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McCamy Taylor

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Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 06:05 PM
Number of posts: 13,815

About Me

Here is my fiction website: http://home.earthlink.net/~mccamytaylor/ My political cartoon site: http://www.grandtheftelectionohio.com/

Journal Archives

Will Yemen Be the Site of the Next U.S. Hostage Crisis (and Votes for Hostages Deal)?

I have a bad feeling about this. Read on, and I think you will, too.

We all remember how Reagan/Bush got into office They arranged a votes for hostages deal with Iran. Iran held onto the hostages until after the 1980 election, in order to hurt President Jimmy Carter's re-election chances. But how many folks here remember why Iran took the American embassy hostage in the first place?

In 1979, the U.S. puppet dictator, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi aka the Shah of Iran was forced out of power. He wandered from country to country, until President Jimmy Carter decided to let him come to the United States, ostensibly for medical treatment. As if we were the only country in the world with doctors. (Note that Switzerland offered to take in the Shah.) The revolutionary government in Iraq used this as an excuse to storm the American embassy and take hostages. The corporate media in the United States used this act of terrorism to launch its "America Held Hostage!" political campaign against Carter with the goal of unseating the Democratic president and replacing him with corporate puppet Reagan and ex-CIA boss Bush.

Now, the United States is talking about letting the president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh come to the U.S.----for medical treatment. As if we are the only country in the world with doctors. Note that Yemen has reason to blame the U.S. for the abuses of its president. Note also that the country has its own share of terrorists, though in this case they are the Sunni Al Qaeda rather than the Shiites of Iran.

"The United States has found itself in a sometimes awkward position as the unrest in the Arab world has swept through Yemen. The administration conducts extensive counterterrorism operations with the Saleh government on suspected Al Qaeda cells in Yemen."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/27/world/middleeast/saleh-yemen-leader-may-visit-the-us-for-treatment.html?hp

There are plenty of parallels between Iran and Yemen.

"A turning point in the standoff came on March 18, when security forces and government supporters opened fire on demonstrators as they rose from their noon prayers. The crackdown failed to disperse the protest, even though at least 40 people were killed and more than 100 injured. Mr. Saleh declared a state of emergency shortly after the violence, and denied that security forces had been involved in any shooting.

snip

"In late March, the United States, which had long supported Mr. Saleh, even in the face of the protests, quietly shifted positions after concluding that he is unlikely to bring about the required reforms and must be eased out of office. While American officials have not publicly pressed Mr. Saleh to go, they told allies that they now view his hold on office as untenable, and they believe he should leave."


http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/s/ali_abdullah_saleh/index.html?inline=nyt-per

What happens if Saleh comes to the United States? Nothing---unless Al Qaeda and the Saudis who finance them want to force Obama from office and install another friend of oil/George Bush clone as U.S. president. In that case, Al Qaeda can create another hostage crisis--or the political equivalent---in Yemen this time. There will be civilians involved in the protests, making it extremely difficult for Obama to send in troops. The U.S. corporate media will moan about how America is (once again) being held hostage. Al Qaeda/the Saudis will ensure that the conflict in Yemen does not end until a Republican is in the White House. Right now all the GOP candidates are the lackeys of Big Oil....

This is not a conspiracy theory. There is solid proof that Bush negotiated with Iran back in 1980. The Reagan-Bush administration paid for their sins by being blackmail targets of Iran for 12 years and then again for eight more years under Bush-Cheney. The U.S. sold arms to Iran (illegally). We took down Iran's enemy, Saddam. Big Oil reigned supreme. And before that, Henry Kissinger derailed the peace talks between the U.S. and Vietnam in order to get Nixon elected.

The far right is not known for its creativity. If a political dirty trick works once, they will repeat it again and again. That's what the word "conservative" means. Hostages for votes was a huge success, from the point of view of corporate America. It is inevitable that right wing strategists will consider repeating history. Indeed, back in 2009, I predicted that this would be one of the strategies contemplated by the next Right Wing Coup in America.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x7336413

So, if it isn't too much trouble, please Mr. President, consider letting Saleh go to some nice neutral country for his health care. I hear they have a great medical system in Europe, better than our own.



Posted by McCamy Taylor | Mon Dec 26, 2011, 05:30 PM (3 replies)

Warning! Your Police Officer's Sleep Disorder May Be Hazardous to Your Health

JAMA the Journal of the AMA has an article in its December 21, 2011 issue about sleep disorders among U.S. police officers. It is called "Sleep Disorders, Health, and Safety in Police Officers". Here is the link. Read it fast. I think JAMA makes these articles public for only a short time.

http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/306/23/2567.full.pdf+html

The authors of the above article administered surveys to about 5000 police officers from different parts of the country, to see how many were likely to have sleep disorders and how much these sleep disorders might interfere with their job performance.

