If you want democracy to continue to be part of the game plan, you must read
Poor Lucky. Her owner is in jail, and possibly Lucky will be euthanized before the owner is released. And whoever tries to claim Lucky will be told that only her owner can have her.
And kudos to everyone at the Occupy LA! and Occupy Philly! sites.
We citizens can sign various petitions that are dismissed out of hand by the WH.
We can watch out beloved community activists work for years and years, with true dedication, to see that the laws in each state are changed so that the ability for a sick person to have medical marijuana is recognized and made legal.
And then the President trumps the states' rights and has his DOJ come in and topple the medical marijuana clinics.
So I don't think you will find me a believer in anything but the Occupy! movement. I am sure I would feel differently if I was in the .01% Executive Class, as the President has done quite well by and for them. Helmsley is still collecting his half billions plus in executive compensation! (He heads United HC - a big insurer.)
It is obvious to me after some forty years of voting that the only people able to win the WH are always going to be in the arms of the Corporate Industry with their Big Campaign Contributions.
So now I stand in solidarity with Occupy!
He fulfilled 85%. He has been especially good at the little promises.
Bu the problem is, for most of us, the big issues were ignored. So while Monsanto was made stronger and stronger by Obama appointments, including pro-Monsanto Sotemayor on the Supreme Court, the small farmers suffered as they could not get capital from the banks who have not been lending to the small time crowd.
For instance, I read reports the summer of 2009, that over 100K dairy cattle were slaughtered as little farmers in just three No Calif counties, went under. Meanwhile, Obama's buddies at Goldman Sachs had enough money to buy themselves a nature preserve in Patagonia, courtesy of the semi-legal, highly immoral maneuvers that Obama's good buddy Geithner put in place for those big financial firms. ! And of course, the Big Agri interests he has worked so hard to protect are benefitted - if all the milk on the shelves is from big Agri, people who don't want bovine growth hormone and mastisitis pus and also antibiotics to offer their children won't have any choice. Big win for Big Agri, and for Monsanto.
Yes, I have visited several sites that list the big and little promises Obama made. And again, if you add the little promises in with the big ones, you can arrive at that happy 85% total. But examined more carefully, the results are not so encouraging. Like credit is given for his sham of a health care bill, so he can check that off as "Mission Accomplished" even though it means that for many older Americans we can never get work for legit employers. They cannot accept and pay out the huge insurance premiums that would come with hiring us over a younger worker whose insurance premiums are much less. So many of uys watch as we use our retirement funds for things like health care premiums, utilities, house payments and rent, food, and maybe the occasional new pair of shoes. And we see it is not going to turn around. We have been legislated out of work by this smug guy who is so busy withthe I*n Crowd that he doeesn't have the foggiest idea of what is happening.
Also, the big promise was the economic hope tht he offered us - including his insistence in Oct 2008 that if the banks didn't loan out any money, to Main Street, especially given that the crowd on Main Street are on the hook for the BailOut Trillions, then he would see regulations were put in place "during my first year in office." Those regulations never came about, except for him scolding the banks.Unfortunately the economic promises never materialized in the major ways that were needed. And if it had not been for Bernie Sanders,w e wouldn't have even gotten a glimpse of the real damage done by the Paulson/Bernanke/Geithner trio and the nine to fourteen trillions of dollars that was handed out the back door of the Federal Reserve. Oh I know that you and I both have heard that these "loans" were paiud back - but the collateral used as "payback" was a bunch of investment books containing a bunch of investments, most of which would probably have to serve as toilet paper to have any value.
That nine to fourteen trillions of dollars means that we are in a real conundrum. Especially now that the Republicans want the deficit zeroed out. So the foreclosures will continue, the military operations abroad, and now here at home as Obama's DOJ inflicts real damage on the one part of the Californian economy that was working out very well.
Rachel is also excited because she has been invited to the WH. And she has seen passage of the act allowing gays in the military. Maybe she figures we would still have the same economic situation with the Repugs in place, but no gains for the LGBT crowd. And she is probably right about how little would have come to the LGBT crowd if the Repugs were in office. But does it matter if we get one leg up on that issue, and go to bed in a tent and very hungry every night? I guess she has enough income she doesn't need to think about that.
And there were many avenues Obama could have taken to change things, had he not been beholden to his real employers, the Big Financial People, and the Big Military concerns. A dimple executive order banning residential foreclosures could have been a magnificent step, with it s precedent apparent to any who understand that some 35 states forbade foreclosure of the residencea used as homes during the Great Depression. He could have put out an executive order decreeing that any government agency using credit collection phone people needed to hire in country, instead of outsourcing those jobs.
