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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 03:31 PM
Number of posts: 40,084

Journal Archives

"The Three Little Pigs" if done by Shakespeare (John Branyan)

Naomi Klein: Only a Reverse Shock Doctrine Can Save Our Climate


In her new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, Naomi Klein argues that if we had taken action years ago when scientists first established that human activities were changing our climate, we might have been able to deal with the problem of global warming with only minimal disruption to our economic system. But as we approach a tipping point, and the consequences of climate change come into sharper focus, that time has passed, and we now have to acknowledge that preserving humans’ habitat requires a paradigm change.

But Klein doesn’t just offer us a depressing litany of the damage we’ve already done. She calls on us to seriously rethink the way our economy is structured to address not only climate change, but also other longstanding social problems like persistent global poverty and rising inequality.


Naomi Klein: The thesis of the book is that by responding robustly to climate change — in line with what scientists tell us we have to do — we have a once-in-a-century opportunity to solve some of the biggest and most intractable problems facing our economy. I’m talking about creating countless good jobs, rebuilding ailing infrastructure to help protect us from the heavy weather that we’ve already locked in, and lowering our emissions so it doesn’t get markedly worse. We also have an incredible opportunity to address our most intransigent economic problem, which is inequality within our countries, and also between our countries. We can also have safer, more livable cities and cleaner air. So there is a lot of potentially good news.

The bad news is that we can’t do any of this by just changing our light bulbs or politely lobbying governments behind the scenes. We need to have a robust public debate about what values we want to have govern our society. The argument I make in the first part of the book is that the reason we’ve failed so spectacularly to rise to this existential crisis — and by failed I mean our emissions are up 61 percent since we started working on this issue in the early 1990s — is because the things we have to do clash fundamentally with the core ideology that has reigned in this same period, which is market fundamentalism.

NYT: You Can’t Feed a Family With G.D.P.


The census numbers on what American families made last year are as mediocre as they are predictable. We now know that if your household brought in $51,939 in income last year, you were right at the 50th percentile, with half of households doing better and half doing worse. In inflation-adjusted terms, that is up a mere 0.3 percent from 2012. If you’re counting, that’s an extra $180 in annual real income for a middle-income American family. Don’t spend your extra $3.46 a week all in one place.

Going back a little further, the numbers are even gloomier. The 2013 median income remained a whopping 8 percent — about $4,500 per year — below where it was in 2007. The 2008 recession depressed wages for middle-income Americans, and they haven’t recovered in any meaningful way. And 2007 household incomes were actually below the 1999 peak.


This simple fact may be the most important thing to understand about today’s economy: Around 1999, growth in the United States economy stopped translating to growth in middle-class incomes. In the last 15 years, median income has been more or less flat while there was far sharper growth in, for example, per capita gross domestic product.


The rubber-meets-road measure of whether the economy is working for the mass of Americans is median real income and related measures of how much money is making its way into their pockets and what they can buy with that money. And the newest census numbers show that the nation experienced virtually no progress on that frontier in 2013, and remains far behind where we were seven years ago. Americans feel disappointed by the economy; the new data show that they have good reason.

Pssst. Hey, libertarians.

Fugelsang: "If you're too disillusioned ...

Every hour: The reason for military action against ISIS.

The image of the NFL has been ruined.

US Chamber Attack on Wife of Walker Prosecutor Falls Apart


The investigation into Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is led by a Republican special prosecutor, was unanimously approved by Wisconsin's nonpartisan Government Accountability Board, and includes the participation of elected county District Attorneys from both political parties. But according to an outlet bankrolled by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the motivation for the "John Doe" probe can be traced back to a "weeping" teacher's union member married to Milwaukee County's District Attorney, John Chisholm.


Yet the "bombshell" story fell apart on September 12, when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Dan Bice broke the news that the unnamed source described as a "former staff prosecutor" was actually a former unpaid intern who previously made death threats to the prosecutor and his family. Bice confirmed that the source for the Chamber story is Michael Lutz, a former Milwaukee police officer who obtained his law license less than four years ago. Although the Chamber publication described Lutz as a "former staff prosecutor" and "longtime Chisholm subordinate," the truth is that Lutz worked, without pay, for Chisholm's office for only five-and-a-half months in 2011 filling out grant applications, but never handled any cases.


Even if the source for the Chamber story was more credible or had closer ties to Chisholm's office, the allegations do not stand up to scrutiny. A "weeping wife" doesn't explain why the non-partisan GAB -- a panel of retired judges appointed by the governor and confirmed by the legislature -- voted unanimously to approve the probe, or why Republican prosecutors from across the state found that the investigation had legal and factual merit.

The timeline is also questionable. According to the Chamber report, the "unnamed source" claims that an investigation that started in 2009 was motivated by anger over Walker's anti-union legislation -- which was introduced in 2011. The lengthy article jumps forward and back in time, at one point using the term "meanwhile" to refer to events that happened several months in the future. The claim that Chisholm was motivated by partisanship is also questionable, since the career prosecutor has consistently pursued charges against both Democratic and Republican public officials who violate campaign finance or ethics laws.

Walker Conservation Failure Files


Governor Walker has failed us. From our air and water quality to clean energy jobs and all points in between, he’s left no stone unturned in desecrating the things that make Wisconsin a great place to live, work, and play. During his first term, one thing has been made perfectly clear: in Governor Walker’s Wisconsin, big polluters are rewarded – and the rest of us are left to pay the price. The Walker Conservation Failure Files is your guide to understanding how Governor Walker has failed us – our health, our economy, and our way of life. Before you cast your vote, get the facts and share with fellow conservation voters.

Walker Failure File #1: The Dirty Truth About Our Clean Jobs
Governor Walker waged an attack on the renewable energy industry that imperiled up to $1.2 billion in renewable energy investments and more than 1,100 jobs by imposing the greatest restrictions to wind turbines in the country.

Walker Failure File #2: Walker Blew it on Wind
One of Governor Walker’s first legislative goals was to throw wind farm development out the window by imposing extreme restrictions that would have suffocated Wisconsin’s clean energy future.

Walker Failure File #3: Trashing Recycling
Governor Walker snuck a provision into his budget eliminating state recycling requirements and all funding for municipality and county-run recycling programs.

More at the link.

List of countries the USA has bombed since the end of World War II

We just love to bomb other countries!


China 1945-46

Korea 1950-53

China 1950-53

Guatemala 1954

Indonesia 1958

Cuba 1959-60

Guatemala 1960

Belgian Congo 1964

Guatemala 1964

Dominican Republic 1965-66

Peru 1965

Laos 1964-73

Vietnam 1961-73

Cambodia 1969-70

Guatemala 1967-69

Lebanon 1982-84

Grenada 1983-84

Libya 1986

El Salvador 1981-92

Nicaragua 1981-90

Iran 1987-88

Libya 1989

Panama 1989-90

Iraq 1991

Kuwait 1991

Somalia 1992-94

Bosnia 1995

Iran 1998

Sudan 1998

Afghanistan 1998

Yugoslavia – Serbia 1999

Afghanistan 2001

Libya 2011
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