The Slaves Rebel

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The only way to end slavery is to stop being a slave. Hundreds of men and women in prisons in some 17 states are refusing to carry out prison labor, conducting hunger strikes or boycotting for-profit commissaries in an effort to abolish the last redoubt of legalized slavery in America. The strikers are demanding to be paid the minimum wage, the right to vote, decent living conditions, educational and vocational training and an end to the death penalty and life imprisonment.

These men and women know that the courts will not help them. They know the politicians, bought by the corporations that make billions in profits from the prison system, will not help them. And they know that the mainstream press, unwilling to offend major advertisers, will ignore them.

But they also know that no prison can function without the forced labor of many among America’s 2.3 million prisoners. Prisoners do nearly all the jobs in the prisons, including laundry, maintenance, cleaning and food preparation. Some prisoners earn as little as a dollar for a full day of work; in states such as Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas, the figure drops to zero.

Corporations, at the same time, exploit a million prisoners who work in prison sweatshops where they staff call centers or make office furniture, shoes or clothing or who run slaughterhouses or fish farms.

If prisoners earned the minimum wage set by federal, state or local laws, the costs of the world’s largest prison system would be unsustainable. The prison population would have to be dramatically reduced. Work stoppages are the only prison reform method that has any chance of success. Demonstrations of public support, especially near prisons where strikes are underway, along with supporting the prisoners who have formed Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, which began the nationwide protest, are vital. Prison authorities seek to mute the voices of these incarcerated protesters. They seek to hide the horrific conditions inside prisons from public view. We must amplify these voices and build a popular movement to end mass incarceration.

Rest of story from Chris Hedges/truthdig

Posted by The NON-Conformist

 

 

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Walmart, Nike and Others Decline to Back $40 Monthly Wage Hike in Cambodia’s Garment Industry

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Image: Alternet

Cambodia is a popular spot for American and European brands to subcontract production of textiles and shoes.

More from Alternet

Posted by The NON-Conformist

How Our Modern Way of Life Is Built on a Long Legacy of Slavery

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Image:Otto Dettmer, NY Times

When Americans think about slavery, we think about the Civil War, cotton plantations in Georgia, and the legacy that those centuries of bondage left in the United States. But we forget that, 200 years ago, the institution in various forms extended throughout the world: hundreds of millions of Chinese and Indian peasants were in debt bondage to landowners, indigenous slavery was widespread in Africa, and most people in Russia were serfs.

No slaves suffered more, however, than those who were force-marched to the African coast and, if they survived, transported in the packed, suffocating holds of sailing vessels across the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean. Here, too, we forget that it was not just to the United States that these ships brought their human cargo.  Far greater numbers of captive Africans in chains were shipped to the West Indies and to Latin America, especially Brazil. There, and in the Caribbean, the tropical climate and its diseases made field labor particularly harsh and the death rate especially high. At one time or another, however, slaves could be found almost everywhere in the Americas where Europeans had settled, from Quebec to Chile.

More from Alternet

Posted by the NON-Conformist

Does a Minimum Wage Increase Come With a Price?

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As promised in his 2014 State of the Union Address, President Obama signed an executive order raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for a portion of federal contractors. Obama has also pressed Congress to raise the federally mandated minimum wage as well.

Obama reassured raising the minimum wage won’t cause harm, but will “boost” the economy. Few economists would go this far however. Instead, most agree there is mixed evidence.

For instance, economists have found evidence that raising the minimum wage can lead to businesses laying off workers, hiring fewer workers, and reducing business expansion. Others have found that it raises prices of good and services many low-income Americans depend on, and may even discourage workers from receiving further training and education.  In their meta-analysis of over 100 studies, economists David Neumark and William Wascher conclude “the minimum wage leads to economic distortions and often has unintended adverse consequences for the employment opportunities of low-skilled workers.”

Is it really that hard to believe that raising the minimum wage is going to cost somebody something?

Nevertheless, other economists have failed to detect significant costs. For instance in Hristos Doucouliagos’ and Thomas Stanley’s meta-analysis of 64 studies, they conclude there are no “meaningful adverse” effects on employment. Although even economist andNew York Times columnist Paul Krugman suspects that setting a minimum wage high enough, say at $20 and hour, “would create a lot of problems.”

More from Emily Ekins at Reason.com

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Eugenics and the Circle of Black NON Invention…i.e…The Circle Game

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We are a part of media mind control. We have mainstream as well as alternative media that have blurred the lines of reality until people can’t differentiate the truth, thus becoming confused. This is a condition called, cognitive dissonance. We here at The Confirmation Files (a forward, free- thinking site) try to bring both points of view and at times we write and post material that reflect our surroundings. Some of it is positive and some of it is negative. For example, eugenics is a word people don’t favor in its usage associated (usually) with population control. While it can be used for purposes of breeding, adoption, or elective it is also used in diminishing…e.g. prisons!

Imagine a circle, in this instance the imagery will be a cycle. The cycle I speak of has to do with music and prisons. Some may want to invoke racism, but that’s really a trick. It’s more than racism, it’s about groups that have ownership. Let’s look at racism, however, since it does apply in this case. Racism is a competitive relationship between groups of people who are competing for the ownership of control of resources and power. Racism has to do with a unifying group effort.

PRISONS

The circle begins with prisons. Prisons today are a for-profit business. For prisons to be profitable to the investor and to receive government funding it has to be at 70 percent capacity: the bigger the percentage, the bigger the funding. Since I’m speaking for black and poor folk, when your rights are taken by the state and you’re put in cages, according to the 14th amendment, you are considered a slave. AMENDMENT XIII: SLAVERY- Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall exist within the United States, or and place subject to their jurisdiction. Prisons are erected in places firstly, economics and secondly if children are performing poorly between 2nd to 5th grades.

