Many of Donald Trump's cabinet nominations faced vocal opposition from constituents and public interest groups. But well-connected corporate lobbyists stalked the halls of Congress to make sure Trump’s team was confirmed by the Senate, new filings show.
In a new book, “The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy,” Peter Temin, professor emeritus of economics at MIT, draws a portrait of the new reality in a way that is frighteningly, indelibly clear: America is not one country anymore. It is becoming two, each with vastly different resources, expectations and fates.
As software eats the world, it's devouring the idea of private property -- "that sole and despotic dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in total exclusion of the right of any other individual in the universe."
The fact that the DMCA felonizes bypassing copyright locks, combined with the proliferation of copyrighted software in gadgets means that companies can turn their commercial preferences into private laws. Just design your gadget so that using is in any way apart from the official, prescribed way requires breaking a copyright lock. Now, anyone who violates your license terms is also committing a felony, punishable by five years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
For a first offense.
The justices gave a skeptical hearing to a Missouri lawyer who was defending the state’s decision to reject a grant request from a Lutheran preschool seeking to participate in a state program that provides money to schools to rubberize the surface of their playgrounds.
Missouri’s constitution, like those in at least 36 other states, bars sending tax money to churches and church schools.
But most of the justices signaled they will rule for the church on the grounds that the refusal to fund the playground amounts to unconstitutional discrimination based on religion.
Verizon, AT&T, Cox Enterprises, the U.S. Telecom Association, and CTIA, the trade association for the major cell phone carriers, appeared to single out the original sponsors of the repeal resolution — Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. — for particularly generous campaign contributions.
“It’s an easy way for us to politicise ourselves. It’s suggesting that you don’t actually have to take part in supporting Black Lives Matter if you’re white. All you have to do is buy Pepsi and your support is telegraphed. In a way, when we support things on social media – whether it’s weeping for France or praying for Syria – that’s an extension of that mentality, that we can show our support through consumerism.”
When corporations free themselves from trade unions, they curtail the freedoms of their workers. When the very rich free themselves from tax, other people suffer through failing public services. When financiers are free to design exotic financial instruments, the rest of us pay for the crises they cause.
Whenever we hear the word freedom, we should ask ourselves, “Freedom for whom, at whose expense?”