study, "Is Wal-Mart Safe?" based on incidents in 2004, (PDF) about crime at Wal-Mart which showed that it increased when Wal-Marts opened up and that crime was higher at Wal-Mart than at other retailers. Since then Wal-Mart Shootings began compiling a list of gun related incidents at Wal-Mart and demonstrated that they have a large number of them, including on average more than one shooting per week somewhere in the country. In January of 2014 another study, "Rolling Back Prices and Raising Crime Rates?" provided additional statistical research indicating that Wal-Mart might be contributing to higher crime rates or at least a slowing of the decline in crime. The study found that. “on average, communities with Walmarts had 17 more property crimes and two more violent crimes per 10,000 people than those communities without Walmarts.” I reviewed this more in Wal-Mart’s crime problem, Rolling Back Safety more than prices? where I explained that although this study is helpful they could have done better with additional data that is available and I reviewed some of that. I also added my own review about why I think that Wal-Mart policies have been contributing to higher crime in a previous blog, Wal-Mart high crime rate continues un-investigaterd and have provided additional information under the author tag Walmart Crime Watch.
Stacy Mitchell has also compiled a list of other studies about Wal-Mart and how they impact society, Key Studies on Big-Box Retail & Independent Business. To the best of my knowledge Wal-Mart has done as little as they seem to get away with, often relying on rhetoric that isn't backed up with action, when it comes to addressing any of their critics concerns, including crime. For regular updates about events at Walmart through the month see Walmart Watch on twitteror check the Wal-Mart Wall; they have helped compile some of this information. The following are a list of incidents that occurred in June 2015. According to the "Is Wal-Mart Safe?" the average store in their sampling had 250 incidents per year, indicating that these are only a fraction of the crime reports at Wal-Mart, and presumably, the ones most likely to make the news on the internet nationwide. This isn't statistically representative, as the 2006 or the "Rolling Back Prices and Raising Crime Rates?" study or some of the studies cited by Stacy Mitchell; but it does provide some additional information that may help recognize how many problems there are at Wal-Mart.
Suspect took clothes off Missouri WalMart display, returned them for gift card without making purchase, police say 06/02/2015
Wanted: foursome accused of making off with Pa. Walmart electronics in U-Haul 06/02/2015
Crime Stoppers: Trip to Ky. Walmart Could Trip Up Home Invasion Suspects 06/02/2015
“She seemed to be a little oblivious,” Woman arrested for huffing paint inside Okla. Walmart 06/02/2015
Swansboro residents organize in opposition to Walmart plans 06/02/2015
Jamie Dimon joins billionaires list and Walmart meeting kicks off 06/03/2015
2 men wanted in connection to Tenn. Walmart TV thefts 06/03/2015
A Civil rights group, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, praises Walmart, Koch Industries on hiring policies 06/03/2015 XXX
Man steals hundreds worth of DVDs from Missouri Walmart two days in a row, police say 06/03/2015
Man sought in video voyeurism at Fla. Walmart in Sanford, police say 06/04/2015
After Raleigh NC larceny charge, man is banned from Walmarts statewide 06/04/2015
3 Burning Questions Wal-Mart Must Address at Its Annual Meeting 06/04/2015
Police: Man arrested after choking Ark. Walmart employee 06/04/2015
Cedar man arrested on theft charges at Utah Wal-Mart 06/04/2015
Car hits, injures 3 at Ill. Wal-Mart off South Sixth Street 06/04/2015
NY Walmart worker forced to use vacation days for church: suit 06/03/2015
Woman dies after being struck by car in Ill. Wal-Mart parking lot; driver charged with DUI 06/05/2015
Carbon Monoxide Detected In Colorado Springs Walmart causing evacuation 06/05/2015
Walmart Workers Protesting For Change 06/05/2015
Why celebrities like Reese Witherspoon show up at Wal-Mart annual meetings 06/05/2015 It's hard to believe that Walmart isn't paying for this one way or another, either directly or indirectly, or at least giving preferential treatment to them. If they are then they're providing more incentive to those that create hype than for those that create quality or \value for customers.
