Recent comments

  • Reply to: Some of the Facts About Wal-Mart   14 years 11 months ago
    SEIU has also launched a website refuting the facts from ..
  • Reply to: No Shame   14 years 11 months ago
    The interview with photographer Damir Sagolj was published in the Slovene weekly magazine Mladina last June and is available at The text is in Slovene; the caption was translated by me and was made available on Danny Schechter's news dissector weblog at the time. I am glad to see it surfacing now in a number of blogs, thereby contributing to a more truthful depiction of what actually happened. I had offered to translate the whole of the interview for Media Channel; Danny gave an initial enthusiastic response, but nothing ever came of it, which is a pity because it was a very good interview.
  • Reply to: No Shame   14 years 12 months ago
    I realize this is just posted elsewhere on this site, but to benefit anyone who just happens to stumble onto this...
  • Reply to: No Shame   14 years 12 months ago
    Before you use any image to uphold your political agenda, you should ALWAYS know its context. Ignorance is no excuse, it was stupid to use something that could be so potentially widely spread without knowing anything about the image.
  • Reply to: White House Astroturf For Social Security Phase Out   14 years 12 months ago
    The initial Social Security Act permitted municipal governments to opt out of the system - a loophole that Congress closed in 1983. In 1981, employees of Galveston County, Texas, chose by a vote of 78 percent to 22 percent to leave Social Security for a private alternative. Brazoria and Matagorda counties soon followed, swelling the private plan to more than 5,000 participants today. In the private plan, contributions are similar to those for Social Security but returns are quite different. Initially, employees and their employer were each required to contribute 6.13 percent of income; recently, the counties increased their contribution to 7.65 percent - for a total contribution of 13.78 percent. Of that 13.78 percent, 9.737 percent goes to the employee's individual retirement account, which pays a 6.5 percent average interest rate, compounded daily. The remainder pays for disability and life insurance premiums to cover the employee in case of an accident or death. Workers continue to pay their Medicare payroll taxes and to receive Medicare benefits upon retirement. But while the cost of the private program, known as the Alternate Plan, is virtually the same to the employee and employer as Social Security, the benefits are far greater. According to First Financial Benefits, Inc., which created and administers the plans: A person retiring today at age 65 with 40 years of deposits and an annual salary of $20,000 would retire with $383,032 in a personal account. Someone with a $30,000 salary for 40 years would retire with $573,782. And a person with a $50,000 salary for 40 years would retire with $956,303. A personal retirement account this size provides a much larger postretirement income than does Social Security. Moreover, retirees under the Alternate Plan have a number of options not available to retirees under Social Security. For example, those with the Alternate Plan can choose among several annuities or take their money in a lump sum. As the figure shows, under one option: A retired $20,000-per-year worker with the personal retirement account would receive $2,740 each month at current interest rates, while Social Security benefits would be about $775 per month. A $50,000 per year worker would receive $6,843 from the private plan, compared to $1,302 from Social Security. In addition, the employer's contribution pays for much more generous benefits than those provided by Social Security. The life insurance benefit is three times the worker's salary (with a minimum benefit of $50,000 and a maximum of $150,000); Social Security, by contrast, pays a one-time death benefit of $255 to a surviving spouse. Disability insurance under the Alternate Plan pays 60 percent of an individual's salary until age 65 or until the individual returns to work and is relatively easy to qualify for, while Social Security disability benefits can be very difficult to qualify for and are unavailable to young workers who have not yet worked the required amount of time. TRUTH TO THE IGNORANT!!! RB