World economic crisis update

The top government watchdog of the US bank bailout published an audit Monday claiming that Bush administration officials misled the public about the financial condition of the firms receiving funds: here.

As the winter months approach, state agencies throughout the US are being inundated with requests for home heating assistance from workers losing their jobs or facing reduced hours and wage cuts: here.

Arizona: Man killed in police shooting following home foreclosure: here.

AS THE economic crisis continues to take its toll, the city of Seattle is ratcheting up the war on its most vulnerable citizens. But the homeless and their supporters are fighting back: here.

American documentary filmmaker Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story sets out to examine the global financial collapse and its impact on the lives of the American population: here. And here. And here.

The International Monetary Fund has said Britain must introduce radical spending cuts, including raising the retirement age beyond 65 and introducing charges for health care: here.

3 thoughts on “World economic crisis update

  1. A Nice Suburban Neighborhood

    It seems maudlin to get sentimental
    about a house, yet we all do it.
    Even when a crane nibbles
    on a building exposing the once
    inner walls, they’re posters

    of a family’s life. Sometimes
    the demolition people make fences
    of doors and you see the marks
    of children’s growth years, posters
    no one had time to take down,

    old graffiti: Knock before Entering,
    Love Shack, Tim’s Batcave. Now
    on this street where lawns are turning
    to fields again, houses gape.
    Deserted dogs roam in packs.

    Starving cats crouch under bushes.
    This deck is littered with condoms
    and a few syringes, beer cans.
    That door has been busted open.
    Two windows are smashed

    and an overstuffed chair leaks
    innards to the sidewalk. Three
    houses scattered down the block
    are still lived in, mortgages paid off
    or not yet foreclosed. They live

    under siege in this new no man’s
    or woman’s land, murder
    of a neighborhood by banks,
    by derivatives, by who cares
    for those not deemed important.

    –Marge Piercy
    Used with permission from Blue Collar Review.


  2. “Michael Moore’s Action Plan: 15 Things Every American Can Do Right Now”

    You’ve Seen the Movie — Now It’s Time to ACT!

    Thursday, October 22, 2009


    It’s the #1 question I’m constantly asked after people see my movie: “OK —
    so NOW what can I DO?!”

    You want something to do? Well, you’ve come to the right place! ‘Cause I got
    15 things you and I can do right now to fight back and try to fix this very
    broken system.

    Here they are:


    1. Declare a moratorium on all home evictions. Not one more family should be
    thrown out of their home. The banks must adjust their monthly mortgage
    payments to be in line with what people’s homes are now truly worth — and
    what they can afford. Also, it must be stated by law: If you lose your job,
    you cannot be tossed out of your home.

    2. Congress must join the civilized world and expand Medicare For All
    Americans. A single, nonprofit source must run a universal health care
    system that covers everyone. Medical bills are now the #1 cause of
    bankruptcies and evictions in this country. Medicare For All will end this
    misery. The bill to make this happen is called H.R. 3200. You must call AND
    write your members of Congress and demand its passage
    , no compromises allowed.

    3. Demand publicly-funded elections and a prohibition on elected officials
    leaving office and becoming lobbyists. Yes, those very members of Congress
    who solicit and receive millions of dollars from wealthy interests must vote
    to remove ALL money from our electoral and legislative process. Tell your
    members of Congress they must support campaign finance bill H.R.1826

    4. Each of the 50 states must create a state-owned public bank like they
    have in North Dakota. Then congress MUST reinstate all the strict pre-Reagan
    regulations on all commercial banks, investment firms, insurance companies
    — and all the other industries that have been savaged by deregulation:
    Airlines, the food industry, pharmaceutical companies — you name it. If a
    company’s primary motive to exist is to make a profit, then it needs a set
    of stringent rules to live by — and the first rule is “Do no harm.” The
    second rule: The question must always be asked — “Is this for the common
    good?” (Click here
    for some info about the state-owned Bank
    of North Dakota.)

    5. Save this fragile planet and declare that all the energy resources above
    and beneath the ground are owned collectively by all of us. Just like they
    do it in Sarah Palin’s socialist Alaska. We only have a few decades of oil
    left. The public must be the owners and landlords of the natural resources
    and energy that exists within our borders or we will descend further into
    corporate anarchy. And when it comes to burning fossil fuels to transport
    ourselves, we must cease using the internal combustion engine and instruct
    our auto/transportation companies to rehire our skilled workforce and build
    mass transit (clean buses, light rail, subways, bullet trains, etc.) and new
    cars that don’t contribute to climate change. (For more on this, here’s a
    proposal I wrote
    in December.) Demand that General Motors’
    de facto chairman, Barack Obama, issue a JFK man-on-the-moon-style challenge
    to turn our country into a nation of trains and buses and subways. For
    Pete’s sake, people, we were the ones who invented (or perfected) these damn
    things in the first place!!