MUSIC

I know you’re wondering how am I going to relate this to music ? It’s simple, music elites invest heavily in prisons. As Stan Monteith who wrote the brilliant book Brotherhood Of Darkness, says “too many clues”! The more ignorant, violent, the better the sales. Like this headline “Rapper T.I. Says Atlantic Records Hates His New Positive Image” … T.I.’s family oriented TV show, T.I & Tiny: The Family Hustle, that’s just one example from a popular selling artist. Music within itself is a spiritual thing , a force. Experiments have been done with plants. Two styles of music were played, heavy metal and classical. After a prolonged listen to both, the plants exposed to heavy metal began to wither and die while those exposed to classical began to grow. To be fair, metal music does play more dropped tuned/distorted notes. And speaking of music did you know there is only one black owned radio network but the music programmer is white! Talk about to adding insult to injury,

THE CYCLE CONTINUES

After a person is released from the cage, they forever have a stamp.  And secondly they have to find employment: a lot more difficult for one with a criminal record. The system(intended)makes it evermore difficult by further disenfranchising them. If said person needs assistance, some states want drug tests, finger printing. Without many options(depending on the affluence of the person…i.e., means)they may go commit a crime and the cycle continues. Also the person can no longer vote in order to help change their condition and they can’t legally purchase a fire arm to protect themselves. Prisons are private businesses that sells cheap labor while making whooping profits. This is called the circle game!

If the kids are listening to music that further pushes all things negative then what is being feed in their collective consciousness? If you only listen to music that further exacerbates your current condition of non-achievement and the systems continues to make laws that further disenfranchises black youth, whats the other option they are hoping for: CRIME! Look, not everyone that listen to rap or hip-hop is going to commit crimes, that would be stupid, but steady diets of any forum, music, movies, video games can lead to complacency.

The subject in this post is not exhaustive. I’m only scratching the surface. We live in a ready-made world, with polar opposites which when bombarded by opposing information  causes cognitive dissonance. It continue to keep the ignorant, ignorant and the stupid, stupid!

Written by The NON-Conformist

Democrats Won; So Why Are Labor Unions Losing?

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I read this article and was a bit confused. While freedoms are paramount and necessary, you still have to give the full picture. Unions are by no means perfect, the numbers have steadily declined since the 70’s, membership today is about 12%. Don’t be fooled by the freedom talk, Democrats have also been the death nail of Unions. Especially when Democrats reached out to the middle class, consumer activists and African Americans. Unions continue to run on an outdated model, with everything, change is inevitable.

A little over a month after Democrats retook the White House and gained seats in both houses of Congress, organized labor, a key part of the Democratic coalition, suffered a big loss in Michigan, a state President Barack Obama won by almost 10 percentage points.
On Tuesday, Michigan became a right-to-work state. Workers will no longer be required to pay union dues to maintain their job. Michigan follows Indiana, which made the same change earlier this year. But Michigan is more significant because, in many ways, Michigan can be considered the home of the labor movement.
If Democrats are doing so well at winning elections, why have labor unions suffered such big losses?
First, while Republicans performed poorly in federal elections, they have not done as poorly in state level elections. Most governors are Republican and Republicans hold a majority of state legislature seats.
“There was a mixed result on Nov. 6,” Bill Ballenger, editor of Inside Michigan Politics, said about Michigan in a Tuesday interview on PBS’ “Newshour.” “Republicans still control state government. They’ve got an ironclad grip, from the governor’s office, the statehouse, the state Supreme Court, the attorney general, the secretary of state.”
Republicans will, though, have a slimmer majority in the state house next year, Ballenger pointed out, so “the window was closing” on their best opportunity to pass the law.

Second, with high unemployment, proposals aimed at increasing the number of jobs in a state become harder to oppose. States that do not have right-to-work laws generally have higher wages, but states that have right-to-work laws generally have lower unemployment. With that trade-off — higher wages versus more jobs — policy makers are likely driven to prefer more jobs under current economic conditions.
In a Wednesday interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said the main reason he signed the bill was to give workers freedom of choice, but a side benefit will be the additional jobs that will be created as a result. Since Indiana became a right-to-work state, Snyder claimed, 31 different companies moved to the state, partly because of the change, and have created thousands of jobs.
“The writing is really on the wall. As the economy has weakened, the right-to-work movement has strengthened,” A.B. Stoddard, columnist for The Hill, said Tuesday on Fox News’ “Special Report.”
And third, opposing freedom of choice may simply be a losing argument in American politics.
“There is an interesting argument, in principle, about freedom of choice,” conservative Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer said Tuesday on Fox News’ “Special Report.” “Democrats famously call themselves ‘pro-choice.’ That’s only about aborting a fetus, but when it comes to choosing a school for your child, they are not in favor of that, and when it comes to choosing whether you should be forced into a union or not, they are not in favor. So it’s a rather problematic and, I would say, unilateral claim to be pro-choice.”

By Napp Nazworth/Christian Post

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Unemployment rate falls to 7.8% as economy creates 114,000 jobs

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The nation’s unemployment rate dropped to the lowest it has been in almost four years in September, giving President Barack Obama a potential upbeat talking point as the presidential race heads into the final innings.

The Labor Department reported Friday that the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September, a decline of 0.3 percentage point and the lowest since January 2009. The government said the economy created 114,000 jobs, about as expected, and generated 86,000 more jobs in July and August than first estimated.

A survey of households from which the jobless rate is derived showed 873,000 job gains last month, the most since June 1983. The drop in unemployment came even as Americans come back into the labor force to resume the hunt for work. The workforce had shrunk in the prior two months. The household survey is volatile, however.

More from NBC News

Posted by Libergirl

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