AP Photo/Fernando LlanoThousands of Venezuelans who blame their president for the country’s economic crisis just staged their largest protest rally in two years. But you’ll have a hard time finding any press photos of the event. The socialist government, which is increasingly cracking down on civil liberties amid a worsening crisis, booted foreign journalists and…

via Social media provides forbidden pictures from Venezuela’s largest protest march in 2 years — Fusion

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APPHILADELPHIA—Delphine Matthews marched down the middle of Broad Street on Tuesday afternoon with her head held high. “Whose lives matter?” she shouted, echoed by several hundred marchers around her. “Black lives matter!” Those words are especially powerful for Matthews. Her son Frank McQueen, 34, was shot and killed by police two years ago in what…

via Philadelphia protesters say the Democratic Party needs to stand up to police brutality — Fusion

This is one of many examinations of Labor and human satisfaction, brought to you by Critical Provocation all this month of April – in honor of spring. We set out to examin the working lives of our brothers and sisters around the world. Please look for future articles examining everything from access to health care and education around the world, to the United Nationas annual Human Development Index.

We begin with working lives around the globe. 

How often do you work? In the Untied States we spend on Average 34.4 hours a week on our “main job”. This is according to the OECD, The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The U.S Ranks 16th longest work week. Mexico is first with 42.85 hours per week and Germany came last at 36th place for shortest work week of 26.37 hours worked per week.
What does this mean?
The United States Leads the World in GDP (Gross Domestic Product), which is the monetary value of all goods and services produced within a nation’s boarders per year. Our GDP is almost 18 Million dollars, Mexico ranks 15th with a GDP of 1 million. While Germany is ranked 4th with a 4 million dollar GDP.
Mexican workers work longer hours per week and produce a smaller GDP. while Germans work the shortest and produce more. We work 37 hours per week on average and produce the most.
This raises questions:
Should we assume these statistics are positively correlated? If not, what metric should we use?
Does hours worked per week positively correlate to gross domestic product?
In the U.S. workers only work 4 hours less then the longest working Mexicans, who work on average 42 hours per week. We work less and produce 17 million more per year in goods and services. We owe something to our nation’s size and our population, we have many more people working 4 hours less  per week then Mexico.
The U.S has a population of 318 million, Mexico 122 million and Germany which is the smallest geographically and whose workers work the least has 80 million.
A positive correlation does not exist between GDP and Average Hours worked per week alone. Other Factors need to be taken into account.

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I’m a Bernie Sanders supporter, I voted on Tuesday, March 15th.corporate-fascism

It was very underwhelming. Politics just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I think it’s the people. Political lay people are very cliquey. You might even say divisive, and nothing can be more divisive then the 2016 Presidential Campaign season.  It’s frankly appalling. I’m thankful that locally I haven’t seen much divisive partisanship, but that may be in direct correlation to my deviation from party politics. I’ll admit I jumped head first into the local Bernie Sanders campaign. I threw the Peoria Campaign kickoff party at Pizza Works way back in July, 2014. Quickly many folks who are less then radical emerged, and soon took the reins of the growing group, or consortium if you will, from me. That isn’t to say that I could have accomplished much on my own. But walking the party line has never been my thing. I believed that Bernie Sanders was going to make that cool again.

I love his policies. I stand for and align myself with the Judeo-Christian ethic of loving one another and caring for our neighbor, being our brother’s keeper, which his polices exhibit. I have to admit that while these policies are solutions to the problems we face as a nation; and to his credit, Bernie Sanders the man has been the most honest politician in the history of the United States. I’m afraid that his presidency will cause only more grid lock in congress. This isn’t to say I don’t want him elected, I voted and I’m hoping to defeat Hillary, then Trump. I however, remain a cautious idealist. We have very real problems and Bernie offers very real solutions. Solutions that have been options in some form, using varied terminologies and associated with both bad and good (depending on who you ask) since the dawn of industrialism, and before.

Social Democracy is nothing new, in fact we already have many forms of Social Democracy in this great nation and have since our founding. Our struggle against anti-democratic forces have manifested many great victories throughout history. Before our founding People fought against exploitation and slavery for millennium. The fight continues, liberty and the pursuit of happiness has not fully won the war, through history the people have won many battles. The fight isn’t over. We have struck a great balance with oppression and those that wield it. Consumer goods, appear like shadows on the cave wall, masquerading as liberty. Many buy what they’re selling. The radical sees the charade. Read More

BSander

On July 29th more than 100 People Gathered at the Peoria Pizza and Works on Prospect Rd in Peoria Heights, to celebrate the Presidential Campaign Kick off of Candidate Bernie Sanders. Citizens from across the tri county area enjoyed the atmosphere and witnessed the live broadcast, transmitted online, of candidate Sanders’ Campaign Kickoff Speech. The National Campaign organizers provided detailed instructions and material to grassroot organizers across the country to ensure that more than 100,000 people could watch the kickoff speech. Nationwide people gathered in homes, and public spaces. In Peoria more than 100 people gathered at Peoria Pizza and Works.
The event lasted two hours and the foundation was laid for local campaign organizing. Organizers intend to register people to vote and campaign for Bernie Sanders for President in 2016.

According to Local Leadership, the campaign organizers have some momentum and some direction. As of now (August 7th), The leadership and volunteers plan to hold an informational booth, September 4-5th at the Illinois Blues Festival. As well as, group participation in the Peoria’s Labor Day Parade, September 7th. Numerous planning meetings are scheduled between now and then. for more information and how you can get involved send a message to centralillinois4bernie2016@gmail.com .

The process of political communication in the United States of America fosters political division and garners two types of responses from the public, the conventional response and the unconventional response. This process divides people into two hegemonic groups of American political ideologies, with outliers along the political spectrum existing on both sides. I am claiming that the division of our citizenry into two political groups is the product of political communication and is the antithesis of participatory democracy, transparency, inclusion and justice. The eradication of the processes of political communications, which divide, through the unconventional political response, is the duty of a free people and a democratic society. The identification of oppressive mechanisms and control are at the core, a beginning of the process of creating a democratic society.

A Process of Political Socialization

Political communication is the tool used by the powerful; politics is power. Political capital is the ability of a group to influence the distribution of resources within a social unit, setting the agenda for how resources are available and who is eligible to receive them (Flora & Flora, 2004). Thought and consensus are a resource; political communication is the exercise of political capital upon the cognition and cogitation of people within a social unit. A social unit includes a nation, a state, a municipality, a family, an individual. The mass media becomes the launch pad for the distribution of thought and consensus. The mass media are the private, corporate organizations for profit that utilize the media to make money. These groups sell time and space to accumulate profits from other groups interested in utilizing the media to accumulate profits of their own. These groups or individuals attempt to accumulate customers and associations to fulfill a demand, let us call this process of commercial relationships simply, media advertizing. The cyclical relationship between both parties, those who own the media and those who want to profit from it without owning it, construct the cognition and cogitation understood by the public at large. In other words, the media and those who collude with it, influence our knowledge, our perceptions and our thoughts. This process is perhaps well intended when the public is informed of local food prices via the media. However, when the public receives information relevant to the ethical use of political capital, be it the distribution of military troops or the distribution of tax dollars. In any case, which an ideological or emotional appeal serves the politically powerful with the consent of the governed via mass media, this consent is the antithesis of democracy and civic engagement (Chomsky, 1989).  Read More