    1. Each of us must get into the daily habit of taking 5 minutes to make four
    brief calls: One to the President (202-456-1414
    ), one to your Congressperson
    (202-224-3121 ) and one
    to each of your two Senators (202-224-3121
    ). To
    find out who represents you, click here
    . Take just one minute on each of these calls to let them know how you
    expect them to vote on a particular issue. Let them know you will have no
    hesitation voting for a primary opponent — or even a candidate from another
    party — if they don’t do our bidding. Trust me, they will listen. If you
    have another five minutes, click here to send them each an email
    . And if you really want to drop an
    anvil on them, send them a snail mail letter

    2. Take over your local Democratic Party. Remember how much fun you had with
    all those friends and neighbors working together to get Barack Obama
    elected? YOU DID THE IMPOSSIBLE. It’s time to re-up! Get everyone back
    together and go to the monthly meeting of your town or county Democratic
    Party — and become the majority that runs it! There will not be many in
    attendance and they will either be happy or in shock that you and the Obama
    Revolution have entered the room looking like you mean business. President
    Obama’s agenda will never happen without mass grass roots action — and he
    won’t feel encouraged to do the right thing if no one has his back, whether
    it’s to stand with him, or push him in the right direction. When you all
    become the local Democratic Party, send me a photo of the group
    and I’ll post it on my website.

    3. Recruit someone to run for office who can win in your local elections
    next year — or, better yet, consider running for office yourself! You don’t
    have to settle for the incumbent who always expects to win. You can be our
    next representative! Don’t believe it can happen? Check out these examples
    of regular citizens who got elected: State Senator Deb Simpson
    , California State Assemblyman
    Isadore Hall
    , Tempe,
    Arizona City Councilman Corey Woods
    , Wisconsin State Assemblyman Chris Danou
    , and Washington State
    Representative Larry Seaquist
    . The list goes on and on
    — and you should be on it!

    4. Show up. Picket the local branch of a big bank that took the bailout
    money . Hold
    vigils and marches. Consider civil disobedience.. Those town hall meetings
    are open to you, too (and there’s more of us than there are of them!). Make
    some noise , have some fun, get on the
    local news. Place “Capitalism Did This” signs on empty foreclosed homes,
    closed down businesses, crumbling schools and infrastructure. (You can
    download them from my website

    5. Start your own media. You. Just you (or you and a couple friends). The
    mainstream media is owned by corporate America and, with few exceptions, it
    will never tell the whole truth — so you have to do it! Start a blog
    ! Start a website of real local news (here’s
    an example: The Michigan Messenger ). Tweet
    your friends and use Facebook
    to let them know what they need to do
    politically. The daily papers are dying. If you don’t fill that void, who


    1. Take your money out of your bank if it took bailout money
    and place it in
    a locally-owned bank or, preferably, a credit union

    2. Get rid of all your credit cards
    but one — the kind where you have to pay up at the end of the
    month or you lose your card.

    3. Do not invest in the stock market. If you have any extra cash, put it
    away in a savings account or, if you can, pay down on your mortgage so you
    can own your home as soon as possible. You can also buy very safe government
    savings bonds or T-bills. Or just buy your mother some flowers.

    4. Unionize your workplace so that you and your coworkers have a say in how
    your business is run. Here’s how to do it
    (more info here
    ). Nothing is more American
    than democracy, and democracy shouldn’t be checked at the door when you
    enter your workplace. Another way to Americanize your workplace is to turn
    your business into a worker-owned cooperative
    . You are not a wage slave. You are
    a free person, and you giving up eight hours of your life every day to
    someone else is to be properly compensated and respected.

    5. Take care of yourself and your family. Sorry to go all Oprah on you, but
    she’s right: Find a place of peace in your life and make the choice to be
    around people who are not full of negativity and cynicism. Look for those
    who nurture and love. Turn off the TV and the Blackberry and go for a
    30-minute walk every day. Eat fruits and vegetables and cut down on anything
    that has sugar, high fructose corn syrup, white flour or too much sodium
    (salt) in it (and, as Michael Pollan says, “Eat (real) food, not too much,
    mostly plants”). Get seven hours of sleep each night and take the time to
    read a book a month. I know this sounds like I’ve turned into your grandma,
    but, dammit, take a good hard look at Granny — she’s fit, she’s rested and
    she knows the names of both of her U.S. Senators without having to Google
    them. We might do well to listen to her. If we don’t put our own “oxygen
    mask” on first (as they say on the airplane), we will be of no use to the
    rest of the nation in enacting any of this action plan!

    I’m sure there are many other ideas you can come up with on how we can build
    this movement. Get creative. Think outside the politics-as-usual box. BE
    SUBVERSIVE! Think of that local action no one else has tried. Behave as if
    your life depended on it. Be bold! Try doing something with reckless
    abandon. It may just liberate you and your community and your nation.

    And when you act, send me your stories, your photos and your video
    — and be sure to post your ideas in the
    beneath this letter on my site so
    they can be shared with millions.

    C’mon people — we can do this! I expect nothing less of all of you, my true
    and trusted fellow travelers!

    Michael Moore


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