One of the most surprising findings---40% tested positive for at least one sleep disorder. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) was the most common of these sleep disorders. For anyone not familiar with OSA, here is a link to my old DU journal.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php/www/photobucket.com/albums/v611/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=222&topic_id=83019&mesg_id=83019

Sleep apnea is a syndrome in which a person is unable to move air during sleep. I.e. he or she chokes or strangles, anywhere from a few times an hour up to every few minutes. The disturbed sleep, low oxygen and elevated catecholamines (stress hormones) can cause a variety of medical problems. Some of these include poor attention, temper flare ups and falling asleep at inappropriate times (like on the road). Sleep apnea is a major public health problem because it is so common (up to 16% of men have it), so underdiagnosed (less 20% of those men know they have it) and because an untreated sleep apnea sufferer drives like a drunk driver---a drunk driver who thinks he is in perfect control.

According to the JAMA article, police officers have a relatively high rate of sleep disorders. Despite the fact that most police officers have good insurance, many of them do not know that they have a sleep disorder and are not being treated. And---most worrisome from a public health perspective---these officers with untreated sleep disorders are more likely to fall asleep while driving, more likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents at work and more likely to act in an angry manner towards the public. They also make more administrative errors and safety violations. They are more likely to become depressed or "burned out" than those without a sleep disorder.

Factors that increase the risk of a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea include male gender, increasing age and obesity.

How many police officers who react in an angry, inappropriate manner to protesters suffer from a sleep disorder? How many police involved in high speed chases that end in accidents have OSA? How many innocent folks have been shot or tased or struck by a sleep deprived officer?

The solution is simple. Since police officers are public servants, screen them all annually, refer those who test positive for formal sleep studies (that can be paid for by their insurance) and start the appropriate treatment. Previous studies show that once you start treating a sleep disorder, function usually returns to normal.

The major flaw of the JAMA article. A sleep survey was used and only a small number of participants where given formal sleep studies (the gold standard test) to confirm that the "positive" surveys indicated actual disease. However, screening surveys have proved reliable in general population studies, and the use of these would allow police departments to address this problem in a relatively cheap and easy way.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sun Dec 25, 2011, 09:09 PM (13 replies)

They Just Pulled the Plug on Medicare and Tricare

I don't know whether to cry or scream.

The MSM is treating it as an afterthought. "House votes "no" on tax cut and unemployment extension. (Oh, and by the way, the nation's health care safety net for the elderly, disabled and military retirees has just crumbled....)" The House, which tried, unsuccessfully to abolish Medicare by voting for the Paul Ryan Bill this spring, has just pulled the plug on the nation's biggest, most beloved public insurance program by failing to cast a vote for another bill. The Republicans won't even talk about what they are doing to Medicare. All they will say is that the Senate did not provide enough tax cuts---

And that is why the New Year is going to be a very unhappy one for the nation's seniors, disabled and military retirees.

January 2, 2012, your mom has been scheduled to get her cataract surgery for months. Her eyesight is poor, which limits her mobility. She has fallen twice, because she can not see. The last time, she stumbled over her sleeping cat and fell down the porch. The doctors said it was a miracle she did not break anything. She is in good health, except for her bad eyes and her weak bones. She wants to stay independent as long as possible. That’s why she decided to get her cataracts fixed. They are going to do the right one first---

Correction, they were going to do the right one first. That was before the House voted not to stop the scheduled 27% reduction in Medicare provider fees on January 1, 2012. Now, your mom’s eye doctor is rescheduling all the elective surgeries he performs for Medicare patients, in hopes that the provider fees will go back up sometime next year.

Tell Mom not to worry. If she stumbles over the cat again and breaks a hip this time, the orthopedic surgeon will pin it back together. Doctors will continue to perform urgent and emergency surgery for Medicare patients, the same way they do them for folks who have no insurance at all.

January 2, 2012, you and your spouse get your healthcare through TRICARE, the federally funded insurance for military retirees. Good thing, too, because your employer outsourced your job to India, and now you work for minimum wage and no benefits. You were lucky to find a provider in your area. Lots of doctors have opted out, because of low reimbursements. You are due for a check up in January. So is your spouse---

Unfortunately, you get a letter in the mail. Your doctor is no longer going to accept TRICARE. The 27% payment cut is too steep. She is very sorry. She will continue to treat you for emergencies for 90 days, while you try to find some one else who will accept you as a new TRICARE patient. You call to see if she will change her mind if Congress restores TRICARE funding. Her office manager tells you “Sorry. TRICARE payments are too uncertain. Have you considered getting on private insurance.?”

Of course, you have considered getting on private insurance! But you are too old. You have high blood pressure and diabetes. No one in your old field will hire you, and no private insurer will write you an individual policy. Good thing you have a car. You may be driving a long, long way to see your new doctor.

January 2, 2012, you and your family have been seeing the same family doctor for decades. He delivered both of your babies, back in the days when he still did OB. He saw your kids through chicken pox and croup. He was there when your husband had his stroke. He took care of your blood sugar in the hospital after they did your breast cancer surgery. He was there for you during the bad times as well as the good.

Last time you talked to him, he said he had no intention of retiring. However, today you are informed that he has changed his mind. He will be retiring as of April 1. No, it is not an April Fool’s joke. His accountant says that he will be losing money if he keeps his practice open, now that Medicare has cut its payments to physicians by 27%. No, even if Congress fixes things in February or March, he will not change his mind. Medicine is too uncertain now. It’s better if he retires.

