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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 72,527

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Vast Left-wing Conspiracy (cartoon)

Greg Palast: Did You Hear The One About the Nuns Who Weren't Allowed to Vote?

Seven Stories Press / By Greg Palast

Did You Hear The One About the Nuns Who Weren't Allowed to Vote?
This excerpt from Greg Palast's new book 'Billionaires & Ballot Bandits' reveals the depths that vote suppressors are willing to go.

Stop me if you heard this one. See, these ten nuns walk into a polling station in Indiana and the guy in charge says, “Whoa, Sisters! What do think you’re doing?”

“Voting,” says Sister Mary.

“Well, not here, ladies; not without your ID!” He demanded their driver’s licenses, but the ten quite elderly Sisters of the Holy Cross, including a 98 year-old, had long ago given up cruising.

“Scram, Sis!” said the man, and kicked their habits right out of the polling station. ..............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/did-you-hear-one-about-nuns-who-werent-allowed-vote

Coleen Rowley: The Fuzzy Line of Terrorism

from Consortium News:

The Fuzzy Line of Terrorism
September 27, 2012

The Obama administration’s plan to remove a group of violent Iranian émigrés from the U.S. terror list suggests a readiness to pursue the-enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend strategy that put the United States on the side of Osama bin Laden and Islamic extremists in Afghanistan in the 1980s, says ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley.

By Coleen Rowley

And what kind of mind-boggling corruption — of the worst kind – influence-peddling by a “foreign power” (as defined by the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to include foreign terrorist groups) — lies hidden behind the curtain?

Could some members of the MEK “foreign terrorist organization,” their murderous history magically erased, be sent to a nice suburb somewhere to live as your next door neighbor as happens with the organized crime “witness protection program?”

Or will the soon-to-be-legalized “terrorism” of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (or mojahedin-e khalq, usually referred to as MEK) find more utilitarian function in the mode of how U.S. neoconservative officials plotted with and used convicted con artist Ahmad Chalabi and his Iraqi expatriate group to gin up the false “intelligence” that served to launch the unjustified and counter-productive war on Iraq? Even worse, might this new MEK operation end up resembling the sequel to “Charlie Wilson’s War”?

Since we cannot seem to learn from history and therefore seem doomed to repeat our mistakes, all of the above could be true. In any event, the old movie script will require few changes. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://consortiumnews.com/2012/09/27/the-fuzzy-line-of-terrorism/

How One Dutch Neighborhood Helped People Everywhere Reclaim the Commons

from OnTheCommons.org:

How One Dutch Neighborhood Helped People Everywhere Reclaim the Commons
A shining example of why it's better to ask for forgiveness, than for permission

September 25, 2012 | by Jay Walljasper

Traffic calming has swept the world over the past 20 years. It’s based on the rather simple idea that cars and trucks don’t have exclusive ownership of our streets. Streets are shared commons that also belong to people on foot and bicycles, in baby strollers and wheelchairs. Reminding motorists of this fact, traffic calming uses design features such as narrowing roads, adding speed bumps or elevating crosswalks to slow traffic and assert pedestrians’ right to cross the street.

This idea has altered the literal landscape of urban life in the Northern Europe, North America and the rest of the world as people move about their communities with more ease and pleasure.

The origins of this ingenious idea trace back to Delft, Netherlands, where residents of one neighborhood were fed up with cars racing along their streets, endangering children, pets and peace of mind. One evening they decided to do something about it by dragging old couches, coffee tables and other objects out into the roadway and positioning them in such a way that cars could pass but would have to slow down. Police soon arrived on the scene and had to admit that this project, although clearly illegal, was a really good idea. Soon, the city itself was installing similar measures called woonerfs (Dutch for “living yards”) on streets plagued by unruly motorists. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://onthecommons.org/magazine/how-one-dutch-neighborhood-helped-people-everywhere-reclaim-commons

Kodak to Stop Selling Consumer Inkjet Printers, Cut More Jobs

(Bloomberg) Eastman Kodak Co. (EKDKQ), the bankrupt photography pioneer, plans to cut as many as 200 more jobs as it prepares to stop selling consumer inkjet printers next year.

The company will continue to sell ink supplies to customers, according to a statement today. The job cuts would come on top of the 1,000 that Rochester, New York-based Kodak announced on Sept. 10. The company also is seeking to extend its exclusive right to negotiate its restructuring during bankruptcy. The right is due for a review next month.

Chief Executive Officer Antonio Perez has been selling businesses to help fund a turnaround after seeking Chapter 11 protection in January. The company said earlier this month it’s “making progress” in a restructuring that includes selling its consumer-film, photo-kiosk and commercial-scanner businesses and an extended effort to auction its digital-imaging patents.

