Tag Archive for 'US'

Environmental Activist’s Address to the Court Makes US Government Fascism Naked to Everyone

Tim DeChristopher, an environmental activist who was sentenced to two years in prison for “disrupting” a Bureau of Land Management auction in 2008 that would’ve illegally granted mining rights in national parks.

His statement to the court before his sentencing is some of the most powerful commentary on corporate favoritism in the US Government:

In West Virginia, we’ve been extracting coal longer than anyone else. And after 150 years of making other people rich, West Virginia is almost dead last among the states in per capita income, education rates and life expectancy. And it’s not an anomaly. The areas with the richest fossil fuel resources, whether coal in West Virginia and Kentucky, or oil in Louisiana and Mississippi, are the areas with the lowest standards of living. In part, this is a necessity of the industry. The only way to convince someone to blow up their backyard or poison their water is to make sure they are so desperate that they have no other option. But it is also the nature of the economic model. Since fossil fuels are a limited resources, whoever controls access to that resource in the beginning gets to set all the terms. They set the terms for their workers, for the local communities, and apparently even for the regulatory agencies.

Unsurprisingly local residents are overwhelmingly in favor of his actions.

The speech is also a pretty thorough beat down of the US Attorney who prosecuted him. It’s a good read.


John Q Sr.

James Richard Verone, 59, is sick. He’s also unemployed, which means he has no health insurance.

He decided to do something about the situation, so in the morning of June 9th he walked into a bank, robbed it for $1, sat down on a chair and waited for the cops to come and arrest him.

He’s now entitled to free healthcare in the county jail he’s held while he’s waiting for his day in court. He’s refusing to post bail, because he wouldn’t receive healthcare if he did.

This is how healthcare works in the US. Free markets in full effect. It seems like enterprising individuals like Mr. Verone are figuring out how to play the game, too. Well done.


The Feudal US

According to a recent study, one third of all working families in the United States can’t meet basic needs like food and healthcare with the family income.

They are working, but they are kept in poverty due to low wages (and/or high living costs).

In New York City this leads to a situation where the city is spending over $260M per year to support the families during their crisis:

In New York, where there is stiff resistance to living wage legislation from business and civic leaders, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the city is already being forced to spend about $260 million a year to support poor working families with child care services alone.

Why are we, taxpayers, footing the bill to allow developers and other businesses to hire cheap labor and provide no benefits?

You and I are essentially supporting companies like Walmart, who provide minimal benefits and low wages to maximize shareholder profits. That’s pretty damn outrageous, if you ask me. At the very least I’d be entitled to free shares from these companies.

What would probably make more sense is to force these modern day feudal lords to actually pay fair wages and stop the suffering of people who are working incredibly hard to support their families.


In Soviet USA Broadcasters Must Preach The Party Agenda

The House Republicans have been busy this week trying to destroy public broadcasting in the United States, because some NPR employees have been caught speaking against The Party.

To that say the Republicans: “To the Gulag, peasants!”


Speak the Truth, and Get Fired

State Department spokesperson PJ Crowley has been forced to resign after he spoke the truth about Bradley Manning’s despicable treatment by the US Army. He called Mr. Manning’s treatment as ridiculous and counterproductive.

Looks like the Obama Administration is now intent on keeping only yesmen around.


The War on Cameras pt II

A case in Weare, NH is going to all kinds of records for ridiculousness.

A man is being charged with a felony for wiretapping on duty police officers.

He was placing a cellphone call as police officers approached his car after he was stopped. That’s right…the police and the district attorney is claiming that the police officers privacy was violated, because the recipient of the cellphone call could hear the police officers, and thus is considered wiretapping.

Boggles the mind.


What’s at stake in Wisconsin

Frank Rich of the New York Times sums up what’s really at stake in Wisconsin and elsewhere where the Tea Party frauds and other right wing radicals are busy eroding the well being of ordinary Americans.

That’s not to say there is no fiscal mission in the right’s agenda, both nationally and locally — only that the mission has nothing to do with deficit reduction. The real goal is to reward the G.O.P.’s wealthiest patrons by crippling what remains of organized labor, by wrecking the government agencies charged with regulating and policing corporations, and, as always, by rewarding the wealthiest with more tax breaks.

That’s what it’s really about. Not the deficit, not the continued success and supremacy of the United States, but the well being of the plutocracy that supports these people.


The Plutocratic States of America

Over the holiday weekend I finally had time to read Bill Moyers speech at Boston University on October 29th 2010. It shoud be required reading for all elected officials in this country, starting with the corporate apologists at the Wisconsin Governor’s office.

In his speech he outlines the different ways the rich have raped the country at the expense of everyone else since the 80s.

Average income went from that $30,941 in 1980 to $31,244 in 2008. Think about that: the average income of Americans increased just $303 dollars in 28 years.

Yes, think about that, indeed. The US has seen near unprecedented growth of wealth in these years, but it has done little to nothing to actually benefit the US people. Make no mistake about it, the trickle up economy is working exactly as planned.

The US has been fighting class warfare for 30 years with one side having all the arms, and the other side getting massacred without even noticing. Wake up people!

Update: Even Warren Buffett thinks so.


The Conservative Internet Policy

The US Government shouldn’t regulate the Internet unless it benefits those who pay us.

That’s how I would characterize the contents of the keynote speech by Republican Representative Marsha Blackburn. She is the representative, who also introduced the bill to get rid of net neutrality regulations.

It appears that she would be perfectly fine regulating the Internet, if it benefits the content producers. Not a word in her speech was said about fair use or other consumer rights regarding intellectual property. Not a word was said about benefits of a more relaxed stance to legislating intellectual property. In fact what she wants is more strict IP regulations. I am convinced all of it would be bad for consumers.

When are we going to get out of the Dark Ages?


The true purpose of the Arizona State immigration law

Laura Sullivan at NPR blows the lid off the Arizona State immigration law that makes it open season on anyone who looks hispanic.

She uncovered what really was behind the legislation. Corporate greed.

It seems as if the legislation was written by private prison industry lobbyists in an effort to funnel illegal immigrants to the prisons run by the industry. Obviously this would produce a windfall for the companies running the prisons. And it’d all be tax-payer money.

I wonder how many of the bill’s sponsors got kickbacks.