January 2, 2012, you receive your Medicare card in the mail. Finally! Now, to find a doctor who accepts your insurance. Knowing how hard that can be, you did your homework. Your county medical society provided you with a list of doctors in your area who are taking new Medicare patients. You get out your phone and start calling. And you discover that the list from December, 2011 is no longer up to date. Every single office you call tells you the same thing. “The doctor isn’t taking new Medicare patients. Sorry.” A few of them aren’t taking Medicare period. They offer to see you if you will sign a “private contract” in which you agree to pay the doctor out of your own pocket and not to rely upon Medicare to pay your bills. What the hell? For the past two years, you have been paying for your own health care out of your own pocket. That’s why you haven’t had a mammogram or a diabetes test or even a visit to check your blood pressure. How is Medicare any different from no insurance?

Is John Boehner having a merry Christmas? I know that the nation’s seniors, military retirees and disabled are having a very, very unhappy New Year.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Wed Dec 21, 2011, 07:07 PM (15 replies)

Former Bush Ad Man Forms “Well Funded” Third Party: Needs “Virtual” Candidate for "Virtual" Party

Remember Mark McKinnon? He is hoping you don’t. He is BFF with George W. Bush and did his advertising in the 2000 and 2004 election. McKinnon was Juanita Lozano’s boss. She is the woman who went to jail for mailing a Bush debate tape to Al Gore’s campaign.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1907&dat=20010308&id=Q-NGAAAAIBAJ&sjid=qf0MAAAAIBAJ&pg=2666,735722

Now he has a new “virtual” political party, Americans Elect. He has everything he needs---- including seed money from "wealthy hedge fund executives" (see the link below)---except for one thing. He has no “virtual” candidate to represent his “virtual” party.

Hey, Mark, I hear this guy is out of work.



What the hell is a “virtual” political party? Good question. Read what follows and you may begin to suspect that it is nothing but a huge corporate slush fund designed to promote a third party splitter candidate to steal votes from Obama.

Though it will be listed alongside other political parties on state ballots next fall, the group is organized as a social-welfare organization — devoted to promoting no particular candidate, ideology or issue — which allows it to preserve the anonymity of its donors. Some of them, like Ackerman’s father, a New York financier who forked over $5.5 million, have been forthright about their contributions. But the majority remain shrouded in secrecy. For Roemer, who caps donations to his campaign at $100 and won’t accept money from political action committees, the group’s financing structure has sown doubts about its intentions. “I might not be able to participate if the source of funding depends on the very special interests I am trying to force out of the room,” Roemer says.

American Elect says its use of anonymous giving is an effort to safeguard big-ticket donors, well-heeled and connected types who are fearful of retribution. But the explanation hasn’t mollified good-government advocates. “It’s absurd that this group says they want to change the way business is done and they’re attempting to run a candidate for President on the ballot in 50 states with secret money,” says Fred Wertheimer, president of the campaign-finance watchdog group Democracy 21. “If the candidate of Americans Elect were to play a key role in determining the outcome of the 2012 election using secret money to finance their candidate, that would be an extraordinary scandal.”


http://swampland.time.com/2011/12/21/americans-elect-can-a-well-heeled-group-of-insiders-create-a-populist-third-party-sensation/

That last line bears repeating:

“If the candidate of Americans Elect were to play a key role in determining the outcome of the 2012 election using secret money to finance their candidate, that would be an extraordinary scandal.”

I am already appalled. How about you? What I am not is surprised. I have been predicting this GOP election dirty trick since they lost in 2008. If you don't believe me send me an email, and I will direct you to my old journal.

Note that almost every article about American Elect sums up its politics as “well funded.” From today:

"With "none of the above" the default choice for a growing number of voters in next year's presidential election, a well-funded "virtual third party" called Americans Elect plans to offer an alternative by putting a centrist candidate on the ballot in several states."

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/12/20/MNV21MF2LB.DTL

From November:

"The effort is funded with $21 million raised from undisclosed seed donors, reported to be mostly wealthy hedge-fund executives. Ackerman said the group's goal is $30 million to get on ballots and run the process online."

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/11/15/v-print/2776585/virtual-third-party-targets-nc.html

From October:

(T)here's likely to also be a wild card in this election. Americans Elect, a well-funded "virtual third party," plans to put a centrist presidential candidate on the ballot in all 50 states, and while he or she is unlikely to win the presidential election, the presence of a third candidate could still have a major impact on the outcome.

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/oct/27/opinion/la-oe-mcmanus-column-third-party-americans-elect-20111027

This media blitz about well known former Bush ad man (and BBF) Mark McKinnon’s “well funded” virtual party is designed to help it solicit money. Lots and lots of corporate money, with a few smaller sums that can be used to back up its claim that it is a populist movement.


Even if this "virtual" party loses its "social-welfare" designation, it should be able to rake in big bucks. Citizens United v. FEC has made it possible for a handful of wealthy oilmen (say, the Koch Brothers) to single handedly bankroll as many third party splitters as they want. These guys and gals do not have to actually garner any votes. All they have to do is clutter up the ballot, making it more difficult for pollsters to predict with any accuracy who will get how many votes. Then, someone with the source code (or even just a cheap box purchased at a hardware store) will flip enough votes from Obama to these “virtual” candidates to cost him the election.