And he could have said that for every penny spent on new military hardware, an equal amount of money would go to any states that were in the deficit column. Geithner smugly turned away Schwartzenegger's request for 20 billions of dollars in loans - but in just the last twelve months, we have seen close to 200 Billions of dollars in military hardware to the rulers of the UAE over the last year.
Those 200 billion dollars would restore the top twenty states who have record deficits, and teachers, janitors, project managers, social workers, police, fire fighters etc would be back at work instead of on food stamps.
WALL STREET JOURNAL REPORTS -- 1997
NEWS BRIEF: "Malaysia to Battle Smog With Cyclones", by Chen May Yee, Staff Reporter of the Wall Street Journal, The Wall Street Journal,
Thursday, November 13, 1997, page A19.
"KULA LUMPUR -- Malaysia's war on smog is about to get a new twist. The government wants to create man-made cyclones to scrub away the haze that has plagued Malaysia since July. 'We will use special technology to create an artificial cyclone to clean the air', said Datuk Law Hieng
Ding, minister for science, technology and the environment. The plan calls for the use of new Russian technology to create cyclones -- the giant storms also known as typhoons and hurricanes -- to cause torrential rains, washing the smoke out of the air.
The Malaysian cabinet and the finance minister have approved the plan, Datuk Law said. A Malaysian company, BioCure Sdn. Bhd., will sign a memorandum of understanding soon with a government-owned Russian party to produce the cyclone. "Datuk Law declined to disclose the size of the cyclone to be generated, or the mechanism. 'The details I don't have', he said. He did say, though, that the cyclone generated would be 'quite strong'.
Datuk Law also declined to disclose the price of creating the cyclone."
There is also much speculation on the web about the disastrous course of action taken earlier this year by our nation's own "beloved" Army Corp of Engineers. This involved a rural area known as the Bird's Nest, though I am forgetting if it was in Arkansas or in Alabama. People were advised that actions that were about to be taken by the Corp would flood them out. They were given a few days notice that they needed to leave their homes and farms as those would be flooded out.
The Army Corp of Engineers had a spokesperson who was telling people that the Corp had no choice - it was either sacrifice these people's homes and farms or else let flood water overtake American cities.
From the URL: http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com /
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Tom Coburn Flips Out Again-- But In A Good Way
Republican Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is, at best, a crackpot. Usually his reactionary core is more powerful than his crackpot nature. But not always; sometimes the crackpot in him wins out and, on rare occasion, he strays from the GOP corporate line and goes wandering off on his own. That just happened again. You may recall he got into a tiff with Grover Norquist a couple months ago over the no taxes pledge the Republicans all sign every two years. Now Coburn, who doesn't face the nation's most ignorant electorate for another 3 years, is borrowing a line of attack from progressives to whine about tax breaks his party has championed for millionaires. He issued a report for the
SuperCommittee detailing unfair tax breaks to the SuperRich.
The report found millionaires enjoy about $30 billion worth of “tax giveaways” and federal grants every year-- almost twice NASA’s budget, the report notes.
“From tax write-offs for gambling losses, vacation homes and luxury yachts to subsidies for their ranches and estates, the government is subsidizing the
lifestyles of the rich and famous. Multimillionaires are even receiving government checks for not working,” Coburn said in a statement Monday.
The report is significant because Coburn is one of the Senate’s outspoken conservatives and has spent over a year working intensely on a bipartisan grand bargain to reduce the deficit.
...Coburn has identified billions of dollars in tax breaks reaped by millionaires that Democrats could be quick to target, as Republicans might suffer political
damage by defending these special breaks. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has centered the 2012 Democratic campaign message on the theme that Republicans favor the interests of millionaires and billionaires over the middle class.
There are some amazing facts, stats, and comments published in this article. Highly recommend reading this, as it supplies us liberals with a lot of facts and figures about who does how much feeding at the public trough.
From the above site: Police officers generally have broad powers to carry out their duties. The Constitution and other laws, however, place limits on how far police can go in trying to enforce the law. As the videotaped beating of motorist Rodney King, in Los Angeles and several recent cases in New York have illustrated, police officers sometimes go too far, violating the rights of citizens. When this happens, the victim of the misconduct may have recourse through federal and state laws. A primary purpose of the nation's civil rights laws is to protect citizens from abuses by government, including police misconduct. Civil rights laws allow attorney fees and compensatory and punitive damages as incentives for injured parties to enforce their rights.
