Bill USA's Journal
Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 04:25 PM
Number of posts: 3,676
Number of posts: 3,676
Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.” __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that
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... thought you might enjoy this....
Posted by Bill USA | Wed Feb 18, 2015, 05:43 PM (0 replies)
John Boehner recently violated rules of protocol, the constitution and any general concept of respectful behavior (to the President) by inviting the leader of a foreign country to speak before Congress without clearing it with the WH first. Now any sensible, well adjusted adult would realize this was offensive, disrespectful behavior. But for Boehner, being a Tea Party Republican, political vandalism is standard operating procedure.
Tea Party Republicans are all about Punk Talk and Political Vandalism. That is, saying and doing things which are offensive, irresponsible - and hopefully - shocking. This gives those who feel impotent and fearful a sense of being powerful. They have shocked the people involved in legitimate pursuit of constructive actions. This is all compensating behavior, which is identified with adolescence, intended to make up for feelings of inferiority, impotence and fear of being rejected by the peer group. During adolescence, young people have a strong desire to be accepted by others for validation and to shore up meager self esteem. IF they have low self esteem and fear/anticipate rejection by their peers they have to find a way to hide their lack of confidence and fear of rejection. This compensating behavior often involves "Punk talk" which is intended to show what a "tough guy" they are. This behavior is intended to show others that they don't care whether people accept them or not.
An essential characteristic of Punk Talk is the derision of 'the other guy'. In fact, Punk Talk is intended to enable you to 'put them down' before they can put YOU down - "HA!". That Punk Talk is an outgrowth of the fear of rejection by others is apparent in that it almost always involves derision of the person rather than what the person is saying. Think of all the statements of derision TP-GOPers have directed at the President. This is all to 'say': "I'm not impressed by you! You don't intimidate ME!"
Think about it, in your normal daily workplace activities how often do you witness an ADULT saying offensive, denigrating things about someone else. Hardly ever! If you do hear such a thing, what's your first thought?... that there must be something wrong with the guy doing the 'badmouthing'!
The Tea Party lead GOP, being devoid of any ideas - on how to solve any of the problems we face - have replaced constructive ideas and action with Punk Talk and Political Vandalism. But This isn't Junior High. Now that they control both Houses of Congress they have to produce. And - no surprise to anyone - they can't do it. Instead of passing some form of Immigration reform they are up to their usual practice of trying to obstruct action the President took by putting language to reverse the President's executive action to preclude the deportation of children of undocumented immigrants born in the United States - in the bill to fund Homeland Security. The idea is to put Democrats in the position of looking bad if they do not pass the Homeland Security funding bill. The responsible thing would be to act upon an issue that needs a solution - legislation to establish the position of U.S. born children of undocumented immigrants. That appears to be beyond the reach of the Tea Party lead GOP.
So, just expect more Punk Talk and Political Vandalism. THat's all the TP_GOP is 'good' for.
..BTW this same psychology applies to the ISIS psycho-creeps. It's how those who feel impotent make themselves feel powerful by engaging in destructive behavior. The more shocked the 'straight', legitimate people (involved in constructive pursuits) are the more powerful they feel..
Posted by Bill USA | Wed Feb 18, 2015, 04:34 PM (0 replies)
.. it over there -- giving as good as they get. We could use some support over there. All you gotta do is answer a poll:
Who will get the blame if the Department of Homeland Security is shutdown next week?
If you would like the proper people to get the credit in this poll, you better get over there and vote.
here's another good post (neither of these posts are mine) with considerable 'debate'. THe Dems/Liberals are definitely holding their own on this one too. Of course, any support anybody would like to add would be appreciated.
Republicans Still Denying Bush Lied About Iraq
Posted by Bill USA | Tue Feb 17, 2015, 08:34 PM (14 replies)
Updated, 8:20 p.m. | HSBC found itself under fire again on Monday after news reports over the weekend provided more details about long-running accusations that its Swiss private banking arm helped clients hide billions of dollars in assets from international tax authorities before 2007.