Ever wonder why the GOP presidential candidates (including some real losers like Santorum) are so desperate to get nominated this year? They are convinced that with dirty tricks and corporate money, the Republicans will be able to get anyone selected, the same way they did in 2000.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Wed Dec 21, 2011, 02:47 PM (6 replies)

GOP Controlled House Delivers Lumps of Coal for Christmas to the Nation’s Elderly

I don’t like saying this, and I was really hoping that I would not have to say this, but here it comes…

Told you so.

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/McCamy%20Taylor/649

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/McCamy%20Taylor/653

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/McCamy%20Taylor/663

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/McCamy%20Taylor/668

For months, I have been trying to alert DUers to the very real possibility that Congress would fail to act to avert the looming 27% fee cut to Medicare providers. And today, that is just what the GOP controlled House did. By rejecting the bipartisan Senate bill that would have extended unemployment benefits and kept middle income America’s taxes from rising, House Republican leaders have also missed their chance to protect our nation’s seniors. From the NYT:

"The bill that the Senate passed on Saturday, in an 89-to-10 vote, would also prevent a sharp cut in the fees paid to doctors who accept Medicare. Some Republican senators, including Senator Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts and Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, have called on their counterparts in the House to support that vote."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/21/us/politics/house-republicans-move-closer-to-rejecting-payroll-tax-cut-deal.html?_r=1&hp

Boehner and Company will attempt to portray their vote today as something other than what it was----a great big “Fuck You” Christmas card to America’s seniors. They will say that they objected to some nuance of the Senate bill. They will say that the Senate bill did not go far enough---and therefore, the House had to cut off the unemployed, cut off hard working Americans who are struggling to make ends meet, cut off seniors who depend upon Medicare in order to live. They will attempt to portray this as an ideological battle. Well, I have something to say to the House Republicans.

We can not eat your ideology.

Ideology will not pay the mortgage.

Your ideology will not keep Grandma’s heart beating.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced their disaster plan. By law, all providers face a 27% fee cut starting January 1, 2012. Given high office overhead, this will force many doctors to start seeing Medicare patients at a loss. Many doctors have said that they will stop accepting Medicare patients if the fee cuts go through. Since the House did not act, the cuts are going through. All CMS can do now is delay payments to providers for ten days in hopes that Republican members of the House get back from their Christmas break in a slightly more Christian frame of mind.

http://www.aota.org/News/AdvocacyNews/CMS-Medicare.aspx

I am not holding my breath. Recall that the Republican controlled House voted along party lines last spring to abolish Medicare. When the Senate refused to go along, they backtracked. But they never really gave up. As long as Medicare exists, it can be used as a template to create a single payer insurance program for the nation. Therefore, Medicare had to go.

Boehner claims that he really, truly wants to keep taxes for the working class low, and he really truly wants to give the unemployed a helping hand. That's why he voted to raise middle class taxes and end unemployment benefits....

Yes, I know that makes no sense. It isn't supposed to make sense. Boehner and his fellow Republicans did not vote to raise our taxes or cut off our unemployment. Those would be stupid things to do in an election year. No, they voted the way they did, because their corporate masters alerted them to this opportunity to hammer another nail in the coffin of Medicare. The panic that ensues----elderly folks told to reschedule their elective surgery, elderly told to find new doctors, elderly confused and alarmed---will taint Medicare---and the single payer option---for years to come.

Never mind if a few old folks die as a result.


Posted by McCamy Taylor | Tue Dec 20, 2011, 08:49 PM (1 replies)

A Very Bad Idea Coming Soon to a City Near You

What if Congress voted tomorrow to cut your Social Security check in half? How would you feel? What would you do?

Retired firefighters and policemen in Central Falls, Rhode Island know how they would feel, because it has happened to them already. They have agreed to sharp cuts in their retirement pensions. They have no choice. If they don’t agree to accept half, the city says it will file for bankruptcy under a new plan that will allow it to decide which of its creditors get shafted and which get paid. Bondholders will not see a loss on their investment, but retirees could see their pension contracts voided. And the city retirees do not have Social Security to fall back upon. Here is the NYT article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/20/business/pension-deal-in-rhode-island-could-set-a-trend.html?_r=1&ref=politics

How can a city tell its retirees “Sorry, we are broke” while telling investors “Great news! We are flush with cash!”? You tell me. A contract is a contract. But in the U.S., contracts to pay investment brokers apparently count for more than contracts to support the folks who put out our fires and capture our criminals. That is because the banks are too big to fail while American workers are disposable.

If this trick works in Central Falls, it will be copied by cities all across the country. What a boon for local governments! It will be like getting free money! Cities that do not opt to place their pensioners out on ice floes will find themselves unable to sell municipal bonds. We will hear mayors claiming “If you want us to put out your fires now, you better let us stop paying the folks that used to put them out.”

And once local government workers are without a pension, it will be quite easy for the federal government to say “It isn’t fair that retired firefighters and police carry the burden for our bad economy. All retired workers must do their part.” At which point, your Social Security check will be cut in half---and the feds will tell you “Just be happy we don’t take all of it.”
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Tue Dec 20, 2011, 12:26 PM (36 replies)

Without Your Consent: Bush Era Urban Asbestos Testing (and Why Newt Will Be More of the Same)

Informed consent is the rule when it comes to medical experimentation. Anytime a drug company, medical school or university wants to test anything---a new medication to stop you from smoking, a theory about why people smoke, a new smoking cessation program---they have to prove that their experiment 1) will not harm your health, 2) that it will benefit the public health and 3) that you have been informed that you are a participant in a study and that you have been given the right to refuse to participate.