Obama administration slaps down Walmart dress code at a time when most stories give Walmart credit for easing up by allowing jeans 06/05/2015
Walmart video shows suspect in Fla. realtors' robberies 06/05/2015
Passaic duo charged in Secaucus NJ Walmart scheme, cops say 06/05/2015
Change of generations at Wal-Mart, but control stays in the family with Greg Penner, who is Rob Walton's son-in-law 06/05/2015
Walmart tractor-trailer overturns, shuts down NC highway 06/06/2015
Walmart Store Evacuated in Luzerne County Pa. 06/06/2015
Ga. Walmart Workers Arrested in Months Long Theft Scheme 06/07/2015
Brooklyn man arrested for assault outside of Herkimer NY Walmart 06/07/2015
Mother arrested after kids found screaming, sweat-drenched in her car at Rock Hill SC Walmart, police say 06/08/2015
Man assaults clerk, steals game system from Newport News Va. Walmart, official says 06/08/2015
Pedestrian hit by van in Johnson City Tenn. Walmart parking lot, treated for serious injuries 06/08/2015
Man arrested, accused of exposing himself in Deer Park Tx. Walmart 06/08/2015
Man duped into robbery trap at Athens Alabama Wal-Mart 06/08/2015
Police: Man assaults NC Walmart loss prevention officer 06/08/2015
Fort Lauderdale Fla. men charged with petit theft of window punches from PSL Walmart 06/09/2015
2 wanted for shoplifting at 2 Tenn. Walmart stores 06/09/2015
Judge allows Fla. Wal-Mart, denies DeBary residents’ petition 06/09/2015
Man Dressed as Woman Spies Into DC Wal-Mart Restroom: Police 06/09/2015
Three arrested in theft of TV from St. Pete Fla. Walmart 06/09/2015
Police: Man threatens magistrate after his arrest at NC Walmart 06/09/2015
JCPD: Woman to face multiple charges following Tenn. Walmart shoplifting 06/10/2015
Woman punches 5-year-old girl in face repeatedly, shoves her to floor inside Ga. Walmart, police say 06/10/2015
Federal Judge: Wal-Mart’s Payment Of Truckers Violated Calif. Minimum Wage 06/10/2015
Suspicious package and bomb threat prompts evacuation at Vermont Wal-Mart 06/10/2015
Fla. Walmart employee accused of altering timecard, stealing money 06/0/2015
Pocono Mt. man charged with allegedly stealing from Pa. Walmart 06/10/2015
Husband catches ‘upskirting’ suspect red-handed in Va. Walmart 06/10/2015
Sheriff's deputies searching for Arizona Walmart makeup thieves 06/10/2015
As Not Seen on TV: Wal-Mart Dials Back Ads in Low-Price Push 06/11/2015
Police: Man at NM Walmart allegedly printed photos of naked children 06/11/2015 He processed seven photos, which accidentally printed at the store’s photo counter.
Montana Police Reports: Woman alleges broom handle assault; Walmart heist 06/11/2015
Caller reports children running around roundabout in front of Fla. Walmart 06/12/2015
Belmar man stole from NJ Walmart, cops say also charged with assault 06/12/2015
Elderly driver hit cars, building at Portsmouth NH Walmart 06/12/2015
Nine-month-old rescued from hot car at Tenn. Walmart, great aunt charged 06/12/2015
Woman Accused of Stealing 131 Underwear Garments From Tenn. Wal-Mart 06/12/2015
The Fix: You might recognize Hillary Clintons songs from those Walmart, Lowes, Target, Toyota, Fiat and Microsoft ads 06/15/2015
Wal-Mart Welcomes Veterans Home with Job Guarantees 06/15/2015
ND Walmart cashier charged 06/15/2015
Groups allege Wal-Mart used charitable foundation to boost expansion 06/15/2015
Two women involved in stabbing at NC Walmart on Skibo Road 06/16/2015
Colorado Springs Walmart Evacuated For 2nd Time In Month Due To Carbon Monoxide 06/16/2015
Court favors Wellsville NY and Wal-Mart on Wellsville Citizens for Responsible Development lawsuit 06/16/2015
Gwinnett Ga. cops: Alleged Walmart purse snatcher left shoes behind 06/16/2015
Destin Fla. Wal-Mart Shoplifter Arrested 06/16/2015
Police say teen in ND Wal-Mart cash thefts put money in her bra 06/16/2015
Caught on camera: Westfield Mass. police ID 2 of 4 women suspected of shoplifting merchandise from Walmart 06/16/2015
Wal-Mart's request moves toothbrush production to Michigan from China 06/16/2015
Woman charged with larceny at NC Walmart after being banned 06/17/2015
Man charged after Ohio-Wal-Mart shooting protest to be tried 06/17/2015