In a report released on Sunday, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, an organization based in Washington, said that secret documents revealed that bank employees had reassured clients that HSBC would not disclose details of their accounts to tax authorities in their home countries and discussed options to avoid paying taxes on those assets. Also contributing to the report were the newspaper Le Monde in France, The Guardian in Britain, the BBC program “Panorama” and CBS News’s “60 Minutes.”
The documents were stolen from HSBC by a former employee in Switzerland in 2007 and were given to the French authorities, who in 2010 shared them with officials in Britain, Spain and the United States, among other nations. Some of those jurisdictions have used the information to seek back taxes and penalties from individuals, and the British bank has paid fines to the United States related to those disclosures.
The journalists’ report, based on account information that dated to 2007, said the Swiss unit’s clients included politicians, actors, rock stars and individuals with ties to arms dealers and traffickers of so-called blood diamonds, which are mined in war zones and sold in violation of international bans.
Posted by Bill USA | Sat Feb 14, 2015, 05:40 PM (0 replies)
Each day 80,000 acres of rainforest are destroyed and another 80,000 acres are degraded.
A few years ago, the world watched as the BP disaster unfolded along the Gulf Coast of the US. Yet while this story dominated one news cycle after another, deep in the Amazon’s Ecuadorean Oriente the world’s largest environmental disaster stemming from oil production was unfolding, and was largely ignored. When Texaco entered the Ecuadorean Oriente in 1967, the area was considered the most biodiverse place on Earth, and home to several indigenous groups. Since then, more than 20 billion gallons of toxic drilling waste and 17 million gallons of oil have been dumped into the regions soil and waterways. Where villages of indigenous peoples once lived, roads wind through the landscape; where farms once yielded a bounty of crops, hundreds of waste pits remain. Oil spills within the Amazon are both the most difficult to contain, due to the network of waterways, and the most challenging to clean-up, due to the remote area, and the rugged and varied landscapes. All of this begs the question: why oil?
Despite all the risks involved in oil drilling in the Amazon, they are negated with one word: money. The monies at stake for both oil companies and governments are so vast that human rights and environmental destruction are merely regrettable necessities en route to enormous profits. Ironically, the indigenous peoples residing on these oil rich lands rarely reap the benefits. If those lands are destroyed, the governments and oil interests who profit are far removed from the disaster and suffer little impact. The Rainforest Foundation has worked beside many indigenous groups to help them gain official title and rights to their ancestral lands. But sadly we find that where rights thwart the “progress” of oil production, rights are simply ignored altogether, or conveniently reinterpreted. Such is the case with the Shuar of Ecuador. After fighting for years to gain title to 700 square miles of their ancestral lands, the Shuar were stunned to discover that just a year later the Ecuadorian government had sold a 100 square-mile concession on their land for oil development. The governments’ justification was that the Shuar’s title to the land extended only to surface rights and not the subsurface.
Right now indigenous peoples are battling oil interests throughout the Amazon.
In Peru, where nearly three quarters of the Amazon rainforest is covered in oil concessions, the Achuar communities have temporarily taken over oil platforms and succeeded in gaining promises to clean up spills and compensate communities. Quechua communities in the Pastaza of Peru, have begun mapping spills and training community leaders in environmental monitoring to prove the existence of spills and demand change. In Ecuador, indigenous organizations are mobilizing against the expansion of oil exploration on their lands in the Southern Amazon. CONAIE, the national federation of indigenous organizations, is organizing a campaign to halt the expansion of oil concessions. In Belize, the Maya recently won two landmark Supreme Court victories that upheld their rights to their land and resources, and specifically forbid the government to issue new concessions on Mayan lands. Yet the government is now appealing the Court’s decision and trying to issue a large oil concession on these lands to the US-based oil Company US Energy.
Click here for a slideshow about the consequences of oil drilling.
Posted by Bill USA | Sat Feb 14, 2015, 05:33 PM (2 replies)
Big oil moves into the Amazon rainforest - what's the cost of losing large swaths of the rainforest?
There is a new role for biofuels that hasn't been considered before. As oil companies, looking for additional sources of oil, move into the tropical rainforests - in a big way - the role of protecting the rainforests may become as significant a consideration for the increased use of biofuels as it's role in reducing GHG emissions (although in the end they are one in the same). I think people should start considering what will be the impact and costs of losing large swaths of the rainforest as drilling for oil becomes a larger fact of life in the tropical rainforests.