In 2007, the Environmental Protection Agency conducted an experiment on the citizens of Fort Worth, Texas without getting informed consent. They decided to try out a new method of demolishing buildings contaminated with asbestos. The so called “wet method” involved hosing down the structure as it was being leveled. The theory was that the fibers would become caked in mud which could then be crushed and destroyed. The workers conducting the experiment were not given masks or protective gear. The children walking to school nearby were not given masks or protective gear. The EPA measured the amount of asbestos released into the air----

And then buried the results, until an environmental group demanded to see the findings of the “experiment”. Then, the EPA admitted that its air monitors had detected asbestos around the site during the demolition. Then the EPA said that workers and others near the site during the demolition should probably be evaluated for exposure to the toxic substance which

“is a human carcinogen with no safe level of exposure. Asbestos exposure can lead to serious diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. The diseases can develop decades after exposure.”

(From today’s Fort Worth Star Telegram)

http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/12/18/3603937/report-raises-concerns-about-asbestos.html

This was not the first time the EPA had tried to experiment on the residents of Fort Worth without their consent. In 2004, the Cowtown Inn was scheduled to be leveled. The old building contained asbestos, but the government did not want to spend the time and money needed to take it down the approved way----under safety tents, with workers wearing protective gear. So, they announced plans to test the much cheaper, faster “wet” method. When citizens in the surrounding areas got wind of the plan, they protested. The experiment was stopped.

“The EPA still expects to test the wet method in a sparsely populated area. “ … We will hold EPA to its pledge to ensure that wherever the experiment is conducted, there will be meaningful opportunity for public comment on, and scientific peer review of, the test plans and test results,” commented Jim Hecker, Public Justice’s Environmental Enforcement Director.”

http://www.asbestosnetwork.com/news/nw_073004_asbestos_removal.htm

Yeah, right.

A report from August of this year describes the results of the Bush era EPA’s human experimentation.

“The EPA actually tested this theory when demolishing regional offices in St. Louis, MO, Ft. Worth, TX, and Ft. Chaffee, AR. The result was unsurprising to those who advocated against such a sea change in the way asbestos is removed from buildings prior to demolition. Basically, the “wet method” was an abject failure in prohibiting the release of airborne asbestos fibers. The EPA has set a standard level of acceptable asbestos particulate or dust, in residential environments where people are present, when sites containing asbestos are demolished. That number is set at 5,000 asbestos structures per cubic centimeter (s/cm^3). At those sites where the EPA tested the “wet method,” the amount of measured dust was significantly above that threshold. The perimeter air monitors at Ft. Worth detected increased asbestos levels, and adjacent buildings exceeded the level of acceptable asbestos settlement. The Ft. Chaffee site also had increased asbestos release, with one pavement sample coming in at 19,400 (s/cm^3), almost 4 times the acceptable normal action level. The study also found that the water used to “wet” the building, after demolition, was highly contaminated with asbestos.”

http://www.cateslaw.com/blog/14-wet-removal-of-asbestos--a-sham

Despite proof that wet demolition is not safe, lobbyists are still trying to get the EPA to approve the method---which will save them a whole lot of money.

In Crimes Against Nature Robert Kennedy Jr. wrote

“The Bush attack was not entirely unexpected. During his tenure in Texas, George W. Bush had the grimmest environmental record of any governor in the country: the Lone Star State ranked number one in both air and water pollution. In his six years in Austin, Governor Bush championed a short-term, pollution-based prosperity that enriched his political contributors and corporate cronies by lowering the quality of life for everyone else. Now President Bush is doing the same thing to the citizens in the other 49 states.”

http://www.changelingaspects.com/PDF/Crimes%20Against%20Nature.pdf

Kennedy also wrote

“Environmental injury is deficit spending—loading the costs of pollution-based prosperity onto the backs of the next generation.”

The “wet demolition” experiments in Fort Worth, Arkansas and St. Louis are proof that a four or eight year term of office for the wrong president can have lasting consequences. Somewhere out there are in my home city are workers---and school children---who may have gotten a big lungful of asbestos four years ago. A single exposure is all it takes to trigger cancer. Depending upon the direction the air was blowing that day and the way the water flowed from the site, many other people may be sitting on time bombs.

Note that Newt Gingrich, the GOP front runner, is also a front man for those who want to use us as guinea pigs without our consent.

“In 1994, industry’s greenwashing and its years of investment in political organizations, front groups, think tanks, and phony science paid off in the most pro-pollution Congress in our nation’s history. Wise Use helped propel Newt Gingrich to the Speaker’s chair of the U.S. Congress, where he began a dangerous and partially successful effort to enact his anti-environmental manifesto, Contract With America. Gingrich’s consigliore was Congressman Tom DeLay, the former bug exterminator who was determined to rid the world of pesky pesticide regulations and to promote a “biblical worldview. 26 DeLay considers DDT “safe as aspirin” 27 and the Endangered Species Act the greatest threat to Texas after illegal aliens. 28 He attributed the Columbine massacre to the teaching of evolution in schools. 29 In January 1995, Congressman DeLay invited a group of 350 lobbyists representing some of the nation’s biggest polluters to collaborate in drafting legislation that would dismantle federal health, safety, and environmental laws.”