Being stopped and questioned by police in connection with a crime is an unsettling experience for most anyone. As long as the officer is performing his job properly, however, there is no violation of a suspect's rights. In fact, police are immune from suit for the performance of their jobs unless willful, unreasonable conduct is demonstrated. Mere negligence, the failure to exercise due care, is not enough to create liability. Immunity therefore means that in the typical police-suspect interaction, the suspect cannot sue the police. Civil rights remedies come into play for willful police conduct that violates an individual's constitutional rights.
Civil Rights Laws and Police Misconduct
A statute known as Section 1983 is the primary civil rights law victims of police misconduct rely upon. This law was originally passed as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1871, which was intended to curb oppressive conduct by government and private individuals participating in vigilante groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan. It is now called Section 1983 because that is where the law has been published, within Title 42, of the United States Code. Section 1983 makes it unlawful for anyone acting under the authority of state law to deprive another person of his or her rights under the Constitution or federal law. The most common claims brought against police officers are false arrest (or false imprisonment), malicious prosecution, and use of excessive or unreasonable force.
The site goes on to discus the three most common legal charges to post against any police officer who harms you:
And then there is also a discussion of the The Qualified Immunity Defense, which the police officer in question can use to support his or her actions.
Now I do not want to dismiss all the various reasons that the Occupy Movement is flourishing on the UC Berkeley campus. I am sure that given the hefty grade point average that most students there need to meet in order to even become students, they are outraged at economic inequality, the wholesale sell off of our Democracy to the Lobbyists and the Big Industries, and all that those things entail.
But here is something else that those who live outside of California may not know: their tuition costs are going to be accelerated over the next few years.
And these costs will rapidly rise so that various select groups of people can have accelerated bonuses and retirement monies. So if you are a tenured UC professor or on the Administration level of things, you win. If you are a student, you lose.
When you follow how this folly became the law of the School System, you realize how much the Uber Elite control on a daily basis. Please read to the end, as my solution is in the final 3 paragraphs of this OP.
Let us focus for a moment on who one of the most Elite Players in this mess happens to be. It is a man named:
Blum is married to California US Senator Diane Feinstein. Once Diane rearranged the laws regarding ethics for the Senate, she was able to vote for the Iraqi Resolution in the Fall of 2002 with a straight face, then go home to her lil Snookie Poo and tell him the good news.
As a result, it was not much of a surprise for some of us to find out that within six weeks of the launch of the Spring 2003 "Shock and Awe" campaign, upon the people of the nation of Iraq, Blum had netted some 27 million dollars worth of major contracts related to the war.
Did it matter to Blum that this war was built on a stack of lies? I don't know, but my gut tells me that the 16 million dollar house that he and Di Fi purchased inside the Presidio, with a view that the S.F. Chronicle described as being 'To Die For," something tells me that any guilt that his conscience may have held was assauged. Mainly because he doesn't have a conscience to assauge.
Then during the winter of 2010, Blum surfaced in the headline news once again. While the state of California is facing a disastrous time, with our county, city and state budgets shredded to the bone, Richard Blum was sitting pretty. After all, in December of 2010, he was the head regent over the UC University system.
Back in September 2010, the regents imposed by unanimous vote an increase in the amount that UC and its employees would contribute to the pension plan, taking an important step (or so they declared) towards "putting it on solid financial footing."
Beginning in July 2011, employee members of the UC Retirement Plan (UCRP) will begin contributing 3.5 percent of salary into the plan; UC will contribute 7 percent. The amount will increase again in July 2012, with employees paying 5 percent and UC paying 10 percent.
But this is not all. While the cashier at the cafeteria faces this uptick in her payments into the Retirement Plan, Blum and the rest of the regents want to see an enforcement of a 2007 provision of the California legislature: to whit, that the Elite of the professors and the Administration at UC system receive immediate increases in the pension amounts that they receive per year and other benefits. If this is not done, then our fine Mr Blum suggests that the regents will have no other recourse than to sue the school, or the state or both.
My attitude on this is quite firm: since the regents can legally mandate this pension and other benefit hikes, fine, just give it to them. Avoid the threat of the law suit. But since their salaries could be undone the first time the California legislature met in 2011, give them all a one dollar a year salary stipulation, and then even if the regents manage to get a pension that is 100% of their salary, the last laugh will be on them!
However, several people have emailed me and stated that this is not possible - that the UC system is independent of the state of California. If that is true, then the state could still, should it want to, simply enact legislation declaring that any increases the the select group of people receive as a result of the regents fiddling with these affairs be taxed at 200% and all the funding captured by this tax would revert back into ta plan to pay for the students tuition!
Though I have to admit it would be quite tragic for Richard and Di Fi to have to live on only the provisions of her Senate pension, and his war contract profits which now have probably been re-invested profitably a dozen times over.