Ethanol (and methanol if we invested in it) by competing with gasoline reduces the price of petroleum/gasoline. If we added methanol to the mix, we could more rapidly replace gasoline as the fuel for light vehicle transportation *. Increased use of biofuels and the decreased demand for gasoline will drive down the price of gas even more than it already has. A decreased price for petroleum would make drilling in the rainforests a less viable business plan. While the benefits of reducing GHG emissions from increased biofuel use by themselves make expanded use of biofuels imperative, the benefits of saving large swaths of the rainforest have not been calculated and could very well be of enormous import to the effort to fight Global Warming. (note: the effects of significant increases in deforestation are not linear. Significantly larger losses of rainforest would most likely have much larger impacts than have been considered so far). --- I am not aware of any studies considering the impacts on the climate of significant losses of tropical rainforest.
Considering the jeopardy the tropical rainforests are in, this makes rejection of non-empirically based, hysterical fables about ethanol and oil industry disinformation on biofuels an eminent imperative.
* Our ethanol supply from plant sources is probably limited to about 15% of our needs for light transportation fuel, barring any considerable improvements in manufacturing processes. Methanol is currently made from natural gas, but can also be made from agricultural and forestry waste in much larger volume than ethanol. We could increase methanol production much more quickly than other alternative fuel sources and blend it with gasoline and ethanol. Increased substitution of methanol for gasoline could reduce our demand for petroleum by an additional 10% in possibly a decade (with a serious commitment to this course) and another 10% to 20% in another decade - achieving a 30% to 40% reduction in our demand for gasoline. A reduction in demand for gasoline of 20% would have a very significant impact on the price of petroleum. A reduction in demand of 30% would have an even larger impact - greater than a linear relationship (between demand and price) would produce. This is without consideration of adaptation of engine designs which take advantage of alcohol's higher octane which could significantly increase engine performance - increasing the reduction in demand for gasoline.
Posted by Bill USA | Thu Feb 12, 2015, 08:37 PM (5 replies)
Posted by Bill USA | Mon Feb 9, 2015, 06:11 PM (1 replies)
Repugnuts ask Loretta Lynch if she will be "a political arm of the White House as attorney general?”
Loretta Lynch assures GOP she is not Eric Holder, again and again
Cornyn, in the same line of questioning ... wondered if Lynch would consider herself “a political arm of the White House as attorney general.”
Lynch answered, diplomatically: “No, Senator, that would be a totally inappropriate view of the position of attorney general,” Lynch said.
Too bad Lynch didn't become quite frank and say:
"Senator the question is outrageous, insulting, and innappropriate .. unless your a fucking ass-hole." (she knows she's talking to a Republican doesn't she?)
No, she wouldn't have said that ... but how about:
"Do you mean in the manner of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales who, at the behest of the WH and Karl Rove, dismissed 9 U.S. Attorney's because they did not pursue with sufficient enthusiasm political prosecutions of bogus cases of vote fraud against Democrats? Or in the case of U.S. Attorney, Carol Lam, who nailed corrupt Republican Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham and his partners in crime and was replaced by Karen Hewitt who had a résumé with “almost no criminal law experience” and is a member of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group. .. is that the kind of 'political arm of the White House' you are talking about?"
Oh well, in a perfect world, or at least in one where fascists aren't at the throat of our Democracy.
Inside Bush’s prosecutor purge
(emphases my own)
Ever since the Bush administration shocked the legal community by dismissing eight U.S. attorneys in December, Justice Department leaders have vigorously denied that the firings were politically motivated. “I would never, ever make a change in the United States attorney position for political reasons,” Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said in Senate testimony in early January.
Suspicions about the unusual purge of eight U.S. attorneys in December exploded into the open across the legal community and on Capitol Hill after McNulty conceded in Senate testimony on Feb. 6 that the U.S. attorney in Arkansas, Bud Cummins, was pushed out for no reason other than to give someone else a shot at the job. Using a little-noticed provision in the Patriot Act allowing interim appointments, Gonzales gave the post to Timothy Griffin — who had been both an operative for the Republican National Committee and a deputy to senior White House advisor Karl Rove — in what many believe was a maneuver to sidestep the traditional Senate confirmation process for U.S. attorneys.