Kodak announced the 1,000 job cuts earlier this month after already shedding 2,700 employees globally this year. Kodak also said earlier this month that Chief Operating Officer Philip Faraci and Chief Financial Officer Antoinette McCorvey are leaving. Rebecca Roof, a managing director of the company’s restructuring adviser AlixPartners, will become interim CFO. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-28/kodak-to-stop-selling-consumer-inkjet-printers-cut-more-jobs.html

Why “Green” Consumer Choices Can’t Win Climate Justice

from YES! Magazine:

Why “Green” Consumer Choices Can’t Win Climate Justice
Middle-class people are often socialized to believe they are responsible for improving their neighborhoods, their communities, and the world itself. Helpful as that often is, it creates a blind spot when it comes to global warming.

by George Lakey
posted Sep 27, 2012

With his July Rolling Stone article, Bill McKibben attracted enormous attention for his proposal to step up the fight against the fossil-fuels industry in the struggle to forestall global warming. To identify a clear opponent and mobilize power against it is, of course, a strategy of polarization. McKibben has been getting some thoughtful pushback, and I’d like to respond to one of the objections I’ve heard: that polarizing in this way distorts the truth, since carbon pollution is driven by millions of consumer choices. We’re all responsible for the fix we’re in, some critics say, so it’s wrong to mobilize against the 1 percent.

I’d like to challenge this objection on three grounds: it misreads power, privileges one way of seeking truth, and snuggles into a middle-class comfort zone.

When it comes to energy policy, power is not evenly distributed. An individual consumer’s choice to purchase a car instead of a bike is nothing like an individual CEO’s choice to blow up a mountaintop in order to mine coal. It could become trendy to eat local food—it already has, thank goodness—but an individual’s decision to buy at the farmers market and a bank’s decision to fund windmills instead of coal mining are not at all comparable in terms of their leverage or effect.

Responsibility should be assigned according to degree of power in decision-making, and when it comes to energy, it’s clear who in the U.S. is most influential in the biggest decisions. Why not hold the 1 percent accountable for the enormous power that they now have—and which they fight to retain? ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/why-green-consumer-choices-cant-win-climate-justice

Francois Hollande Raises Tax on Rich, Companies to Cut French Deficit

(Bloomberg) President Francois Hollande’s first annual budget raised taxes on the rich and big companies and included a minimum of spending cuts to reduce the deficit.

The 2013 blueprint relies on 20 billion euros ($26 billion) in tax increases, including a levy of 75 percent on incomes over 1 million euros, and eliminating limits on the wealth tax. Hollande aims to reduce spending by 10 billion euros, bringing the deficit to 3 percent of output from 4.5 percent in 2012. The budget predicts growth of 0.8 percent.

“It’s true we’re asking for an effort of the richest, the top 10 percent and the top 1 percent in particular,” Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said today. “Big companies of the CAC 40 pay less than the small companies and sometimes don’t pay at all. So we’re asking them for an effort too.”

France has a financing requirement of 171.1 billion euros in 2013, down from 182.8 billion euros in 2012, Agence France Tresor said in a simultaneous release. The debt agency said bond issuance alone would total 170 billion euros next year, down from 178 billion euros this year. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-27/hollande-readies-tax-raising-budget-in-bid-to-cut-french-deficit.html

David Sirota: The Choice Between Automatons and Leaders

from truthdig:

The Choice Between Automatons and Leaders

Posted on Sep 27, 2012
By David Sirota

Ask corporate executives what they really want in a legislator, and they probably won’t use words like “principled” or “well-informed.” If the cocktails are appropriately strong and inhibitions are consequently reduced, executives will likely tell you in a moment of candor that the best politician, from their perspective, is the one who is incurious and who possesses very little policy expertise. They don’t want people with inconvenient morals, ethics or brains getting in their way. They want the equivalent of T-1000s from the “Terminator” films: unthinking, fully programmable cyborgs willing and able to shape-shift in order to carry out a mission.

Alas, it is rare to get such an admission in public, and it is even more rare to get said admission in the pages of a major publication. That’s why Businessweek’s recent examination of the country’s marquee U.S. Senate race is so significant. In looking at the Massachusetts matchup between Republican incumbent Scott Brown and Democratic nominee Elizabeth Warren, the magazine quotes Brown fundraiser Lawrence McDonald, a former Lehman trader, acknowledging that he and his Wall Street friends hate the idea of an independently informed legislator who might bring her own wisdom to Washington.

“If Warren were to win, McDonald says, she’d be ‘seen as an expert’ by a second Obama administration, which he finds terrifying,” the magazine reported. “Scott Brown is ‘just a good senator,’ McDonald adds. ‘He wouldn’t be an adviser to either candidate in a financial crisis.’”

Get that? Warren is disliked precisely because of her years of distinguished research as a Harvard professor, her tenure heading the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and her overall unwillingness to take orders from corporate interests. Meanwhile, Brown is praised as a “good senator” specifically because he lacks policy knowledge that might help him counsel government officials on how to deal with another bank meltdown. Oh, and because as a lawmaker, he has a proven track record of saying “how high” when Wall Street says “jump.” ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_choice_between_automatons_and_leaders_20120927/

Keiser Report: Boom & Bust Vicious Cycle

Published on Sep 27, 2012 by RussiaToday

In this episode, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss punk rock 'Tall Paul' giving the two finger salute to Ben Bernanke's QE3 and gold adjusting for zero growth, yield, velocity and confidence.

Be careful on the sliding board......

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