Comment from DeSwiss
Icelanders figured out that what the banks lent them wasn't money at all. Just air. Stale, rank, deadly air.....
Iceland Showed The World How To Become Free
URL is at:
Contrary to what could be expected, the crisis resulted in Icelanders recovering their sovereign rights, through a process of direct participatory democracy that eventually led to a new Constitution. But only after much pain. Geir Haarde, the Prime Minister of a Social Democratic coalition government, negotiated a two million one hundred thousand dollar loan, to which the Nordic countries added another two and a half million. But the foreign financial community pressured Iceland to impose drastic measures. The IMF and the European Union wanted to take over its debt, claiming this was the only way for the country to pay back Holland and Great Britain, who had promised to reimburse their citizens.
Protests and riots continued, eventually forcing the Icelandic government to resign. Elections were brought forward to April 2009, resulting in a left-wing coalition which condemned the neoliberal economic system, but immediately gave in to IMF demands that Iceland pay off a total of three and a half million Euros. This required each Icelandic citizen to pay 100 Euros a month (or about $130) for fifteen years, at 5.5% interest, to pay off a debt incurred by private parties vis a vis other private parties. It was the straw that broke the reindeer’s back.
What happened next was extraordinary. The belief that citizens had to pay for the mistakes of a financial monopoly, that an entire nation must be taxed to pay off private debts was shattered, transforming the relationship between citizens and their political institutions and eventually driving Iceland’s leaders to the side of their constituents. The Head of State, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, refused to ratify the law that would have made Iceland’s citizens responsible for its bankers’ debts, and accepted calls for a referendum.
In the March 2010 referendum, 93% of Icelanders voted against repayment of the banker's debts. The IMF immediately froze its loan. But the revolution (though not televised in the United States), would not be intimidated. With the support of a furious citizenry, the government launched civil and penal investigations into those responsible for the financial crisis. Interpol put out an international arrest warrant for the ex-president of Kaupthing, Sigurdur Einarsson, as the other bankers implicated in the crash fled the country. But Icelanders didn't stop there: they decided to draft a new constitution that would free the country from the exaggerated power of international finance and virtual money. link
The article has the words "Brain Damaged" in the header. Currently it is the top article, but if not, you'll need to scroll down.
<snipping out two important paragraphs>
Specifically regarding Social Security, we're currently transferring about 4.2% of U.S. gross domestic product from current workers to retirees. To pay promised benefits, this will have to increase to 6.2% in 2035 and then decline to 6.0% in 2050 and remain there. (See the 2011 Trustees Report for details.) Those are the only numbers that matter, not what the trust fund was "invested" in.
And this is simply not a problem for a rich society like the U.S. The economy continually grows more productive—95.8% (100-4.2) of today's economy is a lot smaller than 93.8% (100-6.2) of the economy of 2035. So people working in 2035 can produce enough for all the promised Social Security benefits and still be much richer than workers today.
My two cents - I threw this link into a small file and added it to my Hard Drive.
A close friend of mine revealed to a group of us yesterday that her doctor pestered her so much about not being on anti-cholesterol drugs that she finally went on them.
Now, five weeks later, and she has developed Bell's Palsy. She feels terrible, as she knew that these were risky. She had heard a lot of "anecdotal" reports about friends of friends, etc.
I myself would be on statins except for DU. Yes, several years ago, there was a discussion up about the new anti-cholesterol drugs. So many people here complained of first hand knowledge of huge decreases in people's health - including relatives that became ALS patients almost within a year of taking statins, that I realized as a patient, I MUST be wary of them. (I figure any topic that has only 250 responses with about 45 responses discussing huge risks points out huge dangers. Especially if it is not monopolized by one poster, but dozens of posters pointing out their family's bad experiences.)
My doctor of two years ago refused to back down: with my cholesterol at an "outrageous high" of 160, she wanted me on them or else to switch doctors.
So I switched doctors, to one of the better physicians I have ever had.
And now I came across this link:
And like one of the commentators over at the link is saying, now doctors are finding reasons to put children on these drugs!
Please note: Before you reply that the doctors have to prescribe these, as no one should have a heart attack, I know of no studies that show that the cholesterol drugs, used alone, help you avoid heart attacks. If you know of such a study, please reference it. Note that the ads even state that you must make serious diet changes and exercise, in order to be healthier.
Also, it is long believed in some circles that it is our homogeinized dairy products -that causes Americans to have so many heart attacks. (Also our stressful life styles, but living in such a crazy society, what can we do about that?)