Think that environmental protection laws are responsible for the recession? Think that those unoccupied houses are a blight and wet demolition is safer than letting them rot ( to paraphrase the title of a Fort Worth Star Telegram article from 2007 that can no longer be found online)? Think that President Newt won’t be able to give your kids a lungful of asbestos, because watchdog groups like the Sierra Club will be there to stop him? Then by all means, stay home next fall. But before you make that decision, you might want to read this article from Sierra Club, advocating the wet demolition test in Texas.

http://texas.sierraclub.org/fortworth/News/Newsletters/2007/Nov-Dec'07.pdf

“Over the last two months, I have talked and met with EPA staff about this
method and it appears to be better than the current one.”


The only way to keep the government from doing environmental tests on you and your family without your consent is to make sure that those in power in the government are not bought and paid for by the industries that do the polluting.

One final request. Before you post that Obama and Democratic Congress environmental policy are exactly the same as Bush environmental policy, please read the Robert Kennedy document linked above. Yes, I know it is over 100 pages long. But you would not want to make a statement like “Democrats and Republicans are exactly the same” without knowing exactly what the Republicans are, now would you?
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Mon Dec 19, 2011, 05:15 PM (0 replies)

Without Your Consent: The Ongoing Nightmare of Bush Environmental Policy

Informed consent is the rule when it comes to medical experimentation. Anytime a drug company, medical school or university wants to test anything---a new medication to stop you from smoking, a theory about why people smoke, a new smoking cessation program---they have to prove that their experiment 1) will not harm your health, 2) that it will benefit the public health and 3) that you have been informed that you are a participant in a study and that you have been given the right to refuse to participate.

In 2007, the Environmental Protection Agency conducted an experiment on the citizens of Fort Worth, Texas without getting informed consent. They decided to try out a new method of demolishing buildings contaminated with asbestos. The so called “wet method” involved hosing down the structure as it was being leveled. The theory was that the fibers would become caked in mud which could then be crushed and destroyed. The workers conducting the experiment were not given masks or protective gear. The children walking to school nearby were not given masks or protective gear. The EPA measured the amount of asbestos released into the air----

And then buried the results, until an environmental group demanded to see the findings of the “experiment”. Then, the EPA admitted that its air monitors had detected asbestos around the site during the demolition. Then the EPA said that workers and others near the site during the demolition should probably be evaluated for exposure to the toxic substance which

“is a human carcinogen with no safe level of exposure. Asbestos exposure can lead to serious diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. The diseases can develop decades after exposure.”

(From today’s Fort Worth Star Telegram)

http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/12/18/3603937/report-raises-concerns-about-asbestos.html

This was not the first time the EPA had tried to experiment on the residents of Fort Worth without their consent. In 2004, the Cowtown Inn was scheduled to be leveled. The old building contained asbestos, but the government did not want to spend the time and money needed to take it down the approved way----under safety tents, with workers wearing protective gear. So, they announced plans to test the much cheaper, faster “wet” method. When citizens in the surrounding areas got wind of the plan, they protested. The experiment was stopped.

“The EPA still expects to test the wet method in a sparsely populated area. “ … We will hold EPA to its pledge to ensure that wherever the experiment is conducted, there will be meaningful opportunity for public comment on, and scientific peer review of, the test plans and test results,” commented Jim Hecker, Public Justice’s Environmental Enforcement Director.”

http://www.asbestosnetwork.com/news/nw_073004_asbestos_removal.htm

Yeah, right.

A report from August of this year describes the results of the Bush era EPA’s human experimentation.

“The EPA actually tested this theory when demolishing regional offices in St. Louis, MO, Ft. Worth, TX, and Ft. Chaffee, AR. The result was unsurprising to those who advocated against such a sea change in the way asbestos is removed from buildings prior to demolition. Basically, the “wet method” was an abject failure in prohibiting the release of airborne asbestos fibers. The EPA has set a standard level of acceptable asbestos particulate or dust, in residential environments where people are present, when sites containing asbestos are demolished. That number is set at 5,000 asbestos structures per cubic centimeter (s/cm^3). At those sites where the EPA tested the “wet method,” the amount of measured dust was significantly above that threshold. The perimeter air monitors at Ft. Worth detected increased asbestos levels, and adjacent buildings exceeded the level of acceptable asbestos settlement. The Ft. Chaffee site also had increased asbestos release, with one pavement sample coming in at 19,400 (s/cm^3), almost 4 times the acceptable normal action level. The study also found that the water used to “wet” the building, after demolition, was highly contaminated with asbestos.”

http://www.cateslaw.com/blog/14-wet-removal-of-asbestos--a-sham

Despite proof that wet demolition is not safe, lobbyists are still trying to get the EPA to approve the method---which will save them a whole lot of money.