Former officials, legal scholars and U.S. lawmakers from both parties have publicly questioned the administration’s stated rationale for the firings and have suggested troubling theories about the real reasons for the purge, which experts say is without precedent. Some former Justice Department officials say they believe the administration’s moves are a politically driven power grab — aimed not only at a tighter grip on policy from Washington, but also at creating openings with which to reward their friends and build up a bench of conservative loyalists positioned to serve in powerful posts in future administrations.
Experts see a continuing pattern that began long ago: A Bush White House seizing greater executive power to the detriment of democratic principle.
“No doubt this is a threat to the independent stature that the Justice Department as an institution has enjoyed over the years,” said Sam Buell, an associate professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis and a former federal prosecutor under the current President Bush. “It goes against the ‘hands off’ tradition, which has insulated U.S. attorneys from criticisms of politics influencing their choices and handling of cases. This doesn’t look like a decision that’s been made in the best interest of law enforcement.”
Posted by Bill USA | Fri Jan 30, 2015, 03:43 PM (9 replies)
The richest 1 percent are likely to control more than half of the globe’s total wealth by next year, the charity Oxfam reported in a study released on Monday. The warning about deepening global inequality comes just as the world’s business elite prepare to meet this week at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The 80 wealthiest people in the world altogether own $1.9 trillion, the report found, nearly the same amount shared by the 3.5 billion people who occupy the bottom half of the world’s income scale. (Last year, it took 85 billionaires to equal that figure.) And the richest 1 percent of the population, who number in the millions, control nearly half of the world’s total wealth, a share that is also increasing.
The type of inequality that currently characterizes the world’s economies is unlike anything seen in recent years, the report explained. “Between 2002 and 2010 the total wealth of the poorest half of the world in current U.S. dollars had been increasing more or less at the same rate as that of billionaires,” it said. “However since 2010, it has been decreasing over that time.”
Winnie Byanyima, the charity’s executive director, noted in a statement that more than a billion people lived on less than $1.25 a day.
Posted by Bill USA | Tue Jan 20, 2015, 06:54 PM (0 replies)
As the economy slowly recovers, it’s become increasingly clear that it’s not just unemployed Americans who need help from the government. It’s those that are employed as well.
That’s the main finding of a new report from the Economic Policy Institute on wage theft. What is wage theft? It’s when employers refuse to pay their workers their rightful wages and benefits, such as refusing to pay overtime. It’s a major problem across the United States. One study, which EPI cites, examined three cities (New York, Chicago and Los Angeles) and found that two-thirds of workers in low-wage industries had experienced a pay-related offense in any given week in 2008. Those violations cost workers more than $2,600 a year on average—nearly 15 percent of their total earnings. If wage theft is as prevalent in the rest of the United States as it is in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, then it costs workers more than $50 billion a year.
It’s tough to calculate how widespread wage theft is because much of it goes unreported. But not all. The U.S. Department of Labor, state departments of labor, state attorneys general, and private attorneys file cases on behalf of workers to recover lost wages. No single database collects this information so EPI consulted with state labor departments and attorneys general and researched private civil litigation cases to estimate the total amount that workers recovered in wages. In 2012, it totaled at least $933 million. In fact that understates the total since the researchers didn’t receive data from six state departments of labor and five attorneys general.
Remember, the actual amount recovered is only a fraction of the total wage theft. In other words, wage theft totals billions of dollars every year. EPI puts these numbers in perspective to show just the significance of these pay-related offenses. For instance, in 2012, people and companies reported $341 million in lost property from robbery, all forms of it. These are just reported instances of robbery, so that certainly understates the true extent of it. Even so, workers recovered three times as much in stolen wages as Americans lost in reported robberies. That's a massive loss for low-wage workers.
Posted by Bill USA | Tue Jan 20, 2015, 06:05 PM (3 replies)