In Denmark, where people's average cholesterol ratings are much higher, the dairy products are NOT homogenized. Therefore, the particles resulting from dairy products are not small enough to infiltrate the arteries, and the heart. Then there is also the fact that the Danes eat a lot more fish, with its healthy Omega fats, than we do.
The very first thing the people there did in their very successful bid to get rid of Marcos' regime was to occupy the news media outlets.
And the media can't refuse us. It is OUR BANDWIDTH and OUR AIRWAVES they are using to destroy us. And the destruction has worked - we have only two very miserable slime ball Poltical Parites, both owned at the highest levels by the Big MIC and Wall St interests.
Wish I could take credit for the idea - but it was an idea from the brave folks in the Phillipines. Some of whom gave their lives.
Notice that everyone in this crowd looks so glum.
And then the retaliation - for being members of a nation where supposedly democratic actions are to be respected. I mean, we saw Hillary Clinton almost in tears over people in Egypt and Libya turning against their one percent.
Seems things are still up in the air. No one seems to know for sure.
This report from five hours ago:
The Pentagon denied reports Saturday that the U.S. abandoned plans to keep several thousand troops in Iraq after a year-end deadline, saying talks with Baghdad were still underway.
In a statement to reporters, Pentagon press secretary George Little denied the news reports: “Suggestions that a final decision has been reached about our training relationship with the Iraqi government are wrong. Those discussions are ongoing,” Little said.
The U.S. is still itching to keep about 5,000 additional troops past the deadline in December. The Maliki government - circumventing Parliament - initially agreed to the deal, but talks reached an impasse over granting the additional troops immunity from Iraqi law. Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh last week suggested that Iraq was prepared to bow out of the deal, and instead rely on private contractors for “training” programs in 2012 and beyond.
A senior Obama administration official in Washington anonymously confirmed to The Associated Press on Saturday that all American troops will leave Iraq except for about 160 active-duty soldiers attached to the U.S. Embassy.
Of course, no matter what, last week's testimony from top military officials in front of the hearings in chambers indicate that there will not be any monetary savings should our nation pull most of its troops out.
Testimony from senior military officers indicated two things:
One) It costs more money to secure the safety of fewer troops (Like the proverbial frog that hops across a room, each hop taking it halfway to the end of the room, yet the frog never reaches the end of the room, so too are the needs of our military budget. Except the closer our military plans get us to committing zero troops, the more astronomical are the needs of the military budget!)
Two) Even should all the fighting that the nation is engaged in everywhere end tomorrow, or next week, the US Military is far behind the times. In fact, in an effort to keep the nation secure, our military leaders and their buddies in the defense firms have created a new meme to make sure that funding doesn't decline. That meme is "Modernization."
Without this modernizing, the USA could well be wiped off the face of the earth! <sarcasm>
After all, combining the spending of the next fifty nations - they almost come close to something like 50% of our budget on the military!
Indicates how very much that the Empire wishes to keep drugs illegal, even despite the electoral wishes of an entire populace.
The drug culture has a lot of layers, each one revealing even more corruption than the level above.
Drug cartels in Mexico clean up one person who is then released into the elite neighborhoods of our cities. That person then purchases a bank, and the money laundering begins.
And that person adopts the "persona' of a drug-despising, righteous individual who offers up money in spades to which ever "drug-despising" candidate runs locally or even state-wide for office.
Our police, banking, and political arenas have all been corrupted.
One way out would simply be to legalize all of it.
But taking the low road, last week, this Administration set loose its DEA dogs to bark down the pot clubs here in California. In some locales, those clubs are supporting through their tax payment the County public employees!
Doesn't anyone in Homeland Security remember what happened after Kent State? Someone should lend them a few news reels...
And one other thing - the stupidity of this Administration knowing no bounds - last week was the week that the Feds decided to get "tough" on medical marijuana her in California?!?
Are you fucking kidding me?
If they wanted to see an entire state take to the streets, this is the perfect way to toss some gasoline on the fire.
Even the City Councils, and the mayors of cities in Humboldt, Lake and Mendocino California are happy about medical marijuana - the clinics and their taxes are PAYING FOR THE budgets used to employ public servants! The frigging Federal Government is too busy paying for Wall Street bonuses and for its un-ending, non-winnable wars to pay for state and county and city workers!
The ten most recent threads posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums.
Impeachment is the only cure for the Supreme Court
Did "NoElephants" pass away??
A Giant Union Is Planning to Protest the Oscars
Happy Valentines Day, old friends!
NEVER trust government. nt
By No Elephants
The ten most recommended threads posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums in the last 24 hours.
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