In Crimes Against Nature Robert Kennedy Jr. wrote

“The Bush attack was not entirely unexpected. During his tenure in Texas, George W. Bush had the grimmest environmental record of any governor in the country: the Lone Star State ranked number one in both air and water pollution. In his six years in Austin, Governor Bush championed a short-term, pollution-based prosperity that enriched his political contributors and corporate cronies by lowering the quality of life for everyone else. Now President Bush is doing the same thing to the citizens in the other 49 states.”

http://www.changelingaspects.com/PDF/Crimes%20Against%20Nature.pdf

Kennedy also wrote

“Environmental injury is deficit spending—loading the costs of pollution-based prosperity onto the backs of the next generation.”

The “wet demolition” experiments in Fort Worth, Arkansas and St. Louis are proof that a four or eight year term of office for the wrong president can have lasting consequences. Somewhere out there are in my home city are workers---and school children---who may have gotten a big lungful of asbestos four years ago. A single exposure is all it takes to trigger cancer. Depending upon the direction the air was blowing that day and the way the water flowed from the site, many other people may be sitting on time bombs.

Note that Newt Gingrich, the GOP front runner, is also a front man for those who want to use us as guinea pigs without our consent.

“In 1994, industry’s greenwashing and its years of investment in political organizations, front groups, think tanks, and phony science paid off in the most pro-pollution Congress in our nation’s history. Wise Use helped propel Newt Gingrich to the Speaker’s chair of the U.S. Congress, where he began a dangerous and partially successful effort to enact his anti-environmental manifesto, Contract With America. Gingrich’s consigliore was Congressman Tom DeLay, the former bug exterminator who was determined to rid the world of pesky pesticide regulations and to promote a “biblical worldview. 26 DeLay considers DDT “safe as aspirin” 27 and the Endangered Species Act the greatest threat to Texas after illegal aliens. 28 He attributed the Columbine massacre to the teaching of evolution in schools. 29 In January 1995, Congressman DeLay invited a group of 350 lobbyists representing some of the nation’s biggest polluters to collaborate in drafting legislation that would dismantle federal health, safety, and environmental laws.”

Think that environmental protection laws are responsible for the recession? Think that those unoccupied houses are a blight and wet demolition is safer than letting them rot ( to paraphrase the title of a Fort Worth Star Telegram article from 2007 that can no longer be found online)? Think that President Newt won’t be able to give your kids a lungful of asbestos, because watchdog groups like the Sierra Club will be there to stop him? Then by all means, stay home next fall. But before you make that decision, you might want to read this article from Sierra Club, advocating the wet demolition test in Texas.

http://texas.sierraclub.org/fortworth/News/Newsletters/2007/Nov-Dec'07.pdf

“Over the last two months, I have talked and met with EPA staff about this
method and it appears to be better than the current one.”


The only way to keep the government from doing environmental tests on you and your family without your consent is to make sure that those in power in the government are not bought and paid for by the industries that do the polluting.

One final request. Before you post that Obama and Democratic Congress environmental policy are exactly the same as Bush environmental policy, please read the Robert Kennedy document linked above. Yes, I know it is over 100 pages long. But you would not want to make a statement like “Democrats and Republicans are exactly the same” without knowing exactly what the Republicans are, now would you?
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Mon Dec 19, 2011, 04:51 PM (2 replies)

49 1/2 %

This Christmas, the majority of Americans want 1) health care for all, 2) Medicare for their parents, 3) no foreign wars for oil, 4) contraception and abortion rights (for themselves), 5) freedom of speech, 6) freedom of religion, 7)decent schools, 8) clean air and water, 9) the right to an attorney if they are charged with a crime, 10) no child to go to bed hungry at night, 11) no veterans jobless and 12) no families homeless.

This Christmas, a tiny minority of Americans want 1) to collect exorbitant premiums for health insurance while delivering no actual health care, 2) to charge exorbitant amounts of money for drugs that do little or nothing to improve health, 3) to keep wages artificially depressed by keeping workers unemployed, 4) to use the power of the American military to bring “democracy” to all the world’s resources---especially its nationalized oil, 5)your home, 6)your retirement savings, 7)a reduced “bottom line” even if it means poisoning you with arsenic tainted chicken and lead tainted jewelry and ozone rich air and oil slicked water, 8)to sell you shares in a Ponzi scheme, 9) to get a government bailout when their Ponzi scheme collapses, 10) to be above the law, 11) to be even richer than they already are and 12) to dine on caviar and expensive wine while laughing at the suckers who have made it all possible.

The majority have recently been dubbed the “99%”. The minority are the other “1%”. The United States has a democratic election system in which the majority rules. Keeping that in mind, who is more likely to get the things they desire this Christmas? We all know the answer. We have known it all our lives.

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why?

Yes, it has something to do with money in elections Yes, it has something to do with the corporate media. Yes, easy to hack e-voting systems are partly responsible. Yes, poll taxes and gerrymandering and flawed voter rolls and police roadblocks outside minority voting places all play a role.

But how did money get into politics? How did a handful of major corporations acquire a monopoly on the news? Why did we allow them to replace our paper ballots with paperless e-voting? If 99% of us do not want these things, then why are we stuck with them?

The answer is simple. The 49 ˝% made America the way it is.