After $1,600 in fake bills passed at Mich. Walmart store, police looking for suspects 06/17/2015
Reno Police Seek Suspects in Kietzke Lane Reno Nevada Walmart Burglary 06/17/2015
Couple racks up thousands with 'cloned' credit cards at Minn. Target, Walmart 06/17/2015
Dover man leads police on chase during drug bust in Delaware Walmart parking lot, police say 06/18/2015
Two accused of $6K+ theft from Oregon Walmart 06/18/2015
St. Paul Police Seek Suspect In Minn. Wal-Mart TV Theft 06/18/2015
Woman’s purse snatched at Port Orange Fla. Wal-Mart by female suspect 06/18/2015
Sheriff: Suspects stole $37K in electronics from NY WalMart 06/1/2015
Wal-Mart calls Tx. state liquor laws discriminatory 06/18/2015
Man accused of knocking out elderly man at Tx. Walmart 06/18/2015
Police Investigate Ky. Walmart Bomb Threat 06/19/2015
Felon gets 6 years for using discarded NC Walmart receipts for cash refunds 06/18/2015
Pa. sex offender on the run for 20 years found working at Okla. Walmart 06/19/2015
Thieves Nab $15,000 Worth Of iPads From Pa. Walmart 06/21/2015
Counterfeit bills passed at Evesham NJ Walmart 06/22/2015
2 suspects in Sina Parsi killing arrested at Niagara Falls Canada Walmart 06/22/2015
Walmart, Sears to stop selling Confederate flag merchandise 06/23/2015
U.S. Supermarkets including Walmart Fail to Fulfill Commitments to Phase out Super Greenhouse Gases 06/23/2015
Police chase for stolen Ind. Wal-Mart goods ends in in crash, arrest 06/23/2015
Surveillance Video Captures Assault in Wal-Mart Parking Lot: Fort Worth Tx. Police 06/2/2015
Homicide, kidnapping suspect arrested in Hermantown Minn. Walmart 06/23/2015
Two charged in Mount Pocono Pa. Walmart theft 06/23/2015
West Springfield Mass. man arrested for stuffing 42 Walmart fishing hooks, lures in shorts 06/24/2015
Henrico woman, along with 6 juveniles, charged after Va. Walmart shoplifting spree 06/24/2015
Orlando Fla. teen impersonating officer really works as Wal-Mart Clerk 06/24/2015
Amber Alert issued for Tenn. teen spotted in NC Walmart with sex offender 06/24/2015
Conway Ark. Walmart evacuated after auto center gas line struck 06/24/2015
Butte Montana Blotter: Woman pushed; kids out late; shoplifting at Walmart 06/24/2015
Body found near trail behind North Fayette Pa. Walmart identified as missing man 06/24/2015
Cleveland Tenn. car burglary suspect on Walmart security footage 06/24/2015
Wife Of Man Beaten By Stranger Causing brain Injury At Fort Worth Tx. Walmart Blames Road Rage 06/24/2015
Why Walmart will keep selling guns 06/25/2015
Up to 20-year prison sentence possible for man convicted of setting Laramie Wyoming Walmart fire 06/25/2015
Man accused of stealing $1,600 in stuff from Okla. Walmart 06/25/2015
Cary officers rescue dog left in car at NC Wal-Mart 06/25/2015
Alabama Wal-Mart gets bomb threat over Confederate flag sales 06/25/2015 Wal-Mart's manager told AL.com he has no authority to confirm or deny any information.
Falmouth Mass. man gets prison term for Wal-Mart assault 06/25/2015
Brandon Fla. Wal-Mart to reopen by Christmas shopping season 06/26/2015
Woman arrested in Port Orange Fla. Walmart purse snatching 06/26/2015
Woman reports credit card used without her authorization at Pa. Walmart 06/26/2015
Men who carried shotgun into Gulfport Miss. Wal-Mart, Winn-Dixie, Krispy Kreme arrested 06/26/2015
Police: Management inadvertently interrupts attempted Wisc. Walmart robbery 06/27/2015
Man Shoplifting $6 Item Punches New Jersey Walmart Employee in the Face: Police 06/28/2015
New backpack policy at NM Walmart creates controversy 06/28/2015
Bomb threat from a naked man evacuates San Marcos Tx. Walmart 06/29/2015
19-year-old arrested after robbing 2 men at gunpoint in Oklahoma Walmart parking lot, police say 06/29/2015
Woman says she was attacked in East Stroudsburg Pa. Walmart parking lot 06/29/2015
UPDATED: Public's help wanted in finding Montana Walmart shoplifters; see security photos here 06/29/2015
Louisiana Walmart denies Confederate flag cake, makes ISIS cake instead 06/29/2015
Two in custody after bomb threat made to Highland Ill. Walmart 06/29/2015
Crime Watch: Manchester NH woman says she paid for her items at WalMart 06/30/2015