Who is the 49 ˝ %? The 49 ˝ % are the young people who think that they will never collect Social Security so the system should be abolished. The 49 ˝% are the old folks who are afraid that universal healthcare will cut into their Medicare. The 49 ˝ % are the native born who think that they would be rich if not for the immigrants. The 49 ˝ % are the whites who think that they will become richer if minorities become poorer. The 49 ˝ % are the petrochemical workers who want safe food but think that clean air is overrated. The 49 ˝ % are the fishermen who want clean water but don’t see why we have to preserve endangered species. The 49 ˝ % are those with grown kids who want to see their property taxes lowered, even if it means laying off teachers. The 49 ˝ % are the heterosexuals who think that victims of sexual orientation based hate crimes “need to get over themselves.” The 49 ˝ % are the able bodied workers who get up each morning and head to their jobs whether they like it or not, so why should some guy with a bad back get paid to stay at home and do nothing? The 49 ˝ % are the men who get up each morning and head to work whether they like it or not, so why should some woman get paid to stay home and take care of her newborn baby?

The 49 ˝% are those who work long hours in a soul numbing job which pays shitty wages with no benefits for an employer who will fire them the second they or a family member get sick----and who blame another member of the 49 ˝ % for their woes.

We are all members of the 49 ˝ % sometimes. I dare anyone here to boast “No, I have never fallen for divide and conquer. Not once! I have always been a proud member of the 99% all my life.” In our hearts, we all believe in the 99 %, but what matters is what we live. And too many of us continue to live as 49 ˝ percenters, squabbling with other workers for the crusts that fall from the mouths of the rich, using up our energy fighting among ourselves, while the vultures circle overhead, waiting to clean up the spoils.

How will we know that we are finally living as 99 percenters instead of 49 ˝ percenters? Easy. That Christmas wish list up at the top of the page will become a reality.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sun Dec 18, 2011, 07:37 PM (1 replies)

Newt's Female Trouble

I was going to call this one “Newt’s Women Problem” but that has already been used---by about a million Google hits including a two day old piece from the Atlantic here:

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2011/12/newt-gingrichs-woman-problem/46130/

which asks the question “Will conservative Republican women support Newt?”

Be honest, though. When has being an adulterer with a pretty trophy wife ever cost a Republican the nomination? The corporate media anoints a candidate, and the GOP base holds its nose and votes for him.

Newt’s real female trouble will begin in the general election, when he is scrutinized by all the women who are not used to doing as they are told. We know what Newt thinks about women. He likes them young and pretty and healthy---no cancer, no MS. What do women on the left think about Newt?

One of Newt’s first acts, upon talking control of Congress, was to deny funding for the Violence Against Women Act, which had been passed in the previous Congress. Newt only capitulated after NOW brought 250,000 women to protest this action.

http://www.now.org/issues/violence/stats.html

Now, what kind of man does not want to end violence against women?

NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) gave Newt a failing score when it comes to reproductive freedom, citing his 72 (out of 74) anti-choice votes and his vote to end Title X, the federal family planning funding program.

http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/elections/2012/gop-presidential-candidates/newt-gingrich.html

That can't be right! Wasn't Newt the one who vowed to end welfare---and stop the nation's single women from having babies? How did he expect to do that if they had no access to birth control? Sounds like pretty bad planning to me. Or just plain meanness.

Speaking of welfare reform , here is what one woman had to say about Newt in 1994:

"He attacks the most powerless segment of our society - young women and children. Of course, this group doesn't form PACs or contribute to the coffers of our erstwhile congressmen, therefore they're safe to victimize. He proposes to allow them only two months of welfare. If they don't find employment in those two months, he would have their children torn away from them and put in orphanages.

Snip

"Newt would make Charles Dickens' character Ebenezer Scrooge look like a saint. I can only hope Newt will one day be visited by the spirit of compassion. Undoubtedly he won't listen. After all, the spirit of compassion neither belongs to a PAC nor puts money in his pocket.
"
http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19941126&slug=1943860

Surely Newt did not threaten to attack the American Family by forcibly taking away their children and putting them into homes. Did he? From 1994:

"Resurgent Republicans in Congress under Newt Gingrich are breathing new life into an idea whose time most people thought had already come and gone.

"They want to bring back orphanages and other forms of state-supervised residences to care for the illegitimate children of young women who would be cut from welfare rolls under their proposals."


http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1994-11-27/news/1994331010_1_orphanages-newt-gingrich-illegitimacy

That’s right. Newt wanted to break up families and send the tots to orphanages for the crime of having poor parents. Not abusive parents. Not negligent parents. Poor parents.

Am I surprised? Not really. Newt left his first wife, because she was too old, ugly and diseased (cancer) to be a presidents wife. He broke the news to her when she was in the hospital recovering from surgery. He did not pay child support, forcing his ex-wife and kids to seek charity from their church. Newt’s one great virtue may be that he is no hypocrite. He does not just preach misogyny and hatred of children, he lives it.

If Newt is the GOP nominee, I expect to see women flocking to the polls next fall to cast their vote against him. Bad for Newt, good for us, since it mobilizes the Democratic base.


Posted by McCamy Taylor | Thu Dec 15, 2011, 08:25 PM (1 replies)
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